2 Brazilian boys held in Chicago must be reunited with fathers within 72 hours

CHICAGO — A federal judge in Chicago says the government must reunite two immigrant fathers from Brazil with their sons within 72 hours.

But the Chicago Sun-Times reports Tuesday that they all remain in detention and it’s unknown how reunification might happen.

Judge Edmond Chang’s Monday order says the “insistence” on keeping the parents and boys apart was “conscience-shocking.” He said that the boys are suffering “irreparable” mental harm. One told his father by phone: “Dad, I’m never going to see you again.”

A family lawyer says she hopes authorities release the fathers and sons, letting them stay in the U.S. until their asylum requests are processed.

Officials detained the fathers in New Mexico and Texas in May. The fathers were traveling with their sons to the U.S. The 9-year-old and 16-year-old boys are in Chicago shelters.