Immigration

(Adds Guatemala, background)

WASHINGTON, June 17 (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said on Monday that U.S. authorities would begin next week removing millions of immigrants who are in the United States illegally.

“Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States,” Trump tweeted, referring to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. “They will be removed as fast as they come in,” he said. He did not offer specifics.

There are an estimated 12 million immigrants who are in the United States illegally, mainly from Mexico and Central America.

Under a deal reached earlier this month, Mexico has agreed to take Central American immigrants seeking asylum in the United States until their cases are heard in U.S. courts.

The agreement, which included Mexico pledging to deploy National Guard troops to stop Central American immigrants from reaching the U.S. border, averted a Trump threat to hit Mexican imports with tariffs.

Trump also said in the tweet that Guatemala “is getting ready to sign a Safe-Third Agreement.”

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence suggested last week that Guatemala could receive asylum seekers from its neighbors as a so-called safe third country.

Details of the plan have not been made public, and Guatemala has not publicly confirmed talks that the U.S. State Department said were taking place in Guatemala on Friday.

U.S. rights group Human Rights First said, however, it was “simply ludicrous” for the United States to assert that Guatemala was capable of protecting refugees, when its own citizens are fleeing violence.

Mexico has agreed that if its measures to stem the flow of migrants are unsuccessful, it will discuss signing a safe third country agreement with the United States.

(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Peter Cooney)

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is threatening to remove millions of people living in the country illegally on the eve of formally announcing his re-election bid.

In a pair of tweets Monday night, Trump said that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement would next week “begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States.”

“They will be removed as fast as they come in,” he wrote.

An administration official said the effort would focus on the more than 1 million people who have been issued final deportation orders by federal judges but remain at large in the country. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to explain the president’s tweets.

It is unusual for law enforcement agencies to announce raids before they take place. Some in Trump’s administration believe that decisive shows of force — like mass arrests — can serve as effective deterrents, sending a message to those considering making the journey to the U.S. that it’s not worth coming.

Trump has threatened a series of increasingly drastic actions as he has tried to stem the flow of Central American migrants crossing the southern border, which has risen dramatically on his watch. He recently dropped a threat to slap tariffs on Mexico after the country agreed to dispatch its national guard and step-up coordination and enforcement efforts.

A senior Mexican official said Monday that, three weeks ago, about 4,200 migrants were arriving at the U.S. border daily. Now that number has dropped to about 2,600.

Immigration was a central theme of Trump’s 2016 campaign and he is expected to hammer it as he tries to fire up his base heading into the 2020 campaign.

Trump will formally launch his re-election bid Tuesday night at a rally in Orlando, Florida — a state that is crucial to his path back to the White House.

President Trump said Monday on Twitter that Immigration and Customs Enforcement will begin deporting “millions” of illegal migrants next week.

“Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States. They will be removed as fast as they come in. Mexico, using their strong immigration laws, is doing a very good job of stopping people…” the president tweeted.

“…long before they get to our Southern Border. Guatemala is getting ready to sign a Safe-Third Agreement. The only ones who won’t do anything are the Democrats in Congress. They must vote to get rid of the loopholes, and fix asylum! If so, Border Crisis will end quickly!” he added.

The president did not offer specifics on what his claim entails.

The news comes the same day as the State Department announced it would be cutting foreign aid to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras for failing to take proper steps to curb illegal migrants coming to the United States.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees arrive at FCI Victorville federal prison in Victorville
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees arrive at FCI Victorville federal prison in Victorville, California, U.S. June 8, 2018. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon

June 18, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said on Monday that U.S. authorities would begin next week removing millions of immigrants who are in the United States illegally.

“Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States,” Trump tweeted, referring to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. “They will be removed as fast as they come in,” he said. He did not offer specifics.

There are an estimated 12 million immigrants who are in the United States illegally, mainly from Mexico and Central America.

Under a deal reached earlier this month, Mexico has agreed to take Central American immigrants seeking asylum in the United States until their cases are heard in U.S. courts.

The agreement, which included Mexico pledging to deploy National Guard troops to stop Central American immigrants from reaching the U.S. border, averted a Trump threat to hit Mexican imports with tariffs.

Trump also said in the tweet that Guatemala “is getting ready to sign a Safe-Third Agreement.”

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence suggested last week that Guatemala could receive asylum seekers from its neighbors as a so-called safe third country.

Details of the plan have not been made public, and Guatemala has not publicly confirmed talks that the U.S. State Department said were taking place in Guatemala on Friday.

U.S. rights group Human Rights First said, however, it was “simply ludicrous” for the United States to assert that Guatemala was capable of protecting refugees, when its own citizens are fleeing violence.

Mexico has agreed that if its measures to stem the flow of migrants are unsuccessful, it will discuss signing a safe third country agreement with the United States.

(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Peter Cooney)

Source: OANN

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Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) penned a new piece of legislation that would make the E-Verify system a permanent tool to help reduce illegal immigration in the United States.

As IJR previously explained, E-Verify is an electronic verification system operated by the federal government that allows employers to check the legal status of the employees they hire. All the employers need to do is submit the employee’s full name, date of birth, and Social Security number into the system to be confirmed.

This ensures that any employee hired by a company has the proper legal status to be working in the United States. Currently, E-Verify is not required by the federal government, though two states — Mississippi and Arizona — do require that employees are E-Verified. All federal employees are required to be E-Verified.

While it seems like Republicans — who have been fighting Democrats to end illegal immigration — would be in sync on E-Verify, that hasn’t been the case as some Republicans see E-Verify as another burdensome regulation on employers.

Others argue that the E-Verify system doesn’t go far enough because illegal immigrants with properly forged documents wouldn’t be flagged because the information would pass a cross-reference.

Republicans will need to continue to battle this out, but Romney’s plan is even simpler than that. The goal of Romney’s Permanent E-Verify Act is to protect the E-Verify system as a whole.

As it stands today, the E-Verify system could be terminated at the whim of Congress because it requires continued renewal to keep the system in operation.

Romney’s bill would make E-Verify a permanent fixture…

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Source: The Washington Pundit

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Mexican officials detained nearly 800 undocumented migrants in eastern Mexico in four trucks on Saturday, the government said, in one of the biggest swoops against illegal immigration in recent months.

Mexico’s National Migration Institute (INM) said in a statement late on Saturday that 791 foreign nationals were found in the trucks stopped in the eastern state of Veracruz, confirming earlier reports about a mass detention.

The apprehension came as Mexico steps up efforts to reduce a surge of migrants toward the U.S. border under pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump, who has vowed to hit Mexican goods with tariffs if Mexico does not stem illegal immigration.

Mexico made a deal on June 7 with the United States to avert the tariffs, setting the clock ticking on a 45-day period for the Mexican government to make palpable progress in reducing the numbers of people trying to cross the U.S. border illegally.

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Source: The Washington Pundit

Donald Trump at a rally

President Donald Trump speaks during a recent rally in Pennsylvania. Trump’s reelection campaign comes armed with resources it could only dream of in 2016. | Drew Angerer/Getty Images

2020 elections

The president’s 2020 campaign is flipping the script from its ham-fisted approach the first time Trump sought elected office.

President Donald Trump is sitting on a war chest topping $40 million, has boots on the ground spread across nine regions crucial to his 2020 map and owns a sprawling network of volunteers who’ve been rigorously trained for the months ahead.

When he takes the stage Tuesday in Orlando, Fla., to announce his bid for reelection, Trump will be joined by 20,000 guests whose personal information — names, zip codes, phone numbers — was meticulously recorded when they requested tickets to the rally. First-time attendees will receive relentless emails and texts in the coming weeks, reminding them they can help “Keep America Great” by contributing $5, $10 or $15. Some maxed-out donors who gave generously to his 2016 campaign will trek to Florida to witness what they delivered — and decide whether to give big again.

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It’s a straightforward strategy to get the president four more years in the White House: be the political juggernaut Trump lacked in 2016.

While 23 Democratic presidential candidates scramble for attention, Trump’s 2020 campaign is quietly flipping the script from its ham-fisted approach the first time he sought elected office. His team has spent two and a half years building a robust, modern and professional operation to optimize as many variables as possible and amassing an unprecedented pile of cash to keep it all afloat.

It’s worked so far. The Trump campaign and Republican National Committee had a combined $82 million in the bank as of April — the result of a joint fundraising operation — and staffers have yet to devolve into the bitter infighting that strained the president’s first campaign and stained his earliest days in the White House.

“In 2016, the people on the campaign like to say that they were building the airplane while it was in flight. This time, he will have a campaign that is befitting of an incumbent president of the United States,” said Tim Murtaugh, communications director for the new-and-improved Trump campaign.

Indeed, one official involved in Trump’s first presidential campaign likened the experience to a slow-motion plane crash: “We were strapped in on a sloppily assembled machine that was gradually spiraling out of control.”

Even with a better-financed and well-ordered campaign, Trump has found the developing 2020 landscape to be tough. State investigators are still probing his past business ventures and financial history. Court rulings have delivered devastating setbacks for his agenda. And House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has encouraged congressional Democrats to do everything short of impeachment to hold his administration accountable.

On top of all that, the outburst-prone president has struggled to boost his approval rating above 42 percent — where it hovers — and could encounter difficulty billing himself as an outsider while occupying the center of the swamp.

“He’s an incumbent. It’s hard to run the same way in 2020 as he did in 2016,” a person close to the Trump campaign said.

The challenges are not lost on the president’s campaign staff. This time, Trump will launch his 2020 campaign with organizational and financial advantages his previous crew could have only dreamed of — soothing allies who worry the current political environment is less conducive to victory.

From a 14th-floor suite originally designed to house the offices of a capital markets firm, Trump’s modest campaign team of about 50 employees has spent the past several months laying the groundwork for a 2020 race that diverges from 2016 without sacrificing his insurgent populist message. Extensive assistance from the Republican National Committee — driven by a massive staff, existing presence in all 50 states and a staunch Trump ally at its helm — has helped, bringing institutional knowledge and resources that were notably absent in 2016.

Officials at the RNC’s Capitol Hill headquarters are in constant contact with counterparts who work out of the Trump campaign’s Arlington, Va., office, and staffers from each side often travel to the same events to show simultaneous support for the party and for Trump. For example, Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale and RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel both attended a dinner this week hosted by the local Republican Party in Macomb County, Mich., often called the “home of the Reagan Democrats” and a must-win for Trump in 2020.

“If you look at where the campaign was in 2016 and where it is today, it’s a completely different organization. It has a united Republican Party behind it that also has one of the best fundraising operations we’ve ever seen,” a Michigan Republican Party official said, adding the Trump campaign plans to deploy significant staff to Michigan beginning in early July.

A campaign official said Parscale plans to have “a fully functioning ground game by the end of summer,” as well as several coalition groups that will specifically target female, Latino and African American voters.

Many of those campaign staffers, along with members of the GOP’s state party affiliates, have gone through a program known as GROW, or Growing Republican Organizations to Win. The custom workshop-type classes were created by the Trump campaign and the RNC to train field staff in fundraising, communications, data and digital efforts that will be unique to their states in 2020. One state party official who recently completed the training said they were asked to draft mock news releases and budgets as part of the programming.

Campaign officials readily admit that Trump determines the message on any given day, making it difficult to create a fixed communications strategy that volunteers and staff can follow. Earlier this year, for instance, Trump son-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner instructed campaign staff to avoid targeting specific 2020 Democratic candidates only to watch the president lob repeated insults at former Vice President Joe Biden weeks later. Trump has also insulted Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind.

“The key for the Trump campaign is to successfully build its operation around the most unconventional candidate in history,” said Jason Miller, a former campaign adviser who remains close to the president. “Parscale has a good enough relationship with Trump to know that you always follow his lead and your job as the campaign is to build upon and amplify his message, not force feed him some message that you cooked up.”

Parscale has declined to foist soundbites on Trump, opting instead to let the president weaponize Twitter at his own discretion. But the campaign has begun crafting candidate-specific messages that it hopes Trump will test out and eventually deploy regularly, depending on who becomes the Democratic nominee. Officials have largely focused on Biden, Sanders and Warren, believing Trump’s opponent be one of those three.

“If it’s Sanders or Warren, they immediately become advocates for radical change that’s a step too far for most voters, and Trump becomes the centrist. But against Joe Biden, the race is much more of a change vs. status quo dynamic,” Miller said.

Campaign allies who are aware of internal polling said they also want Trump to tout his accomplishments constantly. He will only outperform his Democratic opponent if he’s “getting the right amount of credit for the progress he’s making on immigration, the economy and national security,” one outside adviser said. Several 2020 Democrats have argued that the economy is booming because of policies put in place by former President Barack Obama, although Trump’s economic approval rating reached a new high in a CNN poll last month.

Trump’s campaign has been briefing him almost weekly on polling, according to two aides familiar with the conversations, one of whom said the president is more obsessed with polls than anything else, despite repeatedly questioning their reliability after 2016.

The campaign’s first internal reelection poll found Biden trouncing Trump by 7 percentage points in Florida when it surveyed Sunshine State voters in March, ABC reported Friday. The state is key to Trump’s campaign strategy: Without it, a single loss in the Rust Belt could trigger the end of his presidency.

Campaign officials said that isn’t going to happen. They said fundraising has been too successful and that their massive data-gathering operation is unmatched by any Democratic presidential hopeful.

But as Trump prepares to launch his reelection bid 17 months before voters hit the polls in November 2020, perhaps his most distinct advantage is time.

“It’s important to remember that we are not on the same timetable as the Democrats,” Murtaugh said. “We are already in the general election.”

Alex Isenstadt contributed to this story.

Central American migrants wait outside the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance (COMAR) in Tapachula
Central American migrants wait outside the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance (COMAR) in Tapachula, Mexico, June 14, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas

June 16, 2019

By Hugh Bronstein

TAPACHULA, Mexico (Reuters) – Many of the Central Americans who lined up for papers at an asylum office in southern Mexico said they could abandon plans to reach the United States and remain in Mexico if U.S. President Donald Trump clamps down further on migration.

Mexico is ramping up security on its southern border with Guatemala as part of an agreement with Washington after Trump threatened to impose tariffs on Mexican goods if the government did not stem the flow of migrants reaching the United States.

As part of that effort, Mexico has pledged to deploy 6,000 National Guard members along the border. Reuters reporters in Tapachula, a city near the frontier visited by many migrants, saw no evidence of that deployment there on Saturday.

Under U.S. pressure, Mexico has agreed to expand a program started in January that forces migrants to wait in Mexico for the outcome of their U.S. asylum claims. The United States began accelerating returns of asylum seekers to Mexico on Thursday.

In addition, if Mexico does not reduce immigration flows by mid-July, it could become a “safe third country” where asylum seekers must seek refuge instead of in the United States.

In the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, the overburdened COMAR refugee office in Tapachula has seen a surge of asylum seekers. It is one of only three such offices in the country.

People waiting in line outside the office said they would take their chances in Mexico if their only other choice was to return to violence-plagued Central America.

Thousands of families have fled poverty and rampant crime in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala in the past year, making their way through Mexico to the United States.

“If we have no other option then yes, we could remain in Mexico because we really cannot go back to Honduras,” said Dagoberto, 34, waiting in line in the blazing midday sun on Friday with his partner, Jose.

Dagoberto said he had been threatened in Honduras when the business he worked for was taken over by a criminal gang. He was asking COMAR for a humanitarian visa to allow him to reach the U.S. border.

Dagoberto and Jose, who hope to get married if they reach the United States, declined to give their surnames, saying the gang that forced them out of Honduras had international reach.

In a sign of intensifying efforts to stem the flow of people, several hundred migrants in trucks were detained by security forces at two points in the eastern state of Veracruz on Saturday, a Foreign Ministry official said.

BETTER MEXICO THAN HOME

Nidia Martinez and her three children slept the previous three nights on the sidewalk in front of the COMAR office, where she is seeking a credential to let her to travel to the U.S. border.

“I want to get to the United States. If I can’t, then Mexico is a good place to live,” she said, citing a sense of increased security she felt since arriving in Tapachula.

“In Honduras, you can’t sleep on the street because they’d rob you. They’d rape you or kill you,” Martinez, 28, said, beaming with relief that she and her children had not been assaulted in Tapachula.

But safety in their case depended on sleeping just outside the refugee office. Migrants in other parts of the city and throughout Mexico often face extortion, kidnapping and worse by criminals or corrupt government officials.

Martinez said she may look for her mother – who lives in Puebla, Mexico – and arrange to live with her and find work. But she says she cannot go anywhere without the COMAR document.

“We have to sleep and wake up here because without that credential they will grab us and deport us if we try to travel.”

Her 20-month-year-old daughter, Litzy, looked up at her, smiling in a fleece hoodie decorated with blue hearts, her hair tied with a purple band. Later in the day, they were forced by a tropical downpour to cram themselves into doorways to stay dry.

Also sleeping outside for a chance at an interview in the refugee office was Hernando Gustavo Velazquez, 45, who arrived from Honduras a week earlier with his sister and nephew.

Velazquez said if he were unable to achieve his dream of reaching the United States, then Mexico would be a lot better than returning to Honduras.

“Here we have not seen any extortion,” he said. “In Honduras, when they threaten to kill you for not paying for protection, they’re not lying.”

(Reporting by Hugh Bronstein; Additional reporting by Roberto Ramirez in Tapachula and Delphine Schrank and Frank Jack Daniel in Mexico City; Editing by Daniel Flynn, Steve Orlofsky and Daniel Wallis)

Source: OANN

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Albuquerque, NM – The State of New Mexico and the sanctuary city of Albuquerque have filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration for releasing too many immigrants into the state’s border cities.

The lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico on Monday, alleged that President Trump’s administration has enacted an “indiscriminate practice of releasing migrants in communities,” in violation of the federal “safe release” policy, KVIA reported.

The federal “safe release” policy was canceled in October of 2018 due to the massive wave of immigrants who flooded over the U.S. southern border from Central America.

That policy provided those seeking asylum with assistance in getting to their final destinations while they were waiting for their claims to be processed, KVIA reported.

“[The] sudden and unlawful abandonment of this policy was done without notice or opportunity for input by affected jurisdictions,” the lawsuit alleged.

The sanctuary city and the State of New Mexico has also demanded to be reimbursed for the funds it has shelled out to temporarily shelter immigrants.

The lawsuit alleges that the financial burden was caused by the federal government’s “derogation of duty to administer this country’s immigration system and claims of asylum,” KVIA reported.

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham further complained that the government’s “quick release” policy is “leaving vulnerable individuals and families without assistance and burdening local governments as well as nonprofit organizations.”

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Source: The Washington Pundit

Sen. Mitt Romney moved Wednesday on an immigration proposal he claims would address one reason hundreds of thousands have illegally crossed into the U.S. since October, and the bill could find an unexpected supporter in President Trump.

Romney on Wednesday introduced the Permanent E-Verify Act, which would turn the E-Verify program into a permanent fixture within the U.S. employment system. The introduction marks the first immigration item Romney has proposed since taking office in January, according to his aide.

“Congress needs to act now to address our illegal immigration crisis by closing legal loopholes and removing the magnets — like illegal unemployment — that drive illegal immigration,” Romney said in a statement. “My home state of Utah has already taken a step to reduce illegal employment by requiring employers to use E-Verify. I urge my colleagues to take action on this important legislation to make E-Verify permanent, and continue working on long term fixes to secure the border, update our asylum and trafficking laws, and institute mandatory E-Verify nationwide.”

E-Verify is an online tool that allows employers to input a new hire’s driver’s license and Social Security information to verify whether the person’s identity is legitimate and eligible for work. Hiring an undocumented immigrant is a federal crime.

All federal government employees and contractors must be cleared through E-Verify prior to being hired, but enrollment for the private sector is voluntary. The bill would not force all private entities to enroll or use the program, just make its renewal — usually done by Congress every year — a thing of the past.

E-Verify initially rolled out in 1996 as a pilot program by the Clinton administration and is now administered by the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. It is set to expire at the end of September.

The White House is in the process of piecing together an immigration reform bill that has been reported as likely to include E-Verify. Trump has endorsed the policy but not moved on any executive action that would make it a permanent program or force companies to enroll.

Romney and Trump are known foes who have criticized each other since the 2016 presidential election. At the time, Trump ripped the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, saying if he had fought as heard as he did against Trump in 2016, he would have beat former President Barack Obama four years earlier.

Romney’s office has not indicated if it expects the White House to endorse the bill.


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