CHICAGO (CBS) — The clock is ticking. It has been 48 hours since a 16-year old, who was in court today, and another nine-year-old, saw their fathers.
CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez reports the government is scrambling to meet a court order to bring them back together.
“It’s really been unspeakably devastating,” said Attorney Karen Hoffman.
Hoffman says there is a timeline in place to reunite the 16-year-old Brazilian boy with his father.
The 16-year-old Brazilian boy appeared in court Wednesday to hear how the government plans to make sure a court order to reunite him with his father, being held in detention, happens by 1:48 Thursday.
“With an end in sight to this separation, he’s feeling pretty good,” Hoffman stated.
While the U.S. Attorney said “We will comply,” details were in short supply in court Wednesday. The U.S. Attorney stated, “It’s a very fluid situation.”
While Judge Edmond Chang ordered reunifications for the teen and another nine-year-old also separated from his father at the U.S.-Mexico border, he cannot order the release of their father’s.
“My hands are tied,” the judge said.
The government could opt to send the boys and their fathers to a family detention center, but attorneys say that would violate federal law, which is part of the government’s dilemma regarding the situation.
“It’s solving that dilemma, in most cases, by releasing both the parent and the child together,” stated the boy’s attorney, Tom Yardley of Robbins Salomon and Patt LTD.
Time, however, is running out.
“Judge Chang’s order yesterday made clear how traumatic this is for the children having been separated from their parents now for 48 days,” stated the boy’s attorney, Amy Rubenstein of DLA Piper.
The boys’ attorneys say in other reunifications of this type, the kids were flown to the cities where their parents were held. In this case, one is in Texas and the other is in New Mexico. If the government cannot pull the reunions together by 1:48 tomorrow, they will have to file an emergency motion. All parties would end up back in court Friday.