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Prosecutor: 2 Immigrant Children In Conn. To Be Reunited With Parents

Ted S. Warren
A sign that reads "Families belong Together Not in Cages" hangs on a fence outside a federal detention center last week.

Two immigrant children detained in Connecticut are scheduled to be reunited with their parents Monday after having been separated during an asylum attempt at the U.S.-Mexico border under the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy, according to a federal prosecutor.

The mother of the 14-year-old girl from El Salvador and father of the 9-year-old boy from Honduras are being granted parole from federal detention by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and will be reunited with their children, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle McConaghy wrote in a court filing Monday.

The move comes after a federal judge in Bridgeport ruled Friday that separating the two children from their parents was unconstitutional. The children are being detained by a government contractor in Groton.

But Judge Victor Bolden did not order an immediate reunification as requested by lawyers for the children in a lawsuit against Attorney General Jeff Sessions, citing another federal court ruling that said all children 5 and older who were separated from their parents must be reunited with them by July 26.

The government is holding around 2,000 children apart from their migrant families under President Donald Trump’s now-abandoned policy, and in some cases is struggling to reunite them with their parents.

Prosecutors said they asked for an expedited reunification of the parents and two children being held in Connecticut, and it was approved.

Details of the reunification have not been released. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and attorneys for the children did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

McConaghy wrote in the court filing that the children’s parents still face deportation proceedings and were granted parole from detention under certain allowed circumstances, such as an “urgent humanitarian reason or significant public benefit.”

The boy and his father fled Honduras because they feared for their lives after the boy’s grandparents were murdered and the body of a family friend was left in their backyard, according to court documents filed by Yale Law School students representing the children. They entered the U.S. on June 11, were detained, and authorities took the father away while the boy was sleeping, the students said.

The girl fled El Salvador with her mother after her stepfather was killed by gang members for refusing to lend them his scooter, according to the law students. They entered the U.S. in mid-May, were detained, and authorities separated them while the girl was brought to a shower, the students said.

Another hearing before Bolden is scheduled for Wednesday.

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