Showing posts with label Illegal Immigration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Illegal Immigration. Show all posts

July 13, 2018

Trump Administration Missed Court Ordered Deadline, What's Next?

The Trump administration on Tuesday missed its first court-ordered deadline to reunify families separated at the border as it rushes to confirm the identities of parents and match records of the disparate agencies involved. 
A San Diego federal judge had ordered the government to reunite all children under five years old by July 10, but as of Wednesday, only four reunifications had been confirmed.
Government attorneys and administration officials said of the 102 children under five who had been separated, 38 were expected to be reunified by Tuesday. Late Wednesday evening, an administration official told ABC News that they anticipate that as of early morning on July 12, they will have reunified all children under age 5 who are eligible under the court order for reunification with parents in the United States.
In a hearing on Tuesday, the judge acknowledged that not all 102 of these very young children could be immediately sent back to their parents - because some parents were deported without their children or had possible criminal backgrounds, for example -- but told the government that they must reunify 59 children.
A federal lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in February to reunite an asylum-seeking Congolese mother with her daughter expanded to a class-action lawsuit after the Department of Justice (DOJ) implemented its “zero-tolerance” policy of prosecuting all illegal border crossers.
In June, the judge ruled that children forcibly separated by U.S. authorities at the border would have to be reunited, laying out a timeline for total reunification by July 26, 2018.
“These are firm deadlines and not aspirational goals,” said the judge, Dana Sabraw, at a hearing on Tuesday.
PHOTO: Families separated under President Donald Trump administrations zero tolerance policy return home to Guatemala City, Guatemala, July 10, 2018, after being deported from the United States.  Collen Long/AP
Children waiting for reunification
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) determined that only 75 of the 102 children under five years old are eligible for reunification. Seventeen reunifications were pending DNA test results and there was one 3-year-old child for whom the government said it had no information about the parents.
The government now thinks that the child may have U.S. citizen parents and was placed in the wrong system.
Twenty-seven children are not eligible for immediate reunification, because of parental criminal history, pending criminal custody or other disqualifying factors.
“The court could not have been clearer that business as usual is not acceptable," said Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. "The Trump administration must get these children and parents reunited.”
The administration has argued that they are working to meet the court deadline and the delays are necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of the children in their care.
“Our process may not be as quick as some would like, but there is no question that it is protecting children," said HHS Chief of Staff for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Chris Meekins. "The last thing we want to happen is that a child is placed in a dangerous situation due to a lack of a thorough review on our part.”
HHS is responsible for the care of about 11,800 unaccompanied minors who came into the U.S. illegally, including the roughly 2,000 to 3,000 children that were “made unaccompanied” when they were separated from their parents by U.S. officials.
Parents in custody
Most parents who were separated under the policy were placed into Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody. For the past two weeks, ICE moved parents to geographic locations near where their children were staying in shelters -- in order to facilitate the process, according to Executive Associate Director of ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations Matthew Albence.
“Mature parents with children under the age of 5 are being reunited with their children and then released and enrolled into an alternative detention program, meaning that they will be placed on an ankle bracelet and released into the community,” Albence said.
These family reunifications were planned to take place in the lobbies of undisclosed ICE detention facilities and released into the community, according to an administration official.
Meanwhile, the administration's zero-tolerance policy remains in limbo and has been at least temporarily dismantled in practice.
On June 20, after weeks of public outrage over family separation, President Trump signed an executive order aimed at both keeping families together and continuing to prosecute those who cross the border illegally.
Less than a week later, Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) said it had halted referrals for prosecution until they figure out how to keep families together during the prosecution process.
“We need to end the catch and release challenge. A much better system would be to keep families together through their immigration proceedings. That’s what the Obama administration did in 2014, that’s what the president has asked Congress to help us do now,” CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan told ABC News.
The administration’s actions have created what could become dueling court requirements if the zero-tolerance policy continues. On the one hand, the San Diego federal judge ordered families reunified. On the other hand, another California federal judge on Monday upheld a decades-old court agreement, known as the Flores settlement, which requires that children be released from immigration detention after 20 days.
PHOTO: Immigrant families leave a United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility after they were reunited, July 11, 2018, in San Antonio.Eric Gay/AP
In early May, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) began implementing the zero-tolerance policy, and family separations began to skyrocket.
“If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child will be separated from you as required by law,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions in May when announcing the policy.
Around 2,300 children were separated from their parents in one month between May 5 and June 9 as a result of zero tolerance, according to DHS officials.
For comparison, in more than a year between October 2016 and February 2018, there were only 1,768 cases of family separation by border agents.
However, at the peak of the zero-tolerance policy, only 53 percent of illegal border crossings were being referred by CBP to DOJ for prosecution, according to an administration official.
In order to comply with the court order, HHS had to hand-check all of its case files to determine which children were separated from a parent, concluding that there were ”under 3,000” potentially separated children in its custody.
However, last month, HHS Secretary Alex Azar testified to Congress that he “could at the stroke of keystrokes, within seconds, could find any child within our care for any parent."
Congressional Democrats on Wednesday again called on Judiciary Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley to hold an oversight committee hearing raising questions about inconsistent statements Azar made about the number of children the agency has in its custody, including the lack of a plan to reunite them with their parents.
This is their third request to Grassley for a committee hearing, contending that the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy resulted “in the traumatic separation of children from their parents.”
Grassley has previously shot down those requests.
"The simplest and easiest way to address this crisis is to repeal the Flores decision so that family units can remain in family residential centers and receive adequate care pending the outcome of their criminal or civil cases," Grassley wrote. "This is an easy, common-sense solution that doesn’t require a hearing."
ABC's Mariam Khan contributed to this story.

July 11, 2018

Judge Rules Trump Cannot Detain The Migrant Children Indefinitely

When President Trump signed the executive order last month that ended the separation of migrant families, he effectively swapped one controversial practice for another — in this case, the indefinite detention of whole families. And the questions weren't long in coming from some observers, who pointed out that the order appeared to violate a 1997 legal settlement that has been interpreted as barring such indefinite detentions.
At the signing last month, Trump himself acknowledged the likely legal battles on the horizon: "There may be some litigation," he conceded, instructing Attorney General Jeff Sessions to request modifications to that settlement.
Now, events in court are bearing out those predictions of legal trouble.
On Monday, U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee rejected the request for "limited relief" from the settlement, often known as the Flores agreement, that served as the basis for a 2015 court order preventing the federal detention of migrant children for more than 20 days.
The provision played a key role in the decision to separate families in the first place, according to administration officials. That's because the move to a "zero-tolerance" immigration policy — which detained and prosecuted migrants for illegal border crossings rather than releasing them before their proceedings — would keep parents in detention longer than their children legally could be.

Now that those separations have been ordered to end, federal attorneys had sought an exemption allowing authorities to exceed the 20-day limit. They said that to comply with a separate court order — which mandated the reunification of families already separated under Trump's policy — authorities would need more time to match kids with their parents.
But Gee made clear that she was not impressed.
 In blunt terms, Gee variously described the Justice Department's argument as "dubious and unconvincing," "tortured," and "procedurally improper and wholly without merit."
"It is apparent that Defendants' Application is a cynical attempt ... to shift responsibility to the Judiciary for over 20 years of Congressional inaction and ill-considered Executive action that have led to the current stalemate," she wrote.
The Justice Department did not immediately announce whether it intends to pursue an appeal — but it did voice displeasure with Gee's conclusions.
"We disagree with the court's ruling declining to amend the Flores Agreement to recognize the current crisis of families making the dangerous and unlawful journey across our southern border," department spokesman Devin O'Malley said in a statement to the media.
The ruling marked the second courtroom setback Monday for federal attorneys, who had acknowledged earlier in the day that authorities would fail to meet a deadlineestablished by a separate court order. That deadline, set for Tuesday, had mandated that authorities return all of the youngest migrant children in federal custody to their parents. But attorneys told a San Diego courtroom Monday that officials would be able to reunite only about half of the 102 detained children who are under 5 years old. 
It remains unclear what comes next for Trump and his immigration policy, which faces some of the same difficult problems that confronted his predecessor. As evidenced by the 2015 order based on Flores, President Obama also struggled with the conundrum of how to prevent and prosecute illegal border crossings without detaining violators for excessive periods.
The Obama administration, like the Bush administration before it, eventually settled on a policy of releasing some immigrants while their legal proceedings unfold — but Trump has derided the practice as ineffective "catch and release."
At any rate, Gee maintained in her ruling that those deliberations, as difficult as they seem to be, are less important than the children affected by them.
"Regardless, what is certain is that the children who are the beneficiaries of the Flores Agreement's protections and who are now in Defendants' custody are blameless," she added. "They are subject to the decisions made by adults over whom they have no control. In implementing the Agreement, their best interests should be paramount."


June 20, 2018

These Are Alll The Things You Can Do to Help End Child Incarceration and Separation

If you are among the two-thirds of Americans who disapprove of the Trump administration’s new “zero-tolerance” policy of separating the children of undocumented immigrants from their parents at the US-Mexico border, you might be wondering what you can do about it.
There’s growing pushback against the policy, both at the grassroots level and among politicians on both sides of the aisle. In this week alone, dozens of prominent Republicans have joined their Democratic colleagues in clamoring for US president Donald Trump to stop the practice. Even if you’re not an elected official, you have a role to play in reversing the separation of thousands of migrant children from their families. Here are a few ways to do that:

Support organizations fighting against the policy

  • The American Civil Liberties Union is seeking a preliminary injunction in California to end the practice of family separations and reunite all families currently in ICE custody.
    • You can sign the ACLU’s petition against family separations, or donate to help fund the organization’s legal efforts.
  • The Texas Civil Rights Project is also litigating family separations: The organization filed an emergency request to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on behalf of five parents who were separated from their children in South Texas.
    • You can donate here, or join their Generation Justice advocacy network here.
    • If you speak Spanish, Mam, or K’iche’, and have any sort of legal or paralegal training, you can help take declarations from separated families at the border, in McAllen, Texas. Sign up here.
  • Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) is one of the leading organizations dedicated to the legal protection of unaccompanied minors who enter the US immigration system alone.
    • You can sign their petition here, or donate here.
  • The Catholic Charities of Houston are looking for volunteers of all kinds, including babysitters, licensed counselors, shelter volunteers, translators, and mentors.
    • You can fill out their volunteer application here and donate here.
  • Al Otro Lado, a binational organization that offers legal services to deportees and migrants in Tijuana, Mexico, is soliciting donations and has a specific list outlining how those donations will be used.
    • You can donate here.
  • Human Rights First is suing the Trump administration for its policy on behalf of asylum-seekers.
    • You can donate here.

More ways to take action

  • Call your senator. If you don’t know who they are, the ACLU can help you place the call.
    • Urge your member of Congress to cosponsor the following legislation:
      • S. 3036 – Keep Families Together Act
      • R. 2572 – Protect Family Values at the Border Act
      • R. 5950/S.2937 – the HELP Separated Children Act
      • R. 2043/S. 2468 – Fair Day in Court for Kids Act of 2018
  • Attend a non-violent protest. The organization Families Belong Together can help you find one near your area.
  • Become a child advocate. The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights can help train you through the process, which involves visiting the child each week, mentoring the child, accompanying the child to court hearings and other important immigration meetings and interviews, and generally advocating for the best interest of the child.
  • Post on social media. You can help raise awareness and take a stand. Families Belong Together even has some handy graphics you can download and post freely.

If you’re an immigration lawyer

The following organizations have pro bono networks or ways for immigration lawyers to volunteer their time and their legal services to immigrants in need:
Posted on Quartz Media Originally written by Annabelle Timsit

June 16, 2018

You Can't Separate a Bigot From Slavery and His Bible: Sessions Quotes Passage on Bible Used on Slaves to Take Children away from Parents

 🦊Everytime for some reason, people that carry the bible under their arms, decide to excuse any injustice that they or their leaders commit they take out their bibles to excuse it. You know is inexcusable if the only reason they can find is the bible. There are enough passages in the bible warning people that about mistreating children "cause one of these to fall" (JC himself) will have to payfor it. So quoting other verses that don't come from JC , I guess should not have the same weight. Let me go a litle further..
There is no proof those passages has help any child from being abused by their parents, pastor, church, now US Governemnt. However when someone is doing something disqusting that vey few will agree with, then is time to pull off one of those passages: against gays, slaves, wives, women, nations under bad leaders.  Just ask AG Sessions, he has use it against both Mix marriages and same sex marriage.  Now those Thousand of children and mounting.
The thing is what ever evil they want to do they can find an excuse in those passages. That is why the bible is a bad book to enforce morality or goodness in general because it swings both ways, Why?

 Simply because it was written in different times. Whatever passage you read has to do with the opinion of the writer based on what was going on around him at the time (centuries ago, for the new Testament) and many centuries before that for the old.

Children are paying the price for a President that wont even take reposnsibility for his decission.
He passes it on to other administrations like if any other adminsitration had made the decission this past spring for 0 exceptions. When you have anything coming from the government is unjust because there are always other circumstances. That is we don't hang people on a suspicion they stole your horse anymore. We have a court, with judge and jury. Bad despot governemnts like the North Koreans that now our President likes so much, the Russians that our President admires and like the Nazis the our president seems to long for.🦊

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks about immigration to law enforcement officers in Fort Wayne, Ind., on Thursday. (Mike Moore/Journal-Gazette/AP)
Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday used a Bible verse to defend his department’s policy of prosecuting everyone who crosses the border from Mexico, suggesting that God supports the government in separating immigrant parents from their children.
“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes,” Sessions said during a speech to law enforcement officers in Fort Wayne, Ind. “Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves. Consistent and fair application of the law is in itself a good and moral thing, and that protects the weak and protects the lawful.”
Government officials occasionally refer to the Bible as a line of argument — take, for instance, the Republicans who have quoted 2 Thessalonians (“if a man will not work, he shall not eat”) to justify more stringent food stamps requirements.
But the verse that Sessions cited, Romans 13, is an unusual choice. 
“There are two dominant places in American history when Romans 13 is invoked,” said John Fea, a professor of American history at Messiah College in Pennsylvania. “One is during the American Revolution [when] it was invoked by loyalists, those who opposed the American Revolution.”
The other, Fea said, “is in the 1840s and 1850s, when Romans 13 is invoked by defenders of the South or defenders of slavery to ward off abolitionists who believed that slavery is wrong. I mean, this is the same argument that Southern slaveholders and the advocates of a Southern way of life made.”

The following is a page from The Washington Post
Sessions restates hard line on immigration
Attorney General Jeff Sessions restated his zero tolerance policy for illegal entry from the border with Mexico on June 11. 
In May, Sessions announced a zero-tolerance policy in which the Justice Department would begin prosecuting everyone who crosses the Southwest border. Part of the policy shift meant that migrants traveling with children or unaccompanied minors end up detained instead of released; U.S. immigration law charges adults with a crime, but not the children, which means they’re held separately.

The Associated Press cited U.S. Customs and Border Protection figures from two weeks in May in which more than 650 children were separated from parents. Reports from the same month that the government lost track of 1,475 children sparked a national outcry; those reports were later disputed.
Sessions has said “we’ve got to get this message out” that asylum seekers or anyone else immigrating through unofficial means is not given immunity. He appealed to “church friends” later in Thursday’s speech in Fort Wayne, emphasizing that non-citizens who enter the United States illegally are breaking the law.
On the same issue, other religious groups and individuals have cited the Bible as well, to take the opposite side.
“Overwhelmingly, Scripture causes families to be kept together,” said Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition. “Overwhelmingly Scripture causes us to defend families. As Evangelicals, we have a doctrine to be a pro-family-values people, you know. The Bible calls us to be pro-family, and I personally find it deeply lamentable that we are separating children from their parents at the border or anywhere.” 

Likewise, on Thursday afternoon, the Migrants and Refugees Section at the Vatican tweeted a verse of Deuteronomy: 

The Bible teaches that God ‘loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt’ (Deuteronomy 10:18-19).” Pope Francis
At a meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on Wednesday, the nation’s Catholic leaders strongly condemned the administration’s immigration policies as immoral, with one bishop going so far as to suggest that Catholics who help carry out the Justice Department’s policies are violating their faith and perhaps should be denied Communion.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said during a briefing Thursday that she hadn’t seen Sessions’s comments, but she backed his line of thinking.
“I can say that it is very biblical to enforce the law. That is actually repeated a number of times throughout the Bible,” she said. “It’s a moral policy to follow and enforce the law.”
Tensions rise on the border and in the briefing room
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders engaged in a heated exchange with reporters in the wake of thousands of immigrant families being separated. 
Fea, the American history professor, said that after the Civil War, historians don’t see many references to Romans 13 because the essence of the passage — submission to authority — is regarded as un-American.

“America was built and born on rebellion and a sort of radical resistance to authority,” Fea said. “Whenever Romans 13 was used in the 18th and the 19th century — and Sessions seems to be doing the same thing, so in this sense there is some continuity — it’s a way of manipulating the scriptures to justify your own political agenda.”
The chapter itself can be interpreted in varying ways.
“Romans 13 says that the purpose of government is to pursue what is good, and it says that the government should not be a terror for those who are doing good,” said Matthew Soerens, U.S. director of church mobilization for World Relief, the humanitarian arm of the National Association of Evangelicals.
“You cannot read Romans 13 without reading Romans 12,” Salguero said, pointing to the prior chapter, which in part suggests that love must be the guide instead of evil.
“Laws are good, and order is good, but that doesn’t mean that separating families from each other is a good law,” he said. “There are good laws, and there are bad laws, and separating families from each other is a bad policy. We’re not against the law, we’re against bad laws and bad policies.”
Besides, as Soerens points out, the person in the Bible whom Sessions referenced ran afoul of the law.
“The fact that the Apostle Paul, who wrote Romans, wrote several epistles from jail suggests that he was occasionally on the wrong side of an unjust law,” Soerens said.
The evangelical polling group Barna found that evangelical Christians’ attitudes toward immigration seem to be warming somewhat. In 2016, Barna found that 42 percent of evangelicals agreed with the statement “We allow too many immigrants into the country,” compared with 30 percent of American adults overall. By the next year, just 23 percent of adults overall and 31 percent of evangelicals agreed.

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