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US judge orders migrant family reunions


A US judge has ordered officials to reunite migrants children separated from their parents within 30 days.

The judge issued the injunction in a lawsuit over family separations under the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy.

Meanwhile the policy of breaking up families at the Mexico border is being challenged by 17 US states.

Democratic attorneys general from states including Washington, New York and California launched the lawsuit.

More than 2,300 migrant children have been separated from their parents since early May under the Trump administration’s controversial policy, which seeks to criminally prosecute anyone crossing the border illegally.

Tuesday’s preliminary injunction was issued by a federal judge in San Diego, Dana Sabraw, in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of a mother who was split from her six-year-old daughter after arriving in the US last year.

Court papers filed by the ACLU also contained numerous accounts of parents unable to locate or communicate with their children after they were separated by border officials.

Mr Sabraw ordered the government to reunite parents with their children aged under five within 14 days, and with older ones within 30 days.

The lawsuit launched by the states on Tuesday is the first such challenge to family separations. It was filed with the US District Court in Seattle, Washington.