More Family Separation

The inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services reports that thousands more families were separated by the administration than previously thought.

In a report released Thursday, the HHS inspector general concluded that the Trump administration not only separated thousands more children than previously thought, but that there is no effective system in place for tracking those children.

The inspector general’s findings come months after a federal judge ordered the administration to reunite all immigrant children with their families or guardians and shows that the administration may have never known exactly how many families it separated.

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Tornillo Tent Camp Shut Down

The Tornillo tent camp which up until recently held thousands of immigrant children has been shut down.

The tent camp that has been the target of sustained direct action on the part of immigrant rights activists has finally been shut down.

The “Christmas at Tornillo” protesters had blocked entrances to the detention center and staged ongoing demonstrations to voice their oppposition towards the policy of immigrant detention and family separation.

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Immigrant Boy Dies on Christmas Eve

Customs and Border Protection, which had custody of the boy and his father, announced the child’s death Tuesday around midday.

UPDATED 12/27/18 1:00 PM PST

The 8-year-old boy apparently fell ill Monday and died in a New Mexico hospital Tuesday, early on Christmas morning.

His name was Felipe Gómez Alonso, and was reportedly of Guatemalan origin. The government has been notified of his passing.

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House Buckles to Trump’s Demands

After a tumultuous day of many back-and-forth decisions, the House passed a funding bill with $5 billion allocated for the construction of a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The vote was 217 to 185; funding for multiple government agencies will expire at midnight tonight.

The bill will now return to the Senate where it is widely expected to fail due to extreme opposition to such immense funding.

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All Asylum Seekers to Stay in Mexico

The Trump administration has announced that all asylum seekers attempting to enter the country through the southern border will be kept in Mexico while their claim is processed.

The policy will apply to all asylum seekers regardless of whether Mexico is their country of origin or not.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen indicated that part of the reasoning behind the policy has to do with the Flores settlement, which prevents the U.S. government from detaining children for an extended period of time.

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Statue of Liberty Protester Found Guilty

Therese Patricia Okoumou, the woman who scaled the Statue of Liberty on July 4 in protest of immigrant detention, has been found guilty of multiple federal crimes.

Okoumou famously climbed the Statue of Liberty on July 4 to protest the Trump administration’s separation and detention of immigrant children.

While her lawyers argued that the moral imperative compelling her to take action against the detention of children should outweigh the illegality of her actions, the court decided otherwise.

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Administration Separated 6,000 Immigrant Families

A new report released by Amnesty International shows that the administration separated 6,000 families at the border between April and August.

The number is far higher than any previous estimate, and carries additional weight given that hundreds of children separated during this time period remain in detention or separated from their families or guardians.

Judge Dana Sabraw had issued a court-ordered deadline for total reunification, but that deadline passed 78 days ago as hundreds of families remain separated.

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The U.S. is Systematically Kidnapping Migrant Children

The Associated Press released an investigative report uncovering loopholes that allow the children of deported migrants to be adopted by U.S. families.

The most horrific part? The government is not even required to notify the biological parents.

The loophole in the system extends to the children of immigrants who were separated at the border under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy; as of September 14, 400 children still remained in detention as a result of the policy.

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More Money to Detain Children

The administration has diverted another $266 million from the Department of Health and Human Services to imprison more children.

This is on the heels of the discovery that some $10 million had been diverted from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) last week despite the agency’s already numerous difficulties in fulfilling its obligation to impacted communities, like those in Puerto Rico.

This time, funds are being stripped from the National Cancer Institute, the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program, Head Start, the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other refugee assistance programs.

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FEMA Lost Funding to Build Immigrant Detention Centers

Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) has accused the administration of stripping $10 million in funding from FEMA to build immigrant detention centers.

Even as Hurricane Florence prepares to batter the east coast, Trump has not only defended the abysmal emergency response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico last year, but has also been accused of diverting $10 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to build more immigrant detention centers.

Senator Merkley’s accusations come as 20,000 palettes of undistributed water bottles have been discovered in Ceiba, Puerto Rico, which were meant for distribution to survivors of Hurricane Maria.  Continue reading