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January 18, 2019
After Speaker Pelosi disinvited 'Individual 1' from giving the State of the Union address, the latter sent a letter revealing plans for Pelosi and a small delegation of lawmakers to visit troops in Egypt and Afghanistan, telling them they should fly commercial because he won’t let them use government aircraft until he gets his wall – ‘wittingly or unwittingly’ revealing commercial travel plans already in place and thus putting the safety of the congressional delegation at risk.
So, the state of our union remains…
Situation Normal: All Shut Down
Still, the Department of Justice is seeking to fill multiple AUSA positions in the Southern District of Texas (Brownsville and McAllen offices) “in support of border wall civil litigation” – aka eminent domain claims on private land needed to build the border wall.
And 'Individual 1' is tweeting about prayer rugs at the border:
— Quixote Center (@quixotecenter) January 18, 2019
Meanwhile, yesterday saw two new revelations regarding child separation. HHS’s Office of Inspector General released a report on “Separated Children Placed in Office of Refugee Resettlement Care,” which reveals that the child separation policy was in effect for nearly a year before the “zero-tolerance” policy was announced. Those separated before June 26, 2018 were informally tracked via an Excel spreadsheet. The OIG concludes:
“The total number of children separated from a parent or guardian by immigration authorities is unknown. Pursuant to a June 2018 Federal District Court order, HHS has thus far identified 2,737 children in its care at that time who were separated from their parents. However, thousands of children may have been separated during an influx that began in 2017, before the accounting required by the Court, and HHS has faced challenges in identifying separated children.” (More on the report.)
And more on family separation from NBC News: “Trump administration officials weighed speeding up the deportation of migrant children by denying them their legal right to asylum hearings after separating them from their parents, according to comments on a late 2017 draft of what became the administration's family separation policy obtained by NBC News.”
The entire document is available. Here is a snippet:
Speaking of... Human Rights Watch released its World Report 2019, which includes this summary for the United States:
“The United States continued to move backward on human rights at home and abroad in the second year of President Donald Trump’s administration. With Trump’s Republican party controlling the legislative branch in 2018, his administration and Congress were able to pass laws, implement regulations, and carry out policies that violate or undermine human rights.
“Despite Trump signaling support for minimal reforms, his administration rolled back initiatives meant to reduce over-incarceration in the US, implemented an array of anti-immigration policies, and worked to undermine a national insurance program that helps Americans obtain affordable health care, including important reproductive care for women. The Trump administration also continued to support abusive governments abroad militarily, financially, and diplomatically.
“Though it has expressed support for some international initiatives aimed at sanctioning individuals and governments committing human rights abuses, overall administration policy undermined multilateral institutions and international judicial bodies seeking to hold people accountable for egregious human rights violations.”
Reuters reports on "$11 toothpaste: Immigrants pay big for basics at private ICE lock-ups."
Finally, a timeline of Steve King’s very bad week.