The Trump administration evidently wants to build 'tent cities' on military bases to house migrant children
The Department of Health and Human Services, faced with an influx of unaccompanied migrant children being detained by the Trump administration, is considering erecting "tent cities" on military bases to house 1,000 to 5,000 children, McClatchy reports. HHS's Office of Refugee Resettlement is in charge of unaccompanied minors — there are now more than 11,200 migrant children being held without parent or guardian — and the ORR's roughly 100 shelters are 95 percent full. The number of children in ORR custody has risen more than 20 percent since Attorney General Jeff Sessions started a "zero tolerance" immigration policy along the U.S.-Mexico border.
There has been a rise in unaccompanied minors crossing into the U.S. from Mexico, but the "zero tolerance" immigration policy also separates children from their parents while the parents are prosecuted, filling up the shelters. HHS officials will visit Fort Bliss, an Army base near El Paso, to look at a parcel of land to create a temporary detention site for migrant children, McClatchy said, and HHS said it will also visit Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene and Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo to scope out sites for temporary shelters. "HHS will make the determination if any of the three sites assessed are suitable," an HHS official told McClatchy.
Leon Fresco, a deputy assistant attorney general under former President Barack Obama, predicted that the Trump administration will need to ask Congress for more money soon if it wants to maintain its aggressive policy. "Separating families is not only controversial, it's also inordinately more expensive," he said. Clara Long at Human Rights Watch also suggested keeping families together during immigration hearings. "Detaining children for immigration purposes is never in their best interest and the prospect of detaining kids in tent cities is horrifying," she added. Peter Weber
There are plenty of people who would find it extremely difficult to muster up any pity for Donald Trump Jr., the eldest child of the president. Still, the GQ profile of Junior published Thursday makes a pretty compelling case — from his birth through his engagement through the end of his marriage. "Maybe he's not an intellectual, but he tried to be useful for his family," was how one insider gently put it. "I feel bad for him, honestly."
Here are 4 of the most depressing details in the profile, which you can read in full here. Jeva Lange
His parents popped off to other engagements as soon as he was born.
That evening he was born, little Don was left by his parents to the care of the hospital's nursery. His father headed home to celebrate New Year's Eve, while Ivana put a boa and a mink over her hospital gown and went to visit a girlfriend recovering from back surgery on another floor of the hospital. [GQ]
Donald Trump didn't want Ivana to give his son his name.
“You can't do that!" Trump is quoted as saying in Ivana's memoir, Raising Trump. "What if he's a loser?" [GQ]
When Junior's parents were getting divorced, they had a spat over who had to raise him.
First lady Melania Trump has touched ground in Texas to check out immigrant detention centers and speak with Border Patrol officials, CNN reported Thursday.
Trump made a last-minute decision to take a trip to McAllen, Texas, the first member of the Trump family to personally visit the immigration facilities where children are being detained separately from their parents as they await prosecution for entering the U.S. without documentation.
Upon arriving in McAllen, the first lady told shelter workers she was "looking forward" to seeing immigrant children. "We all know they're here without their families and I want to thank you for your hard work, your kindness, and your compassion you're giving them in these hard times," she said, per The Hill. She additionally asked how she could "help these children to reunite with their families as quickly as possible."
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen probably shouldn't have gone to a Mexican restaurant while the government was splitting mostly Latino migrant children from their parents at the southern border. But in all fairness, Stephen Miller did it first.
Two days before Nielsen was publicly shamed for the family separation policy, President Trump's senior policy adviser similarly didn't think twice about eating at a Mexican restaurant, the New York Post reports. While protesters didn't flood the restaurant as they did with Nielsen, one customer did jump in.
"Hey look guys, whoever thought we'd be in a restaurant with a real-life fascist begging [for] money for new cages?” the customer said as Miller walked by, a witness told the Post. Miller didn't respond and stuck around to finish his meal.
After claiming for days that he was powerless to stop the separations, Trump signed an executive order Wednesday that seeks to amend a court ruling and thus allow migrant families to be detained together, rather than separate children from their parents at the border. Most of Trump's associates condemned the separation policy early on, but Miller was its fiercest champion and had a big role in crafting the so-called "zero tolerance" immigration policy. He even apparently enjoyed seeing photos of distraught kids torn from their parents, an outside White House adviser told Vanity Fair.
That'll be one order of enchiladas, smothered in irony, please. Kathryn Krawczyk
Anticipation on the Korean peninsula is building, and the real estate industry is benefiting.
Inventive entrepreneurs are flocking to the area along the Demilitarized Zone in South Korea, hoping to buy up land so that they have a prime location in the event of the country reunifying with their neighbors to the north, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.
For years, people in South Korea have been eyeing the markets every time North Korea seems to ever-so-slightly crack open its door to the outside world. Of course, leader Kim Jong Un has continued to isolate the nation, but his historic summit with President Trump brought new optimism to the region. In March and April, real estate transactions in border city Paju skyrocketed to about three times the average level from the last decade, reports the Times, while other regions remained stagnant.
Real estate agents and developers say the building excitement is tangible, as industrious businesspeople and wealthy investors arrive near the DMZ by the dozens to look at properties, willing to spend millions to get on the ground floor of what they think is a forthcoming change. The area along the DMZ is "like land that's still in a mother's womb, not yet born to the world," said Kim Yoon-sik, a developer. "If it is born, it'll be huge." Summer Meza
NFL players have a problem with the criminal justice system, and a bunch of presidential pardons won't solve it.
Four current and former players representing the Players Coalition advocacy group challenged President Trump to go beyond pardoning unjustly jailed people in a New York Times op-ed Thursday. Instead, Doug Baldwin, Anquan Boldin, Malcolm Jenkins, and Benjamin Watson are pushing for complete criminal justice reform.
After the Philadelphia Eagles were disinvited from a Super Bowl victory visit to the White House over the league's national anthem kneeling, Trump tried to make a concession. He asked players to send a list of people they thought were unjustly jailed, and he'd pardon them if he agreed.
Clemency can be valuable, like when Trump commuted Alice Johnson's life sentence for a nonviolent drug charge at Kim Kardashian West's behest, the players acknowledged in their op-ed. They suggested that blanket pardon for drug offenders who've already served long sentences could be a good first step.
But truly fixing the justice system means preventing nonviolent offenders from getting life sentences in the first place, and the players say Trump's executive power can make that happen. And if the president chooses not to wield it, then the players will keep using their power as Americans and professional athletes to insist on change. Read the whole op-ed at The New York Times. Kathryn Krawczyk
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday in South Dakota v. Wayfair that states can require online retailers to collect sales tax, even if the business has no physical presence in the purchaser's state. The decision was 5-4, with Justices John Roberts, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan in dissent.
— Joe Weisenthal (@TheStalwart) June 21, 2018
Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the opinion, saying that "the internet's prevalence and power have changed the dynamics of the national economy." The court overruled the 1992 decision in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, which held that for a state to collect sales tax from an online retailer, the retailer would have to have a physical location of business in that state.
Immigrant children being held in juvenile detention centers in Virginia say they were physically and verbally abused for years, an investigation by The Associated Press found Thursday.
Children as young as 14 have filed claims against the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center in Staunton, Virginia, alleging that they were abused after being taken to the facility for crossing the border illegally as unaccompanied minors. Officials accused them of being involved in gangs like MS-13, but AP reports that the children were detained in high-security and often brutal conditions without ever being convicted of any crime. The center has held around 30 children at a time, between ages 12 and 17, since 2007.
The lawsuit alleges that the children were often beaten while handcuffed, left naked in concrete cells in solitary confinement for days, and were shackled to chairs with cloth bags over their heads. A child development specialist who worked in the facility said the kids would often be bruised and even suffer broken bones, and developed severe psychological problems as a result of the abuse. Shenandoah officials denied all allegations of abuse or misconduct.
A 15-year-old from Mexico said he was handcuffed and put in a chair for punishment. "They took off all of my clothes and put me into a restraint chair, where they attached my hands and feet to the chair," he said. "They also put a strap across my chest. They left me naked and attached to that chair for two and a half days, including at night." He and other detainees recalled attempting suicide at several points during their time in Shenandoah. Read more at The Associated Press. Summer Meza