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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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Arsenal chimique syrien: les navires d’escorte rappelés à Chypre

navire-norvegien-hnoms-helge-ingstad
Agence France-Presse
Nicosie

Deux navires militaires devant escorter le transport de l’arsenal chimique syrien vers l’Italie en vue de sa destruction en mer ont été rappelés lundi à Chypre, le processus ayant pris du retard, a annoncé un porte-parole.

La frégate norvégienne HNoMS Helge Ingstad a reçu l’ordre de regagner le port chypriote d’où elle avait appareillé, a déclaré un responsable norvégien des relations publiques, Lars Hovtun.

L’autre navire, un bâtiment danois, a lui aussi été rappelé.

Le porte-parole n’a pas donné de date pour un prochain départ des navires vers la Syrie.

«Nous sommes toujours en état d’alerte renforcée pour partir vers la Syrie», a-t-il déclaré. «Nous ne savons toujours pas quand exactement les ordres arriveront».

L’ONU et l’Organisation pour l’interdiction des armes chimiques (OIAC), chargées de l’opération de destruction de l’arsenal chimique du pouvoir syrien, ont annoncé samedi que la date butoir du 31 décembre fixée pour l’évacuation de Syrie des agents chimiques les plus dangereux serait probablement dépassée.

«Les préparations se poursuivent pour le transport de la plupart des matériaux chimiques dangereux de la République arabe de Syrie en vue de leur destruction à l’extérieur (du territoire). Toutefois, le transport des agents les plus dangereux avant le 31 décembre est peu probable», ont déclaré l’ONU et l’OIAC dans un communiqué conjoint publié à New York.

Outre les problèmes de sécurité dus au conflit en cours en Syrie, des problèmes logistiques et le mauvais temps ont retardé le transport des agents chimiques vers le port syrien de Lattaquié, ont indiqué les deux organisations.

L’ONU et l’OIAC encadrent l’opération, mais la responsabilité du transport des agents chimiques vers Lattaquié revient aux autorités syriennes.

Le plan de destruction de l’arsenal chimique syrien résulte d’un accord russo-américain qui a permis d’éviter des frappes militaires américaines en Syrie, après une attaque chimique mortelle survenue en août près de Damas et que Washington attribue au pouvoir du président Bachar al-Assad.

Damas, soutenu par la Russie, rejette toute responsabilité dans cette attaque et en accuse la rébellion armée.

Le plan russo-américain approuvé par l’ONU prévoit que la totalité de l’arsenal chimique syrien aura été détruite au 30 juin 2014.

La destruction des agents chimiques les plus dangereux sera réalisée dans les eaux internationales sur un navire spécialisé de la Marine américaine, le MV Cape Ray.

Deux cargos, escortés par les navires militaires norvégien et danois, doivent charger les agents chimiques au port de Lattaquié. Ils les transporteront ensuite vers un port italien, où ils seront embarqués sur le bâtiment américain.

Les cargos retourneront alors à Lattaquié pour charger les derniers agents chimiques, moins dangereux, qui doivent être détruits par des sociétés.

C’est «la responsabilité du régime d’Assad de transporter les produits chimiques vers le port en toute sécurité et de faciliter leur enlèvement», a souligné lundi Marie Harf, une porte-parole du département d’État américain.

«Nous nous attendons à ce qu’il respecte cette obligation», a-t-elle dit.

Mais la porte-parole a reconnu qu’il s’agissait d’«un processus compliqué». «Tant que nous voyons qu’il y a du progrès, c’est le plus important», a-t-elle déclaré.

Mme Harf a souligné l’importance des résultats obtenus dans ce dossier depuis que l’accord a été conclu en septembre, dont «la mise hors service fonctionnelle de la totalité des équipements syriens de production, de mélange et de remplissage» des armes chimiques.

«Ce qui signifie que (les forces syriennes) ne peuvent pas prendre les produits chimiques dont elles disposent et les militariser», a précisé la porte-parole du département d’État.

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