A federal judge on Thursday ruled that The Trump administration has six months to identify potentially thousands of children forcibly separated from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border, reports HuffPost.
The government initially told the court it could take up to two years to identify as many as 47,000 children who were separated from their parents and taken into government custody between July 1, 2017, and June 26, 2018.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which is suing the administration over the family separations, rejected the government’s extended timeframe.
The ruling now gives the Trump administration until Oct. 25 to reunite the children with their families.
“This order shows that the court continues to recognize the gravity of this situation,” said ACLU’s Lee Gelernt, lead attorney in the family separation lawsuit.
An internal government watchdog reported in January that thousands more children than the initial 2,700 children separated under the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy may have been separated before the policy was enacted.