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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

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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Germany president: Steinmeier chosen by lawmakers

BBC

Former German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has been elected president by a parliamentary assembly.

The Social Democrat, 61, is one of Germany’s most popular politicians.

The post is largely ceremonial, but the president represents Germany abroad and is seen as carrying moral weight.

During the US election campaign, the usually circumspect ex-lawyer described Donald Trump as a “hate preacher” and predicted more challenging relations with Washington.

He has also criticised those who “make politics with fear”, and spoken out against right-wing populism.

‘Straight-talking’

Mr Steinmeier was chosen by the Federal Assembly meeting in parliament in Berlin.

He won 931 out of 1,260 votes.

Lawmakers and representatives from various social fields delegated by Germany’s 16 states are represented in the assembly.

Electors include Joachim Loew, the national football coach, and Olivia Jones, a colourful drag queen sent to vote by the Green Party in Lower Saxony.

Read more:The drag queen who wants to be president

Drag queen Olivia Jones at the Federal Assembly to chose a new German president, 12 February 2017Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionDrag queen Olivia Jones (orange hair) with Mrs Merkel during the vote

Mr Steinmeier, who takes up the job on 19 March, held the post of foreign minister twice for a total of eight years.

Both terms were served under Chancellor Angela Merkel in grand coalitions of Christian Democrats and Social Democrats.

In 2009, he stood unsuccessfully against Mrs Merkel in the federal election.

Mr Steinmeier is seen as straight-talking, and as foreign minister was widely respected for taking a strong stance on issues important to German voters, the BBC’s Damien McGuinness reports from Berlin.

Many expect he will work to support Germany’s reputation as global defender of tolerant liberal values, our correspondent adds.

The Federal Assembly meeting in Berlin to choose the new president, 12 February 2017Image copyrightAFP

Image captionThe Federal Assembly brings together lawmakers and representatives of Germany’s states

Mr Steinmeier’s election to the presidency is seen as a boost by the Social Democrats as they seek to unseat Mrs Merkel in September’s federal elections.

The current post-holder, President Joachim Gauck, decided against bidding for a second five-year term due to his age – 77.

Mr Gauck is a former Lutheran pastor and civil rights activist in the former East Germany.

Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democrats failed to find their own candidate for the presidency, and agreed to back Mr Steinmeier for president.

Other candidates included Christoph Butterwegge from the opposition Left Party, and Albrecht Glaser from the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany.

Source: BBC

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