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ACLU: U.S. has taken nearly 1,000 child migrants from their parents since judge ordered stop to bord

Source: Washington Post

ACLU: U.S. has taken nearly 1,000 child migrants from their parents since judge ordered stop to border separations

By Maria Sacchetti July 30 at 4:03 PM

Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union told a federal judge Tuesday that the Trump administration has taken nearly 1,000 migrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border since the judge ordered the United States government to curtail the practice more than a year ago.

In a lengthy court filing in U.S. District Court in San Diego, lawyers wrote that one migrant lost his daughter because a U.S. Border Patrol agent claimed that he had failed to change the girl’s diaper. Another migrant lost his child because of a conviction on a charge of malicious destruction of property with alleged damage of $5. One father, who lawyers say has a speech impediment, was separated from his 4-year-old son because he could not clearly answer Customs and Border Protection agents’ questions.

Acting Homeland Security secretary Kevin McAleenan has said that family separations remain “extraordinarily rare” and happen only when the adults pose a risk to the child because of their criminal record, a communicable disease, abuse or neglect. Of tens of thousands of children taken into custody at the border, 911 children were separated since the June 26, 2018, court order as of June 29, according to the ACLU, which cited statistics the organization received from the government as part of ongoing legal proceedings.

While the judge recognized that parents and children might still be separated when a parent is found to pose a risk to their child, the ACLU and others say federal immigration and border agents are splitting up families for minor alleged offenses — including traffic violations — and urged the judge Tuesday to clarify when such separations should be allowed.

Approximately 20 percent of the new separations affected children under 5 years old, the ACLU said, compared with about 4 percent last year.


Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/immigration/aclu-us-has-taken-nearly-1000-child-migrants-from-their-parents-since-judge-ordered-stop-to-border-separations/2019/07/30/bde452d8-b2d5-11e9-8949-5f36ff92706e_story.html

Border Patrol detains adults with no end - until lawyers sue

Source: Associated Press

Border Patrol detains adults with no end - until lawyers sue

July 30, 2019

HOUSTON (AP) — In early June, twin brothers from Guatemala let their sister in California know they were about to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. Then they vanished for almost a month.

She couldn’t find them in online databases and the local Guatemalan consulate had no information. She feared they had been kidnapped or killed.

It took three weeks to find them: inside jam-packed U.S. Border Patrol cells in South Texas, with no access to phones or lawyers. One of them was inside the fenced-in pens that Vice President Mike Pence visited in July. Only after the lawyers sued were both brothers transferred out.

It’s a pattern that immigration lawyers say has repeated itself for several weeks: Adults are detained in packed Border Patrol cells — malnourished, poorly treated and incommunicado — only to be moved within hours once the government is sued on their behalf.

One group of lawyers has filed lawsuits on behalf of the spouses, siblings and relatives of 18 migrants — all of whom were removed from their cells almost immediately.

The lawyers believe the government is trying to avoid a federal judge issuing a sweeping order that would require the release of potentially thousands of people detained by the Border Patrol or changes to improve the conditions in cells that government inspectors and advocates have said are squalid.


Read more: https://apnews.com/4a7225271a03434db2634c3ac95fdc60

The Arctic's on fire and now it's going to be hit by a heat wave

Also: Europe’s heat wave is about to bake the Arctic (Washington Post)


Source: ThinkProgress

The Arctic’s on fire and now it’s going to be hit by a heat wave

Things aren't looking good.

JUL 27, 2019, 10:20 AM

Europe’s historic heat wave is heading north this weekend, to the relief of the continent, but its path will send it right towards the Arctic — where it could speed up the melting of sea ice and coincide with devastating wildfires.

Unprecedented wildfires are currently raging across the Arctic Circle, with some the size of 100,000 football fields — so big they can be seen from space. Arctic sea ice is moreover already running at a record low this year; scientists worry a heat wave will only further exacerbate the area’s problems.

One week after the United States saw record-shattering high temperatures, the same fate befell Europe. On Thursday, Paris saw temperatures of 108.7 degrees Fahrenheit (42.6 degrees Celsius), a record high, with Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands also facing their own record days. The sweltering weather is the result of a heat dome that has allowed hot air to come north from the Sahara Desert, all while blocking cooler air from reaching people.

July is typically a warm month in much of the northern hemisphere, but climate scientists have connected the uptick in dangerously hot temperatures to global warming, with future years set to be much worse.


Read more: https://thinkprogress.org/arctic-fire-heat-wave-europe-climate-change-melting-bad-89735ea2c172/


Source: Washington Post

Europe’s heat wave is about to bake the Arctic

Concerns grow regarding sea ice and Greenland’s ice sheet.

By Andrew Freedman July 26 at 12:12 PM

On Friday, more temperature records are falling in Europe as the historic heat wave that brought the hottest weather ever recorded in Paris, London, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany shifts northward. In a few days, the weather system responsible for the heat wave will stretch all the way across the top of the globe.

It’s what this system, characterized by a strong area of high pressure aloft — often referred to as a heat dome — will do to the Arctic that has some scientists increasingly concerned.

Norway, Sweden and Finland will experience unusually high temperatures through the weekend, as a potentially record strong area of high pressure in the mid-levels of the atmosphere sets up over the region, blocking any cold fronts or other storm systems from moving into the area, like a traffic light in the sky.

Temperatures in parts of Scandinavia will reach into the 90s or higher, on the heels of an intense heat wave in 2018 that led to an outbreak of damaging wildfires.


Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/07/26/europes-heat-wave-is-about-bake-arctic/

Hundreds of black deaths in Red Summer ignored century later

Source: Associated Press

Hundreds of black deaths in Red Summer ignored century later

July 23, 2019

America in the summer of 1919 ran red with blood from racial violence, and yet today, 100 years later, not many people know it even happened.

It flowed in small towns like Elaine, Arkansas, in medium-size places such as Annapolis, Maryland, and Syracuse, New York, and in big cities like Washington and Chicago. Hundreds of African American men, women and children were burned alive, shot, lynched or beaten to death by white mobs. Thousands saw their homes and businesses burned to the ground and were driven out, many never to return.

It was branded “Red Summer” because of the bloodshed and amounted to some of the worst white-on-black violence in U.S. history.

Beyond the lives and family fortunes lost, it had far-reaching repercussions, contributing to generations of black distrust of white authority. But it also galvanized blacks to defend themselves and their neighborhoods with fists and guns; reinvigorated civil rights organizations like the NAACP and led to a new era of activism; gave rise to courageous reporting by black journalists; and influenced the generation of leaders who would take up the fight for racial equality decades later.

“The people who were the icons of the civil rights movement were raised by the people who survived Red Summer,” said Saje Mathieu, a history professor at the University of Minnesota.


Read more: https://apnews.com/d7830d62a99f4cdd8f0a0d08cefb92c5

In this 1919 photo provided by Chicago History Museum, a crowd of men and armed National Guard stand in front of the Ogden Cafe during race riots in Chicago. Red Summer, as the summer of 1919 came to be known, saw white-on-black violence in big cities like Washington and Chicago and small towns like Elaine, Ark., and Bisbee, Ariz. (Chicago History Museum/The Jun Fujita negatives collection via AP)

A white gang hunting African Americans during the Chicago race riot of 1919

WP Ed. Board: Trump attacks 'socialists' at home, but in Hong Kong he just sided with the Communists

Source: Washington Post

Trump attacks ‘socialists’ at home, but in Hong Kong he just sided with the Communists

By Editorial Board July 22 at 7:37 PM

CHINESE OFFICIALS and state media were in high dudgeon Monday about minor acts of vandalism following the latest mass demonstration in Hong Kong. Protesters who threw eggs at China’s liaison office and splashed ink on the state emblem “trample on the rule of law,” roared a front-page editorial in the People’s Daily.

Yet Beijing had little to say about the genuinely shocking incident that followed: an assault by an organized group of men on people returning from the demonstration. Journalists, an opposition legislator and bystanders were among at least 45 people savagely beaten with wooden canes and metal rods by thugs dressed in white — apparently to distinguish themselves from black-clad protesters. Police were slow to respond and took no action against the vigilantes.

The high-voltage rhetoric and ugly violence were signs that the regime of Xi Jinping is shedding restraints in its response to the mass movement that has emerged in Hong Kong this summer to defend the city’s autonomy and demand greater freedoms. It means that, more than ever, Hong Kong’s people need the support of established democracies.

Unfortunately, President Trump on Monday sided with the dictatorship. Asked to react to Sunday’s events, the president explicitly endorsed the Xi regime’s behavior. “I think President Xi has reacted very responsibly,” he told reporters. “He’s allowed [the protests] to go on for a long time.”

In essence, Mr. Trump all but offered Mr. Xi an invitation to crack down on a movement that is fighting for liberal values such as free speech and the rule of law. The protests began in reaction to a proposed extradition law that would have undermined Hong Kong’s independent courts and allowed China to pursue its enemies in the city. When the measure was shelved, the marches continued as opposition leaders called for an investigation of police violence.


Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/hong-kong-needs-support-from-democracies-trump-sided-with-the-dictatorship/2019/07/22/bbbe2e5e-ac9d-11e9-8e77-03b30bc29f64_story.html


This is far from the first time Trump has embraced a dictator's idea of order. He repeatedly call the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests a riot, not to mention his love affair with Kim Jong-un.

Census plaintiffs seek sanctions against Trump administration for trial 'fraud'

Source: Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Civil rights groups who successfully blocked the Trump administration from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. census are seeking sanctions against government officials, saying they brazenly hid the truth about the inquiry’s origins during trial.

In court papers filed on Tuesday, the American Civil Liberties Union asked New York federal Judge Jesse Furman to grant new discovery into the alleged misconduct, as well as monetary sanctions for the government’s “concerted campaign of delay and obfuscation” during trial last November.

The request follows President Donald Trump’s announcement last week that he would abandon plans to ask respondents to the 2020 census whether they are U.S. citizens, after the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the question in June.


They cited on Tuesday a laundry list of “false or misleading” testimonies that amounted to “fraud on the court,” perpetrated by U.S. Department of Commerce Deputy Chief of Staff Earl Comstock, Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore, Commerce attorney James Uthmeier, and U.S. Census Bureau official Christa Jones, among others.


July 16, 2019 / 7:03 PM / Updated 3 hours ago
Nick Brown

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-census-lawsuit/census-plaintiffs-seek-sanctions-against-trump-administration-for-trial-fraud-idUSKCN1UB2UB

SunTrust to stop financing companies that manage private prisons

Source: Reuters


SunTrust to stop financing companies that manage private prisons

Imani Moise

NEW YORK (Reuters) - SunTrust Banks Inc (STI.N) said on Monday it will not provide future financing to companies that manage private prisons and immigration holding facilities, becoming the latest lender to distance itself from a sector that has become tied to the Trump administration’s immigration policies.

“This decision was made after extensive consideration of the views of our stakeholders on this deeply complex issue,” the Atlanta-based company said in a statement.

SunTrust is one of several banks that have underwritten bonds or syndicated loans for at least one of the major private prison operators in the United States, CoreCivic Inc and GEO Group Inc.

In 2018, banks, including Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) and Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N), raised roughly $1.8 billion in debt over three deals for CoreCivic and GEO Group, according to Refinitiv data.


Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-suntrust-banks-prison/suntrust-to-stop-financing-companies-that-manage-private-prisons-idUSKCN1U31WV

Hungry, Scared and Sick: Inside the Migrant Detention Center in Clint, Tex.

Source: New York Times

Hungry, Scared and Sick: Inside the Migrant Detention Center in Clint, Tex.

An out-of-the-way border station in the desert outside of El Paso has become the epicenter of outrage over the Trump administration’s policies on the southwest border.


CLINT, Tex. — Since the Border Patrol opened its station in Clint, Tex., in 2013, it was a fixture in this West Texas farm town. Separated from the surrounding cotton fields and cattle pastures by a razor-wire fence, the station stood on the town’s main road, near a feed store, the Good News Apostolic Church and La Indita Tortillería. Most people around Clint had little idea of what went on inside. Agents came and went in pickup trucks; buses pulled into the gates with the occasional load of children apprehended at the border, four miles south.

But inside the secretive site that is now on the front lines of the southwest border crisis, the men and women who work there were grappling with the stuff of nightmares.

Outbreaks of scabies, shingles and chickenpox were spreading among the hundreds of children who were being held in cramped cells, agents said. The stench of the children’s dirty clothing was so strong it spread to the agents’ own clothing — people in town would scrunch their noses when they left work. The children cried constantly. One girl seemed likely enough to try to kill herself that the agents made her sleep on a cot in front of them, so they could watch her as they were processing new arrivals.

“It gets to a point where you start to become a robot,” said a veteran Border Patrol agent who has worked at the Clint station since it was built. He described following orders to take beds away from children to make more space in holding cells, part of a daily routine that he said had become “heartbreaking.”


Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/07/06/us/migrants-border-patrol-clint.html

Social security workers call new Trump administration contract 'union-busting'

Source: The Guardian

Social security workers call new Trump administration contract ‘union-busting’

New contract will reduce the time allotted to employees for union activity from 250,000 hours annually to 50,000

Michael Sainato
Wed 3 Jul 2019 07.00 BST Last modified on Wed 3 Jul 2019 07.03 BST

Workers at the Social Security Administration (SSA) say that the Trump administration has imposed a new contract on their 45,000 workers that could effectively shut down their union and are warning that the same thing could be tried elsewhere in the federal government as part of a crackdown on the labor movement.

A federal panel, consisting mainly of Trump-appointed members, issued a decision in May to impose a new union contract for the 45,000 federal employees at the SSA. The move came despite a federal judge’s decision last year to strike down most provisions in similarly issued orders for violating collective bargaining rights for federal employees.

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), says the new contract the panel decided to impose chronically hampers its work at the agency, which mainly pays out retirement and disability benefits. The SSA is the first major federal agency up for a union contract renewal since Donald Trump’s executive orders were issued last year, and it is the AFGE’s second-largest bargaining unit.

“If the agency is successful in implementing this panel order, it will decimate our ability to represent workers all over the country,” said Rich Couture, an agency employee for more than 30 years and the union’s chief negotiator.

The provisions in the new contract will reduce the time allotted to SSA employees for union activity from 250,000 hours annually to 50,000 hours and ban all workers from using government property to conduct union activities, such as office spaces and government emails and holding files on government computers or in offices. It will also grant management the discretion to eliminate remote work.


Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jul/03/social-security-agency-union-contract-trump-administration

Ocasio-Cortez says dispute with Border Patrol agents started after one tried to take a 'stealth self

Source: Washington Post

Ocasio-Cortez says dispute with Border Patrol agents started after one tried to take a ‘stealth selfie’

By Katie Mettler July 2 at 10:42 AM

After a day spent tweeting about the behavior of Border Patrol agents and the facilities they manage, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) took to the platform again late Monday night to respond to accusations in a news report that she “screamed” at officers in a “threatening manner” while touring one Texas site with other members of Congress.

The report in the Washington Examiner quoted two unnamed witnesses who claimed that they, along with 40 other people, saw Ocasio-Cortez “crying and screaming and yelling” at a Border Patrol facility in El Paso. The report claimed that agents wanted to respond but were held back because she is a lawmaker.

“To these CBP officers saying they felt ‘threatened by me,’ ” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted in response. “ . . . They confiscated my phone, and they were all armed. I’m 5’4”. They’re just upset I exposed their inhumane behavior.”

In a statement Tuesday, the congresswoman’s communications office called the Examiner’s report an “inaccurate depiction of events.”

“The Congresswoman spoke sternly to a CBP agent that tried to take a stealth selfie with the Congresswoman in a mocking manner, despite the gravity of the situation,” the statement said.


Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/07/02/ocasio-cortez-says-dispute-with-border-patrol-agents-started-after-one-tried-take-stealth-selfie/

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