Trump stopped the separations before Sabraw's June 26 order that all children be reunited with their parents.
The Trump administration failed to meet the Tuesday deadline, and the American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing the families, "will decide what remedies to recommend to the court for the non-compliance", Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project, said in a statement. "I will never be separated from him, no matter what", said a tearful Javier, a 30-year-old from Honduras, who was reunited with his 4-year-old son after 55 days of detention. On Monday, he said the total of kids under five that needed to be returned was just over 100.
The Trump administration announced Thursday that it completed the initial reunifications for children under 5 years old. "Of course, there remains a tremendous amount of hard work and similar obstacles facing our teams in reuniting the remaining families".
Donald Trump's administration has said it will release some migrant families from detention with ankle monitors, marking a return to the so-called "catch-and-release" policy the president vehemently denounced.
Asked about the missed deadline, Mr Trump said: "Well, I have a solution".
The ACLU says they will not be seeking sanctions for the government not meeting the deadline, telling ABC News in a statement, "At this point, we think the most constructive way forward is that the Court continue to stay hands-on and keep the government moving forward".
Another 24 children were not eligible because parents were in custody for other criminal offences, officials were unable to locate them or they had already been deported back to their country of origin. But as Vox's Dara Lind writes, the judge is unlikely to hold the federal government in contempt over a single missed deadline. He declined to provide details about every case, but said one adult was convicted of child cruelty and narcotics charges. Another dozen cases saw the adult accompanying the child deported before reunification could occur, while other adults remained jailed for other offenses. Seven adults were determined not to be a parent, one had a falsified birth certificate, one was alleged to have abused the child, one planned to house the child with an adult charged with sexually abusing a child and one is being treated for a communicable disease, according to HHS.
The issue of separating immigrant families is serious, and in many cases, the children should be given back to their parents. The zero-tolerance policy required adults to be sent to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.
Six of the 102 children are not eligible for reunification because they have a parent with a criminal history or were separated from someone who is not their parent.
ICE made a decision to use Alternatives to Detention, which includes the ankle monitor, for most cases involving children under 5 years old, an ICE official told PolitiFact.
The distance between many children and their parent or parents have been coupled with logistical challenges and resulted in a major bureaucratic snag.
At least one child being held in an immigrant detention center after being taken from their family may actually be a USA citizen - and the government has lost track of their parents, court filings show.
HHS and DHS are working to make arrangements for those children ages 5 to 17, officials said. Children spend an average of 57 days in shelters before they're placed with a sponsor.
The judge also threw out policies that called for background checks of other adults in the household, a care plan to be established and home visits - unless officials have specific concerns they can explain and justify. In the same order addressing the youngest migrant children, Sabraw also mandated that children aged 5 through 17 - the rest of the almost 3,000, in other words - must be returned to their parents by July 26.