The federal judge who ordered the reunification of children separated from their families along the Mexican border is the son of an immigrant with the middle name "Truth."
The government acknowledged it failed to meet Tuesday's deadline set by U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw to reunite about 100 children under age 5 with their families after they were seized along the Mexican border when their parents were arrested for illegally entering the U.S.
Dana Sabraw, based in San Diego, last month gave the government 14 days to reunite children under 5, some of whom had been separated from their families for weeks. He allowed 30 days for older kids.
So who is this guy? His Federal Bar Association profile and his own legal rulings shine some light.
Sabraw's father met his mother while he was an Army soldier stationed in Japan during the Korean War. They were married in her native Japan before settling in San Rafael, California, where the judge was born in 1958. He was given a Japanese middle name - Makoto - in honor of his mother's family. The name translates to "true" or "truth."
Sabraw played baseball, wrestled and ran track in high school. During his senior year, he served as grand marshall of Sacramento's annual Camellia Festival Parade. After graduating from San Diego State in 1980, he took a year off before law school and tooled around in country in a '66 Rambler. Then it was on to the University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law. He worked in private practice until becoming a municipal judge in 1995. President George W. Bush nominated him to the federal bench in 2003, and he won unanimous Senate confirmation.
Sabraw's wife, Summer Stephan, has been a prosecutor for almost three decades. She was appointed San Diego County's interim district attorney a year ago, and in June was elected to the post. Last year, a Women In The World profile compared her to Olivia Benson, the detective on NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." The couple met in law school and has three kids.
The ACLU filed suit in March against the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, and Sabraw was assigned the case. The suit sought to reunite an asylum-seeking mother identified as "Ms. L" and her 7-year-old daughter fleeing violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They were separated in the U.S. and detained separately 2,000 miles apart. The lawsuit cites violations of the Constitution's due process clause, federal law protecting asylum seekers and the government's own directive to keep families intact. "Ms. L" and her daughter were reunited months ago, but the national class-action lawsuit continues.
At a status hearing Tuesday, Sabraw said he was encouraged by the progress being made by the Trump administration. But he demanded that the government adopt a "streamlined approach" for vetting families. "These are firm deadlines," he said. "They're not aspirational goals.'
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