dpa/Los Angeles Times/Los Angeles
A San Diego federal judge has expanded his
authority and will now oversee the cases of potentially thousands of
additional children who were separated from their families at the
border during the Trump administration.
Dana M. Sabraw ruled late Friday that his authority applies to any families that were separated at the border on or after July 1, 2017. Previously his order applied only to minors who were in federal custody on June 26, 2018 - more than 2,800 children.
Sabraw said his latest ruling was based on a report by the US Health and Human Services Department's internal watchdog. The report concluded that thousands more children may have been separated since the summer of 2017.
The department's inspector general said the precise number was unknown. Nearly all of the children who were part of the original case "have now been reunified with their parents or otherwise discharged in accordance with their parents' wishes," the judge wrote in his order.
The new ruling would extend the case considerably. The Trump administration had opposed expanding the number of affected immigrants, saying it was unfair to the government. Attorneys had argued that these families are in a different legal position and that reviewing their cases would be time-consuming, cumbersome and expensive.
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