A 16 year-old Guatemalan teen in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) died over the weekend. He was found unresponsive and is the fifth immigrant minor to die while in custody of the CBP since December.
Matthew Bowen, an Arizona border agent accused of hitting a Guatemalan man with his car referred to migrants as “subhuman s**t” and “savages” in text messages, according to court documents. The texts messages were sent between Bowen and other Border Patrol agents.
“The obvious lesson here, as with the National Emergencies Act, the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, the Trade Expansion Act, and others, is that Congress ought to put less faith into these political checks, and more teeth into substantive statutory limits on the president’s authorities. In the case of the Insurrection Act, some of us have been arguing as much for years. But that can’t—and won’t—happen until members of this (or any) president’s own party, and not just his opponents, privilege the separation of powers over the separation of parties.”
Donald Trump threw his support behind son-in-law Jared Kushner’s controversial immigration plan yesterday, but for now at least, he’s one of its only supporters, as the plan has virtually no traction in Congress. So Trump is pulling out all the stops, threatening to throw all illegal immigrants out of the country via the Insurrection Act, and to ship all migrants to Democratic strongholds across the country—a plan that has even some of his Republican allies alarmed.
A federal appeals court in Richmond ruled the Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was illegal because it wasn’t adequately explained. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit overturned a lower court’s determination that the administration hadn’t done anything wrong.
“What Trump never understands (among other things) is that reunification is often vitally important to new immigrants who rely on extended family, for example, for child care to remain fully employed. The thrice married president who was apparently a distant figure until his children grew up, as with so much else, just doesn’t get it.”
U.S. employers are being alerted to the names of potential undocumented workers on their staff as part of a new measure by the Trump administration. The Social Security Administration has sent “no-match letters” to more than 570,000 employers in various industries over the last two months. The letters, which alert companies to workers whose names do not match their Social Security numbers, is expected to result in lost jobs for thousands of undocumented workers.
The Trump administration is looking to use the Insurrection Act to remove illegal immigrants from the country. The Insurrection Act gives the president power to call upon the National Guard or military to combat “unlawful obstruction or rebellion.” If the administration decides to move forward with exercising the Act, it will certainly be met with legal challenges.
While speaking in the Rose Garden, President Trump shared his new plan to overhaul the U.S. legal immigration system. His plan, which is likely to not pass through Congress, seeks to give more priority to “merit based” immigration and less to family immigration. Trump also failed to include any protections from deportation for “dreamers” in his plan.
Between Panama and Colombia lies the Darien Gap, a stretch of lawless land where roads do not exist and dangers abound. Panama has seen an alarming increase of migrants crossing the gap in an attempt to travel north.
Trump is scheduled to use a Rose Garden speech on Thursday to throw his support behind a plan developed with his son-in-law and White House adviser, Jared Kushner, to move U.S. immigration toward a “merit-based system” that prioritizes high-skilled workers over those with family already in the country.
A 2-year-old Guatemalan boy who was apprehended at the southern border died on Tuesday night in Texas after spending several weeks in the hospital. The boy, the fourth migrant child to die after being apprehended and taken to a hospital since December, had reportedly spent three days in federal custody.
President Trump is scheduled to use a Rose Garden speech on Thursday to throw his support behind a hard-line immigration plan, developed with his son-in-law, White House adviser Jared Kushner, to move U.S. immigration toward a “merit-based system” that prioritizes high-skilled workers over those with family already in the country. The proposal is already facing skepticism from lawmakers on both sides, and there appears to be no clear path toward advancing it through Congress.
Kushner’s immigration plan would overhaul the legal immigration system, keeping the total number of green cards issued the same while prioritizing immigrants based on their skills and educational backgrounds, rather than family ties. But the Republican lawmakers were not convinced by Jared’s pitch.
The Trump administration considered a plan to arrest parents and children in 10 cities with large populations of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, specifically New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. But then-Immigrations and Customs Enforcement head Ron Vitiello and then-Homeland Security Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen set the proposal aside over concerns about diverting resources from the border, a lack of detention space, and the possibility of renewed public outrage over treatment of families.
Internal memos show Border Patrol agents are getting more power, taking some discretion away from trained asylum officers. In some cities, days pass without anyone being processed. “Homeland Security officials are making it tougher for people seeking asylum [at the border with Mexico] to get over the first hurdle in the lengthy process of gaining U.S. protection,” Molly O’Toole writes.
A December fundraising campaign brought in more than $20 million over the course of a few weeks, its thousands of donors united by a common goal: the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, oft-promised by President Trump. Some four months later, a contingent of those supporters is ready to see what their money has built. Especially since the promised groundbreaking was almost six weeks ago…and counting.
While visiting a Texas border town Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan shared a vision of securing the border without the help of the Pentagon. He said the deployment of active duty military personnel to the border will not be “indefinite”.
The $1.5B diverted by the Pentagon will be used to construct nearly 80 miles of the border wall. $600M of the diverted funds were taken from Afghan security forces accounts.
A formal complaint was filed by by RAICES, a nonprofit immigrant legal-services group, which accused Immigration and Customs Enforcement of intentionally creating barriers for people held at detention facilities to meet with lawyers. “ICE drastically changed its policies recently in a way that significantly limits the ability of pro bono attorneys to work with detained persons at Karnes [detention facility],” RAICES alleged.
Well, can you blame them? The number of immigrants who have applied for voluntary departure has soared since the election of Donald Trump, according to new Justice Department data obtained by The Marshall Project. Trump may see it as a win, but previous plans to have illegal immigrants “self-deport” were intended as an alternative to ramping up Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s power. Instead, the recent spike in voluntary departure has come with an increase in both arrests and detention.
After pulling the nomination of Ronald D. Vitiello and saying that ICE needed to go in a tougher direction, President Trump has named Mark Morgan as the new director of ICE. Morgan previously served as the Border Patrol chief at the end of former President Barack Obama’s last term.
Giant tent structures have been erected in Texas to serve as short-term detention facilities to process a huge influx of families and unaccompanied minors from Central America arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border. The facilities opened Friday in El Paso and Donna, Tx., in the state’s Rio Grande Valley. Migrant families and unaccompanied children are supposed to be detained at the facilities for no longer than 72 hours, but immigration advocates worry they won’t have access to legal services or medical care.
Former Chief of Staff John Kelly has joined the board of directors at Caliburn International. Caliburn International operates the largest facility for unaccompanied minor children.
Leaked emails show that, despite claims from the WH, there was no database, and an official privately briefed the government that there was only enough information to reconnect about 60 parents with their kids. “In short, no, we do not have any linkages from parents to [children], save for a handful,” according to a June 23 email from a HHS official to a top official at ICE. “We have a list of parent alien numbers but no way to link them to children.”
A 16-year-old unaccompanied migrant died in Texas while in the custody of the U.S. government, according to a Health and Human Services spokesperson. The boy, who was not identified, was transferred on April 20 from Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, apparently healthy. The next day, he became ill and was taken to a children’s hospital for treatment. He died Tuesday after “several days of intensive care” there.
The White House is asking Congress for $4.5 billion more in funding for border security. This comes after the Trump administration already received billions of dollars for border security from Congress in the last spending bill and billions more from Trump’s fake national emergency.
The Department of Homeland Security will start DNA-testing people coming over the southern border to help identify and prosecute individuals posing as families in an effort to “target human smuggling.” The policy is undoubtedly going to be challenged in court, as questions of its legality have already arisen.
Views of the border situation as a crisis have risen steeply among Democrats, up 17 percentage points from 7% in January to 24% now. Additionaly, a 42% plurality of registered voters say Donald Trump’s handling of illegal immigration makes them more likely to oppose his reelection in 2020.
New policies include adjudicating asylum applications within six months of filing, requiring a monetary fee for applications, and it would prevent migrants who have attempted to enter the United States illegally from receiving work authorization before any relief is granted.
Donald Trump held a rally in Wisconsin on Saturday, where he had another golden opportunity to spread some of the lies and dangerous rhetoric that have become part of his standard performance. Immigration, health care, and Russia were among the key topics about which Trump chose to mislead his own supporters…again.
“Perhaps the elusive search for a European identity is unnecessary, as long as citizens of Europe’s individual nation-states are committed to upholding the common European principles of peace, freedom, pluralist democracy and the rule of law; to sustaining the material well-being that underpins that commitment; and to striving to strengthen wherever possible the bonds of transnational cooperation and friendship.”
President Trump said late Saturday that the U.S. is already sending undocumented immigrants to sanctuary cities, and that it was his “sick idea.” The comments came just a day after Trump said in a speech to the National Rifle Association that the U.S. was forced to release undocumented migrants and that it gave sanctuary cities “as many as they can handle.”
In an interview with Fox Business host Stuart Varney, Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump, wife of Eric Trump, remarked Thursday that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to allow migrants into the country was “the downfall of Germany.” She said Trump is trying to prevent migrants from breaching the U.S.-Mexico border because “it was one of the worst things that ever happened to Germany.” Umm, who wants to tell her?
Massachusetts Judge Shelley Richmond Joseph and now-retired court officer Wesley MacGregor are facing federal charges for allegedly helping an undocumented immigrant, who was a defendant in Newton District Court, slip out the back door of the courtroom while an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent waited to arrest him on a federal detainer in April 2018.
The day after President Trump called himself the most “transparent” president in history, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone sent a letter to House Oversight Chair Elijah Cummings informing the committee that senior Trump adviser Stephen Miller, the architect of the administration’s immigration overhaul and Homeland Security reorganization, will not be allowed to testify before the panel, as requested, on May 1. So much for transparency.
Jared Kushner is reportedly cooking up immigration legislation that would increase the number of high-skilled workers entering the U.S., and decrease the number of migrants coming based on family ties. Neutral in this case refers to the fact that the number of immigrants entering the country would theoretically stay the same.
The armed militia group that detained migrants in New Mexico was found to be trespassing on Union Pacific property. The militia members were given 30 minutes to decamp and vacate Union Pacific property. The militia agreed to comply with the order.
The FBI on Saturday arrested Larry Mitchell Hopkins, the leader of a right-wing militia group that was detaining migrant families at gunpoint near the border in southern New Mexico. Operating under the alias Johnny Horton, Jr., Hopkins was arrested on charges of firearms possession by a felon, a relatively minor charge that is likely the start of a deeper investigation into his activities and those of the militia, opening the way for authorities to bring more serious charges like kidnapping.
California Rep. Duncan Hunter and his Democratic challenger Ammar Campa-Najjar traded Twitter barbs Thursday over a video Hunter posted of him allegedly crossing the Mexican border. Campa-Najjar emailed the Times of San Diego, saying he broke the law. Hunter, who has been indicted and is awaiting trial for misuse of campaign funds, is forbidden from traveling outside the U.S. As it turns out, he didn’t cross the border as he claimed. Each campaign accused the other of drumming up controversy.