WTF Community

Immigration: issues and policy


A 2½-year-old Guatemalan boy apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border died Tuesday night in El Paso after several weeks in the hospital, according to the Guatemalan Consulate and another person with direct knowledge of the case.

The boy, who was not identified, arrived at the border with his mother days after now-acting homeland security secretary Kevin McAleenanheld a news conference near a crowded holding facility in El Paso on March 27 to warn that a surge of Central Americans was pushing the system to the “breaking point.”

The boy is the fourth migrant child to die since December after being apprehended at the southern border and taken to the hospital. All have been from Guatemala, a Central American nation experiencing severe drought and poverty, and where smugglers have been offering discounted trips to families traveling to the United States.

(David Bythewood) #102

16-year-old migrant boy dies in U.S. custody, 5th child to die since Dec. (that we know of) 16-year-old migrant boy dies in U.S. custody, 5th child to die since December via @nbcnews

A 10-year-old migrant girl died last year in government care, officials acknowledge Migrant children death: A 10-year-old migrant girl died last year in government care, officials acknowledge [Exclusive] - CBS News


Six children have died. This one wasn’t previously reported.

(David Bythewood) #104

Yup, sorry, that’s in the second one there. And those are the ones we know of.

I have articles on suicides, miscarriages, a transgender asylum seeker beaten to death… it’s bad all around. The full scope I am not certain we’ll ever know.


A federal judge has partially blocked President Donald Trump’s plan to fund construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The preliminary injunction issued Friday immediately halts a $1 billion transfer of Pentagon counterdrug funding to cover expansions and enhancement of border barriers.

The court order also appears to jeopardize another $1.5 billion of the $8.1 billion the administration planned to use for border construction.

However, Oakland, Calif.-based U.S. District Court Judge Haywood Gilliam’s order only limits construction in specific border areas in Texas and Arizona and does not prevent the administration from tapping other funding sources to advance those projects.

Gilliam said the administration’s plan to transfer counterdrug funding to finance the border-wall construction appeared to be unconstitutional because the legal authority the administration was relying on applied only to “unforeseen” needs. …

“The position that when Congress declines the Executive’s request to appropriate funds, the Executive nonetheless may simply find a way to spend those funds ‘without Congress’ does not square with fundamental separation of powers principles dating back to the earliest days of our Republic,” the judge wrote. …

The judge’s words are spot on. Trump is trying to take over the legislative branch of our government. It’s Congress that allocates funds, not the President. That’s Constitution 101.

(David Bythewood) #106

CBP Continues to Harass Journalists and Activists

This thread is the firsthand account of journalist and writer Nate Abaurrea, who was detained and harassed by the CBP, as so many activists and journalists have been. Fair warning, it’s quite graphic and disturbing.

Migrant boy who died in U.S. custody wanted to help brother with special needs, family says

The family of Carlous Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez mourned him as a well-behaved teen who loved soccer and music, playing both the bass and the piano

(David Bythewood) #107

The Trump administration is putting LGBTQ immigrants in solitary confinement

Thousands of immigrants are being forced into solitary confinement because they’re LGBTQ, disabled, or report abuse from guards.


Seems like Steve Bannon, who spearheads the We Build the Wall project has been busy with his mercenary zealotry and went and got funding to build a private wall on the New Mexico/Texas/Mexican border this weekend. This is a vigilante-style border project - appeal thru a GoFundMe page, then build immediately.

It is creating policy by just doing it… :hushed:

“Buckle up, we’re just getting started!” the group wrote in a Facebook post, sharing what it said were images of construction over the weekend.

On Monday evening, a CNN team watched as heavy machinery rumbled over the site near the New Mexico-Texas state line near El Paso. Kris Kobach, former Kansas secretary of state and longtime immigration hardliner, spoke to CNN over the clanking and beeping of construction equipment.

“It’s amazing to me how crowdfunding can successfully raise a lot of money, and how many Americans care about this,” said Kobach, who’s now general counsel for We Build the Wall.

A half-mile stretch of wall on the site is nearly finished, Kobach said, costing an estimated $6 million to $8 million to build. The main contractor working at the site: Fisher Industries, a North Dakota-based company that President Trump has been aggressively advocating should be awarded government contracts to build the border wall, The Washington Post reported last week.

Word of the private wall’s construction is likely to rile opponents of efforts to build up barriers at the US southern border, while energizing supporters of Trump and one of his most oft-repeated campaign promises.

Filling a ‘gap that needed to be filled’

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who chairs We Build the Wall’s advisory board, told CNN on Monday that the stretch of private wall connects two 21-mile sections of existing fencing.

CNN was not able to independently confirm that the new wall connects the two portions of border fencing constructed by the federal government.

In what might be seen as a Memorial Day gift to President Trump, residents of a mountain range outside of El Paso today woke up to a new vista—a mile-long wall of metal slats constructed along the border with Mexico that just shot up over the weekend. The secret project, which started on Friday evening and was completed by Monday morning, was the work of We Build the Wall, a new group whose director is the former White House strategist Steve Bannon. The CEO is Air Force veteran Brian Kolfage, who had raised $20 million to build the wall through his GoFundMe project, but it appeared to be floundering until Bannon took the helm.

He says his group asked local authorities what is the most dangerous part of the border with Mexico, and they were pointed to this precarious mountain strip, “where the cartels and asylum seekers are coming in” through a gap between two 21-mile strips of completed wall. The group hastily “purchased the rights” to the land and went at it Friday evening. “We had to catch them by surprise,” says Bannon,


This is a very emotional read.

Advocates also report that some asylum seekers in the Western District of Texas who have given birth in USMS custody were forced to hand over their newborns to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). Reuniting with their newborn hinges on their release from federal custody, and whether they can access legal help to navigate the child welfare system. We learned that women who find their way to advocacy organizations appear to be reuniting with their newborns, but Rewire.News was unable to verify what happens to the children of women who do not have access to legal help.

Late last year, Dr. Shelly (a pseudonym), an OB-GYN in the Western District of Texas, said there were multiple cases where pregnant migrants who had just given birth at her hospital were forced to give their children up to Texas DFPS.

“I don’t know if they lose their babies for good,” the doctor said. “But I do know the process is torturous for them.”

(David Bythewood) #110

Deceased G.O.P. Strategist Thomas B. Hofeller’s Hard Drives Reveal New Details on the Census Citizenship Question

The GOP “Michelangelo of gerrymandering” helped weaponize the census to protect the GOP and disenfranchise hispanic voters.

(David Bythewood) #111

Trump announced a 5% tariff on ALL goods coming from Mexico if they don’t stop illegal immigrants from coming into the U.S. Seriously.

Trump announces escalating tariffs against Mexico, starting at 5 percent, until illegal immigrants ‘STOP’

(David Bythewood) #112

Xenophobia masquerading as trade policy:

Trump trade adviser says Mexico exports ‘illegal aliens’

Exclusive: Watchdog finds detainees ‘standing on toilets’ for breathing room at border facility holding 900 people in space meant for 125

DHS watchdog finds ‘dangerous overcrowding’ at Texas Border Patrol facility



The IG found “standing room only conditions” at the El Paso Del Norte Processing Center, which has a maximum capacity of 125 migrants. On May 7 and 8, logs indicated that there were “approximately 750 and 900 detainees, respectively.”

“We also observed detainees standing on toilets in the cells to make room and gain breathing space, thus limiting access to the toilets,” the report states. The report was first obtained by CNN.

A cell with a maximum capacity of 12 held 76 detainees, another with a maximum capacity of eight held 41, and another with a maximum capacity of 35 held 155, according to the report.

Human rights violation!


yep, and calling them “tent cities” or “processing facilities” is a pretty big typo of “concentration camps” at this point.

(David Bythewood) #115

I prefer Trump Brand Baby Jails. Gets right to the heart of it.

(David Bythewood) #116

This is too horrible for words.

Botched family reunifications left migrant children waiting in vans overnight

Not until 39 hours later & 2 nights passed did the last child step out of those vans to be reunited. Most spent at least 23 hours in the vans.

(David Bythewood) #117

2 Salvadoran migrants die after being apprehended at border in separate incidents

Federal authorities have confirmed two Salvadoran migrants died over the weekend after being apprehended along the U.S.-Mexico border. One of the migrants was a transgender woman, according to LGBTQ immigrant advocates.

Jonathan Alberto “Johana” Medina Leon, a 25-year-old trans woman, crossed legally through a U.S. port of entry in El Paso, Texas and was later taken to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center, the agency said Monday.

Medina Leon was in custody for more than a month when she was transferred to the hospital after complaining of chest pains. She was released from ICE custody at the hospital and died there four days later, the agency said.

According to an ICE official, Medina Leon was brought to a facility in Otero County, New Mexico, where authorities have been accused by advocate groups of mistreating gay and transgender detainees. The Washington Post was first to report the news.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection also announced the death of an unidentified 33-year-old Salvadoran man who suffered a seizure moments after the Border Patrol apprehended him in Roma, Texas on Sunday.

My note: the tone of this article is misleading; the man was apprehended crossing the border and died, but the transgender woman had legally arrived seeking asylum and been in custody for over a month.


It’s super fucked up, this is the second trans person to die since I started this thread.

(David Bythewood) #119

With the news they’re placing LGBTQ people in solitary, I fear they won’t be the last. This story also remains hazy; I’ve found two versions, both at first make it seem like she was died entering when she’d been in custody for a month, one makes it seem like she was caught sneaking in when the other states she presented herself at a port of call and was going through the asylum process, and neither indicates the cause of death, though one states she’d requested an HIV test and tested positive. I worry there is more to come on this,

(David Bythewood) #120

This is not an opinion piece; this is news. This is the testimony of starving, desperate Central American people.

‘Food Doesn’t Grow Here Anymore. That’s Why I Would Send My Son North.’

A stark choice for some Guatemalans: watch crops wither, and maybe die with them, or migrate.