Things That Matter

The Trump Administration Is Quietly Trying To Undo The Flores Agreement To Indefinitely Detain Children

In 1985, there was a class action lawsuit against the federal government on behalf of unaccompanied minors being held in custody by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). In 1997, it was finally ruled that children held in detention centers could only be there for a limited of time.

Under the Flores Agreement: “Where the INS determines that the detention of the minor is not required either to secure his or her timely appearance before the INS or the immigration court, or to ensure the minor’s safety or that of others, the INS shall release a minor from its custody without unnecessary delay.”

But that may soon change.

The Trump administration wants to do away with the Flores Agreement in order for children to remain in detention centers for a longer period of time, possibly indefinitely.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement that their proposal will be a “basic purpose” of the Flores Agreement, and adds that children will be treated with “dignity, respect, and special concern for their particular vulnerability as minors.”

“Today, legal loopholes significantly hinder the Department’s ability to appropriately detain and promptly remove family units that have no legal basis to remain in the country,” Nielsen said. “This rule addresses one of the primary pull factors for illegal immigration and allows the federal government to enforce immigration laws as passed by Congress.”

As of now, children are only allowed to remain in detention for 20 days unless they opt out.

The original agreement says that children (accompanied or not) who do not pose a flight risk can be released with their families while they await immigration proceedings. Now, under the new proposal, the kids and the families will remain in detention until their case is closed, which means they either gain asylum or get deported.

“The Trump administration has been whittling away at the basic rights of women and children since they came into office,” Michelle Brané, director of the migrant rights and justice program at the Women’s Refugee Commission told The New York Times. “Efforts to weaken or eliminate basic child protection standards by calling them a burden or loopholes, and eliminating their obligations for the basic care of children, is just another example of the administration’s abdication of human rights.”

Immigrant rights organizations are already promising lawsuits if the protections are rescinded.

“We will oppose in court any effort to terminate the Flores settlement unless and until the Government proposes regulations that provide for the safe and humane treatment of detained children and that are fully consistent with the terms of the settlement we negotiated in 1997,” President of the Los Angeles-based Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law, Peter Schey, said to NPR.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) agreed with that sentiment. Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, had this reaction: “It is sickening to see the United States government looking for ways to jail more children for longer. That’s the complete opposite of what we should be doing — and it’s yet another example of the Trump administration’s hostility toward immigrants resulting in a policy incompatible with the most basic human values.”


READ: The US Government Is Questioning The Citizenship Of Some Latinos Along The Texas/Mexico Border

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Mount Rushmore Could Soon Get A Big Change If Donald Trump Gets His Way

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Mount Rushmore Could Soon Get A Big Change If Donald Trump Gets His Way

Saul Loeb / Getty Images

Few monuments are more American than Mount Rushmore. It’s a giant rock face carved into the likeness of four U.S. presidents. It’s massive, over-the-top, and was completely unnecessary. Not to mention the monument was built on land seized from Native Americans just years after being given to tribes as a reservation.

Despite this sordid history (or maybe because of it), Donald Trump has repeatedly made light of adding his face to the world-famous sculpture. And according to new reports, the White House has actually asked officials in South Dakota what the process would look like to have an additional president added to the monument.

The White House allegedly asked about having Donald Trump’s face added to the monument in South Dakota.

Over the weekend, the New York Times reported a Republican party official stated that a White House aide reached out to South Dakota’s governor’s, Kristi Noem, office with the question: “What’s the process to add additional presidents to Mount Rushmore.

The question apparently came up after, according to reports, the governor had greeted Trump on his recent visit to South Dakota with a 4-feet tall replica of the monument that already included his face as a fifth element.

Ok…what would that even look like? Is it possible?

Thanks to the angle of some of the photographs taken when Trump visited the memorial in July, it isn’t necessary to Photoshop what it might look like. Trump posed in such a way that he effectively added himself as a fifth figure on the monument. But just in case you wondering – people have already taken to Twitter to share their mockups of an altered Mount Rushmore.

In June, Mount Rushmore National Memorial chief of interpretation and education, Maureen McGee-Ballinger, told the Sioux Falls Argus Leader that it was not possible to add a fifth president to the monument.

“The rock that surrounds the sculpted faces is not suitable for additional carving. When Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor of Mount Rushmore died in 1941, his son Lincoln Borglum closed down the project and stated that no more carvable rock existed,” McGee-Ballinger, whose office is part of the National Park Service.

In addition, Borglum chose those four presidents specifically “to represent the first 150 years of the history of the United States — the birth, growth and preservation of our country” – and “not to represent the individuals themselves.”

Over the years, many have called to add President Reagan or President Obama with little success. The addition of any of those presidents, or Trump, would be certain to ignite a political firestorm and infuriate their critics. On top of the partisan uproar it would be sure to cause, it would also likely meet with objection from Native American leaders, who have long decried the monument because it was built on land given to American Indian tribes through the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 before being seized by the federal government less than a decade later.

For his part, Trump has repeatedly denied the reports but when was Trump ever known for telling the truth?

As soon as the New York Times report came out, Donald Trump quickly tweeted a denial. However, he added that it would be a great idea, given his many accomplishments in office. When asked about the report, White House officials did not deny that it had taken place, and instead replied that Mount Rushmore is a federal, not state, monument.

However, let’s be clear, this isn’t the first time the president has raised the question of having himself added to the monument. During their first meeting when she was a Congresswoman, Kristi Noem (who is now governor of South Dakota) said he mentioned the idea. Trump allegedly told her it was “his dream” to have his face on Mount Rushmore. Later that year, Trump raised it again – this time in public, at a rally in Youngstown, Ohio, in July.

Trump obviously has an obsession with having his face added to the monument – even if experts agree that it wouldn’t be physically possible.

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Here Are Some Key Take-Aways From President Trump’s Disastrous Axios Interview

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Here Are Some Key Take-Aways From President Trump’s Disastrous Axios Interview

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

President Donald Trump recently did an interview with journalist Jonathan Swan for Axios and it was very bizarre. From bragging that the U.S. has a death rate lower than the world’s to claiming to have done more for African-Americans than John Lewis, the interview went off the rails from the beginning.

President Donald Trump’s latest interview is a wild ride in the worst way.

The president of the United States used an interview with Axios to try to push his narratives. From Covid to Ghislaine Maxwell to John Lewis to Russia, President Trump managed to spout a series of conspiracy theories and questionable statements. The interview has left many scratching their heads in disbelief.

One of the most bizarre moments is when Trump produced incoherent charts trying to change the Covid response narrative.

First, President Trump tells Jonathan Swan that the average 1,000 daily deaths and daily 65,000 infections “is what it is.” The president further argued that the country was doing everything it could to get it as under control as possible.

President Trump also tried to continue pushing the false narrative that the U.S. is doing the best with testing. As it stands, it takes days for some people to get their test results back, which makes contact tracing difficult. Contact tracing is one of the most important tools to control the virus that has already killed more than 155,000 people in the U.S.

On Representative John Lewis, President Trump was less than kind.

When asked how history would remember him for not attending Rep. John Lewis’ funeral, Trump began about how Rep. Lewis didn’t attend his inauguration. In fact, Trump called is a “big mistake.” He continued by saying Rep. Lewis should have attended his State of the Union speeches as well.

The truly stunning moment was President Trump diminishing the important contributions Rep. Lewis made to this country. Instead of acknowledging Rep. Lewis’ hard-won victories for African-Americans.

“I did more for the Black community than anybody with the possible exemption of Abraham Lincoln,” President Trump claimed. “Whether you like it or not.”

“You believe that you did more than Lyndon Johnson who passed the Civil Rights Act,” Swan asked in disbelief.

“Yeah because I got prison reform,” Trump shot back. He then continued asking Swan how the Civil Rights Acts has worked out.

He also doubled down on his comments wishing Ghislaine Maxwell well.

Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested for her role in the Jeffery Epstein child sex ring. When first asked by reporters, President Trump wished her well and acknowledged that he knew her and met her several times when living in Florida. When Swan told him that she had been arrested on charges of child sex trafficking, Trump acted obliviously.

President Trump said he wasn’t sure about that fact almost trying to ignore the facts. Swan pushed back reminding Trump that Maxwell was indeed in prison for child sex trafficking. Ignoring Swan Trump says he wishes her well because of Epstein’s death.

You can watch the full 37-minute interview below.

Get comfy. It’s a wild ride, y’all.

READ: The Trump Administration Raised Fees For Immigration Cases Including For Refugees

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