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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

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Saturday, May 19, 2018

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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

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Friday, December 15, 2017

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

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Saturday, April 15, 2017

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Friday, April 14, 2017

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

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Devil is in the detail before new round of Syria peace talks

U.S. Secretary of State Kerry gestures as he arrives at a hotel in Vienna

Reuters…

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry gestures  as he arrives at a hotel in Vienna, Austria, November 13, 2015.
                                                                Reuters/Leonhard Foeger

VIENNA Two weeks after they jointly  called for a political solution to Syria’s civil war, foreign ministers and  senior officials from Russia, the United States, Europe and the Middle East  struggled on Friday to turn that idea into a more concrete plan.

As those officials returned to Vienna ahead of a new round of talks on  Saturday, diplomats said there had been little progress, with Western powers and  their allies insisting President Bashar al-Assad must leave office, and his  backers Russia and Iran saying voters must decide his fate.

“There are a number of difficult issues of which the future of Bashar  al-Assad is ‎probably the most difficult and that will certainly be an important  subject tomorrow,” British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told reporters in  Vienna after meeting his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shukri.

Earlier on Friday, Hammond said at a news conference in Prague: “We believe  that Bashar al-Assad has to go as part of the transition in Syria but we  recognize that there will be a transition, he may play a part in that up to a  point of departure.”

Progress has been difficult in preparatory meetings,  officials said, adding  that the ministers might be able to move more quickly towards ending the  conflict, in which 250,000 people have been killed and four million have fled  Syria.

A central sticking point is deciding which organizations are considered  opposition groups, and can therefore take part in the U.N.-led political process  called for in a joint statement after the last meeting, and which are  terrorists.

“It will be practically impossible to agree on that list at these talks,” a  Western diplomatic source said. “It will take time. The list will not be done in  a day. We are going to start to talk.”

After the last meeting’s broad statement of intent, Saturday’s discussions  would focus on these more difficult details, a senior Western diplomat  said.

“Don’t measure it (the meeting) by the length or even existence of a  communique,” the diplomat said.

“Measure it by whether there was a genuine discussion about things that  really do divide us, including the future of Assad, which is what we should be  getting on to, as well as these famous lists, the lists of who counts as a  terrorist and the list of who counts as an opposition group,” they  added.

Officials said they had modest expectations for Saturday’s talks, which will  feature major powers such as China, France and Britain, as well as Middle  Eastern states including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and the United Arab  Emirates.

Asked if he expected a breakthrough on Saturday, U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de  Mistura, who is tasked with overseeing the political process that would lead to  elections, told reporters: “Breakthrough is a big word. What we are definitely  looking for is to keep the momentum going.”

Read more at Reutershttp://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/14/us-syria-crisis-talks-idUSKCN0T22HN20151114#8Ym6KaOhSi4m0FQb.99

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