Thursday, January 10, 2019

Trump's continuing Government shut-down negatively impacts DHS/ ICE oversight abilities to prevent more child deaths in custody

The Department of Homeland Security canceled a trip to the southern border in Texas for its advisory council because of the government shutdown, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
Members of the advisory council were supposed to spend several days last week visiting holding centers and detention facilities with a focus on gathering information on the treatment of children and families in custody, those same sources said. The council had embarked on a similar trip in early December. The January visits were supposed to help the team draft recommendations for DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
But members of the council were told that they could not “conduct business” because of the shutdown. Now, their report on how the department can better accommodate the overflow of children at the border is on hold.
The canceling of the council’s visit underscores how the government shutdown has only worsened the situation on the border—a situation that the Trump administration has used as a rationale for demanding a border wall as part of any government funding agreement.
The president has spent weeks, if not months, arguing that a wall is needed to combat a growing national security threat and humanitarian crisis at the border, all while the Department of Homeland Security is battling a public relations fiasco after several children died in its custody. But the practical work the administration is doing is now on hold as Congress and the president debate whether $5.6 billion should be appropriated for the wall.
In general, the DHS advisory council has the job of providing “the Secretary real-time, real-world, sensing and independent advice to support decision-making across the spectrum of homeland security operations,” according to the department’s website.
But now members of the council are unable to even hold conference calls with the secretary, or with each other, because of the shutdown.
“I really don’t get why this is the case,” one member of the council told The Daily Beast. “It’s not like those calls are costing the government any money. Now everything is stalled and we can’t give advice on how to handle everything that’s going on.”
The Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The news of the stalled advisory council efforts comes as President Trump is set to make a primetime television address in which he is expected to talk about the possibility of issuing a national emergency to build the border wall. It also comes at a time when the advisory council is supposed to be producing a crucial report with recommendations for Nielsen about how her department can better handle the backlog of asylum claims and the movement of migrants between holding centers and detention facilities.
But members of the advisory council told The Daily Beast that additional resources for DHS would be more effective.
One individual from the council said he traveled with several members to the border in California and Arizona to visit six different sites in December. The most alarming part of the trip, the source said, was the sheer number of people living in holding centers—the facilities that serve as the first stopping point for those who enter the U.S. from the southern border.
Border patrol agents are supposed to transfer individuals from those stations to official detention centers within 24 hours, the source said, but are holding them for “far longer.”
“There are bottlenecks along the way, too,” the advisory council member said. “The way the laws and regulations are set up, one part of Border Patrol can’t turn people over to ICE who can’t turn it over to the next team of people. They just don’t have the resources.”
The source said he spoke with people who crossed the border, including women and children, who had broken bones and wounds.
“Some of them I think had tried to scale the wall and jumped to the ground,” the source said, adding that the detention centers were overcrowded and did not offer a separate space for those suffering from various illnesses.

Abolish ICE and DHS

 Chris Britt for 1/2/2019

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Of course Trump won't cooperate with the UN investigation into US human rights violations by ICE and DHS.. Hitler and the SS wouldn't have cooperated either.

Trump Admin Ends Cooperation With U.N. on Potential Human-Rights Abuse in the U.S.

Reuters / Jim Young

The Trump administration is no longer cooperating with United Nations human-rights investigators on potential violations occurring inside America, The Guardian reports. The State Department is said to have stopped responding to official complaints from U.N. special rapporteurs—a group of experts who act as global watchdogs on issues such as poverty, migration, and justice. At least 13 requests have gone unanswered, according to the report, and there’s been no response to any formal query since May. The Trump administration hasn’t invited any U.N. monitors to visit the U.S. to investigate human rights since Trump’s term began—the only two U.N. experts who have made fact-finding visits were initially invited by Barack Obama. “They are sending a very dangerous message to other countries: that if you don’t cooperate with U.N. experts, they will just go away,” said Jamil Dakwar, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s human-rights program. “That’s a serious setback to the system created after World War II to ensure that domestic human-rights violations could no longer be seen as an internal matter.”

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

MORE PROOF ICE and DHS are engaged in Human trafficking of children on an immense scale, financed by taxpayer $$$ and fueled by racism and fear-mongering.

Thousands of Migrant Children Could Be Released After Sponsor Policy Change

Demonstrators gathered to protest immigration detention near the site of a tent city for migrant children at the border crossing near Tornillo, Tex., in June.CreditVictor J. Blue for The New York Times

Demonstrators gathered to protest immigration detention near the site of a tent city for migrant children at the border crossing near Tornillo, Tex., in June.CreditCreditVictor J. Blue for The New York Times
By Miriam Jordan  
The Trump administration announced on Tuesday that it planned to ease onerous security requirements for sponsors of migrant children, meaning that thousands who have been parked in shelters for months could soon be released and reunited with family members. In a major policy reversal, the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the care of migrant children through its Office of Refugee Resettlement, said that it would no longer require that all members of a household where a child is to live be fingerprinted. Instead, fingerprints will be required only of the adult who is sponsoring the minor, typically a parent or another relative. Sponsors of migrant children who cross the border and are taken into custody of the United States authorities must still pass criminal and extensive background checks, the agency said in a statement. However, others in the same home will not be subjected to that extra vetting, which was introduced by the administration in June. As a result, it will take significantly less time to place children with their families, and their stays in the shelters will be much shorter. The agency said in its statement that it was “in the best interest of children.

The lengthy warehousing of minors had come under attack from immigrants’ advocates, Democratic lawmakers and medical professionals, who had expressed concern about its detrimental effect on the mental health of the children.

“Studies have shown that the institutionalization of children in general, and away from their families, has serious deleterious affects on their psychological and physical health, as well as their growth and development,” said Amy J. Cohen, a child psychiatrist who is an expert on trauma.
Thousands of minors, many of whom have been separated from their parents under a new “zero tolerance” policy by the Trump administration, have been detained in tents in Tornillo, Tex., near the Mexican border.CreditMike Blake/Reuters

Thousands of minors, many of whom have been separated from their parents under a new “zero tolerance” policy by the Trump administration, have been detained in tents in Tornillo, Tex., near the Mexican border.CreditMike Blake/Reuters“It’s a tremendous relief to hear that the government is finally going to enable these children to be reunited with family so that they can start the healing process,” said Dr. Cohen, who has interviewed migrant children in shelters.The influx of migrant youths reaching the border alone, along with the Trump administration’s monthslong practice of separating children from their families and the stringent security screening of potential sponsors, had stretched the shelters to nearly capacity.In June, the federal government erected a tent city on federal land in Tornillo, Tex., about 35 miles southeast of El Paso, as a temporary home for a few hundred migrant children. Several months later, it had expanded the camp to house about 2,800 minors, most of whom were transferred there from traditional brick-and-mortar shelters that were overflowing.The creation and expansion of the desert shelter showed the degree to which the Trump administration had taken a disaster-oriented, militaristic approach to the housing of migrant youths who entered the country illegally, often fleeing gangs or poverty in their home countries.Most of the children at Tornillo have been waiting for the results of F.B.I. checks on their potential sponsors.  On Tuesday, staff members at a large complex in Texas operated by BCFS, a nonprofit network of shelters, received notice that they should prepare to release nearly half the children there in the coming days.A worker at the shelter, who asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak to the news media, said that staff members had also been advised to attend a meeting on Wednesday to learn the details of the new government policy.The worker said that many children at the shelter, which has a capacity of about 240, had been showing signs of “psychological duress” as their stay there dragged on. The worker said that some migrant youth had been at the facility for close to a year.“The longer they are here, the more they act up with incidents of aggression toward staff and other minors,” the worker said.The worker attributed the protracted stay to the burdensome fingerprinting and screening process, which took months to complete. The process also inhibited some relatives from collecting the children if others in their household, who were undocumented immigrants, refused to be fingerprinted out of concern that they could be deported.The number of Central American migrants who began leaving their countries and heading to the southwest border surged in 2014, and included many unaccompanied minors, typically adolescents, and parents with children.The wave ebbed in the first year that Donald Trump was in office but has since strengthened.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Shut them all down. Stop DHS/ICE sexually and physically abusing kidnapped children at the US border while CEO's of for-profit-private "facilities" get rich on Taxpayer's $$$ ?


Videos Show Migrant Children Being Slapped, Dragged At Since-Shuttered Arizona Shelter

The Hacienda Del Sol shelter, run by the embattled Southwest Key Programs, was shut down by the federal government in October.
Surveillance videos obtained by the Arizona Republic show migrant children being slapped, pushed and dragged by employees at a since-shuttered shelter run by embattled shelter provider Southwest Key Programs.
In one video, a male staffer at the Hacienda Del Sol shelter in Youngtown, Arizona, is seen pulling and dragging a young boy into a room before slapping him and pushing him against a wall. The child then appears to strike back at the employee who retreats from the boy and leaves the room.
A second surveillance clip shows a female employee at the shelter dragging a child into a room. Another staff member is seen in the same video dragging and pulling another child across the floor.
The Republic said the videos were obtained from the Arizona Department of Health Services under state public-records law. The clips were blurred by the department to protect the children’s identities.    
According to the Republic, Southwest Key had reported the incidents shown in the videos — all of which occurred in mid-September — to state authorities, local law enforcement and federal officials.
The shelter was shuttered by the federal government in early October. At the time, Southwest Key said the Office of Refugee Resettlement had decided to suspend operations at Hacienda Del Sol because of an unspecified incident.
“We wholeheartedly welcomed the [decision] and are working to thoroughly retrain our staff,” a spokesman for the Texas-based shelter operator said. 
It’s unclear whether the encounters shown in the surveillance videos were directly linked to the shelter’s suspension. The Republic reported in October, however, that the facility was shuttered because staffers there had been found to have physically abused children.
Southwest Key declined to elaborate on the surveillance videos, the Republic said on Friday. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office told the paper that it had reviewed the surveillance clips and determined that “while physical force and restraint techniques were used against these minor children, these actions did not rise to the level of criminal charges.”
Southwest Key is the country’s largest shelter provider for migrant children, according to The New York Times. The shelter operator has come under scrutiny in recent months for an array of issues, including accusations of child sexual abuse, the possible misuse of federal money and the failure to conduct adequate background checks on some employees. 
A staffer at a Southwest Key shelter in Phoenix, Arizona, was arrested in July for allegedly molesting a 14-year-old girl at the facility. About a month later, an employee at a shelter in Mesa, Arizona, who is HIV-positive, was convicted of sexually abusing several boys
Mark Weber, a spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services, told the Times earlier this month that there had been “numerous red flags and licensure problems” with the Hacienda Del Sol shelter, as well as another Southwest Key shelter in Phoenix, which the federal government also shuttered in October.