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The Activist Effort to Find the Children the Government Took From Their Parents

Later that afternoon, Gelernt got in touch with a group of immigrant-rights advocates. Together, they came up with a plan to assemble their own list of the children and parents who remained separated. It was a complex undertaking that immigration attorneys have been discussing, in mostly aspirational terms, for months. Now, in order to hold the government to the judge’s deadline, they had a single weekend to pull something together. “The A.C.L.U. wanted this by Sunday night,” Michelle Brané, of the Women’s Refugee Commission, told me. “And it was a holiday weekend.”