Watching the children and other immigration news – June 29, 2017

rini border fence

Inadequate food, bad-tasting water, unsanitary conditions, and cold temperatures were among conditions cited by parents detained with their children in facilities not licensed to hold children. Judge Dolly Gee, who two years ago ordered the government to stop holding children for long periods of time and to stop holding them in unlicensed facilities, once again chastised government officials for continuing to do so and ordered the appointment of a “Juvenile Coordinator” to monitor compliance. Read Judge Gee’s order here. 

Judge: Government Still Failing to Meet Standards for Detaining Children (American Immigration Lawyers Association, 6/28/17)

:The decision comes nearly two years after Judge Gee found the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in violation of the Flores settlement and only after plaintiffs in the case brought repeated violations to the attention of the court.

“Judge Gee concluded that children continue to be held longer than 20 days in secure, unlicensed facilities in defiance of the Flores settlement and the judge’s previous orders, as well as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling last year. The court determined that almost all Rio Grande Valley sector facilities in which children and adults were kept had unsafe and unsanitary conditions, with inadequate food, inadequate access to clean drinking water, inadequate hygiene, cold temperatures and inadequate sleeping conditions. Further the court concluded the government has failed to: make repeated efforts to release children, ensure that children are not kept in secure, non-licensed facilities (like the facility in Dilley, Texas), and release children within the court’s 20-day limit.”

Federal judge finds problems with conditions for children detained by Border Patrol (CBS/ValleyCentral.com, 6/28/17)

“The judge ordered Customs and Border Protection to designate a “Juvenile Coordinator” to monitor compliance with the settlement agreement. If the agency failed to comply, the judge said she would consider appointing an independent monitor.”

Immigrant Kids Are Still Locked Up For Too Long In Poor Conditions, Judge Rules (Huffington Post, 6/28/17)

“There were no beds, pillows, or blankets,” one woman said in a declaration, which was quoted in Gee’s ruling. “I held [my 3-year-old daughter] tight, wrapping my arms around her to keep her warm. … Her hands started to turn colors, she was so cold.”

And in other immigration news …

Agencies scramble to put travel ban in place (The Hill, 6/26/17)

“Officials are eager to avoid the chaos and confusion that dogged the first rollout of the executive order earlier this year but have to resolve major questions about how the ban will be enforced.

“Critics of the order are already warning that there could be a flood of litigation as the U.S. government determines who qualifies for the new criteria outlined by the high court.”

Some would-be immigrants left in limbo after Supreme Court travel ban order (Reuters, 6/27/17) Among those whose status is uncertain: diversity visa lottery winners,

Trump urges passage of House immigration bills (AP via Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 6/28/17)

“President Donald Trump is urging the House to pass legislation that would stiffen punishments on people who re-enter the U.S. illegally and for “sanctuary” jurisdictions that refuse to cooperate with federal deportation forces.”

Guatemala Man Faces Deportation For Running Red Light, Driving Without License (WCCO, 6/27/17)

“A Guatemalan man who is in the removal process of being deported from Minnesota fears for his life if he is forced to return to his home country….

“Luciano Mejia Morales’ family and attorney said the 28-year-old has been in Minnesota for 14 years, works as a janitor and is an active labor union member.”

Immigrants Are Not ‘Criminals, Drug Dealers and Rapists,’ ICE Director Says, Contradicting Trump (Newsweek, 6/28/17)

“During an off-camera briefing at the White House on Wednesday, Homan was asked whether undocumented immigrants committed more crimes than native-born Americans. He said they did not, according to CNN reporter Jim Acosta. …

“The statistics, though, have never backed up Trump’s claims. Not only do undocumented immigrants not commit more crimes than native-born Americans, but, as a whole, immigrants actually commit fewer offenses.”

Tiny ‘sanctuary town’ fights Texas, Trump on immigration (USA Today, 6/28/17)

“Reyes and his border hamlet are on the frontlines of a growing fight between Texas cities, the state of Texas and the Trump administration over what role local municipalities play in enforcing federal immigration laws.

“Reyes, along with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and Maverick County, were the first to file a lawsuit in May against the state of Texas challenging Senate Bill 4 (SB 4), a newly-enacted state law that punishes local leaders who do not comply fully with enforcement requests from federal immigration agents.”

Arpaio attorney clashes with former lawyer over court’s immigration order (Arizona Republic, 6/27/17)

“Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s defense lawyer continued to hammer Arpaio’s former attorney on the witness stand Tuesday, suggesting he was to blame if  the Sheriff’s Office violated a court order because he did not clearly convey the order to command staff.

“It was the second day of Arpaio’s criminal-contempt trial, in which attorneys are debating whether he willfully defied a federal judge’s order that prohibited immigration-law enforcement.”

Court sends cross-border shooting lawsuit back to lower court (SCOTUSBlog, 6/27/17)

“It has been a little over seven years since 15-year-old Sergio Hernandez was shot by Jesus Mesa, a U.S. Border Patrol agent, while Hernandez was standing on the Mexican side of the border. Hernandez’s family filed a lawsuit against Mesa, arguing that (among other things) the shooting violated Hernandez’s right under the Fourth Amendment to be protected against excessive deadly force.”

Nashville immigration proposals dead as council members plan withdrawal (The Tennessean, 6/28/17)

“Amid intensifying opposition and a call from Mayor Megan Barry to rethink their upcoming actions, Metro Council sponsors now plan to withdraw a pair of bills that sough to limit Metro’s cooperation with federal immigration officials.”

Immigrant Health-Care Workers in the United States (Migration Policy Institute, 6/28/17)

“Immigrants represent a significant slice of this labor force, comprising almost 17 percent of the 12.4 million people in the United States working as doctors, nurses, dentists, and in other health-care occupations in 2015….

“Relative to their share of the total workforce, immigrants were over-represented among both high- and low-skilled health-care workers. The foreign born accounted for 28 percent of the 910,000 physicians and surgeons practicing in the United States, and 24 percent of the 2.1 million nursing, psychiatric, and home health aides (see Table 1).”

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About Mary Turck

News Day, written by Mary Turck, analyzes, summarizes, links to, and comments on reports from news media around the world, with particular attention to immigration, education, and journalism. Fragments, also written by Mary Turck, has fiction, poetry and some creative non-fiction. Mary Turck edited TC Daily Planet, www.tcdailyplanet.net, from 2007-2014, and edited the award-winning Connection to the Americas and AMERICAS.ORG, in its pre-2008 version. She is also a recovering attorney and the author of many books for young people (and a few for adults), mostly focusing on historical and social issues.
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