The Department of Homeland Security recently announced plans to take money from other programs to further expand ICE resources and its capacity to enforce and detain immigrants. This shift also includes the dismantling of the Flores agreement created in 1997 after the Flores v. Reno court case that provides basic protections to children of detained immigrants, including a 20-day limit for holding all minors. The says that DHS could even detain families indefinitely, arguing it is the only way to deter undocumented immigrants from entering the country.
There has been a steady stream of reports about the conditions in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers holding migrants. Now a new report by the Office of Inspector General, which is a federal watchdog organization within the Department of Homeland Security, shows how bad things have gotten in four of them, particularly regarding unusable bathrooms and unsafe food. According to CNN, these inspections were unannounced and conducted between May and November of 2018. The facilities can hold nearly 5,000 detainees.
The president is not big on planning or details. Often when speaking about important issues using his Twitter account instead of a press conference. The good news in all of this is that legislation is not created simply by demanding it in a Twitter rant. On the other hand, the administration has made many changes to the immigration system, and have many proposals that could come to pass.
The U.S. Border Patrol has announced that nearly 100,000 migrants were arrested at the southern border in April. This is the second straight month where these numbers topped 90,000. Numbers this year project to be an estimated 531,711 apprehensions and inadmissibles. This is up from 521,090 in fiscal 2018.
The current administration’s disregard for the law and protocols is well established at this point. The latest example is the president’s recent threat to “dump” detainees in California’s sanctuary cities and counties. According to the Los Angeles Times, the President has recently tweeted and spoken publicly about this, even though this would be illegal.
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen is leaving her cabinet post this week. As the primary face of President Trump’s policy regarding immigration issues, Nielsen was responsible for what has happened at the southern border since her appointment in December of 2017. Such low lights include the separation of migrant children from their family.
A federal judge determined that it is appropriate to widen the class action lawsuit to include those families separated at the border before the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” was officially launched in 2018.
There are a variety of trends involving immigration, but one that stands out is the surge in numbers in four of the last five months. According to the New York Times, the Southwest border is at a breaking point as 76,000 migrants crossed the border without authorization in February, which generally has lower numbers because of the weather. This 2019 number was more than double of February 2018 and the largest February since 2007. This has led Kevin McAleenan, commissioner of Customs and Border Patrol, to declare in a recent statement that, “The system is well beyond capacity, and remains at the breaking point.”
The detention of asylum seekers and immigrants at the Mexico border has been a nightmare. It is only worsened by the fact that children are separated from parents or legal guardians, stuck in shelters, and treated poorly. In light of this systemic abuse of the innocent, there are several lawsuit alleging that this approach is used as a punish kids and deport families.
A federal judge ordered the release of a permanent resident after 18 months of detention. He has been cleared of all charges. The 34-year-old man was accused of lying about once being part of an elite squad of the Iraqi military under Saddam Hussein as well as his online presence where he posed with guns and other images of ISIS military caravans.