The House will vote on a resolution condemning President Trump’s latest racist tweets. The vote may be a test for GOP lawmakers as they debate sticking with Trump or voting to condemn his comments.
Trump is implementing a new asylum rule that is aimed at stopping asylum seekers from Central America. Under the new rule, asylum seekers must apply for refugee status in the first country they enter, rather than at the U.S. border.
I.C.E. is planning on arresting thousands of migrant families who already received court orders to be removed. The planned removal was previously postponed, and has been bemoaned by several members of Congress.
The Supreme Court finally agreed Friday to referee a two-year-old dispute between President Trump and Democrats in Congress over the fate of nearly 700,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.
The Trump administration is planning to roll back rules that protect undocumented family members of active-duty troops from being deported while they are serving, according to report from NPR. Attorneys familiar with the plans told the public-radio network that the special exemptions for troops’ families will only be awarded in a small number of circumstances.
A union representing U.S. asylum officers has denounced a Trump administration policy mandating that asylum-seekers wait in Mexico for their immigration hearings, warning Wednesday that the policy is risking migrant lives. The policy has reportedly sent about 12,000 asylum-seekers back to Mexico since the beginning of this year.
A Justice Department lawyer has defended herself after she was roundly criticized for saying that migrant children detained by the Trump administration don’t need soap, toothbrushes, or blankets. A video of Sarah Fabian’s testimony last week before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals went viral after she argued the legal requirement that the government provide “safe and sanitary” conditions for detained children didn’t necessarily require very basic hygiene products.
The American Bar Association has called for an end to “inhumane and illegal treatment” of migrant children and demanded that attorneys get access to Customs and Border Protection-run facilities. In a statement late Tuesday, the ABA referred to cases involving children and infants being held for weeks in “overcrowded” government-run facilities that were “unsafe and unhealthy.”
A Salvadoran man and his nearly 2-year-old daughter were found face-down and clinging to each other in shallow water in the Rio Grande on Monday after drowning while trying to reach the U.S. Mexican newspaper La Jornada published a photograph of the man and his 23-month-old child, her head tucked under his shirt and arm around his neck as if she were desperately clutching him in her final moments.
Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner John Sanders is resigning from his role as the top immigration enforcement official, effective July 5, amid renewed scrutiny over the treatment of young migrants in U.S. custody at detention centers. Mark Morgan, Donald Trump’s previous choice to lead the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, will be tapped to take over the acting role at CBP.
It took last-minute changes and a full-court press by top Democratic leaders, but the House passed with relative ease Tuesday a $4.5 billion emergency border aid package to care for thousands of migrant families and unaccompanied children detained after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
More than 300 children are being relocated from a remote Border Patrol station in Texas following an Associated Press report highlighting poor conditions at the facility. The government has moved most children out of the facility, which is near El Paso and was operating over capacity, and now only 30 children remain.
A group of Texans trying to donate diapers, toys, and hygienic supplies for children being held at a Border Patrol facility in Texas, were told the center doesn’t take donations. “The whole situation is disgusting, but I’m always hopeful that the better part of us as human beings will shine through,” Democratic State Rep. Terry Canales said.
“The argument that our government’s failings don’t matter because the migrants have broken the law is legally and morally bankrupt. People have a moral right to seek a better life, and a legal right to seek asylum. If our border and immigration system isn’t up to the task, that’s not their fault, it is ours. Federal officials, from the White House on down, work for us, spend our money, act in our name. We hold them to account, not the huddled masses. Complaining that we shouldn’t have to deal with this crisis is like carping that forests shouldn’t burn and rivers shouldn’t rise. Our nation is operating concentration camps for refugee children. We need to stop denying that and decide if we are comfortable with that fact. And how we will explain it to our children.”
Lawmakers on both sides have expressed doubts that they could advance legislation to toughen the asylum process for migrants in the next two weeks, as sought by President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence after the administration delayed a planned weekend round of deportations by ICE. Democrats want to focus on comprehensive immigration reform or measures to fund the asylum process. Republicans favor legislation to limit asylum options and build Trump’s proposed border wall.
Republican Rep. Michael McCaul said yesterday that conditions in migrant detention facilities in his home state of Texas were the “worst” he’s ever seen. He added that while he would prefer to tie humanitarian aid to other border security measures, “if my choice on the minority side is to vote up or down on a compassionate, humanitarian package, that’s what I’m going to do because it’s the right thing to do.” Four toddlers were sent to the hospital last week after being held at a detention facility.
The unaccompanied minors, as young as 2 1/2 months old, endured “extreme cold temperatures, lights on 24 hours a day, no adequate access to medical care, basic sanitation, water, or adequate food,” Lucio Sevier wrote, and the teens said they had no access to hand-washing, which she described as “tantamount to intentionally causing the spread of disease.” A flu outbreak at Ursula had sent five infants to the neonatal intensive care unit, and all the children Lucio Sevier saw showed signs of trauma.
Migrant preteens as young as 10 years old have been left to care for toddlers at a Texas border facility where a 2-year-old boy was seen in soiled pants and no diaper during a recent visit by lawyers. A legal team that interviewed 60 kids at the Border Patrol detention facility in Clint this week also warned of poor sanitation and inadequate water and food, with some children reportedly saying they haven’t gotten a bath in weeks.
The U.S. has told India that it is considering restricting H-1B work visas for nations that force foreign companies to store data locally. The plan to restrict the temporary visas, of which India is the largest recipient, comes just days before Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s scheduled visit to New Delhi. India has upset the U.S. government and companies like Mastercard with its stringent new data storage rules.
In a predominantly white region of central Minnesota, an influx of mostly Muslim Somalis is spurring the sort of demographic and cultural shifts that Donald Trump and the far-right have exploited to stoke fear. Before the 2016 election, Trump visited Minnesota to pitch a proposal to halt all resettlement of Syrian refugees; this plan eventually became his travel ban. Some point to two Democratic House seats that Republicans flipped there in the 2018 midterms as proof of the political potency of Trump’s grievance politics. But not everyone feels the same. A St. Cloud resident who said Trump had “made people feel bold in not being ‘Minnesota nice’ anymore” formed a #UniteCloud group and a website that highlights positive stories about the city’s refugee community.
“Some suggest that to defeat nationalism, we should partly embrace what nationalists are saying. Supporters of this approach call for protectionist economic policies, less immigration, and more programs aimed at boosting the national culture. They believe we need to take what nationalists are saying seriously in order to effectively address the grievances of many majority groups around the world, including Trump’s ‘true Americans.’ This would be a mistake. Giving in to the darker, exclusionary tendencies of nationalist dogma can too easily lead to violence and horrible injustices.”
Katie Gorka was named a spokesperson for Customs and Border Protection yesterday. If her name rings a bell, then you’ve probably heard of her controversial husband, former White House adviser Sebastian Gorka. Both have been vocal in their contentious views on Islam. She will manage communications for CBP as the White House continues to harden its immigration stance in an appeal to Trump’s base ahead of the 2020 election.
The US said it’s cutting aid to these countries until they take “concrete actions to reduce the number of illegal migrants coming to the U.S. border.” It seems the administration has gone away with treating the problem at its root, and will choose to deal only with the fallout.
“To the president, illegal immigrants have been a political convenience — a wedge issue tailor-made to excite his nativist base. Little wonder that the president who excoriated the mayor of Oakland for spilling the beans on a planned raid by deportation agents thought nothing of doing the same for a much bigger operation in the works — and did so on the eve of the formal kickoff of his 2020 campaign, at a rally in Orlando on Tuesday evening. Expect more such incitement from a chief executive for whom undocumented immigrants are political props, not real people.”
The newly appointed leader of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Ken Cuccinelli, sent an email to staffers Tuesday in which he appeared to push asylum officers to stop allowing some people seeking refuge in the country passage at an initial screening at the border.
“Perhaps it’s entirely a coincidence that President Trump announced that he’s unleashing his deportation force only hours before he’s scheduled to kick off his reelection campaign with a rally in Florida. But, coincidence or not, Trump undoubtedly sees this announcement as a show of fearsome political strength. Trump plans to run in 2020 on the notion that he represents law and order on our southern border, while painting Democrats as weak and in favor of open borders. What better way to dramatize this contrast than to crank up the deportations, displaying Trump’s toughness while provoking Democrats into squealing about their squishy, pointy-headed, elitist humanitarian concerns?”
President Trump tweeted Monday evening that Immigration and Customs Enforcement will begin removing “millions” of undocumented immigrants next week. “Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States,” Trump tweeted. “They will be removed as fast as they come in.” The president’s reference to mass arrests is an apparent nod to a long-planned operation to arrest migrant families in a “blitz operation” across the U.S.
A recent investigation by The New York Times found that the youngest migrant child to be separated from his family by the Trump administration was 4 months old. The baby was reportedly placed in the care of a family in Michigan while the father was deported.
Donald Trump brandished a document on Tuesday confirming details of a regional asylum project agreed with Mexico to stave off threatened tariffs, saying the plan was “secret” even though Mexican officials had revealed much of it.
The Trump administration plans to use an Oklahoma Army base that previously served as a Japanese internment camp to hold a growing number of migrant children. About 1,400 children who are in U.S. custody will reportedly be placed at Fort Sill, a 150-year-old military base previously used to house hundreds of Japanese-Americans forced into internment camps during World War II.
“Mexico has actually been placating the U.S. appetite for immigration enforcement for years now. Mexico has deported more migrants back to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras than the United States since 2015, according to Migration Policy. Mexico still honors agreements like the Mérida Initiative that call ‘for better infrastructure and technology to strengthen and modernize border security at northern and southern land crossings, ports and airports.’ The real U.S. southern border has already been extended into Mexico for years—a fact Trump doesn’t want to let people know, since it would fly in the face of his anti-Mexican positioning.”
Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s foreign minister, said that while the U.S. and Mexico have come to an understanding on immigration that should lower the level of migrants traveling to the U.S., no secret deal exists. Trump alluded to such a deal when he tweeted about the secret deal, saying that it needed to be confirmed by “Mexico’s legislative body!”
Ken Cuccinelli has been named by President Trump as acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Cuccinelli is known for his strong views on immigration, views that align very well with those of Trump.
Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s foreign minister, confirms that a regional asylum plan would go into effect should the current agreement between the U.S. and Mexico fail to stem the flow of migrants northward. The regional asylum plan would involve several Latin American states.
The Trump administration has opened a huge new detention facility in Texas that will hold as many as 1,600 migrant children and teenagers. The Department of Homeland Security is also planning to use Army and Air Force bases in Georgia, Montana, and Oklahoma to detain an additional 1,400 kids over the summer.
President Trump is looking at declaring another national emergency, this time to impose 5% tariffs on all Mexican products. This emergency declaration would follow a previous emergency declaration which allowed Trump to deploy soldiers to the southern border in February.
To avoid tariffs, the U.S. and Mexico are coming up with several different ideas on immigration. One possible plan would have the U.S. deport asylum seekers immediately to Mexico or Guatemala while their case is being reviewed instead of staying within the U.S. Guatemalan migrants would be sent to Mexico to wait, and Guatemala would take Salvadoran and Honduran migrants.
Troops are now being assigned 30-day missions to paint the existing border wall. The Dept. of Homeland Security suggests that the main purpose of the painting is “to improve the aesthetic appearance of the wall”.
President Trump is signaling that talks on immigration with Mexico are progressing, but not enough to stop his tariffs. He said, “I’m very happy with [the tariffs]…” It is unclear if Congress will block the tariffs or if Mexico can make enough changes to satisfy Trump.