2 Brazilian boys in Chicago hoping to be reunited with fathers

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ByLeah Hope via WLS logo
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
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A judge ordered two Brazilian boys in Chicago be reunited with their fathers, who are being detained by the U.S. government.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Days after a federal judge in Chicago ordered two young Brazilian boys be reunited with their fathers, government attorneys said they are trying to meet the judge's deadline.

Judge Edmond Chang ordered that the boys - ages 9 and 16 - be reunited with their fathers by 1:48 p.m. Thursday. They haven't seen their fathers since crossing the U.S. border in New Mexico 47 days ago. Their fathers are now being detained.

In a Wednesday hearing, attorneys for the government are looking at two options: paroling the fathers and releasing the boys to them, or holding the children in family detention with their fathers. The second option may be a violation of a judge's order.

Government attorneys called the situation extremely difficult, but said they are doing their best.

The boys may be transported to where the fathers are or the fathers could come to Chicago.

If the reunification doesn't happen, the attorneys for the government will have return to court Friday morning to explain why.

Attorneys for the boys called the government's position "heartless," saying the situation was created by the government.

These boys are among hundreds of migrant children across the U.S. who have been separated from their families and are currently in government custody.

A federal judge has ordered that they all be reunited.

"It's horrific, it's a trauma unlike we have ever seen as a country at least in the immigration process. It's unprecedented," said Karen Hoffman, an attorney for the boys.

The two Brazilian boys are staying at a shelter in Chicago run by nonprofit Heartland Alliance. Judge Chang also ordered that the government be barred from deporting their fathers without their sons.

However, Chang also said: "My hands are tied. I don't think I have the authority to release the parents."

Tom Yardley, an attorney for the boy, said of the judge: "He's very careful not to enter any order relating to the fathers because the case in Illinois was not brought on behalf of the fathers. The case was brought on behalf of the children and the children are being detained in Illinois."