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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, December 14, 2017

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Thursday, April 13, 2017

China says war must not be allowed on Korean peninsula

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches the launch of a Hwasong-12 missile, September 16. 


KCNA via REUTERS

Ben Blanchard

BEIJING (Reuters) – War must not be allowed to break out on the Korean peninsula and the issue must be resolved through talks, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Thursday, while U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned of the danger of “sleepwalking” into conflict.

Xi made his comments to visiting South Korean President Moon Jae-in just days after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson offered to begin direct talks with North Korea without pre-conditions.

But the White House said on Wednesday that no negotiations could be held until North Korea improved its behavior. The White House has declined to say whether President Donald Trump, who has taken a tougher rhetorical line toward North Korea, approved Tillerson’s overture.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tillerson’s offer of direct contacts with North Korea was “a very good signal”, while warning that a U.S. strike on the North would have catastrophic consequences.

North Korea tested its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile on Nov. 29, which it said could put all of the United States within range, in defiance of international pressure and U.N. sanctions.

The United States has said all options were on the table in dealing with North Korea, including military action.

While South Korea and China share the goal of getting North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons and stop testing increasingly sophisticated long-range missiles, the two have not seen eye-to-eye on how to achieve this.

Meeting in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, Xi told Moon that the goal of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula must be stuck to, and war and chaos cannot be allowed, Chinese state media said.

“The peninsula issue must, in the end, be resolved via dialogue and consultation,” Xi was cited as saying.

China and South Korea have an important shared interest in maintaining peace, and China was willing to work with South Korea to promote talks and support North and South to improve relations, Xi said.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said Xi and Moon agreed war on the peninsula would not be tolerated and they would cooperate in applying sanctions and pressure on North Korea.

The apparently warm tone of their talks followed nearly a year of tense relations between the two countries.

‘DRAMATIC CIRCUMSTANCES’

China has been furious about the deployment of the U.S.-made Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-missile system in South Korea, saying its powerful radar can see far into China and will do nothing to ease tension with North Korea.

China and South Korea agreed in October to normalize exchanges and move past the dispute, which froze trade and business exchanges.

Xi reiterated China’s position on THAAD and said he hoped South Korea would continue to “appropriately handle” the issue.

Guterres, speaking to reporters in Tokyo after meeting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, said Security Council resolutions on North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs must be fully implemented by Pyongyang and other countries.

“Security Council resolutions must be fully implemented, first of all by North Korea, but by all other countries whose role is crucial,” Guterres said.

He said he expected a meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Friday would deliver a strong expression of unity and the need for diplomacy to resolve the issue.

“The worst possible thing that could happen is for us all to sleepwalk into a war.”

Japan says now is the time to keep up pressure on North Korea, not start talks on its missile and nuclear programs.

China and Russia, however, have welcomed Tillerson’s overture.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said a U.S. strike on North Korea by the United States would have catastrophic consequences and he hoped to work with Washington eventually to resolve the crisis on the Korean peninsula.

Russia does not accept North Korea’s nuclear status, Putin told a news conference. But he also said some U.S. actions had provoked situation,” Putin said.

North Korea justifies its weapons programs as necessary defense against U.S. plans to invade. The United States, which has 28,500 troops in South Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean war, denies any such intention.

The North’s state news agency KCNA said Trump was taking a big step towards nuclear war in seeking a naval blockade and North Korea would take “merciless self-defense” measures if the United States tried to impose one.

North Korea would regard a naval blockade as “an act of war” and a “wanton violation” of its sovereignty and dignity, the agency cited a foreign ministry spokesman as saying, adding that North Korea was a responsible nuclear power.

White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said in September that even military options short of a preventative strike, such as a naval blockade meant to enforce sanctions, carried risks of military escalation.

 

Source: Reuters

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