Monday, July 30, 2018

We Won't Be Complicit

Children Stranded Because Trump/ICE Deported the Parents

Getty Images
SABRAW FOCUSES ON DEPORTED PARENTS: U.S. District Court Judge Dana Sabraw on Friday called for both parties in a class-action lawsuit over family separations to focus on the task of reuniting parents who were deported to their home countries or released into the United States.
"That's the most pressing group," Sabraw said, according to a transcript of proceedings. "And all efforts have to be made to identify and locate those parents and then to reunify as quickly as possible." The Justice Department said Friday that it had provided a list of 468 migrant parents outside the country to the ACLU, which represents the plaintiffs. A separate group of 35 parents released into the U.S. haven't been located, a DOJ attorney said Friday. Sabraw said that going forward both parties must "devote enormous resources" to the undertaking.
Sabraw praised the Trump administration's efforts to reunify families it deemed "eligible" before a July 26 deadline for children ages 5 to 17. The administration reunited at least 1,442 children with parents who were in custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to a court filing last week, while another 378 were connected with parents or sponsors in the U.S. or turned 18 while in custody. The majority of reunited families were released into the U.S., DOJ attorney Scott Stewart said in court.
But 650 children remain separated from their parents, Stewart said. The legal proceedings will now turn to these cases, which include children whose parents were deported and families that the administration deemed ineligible for reunification. Any contested cases will be addressed "on a rolling basis," Sabraw said. The judge said he will require weekly status reports every Thursday and telephonic conferences every Friday until the missing parents are located and other issues are resolved.
Eventually, Sabraw said, the proceedings will develop a protocol for DHS, DOJ and HHS to communicate with one another about separated families. "There has to be a structure in place, because family separation will continue for legitimate reasons," Sabraw said. "There are going to be people who keep coming into the country, and there are going to be apprehensions." 
What's next: Sabraw said that he soon will rule on an ACLU motion to delay deportations of reunited parents by seven days to allow them time to decide whether to leave their child in the U.S. The ACLU on Saturday filed an immigration attorney's declaration that alleged some parents may have been coerced into accepting a deportation. Read the transcript of Friday's hearing here.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Hundreds of Families Remain Separated

As Reunification Deadline Looms:
Hundreds of Families Remain Separated

Shortly before today's court-ordered deadline for the reunification of families separated at the border, only 1,442 children had been reunited with their parents--one in three children remains separated. Some 468 parents have already been deported and there are considerable fears they may not be reunited without their children.
During recent days, children and parents who had been transferred away from the border area have been moved back to the region in anticipation of reunification. The ACLU had filed a suit requesting that any deportations be delayed for a week so that parents who have been reunified with children can make decisions important decisions--including the possibility of having children remain in the U.S. with close family members so that the children, who have separate cases from the parents, could be considered for asylum.
120 parents reportedly "waived" their rights for reunification--this could mean they are allowing their children to file a separate case to see if they could remain in the U.S--or in some cases, the parents may have been confused about what they were signing.
In the meantime, reports continue to emerge:
378 children have been released to close family members or reunited wih families in other ways, or they could have turned 18 and "aged out".
The parents of over 700 children have been deemed "ineligible" to be reunited with their children due to "criminal" charges--which apparently include hundreds of parents charged with the "crime" of unlawful entry or re-entry. This number includes the parents who have already been deported, have other charges against them, or who had been released and can't be located. We have no information on all of the charges, nor is there information about what will happen to the children of these "ineligible" parents.
Some parents who have been deported have told lawyers that they felt coerced to sign documents for "voluntary" departure, and did not understand that their children would not go with them. Many parents simply did not understand the "options" presented to them by officials.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

DACA Workshop- English

DACA Workshop

Family Separation Cases

Ed Note: in the report below from Politico, they often use the term deported,  INS is apparently using the term in responding to the judge,  It is not clear if these family members were deported, or did they sign a Voluntary Departure and accept removal in order to allow access to their separated children.

In a federal courtroom on Tuesday night, attorneys representing the Trump administration told U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw that it has not yet identified the parents of nearly 40 of the separated migrant children in custody, and has not yet located and contact hundreds more. Of the more than 460 parents it says are no longer in the United States, it was unable to say how many were forcibly deported and how many signed “voluntary removal” papers, and how many were deported with their children versus alone.

REUNIFICATION OF DEPORTED PARENTS: "A federal judge ordered the Trump administration Tuesday to provide better information about migrant parents who may have been deported after they were separated from their children at the border," POLITICO's Ted Hesson reports. The Justice Department said in a court filing Monday that 463 of the parents were not in the United States. The group remains 'under review,' but could include parents who were deported or who agreed to depart the country without their child, DOJ attorney Sarah Fabian said in court Tuesday.
U.S. District Court Judge Dana Sabraw "ordered the Trump administration to provide lists by Wednesday of parents who were deported; who were released into the United States; and who waived reunification with their child after being split from them," POLITICO reports. "He added that the administration should note when it's unsure of a parent's whereabouts." Sabraw called the potentially errant information "a deeply troubling reality of the case" but demanded that the administration face that reality. "The sooner the plaintiffs have all that information, they can hopefully locate them and then a reunification can be in process down the road," he said.
"The chiding came as the Trump administration approaches a Thursday deadline — issued by Sabraw in late June — to reunify parents who were separated from children ages 5 to 17 at the border," Hesson reports. "The administration appears on track to reconnect 1,637 parents with their children by Thursday. The court's focus will then shift to the fate of 914 parents who are judged ineligible to join their children or who are 'not yet known to be eligible' — a group that includes deported parents." 
Whether the Trump administration has developed any processes to reunite deported parents with their children in the U.S. remains unclear. Lee Gelernt, an attorney with ACLU, which represents the plaintiffs in the class-action suit, noted Tuesday that even if the administration completes reunifications of all the parents it deems "eligible" by Thursday, that won't include deported parents and those it can't find. He added that the "eligible" list is based on administration decisions that are "unilateral" and "unchecked."
What's next: The ACLU will file a reply brief by 3 p.m. EDT (noon PDT) related to its motion last week to delay deportations of reunited parents by seven days. Both parties submit a status report Thursday and will be back in court Friday. Read more here.
Related read: "'What we were suffering for': Separated, then reunited, immigrant families face what comes next," from Michael Miller in the Washington Post. Find it here.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Family Separations Continue

BASS: FAMILY SEPARATIONS PERSIST: A group of House Democratic lawmakers on Friday criticized the continued separation of families at the border. The lawmakers, who visited detention and processing centers in Texas, said that the administration continued to take children away from their relatives. "All they have done is slightly change the policy," said Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) at a Friday evening press conference. "If it's a grandmother, or an aunt or an uncle, that does not qualify as family in this administration's eyes." Trump administration officials have said they continue to separate families in instances where there is a danger to a child or a question about parentage. Watch a livestream here.

Donde están los Ninos ?

The number of immigrant children being detained in Texas continues to rise. ThinkProgress:“The rising numbers come on the heels of administration claims that hundreds of families have been reunited. ThinkProgress: “A new report in The Texas Tribune found that despite a federal court order that immigrant children separated from their families be reunited with their parents, the number of of youngsters being detained in the state is on the rise. According to The Tribune, the number of children housed in Texas shelters rose from 4,919 on June 21 to 5,024 on July 13. This includes both immigrant children who arrived at the border unaccompanied and children that were separated from their families by federal authorities. The report says that there are applications for up to four additional shelters to be built in Texas. The shelters would be built to ‘care for unaccompanied boys and girls up to 17 years old or as young as infants.’ These findings come on the heels of the Trump administration’s claims that it has reunited hundreds of children with their families. The administration claims it currently has 2,551 immigrant children between the ages of 5 and 17 in its care who were separated from their parents under Trump’s zero-tolerance policy. So far, only 364 of those children have been reunited.”

Friday, July 20, 2018

Trump Admin Has Only reunited 14% of Children

Donde están los Niños ?

HEARING OVER FAMILY SEPARATIONS: Attorneys for the ACLU and the Trump administration will convene this afternoon to update a federal judge in San Diego on the status of reunifying thousands of migrant children and parents separated at the southwest border. U.S. District Court Judge Dana Sabraw ordered the administration to reunify families by July 26, a deadline now less than a week away.
The Trump administration said in a court filing Thursday night that 2,551 children ages 5-17 were separated from their parents at the border. Of those, 364 children were reunited with parents — just 14 percent. Meanwhile, the ACLU pressed the administration to turn over what it considers key information: names of parents who have been deported or released from custody, as well as those with final deportation orders. The parents with final removal orders, the ACLU argued, "may only have a matter of days to make the momentous decision whether to leave their child behind in the United States."
The Justice Department said in the Thursday filing that it intended to provide a list of deported parents by Friday and a list of released parents by Monday. The two sides meet in court at 4:30 p.m. ET (1:30 p.m. PT). Read more from POLITICO's Ted Hesson here.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Religious Leaders Condemn Family Separation

July 19, 2018
Dear Members of Congress,

As 500 faith leaders and 111 faith-based organizations across traditions, we write to express our unequivocal opposition to the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy that separates families and detains and prosecutes parents. We also stand against any proposal that would expand immigration detention, as family incarceration is not a solution to family separation. We are committed to humane immigration policies that reflect the values and expression of our faith to welcome the stranger and treat all human beings with dignity and respect. Instead of continuing unnecessary and immoral detention, deportation, and border militarization policies, we must carry on our nation’s proud history of hospitality and moral leadership.
As people of faith, our concern stems from shared values rooted in our sacred texts that remind us to love our neighbor and welcome the sojourner among us. As Leviticus 19:34 (CE) reminds us: “Any immigrant who lives with you must be treated as if they were one of your citizens. You must love them as yourself, because you were immigrants in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.”
In many faith traditions, family is the fundamental unit in society through which individuals are able to grow and experience the love of God. Many of our faith traditions also call on us to safeguard the well-being of children in particular. Tearing children away from their parents, absent a documented child protection concern, is unconscionable. Equally troubling is the inhumane and cruel expansion of family incarceration that is plagued with systemic abuse and life-threatening inadequate access to health and medical care, especially for children, pregnant or nursing mothers, and others with serious medical conditions.

Counties Cancel ICE Detention Contracts

Counties Cancel ICE Detention Contracts

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Hate Bias against Immigrants

Abuse motivated by hate and bias in U.S. immigration detention

Freedom for Immigrants (formerly known as CIVIC) released the first national study focusing on abuse motivated by hate and bias toward asylum seekers and other individuals in U.S. immigration detention.
“We are releasing this report at a critical moment in our nation’s history, when more parents and children are being thrown into immigrant prisons than ever before.  While the Trump administration is seeking to expand immigration detention by 15,000 new jails cells for mothers, fathers, and their children, abuse motivated by hate is flourishing with impunity,” said Christina Fialho, the co-founder/executive director of Freedom for Immigrants.
In its report, “Persecuted in U.S. Immigration Detention: A National Report on Abuse Motivated by Hate,” Freedom for Immigrants documented at least 800 complaints of abuse motivated by hate or bias in 34 immigrant jails and prisons since the inauguration of Donald Trump. For example, an individual detained in Southern Texas was called a “monkey” before being thrown into solitary confinement. In Louisiana, a woman reported that she received poor medical care as a result of her hijab and practicing her faith. A man detained in California reported not being let out of his cell and forced to shower in front of male officers due to his sexual orientation. As these stories show, often hateful language is accompanied by physical abuse, sexual harassment and denial of access to vital resources.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Judge Temporarily Halts Deportation of Reunified Families

Donde Están los Niños ?

JUDGE HALTS DEPORTATIONS OF REUNIFIED FAMILIES: U.S. District Court Judge Dana Sabraw on Monday issued a temporary freeze on deportations of migrant parents who have been reunified with their children, POLITICO's Ted Hesson reports. 
The ACLU, which represents plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit over the separations, called on the judge earlier in the day to halt deportations of parents for seven days from the date of reunification. The Justice Department opposed that, and Sabraw ruled that deportations of parents must stop pending the resolution of the matter. The DOJ will have until July 23 (next Monday) to file a response.
The judge also vacated an earlier order that required the administration to provide the ACLU with 12-hour advance notice for every parent-child reunification. Sabraw said providing an initial list of "cleared" parents would be sufficient, but that the government should inform the plaintiffs of an imminent reunification when possible. 
Sabraw — who blasted a Friday court filing from Chris Meekins, deputy assistant secretary of preparedness and response for HHS — appeared satisfied with an updated reunification plan that HHS issued Sunday. The federal judge also praised Commander Jonathan White, a department official who traveled to San Diego to answer the judge's criticisms. "I have every confidence that you are the right person to do this," Sabraw told White in court. "When I hear your testimony and look at the plan, it provides a great deal of comfort."
What's next: The parties must submit a status report by Thursday at 6 p.m. EDT (3 p.m. PDT). They'll meet next in court on Friday at 4:30 p.m. EDT (1:30 p.m. PDT). Read more here.
Related case: U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman ordered the Trump administration on Monday to keep a Guatemalan migrant in the U.S. until she can be reunited with her nine-year old son, part of a case in which three Central American migrants held in Texas are suing the administration over its "zero tolerance" immigration policy, Renuka Rayasam reports for Morning Shift. An immigration judge last week found the woman didn't have a valid reason for asylum and ordered her deportation. Read the order here.
EXCLUSIVE: HARRIS LEADS REUNIFICATION BILL: Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) will introduce a bill today that would require the Trump administration to reunite children separated from parents at the border. Its odds of passage in the Republican-controlled Senate are slim, but for Harris and Merkley — both mentioned as possible 2020 presidential contenders — it's another way to protest Trump's immigration crackdown. 
The measure calls for immediate reunification of children split apart from a parent or legal guardian and the establishment of a federal office to oversee the process. In addition, it would require parents' release from detention unless they pose "a substantial risk" to themselves or others. The legislation stipulates that DNA samples used to determine parentage should not be employed to any other end, including immigration enforcement. In a blow to ICE, the measure would redirect $50 million in appropriations for its Enforcement and Removal Operations arm to pay for the reunification efforts. 
"Government should be in the business of keeping families together, not tearing them apart," Harris said in a related announcement. The three senators will hold a press conference at 12:30 p.m. today with Wendy Young, president of Kids in Need of Defense, at the Senate Radio and TV Gallery. Read the bill here and watch a livestream of the press event here.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Response to Trump's Immigration Policy

Trump's Policy at Work 

The greatest experiment in democracy in human history is now being run like a gangster-state. And so we protest, not because we want to spend our days this way, but because now we have to spend our days this way. We protest in the same way the brave rescue teams in Thailand have repeatedly dived into the dangerous waters of the flooded cave, not because they relish danger but because to do otherwise would be a moral failing.
In the eruption of protests this past month, outside federal buildings in cities large and small around the country, along the border, at detention facilities, there are at last the stirrings of redemption. There is a moral outrage percolating now throughout this great land, a sense that, with the taking of the children, with the stealing of the Supreme Court, with the destruction of environmental regulations and the rolling back of 60 years of civil rights advances, everything is on the line.

In ever-increasing numbers, and with ever-increasing urgency, as our own political flood waters rise, so we will keep protesting, keep fighting, keep pushing back, until bit by bit we redeem this wondrous democracy from rule by thugs.
Sasha Abramsky is a Sacramento writer who teaches at UC Davis. His latest book is “Jumping at Shadows: The Triumph of Fear and the End of the American Dream.” He can be reached at