Trump presses for contentious census citizenship question despite legal uncertainty – Reuters

The Department of Justice told Maryland-based U.S. District Judge George Hazel it has not made a final determination on whether to add the question even as President Donald Trump told reporters he was considering issuing an executive order to do it.

Hazel, who had asked for a final decision from the government by Friday afternoon on whether it intended to press forward, issued an order saying the case will now move ahead.

In New York, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and its partners asked a federal judge to block the administration from adding a citizenship question to the census.

The group said the administration had successfully received an expedited hearing by arguing the census questionnaire had to be finalised by June 30. Given the abandonment of that deadline, they urged the judge to use his authority to “prohibit defendants from concocting a new basis to add a citizenship question” and to stop the government’s “shenanigans.”

Civil rights groups and some states strongly object to the citizenship question proposal, calling it a Republican ploy to scare immigrants into not participating in the census. That would lead to a population undercount in Democratic-leaning areas with high immigrant populations.

They say that officials lied about their motivations for adding the question and that the move would help Trump’s fellow Republicans gain seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislatures when new electoral district boundaries are drawn.

The Supreme Court on June 27 blocked Trump’s first effort to add the question, faulting the administration’s stated reason. The legal fight seemed to be over earlier in the week when the government said it would start printing census forms without the citizenship question. But the battle reignited on Wednesday when Trump reversed course via tweet.

“We’re working on a lot of things including an executive order,” Trump told reporters on Friday outside the White House as he left for his resort in Bedminster, New Jersey.

The U.S. Constitution specifically assigns the job of overseeing the census to Congress, limiting the authority of the president over it, which could complicate an effort to add the question via presidential missive.


Source: Trump presses for contentious census citizenship question despite legal uncertainty – Reuters

ACLU files lawsuit against Florida sheriff’s office for nearly deporting U.S. citizen – ThinkProgress

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced Monday that it had filed a lawsuit in conjunction with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) against a Florida sheriff’s office for unlawfully detaining and nearly deporting a U.S citizen.

Peter Sean Brown was born in Philadelphia and has lived in Florida for the last 10 years. According to the complaint, Brown reported to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office in April for violating his probation for a low-level marijuana offense and was subsequently detained longer than was required at the request of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

ICE believed Brown was a Jamaican undocumented immigrant of the same name, and was intent on deporting him. Despite his repeated pleas that he was a U.S. citizen with a birth certificate and a Florida driver’s license, Monroe County jail officers told him he was being sent to a country he had only been to once on a cruise.

“I am and have always been a citizen of the United States,” Brown said in a video released by the ACLU. “I did not even realize what ICE was at the time and reading through it I realized it had something to do with immigration, and at that point, I made a comment of, ‘There must’ve been a mistake.’”

Source: ACLU files lawsuit against Florida sheriff’s office for nearly deporting U.S. citizen – ThinkProgress

106 days past federal judge’s deadline, migrant kids are still separated from parents : Daily Kos

Friday, November 9, marks 106 days since a federal judge’s reunification deadline, yet migrant children kidnapped from the arms of parents at the southern border continue to remain separated from their families, according to the most recently available numbers from the Trump administration.

Of 47 children eligible for reunification, tweeted MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboroff, the parents of 33 have already been deported. But the administration still has a much larger number of children under custody, including a group of 118 kids according to the latest American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) status report, “with parents presently departed from the United States whose intent not to reunify has been confirmed by the ACLU.” Perhaps some parents felt their child deserved a chance here. Perhaps others were coerced into being deported, as reports have indicated. 

There is still a crisis, but it’s all the kids who continue to remain separated, not vulnerable asylum seekers still hundreds of miles away from the southern border. It’s the 1,500 unaccompanied migrant children being held in a Texas prison camp that could hold as many as 4,000 kids by the end of the year. It’s the government-contracted child detention facilities that have failed to properly vet the employees charged with caring for migrant kids.

This week’s Democratic sweep of the House of Representatives could finally mean answers, because Democratic legislators will have newfound power to subpoena and begin legitimate investigations. But any progress on this front won’t happen for months, when the new Congress is sworn in. This week we showed up to the polls say that we do care. Now in the meantime, we have to keep talking about the children. We’ve won this victory for them. Now we keep pushing on for them.


Source: 106 days past federal judge’s deadline, migrant kids are still separated from parents : Daily Kos

Trump administration publishes rule restricting asylum seekers : NBC News

WASHINGTON — Fulfilling President Donald Trump’s midterm promise to crack down on undocumented immigrants crossing the Southwest border, the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security published a rule on Thursday that will make it harder for immigrants to claim asylum if they are caught crossing the border between designated ports of entry.

Senior administration officials told reporters on a conference call that the president has the legal authority to do so because of sections of immigration law that allow the president discretion over who is admitted into the United States — the same language the administration used to support its travel ban in court.

The officials said the plan is to force more immigrants who wish to claim asylum to do so at designated ports of entry. Recently, many asylum-seekers have chosen to cross illegally because they are kept waiting for days in Mexico due to backlogs at ports of entry.

In a joint statement, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, said, “Consistent with our immigration laws, the President has the broad authority to suspend or restrict the entry of aliens into the United States if he determines it to be in the national interest to do so.”


Source: Trump administration publishes rule restricting asylum seekers : NBC News

Judge orders plane carrying deported mother and child turned around, blocks more removals : NBC News

In a federal courtroom in Washington on Thursday, a judge heard about something the Trump administration had just done that clearly angered him. The government, he learned, had deported an immigrant mother and daughter who are plaintiffs in the lawsuit the judge was hearing over asylum restrictions.

So the judge did something highly unusual: He demanded the administration turn around the plane carrying the plaintiffs to Central America and bring them back to the United States. And he ordered the government to stop removing plaintiffs in the case from the country who are seeking protection from gang and domestic violence.

The U.S. district judge, Emmet Sullivan, of the District of Columbia, was presiding over a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and Center for Gender and Refugee Studies on Tuesday. He had earlier been assured by the government in open court that no plaintiffs in the suit would be deported before midnight Friday.

The plaintiffs on the plane are identified in the lawsuit as Carmen and her minor daughter J.A.C.F., although Carmen is a pseudonym, an attorney said.

The plane was not able to turn around en route, but a Department of Homeland Security official told NBC News that the mother and daughter did not disembark in El Salvador Thursday evening and were being brought to the United States.

“Carmen and her daughter are right now somewhere in the air between Texas and El Salvador,” ACLU’s lead attorney in the case Jennifer Chang Newell told NBC News just after the hearing.


Source: Judge orders plane carrying deported mother and child turned around, blocks more removals : NBC News

ACLU: Trump refused to turn over Giuliani travel ban memo by court-ordered deadline | TheHill

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Saturday blasted President Trump for ignoring a court order demand to release a memo drafted under former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s guidance that outlined a plan to implement a travel ban without making it seem as if it was directly aimed at Muslims.

 A federal judge in Detroit ordered the Trump administration to turn over the memo by May 19, according to reports. The ACLU said Saturday that Trump did not meet the deadline on Friday.“If, as the administration claims, the Executive Order is not a Muslim Ban, then why is the administration refusing to turn over the Giuliani memo? What is in that document that the government doesn’t want the court to see?” Miriam Aukerman, Senior Staff Attorney at the ACLU of Michigan, said in a statement.

Source: ACLU: Trump refused to turn over Giuliani travel ban memo by court-ordered deadline | TheHill