Trump threatens government shutdown over immigration

Larry Hoffman
August 1, 2018

Desai added that while attorneys could still bring lawsuits around abuse of children in detention without Flores, "litigating every new issue that arises under the Constitution would be far more onerous" and those cases more hard to win.

U.S. President Donald Trump threatened again on Monday to shut down the federal government over his demands for a border wall and other changes in immigration policy, but said he remains open to talks with Congress on the issue.

"That's a hard question to answer, " said Jennifer Higgins, the associate director of refugee, asylum and worldwide operations at US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Republicans anxious about keeping control of Congress think it's a bad idea, but President Donald Trump says he's still willing to close the government over border security issues, including money to build a promised U.S. -Mexico border wall.

"There's no question that separation of children from parents entails significant potential for traumatic psychological injury to the child", said White, who is a licensed clinical social worker, during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Dianne Feinstein, D-California. "We have a constitutional and moral obligation to intervene". Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of IL went as far as to call for the resignation of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to step down, calling her the "architect of this humanitarian disaster" at the border.

The threat came on top of another fiery tweet posted earlier on the same day, which said: "Please understand, there are consequences when people cross our Border illegally, whether they have children or not - and many are just using children for their own sinister purposes". "Who is responsible? Nobody knows?" He also cited reports that immigrants have experienced sexual and other abuse at some government detention facilities and said those held must be treated humanely.

When asked about conditions in family detention centres, he said, "I think the best way to describe them is more like a summer camp", adding that the facilities include soccer fields, an abundance of food and water, and medical care.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is demanding answers from federal immigration officials about the Trump administration's separation of migrant children from their families and its struggle to reunite them.

White also provided an update on the number of children from separated families who remain in custody who haven't yet been reunited with their parents: 559.

Jonathan White of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said in a filing on Thursday that the government would need to conduct a manual review to identify all separated children in each of the plaintiff states.

The officials said they keep records of children in their custody and can document decisions by hundreds of detained parents to willingly leave the US without their children, an assertion that has drawn skepticism from lawmakers.

But Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), one of several GOP lawmakers now crafting a bill to overturn Flores, said repealing the protections and indefinitely detaining families would be the best alternative to the forced separations.

He said congressional critics 'offer no plausible or workable solution at all'.

Trump began his policy of "zero tolerance" this spring, prosecuting all migrants caught entering the USA without authorization.

White said he was told that "there was no policy that was going to result in separation of children from family units".

While Grassley and others anxious that deportees may not have made informed choices about leaving their children behind, the administration said the departing parents did exactly that. Those reports describe claims of abuse over the last few years.

A civil rights lawsuit has been filed alleging mistreatment at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center from 2015 to 2018.

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