U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials attempted to rebut claims that they have been separating families at border ports of entry, saying Monday that the agency split only seven families out of 5,298 who presented themselves at legal international checkpoints from May to June.
“Separation at the ports of entry is very rare,” said Todd C. Owen, executive assistant commissioner of the agency’s office of field operations. “We are very judicious about the family unit.”
Owen said, however, that U.S. officials have been struggling to process asylum seekers because of a lack of temporary holding space at the nation’s 328 ports of entry. He also said the agency has been working with Mexican counterparts to hold families seeking asylum at shelters in Mexico instead of letting them wait on border bridges where they would be “exposed to the elements.”
Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo on Sunday sought to downplay North Korea’s harsh complaints about U.S. demands and insisted that negotiations on Pyongyang's nuclear disarmament were making progress.
The Trump administration is moving to rescind Obama-era guidance to colleges and universities on how they can use race in admissions decisions to promote diversity, according to an administration official.
The action, expected Tuesday afternoon, is likely to signal a shift toward advocacy of race-neutral admissions. The Supreme Court has upheld race-conscious admission practices as recently as 2016, but affirmative action in higher education remains a contentious issue.
In 2011 and 2016, the Obama administration's Justice and Education departments jointly spelled out for colleges their view of the law on the voluntary use of race in admissions.
Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo will travel to North Korea on Thursday to continue talks with Kim Jong Un’s government, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday.
Pompeo’s visit follows the historic summit between Kim and President Trump in Singapore in June. The secretary of State, who will be making his third trip to North Korea, will seek answers about Kim’s intentions after new intelligence suggested that his country has continued to ramp up its nuclear capabilities.
The trip represents the highest-level exchange between the two sides since Trump and Kim met and agreed to work toward “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” without establishing a framework or guideposts for achieving that goal. Trump administration officials have deflected criticism of the agreement, describing it as the first step in a negotiated process to persuade Kim to give up his nuclear weapons.
The White House attacked Sen. Kamala Harris of California on Twitter on Monday over illegal immigration, prompting her to fire back on the administration’s separation of children from their parents after they crossed the border.
The White House accused Harris, a Democrat, of supporting “the animals of MS-13,” a criminal gang that originated in Los Angeles. It offered no evidence for the claim.
Later, Harris responded that she had a long history of combating gangs as a prosecutor, and then slammed Trump for “ripping babies from their mothers.”
As a career prosecutor, I actually went after gangs and transnational criminal organizations. That's being a leader on public safety. What is not, is ripping babies from their mothers. pic.twitter.com/WyyHU3U7jE
Michael Cohen, President Trump’s longtime lawyer, put some distance between himself and his former client in an interview published on Monday, implying that he wouldn’t hesitate to cooperate with prosecutors even if that hurt the president.
Although Cohen has not been charged, he’s the subject of a criminal investigation by the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan. Federal agents seized thousands of records from his home, office and hotel room earlier this year, and Cohen is in the process of switching his legal team.
Mexico is calling on the United Nations to intervene to prevent the United States from separating immigrant children and parents, the result of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy.
President Trump last week signed an executive order to end the practice after a global outcry, but the Mexican government made no mention of Trump’s order in a statement released Thursday evening.
The statement said Luis Videgaray, Mexico’s foreign secretary, met Thursday in New York with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and urged the U.N. to intervene on the issue.