Some families split up at border still detained months later

PHOENIX — Half a dozen families who were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border and then reunited are still detained in Texas.

Immigrant advocates say the government is violating a longstanding legal agreement that bars it from detaining kids past 20 days. They say families with young children who already endured the trauma of separation should not also be held for so many months.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement says the average length of families' stay at the South Texas Family Residential Center is 17 days and that only families with deportation orders are sometimes held longer.

The families were separated after the Trump administration early this year announced a zero-tolerance policy.

A federal judge in San Diego forced the government to reunite the families by the end of July, although some still remain separated.