LOS ANGELES — A court-imposed borderline for reuniting “tender-age” accouchement afar from their parents at the bound came and went continued ago. But a 3-year-old babe from El Salvador is activity on her sixth ages in a federal clearing shelter, one of dozens of casual accouchement abandoned in the arrangement because authorities accept bent they cannot be alternate to their parents.
Jose Atilio Barrera Hernandez, who was taken into aegis aback he beyond into California with his babe Marta in March, has been accounted “ineligible” to be appear and achieve aegis of the girl, allegedly because of two alcohol-related offenses that occurred added than a dozen years ago.
While the government has complied with a federal judge’s adjustment to acknowledgment best of the about 3,000 accouchement taken from their parents as allotment of a clampdown on actionable bound crossings beforehand this year, federal authorities accept accounted some parents, like Mr. Barrera, “ineligible” for reunification because they accept a bent history or accept aloft added “red flags.”
In some cases, parents accept a almanac of adolescent or animal abuse. But immigrant advocates say that in abounding instances the abomination is accessory and has no address on the parent’s adeptness to affliction for the child. Few of the cases, they say, would account an American ancestor to cost the adeptness to affliction for a child.
“Unfortunately, there are dozens of baby accouchement sitting in apprehension accessories beyond the country because of the government’s unilateral assurance that accessory crimes cede these families disqualified for reunification,” said Lee Gelernt, an apostle with the American Civil Liberties Union, which is arch the accusation adjoin the government over casual ancestors separations.
After President Trump concluded the separations in June in acknowledgment to a ample accessible outcry, a federal adjudicator ordered the government to acknowledgment accouchement to their parents. Adjudicator Dana M. Sabraw of the San Diego Circuit Cloister set a July 10 borderline for reuniting added than 100 accouchement beneath the age of four, and two weeks afterwards for the abundant beyond accumulation of earlier children.
Several hundred families are yet to be reunited, including abounding in cases area the parents were deported. But the best advancing accumulation of those afar from reunification consists of parents the government has bent do not qualify. A few such cases were aloft in federal cloister aftermost week; with a continuing impasse amid the A.C.L.U. and the government, the adjudicator will acceptable accept to aphorism on the fates of these cases.
The government has “a accepted absorption in continuing apprehension of individuals who airish a flight accident or crisis to the association or others in a ancestors apprehension ability because of that person’s bent history,” Justice Department attorneys said in a acknowledged filing that cited some of the court’s own standards for review. The catechism of whether that violates parents’ rights to due process, they added, should be dealt with in “individualized inquiries.”
Mr. Barrera, the son of a affluence farmer, fled El Salvador in 1999 afterwards he was again accosted by gangs, according to his lawyer, Derek Loh, of Immigrant Defenders Law Center, a nonprofit in Los Angeles. Barely community and aloof 17 years old, he beyond the southwest bound abandoned and aing bags of lechugeros — bill people, in Spanish — who drift through Arizona and California to autumn abounding greens. In 2001, Mr. Barrera acquired acting adequate status, a anatomy of acknowledged aegis accepted to Salvadorans at the time in acceptance of earthquakes that had devastated the country aboriginal that year.
In December 2002, he was answerable with assault, but was acquitted the afterward month, according to an F.B.I. bent history area acquired by his lawyer. In aboriginal 2005, he was arrested for accustomed an accessible alembic with liquor in a agent and bedevilled to four months. In January 2006, he was bedevilled of the abomination of active beneath the access and bedevilled to 10 canicule in jail.
He was abandoned aback to El Salvador in 2006 afterwards he bootless to renew his acting adequate cachet and became undocumented. Feeling alarming there, he confused to Mexico, area he did odd jobs for several years. He met a woman and had three children, including Marta, said his attorney. In 2015, he was amid several men kidnapped by associates of the Zetas biologic cartel; they were bent aback their families could not pay ransom, according to affidavit affidavit he provided in his cover case. A feel on his larboard duke is missing — cut off with scissors, he said, by the kidnappers.
Fearing the more agitated bearings area he was active in Chiapas, Mexico, he renewed his attempts to cantankerous into the United States. Clearing authorities bent and arrested him at atomic once, axis him back.
Increasingly desperate, Mr. Barrera on March 20 presented himself at the Calexico, Calif., anchorage of access to seek cover with Marta. But annihilation went as planned: The brace was bedfast and afar three canicule later. With a stepped-up action on bound enforcement, Mr. Barrera was transferred to Adelanto apprehension centermost in Southern California; Marta was transported to a Chicago-area shelter.
On April 16, Mr. Barrera anesthetized an antecedent account with an cover officer, the aboriginal footfall adjoin applying for aegis in the United States beneath the all-around Convention Adjoin Torture. But he has not been appear from federal clearing detention, and he has not been able to see his daughter, admitting they accept announced by telephone.
An apostle in Chicago, Gianna Borroto with the National Immigrant Justice Center, took up Marta’s case and said she accepted the babe would be reunited with her ancestor aback all the added “tender age” children, authentic as those beneath the age of 12, were alternate to their parents in aboriginal July.
“We begin out the day afore the borderline that they were not eligible. On the phone, authorities told me it was due to the dad’s history,” said Ms. Borroto.
“No one had adjudicated this in cloister or presented affirmation adjoin the dad. Basically, the government rescinded affectionate rights with no due action or application for what is in the best absorption of the child,” she said.
In July, a federally-appointed adolescent apostle submitted belletrist to Clearing and Customs Enforcement, which is captivation Mr. Barrera, and to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which has aegis of Marta, answer that befitting the adolescent afar from her ancestor is acceptable to be “severely detrimental” to her in the continued term.
The government did not budge.
“He has not been bedevilled of annihilation that in any way puts into agnosticism his fettle as a ancestor or would affectation a crisis to others should they be reunited, alike if it is in a ancestors apprehension center,” said Mr. Loh, his lawyer, who approved abutment from California Agent Kamala Harris.
In an Aug. 10 letter to Clearing and Customs Enforcement, the Democratic agent apprenticed the bureau to absolution Mr. Barrera and accumulate him with his daughter. Ms. Harris cited medical experts who accept accurate to the akin of accent endured by accouchement like Marta and the accident of developing abiding adapter disorders, as able-bodied as behavioral and acquirements challenges. I.C.E. had finer justified “denying him his affectionate rights and liberty” as a aftereffect of two misdemeanors, she said.
Immigration and Customs Administration responded in a letter that Mr. Barrera remained in apprehension “due to DUI convictions. In addition, he had a confidence for actionable access and assorted incidents of actionable entry.”
Last month, Marta — she has a abstracted clearing case from her ancestor because they were afar — appeared for a cloister audition afore an clearing adjudicator in Chicago.
From a armchair that swallowed her baby frame, the little babe sat quietly, clutching a pint-size blimp elephant, her apostle said.
The adjudicator agreed to adjourn her case in ablaze of the changing separation.
Staffers with the National Immigrant Justice Center, who appointment Marta regularly, address that she about has a brilliant disposition, adequate interactions with adults and breach with added children. But apartment workers accept additionally appear times aback Marta has been arrant and throwing tantrums, her apostle said.
The break has been adverse to Mr. Barreras.
He had never absurd that “small mistakes from 12 years ago would bar him from actuality with his little girl,” he said in acknowledgment to questions airish through his attorney, who visited him on Wednesday and wrote bottomward his responses. Had he accepted that they would be separated, he said, he would not accept fabricated the adventure to the United States.
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