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Judge temporarily halts migrant family deportations amid reunification efforts

FILE: A mother migrating from Honduras holds her 1-year-old child as she surrenders to border agents. The two had illegally crossed the border near McAllen, Texas.
FILE: A mother migrating from Honduras holds her 1-year-old child as she surrenders to border agents. The two had illegally crossed the border near McAllen, Texas.
David J. Phillip/AP

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A federal judge in San Diego has told the government to hold off for now on deporting reunited migrant families. Judge Dana Sabraw said Monday he’d block deportations temporarily amid concerns from the ACLU, which filed suit to reunite families separated at the border, that parents and their children might be deported without fully knowing their rights. The government has until next Monday to respond. 

The judge also told the government that it must work fast to reunite parents with children being held in federal shelters. Los Angeles County officials say there are more than 100 of these kids in local shelters. However, legal providers say a court order to reunite the families doesn't apply to children who have already been released from federal custody to adult sponsors - often relatives - while their parents remained detained by immigration officials.