For the remaining almost 50 children, some of their parents have already been deported, while others were released and have already disappeared into the shadows of the illegal immigrant population, and the government has struggled to track them down. And for several weeks, administration officials have been under a court-ordered deadline: Reunite those young children with their parents, and do it quickly.
If DNA testing is inconclusive, officials said in a court filing, they won't be able to confirm a child's parentage by the deadline.
More than 2,000 children in all were separated from their parents by USA immigration authorities at the border this spring before President Donald Trump reversed course on June 20 amid an worldwide outcry and said families should remain together.
Also Friday, Fabian said 19 parents were deported and 19 were released.
More than 2,000 children were forcibly separated from their parents at the Mexican border this spring under the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" immigration policy on illegally entering the country.
Children separated from their parents, some as young as 1 year old, are appearing in US immigration court.
The other parents have either been deported, failed a criminal background check, were unable to prove they were the parent or had been released and immigration agents had been unable to contact them, said Fabian.
The government has offered a variety of reasons why they can't reunite different families.
The judge made clear that he wants to see us tomorrow and get updates and continue the process. It said Monday that it plans to demand that the court set a deadline for reunifying parents with their kids within 48 hours of making contact if the parents are within the USA and within one week if the parents have already been deported.
"The government must reunite them", the judge said.
"It's extremely disappointing that the Trump administration looks like it will fail to reunite even half the children under 5 with their parents", Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project, said in a statement sent to Newsweek.
Once again, Southern District of California Judge Dana Sabraw held off on giving them an extension, and is instead demanding that they come back to court on Tuesday to explain how many families were reunited, why the government failed reunite the rest by the deadline, and how much more time it will need for those cases.
And why did the government say they can't meet the deadline?
The numbers were revealed during a court hearing between the government and the American Civil Liberties Union, which secured Sabraw's preliminary injunction requiring family reunification last month. We are just asking that the parent be given back their child.
"They're working nights and weekends to comply with the judge's orders".
Nine have parents who were removed already from the US. I think now that the court is requiring them to literally submit information nearly twice daily, I think we're a long way from the point where the government is going to have to be sanctioned by the court.
As the ACLU and the Trump administration work together over the course of Monday and Tuesday to locate and reunite as many families as possible before the court's original Tuesday deadline, Gelernt demanded permission from the court to allow immigrant advocates and faith-based groups to know the location of these reunions.