Judge gives gov’t another week to plan way to reunite children with parents

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BRIDGEPORT -

A judge told lawyers for two immigrant children separated from their families at the border to return to court next Wednesday as he gave the government another week to try to reunite them with their parents.

The two children have sued the federal government over the separations.

MORE: Earlier coverage

One is a 14-year-old girl from El Salvador, and the other is a 9-year-old boy from Honduras. They have been housed at a group home in Groton.

Attorneys for the children filed an injunction asking the government to return them to their parents before the July 26 deadline. Court documents say the children were separated from their parents in May.

Their lawyers say the judge's solution may not help to resolve the children's emotional distress.

"The plan that they have is to continue moving children like cattle to compound the trauma," says Josh Perry, of Connecticut Legal Services. "And ultimately to put them back in the same situation where they are now."

And a child psychologist testified that the boy scored extraordinarily high on a post-traumatic stress disorder test. He also called for the children to be immediately reunified with their parents outside of an immigration facility.

Several dozen immigration rights advocates rallied outside the courthouse before the hearing Wednesday in a show of support.

The parents were able to see the hearing through an oft-interrupted video feed that they watched from their detention facility in Texas. A judge had denied their request to attend in person.

The children's lawyers have asked the judge to reconsider and bring the parents to Connecticut for next week's hearing.

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