Circus in Congress Over Immigration

U.S. Capitol dome_clowns

On Wednesday, the House GOP passed an “ICE is Nice” resolution, while Democrats refused to vote. That came after the House GOP first proposed and then refused to bring a Democratic “Abolish ICE” bill to the floor for debate.

Immigration legislation may get nowhere in Congress, but Trump’s immigration policies are getting trashed by federal courts, reports TPM, with a detailed discussion.

Appropriations legislation scheduled for mark-up by the House Appropriations Committee on Thursday, July 19, provides $5 billion for immigration enforcement, including building 200 miles of border wall, hiring 375 more border patrol agents, and funding more detention centers.

Fiasco on the border: Following a closed-door briefing, Senators remained frustrated and skeptical that the government would really reunited the separated children with their parents, before or after the July 26 deadline. Senator Cory Booker criticized the “sheer lack of record keeping on the separated families and the inability to meet the most basic deadline.” Mostly, it seemed, immigration officials remained unable to answer the Senators’ questions: about numbers, about what would happen to families after reunification, about policies, and so on.

The Texas Tribune analyzed government charts about what happens to separated children, and concluded that it’s likely that more than 1000 will not be reunited with parents. Pro Publica’s zero tolerance page has links to about two dozen articles on family separation and border issues.

Horror stories continue to emerge. An 11-year-old was attacked and bloodied by a bully in a “shelter,” ending up with a “cracked” skull. That wasn’t enough to convince “shelter” officials to discipline the bully or even to move the 11-year-old to a safer bedroom. CBS has a report on the hieleras where border crossers are first detained:

“Wet and muddy from their trek across the Mexican border, immigrant children say they sat or lay on the cold, concrete floor of the immigration holding centers where they were taken.

“It was hard to sleep with lights shining all night and guards kicking their feet, they say. They were hungry, after being given what they say were frozen sandwiches and smelly food.”

Somali TPS: Today is the day that the government will announce whether it is extending or ending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Somalis. TPS has already been terminated for residents of El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua and Sudan, as has the similar Deferred Enforced Departure program that protected many Liberians. In ending TPS protections, the Trump administration ignored the reports and recommendations of its own intelligence agencies and senior U.S. diplomats.

The Houston Chronicle reports the human toll of ending TPS, with stories of residents with TPS whose lives will be upended, and who could be permanently separated from their U.S. citizen children.

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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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