$20M Fundraiser Will Help Reunite Families

Massive Facebook Fundraiser Will Cover Bonds For Families Separated At Border, Group Says

RAICES is calling for President Trump’s full cooperation
 
By: Sara Boboltz
 

The staggering $20 million raised via Facebook to support immigrant families separated at the border will be used to post bail bonds for mothers, recipient organization Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services announced Tuesday. 

RAICES aims to reunite 2,500 migrant children with their mothers, citing bond costs ranging from $5,000 to $10,000.

The organization on Tuesday launched a campaign, #ReuniteEveryChild, demanding cooperation from President Donald Trump and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

An estimated 2,500 children were separated from their families at the border and placed in facilities across the country before Trump signed an executive order halting the practice on June 20. The president’s administration still has yet to release a comprehensive reunification plan.

Late last month, U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw of San Diego ordered the Trump administration to reunite children under age 5 with their families within 14 days, and older children within 30 days. 

“By offering this bond payment, RAICES hopes to help the administration comply with its court ordered obligations,” the group, which provides legal services for immigrants in Texas, said in a statement. 

The Trump administration had said it expected to reunite 54 children under age 5 with their families by Tuesday’s 14-day deadline ― about half of the group covered by the judge’s order ― but on Tuesday said that only four children have actually been reunited thus far. The 30-day deadline for family reunification is up July 26. 

California couple Charlotte and Dave Willner started the grassroots fundraiser “Reunite an immigrant parent with their child” in mid-June with the goal of raising $1,500 ― enough to allow a single migrant parent to make bond and reunite with their child, they said.

Trump’s Pick for UN Migration Job Voted Down

Trump’s controversial pick for top UN migration job voted down in Geneva

BY: Zachary Cohen and Elise Labott

Washington (CNN)–The UN migration agency on Friday voted down Ken Isaacs, the Trump administration’s candidate to lead the International Organization for Migration, a US official told CNN, leaving it without an American at the helm for the first time since 1951.

He was eliminated from contention after the second round of voting, a UN source told CNN.
“This was a very competitive election with three highly qualified candidates,” a State Department official told CNN.
“We congratulate the winner and look forward to working with him/her. IOM is an important partner for the United States around the globe, and we are committed to working with IOM to address root causes of migration and to promote safe and legal migration,” the official said.
 
Isaacs, who works in relief efforts for the Christian nonprofit Samaritan’s Purse, was nominated in February to serve as director general of the 169-member group whose mission is to promote “humane and orderly migration” through assistance to both governments and migrants.
 
But the agency decided Friday that it will choose a non-American leader for the first time in decades — a move that comes as the Trump administration continues to reduce the number of refugees it accepts into the US every year and push a controversial immigration agenda.
 
Isaacs himself has also come under scrutiny after a report from CNN’s KFile earlier this year and one from The Washington Post in February revealing he shared anti-Muslim and anti-refugee views on social media.
KFile previously reviewed more than 140 previously unreported tweets from before Isaacs was nominated that provide a wider window into his views of refugees, Islam and climate change — issues that would have been central to the position with IOM.
In several of the unearthed tweets, Isaacs shared a post that called climate change a “hoax,” shared a story from the conspiracy-peddling website InfoWars about the “Clinton body count,” and wrote “#Islam is not peaceful.”
 
After the February Washington Post report, Isaacs apologized in a statement, saying he “deeply” regretted his comments and adding, “I pledge to hold myself to the highest standards of humanity, human dignity and equality if chosen to lead IOM.”
According to The Associated Press, he told reporters, “I have retweeted many things to stimulate conversation. But at the same time … have never shown discrimination against anybody, for anything.”
 
But like President Donald Trump, Isaacs has said he supports more restrictive measures on refugees and migrants, once writing on Twitter that Austria and Switzerland should consider building a wall in the Alps to keep refugees out.
“#immigration #wall #Austria #Switzerland consider#buildingawall in #Alps to control their borders from refugees,” the tweet said.
 
Trump’s road to the White House was paved in part with hardline promises such as building a “great, great wall” along the US-Mexico border and outright banning immigration from any nations “compromised by terrorism.”
 

Texas Will Close Immigrant Women’s Prison

Texas’ Williamson County Will Close An Immigrant Women’s Prison — But Says That’s Not Enough

By Mehreen Kasana

There’s some good news when it comes to immigration matters in the Lone Star State. On Tuesday, KXAN reported Williamson County in Texas voted to close a prison for immigrant women — an infamous ICE-affiliated detention facility that has previously been accused of overlooking sexual abuse.

In 2016, Williamson County, whose population is predominantly white and conservative, voted for President Trump. The Trump administration is responsible for the present day “zero-tolerance” immigration policy, which has led to nationwide public outrage and increased organizing among activists.

With the help of local organizers, it looks like attitudes have changed in the Lone Star State’s county. On Tuesday, county commissioners voted in majority to terminate the T. Don Hutto Facility’s contract, under the Intergovernmental Services Agreement, with ICE. The county will also end its agreement with CoreCivic — the private company responsible for running the prison. On Jan. 31, 2019, the agreement will officially be over.

One of the commissioners for the county, Terry Cook, released a statement on the development, which Rewire News’ Teddy Wilson shared on Twitter.

Cook stated, “I thank the other members of the Court for voting with me to get ourselves fully focused on the business of the county. Being the go-between for federal agency and a private business on a federal issue such as this is not a core county function. Today’s vote represents the compromise made to get us the necessary three votes to pass.”

The commissioner gave a brief note on celebrating the move. But she placed much more emphasis on the need for activists to waste no time and “redouble” their commitment to the issue of the immigration in the United States. Cook said,

I have appreciated the passion from activists that has been expressed to me and this Court in regards to T. Don Hutto, and while this vote today does not solve the larger issue of immigration, the future of the women detained there, or the closing of the facility, I hope these activists do not celebrate this vote, but redouble their efforts in changing immigration policy at the federal level.

Last year, immigration activist group Grassroots Leadership accused the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office of failing to adequately look into detainee Laura Monterrosa’s accusations of sexual violence. Monterrosa alleged that a T. Don Hutto prison guard had been sexually assaulting her since June 2017.

In response, ICE and Williamson County Sheriff’s Office said that they looked into the allegation. But ultimately both entities said that Monterrosa’s accusation was unsubstantiated and thus could not be further pursued.

Undeterred by ICE and the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office’s response, grassroots activists continued to call on locals to vote to end the private prison. Their demand seemed simple: the mistreatment of the imprisoned women had to stop.

Read the full article here: https://www.bustle.com/p/texas-williamson-county-will-close-immigrant-womens-prison-but-says-thats-not-enough-9594952