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ICE Set to Begin Immigration Raids in 10 Cities on Sunday

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ICE Set to Begin Immigration Raids in 10 Cities on Sunday

Immigration and Customs Enforcement ‘ICE’ is pressing forward to arrest and deport families with court-ordered removals in 10 cities beginning Sunday, according to a senior immigration official, after President Donald Trump’s tweet revealing an operation was imminent.

But acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan has been hesitant about elements of the operation, according to two sources familiar with his thinking.

ICE has said it was considering options to arrest and deport families who have gone through their legal proceedings but has refrained from publicly providing the scope and timeframe of the operation, which officials say could lead to a situation where a family is separated and could cause a backlash against the department.

To that end, Trump’s tweet Monday night that ICE, the enforcement arm of DHS, was preparing to deport “millions” of undocumented immigrants next week was striking, given the figure and the decision to disclose an operation prior to its execution.

“If you’re here illegally, then you should be removed,” acting head of ICE Mark Morgan told reporters Wednesday during a call prompted by the President’s tweet. “And in this case, that includes families.”

A senior administration official told CNN the operation had been planned for some time, but said the tweet had put the operation at the forefront.

“Certainly, the President’s tweet helped prioritize things for people,” the official said, adding that there had been internal debate about timing amid negotiations with Congress on additional funding and the upcoming 2020 budget.

The official added that “there has been an effort to communicate what is likely to happen, without saying specifically when and where,” contrary to the “zero tolerance” policy which was done without much advance notice to the media or Capitol Hill.

Field agents at local field offices are receiving briefings and trainings, according to a senior immigration official. There are also preparations being put in place for mixed-immigration status families: for example, if a parent is undocumented, but has a US citizen child.

“Due to law-enforcement sensitivities and the safety and security of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel, the agency will not offer specific details related to ongoing enforcement operations before the conclusion of those actions,” ICE said in a statement Friday.

Officials have previously raised concerns about the operation being perceived as separating families again, though Morgan said Wednesday, “Our goal is not to separate families.”

The intent, Morgan said, is to deter migrants from coming to the US-Mexico border, and the operation is expected to include families who are on an expedited court docket.

2,000 people targeted

Last year, the Executive Office for Immigration Review, which oversees the nation’s immigration courts, announced that it had begun tracking family cases filed by the Department of Homeland Security in 10 immigration court locations: Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York and San Francisco.

The cases are being expedited to try to process the families in under a year.

Morgan said ICE had worked closely with the Justice Department on the family expedited docket and that the “results were very disappointing,” claiming that some families haven’t attended their immigration hearings.

ICE Set to Begin Immigration Raids in 10 Cities on Sunday

In February, ICE sent around 2,000 letters to families who already had received final orders of removal by judges in absentia, asking them to self-report to local ICE offices by March to comply with the orders, Morgan said. The upcoming operation is expected to target approximately 2,000 people, according to the senior immigration official.

Once arrests take place, families will likely be moved to ICE family residential detention centers as the agency works with consulates to obtain travel documents, according to the official. Some people will likely appeal their cases, but eventually some will be removed.

The official added that when there are US citizen children in the family, the parents will be fitted with an ankle bracelet and allowed to stay with that child to allow time to get affairs in order while other undocumented family members remain in custody, the official added, nothing that no one wants a situation where a child is left alone.

Advocacy groups say they’re mobilizing beginning Sunday in anticipation of an upcoming operation.

Morgan, who took over the director role in an acting capacity weeks ago, stressed that there hasn’t been a shift in direction for the agency but rather a continuation of its policy not to exclude any demographic for arrest and deportation. The operation is expected to encompass worksite enforcement, as well as families with court-ordered removals and individuals with final orders for removal.

CNN first reported last month that the administration had been considering deporting migrant families with court-ordered removals in an attempt to “send a message” to smugglers, according to a senior administration official.

As part of the consideration, the administration had been looking at an operation rolled out in the late years of Barack Obama’s presidency — and revived in Trump’s first year in office — that also targeted family units. Obama initially focused on felons.

A plan months in the making

Last year, at the request of DHS, the Justice Department put together the accelerated family court docket or the so-called “rocket docket,” according to a former administration official.

“The goal was to get to consequence quicker,” so that “people would get their hearings, they would get ordered removed, and then a significant number” of people would be put back into ICE custody and removed from the US, said the official.

Sometime around March, ICE officials took additional planning steps. The former acting ICE Director Ron Vitiello had several conversations about a potential operation with then-Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who at the time requested additional information, according to the official. But before DHS was fully prepared to carry out the operation, both Nielsen and Vitiello left the administration amid a purge of top DHS officials in April.

There was an understanding that an operation targeting families would be “tough and difficult” for everyone involved, said the official.

“You go to a home that’s a family and maybe the father is present, but the mother is not or vice versa. People are in medical care. Other members of the family may be in legal status,” said the former official. “There’s a lot of stuff to consider in a situation like this.”

Additionally, there were also discussions about family separation and whether this operation would comply with current court orders, as well as the President’s executive order to end family separation.

Trump doubles down on illegal immigration

Trump’s tweet about a massive operation came on the eve of his re-election rally. The President had made illegal immigration a cornerstone of his 2016 campaign and appeared to be reverting back to that message hours before taking the stage in Orlando.

But the mass deportations he previously warned of haven’t materialized and deportation numbers have lagged behind those seen during Obama’s presidency.

According to ICE data, deportations increased about 13% between fiscal year 2017 and fiscal year 2018, when 256,085 people were deported. That’s still significantly less than the number of people deported during fiscal year 2012, when Obama’s administration deported more than 400,000 people.

Staffing limitations and budget constraints generally limit how many people the US can detain and deport — and how quickly that process happens. Deporting millions of people would cost far more than Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s current budget allows — and require a vast amount of resources.

The administration contends that interior enforcement will deter migrants from journeying to the southern border. The swell of migrants illegally crossing the border in recent months has overwhelmed DHS. In May alone, nearly 133,000 migrants were arrested for illegally crossing the border, according to Customs and Border Protection data, including more than 11,000 unaccompanied children. Many of them turn themselves in to Border Patrol.

In an emergency budget request made last month, the White House is seeking $4.5 billion more from Congress “to address the immediate humanitarian and security crisis at the southern border of the United States,” including $33.7 million more to fund ICE transportation and removal, and more than $340 million to fund thousands more beds in immigrant detention facilities.

But that request is still making its way through Congress — and it’s likely to face pushback, particularly from House Democrats who’ve repeatedly noted their concerns about the Trump administration’s approach to immigration enforcement.

Entrepreneur, contributor, writer, and editor of Sostre News. With a powerful new bi-lingual speaking generation by his side, Sostre News is becoming the preferred site for the latest in Politics, Entertainment, Sports, Culture, Tech, Breaking and World News.

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Three Disney World Employees Among 17 Arrested in Florida Child Sex Sting

Three Disney World employees were among the 17 people arrested in a child sex sting operation in Florida, law enforcement officials announced on Wednesday.

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Three Disney World Employees Among 17 Arrested in Florida Child Sex Sting

Three Disney World employees were among the 17 people arrested in a child sex sting operation in Florida, law enforcement officials announced on Wednesday.

In the operation, dubbed “Operation Child Protector,” undercover officers posed as 13- and 14-year-old children on social media and online dating apps between July 27 and Aug. 1.

The undercovers made contact with each of the suspects before proposing they meet at a location in Polk County, where they were busted.

In total, the arrests led to 49 felony and two misdemeanor charges. Those arrested were aged 26 to 47. All were from Central Florida except for one 33-year-old man from California.

“What you see on this board … are deviants. Incredible deviants,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said at a press conference on Tuesday, motioning to photos of the alleged pervs. “They travel from as far away as Clewiston, Florida. One even came from Los Angeles.”

“Much to their chagrin, instead of meeting with young children, they were met by law enforcement officers who were online undercover posing as children.”

Kenneth Javier Aquino, 26, a lifeguard at Animal Kingdom Lodge at Disney World, was arrested while still wearing his Disney polo shirt and swimsuit, according to the sheriff’s office.

Aquino engaged in an online conversation on social media with an officer, posing as a 13-year-old girl, authorities said. He then asked the “girl” to send photos, and sent her an explicit video of himself, police said.

Aquino told officers he is a Navy veteran and has a pregnant girlfriend.

Jonathan McGrew, a 34-year-old custodian at Disney World, was nabbed by an undercover officer posing as a 13-year-old girl.

disney-world

McGrew allegedly told the “girl” that he wanted her to come over and have sex with him and his girlfriend, 29-year-old Savannah Lawrence, who also works as a custodian at tourist mecca.

McGrew sent her explicit videos of him and Lawrence performing sexual acts on each other, authorities said.

A rep for Disney World didn’t immediately return a message.

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China Reports First Human Death from Monkey B Virus

China has reported the first human infection and death in the country caused by a rare infectious disease found in primates known as the Monkey B virus.

The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said a 53-year-old veterinary surgeon who worked in a research institute specializing in nonhuman primate breeding in Beijing dissected two monkeys in March and became ill about a month later.

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China Reports First Human Death from Monkey B Virus

China has reported the first human infection and death in the country caused by a rare infectious disease found in primates known as the Monkey B virus.

The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said a 53-year-old veterinary surgeon who worked in a research institute specializing in nonhuman primate breeding in Beijing dissected two monkeys in March and became ill about a month later.

He began experiencing nausea, vomiting, fever and neurological issues, and died in May.

Blood and saliva samples were tested and researchers in April found evidence of the Monkey B virus, also known as the herpes B virus.

Researchers said a male doctor and female nurse who were in close contact with the victim tested negative for the virus.

The Monkey B virus is prevalent among macaque monkeys but infection among humans is extremely rare. Since the virus was identified in 1932, just 50 cases have been reported, with the majority of those in North America. Untreated B virus infections in humans are serious, however, with a fatality rate of about 80 percent.

Symptoms include fever, shortness of breath, and progress to more serious complications such as swelling of the brain and spinal cord.

Laboratory workers and veterinarians in close contact with the animals are most at risk as people typically get infected with the virus if they are bitten or scratched by an infected macaque, or have contact with the monkey’s eyes, nose or mouth.

But the virus is unlikely to mutate in a way that poses a problem to the general population. Just one case of human-to-human transmission of the virus has ever been documented.

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U.S. Remembers 9/11 Terrorist Attacks as The Pandemic Changes Tribute Traditions

Americans are commemorating 9/11 with tributes that have been altered by coronavirus precautions and woven into the presidential campaign, drawing both President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden to pay respects at the same memorial without crossing paths.

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U.S. Remembers 9/11 Terrorist Attacks as The Pandemic Changes Tribute Traditions

Americans are commemorating 9/11 with tributes that have been altered by coronavirus precautions and woven into the presidential campaign, drawing both President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden to pay respects at the same memorial without crossing paths.

In New York, a dispute over coronavirus-safety precautions is leading to split-screen remembrances Friday, one at the Sept. 11 memorial plaza at the World Trade Center and another on a nearby corner. The Pentagon’s observance will be so restricted that not even victims’ families can attend, though small groups can visit the memorial there later in the day.

Trump and Biden are both headed — at different times — to the Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Trump is speaking at the morning ceremony, the White House said. Biden plans to pay respects there in the afternoon after attending the observance at the 9/11 memorial in New York.

Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence is also due at ground zero — and then at the alternate ceremony a few blocks away.

In short, the anniversary of 9/11 is a complicated occasion in a maelstrom of a year, as the U.S. grapples with a health crisis, searches its soul over racial injustice and prepares to choose a leader to chart a path forward.

Still, 9/11 families say it’s important for the nation to pause and remember the hijacked-plane attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people at the trade center, at the Pentagon and near Shanksville on Sept. 11, 2001, shaping American policy, perceptions of safety and daily life in places from airports to office buildings.

“I know that the heart of America beats on 9/11 and, of course, thinks about that tragic day. I don’t think that people forget,” says Anthoula Katsimatides, who lost her brother John and is now on the board of the National Sept. 11 Memorial & Museum.

Friday will mark Trump’s second time observing the 9/11 anniversary at the Flight 93 memorial, where he made remarks in 2018. Biden spoke at the memorial’s dedication in 2011, when he was vice president.

The ground zero ceremony in New York has a longstanding custom of not allowing politicians to speak, though they can attend. Biden did so as vice president in 2010, and Trump as a candidate in 2016.

Though the candidates will be focused on the commemorations, the political significance of their focus on Shanksville is hard to ignore: Pennsylvania is a must-win state for both. Trump won it by less than a percentage point in 2016.

Around the country, some communities have canceled 9/11 commemorations because of the pandemic, while others are going ahead, sometimes with modifications.

The New York memorial is changing one of its ceremony’s central traditions: having relatives read the names of the dead, often adding poignant tributes.

Thousands of family members are still invited. But they’ll hear a recording of the names from speakers spread around the vast plaza, a plan that memorial leaders felt would avoid close contact at a stage but still allow families to remember their loved ones at the place where they died.

But some victims’ relatives felt the change robbed the observance of its emotional impact. A different 9/11-related group, the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, set up its own, simultaneous ceremony a few blocks away, saying there’s no reason that people can’t recite names while keeping a safe distance.

The two organizations also tussled over the Tribute in Light, a pair of powerful beams that shine into the night sky near the trade center and evoke its fallen twin towers. The 9/11 memorial initially canceled the display, citing virus-safety concerns for the installation crew. After the Tunnel to Towers Foundation vowed to put up the lights instead, the memorial changed course with help from its chairman, former Mayor Mike Bloomberg, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Tunnel to Towers, meanwhile, arranged to display single beams for the first time at the Shanksville memorial and the Pentagon.

Over the years, the anniversary also has become a day for volunteering. Because of the pandemic, the 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance organization is encouraging people this year to make donations or take other actions that can be accomplished at home.

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