Sen. Lankford: Some Illegal Alien Parents Don't Want to Take Their Children Back

By Susan Jones | July 10, 2018 | 10:41am EDT
President Donald Trump speaks to reporters on his way to the NATO summit on July 10, 2018. (Photo: Screen capture/C-SPAN)

( - The Trump administration, as expected, will miss today's court-ordered deadline to reunite all young children with the parents who brought them to the United States illegally.

A federal judge in California said all children under five must be reunited with the parents from whom they were separated by today; and all children over five must be reunited by July 26.

The Trump administration plans to ask the court for more time to deal with what one Republican senator called a "tough situation."

The children are in custody of the Health and Human Services Department, which is caring for them while their parents are in custody of the Homeland Security Department, which will either deport them or consider their asylum requests.

"This is not the United States taking children away with no plan to ever give them back to their parents," Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Tuesday.

The challenge is, some of those individuals are not their parents. Some of those individuals were traffickers claiming to be their parents. So they're doing DNA tests to be able to evaluate are these really relatives...If they're not a relative, then we're not going to go back and place them with someone who is not a relative. We've got to be able to figure out what to do with them.

Some of the adults are saying we don't want to take these children -- we want to be deported and we'll start all over again and come back. This time it will be easier to not have to travel a month-long through Mexico with a child. We'll just try to catch up with them later.

So it's a very complicated situation to try to be able to work through reconnecting. There are 102 of those individuals that are 4 years old and younger. They've already reconnected half of them. The other half they're still trying to determine, is this a relative -- is this the right person to be able to place them with and will the adults even take them if we do?

Children who are not claimed by their parents are placed in foster care in the United States.

President Trump, speaking to reporters on his way out of Washington Tuesday, said he has a solution to the family separation problem:

"Tell people not to come to our country illegally," he said. "That's the solution. Don't come to our country illegally. Come like other people do; come legally.

"I'm saying this, very simply: We have laws. We have borders. Don't come to our country illegally. It's not a good thing. And as far as ICE is concerned, the people that are fighting ICE, it's a disgrace. These people go into harm's way. There is nobody under greater danger than the people from ICE. What they do to MS-13 and everything else.

"So we ought to support ICE, not do what the Democrats are doing. Democrats want open borders, and they don't mind crime. We want no crime, and we want borders where borders mean something. And remember this: Without borders, you do not have a country," Trump said.


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