You’ve gotta see this huge new social media challenge.
Across the United States, thousands of migrant children remain detained alone after the Trump administration forcibly separated them from their parents at the border. Yet, despite the news about the United States’ human rights abuses of migrants, asylum seekers keep risking the dangerous journey to the United States. Texas-based human rights lawyer Jennifer Harbury has lived in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas for more than 40 years and has long worked with people fleeing violence in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. She also knows intimately the U.S. roots of this conflict. Her husband, Efraín Bámaca Velásquez, was a Mayan comandante and guerrilla who was disappeared after he was captured by the U.S.-backed Guatemalan army in the 1980s. After a long campaign, she found there was U.S. involvement in the cover-up of her husband’s murder and torture. We speak with Jennifer Harbury in Brownsville, Texas, about this history and this U.S. involvement in today’s conflicts in Central America.
A federal judge will hold a hearing today on whether to delay Tuesday’s deadline that mandated the reunification of all children under the age of 5 whom the Trump administration separated from their parents at the border. The Trump administration is claiming it needs more time to match children with their parents, including at least 19 parents who have already been deported. The American Civil Liberties Union says less than half of separated children under the age of 5 will be reunited by the Tuesday deadline. As Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy crackdown continues, we speak with human rights lawyer Jennifer Harbury about how U.S. foreign policy has led to the violence that Central Americans are fleeing, and what happens when people follow the U.S. government’s instructions and attempt to apply for political asylum at a legal port of entry. Jennifer Harbury has lived in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas for more than 40 years. She works with people fleeing violence in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, and has been active in the response to the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy.
A major U.S. military & CIA contractor has been detaining dozens of migrant children inside a vacant Phoenix office building with dark windows, no kitchen and only a few toilets, according to a new investigation by Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting. Reveal learned about what some are calling the “black site” for migrant children after one local resident filmed children in sweatsuits being led into the building. The building was leased in March by MVM, a defense contractor that Reveal reports has received nearly $250 million in contracts to transport immigrant children since 2014. We speak with the lead reporter on this story, Aura Bogado, in Oakland, California. She is the immigration reporter for Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting.
Black youth’s arrest at Philadelphia Zoo sparks argument between zoo security staffers
The chaotic arrest of a black youth at the Philadelphia Zoo on Thursday was captured on video and posted to Facebook, where it has drawn more than 170,000 views and raised questions of how white people and police treat black people.
The video shows one of the zoo’s public safety officers, a black woman, shouting at another safety officer, a white woman who allegedly got Philadelphia police involved.
“This is what you did!” the black safety officer yelled at the white safety officer, as police held the youth face-down on the ground and tried to put him in handcuffs. “This is what you want. Is this what you want?”
“I only asked him to move!” the white safety officer shouted back. “I asked him to move.”
In the background, people could be heard saying, “What’d he do?” and “I’m sick of this.” Passing drivers stopped and honked.
Efforts to locate the youth, who was led away from the scene in handcuffs, or his family have been unsuccessful. It’s unclear how old he is and what charges, if any, he faces. Friday evening, a police spokesperson only said, “we are aware of the video and we are currently reviewing it.”
The video, which lasted about a minute and 30 seconds, doesn’t show what was happening before police approached the group.
Some people who commented on the video on Facebook said the youth and others regularly sold water at the plaza outside the zoo’s gates near 34th Street and Girard Avenue, where the arrest occurred. The woman who posted the video could not be reached Friday, but wrote that the youth were trying to raise money for their football team.
A zoo spokesperson, Dana Lombardo, said the group was not affiliated with “any legitimate local sports team” and was not selling water bottles at the time. She said zoo staff had asked the group to leave the plaza.
“There have been a number of incidents with this particular group, including soliciting money from zoo guests, throwing rocks at a zoo staff member just the previous day, and harassing another female public safety officer just before this incident occurred,” Lombardo said.
The group began to leave, she said, but made a “threatening remark” to one of the zoo’s safety officers, who then flagged down a Philadelphia police cruiser that was driving by.
The zoo did not detail what the alleged remark was or whether the arrested youth was behind it. The zoo also didn’t say whether the white safety officer in the video was the one who alerted police.
The Trump administration is ending Obama-era policies calling on schools and universities to consider race as a factor in admissions, in the latest blow to affirmative action programs. The move doesn’t change the law, but it rescinds guidelines set by the Obama administration to foster diversity in elementary and secondary schools and on college campuses. The move comes as the Trump administration is reportedly planning a challenge to Harvard University’s admissions practices and as President Trump is nearing a decision on a Supreme Court nominee to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was long considered a swing vote on affirmative action. In 2016, Kennedy wrote the majority opinion when the court upheld the University of Texas at Austin’s race-conscious admissions program. We speak to Dennis Parker, director of the Racial Justice Program at the American Civil Liberties Union.
Following Scott Pruitt’s resignation, EPA Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler will become the agency’s acting administrator. Wheeler is a former lobbyist for Murray Energy, the nation’s largest underground coal mining company. He’s also the former chief of staff for Oklahoma Republican Senator Jim Inhofe, who is known as the most notorious climate-denying lawmaker in Washington. In one of his most famous stunts, Inhofe brought a snowball onto the Senate floor in 2015 in order to prove that global warming was a hoax.
On Monday, Scott Pruitt fled a restaurant in Washington after he was confronted during lunch by a mother and teacher named Kristin Mink. Mink was holding her 2-year-old son when she went up to his table. Video of the interaction has since gone viral. We speak to Mink about what she did and Pruitt’s resignation just days later.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has resigned, amid an onslaught of financial and ethics scandals and widespread opposition to his campaign to roll back key environmental protections. President Trump announced Pruitt’s resignation via Twitter. Trump later told reporters, “Scott Pruitt did an outstanding job inside of the EPA. We’ve gotten rid of record-breaking regulations, and it’s been really good.” At the time of his resignation, Pruitt was facing more than a dozen federal investigations into ethical misconduct, ranging from lavish spending to asking subordinates to help his wife find a job. Just earlier this week, CNN reported Pruitt kept a secret calendar and schedule in an attempt to hide his meetings with many industry executives.