Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Who's your voting buddy?

Hal Rogers didn't vote on the S.204 Right to Try Act of 2017, but the Bill Passed 250-169.  5-22-'18. 
Hal Rogers received a 0% rating from the National Farmers Union "Congressional Scorecard" of      2016. 
He received a 0% rating from the United Fresh Produce Association of 2007.
Hal Rogers received a 0% rating from the Competitive Enterprise Institute---Positions on Agriculture for 1994.
The Humane Society Legislative Fund  gave Hal Rogers  0% rating on their "Humane Scorecard Midterm Report of 2017. 
The Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund--Positions gave Hal Rogers a 0% rating for 2015-2016.
The American Veterinary Medical Association--Positions on Professional Advocacy gave Hal Rogers a 0% rating for 2015.
The Sierra Club gave Hal Rogers a 0% rating for his Positions on Clean water for 2012.
The Animal Welfare Institute--Positions gave Hal Rogers 0% for his evaluation in 2011-2012.
The American Wilderness Association--Positions gave Hal Rogers a 0% Rating in 2005-2006.
In 2004, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals gave Hal Rogers a 11% rating.

Who is your voting buddy?

Who's your voting buddy?
Hal Rogers didn't vote on the S.204 Right to Try Act of 2017, but the Bill Passed 250-169.  5-22-'18. 
Hal Rogers received a 0% rating from the National Farmers Union "Congressional Scorecard" of      2016. 
He received a 0% rating from the United Fresh Produce Association of 2007.
Hal Rogers received a 0% rating from the Competitive Enterprise Institute---Positions on Agriculture for 1994.
The Humane Society Legislative Fund  gave Hal Rogers  0% rating on their "Humane Scorecard Midterm Report of 2017. 
The Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund--Positions gave Hal Rogers a 0% rating for 2015-2016.
The American Veterinary Medical Association--Positions on Professional Advocacy gave Hal Rogers a 0% rating for 2015.
The Sierra Club gave Hal Rogers a 0% rating for his Positions on Clean water for 2012.
The Animal Welfare Institute--Positions gave Hal Rogers 0% for his evaluation in 2011-2012.
The American Wilderness Association--Positions gave Hal Rogers a 0% Rating in 2005-2006.
In 2004, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals gave Hal Rogers a 11% rating.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

THE SEPARATION OF FAMILIES OF PEOPLE SEEKING TO LIVE IN AMERICA CONTINUES!





A woman holds a child's hand as undocumented immigrant families are released from detention at a bus depot in McAllen, Texas. Photo by Loren Elliott/Reuters






5 numbers to watch on family separations

 


The Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy has been marked by confusion: conflicting statements about the policy’s goals, few details on the separated children held in detention and no clear data on how many remain separated.
The Department of Health and Human Services confirmed that child separations have stopped. “We are not receiving any more referrals as a result of the zero tolerance policy,” an HHS spokesman said in an email to the PBS NewsHour.
This comes more than two weeks after President Donald Trump signed an executive order that ends family separations, but still requires criminal prosecution for illegal entry. The Trump administration said it will detain families together for the duration of their immigration proceedings. Meanwhile, more than 2,000 children are still believed to be separated from their families, among more than 11,000 children who are under HHS’ care.
A federal judge ruled on June 26 that the Trump administration must reunite families separated by the policy within 30 days of the court order, sooner for children younger than 5 years old. That first deadline for the youngest separated minors was July 10. The Trump administration missed that deadline.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar, echoing the sentiments of other agencies heads involved in the process, blamed the country’s existing laws and disputed the notion that the “zero tolerance” policy’s rollout has led to confusion stemming from its implementation.
“Any confusion is due to a broken immigration system and court orders,” Azar told reporters on a July phone call. “It’s not here.”
Numbers matter, and here are a few that you should know about. We will update this post as the numbers change.

11,800

The number of children that have been received by the HHS’ Office of Refugee Resettlement division.
For now, this is one of the numbers HHS and other agencies are providing in response to requests to better understand how many children have been separated under the “zero tolerance” policy. This number includes all children in the agency’s care, both those who were separated and those who arrived unaccompanied.
An important note: All minors referred to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, including those separated under the Trump policy, are classified as “unaccompanied alien children.”

Under 3,000

The number of children separated from their parents under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy.
Earlier this month, HHS head Alex Azar told reporters on a media call that the latest estimate of children believed to have been separated at the border is “under 3,000.”
Azar said that the “under 3,000” estimate is a “maximum” figure that could include children who were separated from their parents before they arrived at the border. The secretary said officials are reviewing the thousands of case files to get a better understanding of exactly how many children were separated by DHS officials and then transferred into HHS’ care.
This comes nine days after Azar told reporters that 2,047 children had been separated from their parents and remained under the agency’s care.
That was six down from the number provided June 20 when HHS reported 2,053 separated minors in its custody. That was also the last time immigration officials provided a specific break-out number, and based on recent subsequent correspondence with the agency, it appears to no longer be providing this number.
Initially, DHS officials also said that between May 5 and June 9, a total 2,342 children were separated from their parents.

2,551

Of the “under 3,000” children separated from their parents, 2,551 are between ages 5 and 17, according to the latest court update from the federal government.
The government has until July 26 to reunite all eligible minors with their parents. As of July 19, the Trump administration said it has reunited 364 from this group, according to its court filing.

Bob Carey, the former director of the HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement, the division currently caring for the children, joins Amna Nawaz to discuss the logistical challenges of reunification.
The government has been under court mandate to provide regular updates on the reunification process for the thousands of separated minors under U.S. custody. Among the other numbers provided to a federal judge on July 19:
At least 1,606 parents may be deemed eligible for reunification with their children:
  • Of the 1,606 adults, 848 have been cleared for reunification. Another 272 have yet to be interviewed.
  • 222 adults have been released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Another 264 remain in ICE custody.
The U.S. has identified 908 adults that are either ineligible for reunification or their eligibility status is not yet known:
  • 679 adults who require “further evaluation” to fully determine their eligibility for reunification.
  • 2 adults are in local, state or federal custody.
  • 136 adults waived reunification rights during the interview.
  • 91 adults had a criminal record or were “deemed ineligible by ICE.”
The court update on Friday also said 719 of the parents face a “final order of removal.”
In a July 24 update, the federal government said 463 migrant parents are no longer in the U.S. The filing said these individuals’ cases were “under review” because they may have been deported without their children. This, the government argued, could hinder efforts to reunite separated minors with this group of parents by Thursday’s deadline.
The government may provide more information in another hearing Tuesday.

103

Of the “under 3,000” children separated from their parents, 103 are under age 5, according to the latest numbers in a multi-agency statement from the federal government.
The government missed a court-ordered deadline of July 10 for reunification for the youngest migrants. U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw told the government to continue working on reunifying families. “These are firm deadlines. They’re not aspirational goals,” the judge said Tuesday, declining the government’s request to extend the deadline for reunification.
Of the 103 children eligible for reunification, 57 have been reunited with their parents, while the other 46 remain separated. The government said this is because 22 children were ineligible for reunification because of “safety concerns posed by the adults in question.” The Justice Department said some of the adults had charges or convictions for child cruelty, kidnapping and murder, among other reasons. Another 24 children are also not eligible due to the parents’ circumstances; this could be because the parents have already been deported or are in custody for unspecified “other offenses.”


Late Wednesday, HHS provided a quick update on the reunification status: “We anticipate that, as of the early morning on July 12, we will have reunified all children under age 5 who are eligible under the court order for reunification with parents in the United States.” The government provided a more detailed breakdown of the children Thursday morning.
The American Civil Liberties Union, who brought the original lawsuit that led to the current deadlines, responded to the government’s latest update, saying the administration failed to reunite the dozens of eligible children by the July 10 deadline.
“If in fact 57 children have been reunited because of the lawsuit, we could not be more happy for those families,” Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, said in a statement. “But make no mistake about it: the government missed the deadline even for these 57 children. Accordingly, by the end of the day we will decide what remedies to recommend to the court for the non-compliance.”
The court deadline for the government to provide a list of separated children between the ages of 5 and 17 was today. That list has not been submitted. The judge said in a meeting with both parties on Friday that the government must provide a list that includes the names, ages and locations of all children and adults that fall within that category by 9 a.m. PT Monday.
The court also ordered the government to provide the ACLU with the time, day and location of each family’s reunification at least 12 hours before it occurs.

42,565

This is the number of U.S. Border Patrol arrests for the month of June.
The U.S. Border Patrol released the latest arrest numbers, showing that agents made 42,565 arrests of people crossing at the U.S.-Mexico border during the month of June. This number also includes those defined as “inadmissibles”: people without prior authorization to enter who present themselves at ports of entry, including asylum seekers.
Border Patrol uses the term “apprehensions” to describe those who illegally cross the border between ports of entry.
The data shows a drop in arrests at the border, after a trend of increases across the last three months or more. The official CBP numbers are released on a monthly basis.
The latest, official numbers on border apprehensions. The red line is for fiscal year 2018. Image by U.S. Customs and Border Protection
The latest, official numbers on border apprehensions. The red line is for fiscal year 2018. Image by U.S. Customs and Border Protection
The drop in arrests could indicate that “zero tolerance” is acting as a deterrent. But other factors could be responsible too. For example, extreme weather patterns have been known to slow the number of people illegally crossing into the U.S.
Michelle Mittelstadt of the Migration Policy Institute argued for taking a long view when looking at immigration data.
“On a topline level … one can use numbers to basically make any argument,” Mittelstadt said. “It’s important, if you want to get an accurate picture of what’s happening at the border, to not just do a comparison of one month to the prior month or one month to the same month a year earlier.”
Border apprehensions for fiscal year 2017 followed a downward trend of lower-than-average arrests since 2007.
The Trump administration has pointed to the numbers of border arrests when defending its policies. During his first month in office, Trump said there was a 40 percent decline in illegal immigration. Some experts attributed that decline to winter weather.
But as months went on, border arrests began to increase. By 2018, the number of illegal crossings inched closer to the levels seen in May 2014 when more than 68,000 arrests were made, amid the surge of Central American families and children showing up at the border.
The peak year for apprehensions at the southwest border, however, was the year 2000 when there were more than 1.6 million apprehensions, Mittelstadt said. These numbers, too, predated the official use of “inadmissibles” in CBP data.






Saturday, July 14, 2018

Congress should Rein In ICE and the INS [IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE]














An immigration activist holds up a sign calling for the abolishment of ICE, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, during rally to protest the Trump Administration's immigration policy outside the Department of Justice in Washington, U.S., June 30, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

What’s driving the movement to Abolish ICE?

In the past week, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has become the target of a growing number of Democrats in Congress who are unhappy with the Trump administration’s immigration priorities — especially its separation of families at the border.
The group Rise and Resist stage a protest at the Statue of Liberty in New York, U.S. July 4, 2018 in this picture obtained from social media. Rise and Resist/via REUTERS
The group Rise and Resist stage a protest at the Statue of Liberty in New York, U.S. July 4, 2018 in this picture obtained from social media. Rise and Resist/via REUTERS
Progressive activists have been calling to abolish ICE for months, and this week, one protester was arrested after climbing the base of the Statue of Liberty on the Fourth of July. These activists have recently been joined by Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, along with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic socialist who defeated Democratic Caucus Chair Rep. Joe Crowley in a primary race last week, using the dismantling of ICE as a major part of her platform.
“I believe you should get rid of [ICE], start over, reimagine it and build something that actually works,” Gillibrand told CNN.
Trump has criticized this idea several times on Twitter, offering his support for the agency established in 2003 and accusing Democrats who support the efforts as wanting “open borders.”
“Every day, the brave men and women of ICE are liberating communities from savage gangs like MS-13,” Trump wrote on Thursday. “We will NOT stand for these vile Democrat smears in law enforcement. We will always stand proudly with the BRAVE HEROES of ICE and BORDER PATROL!”
The White House formally ended the practice of separating families at the border last month, and now faces court-ordered deadlines to reunite them. It has said any effort to dismantle ICE would “grind immigration enforcement to a halt, with devastating consequences for public safety.” According to data released by the White House, ICE agents arrested more than 127,000 undocumented immigrants with criminal convictions or charges in 2017, including more than 78,000 drug offenses and 1,800 homicides.
Vice President Mike Pence reinforced the administration’s position Friday during a speech to ICE employees in Washington, D.C.
“In this White House, let me be clear, we are with you 100 percent,” Pence said. “These spurious attacks on ICE by our political leaders must stop.”
While some senators have called for re-examining ICE, calls to dismantle the agency have so far been led by a small but vocal group of progressive activists and lawmakers. To understand the current fight over ICE, here’s what we know about the agency’s history, its role under Trump and what’s next.

How was ICE created?

A Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) bus is seen parked outside a federal jail in San Diego, California, U.S. October 19, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) bus is seen parked outside a federal jail in San Diego, California. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Immigration became a federal responsibility and priority in the late 1800s and was formalized as a division of the Treasury Department in 1891.
In the more than 100 years since, immigration has been shuffled among several federal agencies, including the Commerce, Labor and Justice Departments, before landing in the newly-created department of Homeland Security in the years after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
“Whatever federal government agency handles immigration is a great window into how we think about immigration and its role in the United States,” said Erika Lee, the director of the Immigration History Research Center at University of Minnesota.
The most recent home inside DHS signals a decades-long “shift in America as nation of immigrants and thinking about immigration as a good to immigration as a national security threat,” she added.
While Lee says it may seem like there’s a newfound outsized fear of immigrants, she sees echoes of the nation’s complicated history and response to outsiders, one that stretches back more than a century to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the backlash against Irish Catholics in the mid-1800s.
The current Immigration and Customs Enforcement was one of three agencies established in 2003 from what used to be the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). ICE’s mandate is to enforce approximately 400 federal immigration and labor-related statutes, primarily in the nation’s interior, and work to remove people for immigration violations. One duty includes monitoring businesses for undocumented workers, but patrolling the border itself is left to Customs and Border Protection, another agency formed in the 2003 shakeup.

ICE and immigration under Trump

Since Trump took office, historians like Deborah Kang, a professor at California State University San Marco and author of “The INS on the Line: Making Immigration Law on the US-Mexico Border,” have seen a wholesale shift in ICE’s priorities.
“They’re focused on removing green card holders — legal permanent residents,” Kang said.
The current ICE policy stems from the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, a 1996 law signed by then-President Bill Clinton. It says immigrants can be deported for committing any crime, including misdemeanors. The country’s network of 200 ICE detention centers began to pop up in the years after Sept. 11, when there was a surge of funding for immigration enforcement. That funding has more than doubled since 2005, according to the Center for Migration Studies. The average daily population of immigrant detainees has also surged since the 1996 law was enacted, from around 9,000 a day in 1996 to more than 38,000 a day in 2017, according to CMS.
In addition to new enforcement priorities, Amy Gottlieb, an immigration lawyer and activist currently working for American Friends Service Committee, sees a new trend in language, too.
“There’s been a lot of rhetoric and a lot of anger and a lot of suspicion and a lot of scapegoating around immigrants,” Gottlieb said.
She points to Trump’s election as something that “really opened up language that people were sitting on, holding onto, not willing to put out there publicly,” Gottlieb said. “Trump made it okay to suddenly talk about an invasion and talk about immigrants as criminals.”
Gottlieb has experienced shifting ICE priorities regarding legal permanent residents firsthand. Her husband, Ravi Ragbir, has lived legally in the United States legally for more than two decades.
Following a wire fraud conviction in 2006, Ragbir served two and a half years in ICE detention facilities. In the years since, he continued to appear at regular check-in meetings with immigration agents. Despite his criminal conviction and the 1996 law that could have been used to deport him to Trinidad and Tobago, Ragbir never faced a serious deportation threat because of the Obama administration policy of prosecutorial discretion.
That all changed during his most recent appointment in January.
“They arrested him in front of my eyes. They handcuffed him and they flew him that very day to Miami trying to deport him,” Gottlieb said. “To me that was an incident of state-sponsored violence. I will not ever forget that moment.”
Ragbir was held in custody for 11 days before a court ordered his release. Gottlieb says in the nearly six months since Ragbir’s detention she and her husband live “one day at a time.”
It’s experiences like Ragbir’s and increased ICE enforcement in recent months that Kang says has “created the kind of opposition you’re seeing to ICE right now.”
Gottlieb and Ragbir are two of the many activists who are calling on the government to abolish ICE.
“I can’t name a single thing that ICE has done to protect public safety in our community. Not a single thing,” Gottlieb said. “You can’t fix an agency that is so broken and has so much power.”

What’s next?

The idea of abolishing ICE has so far only attracted limited support from some Democrats in Congress. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., already introduced a bill to abolish ICE, and Washington Democratic Reps. Adam Smith and Pramila Jayapal are working on another. But any attempt to phase out ICE is likely face strong opposition in the Republican-controlled House and Senate.
Supporters of the agency, like former acting ICE director Thomas Homan, who retired at the end of last month after 30 years in immigration enforcement, say ICE agents are simply doing their job as prescribed by the law.
“The system needs to be fixed. I’m the first one to agree to that,” Homan told PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff in May. “If the law doesn’t work, then fix the law. Don’t ask the law enforcement officer to ignore it. No one asks the FBI to ignore their job. No one asks the DEA to do their job. We’re no different.”
People like Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, have hesitated to call for abolishing the agency altogether, though they have encouraged Congress to re-examine it.
“I don’t know how you abolish an agency without abolishing the function, and I think the function is necessary,” he said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet The Press.” But he also said it makes a “hell of a lot of sense” to take a close look at how they’re carrying out enforcement, adding, “there are a lot of questions to be answered.”
Some type of action — whether legislatively or in the courts — could become more likely if protests grow louder, Kang said.
“What we’ve seen in the past is that when people protest and protest enough, there actually is change,” Kang said. “These protests do have an impact in helping to raising awareness of problems with our immigration bureaucracy and achieving some degree of reforms. These reforms are limited, but sometimes reforms can happen.”
Still, Kang notes, “just getting rid of ICE isn’t going to solve the problem.” Congress would likely just shift responsibility for interior immigration enforcement to other agencies inside the Department of Homeland Security, like Customs and Border Protection.
Instead, Lee says 21st century questions about “balancing national security and economic prosperity” require a comprehensive analysis of immigration in the United States.
“The calls for abolishing ICE is part of a much larger reimagining of our country’s relationship with immigration,” she said, the latest iteration of an immigration struggle the federal government has wrestled with for more than 100 years.