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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.” -

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Thursday, April 13, 2017

India, Pakistan to join China, Russia in security group

India's Prime Minister Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Sharif smile before the start of their bilateral meeting in New Delhi
REUTERS/ADNAN ABIDI/FILES

(Reuters)…India and Pakistan began accession to a regional security group led by China and Russia on Friday after two days of summits which President Vladimir Putin held up as evidence Moscow is not isolated in the world.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, meeting in the Russian city of Ufa a day after the BRICS emerging economies held a summit there, said the invitation to the two Asian nations showed a “multi-polar” world was now emerging.

Those words will have pleased Putin, who says the United States has an outdated vision of a “uni-polar” world dominated by Washington and wants to show Russia has not been weakened by Western sanctions over its role in the Ukraine crisis.

“The evolution of the SCO is taking place at a complicated stage in the development of international relations and amidst the emergence of a multi-polar world,” the group said in a declaration after the meeting.

“These processes are accompanied by increasing security challenges and threats, increasing uncertainty and instability in various regions of the world.”

The SCO, which also includes the Central Asian former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, is widely seen as a platform for Moscow and Beijing to project influence in the region.

Until now it has not been a big force and relations between China and Russia have not developed as quickly as Moscow would like, despite agreement on a major gas supply deal last year.

But Putin saw the signs of unity in the SCO and the BRICS – Brazil, India, South Africa, China and Russia – which agreed to coordinate efforts to keep their economies stable, launched a development bank and agreed on a currency pool.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the expansion of the SCO should serve a “springboard” for the organization to become one of the most dynamic in the world.

“The time has come to reach out across the region,” Modi said. “We have everything we need to succeed.”

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawab Sharif said: “President Putin’s efforts will enhance the political and economic scope of the Eurasian belt.”

 

ENERGY PRODUCERS

The addition of Pakistan and India, two nuclear-armed neighbors who have years of tensions between them, could also lead to easing the conflicts between New Delhi and Islamabad.

The two leaders agreed in a separate meeting in Ufa that Modi would visit Pakistan next year.

Joining a group that includes energy producers such as Kazakhstan and Russia may have been a strong incentive for the two countries to join.

“India is particularly interested because it lacks direct access to Central Asia, and it sees SCO membership as a way to get a better foothold on the region. SCO membership could better position India to benefit from Central Asia’s gas riches,” said Michael Fugleman, senior program associate for South and Southeast Asia at the Wilson Centre in Washington.

But he added: “In (the) SCO, India and Pakistan wouldn’t be dominant powers – China and Russia would retain that title.”

The SCO did not invite Iran to join, although it has long sought membership. The group says Iran can join only after reaching a deal with big powers on its nuclear program.

With the addition of Iran, the group would control around a fifth of the world’s oil and represent nearly a half of the global population. The BRICS account for a fifth of the world’s economic output and 40 percent of its population.

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