What's happening at the US border
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said the House still plans to vote on the Republican immigration bill next week, despite the President's tweet this morning warning GOP members they should "stop wasting their time" on immigration.
"We’ll work through the weekend and you’ll see that bill on the floor next week," he said.
Where things in Congress stand now: The House on Thursday rejected one of two immigration bills Republicans have been working on. The second measure — a more moderate proposal known as the compromise bill — was scheduled for a vote today, but at the last minute, Republicans decided to postpone it.
Negotiators are now working on specific issues: An expansion of the e-verify system and addressing farm state lawmaker concerns of agriculture visas. To be perfectly clear: These are not clean or easy issues.
So can it pass? As of noon yesterday, the immigration bill wasn’t just short of the votes, aides said — it was well short of the votes. It would be quite something to turn that around in 72 hours.
Hundreds of migrant children separated from their parents at the US border have been sent to distant states, as far away as New York and Michigan.
A spokesman for the department of Health and Human Services said this happens for a variety of reasons including:
- A lack of space
- Available shelter accommodations
- Demographics of the children
- Proximity to potential sponsors
“There’s an effort to place them as closely as possible to where they’re going to be eventually reunified with a sponsor or a family member,” the spokesman said, adding that it is “pretty rare” that someone would be sent to New York if it’s only because of space.
If a child goes to New York, that usually means there’s an immediate family member in the New York facility, the spokesman explained.
HHS does not have a publicly accessible database to track children. The spokesman said lawyers and case workers are determining locations likely by pulling state licenses and going shelter by shelter to figure it out, as sources have also described to CNN.
The Republican Mayor of the largest border city in America slammed President Trump's rhetoric on Mexico and said a wall "won't work."
Dee Margo, the Mayor of El Paso in Texas, describes his city and Juarez, Mexico, as "one bi-national, bilingual, bi-cultural community."
Rep. Peter Welch, a Democrat from Vermont, recently visited a migrant holding faculty near the US southern border. He made the trip with other US lawmakers to see firsthand the conditions in the shelters.
Welch said the facility was clean, but had no windows. It was filled with chain-link fences "that in effect, are cages," he said. Immigrants were separated by age and gender.
"What we saw was a lot of kids in cages."
He then described the scene the stood out to him the most:
"One incident really stood out in my mind. It was three boys, and I assume they were brothers, and they’re on these thin mats that are provided. And like spoon style, they're holding on to each other for dear life with no idea where their parents were. So that’s a pretty searing sight."
President Bill Clinton told an audience in Chicago on Thursday that President Donald Trump’s child separation policy was “wrong” and “immoral.”
“Taking these kids away from their parents makes no sense,” he said. “It’s wrong. It’s immoral. It’s not required by the law. And it’s not necessary to protect the border. It’s just wrong.”
He added: “Children should not be bargaining chips. They are people…I not only want this to stop, I want them to go get these kids that have already been sent away and give them back to their parents and do it right now.”
Clinton is on his book tour for “The President Is Missing,” a work of fiction he wrote with James Patterson.
The interview was with Bob Barnett, a longtime lawyer for the Clintons who has negotiated most – if not all – of their book deals.
House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte says that the GOP is going to push forward on immigration — despite Trump’s tweet saying the party should abandon the effort.
“We made a lot of progress last night and we are going to continue to move forward because the administration needs the legislation. I don’t think it will affect the mood of the members who got very close yesterday," He said.
Goodlatte, the key chairman leading the effort on immigration, added that the Republican “absolutely" plan to push forward. The House voted down one immigration bill (one that was named after him) yesterday, but it's still working on a second proposal.
CNN pressed further: But Trump told you to stop?
“I would say it’s more important to do it right now," Goodlatte responded.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, requesting information about the children sent to New York after being separated from their parents at the US southern border.
De Blasio said he is “deeply concerned” for the health and safety of the children. He asked for information on how the government “will bring these families back together, and a deadline for accomplishing that task.”
Why the New York City mayor is involved with the border crisis: At least 239 migrant children who were separated from their families are in the care of Cayuga Centers in Harlem, De Blasio said. The children include a 9-month-old. Some of the kids have bed bugs, lice, chicken pox and other contagious diseases.
De Blasio tweeted a copy of the full letter he sent to Azar: