Things That Matter

Sen. Lindsey Graham Is Proposing A New Bill To Hold Minors In Asylum For 100 Days And Twitter Slapped Him With The Best Hashtag

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham has introduced legislation aimed at changing the asylum seeking process. Specifically, Sen. Graham’s new bill would target Central American migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border to legally seek asylum. Many of the Central American migrants are fleeing deadly discrimination, sexual exploitation, and rampant gang violence. Sen. Graham’s bill seeks to make asylum a harder and lengthier process.

Sen. Lindsey Graham is setting his sights on Central American migrants with his newly proposed legislation.

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Sen. Graham’s bill would single out Central American migrants who are arriving at the border in the four following ways:

  • The bill would end the practice of asylum seekers applying for asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border. Instead, migrants must apply for asylum in their home countries and wait for approval before traveling to the U.S.
  • His bill allows for unaccompanied minors to be sent back to their home countries. Reportedly, the unaccompanied minors would be treated like minors from Mexico and Canada.
  • Graham’s bill will allow for children to be jailed in immigration detention centers for 100 days. Currently, children can only be held for 20 days before being released to relatives they have in the U.S.
  • There is also a portion of the bill calling for 500 more immigration judges to be hired across the country.

Sen. Graham addressed reporters when he unveiled his legislation.

Graham still believes that a wall is needed on the southern border and his bill is meant to work with the wall.

“We need the wall,” Graham told reporters, according to Reuters. “A wall will not fix this.” He added: “You need to deal with the magnets and loopholes in the law that entice people to come who want to get caught.”

According to Graham, he believes that security along the border must be increased to avoid people crossing illegally. He claims that his bill would help end the humanitarian crisis at the border.

There is already growing opposition to the proposed bill.

“Under our laws, if you come as a family unit and you come with a minor child, we can only hold the family for 20 days because we don’t want to separate the family,” Graham told reporters. “ We release the entire family after 20 days. So word is out on the street in Central America that if you bring a minor child with you, your chance of being deported is almost zero, and your hearing date is years away, and we release you inside the country.”

The announcement was met with #LindseyGrahamResign tweets.

Graham is up for re-election in 2020. Constituents in South Carolina are letting the senator know how they feel about the proposed legislation. The call for resignation over the new immigration bill is a growing movement following elected officials like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calling for Graham’s resignation.

Fellow elected officials have been calling on Graham to resign after he told Donald Trump Jr. to ignore a subpoena.

Trump Jr. has been subpoenaed by the Senate Intel Committee to testify about the president’s involvement with Russia during the campaign. Since the Mueller investigation ended, elected officials are calling for a public release that the Trump administration keeps blocking. Many speculate that Trump is fearful of what is in the Mueller report.

VIDEO: Father Begs Son To Forgive Him After They Were Separated At The Border While Seeking Asylum In The U.S.

One Day After A Texas Sheriff Called Undocumented Immigrants ‘Drunks,’ His Son Is Arrested For Public Intoxication

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One Day After A Texas Sheriff Called Undocumented Immigrants ‘Drunks,’ His Son Is Arrested For Public Intoxication

A Texas sheriff is eating his words after his bigotted comments came back to bite him in the worst way.

A day after Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn referred to undocumented immigrants as “drunks” who would “run over” children, his own son was reportedly arrested on charges of public intoxication. It has also been revealed that his son Sergei Waybourn has been arrested before. In 2018 he was charged with assault and in recent years he was arrested for trespassing and theft.

Sheriff Waybourn’s comments sparked controversy when he spoke against undocumented immigrants at a press conference in Washington.

Last Thursday, the sheriff spoke at the conference alongside Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Matthew Albence. Speaking in response to a ruling by a federal California judge made last month that imposed restrictions on ICE’s use of “detainers,” Waybourn underlined the consequences of releasing illegal immigrants with DWI and other crimes.

U.S. District Judge André Birotte Jr.’s decision barred ICE from using online database searches to find and detain people based. Recently, the ACLU stated that since 2008, 2 million US citizens have been illegally detained because of such searches.

Waybourn pointed to his charge of inmates to give examples of high rates of repeat offenders. “If we have to turn them loose or they get released, they’re coming back to your neighborhood and my neighborhood,” Waybourn said according to New York Post. “These drunks will run over your children, and they will run over my children.”

After his comments, the national president of the League of United Latin American Citizens called for Waybourn’s resignation.

According to Dallas Morning News, Domingo Garcia said Waybourn ought to “resign and apologize for his bigoted comments immediately.”

In response, Waybourne said his comments had been taken out of contexts and his office released a statement saying that “Sheriff Waybourn was not referring to all legal or illegal immigrants when making his comments about DWI/DWI repeat offenders. He was speaking toward the charges of DWI and DWI repeat offender in the context of illegal immigration.”

In response to the news of his son’s arrest, the sheriff said he is “deeply saddened by Sergei’s choices.”

According to WFAA, he said that “It has been many years since he disassociated from our family. We, along with many family members have made efforts over the years to help him – all to no avail. It is always sad when drugs take control of a person’s life. His choices and actions have lead to this situation.”

Immigration Advocates Are Sounding The Alarm Over Trump’s Decision To Collect DNA Samples From Asylum Seekers

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Immigration Advocates Are Sounding The Alarm Over Trump’s Decision To Collect DNA Samples From Asylum Seekers

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In 2005, the DNA Fingerprint Act updated a former law‚ the DNA Identification Act of 1994, which denied authorities to obtain DNA from “arrestees who have not been charged in an indictment or information with a crime, and DNA samples that are voluntarily submitted solely for elimination purposes, from being included in the National DNA Index System.” In other words, the DNA Fingerprint Act was revised to protect the privacy rights of immigrantsIn 2010, the DNA Fingerprint Act was again revised because of then-Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, who said government agencies didn’t have the resources back then to gather DNA from “migrants in custody who weren’t facing criminal charges or those pending deportation proceedings,” so another clause was put in place for them. Now, in another move in the attack on migrants, the Trump Administration wants to change that. 

The Trump Administration is continuing forward with its push to collect DNA samples from every migrant person that enters the U.S.

Credit: @nytimes / Twitter

According to the New York Times, “a homeland security official said in a call with reporters on Wednesday that the exemption [put in place in 2010] was outdated, and that it was time to eliminate it.” That statement means the government now has resources to sort through and gather DNA, which it didn’t have in 2010. But that assumption is a stark contradiction since border agents, and immigration officials are severely understaffed

Immigration advocates are calling foul on this tactic by the Trump Administration who continues to criminalize migrants who are seeking asylum. Once their DNA is in the system, they will forever be recorded as felons.

Credit: @jherrerx / Twitter

“That kind of mass collection alters the purpose of DNA collection from one of criminal investigation basically to population surveillance, which is basically contrary to our basic notions of a free, trusting, autonomous society,” Vera Eidelman, a staff lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, told The New York Times

The government began collecting DNA from migrants starting this summer.

Credit: @CREWcrew / Twitter

At some point, this summer border agents began collecting DNA from migrants in order to verify whether or not they were related to the people they were traveling with. Agents were trying to prove whether family units entering the country together were actually related or traveling under false information. The DNA they gathered at the point was just to show family DNA. 

“This was really an investigative tool in attacking the fraudulent family phenomenon,” an ICE official said to CNN about the operation that began this summer. “We’re interested in using this as a tactical law enforcement tool, one of many, to be deployed when looking at a potential fraudulent family scenario.”

This new type of DNA that the administration is aiming to get would provide more extensive information and also would not be shared with other law enforcement agencies.

Credit: @YouGovUS / Twitter

The problem here lies with privacy concerns. For example, if an immigration official gathers DNA information from a migrant who entered the country illegally only to be given asylum later — because the court process takes a very long time — that person, who has the option of becoming a U.S. citizen at some point now has a criminal stain on their record for the rest of their life. 

Writer Kelly Hayes wrote an extensive Twitter thread that exposes the extensive damage and intrusion this form of DNA gathering will have for years to come. 

Credit: @kejames / Twitter

“A DNA registry for migrants,” Hayes tweeted. “Imagine the ugly possibilities of having a marginalized group of people that large cataloged according to their DNA, and that catalog being in the hands of the state. I know folks are focused on Ukraine, but this is a whole thing. We’re talking about hundreds of thousands of people, including children. With evolving technologies, the potential surveillance applications of a massive DNA registry are ominous AF.”

It’s unclear when this DNA collection will officially begin, even though the New York Times reports that Homeland Security officials have already said they have the right to get DNA from migrants. However, the Supreme Court has already ruled undocumented people have rights just as U.S. citizens do. 

“Though the Supreme Court has found that the constitutional right to privacy applies to everyone within the United States, regardless of their immigration status, a more restrictive interpretation of the Fourth Amendment has been applied within a 100-mile zone of the border, where suspicionless searches are allowed, even of American citizens,” the Times reports. And yet we already know some attorneys are trying to fight that the Fourth Amendment doesn’t apply to undocumented people

READ: A City Claims A Family Can’t Sue Over A Wrongful Death Because Undocumented People Don’t Have Rights Under Constitution