PHOENIX (AP) — The federal government is under a court order to reunite young immigrant children with their families by next week, including some still in diapers.
A 1-year-old boy had a court appearance in Phoenix on Friday before an immigration judge. He drank milk from a bottle, played with a small purple ball and occasionally asked for water before being called before the judge.
The boy is one of hundreds of children who need to be reunited with their parents after being separated at the border, many of them split from mothers and fathers as a result of the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance policy.” The separations have become an embarrassment to the administration as stories of crying children separated from mothers and kept apart for weeks on end dominated the news in recent weeks.
Critics have also seized on the nation’s immigration court system that requires children to have appearances before judges while separated from their parents. Such children don’t have a right to a court-appointed attorney.