Humanitarian Activists Convicted

Four female humanitarian activists are facing jail time for leaving food and water in the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge for migrants.

The four women left gallons of water and cans of beans scattered throughout the refuge for immigrants making the oftentimes deadly crossing into the United States.

All four activists have been convicted of entering the refuge without a permit, and one activist, Ms. Hoffman, was also convicted of operating a vehicle inside the refuge; all face up to six months in prison and a $500 fine.

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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.

Trump’s Shutdown Address

The president addressed the nation last night on the 18th day of the government shutdown and continued to place the blame on Democrats.

UPDATED 1/11/2019 04:23 PM PST: Rather than declaring a national emergency to raid defense funds, the president actually plans on dipping into funds set aside for disaster relief in California, Puerto Rico, and Texas to pay for his wall.

Trump spoke as 800,000 federal workers have been furloughed or forced to work without pay for more than two weeks, including important security officials like TSA agents, the Coast Guard, and federal fire fighters.

The current shutdown is now second only to the 21-day closure that occurred under the Clinton administration beginning December 1995.

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Tornillo Tent Camp Targeted by Activists

Immigrant rights activists in Texas have shut down the entrance of the Tornillo tent camp that is currently detaining several thousand immigrant youth.

The group of activists has been organizing for the past two weeks around the tent camp under the banner, “Christmas in Tornillo.”

The Tornillo detention center, which is operated by Baptist Child and Family Services, has been a focus of immigrant and human rights activists as well as health professionals, and is expected to close sometime this month.

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Trump Requests a Meeting Amidst Shutdown Crisis

As the government shutdown enters its second week and the chaos ramps up, the president has requested a bipartisan meeting with lawmakers.

TSA agents are working the holiday travel rush without pay and visitors at national parks are being forced to defecate in the roads as the shutdown over border wall funding continues.

In the first display of cooperation in weeks, the president is calling for a bipartisan meeting with lawmakers to discuss a solution.

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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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Asylum Ban Blocked by SCOTUS

Today, the Supreme Court upheld the block on the administration’s ban against immigrants who cross the border outside a legal port of entry and their ability to apply for asylum.

It was a narrow 5-4 decision with Chief Justice John Roberts again siding with the liberal faction of the court as the deciding vote.

Justices Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch, and Clarence Thomas all voted in support of the ban.

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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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Shutdown Temporarily Averted

The Senate was able to pass a short-term spending bill to avoid a government shutdown just ahead of the holidays.

Assuming the House passes the bill as well, which appears highly likely, it will keep the government funded through February 8.

The decision will postpone the ongoing battle over border wall funding until next year when the incoming Democratic majority in the House will take control.

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