Tanvi Misra

Trump’s family separation policy amplified children’s trauma
Report: Zero tolerance policy ‘added to the trauma that children had already experienced’

Through its “zero tolerance policy” at the southwest border during 2018, which led to separation of migrant children from their parents, the Trump administration “added to the trauma that children had already experienced and put tremendous pressure on facility staff,” according to a report Wednesday by a government watchdog.

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General visited 45 of about 90 facilities holding migrant children in August and September of 2018 and conducted interviews with operators, medical coordinators, mental health clinicians and other staff. In the resulting report, these officials and practitioners described significant challenges in meeting the mental health needs of children in their care, who had been traumatized long before coming to the United States, then were re-traumatized by policies at the border and further aggravated by being kept in government custody for long periods of time.

Friction over diverted disaster aid ahead of Hurricane Dorian
CQ Budget, Episode 125

Even though Congress is still in a prolonged summer recess, spending battles between the White House and Congress have only been multiplying. The Trump administration plans to divert money from disaster relief and other programs to fund more immigration detention beds and some immigration court facilities - and a lot of senior appropriators aren’t happy about it....
Trump wants to reprogram DHS money for ICE detention operations
This is the fourth consecutive fiscal year in which DHS has diverted money for immigrant enforcement

Trump wants to lift restrictions on how long it can hold migrant families
Pelosi accuses White House of ‘seeking to codify child abuse’

The Trump administration is moving to end a court settlement that limits its ability to hold migrants who cross the border into the United States, the Department of Homeland Security announced Wednesday, potentially allowing for indefinite detention of children with their parents.

President Donald Trump and his administration for years have chafed at the limitations resulting from the settlement, known as the Flores agreement. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said Wednesday the new policy would get rid of an interpretation of Flores that has “substantially caused and continued to fuel” a migrant crisis at the southern border.

New ‘public charge’ rule could affect millions of immigrants
The DHS rule gives officers new authority to deny citizenship, or other status based on past or future use of public benefits

A new Department of Homeland Security rule unveiled Monday seeks to do what pro-immigration advocates have long dreaded by giving U.S. immigration officers broad authority to deny applicants citizenship, green cards, visa extensions and changes in immigration status based on past or potential future use of public benefits.

The change covers people who may have used a wide range of benefits in the past such as food stamps, Medicaid and housing assistance, even if they were eligible for them. Furthermore, the government under the new rule can reject people if immigration officers deem it likely they could become reliant on such public assistance in the future.

Senate panel advances asylum bill over Democratic objections
‘This is supposed to be the Senate Judiciary Committee — not the Donald Trump committee,’ Leahy says

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved, 12-10, Sen. Lindsey Graham’s asylum overhaul bill that aims to stanch the flow of migrants to the southwest border.

But the vote came amid loud protests from Democrats that the legislation was hastily pushed through. Democrats said Graham, the committee chairman, broke from longstanding committee procedures in scheduling a markup for Thursday and not allowing any Democratic amendments.

Homestead: On the front lines of the migrant children debate

The immigration debate in southern Florida is not like those of any of the other detention centers around the U.S. Homestead sits on 55-acres of land sandwiched between buildings abandoned due to hurricane damage and the Homestead Air Reserve Base. The ground is a mix of gravel and grass and locals say heavy rains hit every afternoon.

Inside Homestead: A tour of the Florida camp for migrant children
The shelter has become a site of ‘resistance’ in recent months — a magnet for protesters and politicians alike

EDITOR’S NOTE: Staff writer Tanvi Misra and visual journalist Jinitzail Hernández visited the privately run shelter for migrant children held by the U.S. government in Homestead, Florida, on July 8-9. Hernández was not given permission to shoot video or photos inside the facility, and she and Misra were escorted at all times by Caliburn International staff. This is their report.

 

I.C.E, C.B.P. and O.R.R. What's the difference, explained

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection and the Office of Refugee Resettlement have been at the epicenter of the border debate and reports of grisly conditions continue to surface.

Trump administration to expand ‘fast-track’ deportations, strengthen ICE
Migration Policy Institute estimates that total number of immigrants subject to expedited removal could reach 300,000

The Trump administration is planning to dramatically expand “fast-track” deportations, making hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. vulnerable to removal without going through immigration court proceedings.

“The effect of that change will be to enhance national security and public safety — while reducing government costs — by facilitating prompt immigration determinations,” reads the new notice to be published in the Federal Register on Tuesday. It “will enable [the Department of Homeland Security] to address more effectively and efficiently the large volume of aliens who are present in the United States unlawfully.”

Senators roll out pilot program to speed asylum claims
Plan would streamline process for migrant families who have legitimate claims

A group of nine senators — six Republicans and three Democrats — is proposing a new pilot program to better manage the influx of families seeking asylum at the southwest border.

“Operation Safe Return,” as the group calls it, would be the first bipartisan step to address the situation at the border, the senators said in a letter Thursday to Trump administration officials. Their plan would streamline the process by which migrant families who have legitimate claims for asylum are processed at the border, and swiftly weed out those who do not.

Immigrant raids could lead to more family separations
CQ on Congress, Episode 161

The Trump administration says it will round up undocumented immigrants who have missed a court date in an effort to deter others migrants from seeking refuge in the United States. But raids could exacerbate family separations, report CQ Roll Call’s Tanvi Misra and Jinitzail Hernandez, who just returned from visiting one of the largest migrant detention centers in Homestead, Fla., where the government is holding 2,000 teenage immigrants.

DHS watchdog details dangerous conditions for migrants at border centers
Report finds most detainees being held for longer than allowed limit

Migrants “banged on cell windows, shouted, pressed notes to the window,” desperately trying to signal to inspectors how long they’d been detained at Customs and Border Protection facilities. At one processing center, a senior manager called the situation a “ticking time bomb.”

Full of shocking photographs, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General report published Tuesday details dangerously overcrowded and unhygienic conditions at five processing centers in Texas where CBP detained migrants, including thousands of young children, for long periods of time.

Democrats decry harsh conditions after border facility tours
“What we saw was appalling and disgusting,” Rep. Judy Chu says

A visit by House Democrats to Customs and Border Protection facilities at the U.S. southern border grew heated Monday as lawmakers reported harsh conditions and tight restraints on what they were allowed to view and document.

“They tried to restrict what we saw, take our phones, block photos and video,” Massachusetts Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III tweeted. “Atmosphere was contentious and uncooperative.”

House approves Senate version of border bill after Pelosi yields
Speaker says she ‘reluctantly’ allowed vote to get assistance to border quickly

The House cleared and sent to President Donald Trump the Senate version of supplemental aid legislation for strained border agencies dealing with a massive influx of migrants, ending a back-and-forth that threatened to upend lawmakers’ July Fourth recess plans.

The final vote was 305-102, with many Democrats joining Republicans in voting for the bill. The Democratic split was 129 in favor, 95 against; the Republican split was 176 for and 7 against.

After Democratic divisions, House passes border spending bill
White House has already said president will not sign off on House measure

After a day heavy with negotiations between House Democratic leaders and more progressive members, the House passed, 230-195, a $4.5 billion supplemental funding measure to address the influx of migrants and children coming to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Four Democrats voted “no” on the bill, all of them freshman women from the party’s progressive wing: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. Three Republicans voted for the measure: Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Will Hurd of Texas and Christopher H. Smith of New Jersey.

House Democrats offer changes to woo liberals on border funds
Bipartisan Senate measure moving in that chamber, adding to flux

Updated 12:55 p.m. | House Democratic leaders sought to tamp down a rebellion among their party’s left flank Tuesday as they prepared for a floor vote on $4.5 billion in emergency funding for the surge of migrants at the U.S. southern border.

Appropriations Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey offered a new manager’s amendment aimed at easing the concerns of Progressive Caucus and Hispanic Caucus members over the care of children who are in the custody of Customs and Border Protection. Her amendment would tack on requirements for CBP to develop standards for medical care, nutrition, hygiene and personnel training, as well as a plan to ensure access to translation services for individuals “encountered” by U.S. immigration agencies.

Border spending bill sent to Senate floor, but House may act on its version first
Measure provides slightly less than Trump administration sought, but got bipartisan support from Senate appropriators

Senate appropriators approved $4.59 billion in emergency funding Wednesday to address the influx of migrants at the southern border, and their House counterparts said they’re prepping a similar bill to bring to the floor as soon as Tuesday.

The measure appropriators sent to the Senate floor provides slightly less than President Donald Trump’s administration had requested, but leaders of both parties said it did not include “poison pills” that could block passage.

An expanded ‘remain in Mexico’ policy may cause more suffering, not curb migration
The policy would restrict due process rights, and put more vulnerable people — pregnant women, LGBT populations and children — in harm’s way

The meat of the U.S.-Mexico deal announced Friday by President Donald Trump lies in its provision massively expanding the administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy — formally called Migration Protection Protocols — which requires certain migrants at the southwest border to be sent back to Mexico while their immigration cases unfold in U.S. courts.

The agreement largely consists of “initiatives that were already underway, but in some cases they represent, at least on paper, a large scale-up of previous commitments,” said Andrew Selee, president of the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank. “That’s particularly true of MPP, which the Mexican government has tried to keep limited but now seems ripe for a rapid expansion — if logistical considerations or the courts don’t prevent it.”