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  • The Chinese went to the dark side of the moon, probably to contact them Iron Sky guys. It has largely been ignored here...


    • Sorry, more Trump-related news:

      Trump admin weighed targeting migrant families, speeding up deportation of children

      A draft plan obtained by NBC News also shows officials wanted to specifically target parents in migrant families for increased prosecutions.

      WASHINGTON — Trump administration officials weighed speeding up the deportation of migrant children by denying them their legal right to asylum hearings after separating them from their parents, according to comments on a late 2017 draft of what became the administration's family separation policy obtained by NBC News.

      The draft also shows officials wanted to specifically target parents in migrant families for increased prosecutions, contradicting the administration's previous statements. In June, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said the administration did "not have a policy of separating families at the border" but was simply enforcing existing law.

      The authors noted that the "increase in prosecutions would be reported by the media and it would have a substantial deterrent effect."

      The draft plan was provided to NBC News by the office of Sen. Jeff Merkley, D.-Ore., which says it was leaked by a government whistleblower.

      In the draft memo, called "Policy Options to Respond to Border Surge of Illegal Immigration" and dated Dec. 16, 2017, officials from the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security lay out a blueprint of options, some of which were later implemented and others that have not yet been put into effect.

      At the time, the number of undocumented immigrants seeking to cross the southern border was near historic monthly lows: 40,519 in December 2017, compared to 58,379 the same month the year prior.

      The document was circulated between high level officials at DHS and the Justice Department, at least one of whom was instrumental in writing the first iteration of the administration's travel ban.

      The plan, and the comments written in the margins, provide a window into the policy discussion thinking at the time, how far officials were willing to go to deter families seeking asylum and what they may still be considering.

      In one comment, the Justice Department official suggests that Customs and Border Protection could see that children who have been separated from their parents would be denied an asylum hearing before an immigration judge, which is typically awarded to children who arrive at the border alone.

      Instead, the entire family would be given an order of "expedited removal" and then separated, placing the child in the care of HHS in U.S. Marshall's custody while both await deportation.

      "If CBP issues an ER [expedited removal] for the entire family unit, places the parents in the custody of the U.S. Marshal, and then places the minors with HHS, it would seem that DHS could work with HHS to actually repatriate [deport] the minors then," the official wrote.

      "It would take coordination with the home countries, of course, but that doesn't seem like too much of a cost to pay compared to the status quo."

      It is unclear from the official's comment whether the government planned on reunifying children with their parents before they were deported.

      "It appears that they wanted to have it both ways — to separate children from their parents but deny them the full protections generally awarded to unaccompanied children,"
      said Lee Gelernt, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union who led the class action suit on behalf of migrant parents who had been separated from their children.

      A DHS official told NBC News on the condition of anonymity because the department does not comment on pre-decisional documents that the draft's authors' intent was to enable agencies to reunify families after they were separated for prosecution.

      But the draft and comments do not mention plans to reunify.

      The Inspector General for Health and Human Services released a report on Thursday that said "thousands" of children were separated under the Trump administration during an influx in separations that began in the summer of 2017, before the zero tolerance policy. Whether those children were reunited with their parents is unknown, the report said.

      The Department of Homeland Security disputed the "thousands" reported by the HHS Inspector General, claiming the inspector general did not have evidence to back up the claim. According to DHS statistics, in fiscal year 2017, the border patrol separated 1,065, 46 due to fraud and 1,109 due to medical or security concerns.

      The December 2017 draft memo states that Customs and Border Protection is "currently executing the [separation policy] on a limited basis in the El Paso sector."

      In a statement, DHS Spokeswoman Katie Waldman said, "The Trump administration has made clear that all legal options are on the table to enforce the rule of law, rein in mass unchecked illegal immigration, and defend our borders. In December of 2017, we saw the number of apprehensions increasing as a result of the Flores Settlement Agreement, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, and a lack of physical barrier on the Southern Border."

      "In part we were predicting — and trying to prevent — the exact humanitarian and security crisis we are confronted by now," said Waldman. "It would be malpractice to not seriously examine every single avenue to gain operational control of the border and ensure that those who are entering our country have a legal right to be here."

      The Justice Department referred questions to DHS. Officials were aware of potential backlog of children

      When the administration began separating immigrant families under the "zero tolerance" policy in May 2018, it held children in the custody of HHS until they could be placed with a sponsor to await an asylum hearing. Zero tolerance never placed children in expedited removal or included systematically deporting them without their parents. Trump reversed the policy in an executive order on June 20, 2018.

      One policy that was discussed but not implemented from the draft memo included limiting protections for migrant children who were victims of abuse or neglect.

      The draft's authors suggested targeting "potential abuses" in the Special Immigrant Juveniles program, which provides green cards for immigrant children who have been abused, abandoned or neglected by a parent. The Justice Department official notes in a comment that children who have been abused by one parent are often living with the other parent when they qualify and that DHS Secretary Nielsen could refuse to award green cards in such cases.

      It is not clear whether the administration rejected the idea of targeting children in the Special Immigrant Juveniles Program or whether the idea is still under consideration.

      Other policies discussed in the draft, however, did materialize. For example, HHS adopted a policy that would require anyone in a household who agreed to sponsor an unaccompanied migrant child to undergo an extensive background check. Publicly, DHS and HHS said that this was to ensure the safety of children. But the draft shows administrators knew the potential for creating a backlog of children in migrant detention, which later became reality and led to the creation of the Tornillo tent city last year.

      "There would be a short term impact on HHS where sponsors may not take custody of their children in HHS facilities, requiring HHS to keep the UACs [unaccompanied children] in custody longer," the draft said.

      The official commenting in the margins of the draft noted, "I would suggest referring sponsors for criminal prosecution under 1324 if information indicates the sponsor facilitated the travel of the minor into the United States."

      The Justice Department has increased its criminal prosecutions of child smugglers under the Trump administration, but it does not prosecute every parent who has paid for their child to be brought to the United States.

      Also, the draft outlined the administration's plan to keep asylum seekers in Mexico. Officials from the administration are currently in negotiations with Mexico to finalize such a deal, forcing all asylum seekers to wait in Mexico until a judge could adjudicate their claims, which could take months or even years due to a backlog in the courts.

      "There are litigation risks associated with this proposal, as it would implicate refugee treaties and international law," the draft said. In public testimony, Nielsen has told Congress that the policy is legal.

      The officials also weighed "mandatory detention" of asylum seekers "for the duration of the adjudication of their asylum claims."

      Releasing immigrants on bond while they wait months or years to see an asylum judge is an issue that has plagued both the Obama and Trump administrations. However, under the 1997 Flores court agreement, ICE is prohibited from holding children in detention for longer than 20 days. In September 2018, the administration announced that it was seeking to overturn the Flores agreement, but the policy has yet to go into effect. ICE is also limited in space to hold all immigrants awaiting asylum hearings.


      • NEW: Sen. Jeff Merkley has formally requested FBI Director Wray open a perjury investigation into Sec. of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen. @SenJeffMerkley says “new documents show Nielsen lied in sworn testimony to Congress about the administration’s family separation policy.”


        • The reason illegal alien crossings are down is because now they all just file fraudulent asylum claims. Obama changed government policy where previously asylum applicants were held in holding centers until the claim was approved as a deterrence measure. Obama changed it to everyone who files an asylum claim just got released so all the would be illegals now just try to claim asylum.
          Try for discussion and debate.


          • "About two hours after Trump grounded Pelosi and her delegation, an Air Force-modified Boeing 757 took off from Joint Base Andrews outside Washington with the call sign "Executive One Foxtrot," reserved for the first family when the president is not travelling with them. It landed just before 7 p.m. at Palm Beach International Airport, less than 2 miles (3 kilometres) from the president's private club."
            There's nothing wrong with the dream, my friend, the problem lies with the dreamer.


            • Yes, it was clear he was being petty and trying to do a tit for tat with Pelosi. Let us not pretend she was not also just grandstanding and trying to play for headlines. They are both dishonest partisans playing stupid games and harming the country with their antics.

              A plague upon both of their houses.
              Try for discussion and debate.


              • Uncle Sparky
                Uncle Sparky commented
                Editing a comment
                Yeh, Pelosi was going to see American troops in Afghanistan. The nerve! Doesn't she know that US policy is only to give comfort to enemy troops, like the lovable North Koreans? Why isn't she golfing at one of Trumps resorts? Traitor!!!!!!!!!!

            • Originally posted by Dinner View Post
              The reason illegal alien crossings are down is because now they all just file fraudulent asylum claims. Obama changed government policy where previously asylum applicants were held in holding centers until the claim was approved as a deterrence measure. Obama changed it to everyone who files an asylum claim just got released so all the would be illegals now just try to claim asylum.
              In the wake of the 2014 migrant crisis that saw the Obama administration suffer its own backlash for the way it detained parents and children, Immigration and Customs Enforcement came up with a new way to handle families seeking asylum in the United States.

              The Family Case Management Program, launched as a pilot in early 2016, aimed to keep asylum seeking kin together, out of detention, and complying with immigration laws. It was praised by immigration advocates for both its high rate of compliance and its ability to help migrants thrive in a new country — right up until the Trump administration shuttered it almost exactly a year ago.

              As President Donald Trump tells the nation he must crack down on people who cross the border illegally while defending his administration's decision to separate thousands of children from their parents in the name of border security, advocates point to this program as a success story that was eliminated abruptly by a president more keen on deportation and detention.

              Under the program, families who passed a credible fear interview and were determined to be good candidates for a less-secure form of release — typically vulnerable populations like pregnant women, mothers who are nursing or moms with young children — were given a caseworker who helped educate them on their rights and responsibilities. The caseworker also helped families settle in, assisting with things like accessing medical care and attorneys, while also making sure their charges made it to court.

              “It was really, really cost efficient compared to family detention or family separation,” Katharina Obser, a senior policy adviser for the Women's Refugee Commission's Migrant Rights and Justice program, said.

              According to The Associated Press, cost the government $36 per day per family. By the end, it served 954 people in total, according to a 2017 Department of Homeland Security Inspector General report.

              Trump has slammed policies or programs that let undocumented immigrants live in the country while awaiting immigration proceedings, using the term "catch and release" to decry the protections afforded to children and families seeking asylum in the U.S. and inaccurately claiming that the laws force ICE to release dangerous criminals.

              “And we say, 'Please show up to court in a couple of months.' You know what the chances of getting him to court are? Like zero. Ok? It’s crazy,” Trump told Fox News in June.

              In April, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a "zero tolerance" policy of prosecuting everyone who crosses the border illegally, including asylum seekers, which resulted in thousands of children being separated from their parents. Public outrage, compounded by photos and media accounts of kids in cages, as well as increasing pushback from members of the president's own party forced Trump to halt the policy of detaining kids separately via executive order on Wednesday. But a day after signing it, he blasted the migrants on Twitter as frauds who use a "legal phrase" as a "password" to come into the country.
              We shouldn’t be hiring judges by the thousands, as our ridiculous immigration laws demand, we should be changing our laws, building the Wall, hire Border Agents and Ice and not let people come into our country based on the legal phrase they are told to say as their password.
              — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 21, 2018

              Obser said the FCMP encouraged compliance with the laws while treating asylum seekers with compassion.

              “When people have an understanding of their immigration requirement and an understanding with the process, they will generally comply…even if it has a negative outcome,” Obser said. “And they will comply because they feel like they’ve had a fair and reasonable chance.”

              According to the Inspector General report, overall compliance in the five cities where the pilot was launched was 99 percent for ICE check-ins and appointments, and 100 percent for attendance in court hearings. Just 2 percent of participants absconded during the process.

              ICE said it canceled the program because it was too expensive compared to other monitoring methods, and because it did not remove enough asylum seekers from the U.S.

              “After a review of the Family Case Management Program (FCMP), ICE discontinued the program in June 2017. The rates of compliance for FCMP were consistent with other monitoring options ICE exercises under Alternatives to Detention (ATD), which proved to be a much better use of limited resources,” ICE spokesperson Sarah Rodriguez told NBC News in a statement.

              "Additionally, removals of individuals on ATD occur at a much higher rate than the FCMP," Rodriguez added. "Over the lifespan of FCMP, there were only 15 removals from this program, as opposed to more than 2,200 from ATD in the same period. There are no plans to reinstate the FCMP at this time."

              The numbers aren't quite comparable, however, since there were roughly 75 times more enrollees in the other ATD programs ICE cited. FCMP's rate of removal was just over half that of the other ATD programs.

              A second ICE spokesman added that the other ATD methods also had a compliance rate of over 99 percent, too. Those cost between $5 and $7 a day per adult.

              Immigration advocates contend that the intensive supervision — frequent appointments at ICE and ankle monitors — is intrusive and criminalizing. Obser said the methods are “inappropriate and unnecessary for many of the people” seeking asylum, as many have already experienced trauma.

              Detaining the families who cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally — even if they request asylum, as many have under the Trump administration's new "zero tolerance" policy — is more expensive than any monitoring method. Keeping families together can cost nearly $300 per person, per day. Detaining migrant children separately from their parents can cost as much as $775 per day in the tent cities the Trump administration has rushed to construct to handle the surge of children removed from their parents.

              Advocates note that it is much easier for people to fight for asylum from outside detention, where there is better access to attorneys and interpreters, and it is easier to gather evidence to bolster a case that someone is unsafe in his or her home country.

              Those who are not in detention have a much greater likelihood to find an attorney, and an attorney is really critical to a successful immigration outcome,” Obser said.

              Detention centers are often in remote areas that limit representation options. The Trump administration has been sued for limiting asylum seekers access to release from detention while their cases are determined.

              Still, on Thursday, the Department of Justice urged a federal judge to allow the government to detain migrant families together for long periods — arguing that release is not an option it wants to entertain because many families fail to show up for their hearings and simply remain in the country illegally.

              Trump isn't trying to prevent "fraud", he's trying to deport as many people as possible, which is easier to do if you put people in a situation where they can't even find a lawyer.


              • I am at a loss of wordss ... this must be the archetype of the true american rightwing idiot (see Link)

                Tamsin (Lost Girl): "I am the Harbinger of Death. I arrive on winds of blessed air. Air that you no longer deserve."
                Tamsin (Lost Girl): "He has fallen in battle and I must take him to the Einherjar in Valhalla"


                • I thought it was about the MAGA Kid basically stalking a native american vietnam vet, while those around him demand "build a wall" (because that's the ultimate sort of trolling a native american vietnam vet, since we all know a wall to mexico would affect them).

                  Maybe the usual "tax is theft" crowd should be exempt from all tax, but charged directly from using any public serivces, like using roads or somesuch.


                  • I'm surprised the left hasn't roasted that young man by now.
                    להזמין ש‬ל הזבוב, Trained by Ba'al.
                    Giuliani/Lindell 2024.


                    • 10 yrs in the tower for being silly. Minimum



                      • I'm surprised they didn't tell the vet to go back to mexico.
                        I am not delusional! Now if you'll excuse me, i'm gonna go dance with the purple wombat who's playing show-tunes in my coffee cup!
                        Rules are like Egg's. They're fun when thrown out the window!
                        Difference is irrelevant when dosage is higher than recommended!


                        • Or Vietnam.
                          One day Canada will rule the world, and then we'll all be sorry.


                          • Click image for larger version

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                            • Looks like we found the culprit responsible...
                              'Black Muslims' Made My Son Do It, Says Mother of Pro-Trump Boy Who Mocked Native American Veteran

                              The mother of one of the Trump-supporting, MAGA hat-wearing boys filmed mocking Native American veteran Nathan Phillips has accused “black Muslims” of creating the situation while also suggesting the former soldier who fought in Vietnam had provoked the group of students.

                              “Shame on you! Were you there? Did you hear the names the people where (sic) calling these boys? It was shameful. Did you witness the black Muslims yelling profanities and video taping trying to get something to futher (sic) your narrative of hatred??,” the mother wrote in an email to news site Heavy.

                              “Did you know that this ‘man’ came up to this one boy and drummed in his face? Shame on you. Only reporting what you want. More fake news,” she added, echoing President Donald Trump’s repeated attacks on media coverage that he does not feel is positive.

                              The group of students from the all-male Covington Catholic High School was in Washington on Friday to participate in an anti-abortion March for Life rally when they came across a march for indigenous peoples’ right. The teenagers were filmed and went viral as they jeered at Phillips while he sang a native chant and beat a drum. In response, the boys chanted “build the wall, build the wall," a phrase that has become a catch-all for Trump supporters' dislike of darker-skinned or culturally different Americans.

                              In a separate video posted after the incident, the veteran pointed out the disturbing irony of the boys actions. “This is indigenous lands, we’re not supposed to have walls here,” he said, showing visible emotion after the confrontation. “We never did.”

                              Many politicians and pundits were quick to condemn the actions of the boys. Democratic Representative Deb Haaland, a member of New Mexico’s Laguna Pueblo tribe, who became one of the first two Native American woman elected to Congress in November, slammed the students for their “blatant hate, disrespect, and intolerance” on Twitter.

                              “The behavior shown in that video is just a snapshot of what indigenous people have faced and are continuing to face,” Representative Ruth Buffalo, a North Dakota state lawmaker and member of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, said in response to the videos that circulated widely on social media, according to The Independent.

                              Responding swiftly to the backlash, the Catholic high school and the Diocese of Covington issued an apology and condemnation of the the students’ behavior.

                              “We extend our deepest apologies to Mr. Phillips. This behavior is opposed to the church’s teachings on the dignity and respect of the human person,” they said. “The matter is being investigated and we will take appropriate action, up to and including expulsion.”

                              When told by Heavy that her angry email would be reported as part of the story, the mother lashed out with another angry response.

                              “I want nothing to do with helping perpetuating (sic) your hate. I do not want to be a part of your story. You are ruining a boys life for fake news. Hate spreads like wildfire. I pray for you,” she wrote.

                              That woman is batshit insane, and there are millions of people like her.


                              • Berzerker
                                Berzerker commented
                                Editing a comment
                                she was closer to the truth than the media