Judge mulls bid to curb power to split families at border

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A federal judge says he’s struggling with a request to more narrowly define what behavior justifies separating children from their parents at the border.

A two-hour hearing Friday in San Diego follows complaints that the Trump administration has abused its discretion to split families under limited circumstances, like criminal history or questions about whether an adult is really the parent.

The American Civil Liberties argues families are being separated over dubious allegations and minor transgressions. A Justice Department attorney acknowledges mistakes but says a good system is in place.

District Judge Dana Sabraw called it a “thorny issue” and didn’t rule immediately on whether to intervene.

The administration separated 955 children from June 26, 2018 — when the judge largely halted the practice — to July 20, 2019.

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