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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

Trump denies US opposition to WHO breastfeeding resolution -

Monday, July 9, 2018

Havana plane crash leaves more than 100 dead -

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

Donald Trump says he will meet North Korea’s Kim Jong Un on June 12 in Singapore -

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Trump tells FBI: ‘I have your back 100%’ -

Friday, December 15, 2017

Mueller requests emails from Trump campaign data firm: report -

Friday, December 15, 2017

GOP changes child tax credit in bid to win Rubio’s vote -

Friday, December 15, 2017

Trump Jr. is berated for tweet about ‘Obama’s FCC’ chair, net ‘neutality’ -

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

Roy Moore says Alabama election ‘tainted’ by outside groups -

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

China says war must not be allowed on Korean peninsula -

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

Obamacare doesn’t help immigrants: Column

Andrew B. Innerarity for USA TODAY)

By Miguel Molina

I can’t remember the last time I had a medical check-up; I’m 20, and it’s been at least five years. When I was a little kid in South Los Angeles, my mother would only take my older sister and me to the doctor when we were already sick; whether we had a fever or any other illness, every visit cost $100, including treatments. Then a neighbor informed my mom of a community clinic that offered free visits for low-income families — but only, again, if we were already sick. The clinic was our best option because as undocumented immigrants we had no insurance and weren’t eligible for benefits from state programs.

The Affordable Care Act is supposed to make sure everyone has health insurance, but everyone does not, as of yet, including my entire family. I’m one of the young people covered by President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivalsprogram, which allows people who immigrated with their parents before they were 16 to live and work in the U.S. without fear of deportation. (I am told I crossed the border from Mexico when I was two years old, sitting in the back of a car.) But Deferred Action doesn’t guarantee me the benefits of Obamacare under federal law; in California, the law appears to make me eligible for at least some of Obamacare’s benefits, but I feel like I’m in limbo, since I don’t yet understand how that’s supposed to work.

The Affordable Care Act divides my family, too. My older sister, who also came as a child, would be in limbo too if she were still in the United States. My younger, U.S.-born siblings — my 13-year-old sister and my 8-year-old brother — will benefit from the program once they grow up. Right now, because they are citizens, they are covered under Medicaid in the state of Indiana, where my parents moved about three years ago.

And my parents? They are completely shut out because of their legal status; Obamacare’s benefits do not extend to the undocumented community. This worries me: They need health care more than my siblings and I do.

My earliest memories are of my parents staying up until midnight and then waking up every weekday and on Saturdays at 3 a.m. in our South Los Angeles home to check on the tamales. They’d boil water mixed with corn starch, blocks of chocolate, and cinnamon for champurrado, a traditional hot Mexican drink. My dad would load the food they’d made onto his yellow vendor tricycle. My mom would fill a grocery cart with prepared foods, which she would push as she walked my sister and me to elementary school.

I remember seeing my mother sick many times. She would self-medicate with teas she would buy from our local market. When the pain got bad enough, she took public transportation to a community clinic about 20 minutes away. The clinic doctor eventually diagnosed her with asthma. When the asthma acted up, she stayed in bed coughing and wheezing. Even today, she only decides to go to a community clinic when she feels that her body is in massive pain. Now that she lives in Indiana she pays $20 for her visits and $10-$15 for treatments. (My aunt, who also lives in Indiana, has it worse — she is dealing with kidney failure and pays $400 each month for dialysis treatment).

I don’t think my father has visited the doctor since he immigrated to the United States from Mexico 18 years ago. Whenever my siblings or I would complain about a runny nose, my father laughed and said he never got sick because he kept himself healthy by eating so many vegetables and fruits. He would also say that he comes from a family with strong immune systems, and he was glad he didn’t have to spent time or money on doctor’s visits. Still, I’ve seen him bedridden with the flu or a cold. He also suffers from chronic pain in one of his knees, which he hurt in an accident involving adrenaje, or drainage ditch, in Mexico. I once saw him miss a day of work, and he was miserable – because it meant we’d be short on rent, bills, or food.

During my senior year of high school, three years ago, my parents told me they were leaving L.A. They had reported to the police that a gang member was extorting money from them. When the gang member found out, he threatened to kill them. My parents wanted me to move with them, but I chose to stay to finish high school because I believed there were more opportunities for me in California as an undocumented student.The day before I sat for the SAT, I said goodbye to my younger siblings and my parents. I saw my father cry for the first time when I hugged him — and it made me cry. After my parents left, I went to live at my uncle’s house, where I shared a room with my three younger cousins.

Now I’m back living in South Central on my own and pursuing my education at East Los Angeles College. The closest I come to a check-up is when I donate blood. It’s reassuring to know that my blood, tested by the nurses, is healthy enough to be given to others. But it’s no substitute for a doctor’s visit. I’m young, but two of my uncles developed leukemia, and I know that even if I feel invincible, I’m not. For now, if I were to get sick, I would be able to use ELAC’s medical facility because it’s included in my student fees.

I am glad the Affordable Care Act will make getting health care easier for people living in poverty, particularly Latinos, who have been over-represented among the uninsured. The boost in health care coverage for documented people within mixed families like mine might have indirect positive benefits. I’m less likely to get sick from relatives and friends who have health care coverage . And if more people in my community can afford health care, clinics could offer better services and more hours.

But that doesn’t change the fact that Obamacare has left a hole in the health care system that’s big enough to swallow my parents. They will have to continue to work and pay out of pocket to visit a doctor for the foreseeable future.

They feel time weighing them down. My mom is 42 years old and my father is 45, and they live paycheck to paycheck, without any real savings. They couldn’t afford my older sister’s college tuition; she ended up having to go back to Mexico.

The bottom line is that the money and time they will have to spend struggling with their own health takes away from the money and time they’d prefer to devote to my two young siblings, who are, after all, supposed to be the beneficiaries of this law.

Miguel Molina attends East Los Angeles College. He is a representative in theCalifornia Dream Network. He wrote this for Zocalo Public Square.

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