WH on Order to Reunite Illegal Families: ‘Injunctions Make It More Difficult’

By Melanie Arter | July 5, 2018 | 12:36 PM EDT

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(CNSNews.com) – The White House on Tuesday said the preliminary injunction issued last week ordering the Trump administration to reunite illegal immigrant children under five years old within 14 days and older children within 30 days makes it “more difficult.”

During a press gaggle on board Air Force One en route to Lewisburg, W.Va., on Tuesday, White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley was asked how many families were reunited, but he referred reporters to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security.

“Yeah, I have to turn you over to HHS and DHS for specifics on those things. The president has been very clear about what he wants to do, as it relates to the EO he signed. He gave Congress time to fix this problem. Democrats refuse to come to the table. We're faced with a crisis on the border. This has been about 30 to 40 years in the making of bad economic -- excuse me, bad immigration policy,” Gidley said.

“The president wants it fixed. He wants a lasting solution, and these stopgap measures put us in this position in the first place, and it's time to fix it, and he wants Democrats to come to the table, and, for whatever reason, they refuse to, and that's a shame,” he added.

District Judge Dana Sabraw of the Southern District of California issued a ruling on June 26 , saying, “Unless there is a determination that the parent is unfit or presents a danger to the child, or the parent affirmatively, knowingly, and voluntarily declines to be reunited with the child: (a) Defendants must reunify all Class Members with their minor children who are under the age of five (5) within fourteen (14) days of the entry of this Order; and (b) Defendants must reunify all Class Members with their minor children age five (5) and over within thirty (30) days of the entry of this Order.

Sabraw also ruled that “Defendants must immediately take all steps necessary to facilitate regular communication between Class Members and their children who remain in ORR custody, ORR foster care, or DHS custody. Within ten (10) days, Defendants must provide parents telephonic contact with their children if the parent is not already in contact with his or her child.”

When asked whether the administration would meet the judge’s deadline, Gidley said, “It's obviously a difficult situation because of some of the injunctions put on the case by certain courts, judges, but I don't have any specific numbers. I have to turn you to DHS or HHS to give you those numbers.”

When asked to explain what he means, Gidley said, “It's more difficult because the situation is in full crisis mode around the border, as you guys know. You're seeing upwards of 50,000 people come into this country per month for the first time three consecutive months in a row. They know that this -- the border is porous. They know that loopholes exist.

“Drug smugglers, child smugglers -- people who want to come to this country -- MS-13 gang members who -- one of the most brutal, bloodthirsty gangs in the world coming here to wreak havoc in our American communities -- and he wants it solved. He wants it fixed.

“But when they flood the border that way, you don't the resources, you don't have the staff, you don't have the manpower to do the things the President wants to do. That's why it's got to be fixed, and the American people deserve that.

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