Mexico calls migrant children separation ‘inhumane’, urges rethink

06/19/2018 Reuters

luis videgarayMexico’s foreign minister Luis Videgaray on Tuesday called the separation of children from immigrant parents at the U.S.-Mexico border “cruel and inhumane” and urged the United States to reconsider the practice.

Images published this week of children and youths sitting in concrete-floored cages in U.S. shelter facilities have stirred outrage. U.S. officials have defended the measures as a way to secure the border and deter illegal entry.

“This is a clear violation of human rights and puts children, including those with disabilities, in a vulnerable situation,” Videgaray told a news conference in Mexico City.

Videgaray said the Mexican government had made its position clear to U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration and raised the issue with senior U.N. officials, including U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

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White House defends immigration policy as outrage grows over children

06/18/2018 Reuters

child_immigrant_cbp_border_gettyThe Trump administration defended its hardline immigration policy at the U.S.-Mexico border on Monday as furor grew over the separation of immigrant parents and children, including video of youngsters sitting in concrete-floored cages.

Democrats blasted such treatment as “barbaric,” while a few of President Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans also voiced concern as the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives moved toward voting later this week on two pieces of immigration-related legislation.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, a Trump appointee, told reporters at a White House briefing that the administration was only strictly enforcing the law.

“This administration did not create a policy of separating families … What has changed is that we no longer exempt entire classes of people who break the law,” she said.

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US senator refused entry to facility holding migrants’ kids

06/04/2018 The Washington Post

child_immigrant_cbp_border_gettyA U.S. senator said Monday he had tried to enter a federal facility in Texas where immigrant children are being held, but police were called and he was told to leave.

Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley’s attempt late Sunday to enter the facility and his request to speak to a manager came amid a national debate over the practice of separating families caught crossing the border illegally.

Merkley was accused of grandstanding by Victoria Palmer, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families.

The agency is caring for the children being held in a former Walmart with blacked-out windows in Brownsville, a city along the Mexico border.

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Trump warns against admitting unaccompanied migrant children: ‘They’re not innocent’

05/23/2018 The Washington Post

childrenPresident Trump and his top administration officials repeatedly warned Wednesday that unaccompanied migrant children arriving at the southern border are potentially exposing the nation to eventual gang crime.

Immigrant advocates have long said that the children, primarily from Central America, are fleeing violence in their home countries and seeking safe harbor in the United States. But the Trump administration has used their plight to justify cracking down on policies that allow these migrants to be released and obtain hearings before immigration judges, rather than being deported immediately.

“We have the worst immigration laws of any country, anywhere in the world,” Trump said at the roundtable held at the Morrelly Homeland Security Center. “They exploited the loopholes in our laws to enter the country as unaccompanied alien minors.”

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U.S. Pushes Plan to Make Mexico Handle Asylum Seekers

05/17/2018 New York Times

migrantesMEXICO CITY — As a large caravan of Central American migrants approached the northern border of Mexico last month, the Trump administration launched a campaign to turn back the group.

Unwelcoming statements were issued by American officials, including Kirstjen Nielsen, the secretary of homeland security, who told migrants who intended to apply for asylum in the United States that they “should” instead seek protection in Mexico.

Mexican officials, however, said the migrants were under no legal obligation to apply in Mexico, and, indeed, more than 200 of them ended up crossing onto American soil and petitioning for sanctuary there.

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Trump says ‘animals’ comment refers to criminals, Mexico protests

05/17/2018 Reuters

Donald_Trump_August_19,_2015_(cropped)WASHINGTON/MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he was referring to criminal gangs when he called some illegal immigrants “animals,” a term the Mexican government labeled as unacceptable and which drew rebukes on social media.

Trump made the remarks on Wednesday during a meeting with California municipal leaders who support his goal of making the U.S. border impervious to illegal immigration.

“We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in, and we’re stopping a lot of them, but we’re taking people out of the country. You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals,” Trump said.

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Koch-backed group gives boost to Democrats on immigration via @CNNPolitics

05/17/2018 CNN

immigrationAn immigration-overhaul advocacy group backed by the influential Koch brothers is sending out a series of political mailers aimed at backing pro-immigration members of Congress — including a handful of Democrats.

The billionaire Koch brothers are some of the most prolific political donors, and they traditionally back politically conservative causes and candidates.

But among the group of lawmakers being supported by the mailers from the LIBRE Initiative are five Democrats, including the chairman of the Democrats’ House campaign arm and the chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

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