SAN DIEGO | Judge extends authority to more families separated at border

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A federal judge who ordered that more than 2,700 children be reunited with their parents has expanded his authority to potentially thousands more children who were separated at the border earlier during the Trump administration.

Dana Sabraw ruled late Friday that his authority applies to any parents who were separated at the border on or after July 1, 2017.

Previously his order applied only to parents whose children were in custody on June 26, 2018.

Sabraw said his decision responds to a report by the U.S. Health and Human Services Department’s internal watchdog that said thousands more children may have been separated since the summer of 2017. The department’s inspector general said the precise amount was unknown.

The judge says he will consider the next steps on March 28.

By ELLIOT SPAGAT, Associated Press