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A government lawyer acknowledged Monday that the Trump administration will miss its first court-imposed deadline to reunite about 100 immigrant children under age 5 with their parents. Department of Justice attorney Sarah Fabian said during a court hearing that federal authorities reunited two families and expect to reunite an additional 59 by Tuesday’s deadline. She said the other cases are more complicated, including parents who have been deported or are in prison facing criminal charges, and would require more time to complete reunions. U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw, who ordered the administration to reunite families separated as part of President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, said he will hold another hearing Tuesday morning to get an update on the remaining cases. He said he was encouraged to see “real progress” in the complicated reunification process after a busy weekend when officials from multiple federal agencies tried to sync up parents and children who are spread across the country. STORY FROM LENDINGTREE Crush your mortgage interest with a 15 yr fixed “Tomorrow is the deadline. I do recognize that there are some groups of parents who are going to fall into a category where it’s impossible to reunite by tomorrow,” he said. “I am very encouraged by the progress. I’m optimistic.” Lee Gelernt, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney who leads a lawsuit against the federal government, sounded more skeptical. When asked by the judge if he believed the government was in full compliance of the court order, Gelernt said there was much more work to be done. “Let me put it this way: I think the government in the last 48 hours has taken significant steps,” he said. “We just don’t know how much effort the government has made to find released parents. I don’t think there’s been full compliance.” U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw, based in San Diego. U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw, based in San Diego. (Photo: U.S. District Court) The difficulty in reuniting the first 100 children shows the challenge that lies ahead as the Trump administration braces for another deadline in two weeks to reunite nearly 3,000 older children – up to age 17 – with their parents. The process is complicated because of all the different situations that emerged over the weekend. The government initially identified 102 children under age 5 who needed to be reunited but removed three children from that list because investigations into their cases revealed that those children came with adults who were not their parents, Fabian said. Twelve parents were found to be in federal and state custody on criminal charges, making a reunification impossible since the government can’t transfer minors to state and local prisons to protect the well-being of the child. Nine parents were deported, and the government established contact with only four of them, Fabian said. Four children had been scheduled to be released from government custody to relatives who weren’t their parents, leading the government to question whether to allow that process to be completed or to redirect the child back to a parent. Gelernt said he understood many of the hurdles but urged the judge to force the government to scrap its time-consuming investigation into every single case and start a 48-hour clock to reunify families that remain separated by Tuesday. Sabraw said he would decide that during Tuesday’s hearing. Fabian said one of the silver linings of the busy weekend is that her office worked closely with its challengers at the ACLU to share information on each child’s case, to ensure that representatives from immigration advocacy groups and volunteer organizations could be present during each reunification. Gelernt said they’re doing that to help the parents, who are often released from custody with no money and nowhere to go. Fabian said that coordination has led to a more formalized process between government agencies and with the immigrants’ lawyers that should make reunifications go more smoothly in the coming weeks. “I think this process over the weekend helped us see what information, and in what form, is the most useful to share,” she said. “I’d like to make that as efficient a process as possible.” -

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Venezuela elections news

Venezuelan presidential honor guards line up before casting their vote during the presidential elections in Caracas

This is a QC news update

October 7, 2012

– Hugo Chavez loyalists blew bugles in a wake up call for voters on Sunday as the Venezuelan leader faced the biggest electoral challenge yet to his socialist rule from a young rival tapping into discontent over crime and cronyism.

Henrique Capriles, a centrist state governor, edged toward the still-popular Chavez in final polls thanks to a vigorous campaign that united the opposition and made him its best chance of ending the president’s 14-year tenure.

Chavez has used record oil revenue to support ideological allies around the world while preaching a fiercely anti-American line, so the election is being watched eagerly from the United States to Belarus and Iran.

Queues formed at some polling centers long before they opened, and despite a few delays voting was going smoothly.

“The battle has started!” the flamboyant former soldier wrote in an early morning rallying cry on Twitter. “Today we will write another chapter in history.”

Chavez loyalists in poor neighborhoods, where he draws his most fervent following, blew bugles and trumpets in the predawn wake-up call. In the center of Caracas, some red-clad fans shouted “Long live Chavez!” from the back of trucks.

Chavez, 58, staged a remarkable comeback from cancer this year. But he could not match the energy of past campaigns – or the pace set by his 40-year-old basketball-loving opponent.

“Today we decide the future of our Venezuela,” Capriles said on Twitter. “Today we are millions of Davids! God will be our guide,” he added, referring to his depiction of the vote as the biblical underdog’s battle against Goliath.

Capriles had prepared for the election by hiking a mountain trail on the edge of Caracas on Saturday, donning sports gear and mirrored sunglasses and posing for pictures with supporters.

Opposition supporters had banged pots and pans in an overnight protest against the president in parts of the capital.

“Today I’m doing my bit to build a new Venezuela,” said Francesca Pipoli, 26, walking to vote with two girlfriends in the city’s wealthy Sebucan district. “Capriles for president!” all three sang in the street. “Henrique, marry me!” said one.

NO FORMAL MONITORS

Most well-known pollsters put Chavez in front. But two have Capriles just ahead, and his numbers have crept up in others.

There is a risk of violence if the result is contested. There are no formal international observers, but a delegation from the UNASUR group of South American nations, led by an Argentine politician, is in Venezuela to “accompany” the vote.

Local groups will be monitoring and both sides say they trust the electronic, fingerprint vote system. The opposition says it will have witnesses at all of the 13,810 polling centers, from tiny Amazon villages to tough Caracas slums.

In a politically polarized country where firearms are common and the murder rate is one of the highest in the world, tensions have risen alongside weeks of tough campaign rhetoric, and both camps are vowing to “defend” their votes.

Chavez accuses the opposition of plotting violence and planning to “reject the people’s triumph” when he wins, but says that effort will be defeated. Some opposition activists fear he could refuse to step down if the result goes against him.

Victory for Capriles would remove the most vocal critic of the United States in Latin America, and could lead to new deals for oil companies in an OPEC nation that pumps about 3 million barrels a day and boasts the world’s biggest crude reserves.

CARACAS, Venezuela —Ocotober 1, 2012. News update

AP–The brother of a truck driver killed in a shooting during a campaign caravan called for justice on Monday, saying in an interview that his brother was a committed opposition activist who took time off work to campaign ahead of Venezuela’s presidential election.

Jason Valero was one of two supporters of presidential candidate Henrique Capriles slain when gunfire erupted on Saturday in western Barinas state.

His younger brother, Ramon Valero, said the 32-year-old had gotten out of his vehicle to try to talk with supporters of President Hugo Chavez who were blocking the road. Then shots rang out and his brother was killed.

Authorities say one suspect has been arrested. Valero called for justice and said his brother, in his words, “died fighting for a change.”…(Reuters)

The Associated Press

CARACAS, Venezuela —

Liliana Carias used to hope President Hugo Chavez would change her life. Not anymore.

She’s been living for years in a dirt-floor shack without running water, and after voting for Chavez in the last three presidential elections, the single mother of four said she’s tired of waiting for help.

She was among thousands of people who cheered for the president’s rival recently in the serpentine streets of Caracas’ Petare slum, which used to be a bastion of support for Chavez. She held out a handwritten letter addressed to “My future President Henrique Capriles,” the opposition challenger, writing that her salary as a supermarket cashier was no longer enough to support her family and she was worried her landlord would evict them.

“We need change,” Carias said as the drum-beating caravan paraded by. “I thought it would come with Chavez but I’m very disappointed. He promised us everything but nothing changed. I still don’t have running water, sewer or electricity.”

From single mothers to construction workers, some Chavez supporters have been turning away from the president to consider new leadership. They’ve become key to the Oct. 7 presidential vote and Capriles’ strategy.

Surveys don’t indicate exactly which “Chavistas” are becoming “Caprilistas,” but the group appears to include working-class and lower-middle-class Venezuelans. Polls also reveal weariness over a growing yet troubled economy, 18 percent inflation and one of the world’s highest murder rates.

Despite billions of dollars in government spending on social programs, solutions to problems such as the country’s severe housing shortage have been elusive. Slums have grown during Chavez’s presidency, and the government’s construction of new housing projects hasn’t kept up with the legions of poor people like Carias who have applied for apartments and ended up waiting for years.

Now Chavez is spending heavily building apartments and paying out more benefits to poor families. But some in the working class still complain that they’re being bypassed and have lost faith in the government’s promises.

Chavez held a 10-point lead over Capriles in a survey released this week by the Venezuelan polling firm Datanalisis. But the 49 percent who said they intend to vote for Chavez was dramatically lower than the 63 percent who re-elected him in 2006. The latest poll said 11 percent of those interviewed didn’t reveal a preference.

A survey by the Venezuelan polling firm Consultores 21 put the two candidates roughly even, with 46.5 percent saying they would vote for Capriles and nearly 46 percent saying they would vote for Chavez.

The poll questioned 1,500 people Sept. 7-18 and had an error margin of 3 percentage points. It also included a second question, in which people were asked to mark their choice in secret, in case they didn’t want to reveal their preference to the pollster. Under that method, Capriles had almost 49 percent and Chavez just under 46 percent.

Saul Cabrera, the polling company’s vice president, said Thursday that the results show a “technical tie.” He said the poll was paid for a Venezuelan business, but he declined to identify it.

Analysts say a strong turnout by disenchanted ex-Chavistas could help tip the balance in favor of the challenger….

 

 

 

 

 

 

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