2/22/2019 – Reuters
By Kristina Cooke
(Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Thursday appeared open to ordering the government to find potentially thousands of additional children separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border by the Trump administration, which could greatly expand the scope of a lawsuit challenging the separations.
U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego called a January report by an internal government watchdog that found the U.S. government had started implementing its policy of separating families months before it was announced “a very significant event.”
The Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said in a report published earlier this year that the agency had identified many more children in addition to the 2,737 included as part of the class action lawsuit challenging family separations brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) last year. In response to the lawsuit, Sabraw ordered the families identified through a court process to be reunited with their children.