Judge Orders Government to Pay for Reunification Services

A U.S. judge ordered the Department of Health and Human Services to pay for the cost of reuniting migrant parents with children who were separated at the border on Friday, according to Reuters. “It doesn’t make any sense for any of the parents who have been separated to pay for anything,” U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw said. The ruling was prompted by the American Civil Liberties Union presenting evidence that immigration officials were asking parents to pay for reunification services. Trump administration lawyer Sarah Fabian told Judge Sabraw that paying those costs would be “a huge ask on HHS.” Judge Sabraw replied,“The government will make it happen.” The ruling comes as the government has blown through a court-imposed deadline to reunite children under six with their families. The Trump administration has reportedly abandoned the use of DNA testing to verify parents, and is now relying on background checks for a faster process.