sabther/iStockBy LAUREN LANTRY, ABC News(WASHINGTON) — The American Civil Liberties Union said in a court filing submitted on Tuesday that they have been unable to contact parents of 545 children who were separated at the border by the Trump administration, leaving the children living with sponsors throughout the United States.“We haven’t found all the families,” Lee Gelernt of the ACLU told ABC News’ Chief National Affairs Correspondent Tom Llamas. “We are still searching for approximately 545 families that we haven’t reached the parent.”Soon after taking office, President Donald Trump imposed a crackdown on families seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border that ultimately led to thousands of family separations. Children were placed in shelters, often unaware of what was happening to their parents, who were detained and likely deported.While the government eventually placed the children with sponsors, a federal judge ordered the government to track the whereabouts of the parents — a difficult task because the government failed to adequately track the families in the first place, according to a government watchdog office.Gelernt said that close to 5,500 families were separated.“Each one of these children is its own story,” Gelernt said. “And those stories are absolutely heartbreaking.”“One 4-year-old from Honduras had glasses,” he continued, telling the story of one family. “The boy’s parents had been able to get him a case to protect the glasses.” Gelernt said the “glasses case became the most important thing in their life because they knew if the glasses broke, they might not be able to get him another pair.”When the boy was separated from his mother, he had his glasses, but he didn’t have the case.“All day long, all the mother thought about was, ‘Can my little boy see?’” Gelernt said.The ACLU and other groups sued the Trump administration over the practice of separating families. The court filing is a part of the ongoing effort to reunite the families that were separated. But the reunification process has often been unsuccessful due to the government’s poor tracking system.A court-appointed “steering committee” has tried to locate the families of 1,030 children. Court documents estimate that approximately two-thirds of the parents are believed to be in their “respective countries of origin.”But Chad Jennings, a Department of Homeland Security spokesperson, said DHS, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Health and Human Services have “taken every step to facilitate the reunification of these families where parents wanted such reunification to occur.”“The simple fact is this: after contact has been made with the parents to reunite them with their children, many parents have refused,” Jennings said in a statement provided to ABC News. “In the current litigation, for example, out of the parents of 485 children whom Plaintiffs’ counsel has been able to contact, they have yet to identify a single family that wants their child reunited with them in their country of origin. The result is that the children remain in the U.S. while the parents remain in their home country.”In line with DHS, White House deputy press secretary Brian Morgenstern said the administration has “done everything we can to bring these families together.”“It’s very sad, the administration wants the families to be reunited, but for various reasons the families just have not accepted the children back in many of these cases,” Morgenstern said.In response, Gelernt referred back to the court document that says that the steering committee has “not yet reached the separated parents” of the 545 children.“We have not even found these 545 parents so neither we nor certainly the administration can know whether they want to be reunited,” Gelernt told ABC News.Ahead of Thursday’s presidential debate, Vice President Joe Biden released a statement calling the reports “an outrage, a moral failing, and a stain on our national character,” adding that the principle that “families belong together” will be at the “core” of his immigration policy if he is elected in November.Biden has pledged to create a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented individuals living in the United States.The judge ruling over the case has scheduled a hearing for Thursday.“The child doesn’t know whether they’ll ever see their parent again,” Gelernt said, adding that the separation of these families is both historic and can never be forgotten.“This can never be repeated again.”ABC News’ Johnny Verhovek, Bonnie McLean, Victoria Moll Ramirez, Anne Flaherty and Luke Barr contributed to this report.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
For the Clippers it begins Monday with Game 1 against the Dallas Mavericks.But they find themselves in need of more Neil Armstrongs and Buzz Aldrins and fewer imitators of Michael Collins, the ultimate wingman, who circled the moon until he got a call for pickup.On Sunday coach Doc Rivers ticked off the names that weren’t available in the eighth and final practice game: Beverley, Montrzel Harrell, Landry Shamet and Lou Williams. Harrell will at least escape quarantine for Game 1.“It’s just one of those years,” Rivers said. “I look at rotations. It would be great if you knew exactly the rotations you wanted to play, but that would be impossible with us going into the playoffs. That’s unusual, though.”The team that Rivers envisioned 13 months ago rarely stood as one in the pre-virus season. Then trouble followed the Clippers into The Bubble. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error If the Clippers ever won an NBA championship, you figured it would happen in a studio. You know, like the moon landing did.Steve Ballmer would dance at zero gravity while Doc Rivers planted the flag. Kawhi Leoanrd would launch a two-mile three-pointer, while Patrick Beverley jawed at whatever little green men he found.Such a faraway title would feel real enough. New Yorkers weren’t in Paris when Lindbergh landed. The parade was even more glorious when he returned.Four rounds of playoffs will turn the NBA’s Small World into basketball’s best self, if Portland’s stirring play-in victory over Memphis is an indication. “There were periods during the shutdown when I’d look at our team, and I’d say, man, we’ve got a shot here, and we may not have a season,” Rivers said. “And then we came to the bubble and I was thinking even greater things now. Man, not only are we going to start the season back, but we’re going to have a chance to build our chemistry for the first time all year. And that doesn’t happen.“But now the playoffs are here. Whether we’ve been together or not, this is what we’ve been waiting for. This is our opportunity.”The Clippers finished 49-23, their fourth best winning percentage ever, but this wasn’t supposed to be their fourth best team. The injuries and Leonard’s load-management requirements led to inconsistency, which led to occasional tensions. The Lakers definitely weren’t supposed to be more harmonious and defensive-minded than the Clippers, but that’s how it worked out.The Clippers lost pre-virus games to Phoenix, Atlanta and Chicago. They lost by 27 at Minnesota.Still, at least one bookmaker thinks the Clippers are the playoff favorites, and most of their problems are first-world stuff.“We’re the most overscouoted league in the world,” Rivers said. “I thought the shutdown allowed each team not to go out and scout other teams, but take an inward look at your own team. You can see there’s several teams that have been clearly better coming back. Some have made dramatic changes in how they play.”In that way, the Clippers have more tools to sharpen than anyone else. JaMychal Green upped his game during the warmup. Ivica Zubac already had, but now he is being hailed for it. He was the only Clipper to play more than 70 games, and his fouls are like gold, as the leading rim guardian.“He’s unstoppable right now,” Green said. “He’s catching everything that’s thrown his way. He’s finishing with his right and left hook. We’re going to need him to keep playing that way.”“It’s amazing the confidence the guys have in Zu,” Rivers said, “compared to this time last year.”The Mavericks are tricky because their defensive numbers are better than one might think, and they have one of the NBA’s best Armstrong/Aldrin combos in Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. They also take the second most three-pointers of any league team and they will be playing a team that gives up the fourth most. They, like the Clippers, have an NBA championship coach (Rick Carlisle).Whatever the outcome, we know who should be handling the American response to the next contagion: NBA commissioner Adam Silver.With four consecutive rounds of testing with no Covid cases, and with the resolute bubble rules that ruffled the Clippers when Harrell was given a week-long quarantine, the league has cracked an incomprehensible code. Its players have been far more businesslike than their reputation, and it has functioned without whiny, entitled college football coaches or baseball pitchers who can’t follow the guidelines.The players have taken care of business and promoted social justice simultaneously. In fact, you could even say the NBA has Stuck To Sports.