ACLU Sues Over Trump’s Removal of Asylum Protections

The lawsuit argues against “expedited removal” policies instituted by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that remove asylum protections for victims of domestic and gang violence. “This is a naked attempt by the Trump administration to eviscerate our country’s asylum protections,” said an ACLU official.

The American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday filed a federal lawsuit against the Trump administration over its decision to remove asylum protections for victims of domestic and gang violence, reports Politico. The ACLU is arguing against “expedited removal” policies put forth by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that it says “generally” deny claims of violence of that nature. “This is a naked attempt by the Trump administration to eviscerate our country’s asylum protections,” said the ACLU’s Jennifer Chang Newell. “It’s clear the administration’s goal is to deny and deport as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.”

The lawsuit, Grace v. Sessions, was filed in federal district court in Washington, D.C. In June, the attorney general overturned asylum protections for certain victims of violence, effectively reversing a push by the Obama administration to provide refuge to women with credible claims of domestic violence. Sessions questioned in his decision whether victims of private criminal activity qualified as members of a “particular social group” eligible for asylum in the U.S. Asylum seekers must currently prove they have credible fear — based on grounds of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion — in their home country.

from https://thecrimereport.org

ACLU Sues Over Trump’s Removal of Asylum Protections

The lawsuit argues against “expedited removal” policies instituted by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that remove asylum protections for victims of domestic and gang violence. “This is a naked attempt by the Trump administration to eviscerate our country’s asylum protections,” said an ACLU official.

The American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday filed a federal lawsuit against the Trump administration over its decision to remove asylum protections for victims of domestic and gang violence, reports Politico. The ACLU is arguing against “expedited removal” policies put forth by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that it says “generally” deny claims of violence of that nature. “This is a naked attempt by the Trump administration to eviscerate our country’s asylum protections,” said the ACLU’s Jennifer Chang Newell. “It’s clear the administration’s goal is to deny and deport as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.”

The lawsuit, Grace v. Sessions, was filed in federal district court in Washington, D.C. In June, the attorney general overturned asylum protections for certain victims of violence, effectively reversing a push by the Obama administration to provide refuge to women with credible claims of domestic violence. Sessions questioned in his decision whether victims of private criminal activity qualified as members of a “particular social group” eligible for asylum in the U.S. Asylum seekers must currently prove they have credible fear — based on grounds of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion — in their home country.

from https://thecrimereport.org

How Has Trump’s ICE Force Impacted His Hometown? Bigly

Trump’s war on immigration has increased fears of deportation among his hometown’s estimated 500,000 undocumented residents. ICE arrests in New York spiked after his inauguration.

How is Donald Trump’s war on immigrants playing out in his hometown, where an estimated 500,000 residents are undocumented? In the eight months after Trump’s inauguration, ICE arrests in the New York City area jumped by 67 percent compared to the same period in the previous year, and arrests of immigrants with no criminal convictions increased 225 percent, reports The Marshall Project and New York Magazine. During that time, ICE arrested 2,031 people in the five New York boroughs and surrounding counties. These aren’t unprecedented numbers: ICE arrested almost four times as many people in New York City in 2010 as it did last year, and it picks up far fewer people here than in some other parts of the country.

Thanks to free legal assistance, immigrant New Yorkers are more likely to be represented in court than many of their counterparts around the country. (Eighty percent in Queens versus 39 percent in South Carolina, for example.) Partly as a result, they’re less likely to get deported, according to data from Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. Nonetheless, Trump’s immigration crackdown has instilled a new level of fear throughout the city. Before he took office, many immigrants who were considered low priority for deportation were allowed to stay as long as they regularly reported to immigration authorities. But soon after his inauguration, Trump expanded the number of people considered a priority for deportation. Today, people whose only offense is staying in the country illegally are being flagged for removal. For many immigrant New Yorkers, once ordinary activities are now fraught with dread. TMP and New York tell some of their stories in a special report.

How Has Trump’s ICE Force Impacted His Hometown? Bigly

Trump’s war on immigration has increased fears of deportation among his hometown’s estimated 500,000 undocumented residents. ICE arrests in New York spiked after his inauguration.

How is Donald Trump’s war on immigrants playing out in his hometown, where an estimated 500,000 residents are undocumented? In the eight months after Trump’s inauguration, ICE arrests in the New York City area jumped by 67 percent compared to the same period in the previous year, and arrests of immigrants with no criminal convictions increased 225 percent, reports The Marshall Project and New York Magazine. During that time, ICE arrested 2,031 people in the five New York boroughs and surrounding counties. These aren’t unprecedented numbers: ICE arrested almost four times as many people in New York City in 2010 as it did last year, and it picks up far fewer people here than in some other parts of the country.

Thanks to free legal assistance, immigrant New Yorkers are more likely to be represented in court than many of their counterparts around the country. (Eighty percent in Queens versus 39 percent in South Carolina, for example.) Partly as a result, they’re less likely to get deported, according to data from Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. Nonetheless, Trump’s crackdown has instilled a new level of fear among immigrants. Before he took office, many immigrants who were considered low priority for deportation were allowed to stay as long as they regularly reported to immigration authorities. But soon after his inauguration, Trump expanded the number of people considered a deportation priority. Today, people whose only offense is staying in the country illegally are being flagged for removal. For many immigrant New Yorkers, once ordinary activities are now fraught with dread. TMP and New York tell some of their stories in a special report.

Trump Official: 30,000 Undocumented Kids Could Be Held by August

A senior administration official at the Department of Health and Human Services says the agency expects to be taking in about 250 children a day as a result of the crackdown on illegal immigration that started in May, even as President and Mrs. Trump declared in separate statements they “hated” seeing kids taken from their parents. That could mean some 30,000 kids will be detained by the end of August, the official said.

The Trump administration could be holding 30,000 undocumented immigrant children by the end of August as a result of its push to enforce federal immigration laws, which has led to the separation of children from their parents and guardians as those adults are prosecuted, reports The Washington Examiner. 

A senior administration official who asked not to be identified said the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been taking in about 250 children per day in recent weeks (HHS is the agency that is taking in children when they are separated from their families).

An HHS official also added that the agency expects to be taking about 250 kids each day at least for the next two months. If that estimate holds, HHS could be caring for 18,500 more children by the end of August. The official said as of Friday, HHS was already holding 11,500 children, which means the total could hit 30,000 by August.

The practice of separating children from undocumented immigrant adults has become highly controversial in the last few weeks, and the media has highlighted the issue by revealing the horrible conditions of immigration detention centers, where children are being held in cages and separated from their families.

Inside an old warehouse in South Texas, hundreds of immigrant children wait in cages created by metal fencing. One cage had 20 children inside. Scattered about are bottles of water, bags of chips and large foil sheets intended to serve as blankets, the Associated Press reports.

One teenager said she was helping care for a young child she didn’t know because the child’s aunt was somewhere else in the facility. She had to show others in her cell how to change the girl’s diaper.

The U.S. Border Patrol allowed reporters to visit the facility where it holds families arrested at the southern U.S. border, responding to new criticism and protests over the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy and resulting separation of families.

Yet reporters were not allowed to interview any of the detainees or take photos.

More than 1,100 people were inside the large, dark facility that’s divided into separate wings for unaccompanied children, adults on their own, and mothers and fathers with children. The cages in each wing open out into common areas to use portable restrooms. The overhead lighting stays on around the clock.

The Border Patrol said 200 people inside the facility were minors unaccompanied by a parent. Another 500 were “family units,” parents and children.

In a statement last Friday, Trump condemned the practice of taking away children at the border, declaring, “I hate the children being taken away,” but he falsely blamed Democrats for a law requiring it.

First lady Melania Trumo said she also “hates” to see families separated at the border and hopes “both sides of the aisle” can reform U.S immigration laws, according to a statement Sunday about the controversy over separation  of immigrant parents and children at the U.S- Mexico border.

Democrats responded to the president’s statement by saying that no law mandates the separation of children and parents at the border.

They claimed the current crisis is the result of a Trump administration policy that went into effect in May, which sought to maximize criminal prosecutions of people caught trying to enter the U.S. illegally. More adults were jailed as a result of the policy, which led to their children being separated from them.

Mrs. Trump didn’t refer specifically to the Trump administration’s “no tolerance” policy, which was causing a spike in children being separated from their families.

Megan Hadley is a staff writer at The Crime Report.

from https://thecrimereport.org

In IG’s Comey Report, Several Losers But No Winners

Among other things, the 18-month review by the U.S. inspector general makes it clear that there is no basis to “lock her up,” as the popular anti-Hillary Clinton chant at Trump rallies demands.

Former FBI director James B. Comey predicted last month that the Justice Department inspector general “might bang me for [my] decisions.” “Bang” turned out to be a fittingly forceful verb choice, says the Washington Post. In a report published Thursday after an 18-month review, Inspector General Michael Horowitz faulted Comey’s handling of an election-season investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email use as secretary of state. He criticized Comey for his decision to notify lawmakers just before the election that the FBI was reopening the Clinton email investigation, which he had declared closed at a news conference four months earlier. Writing in the New York Times, Comey responded, “I do not agree with all of the inspector general’s conclusions, but I respect the work of his office and salute its professionalism.”

The upshot of the report? For one thing, it makes clear that there is no basis to “lock her up,” as the popular anti-Clinton chant at Trump rallies demands. The president contends that Clinton should have been indicted. Horowitz concluded that the recommendation not to charge Clinton was sound. For Clinton and her supporters, the report gives credence to the view that she was robbed of her rightful place in the Oval Office. As for Trump, it provides campaign material but does not support his contention that he was a victim of a “deep state” conspiracy at the FBI and other agencies. It found five FBI officials whose private communications indicated troubling personal biases.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Family Separations at Border Prompt Protests, GOP Rift

Amid protests across the country Thursday, the White House and attorney general cited Bible verses to support the separation of families at the Mexican border, a practice that a leading Democrat called “barbaric.” House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republicans said they are not comfortable with the situation.

Congressional Republicans have distanced themselves from the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents at the southern border even as the White House and Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited the Bible in defending the “zero tolerance” approach to illegal border crossings, reports the Associated Press. House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republicans said they were not comfortable with family separations, which spiked dramatically after the Justice Department adopted a policy in April of referring all illegal border crossers for prosecution. Meanwhile, thousands of people demonstrated the family separations in dozens of communities on Thursday, including Los Angeles, Austin, Texas, and Suffolk County, N.Y.

In an unusually tense series of exchanges in the White House briefing room, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders blamed Democrats for the policy separating children from parents and wrongly insisted the administration had made no changes increasing the tactics’ use. Ryan and other GOP lawmakers said they are seeking to resolve the problem in a compromise immigration bill. A draft of that bill released Thursday would keep children with their families while they are in Homeland Security Department custody. Ryan claimed Thursday that the family-separation policy is being dictated by a court ruling that prevents children who enter the country illegally from being held in custody for long periods. But House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said President Trump could “stop the practice on a dime.” She called the Trump administration’s separation policy “barbaric.”

from https://thecrimereport.org

Scathing NY Lawsuit Cites Self-Dealing by Trump Foundation

In a stunning rebuke of a sitting president, the New York State attorney general’s lawsuit accuses Trump’s charity and his family of sweeping violations of campaign finance laws, self-dealing and illegal coordination with the presidential campaign. The suit seeks to shutter the foundation and bar Trump and three of his children from serving on the boards of nonprofits.

The New York State attorney general’s office filed a scathingly worded lawsuit on Thursday that accuses the Donald J. Trump Foundation and the Trump family of sweeping violations of campaign finance laws, self-dealing and illegal coordination with the presidential campaign, reports the New York Times. The lawsuit, which seeks to dissolve the foundation and bar President Trump and three of his children from serving on the boards of nonprofits, was an extraordinary rebuke of a sitting president. The attorney general also sent referral letters to the IRS and the Federal Election Commission for possible further action, adding to Trump’s extensive legal problems.

The lawsuit, filed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, culminated a nearly two-year investigation of Trump’s charity, which became a subject of scrutiny during the 2016 presidential campaign. While such foundations are supposed to be devoted to charitable activities, the complaint asserts that Trump’s was often used to curry political favor or settle legal claims against his various businesses, and even spent $10,000 on a portrait of Trump that was hung at one of his golf clubs. The portrait was one of several examples of the foundation being used in “at least five self-dealing transactions,” according to the attorney general’s office, violating tax regulations that prohibit using nonprofit charities for private interests.

Trump Minions Scour Bygone Immigrant Records for Fraud

The Trump administration is analyzing old fingerprints in an unprecedented effort to rescind American citizenship from immigrants who may have lied or falsified information on their naturalization forms.

The Trump administration is analyzing decades-old fingerprints in an unprecedented effort to rescind American citizenship from immigrants who may have lied or falsified information on their naturalization forms, says the Washington Post. Revoking citizenship has long been treated as a rare and drastic measure by immigration authorities, reserved for foreigners who commit egregious crimes or acts of fraud, or pose a threat to national security. But under a new policy first reported by the Associated Press, L. Francis Cissa, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), has ordered an investigation of thousands of old fingerprint records and files to determine whether foreigners made false or fraudulent statements in their attempts to obtain legal residency in the United States.

Homeland Security investigators are digitizing fingerprints collected in the 1990s and comparing them with more recent prints provided by foreigners who apply for legal residency and U.S. citizenship. If decades-old fingerprints gathered during a deportation match those of someone who did not disclose that deportation on their naturalization application or used a different name, that individual could be targeted by a new Los Angeles-based investigative division. Violators will be referred to federal courts where they could be stripped of citizenship and potentially deported. According to the latest USCIS data, 2,536 naturalization cases have prompted in-depth reviews so far. Ninety-five of those cases have been referred to the Justice Department. Only a federal judge — not USCIS — has the authority to revoke citizenship.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Border Patrol Union: Trump’s Guard Deployment ‘a Waste’

In a dramatic departure from his support of Trump, the head of the national Border Patrol union called the ballyhooed deployment of National Guard troops on the border “a colossal waste of resources…We have seen no benefit.”

A month after President Trump called for sending National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, the head of the national Border Patrol union called the deployment “a colossal waste of resources,” reports the Los Angeles Times.”We have seen no benefit,” said Brandon Judd, president of the union that represents 15,000 agents, the National Border Patrol Council. The criticism is a dramatic departure for the group, which endorsed Trump’s candidacy for president and has praised his border security efforts, including National Guard deployments. “When I found out the National Guard was going to be on the border I was extremely excited,” Judd said, because previous deployments on the border helped alleviate the Border Patrol’s workload. He said that hasn’t happened.

About 1,600 National Guard troops were deployed on the border. About 750 more troops may soon be added in support roles, and the total could reach 4,000 “based on requests for assistance and what they need,” said Army Lt. Col. Jamie Davis, a Pentagon spokesman. Davis declined to comment on the remarks by the Border Patrol union. A Border Patrol spokeswoman said National Guard troops had assisted with 3,924 deportations, 1,116 “turn backs” of migrants into Mexico and the seizure of 3,486 pounds of marijuana — all by operating support technology and equipment. She said they had replaced some Border Patrol agents at observation posts. Border Patrol Acting Chief Carla Provost responded to the union’s claims by acknowledging that the National Guard’s role has changed compared with past deployments.

from https://thecrimereport.org