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A government lawyer acknowledged Monday that the Trump administration will miss its first court-imposed deadline to reunite about 100 immigrant children under age 5 with their parents. Department of Justice attorney Sarah Fabian said during a court hearing that federal authorities reunited two families and expect to reunite an additional 59 by Tuesday’s deadline. She said the other cases are more complicated, including parents who have been deported or are in prison facing criminal charges, and would require more time to complete reunions. U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw, who ordered the administration to reunite families separated as part of President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, said he will hold another hearing Tuesday morning to get an update on the remaining cases. He said he was encouraged to see “real progress” in the complicated reunification process after a busy weekend when officials from multiple federal agencies tried to sync up parents and children who are spread across the country. STORY FROM LENDINGTREE Crush your mortgage interest with a 15 yr fixed “Tomorrow is the deadline. I do recognize that there are some groups of parents who are going to fall into a category where it’s impossible to reunite by tomorrow,” he said. “I am very encouraged by the progress. I’m optimistic.” Lee Gelernt, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney who leads a lawsuit against the federal government, sounded more skeptical. When asked by the judge if he believed the government was in full compliance of the court order, Gelernt said there was much more work to be done. “Let me put it this way: I think the government in the last 48 hours has taken significant steps,” he said. “We just don’t know how much effort the government has made to find released parents. I don’t think there’s been full compliance.” U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw, based in San Diego. U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw, based in San Diego. (Photo: U.S. District Court) The difficulty in reuniting the first 100 children shows the challenge that lies ahead as the Trump administration braces for another deadline in two weeks to reunite nearly 3,000 older children – up to age 17 – with their parents. The process is complicated because of all the different situations that emerged over the weekend. The government initially identified 102 children under age 5 who needed to be reunited but removed three children from that list because investigations into their cases revealed that those children came with adults who were not their parents, Fabian said. Twelve parents were found to be in federal and state custody on criminal charges, making a reunification impossible since the government can’t transfer minors to state and local prisons to protect the well-being of the child. Nine parents were deported, and the government established contact with only four of them, Fabian said. Four children had been scheduled to be released from government custody to relatives who weren’t their parents, leading the government to question whether to allow that process to be completed or to redirect the child back to a parent. Gelernt said he understood many of the hurdles but urged the judge to force the government to scrap its time-consuming investigation into every single case and start a 48-hour clock to reunify families that remain separated by Tuesday. Sabraw said he would decide that during Tuesday’s hearing. Fabian said one of the silver linings of the busy weekend is that her office worked closely with its challengers at the ACLU to share information on each child’s case, to ensure that representatives from immigration advocacy groups and volunteer organizations could be present during each reunification. Gelernt said they’re doing that to help the parents, who are often released from custody with no money and nowhere to go. Fabian said that coordination has led to a more formalized process between government agencies and with the immigrants’ lawyers that should make reunifications go more smoothly in the coming weeks. “I think this process over the weekend helped us see what information, and in what form, is the most useful to share,” she said. “I’d like to make that as efficient a process as possible.” -

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Devyani Khobragade: Indian MPs demand action against US

India

QuestCinq.com/News updated

Outraged Indian MPs have spoken out in parliament against the arrest and alleged ill-treatment of one of the country’s diplomats in New York.

Upper house opposition leader Arun Jaitley said the arrest was a clear violation of the Vienna convention.

Devyani Khobragade, deputy consul general, was handcuffed upon arrest last week and later strip-searched.

She denies visa fraud and making false statements over allegations that she underpaid her Indian maid.

The maid had complained the diplomat was paying her less than the minimum stipulated wages under US visa requirements.

Following her arrest, Ms Khobragade appeared in court last Friday and was freed on bail.

On Wednesday, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described Ms Khobragade’s treatment as “deplorable” and Foreign Minister Salman Khursheed said it was his duty to restore the dignity of the diplomat.

Continue reading the main story

What is diplomatic immunity?

  • A form of legal immunity that ensures diplomats are exempt from prosecution under the host country’s laws
  • Agreed as international law in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961)
  • Under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (1963) a consul is afforded a variation of diplomatic immunity called consular immunity
  • It guarantees immunity from the host country’s laws only with respect to acts related to consular duties

“I think the most important, immediate concern is to ensure that no further indignity is inflicted upon the young officer. And we are taking steps to ensure legally whatever is possible that we implement that immediately,” Mr Khursheed told parliament.

“In terms of giving a strong, unambiguous, direct message to the United States of America: whatever I believe we were supposed to do, we did immediately,” he added.

On Tuesday, India ordered a series of reprisals against the US. Security barricades around the US embassy in Delhi were removed and a visiting US delegation was snubbed.

US state department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf later tried to calm Indian anger.

“We understand that this is a sensitive issue for many in India. Accordingly, we are looking into the intake procedures surrounding this arrest to ensure that all appropriate procedures were followed and every opportunity for courtesy was extended,” she said in a press statement.

‘National outrage’

On Wednesday morning, opposition MPs from several parties called on the government to take action against the US.

Mr Jaitley of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said India should take its bilateral relations more seriously and “insist on being treated like equals” by Washington.

“Has the US held Vienna Convention in this? Who gave it the right to handcuff Devyani, treat her in this manner?” asked senior BJP MP Yashwant Sinha…

Source:BBC

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