DHS says it will have all the separated kids in its custody — about 500 — reunited with their families by the end of the day. It’s apparently going to take much longer for HHS to reunite the kids in its custody. The administration says it knows where all the kids are. But, as I understand it, the 2008 anti-trafficking law mandates that HHS vet anyone it is returning a child to, even if that is a separated parent. This seems crazy (and makes you wonder if Congress can pass some sort of waiver). Also, if HHS has already placed a separated child with a relative in the U.S., the reunification is no longer its responsibility, i.e., the parent has to go find the child with that relative.
This obviously goes to a major practical difficulty with all this — government bureaucracies aren’t very efficient in the best of circumstances, let alone when they are overwhelmed, and they are beholden to rules that often don’t accord with normal human impulses.