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Friday, July 20, 2018

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.” -

Monday, July 9, 2018

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Monday, July 9, 2018

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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr bloc wins Iraq elections -

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott: ‘We need to do more than just pray for the victims and their families’ -

Saturday, May 19, 2018

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Thursday, May 10, 2018

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Friday, December 15, 2017

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Friday, December 15, 2017

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Friday, December 15, 2017

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Friday, December 15, 2017

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to marry on 19 May 2018 -

Friday, December 15, 2017

Walt Disney buys Murdoch’s Fox for $52.4bn -

Thursday, December 14, 2017

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Eric Holder warns GOP: ‘Any attempt to remove Bob Mueller will not be tolerated’ -

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Former British prime minister: Trump attacks on press are ‘dangerous’ -

Thursday, December 14, 2017

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Megyn Kelly left Fox News in part due to O’Reilly: report -

Saturday, April 15, 2017

North Korea warns against U.S. ‘hysteria’ as it marks founder’s birth -

Friday, April 14, 2017

British spies were first to spot Trump team’s links with Russia -

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Some in India counsel calm in strip-search controversy

Photo Mohammed Jaffer, AP

The furor in India over the arrest and strip-search of an Indian diplomat in New York City continued to heat up Thursday, but some cautionary voices also were being heard.

The website of The Hindu, an English-language national newspaper in India, on Thursday gave big play to Indian officials blasting the U.S. prosecutor’s explanation for the treatment of Devyani Khobragade, who was arrested Dec. 12 on visa fraud charges involving the immigration and treatment of a nanny.

An editorial on the Hindu website, however, counseled caution.

“Never known for taking on the U.S. on substantive policy issues, the government’s unusually aggressive reactions — and those of political parties too — on behalf of a diplomat, smell of political considerations ahead of an election,” the Hindu opined. “In the furor, it has been all but forgotten that there are serious charges against the diplomat, and that the domestic worker is also an Indian.”

The editorial suggests that the two countries find “a mutually acceptable way to defuse the controversy — often in such cases, the issue is closed by withdrawing the diplomat.”

The Times of India, in an editorial that falls on the side of the diplomat, also asks for calm. The editorial begins: “Take a deep breath and slowly count to 10. This is always good advice. It applies even more in the escalating diplomatic spat between India and the United States. Before things spiral out of control, both sides should remind themselves that the relationship is far more important than the thrill of nailing a diplomat for breach of contract or denying an entire embassy privileges or security.”

Khobragade, 39, is accused of lying on the visa application for Sangeeta Richard, paying her little more than $3 an hour — far less than minimum wage — and forcing her to work for more than 40 hours a week.

Khobragade, who was arrested in front of her daughter’s Manhattan school, claims she was subjected to cavity- and strip-searches. She is free on $250,000 bail. Her lawyer claims she is entitled to diplomatic immunity and should face no charges at all.

On Thursday, Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid expressed his agreement, demanding that U.S. officials drop the charges and accusing the housekeeper of blackmail.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was born in India, had issued a statement Wednesday defending the arrest.

“It is alleged not merely that she sought to evade the law, but that she affirmatively created false documents and went ahead with lying to the U.S. government about what she was doing,” Bharara said in a statement. “One wonders whether any government would not take action regarding false documents being submitted to it in order to bring immigrants into the country. … And one wonders why there is so much outrage about the alleged treatment of the Indian national accused of perpetrating these acts, but precious little outrage about the alleged treatment of the Indian victim and her spouse?”

The statement stressed that Khobragade was never handcuffed but acknowledged that she was “fully searched by a female deputy marshal — in a private setting — when she was brought into the U.S. Marshals’ custody, but this is standard practice for every defendant, rich or poor, American or not.”

That search, of course, is the root of the controversy. And Bharara’s statement has been mostly dismissed in India as “post facto rationalization.” Bharara has pretty much become public enemy No. 1 in India, where the case continues to draw outrage and retaliation. Concrete barricades were removed from around the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, airport passes for U.S. Consulate and Embassy vehicles were revoked, and on Tuesday several government officials refused to meet with a visiting U.S. congressional delegation.

And threats have grown hotter.

“We have issued visas to a number of U.S. diplomats’ companions. ‘Companions’ means that they are of the same sex,” said Yashwant Sinha, leader of India’s largest opposition party. “It is completely illegal in our country, just as paying less wages was illegal in the U.S.. So, why does not the government of India go ahead and arrest them and punish them?

Secretary of State John Kerry, in a call Wednesday to Indian national security adviser Shivsankar Menon, expressed his regret over the incident as well as “his concern that we not allow this unfortunate public issue to hurt our close and vital relationship with India.”

John Bacon, USA TODAY

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