Trump officials unveil rule allowing indefinite migrant family detentions

The Trump administration on Wednesday said it would unveil a new rule that would allow migrant families to be held indefinitely, ending a procedure known as the Flores Settlement Agreement that requires children to be held no longer than 20 days.

The decision is a momentous change in detainee policy that the administration has sought as a disincentive for people crossing the border. 

“This rule allows the federal government to enforce immigration laws as passed by Congress,” acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said in a statement.

Under the new system, immigrant families could be held for the duration of their court proceedings, which officials claim could be resolved within three months.

McAleenan said the new rule takes aim at a 2015 “reinterpretation of the Flores Settlement Agreement” in which a California district court ruled accompanied minors are subject to the same detention limits as unaccompanied minors.

The 2015 change, McAleenan said, “has generally forced the government to release families into the country after just 20 days, incentivizing illegal entry, adding to the growing backlog in immigration proceedings, and often delaying immigration proceedings for many years.”

The Trump administration has frequently blamed Flores for the spike in family border crossings over the last few years, claiming the promise of eventual release creates an incentive to enter the country illegally. On Wednesday, it defended the change as closing a “loophole exploited by human smugglers.”

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), however, panned the move, saying it will “put even more stress on our immigration system and add to the chaos the Administration continues to create.”

“The Trump Administration has managed to find a new low in its continued despicable treatment of migrant children and families. Terminating the Flores settlement is illegal and goes against our longstanding American values about the treatment of children,” Thompson said in a statement.

The new rule would establish new standards for conditions in detention centers while simultaneously removing the 20-day maximum detention limit that has existed since the original 1997 court ruling.

“Large numbers of alien families are entering illegally across the southern border, hoping that they will be released into the interior rather than detained during their removal proceedings,” the two agencies that created the rule, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Health and Human Services, said in a statement.

“Promulgating this rule and seeking termination of the FSA [Flores Settlement Agreement] are important steps towards an immigration system that is humane and operates consistently with the intent of Congress.”

The rule will be published in the Federal Register on Friday and will be effective 60 days later — if it is approved by the courts.

However, the process is likely to take significantly longer.

“Obviously, there will be litigation, as you know, all new immigration rules have faced litigation in my career,” said McAleenan.

Under the terms of the 1997 consent decree that eventually led to the 20-day limit in Flores, the regulation must be approved by Judge Dolly M. Gee of United States District Court for the Central District of California, who heard the original case.

Gee, who was appointed by President Obama, denied the administration’s request last year to extend family detentions after a 2015 ruling that officials could not hold unaccompanied children in unlicensed facilities longer than 20 days.

The upcoming litigation means the proposed rule could be significantly delayed or sidetracked in the courts.

“This rule contemplates terminating the Flores Settlement Agreement. And actually, there’s a legal proceeding just to do that coming out of the implementation. So we do expect litigation but we do hope to be able to implement as soon as possible,” said McAleenan.

Trump officials have sought to address Gee’s concerns with indefinite detention by creating a federal government licensing regime which includes public audits of facilities conducted by a third party.

And McAleenan painted a rosy picture of family detention units under the new rule.

“For example, the first family residential center in Berks, Pa., has a suite for each family [to be] housed separately. Furniture, bedding, towels, clothing and toiletries are provided,” said McAleenan.

He added the facilities would include medical care and educational wings, as well as leisure activities for detainees.

But DHS has bed space for 2,500 to 3,000 individuals in family units at current funding levels, a fraction of the number of Central Americans who claim asylum every month.

McAleenan blamed Congress, where Democrats worked to limit the administration’s capability to detain immigrants, for the limited facilities.

“Just a quick reminder, we did ask Congress for additional family beds in the 2019 budget process and the supplemental, and we did not receive them. So I think that’s important to recall,” said McAleenan.

Additional legal challenges to the rule are likely from immigration advocacy groups.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which has fought several Trump administration immigration policies, slammed the rule as “yet another cruel attack on children.”

“The government should NOT be jailing kids, and certainly shouldn’t be seeking to put more kids in jail for longer,” the group tweeted.

“This is yet another cruel attack on children, who this administration has targeted again and again with its anti-immigrant policies.”

McAleenan said the “multihundred-page rule” would preserve the original intent of Flores, granting asylum-seeking families a safe place to live while their cases go through immigration courts.

The rule comes amid a flood of federal action to limit both legal and illegal immigration, and another lengthy rule to submit documented immigrants to a “public charge” test that’s been shown to be rife with inconsistencies.

That rule would make a receipt of public benefits, like food stamps or Medicaid, a negative factor when considering a noncitizen’s application for a visa or green card.

Earlier in the summer, the administration announced a rule expanding authority for expedited deportation, where immigration cases are not reviewed by judges, from within 100 miles of the border to anywhere in the U.S.

It also promulgated a rule which would deny asylum claims for immigrants who pass through another country before reaching the southern border.

All of those moves, which experts say would severely limit immigration, face legal challenges.

[The Hill]

Emails show Stephen Miller pressed hard to limit green cards

White House senior adviser Stephen Miller wasn’t getting an immigration regulation he wanted. So he sent a series of scorching emails to top immigration officials, calling the department an “embarrassment” for not acting faster, according to emails obtained by POLITICO.

The regulation in question would allow the Department of Homeland Security to bar legal immigrants from obtaining green cards if they receive certain government benefits. The rule will likely be released in the coming days, according to a pair of current and former Trump officials briefed on the timeline.

The emails, which POLITICO obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, shed new light on how aggressively Miller has pressured the Department of Homeland Security to move faster on regulations to limit immigration. Critics say the new rule will be used to shore up Trump’s political base in the coming election year, and that it’s an illegitimate tool to reduce legal immigration. 

One former Trump official said Miller has maintained a “singular obsession” with the public charge rule, which he’s argued would bring about a transformative change to U.S. immigration.

At the receiving end of Miller’s pressure campaign was U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service Director Francis Cissna, an immigration hawk with strong support from restrictionist groups who resigned in May amid a broader Homeland Security Department shakeup that also saw the exit of former Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and other top officials.

In an email sent on June 8, 2018, Miller lambasted Cissna for the pace of his efforts to implement the public charge rule. “Francis — The timeline on public charge is unacceptable,” Miller wrote. “The public charge reg has been in the works for a year and a half. This is time we don’t have. I don’t care what you need to do to finish it on time. You run an agency of 20,000 people.”

In the message, Miller derided Cissna’s overall performance at USCIS, the agency charged with screening visa applicants and processing immigration paperwork. Cissna was known for his deliberate approach to the regulatory process.

“It’s an embarrassment that we’ve been here for 18 months and USCIS hasn’t published a single major reg,” Miller barked.

According to a version of the rule proposed in October 2018, the regulation would allow federal immigration officials to deny green cards to legal immigrants who’ve received food stamps, welfare, Medicaid, prescription drug subsidies or Section 8 housing vouchers. It could also deny green cards to immigrants deemed likely to receive such government benefits in the future.

With Trump poised to make immigration a centerpiece of his 2020 reelection campaign, a new crackdown on legal immigrants who receive government assistance could energize voters who view immigration — even when done legally — as a fiscal drain and cultural danger.

“This is something that will play well going into the next election, especially considering the prevailing view among the Democratic candidates who are talking about admitting more immigrants and offering more benefits,” said Jessica Vaughan, a director with the Center for Immigration Studies, which pushes for lower levels of both legal and illegal immigration. 

But Miller’s previously undisclosed emails could raise legal questions about whether the public charge rule was rushed to completion. The regulatory process will almost certainly be challenged in court, according to opponents bracing for the change.

In addition, the emails could reinvigorate Democratic efforts to compel Miller to testify before Congress. The White House in April denieda voluntary invitation to testify before the House Oversight Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.). The committee chairman had pressed Miller to explain his role in the development of what he called “troubling” immigration policies.

Acting USCIS Director Ken Cuccinelli — Cissna’s replacement at the agency and another immigration hawk — said the public charge regulation will demonstrate that Trump remains committed to his immigration agenda.

According to a version of the rule proposed in October 2018, the regulation would allow federal immigration officials to deny green cards to legal immigrants who’ve received food stamps, welfare, Medicaid, prescription drug subsidies or Section 8 housing vouchers. It could also deny green cards to immigrants deemed likely to receive such government benefits in the future.

With Trump poised to make immigration a centerpiece of his 2020 reelection campaign, a new crackdown on legal immigrants who receive government assistance could energize voters who view immigration — even when done legally — as a fiscal drain and cultural danger.

“This is something that will play well going into the next election, especially considering the prevailing view among the Democratic candidates who are talking about admitting more immigrants and offering more benefits,” said Jessica Vaughan, a director with the Center for Immigration Studies, which pushes for lower levels of both legal and illegal immigration. 

But Miller’s previously undisclosed emails could raise legal questions about whether the public charge rule was rushed to completion. The regulatory process will almost certainly be challenged in court, according to opponents bracing for the change.

In addition, the emails could reinvigorate Democratic efforts to compel Miller to testify before Congress. The White House in April denieda voluntary invitation to testify before the House Oversight Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.). The committee chairman had pressed Miller to explain his role in the development of what he called “troubling” immigration policies.

Acting USCIS Director Ken Cuccinelli — Cissna’s replacement at the agency and another immigration hawk — said the public charge regulation will demonstrate that Trump remains committed to his immigration agenda.

[Politico]

Trump Just Strong-Armed Guatemala Into a “Safe Third Country” Agreement.

The United States and Guatemala have reached a deal that has the potential to end most asylum seekers’ ability to seek protection at the US-Mexico border.

Under an agreement announced Friday afternoon, asylum seekers who travel through Guatemala on their way to the United States would be returned to Guatemala and forced to seek protection there. That would largely block Salvadorans and Hondurans from receiving asylum in the United States, as well as large numbers of asylum seekers from around the world who travel by land to the US border after flying to South America. Instead, only Mexicans and Guatemalans would be able to seek protection at the border.

The agreement would not apply to children who arrive at the border alone and would remain in effect for two years, according to a copy released by the Guatemalan government (in Spanish).

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said on a press call that he expects the deal, which is known as a safe third country agreement, to take effect in the next few weeks. Earlier this month, Guatemala’s Constitutional Court blocked President Jimmy Morales from unilaterally signing such an agreement. It is still not clear how Morales’ administrations plans to get around that. 

Beyond that it is unclear how Guatemala—which has become the leading sending country of migrants to the United States under Trump—plans to provide refuge for the thousands of asylum seekers who could arrive from El Salvador, Honduras, and elsewhere. As the Washington Post‘s Mexico and Central America bureau chief, Kevin Sieff, pointed out on Twitter, Guatemala doesn’t exactly have much recent experience handling asylum claims.

The deal, if it goes into effect, would be one of Trump’s two most important efforts to undermine the asylum system. The other is the Remain in Mexico program, which is forcing thousands of asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their asylum claims are pending in US immigration courts. Combined, the two policies could block the vast majority of asylum seekers who come to the southern border from entering the United States. People who fly or travel by sea to the United States would still be eligible to apply for asylum. (The problem for asylum seekers, particularly those who aren’t wealthy, is that it is often impossible to get a visa to fly to the United States, which is why people turn to smugglers instead.)

McAleenan said that by requiring people to apply for asylum in Guatemala, the agreement would “increase the integrity of the [asylum] process, keep vulnerable families that are really economic migrants out of the hands of smugglers, and allow us to reach those with asylum claims more expeditiously.”

Morales was supposed to come to the White House on July 15 to sign a safe third country agreement, but the trip was canceled at the last minute in response to the Constitutional Court decision. Trump responded to the Guatemalan court decision this week by threatening to impose tariffs on Guatemala and ban Guatemalans from entering the United States. 

Like Trump, Morales is a former television personality who ran for president in 2015 as a political outsider. Since then, Morales has worked aggressively to undermine a renowned UN-backed anti-corruption commission that has targeted members of his family. His administration also has gone out of its way to please Trump, moving its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem immediately after the United States did. The Trump administration has been largely silent about Morales’ efforts to undermine the rule of law in Guatemala.

[Mother Jones]

DONALD TRUMP FALSELY CLAIMS HE DIDN’T HAVE ‘TALKING POINTS’ ON MINORITY CONGRESSWOMEN, DESPITE PHOTOS

In the aftermath of fierce condemnation for issuing racist tweets at minority congresswomen earlier this month, President Donald Trump lashed out on Twitter Monday, labeling reports that his decision to double down on his remarks involved pre-determined talking points and opposition research as “fake news.”

Trump falsely claimed “there were no talking points” just days after issuing a speech at the White House on July 15, where he used a “Made in America” event intended toshowcase U.S. manufacturing to again tell four Democratic lawmakers—Alexandria Ocasio Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota—they “can leave right now” if they were dissatisfied with the U.S.

Photos captured by a Washington Post photographer showed that Trump’s notes did, in fact, have talking points about the progressive lawmakers who’ve been dubbed “The Squad”—all of whom are U.S. citizens and of whichthree were born in the U.S. The president’s notes specifically referenced Omar, a Somali refugee who came to the U.S. in 1995 after fleeing her country years earlier because of a civil war.

“She came here at 10 years old and is now a congresswoman. That could ONLY happen in America,” Trump’s notes read. “It is SAD that these women have a record of saying anti-Semitic and anti-American things all the time.”

Trump’s prepared remarks continued: “It’s actually DANGEROUS — because it seems like they hate America. My point was if you are not happy here, you can leave.”

At a campaign rally in Greenville, North Carolina, Wednesday evening, attendees chanted “send her back” after Trump again accused Omar in his prepared remarks of not being a proud American, being sympathetic to al-Qaeda and saying she “looks down with contempt on hardworking Americans.”

Trump’s Monday morning tweet also included denials about information in a Washington Poststory, which said that “advisers wrote new talking points and handed him reams of opposition research on the four congresswomen.” According to the article, allies, aides and confidants reportedly struggled to relay to the president why his remarks that “The Squad” should “go back” to the “totally broken and crime infested places from which they came” were racist and that he should pivot to new messages.

“The Amazon Washington Post front page story yesterday was total Fake News. They said ‘Advisors wrote new talking points and handed him reams of opposition research on the four Congresswomen.’ Now really, does that sound like me?” Trump wrote in a series of tweets. “What advisors, there were no talking points,……..except for those stated by me, & ‘reams of paper’ were never given to me. It is a made up story meant to demean & belittle. The Post had no sources. The facts remain the same, that we have 4 Radical Left Congresswomen who have said very bad things about Israel & our Country!”

However, Trump did not respond to the images of his talking points that were taken by photographers last week.

In another tweet, Trump continued to berate “The Squad,” calling them “a very Racist group of troublemakers who are young, inexperienced, and not very smart.”

Following Trump’s racist tweets, the Democratic-led House moved swiftly last week to pass a resolution of condemnation. But the formal rebuke to the president only mustered support from four Republican members. Some of the few GOP representatives who publicly condemned Trump failed to vote for the resolution.

The four freshmen congresswomen that make up”The Squad” have hit back repeatedly at Trump on Twitter and in comments to reporters. The women have quickly becomepolitical firebrands, often making headlines with their strong ridicule of Trump and even sometimes acting as a thorn in the side of Democratic leadership.

“This is the agenda of white nationalists, whether it is happening in chat rooms or it’s happening on national TV. And now, it’s reached the White House garden,” Omar said last week at a press conference with her colleagues of “The Squad.”

“He would love nothing more than to divide our country based on race, religion, gender orientation, or immigration status,” the freshman lawmaker continued, “because this is the only way he knows he can prevent the solidarity of us working together across all of our differences.”

[Newsweek]

Trump: I don’t have a racist bone in my body

President Trump on Tuesday insisted he is not a racist amid sustained criticism of his attacks on four minority, progressive Democratic congresswomen.

The president’s latest defense of his tweets telling the lawmakers to “go back” to their home countries, even though they are all U.S. citizens, came hours before the House is set to vote on a resolution condemning them as racist.

“Those Tweets were NOT Racist. I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!” Trump tweeted.

Trump condemned the “so-called vote” on the resolution as a “Democrat con game,” sending a message to Republicans to vote against the measure.

“Republicans should not show ‘weakness’ and fall into their trap. This should be a vote on the filthy language, statements and lies told by the Democrat,” he tweeted.

Trump also repeated his belief that the four Democratic lawmakers “hate our Country.”

Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) — the group targeted by Trump — held a press conference Monday to push back against his statements the previous day.

Omar accused Trump of launching a “blatantly racist attack” against her and her three colleagues and said he is advancing the “agenda of white nationalists.” 

As the controversy raged on for a third day, the president telegraphed his strategy to elevate the group of lawmakers in an attempt to paint Democrats as extreme during his reelection race.

Nancy Pelosi tried to push them away, but now they are forever wedded to the Democrat Party. See you in 2020!” Trump tweeted.

But his attacks have also galvanized Democrats who have been plagued by infighting, in part due to a public spat between Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the group of four progressive lawmakers.

The House plans to vote on its resolution against Trump’s comments later Tuesday. The text of the measure “strongly condemns President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color by saying that our fellow Americans who are immigrants, and those who may look to the President like immigrants, should ‘go back’ to other countries.”

In a series of tweets Sunday, Trump wrote that the women should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

Three of them are natural-born U.S. citizens and the fourth, Omar, is a naturalized citizen who was a refugee from Somalia.

The tweets are the latest instance of Trump stoking racial animus since he burst onto the political stage. Before he was elected president, Trump questioned whether former President Obama was a U.S. citizen even though he was born in Hawaii. Trump also lashed out at a federal judge by arguing his Mexican heritage would not allow him to fairly decide lawsuits against Trump University.

Almost two years ago, Trump drew widespread condemnation for saying there were “very fine people on both sides” of a violent protest in Charlottesville, Va., where a white nationalist killed a counterprotester.

[The Hill]

Reality

Trump Attacks Congresswomen in Unhinged Presser: ‘They Hate Our Country’ With a Passion, ‘They Hate Jews’

In his first public comments since he leveled attacks on Democratic congresswomen that many saw as racist, President Donald Trump defended his tweets in a press conference on the south lawn of the White House.

Trump took questions in a contentious back-and-forth from the press and continued to hit Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) for “hating Israel” and three other freshman congresswomen, namely Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Rep. Rashida Tlaiband Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the last of which he blamed for Amazon not building a East Coast headquarters in Queens, New York.

“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” Trump wrote of the congresswomen in a Twitter thread Sunday morning.

“They are very unhappy,” Trump told reporters on Monday. “I’m watching them, all they do is complain. All I’m saying, if they want to leave, they can leave.”

He then turned his focus of derision on Rep. Omar, referring to her as “somebody that comes from Somalia.” He continued that Omar is “never happy, says horrible things about Israel, hates Israel, hates Jews.”

“I look at the one, I look at Omar,” Trump said. “I don’t know, I never met her. I hear the way she talks about Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda has killed many Americans.”

He finished, “They can leave, and you know what? I’m sure there will be many people that want to miss them.”

Trump spoke at length, ultimately claiming that these four congresswomen, “hate our country … with a passion” before oddly lamenting how the “Democrat party” would be making a big political mistake by getting behind these four individuals.

[Mediaite]

Reality

Trump lied about Omar’s Al Qaeda comments.

Trump admin dramatically limits asylum claims by Central Americans

The Trump administration on Monday moved to dramatically limit the ability of Central American migrants to claim asylum if they enter the United States by land through Mexico, the latest attempt by the White House to limit immigration and toughen the US asylum process amid overcrowded conditionsat border facilities.The rule from the departments of Justice and Homeland Security would prohibit migrants who have resided or “transited en route” in a third country from seeking asylum in the US, therefore barring migrants traveling through Mexico from being able to claim asylum and as a result, drastically limit who’s eligible for asylum. Over recent months, there’s been a dramatic spike in apprehensions at the US-Mexico border. The majority of migrants are from the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. They’ve had to travel through Mexico to reach the border and upon arriving in the US, some have turned themselves into the US Border Patrol and claimed asylum.The regulation addresses that group of migrants.

“Until Congress can act, this interim rule will help reduce a major ‘pull’ factor driving irregular migration to the United States,” acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan in a statement. It will allow the departments of Justice and Homeland Security to “more quickly and efficiently process cases originating from the southern border, leading to fewer individuals transiting through Mexico on a dangerous journey.”There are some exceptions: an asylum seeker whose claim was denied after applying for protection in a country, if someone has been trafficked, and if someone transited through a country that did not sign one of the major international treaties on refugees. The rule would take effect immediately but is certain to face legal challenges. Under US law, migrants are allowed to claim asylum once on US soil. There’s a caveat, however, for those who come through safe third countries, meaning countries that the US has entered into an agreement with. The United Nations’ refugee agency defines “safe country,” in part, as “being countries in which refugees can enjoy asylum without any danger.”But Trump’s own statements on Mexico could undercut that definition. In tweets, the President has called Mexico “one of the most dangerous country’s in the world” and claimed that the murder rate in the country has increased.”The Coyotes and Drug Cartels are in total control of the Mexico side of the Southern Border. They have labs nearby where they make drugs to sell into the U.S. Mexico, one of the most dangerous country’s in the world, must eradicate this problem now. Also, stop the MARCH to U.S.” Trump tweeted in April.

[CNN]

Trump Doubles Down on Attacking Democratic Congresswomen Who He Said Should ‘Go Back’

President Donald Trump stuck to his attack on freshmen Democratic congresswomen from earlier Sunday, arguing his opponents are defending “people who speak so badly of our Country.”

Trump has been widely condemned for his tweets attacking freshmen Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rashida Tlaib(D-MI) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA).

He doubled down on his stance Sunday night:

“If the Democrat Party wants to continue to condone such disgraceful behavior, then we look even more forward to seeing you at the ballot box in 2020!” Trump said.

A new poll from NBC News and The Wall Street Journal shows Trump trailing Democratic rivals Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) by at least five points.

[Mediaite]

Trump accuses media of ‘phony’ reporting on migrant detention centers

President Trump on Sunday accused the media of reporting “phony and exaggerated accounts” of conditions at migrant detention centers along the border in the wake of two bombshell reports from the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) watchdog.

“The Fake News Media, in particular the Failing @nytimes, is writing phony and exaggerated accounts of the Border Detention Centers,” Trump tweeted.

“First of all, people should not be entering our Country illegally, only for us to then have to care for them. We should be allowed to focus on United States Citizens first. Border Patrol, and others in Law Enforcement, have been doing a great job. We said there was a Crisis – the Fake News & the Dems said it was ‘manufactured.'”

“Now all agree we were right, but they always knew that. They are crowded (which we brought up, not them) because the Dems won’t change the Loopholes and Asylum. Big Media Con Job!” he added.

The reports from the DHS Office of Inspector General covered the conditions at facilities near El Paso, Texas, and in the Rio Grande Valley.s

The government watchdog found severe overcrowding, migrants being held too long and dirty conditions at many of the facilities.

A group of lawyers who visited a Border Patrol station in Clint, Texas, made similar claims about the treatment of migrants.

The Trump administration has denied reports and images of the conditions in detainment facilities.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan earlier Sunday called the allegations of mistreatment, specifically of children, “unsubstantiated.”

Congress last month approved a $4.6 billion emergency border funding bill that was signed into law by Trump and provides migrant agencies with more resources to tackle the problem. However, the bill has been panned by some progressive lawmakers, such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who argue it doesn’t do enough to address the systemic issues with the border agency. 

Two Facebook groups linked to current and former Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents have been uncovered recently that include derisive images of migrants, vulgar and sexually explicit posts about lawmakers, and racist comments.

CBP condemned the group discovered by ProPublica, calling the posts “completely inappropriate and contrary to the honor and integrity I see – and expect – from our agents day in and day out.”

[The Hill]

Trump Defends Migrant Detention Centers: ‘They’re Really Well Run’

President Donald Trump defended the quality of life at migrant detention centers on Friday when asked about the negative conditions reported from several of them throughout the week.

Speaking with the White House press pool, Trump faced inquiries about how Democratic lawmakersnews reports, and the Department of Homeland Security inspector general’s review have painted a horrific picture of the living conditions at detainment centers. Trump said that the centers “are run beautifully.”

“They’re clean, they’re good, they do a great job” Trump said. “They’re crowded because the Democrats will not give us any relief from these loopholes. We have loopholes that are so bad. We have asylum that’s so bad. So these places are — many of them, not all of them – but many of them are incredible. They’re really well run.”

Trump went on to defend Border Patrol on the grounds that they weren’t trained to be caretakers, and he dismissed negative reports about their facilities as he continued to say “they’re doing a phenomenal job.”

“I think they do great with those facilities. You know how it can be taken care of? Number one, tell them not to come,” Trump said. “I think that the Border Patrol has been treated very, very badly by certain members of Congress. For the most part, they’re very respected by Congress, but certain members of Congress say very bad things and lie and exaggerate.”

[Mediaite]

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