Things That Matter

The Trump Administration Announced A New Policy To Separate Children From Parents Who Cross The US-Mexico Border

The Trump Administration said this week that the administration is rolling out a policy to separate families who illegally enter the country in an attempt to curb illegal entry into the United States. Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivered the announcement at a law enforcement event in Scottsdale, Arizona on the same day First Lady Melania Trump delivered a speech calling for more kindness to children. The decision will take all children from people crossing the border and putting them in foster care.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said families caught entering the U.S. illegally will not remain together in detention centers.

“We are dealing with a massive influx of illegal aliens across our Southwest border,” Sessions said in a press conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, according to NBC News. “But we’re not going to stand for this.”

He also added that people attempting to bring in an undocumented child will also be prosecuted.

“If you are smuggling a child then we will prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you as required by law,” Sessions said. “If you don’t like that, then don’t smuggle children over our border.”

The Department of Homeland Security said agents have been separating families already. Since last October, 700 children have been separated from their parents.

“I want to be clear. DHS does not have a blanket policy on separating families as a deterrent,” Thomas Homan, deputy director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), said according to NBC News. “There is no new policy. This has always been the policy. But you will see more prosecutions because of the commitment to zero tolerance” of illegal border entries.”

The aim of the Trump Administration is to prosecute every single person that enters illegally.

“If you cross this border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you. It’s that simple,” said Sessions, who has sent more prosecutors and immigration attorneys to the Southwest in preparation.

While the Trump Administration says there’s an increase in incoming undocumented immigrants, studies say otherwise.

“Yes, we have this spike in Central Americans. But the overall undocumented flow is at historic lows,” Seth Stodder, a former assistant secretary of Homeland Security in the Obama administration, said to the New York Times. “We are not facing a ‘massive influx’ of undocumented migrants coming across the US-Mexico border. In fact, the opposite is true — undocumented migrant crossings are at historic lows, with border apprehensions around 20 percent of what they were around the time of the 9/11 attacks.”

However, separating families seems to be backfiring on the Trump Administration.

There are currently an estimated 1,500 undocumented children that are uncounted for in the U.S. refugee system.

The federal Office of Refugee Resettlement is the program that was created to take in the incoming undocumented children that are separated from their families. They’re in charge of providing foster care for the children. However, out of the 7,635 children that have been placed in foster care, only 6,075 of them are still with their foster parents. That means almost 1,500 have either “run away, been deported, or been placed with a different family,” the Associated Press reports.


READ: The Migrant Caravan Arrived In Tijuana And Await Asylum Despite Being Told They’re At Capacity

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Sheriff Joe Has Lost His Race To Get Back His Old Job But How Was He Able To Run At All?

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Sheriff Joe Has Lost His Race To Get Back His Old Job But How Was He Able To Run At All?

Ross D Franklin / Getty Images

America’s ‘toughest sheriff’ and blatantly racist law enforcement officials has been defeated in race for sheriff. But what’s shocking is just how close the race was for a man who was arrested and convicted of racially profiling Latinos only to then be pardoned by Trump.

And it appeared that Arpaio had zero remorse for his controversial and damaging policies. In the run up to the election, he vowed to continue his controversial policing tactics with policies that included housing county jail inmates in tents and regular immigration sweeps. 

Running to get back his old job, Joe Arpaio has lost his primary bid for Maricopa County Sheriff.

America’s self-confessed “toughest sheriff”, Joe Arpaio, was narrowly defeated in his bid to win back the sheriff’s post in metro Phoenix that he held for 24 years before being voted out in 2016 amid voter frustrations over his taxpayer-funded legal bills, blatant racism, his penchant for self-promotion and a defiant streak that led to his now-pardoned criminal conviction.

In the latest count from Tuesday’s primary, announced on Friday, Arpaio lost the primary to his long time aide, Jerry Sheridan. Mr. Sheridan had secured about 37 percent of the vote in a three-way race, compared to Mr. Arpaio’s 36 percent — a difference of 6,280 votes out of more than 420,000 cast, with only 2,385 ballots remaining to be counted.

For Mr. Arpaio, 88, the loss on Tuesday was his third electoral defeat in four years. After losing his 2016 re-election bid, he suffered a resounding loss in a three-way Republican primary for a U.S. Senate seat in 2018.

Mr. Arpaio said in an interview on Friday that this year’s race was his last run for public office, adding that his age and record as sheriff were working against him.

“They were tired of me and tired of my office,” he said.

So who is the Republican who won the primary?

Voters instead backed Jerry Sheridan, Arpaio’s former chief deputy, who promised to revive many of the sheriff’s racist and anti-immigrant policies but without the showmanship.

Mr. Sheridan was found guilty of civil contempt of court and a judge referred him for criminal contempt charges, though prosecutors later said the statute of limitations prevented them from bringing charges. A related complaint with the state board that certifies police officers languished until Mr. Sheridan’s certification expired this year.

In November’s general election, Sheridan will face current Sheriff Paul Penzone, the Democrat who beat Arpaio four years ago. And most political observers say Penzone is the favorite in the general election.

His campaign put out a statement after Arpaio’s defeat.

“With the primary race for Maricopa County Sheriff officially concluding tonight, Arizona Democrats reaffirm our commitment to protecting the Latino community from the likes of Joe Arpaio’s former number two, Jerry Sheridan, who was found in contempt of court and will double down on Arpaio’s disturbing legacy that embarrassed our state and cost taxpayers millions of dollars,” said Matt Grodsky, spokesman for the Arizona Democratic Party. 

“Arizona’s largest county is better off under the leadership of Sheriff Penzone, a leader with a legacy of accountability, committed to building community trust,” he added. “We know voters will stick with him this November.”

Arpaio had long harassed Latinos and made life a living hell in Arizona for migrant communities.

Credit: Ross D Franklin / Getty Images

Arpaio rose to national prominence thanks to his blatantly racist, anti-immigrant, and illegal policies as ‘America’s toughest sheriff.’ During his tenure, he housed inmates in tents, forced them to wear pink underwear and brought back chain gangs. His department conducted sweeps of undocumented immigrants in Hispanic communities and detained Spanish-speakers under suspicion of being in the country irregularly. 

Then in 2011, Arpaio was convicted of deliberately violating an injunction halting his practice of detaining migrants who are not suspected of having committed a state crime. Only federal officers have jurisdiction over immigration. He faced six months in jail but was benefited by President Donald Trump’s first presidential pardon.

This year’s primary by Arpaio exploited racial tensions and pushed a tough-on-crime message amid a nationwide movement to stop police abuses against people of color. His rebuke from Republican voters could be an ominous sign for the president, who is trailing Biden in the polls in Arizona.

Arpaio is a close ally of Trump’s and was one of his first supporters in 2015, and his fall from grace mirrors the struggle that the president faces among suburban Republican voters in Arizona, a traditionally conservative state that is seen as up for grabs in this year’s presidential election.

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

Things That Matter

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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