Trump administration tells ACLU to find deported parents

The Trump administration on Thursday informed a federal judge that it isn’t responsible for locating deported parents separated forcibly from their children at the southern border.

DOJ said in a court filing that the American Civil Liberties Union, which represents plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit over family separations, should instead take the lead in reunifying deported parents with their children.

“Plaintiffs’ counsel should use their considerable resources and their network of law firms, NGOs, volunteers, and others, together with the information that defendants have provided (or will soon provide), to establish contact with possible class members in foreign countries,” DOJ said.

The administration suggested that the ACLU find out whether the deported parents wish to be reconnected with their children, or whether they waive that option.

An administration official said Thursday evening that the filing “simply asks the court to require the ACLU to determine the wishes of and fulfill their obligations to their clients, as they have repeatedly represented in court that they would.“

DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has statedrepeatedly that no parents were deported without first being given the option to take their children with them. But a Trump administration official told POLITICO on July 25 that an estimated three-quarters of the parents who left the country alone left no record behind that they ever consented to leave their children in the U.S. “We don’t see it in the documentation,” the official said.

At a Senate hearing earlier this week, Matthew Albence, executive associate director for Enforcement and Removal Operations at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, repeatedly dodged questions about whether DHS could document that it secured deportee parents’ consent to leave their children behind.

[Politico]

Update

A federal judge has said the Trump administration is 100% responsible to find the lost parents.

Trump Dismisses Missed Deadline for Reuniting Migrant Families: The Solution is Come Here Legally

The Federal government is all but certain to miss Tuesday’s court-imposed deadline for reuniting migrant families (via Vox). But President Donald Trump is downplaying the blown deadline — and, in fact, pinning the blame on migrants.

Speaking outside the White House prior to leaving for the NATO summit in Brussels, the president sounded off against illegal immigration when asked about the missed deadline.

“I have a solution,” Trump said. “Tell people not to come to our country illegally. That’s the solution. Don’t come to our country illegally. Come like other people do, come legally.”

He added, “I’m saying this, very simply. We have laws. We have borders. Don’t come to our country illegally. It’s not a good thing.”

The president went on to again make the baseless, erroneous assertion that Democrats are advocating for open borders.

“Democrats want open borders and they don’t mind crime,” Trump said. “We want no crime and we want borders where borders mean something. All right? And, remember this, without borders, you do not have a country.”

[Mediaite]

Trump administration to reverse Obama-era guidance on use of race in college admissions

The Trump administration is planning to rescind a set of Obama-era policies that promote using race to achieve diversity in schools, a source familiar with the plans tells CNN.

While the decision does not change current US law on affirmative action it provides a strong illustration on the administration’s position on an issue that could take on renewed attention with the departure of Justice Anthony Kennedy from the Supreme Court.
“The executive branch cannot circumvent Congress or the courts by creating guidance that goes beyond the law and—in some instances — stays on the books for decades,” Justice Department spokesperson Devin O’Malley told CNN in a statement. “Last year, the Attorney General initiated a review of guidance documents, which resulted in dozens of examples—including today’s second tranche of rescissions — of documents that go beyond or are inconsistent with the Constitution and federal law. The Justice Department remains committed to enforcing the law and protecting all Americans from all forms of illegal race-based discrimination.”
The Education Department did not immediately respond to a CNN request for comment.
The move, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, comes as the administration has thrown its weight behind a student group that accuses Harvard University of discriminating against Asian-Americans in its admissions process.
Last year, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that he was ending the practice of the Justice Department issuing “guidance documents” that have the “effect of adopting new regulatory requirements or amending the law,” without to going through the formal rulemaking process. As a result, 25 documents were rescinded in December.
The guidance that will be reversed Tuesday provided examples of different educational contexts within which institutions could permissibly consider race.
Tuesday’s reversal also does not affect what a school decides to do on its own within the confines of current Supreme Court precedent, but civil rights groups swiftly reacted with disappointment.
“We condemn the Department of Education’s politically motivated attack on affirmative action and deliberate attempt to discourage colleges and universities from pursuing racial diversity at our nation’s colleges and universities,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “The rescission of this guidance does not overrule forty years of precedent that affirms the constitutionality of a university’s limited use of race in college admissions. This most recent decision by the Department of Education is wholly consistent with the administration’s unwavering hostility towards diversity in our schools.”
[CNN]

Off-the-rails Trump rages at Democrats and accuses them of wanting to get rid of all law enforcement – even police

President Donald Trump was up bright and early and raging at calls for the breaking up of ICE — going so far as to say Democrats want to get rid of all law enforcement.

On Twitter he wrote, “The Democrats are making a strong push to abolish ICE, one of the smartest, toughest and most spirited law enforcement groups of men and women that I have ever seen. I have watched ICE liberate towns from the grasp of MS-13 & clean out the toughest of situations. They are great!”

He then claimed, “To the great and brave men and women of ICE, do not worry or lose your spirit. You are doing a fantastic job of keeping us safe by eradicating the worst criminal elements. So brave! The radical left Dems want you out. Next it will be all police. Zero chance, It will never happen!”

You can see the tweets below:

[Raw Story]

Trump responds to “Abolish ICE” with false claims America is being overrun by MS-13

As thousands of protesters gathered across the country to protest President Donald Trump’s immigration policies and the chorus of voices calling to abolish ICE grows, the president is going on the offensive. He’s warning of an America overrun by MS-13 — an America that doesn’t exist.

Trump’s zero-tolerance immigration policy and his administration’s increasingly aggressive actions have energized a progressive push to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement(ICE). Hundreds of women protested against the separation of migrant families and called for the end of ICE in Washington, DC on Thursday, and multiple Democrats, including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), and New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio have joined in. A group of nearly 20 ICE investigators has called for the agency to be abolished, reformed, or restructured, and “abolish ICE” was a rallying cry at Saturday’s “Families Belong Together” marches across the country.

Trump is pushing back on the anti-ICE calls, in part by invoking MS-13 and warning that the gang might take over the country — or already has.

In a tweet on Saturday morning, the president lauded ICE agents as “one of the smartest, toughest, and most spirited law enforcement groups of men and women that I have ever seen.” He then, inexplicably, said that he has “watched ICE liberate towns from the grasp of MS-13” and “clean out the toughest of situations.”

In an interview with Fox Business host Maria Barroom set to air on Sunday, Trump said ICE agents “take [MS-13] out” and that they’re “much tougher than MS-13” by a “factor of 10.” He warned that if ICE is abolished, MS-13 will overrun the country to the point that “you’re going to be afraid to walk out of your house.”

Bashar Ali, a writer for New York Magazine and HuffPost, previewed the remarks on Twitter.

MS-13 is not taking over the United States

MS-13, a Salvadoran-American gang, has a presence in a number of United States cities, including Los Angles, New York, Boston, and Washington, DC. Despite Trump’s claim last year that MS-13 had “literally taken over towns and cities,” there are no American municipalities ruled by it. Nor are there any that have been “liberated” from it.

Trump and Republicans have used MS-13 as a proxy to demonize immigrants and given it outsized importance compared to its actual impact. As Vox’s Dara Lind explains, MS-13 hasn’t reversed nationwide trends of declining violent crime (even in the areas where their presence is strongest), and the gang only has about 10,000 members in the United States — a fraction of the estimated 1.4 million members of US gangsnationally.

The president has sought to cast immigrants as violent and dangerous criminals who pose an imminent threat to the US. Just last week, the White House held an event highlighting families who have lost loved ones to crimes committed by unauthorized immigrants, bizarrely autographing victims’ photos.

[VOX]

Jeff Sessions jokes about separated families to laughing crowd

Attorney General Jeff Sessions cracked a joke about the administration’s immigration chaos, and was greeted with laughs at the idea of separated families.

Sessions spoke Tuesday to a crowd at the conservative-leaning Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, and accused critics of his “zero tolerance” immigration policy of hypocrisy.

“These same people live in gated communities, many of them, and are featured at events where you have to have an ID to even come in to hear em speak. They like a little security around themselves,” he said.

“If you try to scale the fence they’d be even too happy to have you arrested and separated from your children.”

The last line brought laughs and a few cheers from the audience in Los Angeles, which was greeted with protests by those who see the separation of children from their undocumented parents as inhumane.

After first insisting that Congress deal with the problem, President Trump signed an executive order amid the outrage reversing the policy he put in place in April, allowing children to remain with their parents for 30 days.

The fates of those families that have already been separated have hung in limbo with limited action from the federal government, though on Tuesday a federal judge ordered authorities to reunite the loved ones within 30 days.

That order, in response to an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit in California, also ordered an injunction against future family separations.

[New York Daily News]

Media

Reality

Poll after poll found massive disapproval with the Trump administration’s cruel policy of indefinitely separating children from their families as a deterrent to future immigration. So this is not the “lunatic fringe” but the vast majority of Americans.

Even Sessions’ joke is lie and based on a complete misunderstanding of our justice system.

If you take a Criminal Justice 101 class, you will learn the primary intention of incarcerating people for crimes is because they have harmed our society and as a form of punishment they are forced to rectify that harm. Removing that individual from their family is a side-effect. Have you ever heard the term, “he’s paid his debt to society?” That is what we are talking about.

Trump, separating families, is their primary intent.

Sarah Sanders: ‘Just Because You Aren’t Seeing a Judge Doesn’t Mean You Aren’t Getting Due Process’

Sarah Huckabee Sanders offered an intriguing defense of Donald Trump on Monday when asked about his apparent call for the country to disregard due process when dealing with illegal immigrants.

It’s been over a week since the last White House press briefing, so Sanders was buried under an avalanche of questions regarding the president’s rescinded policy of taking migrant children away from their parents at the U.S. southern border. As Trump railed against immigration laws and people “[invading] the country” over the weekend, he tweeted at one point that immigrants need to be sent back where they came from “with no Judges or Court Cases” involved.

When CNN’s Jeff Zelany asked Sanders if Trump was saying illegal immigrants have no right to due process, she defended the president by saying that current laws allow for the deportation of illegal aliens without having to go through court.

“Thousands of illegal aliens are removed every month without seeing an immigration judge as a result of procedures in current law including voluntary removal and expedited removal. Just because you don’t see a judge doesn’t mean you aren’t receiving due process. The president is focused on securing our borders and reforming our immigration system to prevent the crisis at the border from betting worse.”

Zeleny continued to press Sanders by asking her if immigrants who are deported this way don’t get a chance to appeal for asylum or make their case before a judge.

[Mediaite]

Reality

On one hand we have the Constitution, which makes it very clear due process applies to anyone on American soil.

This was reaffirmed in the 2001 Supreme Court decision Zadvydas v. David (533 US 678): “the Due Process Clause applies to all persons within the United States, including aliens, whether their presence here is lawful or unlawful.”

But on the other hand we have expedited removal where a person does not see the inside of a courtroom and a low-level immigration officer simply deports a person without any due process. Expedited removal is only allowed to be applied to undocumented immigrants without any documentation, not on asylum seekers which we are mostly seeing today, and has historically been used only on individuals who are repeat offenders.

But the law has been used more and more over the past several years, for example 44 percent of all removals from the United States were conducted through expedited removal in 2013.

Media

Trump calls for deporting migrants ‘immediately’ without a trial

President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday morning that the U.S. “Cannot accept all of the people trying to break into our Country” and called for migrants to be “immediately” deported without a trial.

“When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came,” he said. His tweet did not mention people coming to the U.S. to seek asylum, which is legal to do.

Our system is a mockery to good immigration policy and Law and Order,” he said, adding in another tweet that legal entry to the country should be based on “merit.”

Immigration advocates pushed back on the comments. “What President Trump has suggested here is both illegal and unconstitutional. Any official who has sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution and laws should disavow it unequivocally,” said Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project.

Late Saturday night, the Trump administration released a “fact sheet” noting more than 2,000 children have yet to be reunited with their parents and revealing some details about the reunification process.

[NBC News]

U.S. Cancels Program For Recent Haitian Immigrants; They Must Leave By 2019

Some 50,000 Haitians who’ve lived and worked in the United States since a catastrophic earthquake there in 2010 are reeling from news that their special protected status will be canceled.

They have 18 months until their temporary protected status — or TPS — is terminated in the summer of 2019. A statement from The Department of Homeland Security says the 18-month lead time is to “allow for an orderly transition before the designation terminates on July 22, 2019.”

It adds that the decision by acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Elaine Duke, follows then-Secretary John Kelly’s announcement that Haiti was recovering and that the status likely would end after a final six-month extension issued earlier this year.

“Since the 2010 earthquake, the number of displaced people in Haiti has decreased by 97 percent,” the statement said. “Significant steps have been taken to improve the stability and quality of life for Haitian citizens, and Haiti is able to safely receive traditional levels of returned citizens. Haiti has also demonstrated a commitment to adequately prepare for when the country’s TPS designation is terminated.”

While immigration advocates and Haitians were expecting the news, it was no less devastating.

“Haiti is in a really bad condition,” Peterson Exais, a high school junior in Miami with TPS, said on a press call with reporters. “I would like to call on Congress to please, please make your choices wisely. This decision is very selfish. I am a human, you are a human, this is my home, and America is my home. I consider myself American in every way except the papers I don’t have.”

Exais has been here since he was nine.

Royce Bernstein Murray, the Policy Director of the Washington-based American Immigration Council says that Haitians with TPS have 27,000 U.S.-born children, and that this decision throws those families into crisis. Some 20 percent own homes, and many are crucial in industries such as construction in Florida, a state that badly needs the skill set as it recovers from hurricane destruction.

“I think it’s a tragedy on a few levels,” Murray said. “Certainly for the Haitians who have been living and working here to support their families, but also for the communities and employers who’ve come to know them and rely on them as trusted neighbors and employees. ”

Haitians are the third nationality to have their protected status terminated in past three months. Nicaraguans and Sudanese will lose protection in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

[NPR]

Corey Lewandowski Mocks Disabled Migrant Girl Who Was Separated From Parents: ‘Womp Womp’

Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski mocked a story about a migrant child with down syndrome who was taken from her mother by mimicking sad trombone noises and saying “womp womp.”

Democratic strategist Zac Petkanas, who was debating Lewandowski on the issue of undocumented migrant families being split apart by border officials, fiercely responded: “How dare you. How absolutely dare you, sir.”

When Lewandowski responded by falsely claiming the policy existed under the Obama administration, Petkanas fact checked him.

“This policy was not done during the administration,” the strategist said. “You are now lying about this policy, in addition to just saying, ‘womp, womp.’”

Petkanas continued:

“The difference now is they are accompanied minors, but the Trump Administration is forcibly making them unaccompanied minors when they take them from their parents and put them in cages. And we have members of the Trump team who are going wah wah when you learn about the stories — the horror that is going on down at the border.”

Lewandowski replied by arguing that “coming across the border illegally is a crime,” and criminals get separated from their children when they go to jail, therefore migrant kids should be taken from their parents too.

[Mediaite]

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