The government adopted its family separation policy as part of a broader effort to discourage illegal immigration earlier this year.
Those children and their parents, Fabian said, will be released from custody instead of being held in family detention centers run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Thousands of babies, toddlers and older children were separated from their parents at the border this spring before Trump reversed course on June 20 amid an global outcry over the images of youngsters in chain-link cages and audio recordings of children crying.
It was not immediately clear the government was also preparing to release qualifying parents with children over five to alternative to detention programs with ankle monitors.
The government expects to reunite just 38 of those children by Tuesday. "In fact, the judge has praised our progress and the focus on the safety of the children".
Given that many households for potential sponsors include undocumented immigrants wary of being in contact with ICE, the fingerprint requirement may have led to an increase in the amount of time children spend in government custody.More news: Man contracts flesh-eating bacteria while crabbing in NJ
Migrants with children who are apprehended in the United States are now given a notice to appear in court and being told, "Welcome to America", according to another senior Department of Homeland Security official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to be identified by name. Many of those who had left the country without their child, they claimed, had done so because leaving the child in the United States had been their intended goal.
Trump was dismissive of reporters' questions about the missed deadline on Tuesday. There are an estimated 102 migrant children under five in federal custody, with a limited number of cases not qualifying for reunification due to the parents' criminal background or signs of child abuse. One parent was from Honduras and the other from El Salvador.
In New York, attorney Michael Avenatti- the lawyer best known for representing the porn actress Stormy Daniels- said it took two tries plus a series of tweets Wednesday before he was allowed to see two Honduran girls, ages 9 and 5, who were separated from their family at the border in June, and sent to New York.
The U.S. Health and Human Services patted themselves on the back, despite their failure to reunite the 102 young children by the deadline.
The Department of Justice reported their list in a hearing on Tuesday in which they revealed to the American Civil Liberties Union that the missing father, as well as the child, "might be" us citizens. That thwarted a government plan to detain children with their families while criminal proceedings were pending. Fabian did not offer a timetable for when the other children would join their parents.
ACLU lawyers took issue with the remaining 16. If those parents were able to prove a familial bond with their child using a birth certificate or official documentation, they argued, there should be no hold-up in the reunification process. "If those [parents] submitted birth certificates...[we] suggest those kids be released".More news: USA to impose tariffs on $200 billion Chinese imports
"It's extremely disappointing that the Trump administration looks like it will fail to reunite even half the children under 5 with their parents".
Now the Trump administration has several options.
It's unclear what will happen to families detained at the border moving forward.
After public outcry and a court challenge, Trump stopped separating families last month.
As Slate notes, "The documents do not indicate that ORR officials have specific knowledge that family separations will increase but do show that the agency is preparing for the possibility".More news: Erdogan assumes greater powers as Turkey's new era begins