Things That Matter

The Dangerous Way Trump Wants To Deal With Undocumented Immigrants And Their Children

After strong backlash from Democrats, Republicans and the general public, President Donald Trump agreed to reverse his administration’s zero tolerance policy that called to separate families that tried to cross the border illegally.

“We’re going to have strong — very strong — borders, but we are going to keep the families together,” Trump said on June 20 at the Oval Office. “I didn’t like the sight or the feeling of families being separated.”

The president spoke at the press conference about having compassion for the families, some of which are trying to gain asylum.

However, we’ve gotten a better sense of how the Trump Administration is planning to deal with the undocumented immigrants in detention centers, away from their children, and the incoming undocumented immigrants that attempt to cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

This is how the Trump Administration plans to reunite an estimated 2,000-2,400 kids with their undocumented parents.

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Three days after Trump officially said that he would reverse his own policy of separating families, his administration released information that details how they would go about reuniting them.

All reunifications will take place at the Port Isabel Service Processing Center in Los Fresnos, Texas. Parents are informed that they can locate, and/or communicate with their child by calling the Detention Reporting and Information Line for assistance, which is staffed Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

“The information provided by these parents to the call operators will be forwarded to Health and Human Services (HHS) for action,” the Office of Public Affairs states. “Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and HHS will coordinate a review of their custodial data to identify where each child is located, verify the parent/child relationship, and set up regular communication and removal coordination, if necessary.”

Furthermore, ICE has completed the following steps toward reunification:

“Implemented an identification mechanism to ensure on-going tracking of linked family members throughout the detention and removal process;

Designated detention locations for separated parents and will enhance current processes to ensure communication with children in HHS custody;

Work closely with foreign consulates to ensure that travel documents are issued for both the parent and child at time of removal; and

Coordinate with HHS for the reuniting of the child prior to the parents’ departure from the United States.”

That last sentence is where things get a bit complicated.

Reuniting families is only for adults that have agreed to be deported.

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“The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and HHS have a process established to ensure that family members know the location of their children and have regular communication after separation to ensure that those adults who are subject to removal are reunited with their children for the purposes of removal.”

All of that means that if parents want to fight to gain asylum–which can take years–they will not be reunited with their children. If they wish to reunite with their children, they have to agree to return to their native country as a family unit.

The Office of Public Affairs also makes a point that some adults choose to be deported but not with their children. That means their kids will remain in U.S. custody until their court proceedings.

“We have people in there who are considering not continuing on with really strong asylum claims because they think they’ll get reunited with their kids faster if they give up their claim,” civil-rights lawyer Sirine Shebaya told the Washington Post.

This doesn’t mean all of the children in a U.S. immigration detention facility will ultimately be reunited with their family. The New York Times reports that thousands may continue to be processed without any family member.

One of the biggest factors that seems to concern President Trump is how much time and effort undocumented immigrants put on the judicial system. In order for undocumented immigrants to be properly processed, whether they are claiming asylum or being deported, they must still go through the courts and be processed as the law requires. But Trump would rather do away with all of that.

On June 23, a day after the reunification details were released, Trump tweeted that undocumented immigrants should be deported without due process.

Twitter/@wsbtv

“We cannot allow all of these people to invade our Country. When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came,” the president tweeted. “Our system is a mockery to good immigration policy and Law and Order. Most children come without parents. Our Immigration policy, laughed at all over the world, is very unfair to all of those people who have gone through the system legally and are waiting on line for years! Immigration must be based on merit — we need people who will help to Make America Great Again!”

According to ABC News, Trump alleges that he’s been proposed to hire 5,000 judges in order to meet the needs of the influx of undocumented immigrants.

“They came into see me last week they said we’d like to hire 5,000 more judges. 5,000, have you heard of a thing like that?” Trump said, according to ABC News. “Where do you find 5,000 people to be judges?”

In response to Trump’s tweet about doing away with due process for undocumented immigrants, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said: “What President Trump suggested here is both illegal and unconstitutional. Any official who has sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution and laws should disavow it unequivocally.”

By denying people due process, the Trump administration would be able to act without court interference. Due process is vital to a democracy, even appearing twice in the U.S. Constitution. It guarantees everyone their fair day in court to argue their side of a case. Without due process, people do not have a chance to state their case before a judge.


READ: President Trump’s Executive Order To End Family Separations Could Mean Indefinite Detention For Migrant Children

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Five Migrant Girls Were Found Left Alone And Abandoned In The Texas Heat

Things That Matter

Five Migrant Girls Were Found Left Alone And Abandoned In The Texas Heat

This past March, according to El Pais, migrants crossed the Rio Grande at an all-time high not seen in the past 15 years. US government reports underlined that a total of 171,000 people arrived at the southern border of the United States in March. Eleven percent were minors who made the journey by themselves.

Reports say that this vulnerable group will continue to grow in size with recent shifts in the Biden administration child immigration policies. Five migrants girls recently found by the river recently became part of this group.

An onion farmer in Quemado recently reported that he found five migrant girls on his land.

The girls were each under the age of seven, the youngest was too small to even walk. Three of the girls are thought to be from Honduras, the other two are believed to have come from Guatemala.​ Jimmy Hobbs, the farmer who found the girls, said that he called the Border Patrol gave the children aid by giving them water and food and putting them in the shade.

“I don’t think they would have made it if I hadn’t found them,” Hobbs told US Rep. Tony Gonzalez (R-Texas) in a New York Post. “Because it got up to 103 yesterday.”

“My thoughts are that it needs to stop right now. There are going to be thousands. This is just five miles of the Rio Grande,” Hobbs’ wife added in their conversation with Gonzalez. “That’s a huge border. This is happening all up and down it. It can’t go on. It’s gonna be too hot. There’ll be a lot of deaths, a lot of suffering.” 

“It is heartbreaking to find such small children fending for themselves in the middle of nowhere,” Chief Border Patrol Agent Austin Skero II explained of the situation in an interview with ABC 7 Eyewitness News. “Unfortunately this happens far too often now. If not for our community and law enforcement partners, these little girls could have faced the more than 100-degree temperatures with no help.”

According to reports, the Customs and Border Protection stated that the five girls​ ​will be processed and placed in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services.​

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At Least 17 Dead And Hundreds Injured Following Massive Protests Across Colombia

Things That Matter

At Least 17 Dead And Hundreds Injured Following Massive Protests Across Colombia

A massive protest movement that swept across Colombia seems to have paid off – at least in the short term – as President Ivan Duque says that he will withdrawal the controversial tax plan that sent angry protesters into the streets. However, the protests claimed at least 17 victims who died during the unrest and hundreds more were injured.

Now that the president has withdrawn the controverial bill, many are wondering what’s next and will they have to take to the streets once again.

Massive protests claimed the lives of at least 17 people and hundreds more were injured across Colombia.

Unions and other groups kicked off marches on Wednesday to demand the government of President Ivan Duque withdraw a controversial tax plan that they say unfairly targets the most vulnerable Colombians.

Isolated vandalism, clashes between police and protesters and road blockades occurred in several cities on Saturday, and riot police were deployed in the capital.

Rights organization Human Rights Watch said it had received reports of possible police abuse in Cali, and local human rights groups alleged up to 17 deaths occurred.

After a week of protests, the government has shelved the controversial plan.

Faced with the unrest, the government of President Ivan Duque on Sunday ordered the proposal be withdrawn from Congress where it was being debated. In a televised statement, he said his government would work to produce new proposals and seek consensus with other parties and organizations.

President Duque, in his statement, acknowledged “it is a moment for the protection of the most vulnerable, an invitation to build and not to hate and destroy”.

“It is a moment for all of us to work together without paltriness,” he added. “A path of consensus, of clear perceptions. And it gives us the opportunity to say clearly that there will be no increase in VAT for goods and services.”

The tax reform had been heavily criticized for punishing the middle classes at a time of economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. The government introduced the bill on April 15 as a means of financing public spending. The aim was to generate $6.3 billion between 2022 and 2031 to reignite the fourth largest economy in Latin America.

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