It appears to be the first lawsuit filed by a parent separated from a child under a zero-tolerance border policy that the Trump administration defends as necessary to deter illegal immigration despite an explosion of criticism. The American Civil Liberties Union has sued challenging the overall policy.
Taxpayers have paid more than $1.5 billion in four years to private companies operating immigrant youth shelters accused of serious lapses in care, including neglect and sexual and physical abuse. In nearly all cases, the federal government has continued to place migrant children with the companies even after serious allegations were raised.
A new FBI study of 63 cases in which armed gunmen opening fire in public places found that most use guns they obtained legally and targeted specific victims. Mental health usually wasn’t an issue. “Offenders don’t snap,” said FBI expert Andre Simons.
The feds handle cases that could have been filed in state court. U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen says, “We have better resources for people on probation or supervised release.” Or, more simply, “Jobs stop bullets.” He cites the low re-arrest rate — 7.5 percent — five years after someone leaves federal supervision.
The Metropolitan Corrections Center, the federal jail in New York City, has been condemned by a United National human rights expert for exposing inmates to conditions akin to torture. Recent inmates describe a “rat-infested, high-rise hell.”
New York City authorities said they would issue summonses rather than conduct arrests of people caught smoking marijuana in public. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. says the policy may solidify racial inequities.
After intense pressure from across the political spectrum, President Trump plans to sign an order that would keep detained parents at the Mexican border with their children. A federal consent decree says children must be released after 20 days.
Prison guards practiced this month for something that hasn’t happened at Guantánamo in a decade: receiving a new war-on-terror detainee. Any new prisoners are likely to be members of the Islamic State, not al-Qaida.