>> The critical court-ordered deadline to reunite children under the age of five with their parents has arrived. And the Trump administration says only about half of the roughly 100 tender-aged migrants will see their parents by the end of Tuesday. On Tuesday morning the President responded to reporters’ questions about the missed deadline.
>> Well, I have a solution, tell people not to come to our country illegally.>> The US government has struggled to reunite families that were forcibly separated at the border as part of the President's zero tolerance immigration policy. The ACLU has brought a lawsuit against the government over the policy, and last month a federal judge set the Tuesday deadline for reunifications.
But in courts, a government attorney said it needed more time. Scrambling to reconnect the families, officials are relying on background checks and turning to DNA testing to bring families together. But even that's not enough. Immigration authorities have run into trouble with what one top government official called an extreme deadline, saying some parents had either been deported, failed to pass a background check, or couldn't be reached.
And in the case of one three-year-old boy, officials couldn't find any records of who his parents were.>> They know where the child is, but they do not know who the parent is.>> Tensions remain high as protestors keep the pressure on the administration to reunite the more than 2,000 children separated at the border since the policy went into effect in April.
>> This is why we're here. We want to send a message clear and loud to this administration there are families who care about these families' unification.>> The deadline for the government to reunite all older children is July 26th. Meanwhile, in a blow to the Trump administration, a federal judge rejected its efforts to indefinitely detain immigrant children with their parents.