SAN DIEGO — A federal judge has extended a freeze on deporting families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border, giving a reprieve to hundreds of children and their parents to remain in the United States.

U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw said in his order Thursday that “hasty” deportation of children after reunification with their parents would deprive them of their right to seek asylum.

The American Civil Liberties Union had requested families be given at least a week. The judge’s order did not specify a date for when the reprieve would end.

The government has opposed the move, saying parents waived the rights of children to pursue asylum claims after signing deportation forms.

The order to extend the freeze, which Sabraw first put in place on July 16, affects many of the more than 2,500 children who were separated from their parents.

In his ruling, Sabraw said delaying the deportations “would not unfairly or unduly tax available government resources,” but that carrying out the removals would go against the public’s interest in upholding the country’s laws and protecting the rights of immigrants and asylum seekers.


He said claims of people persecuted in their homelands should at least be heard.

Many of the families have said they were fleeing violence in their home countries in Central America and planned to seek asylum.

“The court is upholding the rights provided to all persons under the United States Constitution, rights that are particularly important to minor children seeking refuge through asylum, and rights that have been specifically recognized by the president’s executiveorder in the particular circumstances of this case,” Sabraw wrote.

In late June, Sabraw ordered that children under 5 be rejoined with their parents in 14 days and children 5 and older be rejoined in 30 days.

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