Trump Administration Files Plan to Reunite Hundreds of Separated Migrant Children With Their Parents

After missing the July 26 deadline to reunite the thousands of migrant children separated from their parents who illegally crossed the southern border, the Trump administration filed a plan Thursday to reunite the deported parents of 365 children.

The State Department will work with U.S. embassies in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico to locate the hundreds of parents the government previously deported without reuniting them with their children. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) will then be responsible for contacting the parents to determine if they want reunification. Once parents indicate they do, the government will "transport minors to their respective countries of origin" to be reunified, according to court documents obtained by MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboroff.

Separately, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., handed down a stern warning to Trump administration officials Thursday afternoon when he learned two asylum seekers were being deported and on a plane back to El Salvador during a court hearing appealing their deportation. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan threatened to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and two other administration officials in contempt of court if the plane was not immediately turned around to bring the mother and daughter back to the U.S.

"I'm not asking, I'm ordering," Sullivan said. He added that it was "outrageous" that "somebody in the pursuit of justice...is spirited away while her attorneys are arguing for justice for her."

According to ACLU attorney Jennifer Chang Newell, the mother fled El Salvador because her husband "routinely raped" her, "treated her like property" and "threatened her with death."

The plan to reunite the hundreds of kids still separated from their deported parents comes a week after the Justice Department claimed the ACLU, instead of the government, should be responsible for finding the missing parents.

U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw called the government's lack of a plan to track down the parents "unacceptable," saying it was "the result of the government's separation and the inability and failure to track and reunite."

"The reality is that for every parent who is not located, there will be a permanent orphaned child," Sabraw said. "That is 100 percent the responsibility of the administration."

Sabraw then ordered the administration to name various agency officials who would spearhead the effort to track down the missing parents.

In court documents filed Thursday, the administration said that of the original 2,551 migrant children separated from their parents, 559 were still not reunified. While it's heard from 299 parents in the past week, the government still has no information about the parents of 26 children.

Trump Administration Files Plan to Reunite Hundreds of Separated Migrant Children With Their Parents | U.S.