Tag Archives: cruel

‘It is beyond cruel’: Ice refuses to reunite girl with the only family she has left

‘It is beyond cruel’: Ice refuses to reunite girl with the only family she has leftMaría has been waiting to be paroled so she can be with her niece, who was sent to foster care 2,400 miles awayFor more than nine months, María, 23, has been waiting in an immigration detention center in Arizona hoping to reunite with the six-year-old niece she raised as a daughter. When the two asked for asylum at the border last March because they feared for their lives in Guatemala, border officials detained María in the Eloy detention center and sent the girl to foster care in New York, 2400 miles away.The Guardian first reported on the ongoing separation of this family in October. As the story spread, lawmakers and more than 200 clergy asked US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) to grant María parole so she can leave detention and reunite with the girl. A woman in New York volunteered to house them both while María awaits a decision on her appeal for asylum.But despite that public support, Ice denied María’s application for parole in mid-December.Parole was once the norm for arriving asylum seekers, but in recent years approvals have become increasingly rare. On a standardized form, Ice officers indicated María failed to prove she was “not a flight risk” or that her “continued detention was not in the public interest”.María said the denial was “depressing” because it prolongs her separation from the child. She has regular phone calls with her niece, who says she doesn’t want to be apart any more. “But I tell her she has to be patient, wait a little bit longer. Just like I’m doing it myself from here,” María said in Spanish during a phone call from detention on Thursday.“Why does Ice get to say what the public interest is?” said Suzannah Maclay, one of María’s pro bono attorneys. “It’s very clear what the public is interested in here. It’s helping these people and getting them back together.”An Ice spokeswoman emailed a statement reciting the facts of María’s case but did not answer why the agency denied parole.Six years ago, a gang in rural Guatemala murdered María’s last living relatives except her niece, who was a baby. María raised the child and is the only mother the girl has known. They fled toward the United States last Christmas after the gang murdered María’s partner and tried to shoot her.María’s case stands out because of the dozens of people who have tried to help.The support began when María and her niece first arrived at a shelter on the Mexican border and met American volunteers. They helped obtain copies of official birth and death certificates that prove her relatives were violently murdered and her relationship to the girl.At that time, a federal judge had halted the Trump administration’s policy of separating most families at the border nearly nine months earlier. Yet a US law aimed at protecting child migrants from traffickers requires border officials to separate arriving children from adults who cannot prove they are the child’s parents or legal guardians. Officials did not accept the documents María showed as proof of legal guardianship.Once María was detained, some of those volunteers from the shelter found her pro bono attorneys and located her niece in New York.“She would have totally lost track of her niece,” said Maclay. “But it was because the public stepped up and kept track of where the little girl went that they’re even in contact right now.”María’s supporters are calling on Ice to reverse course and grant her parole. A small crowd of state legislators, clergy and activists gathered on the state capitol on Thursday holding signs that read “Uncage & Reunite” and “Call ICE” with the agency’s local phone number.The Rev James Pennington of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Phoenix said by keeping the family apart, Ice is “causing further pain, trauma, mental, physical, spiritual health issues that will extend far beyond just this moment in time”.He added, “It is beyond cruel especially at this time of Christmas.”Anita, the New York woman who has volunteered to house María and her niece, said she has already sent them photos of the family. “I told her we’re all waiting for her,” said Anita, who asked for her last name to be withheld to protect María’s safety if she is released.“We’re so anxious to have a good resolution for this case, but at the same time painfully aware that there are so many other people that don’t have this kind of support,” she said.When the Guardian first wrote about María, she asked to be called Alexa for fear of reprisal. But she has since chosen to use her real first name in the press as a growing number of supporters are calling on Ice to release her.After a federal judge in 2018 ordered most family separations to end, attorneys have been scrambling to reunite families. There are currently about 5,500 known cases of children separated from parents during the Trump administration. But no one has tracked how many children have been split from non-parent relatives, nor is there a formal mechanism for those families to reunify.The logistics of how and when María will see her niece again if she is not paroled are unclear. María’s asylum appeal could take up to two years. Sean Wellock, another pro bono attorney representing her, said if María were to lose her appeal, the government would be under no obligation to coordinate a reunion in Guatemala with her niece if they are deported separately.The girl could lag behind María by days, weeks or months.Christie Turner-Herbas, an attorney specializing in reunifying migrant families at Kids in Need of Defense, said when a child is deported alone, US government agencies do not always communicate clearly about the child’s travel.“There have been complications like a child is leaving and we never get any notice,” Turner-Herbas said. “And then we find out, you know, get a panicked call from the family saying that they heard the child is coming in, but they’re not able to get [to the airport] in time.”María says her days in detention are monotonous until someone visits or she receives a letter. While she says the government has denied all her requests, she still doesn’t “feel abandoned”.“I have the support of lots of people,” she said. “I’m not alone”.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

'A very cruel act': At least 15 horses were shot and killed in Kentucky, police say

'A very cruel act': At least 15 horses were shot and killed in Kentucky, police sayAuthorities are investigating after at least 15 horses were reportedly found fatally shot Tuesday near a strip mining site in Eastern Kentucky.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Trump signs ‘cruel and illegal’ deal with Guatemala to stop asylum seekers getting to US

Trump signs ‘cruel and illegal’ deal with Guatemala to stop asylum seekers getting to USThe Trump administration has struck a highly controversial deal with Guatemala, which will prevent some migrants fleeing their home countries from submitting asylum applications to the US.Refugees travelling to the US who enter Guatemala, including Salvadorans and Hondurans, will now be required to apply for asylum protection from the Central American nation instead of at the US border.Under the deal Guatemala has been declared a so-called “safe third country”.The Central American nation and the US have been negotiating the deal for months.Donald Trump earlier threatened to place trade tariffs on Guatemala if an agreement wasn’t reached.“We’ll either do tariffs or we’ll do something. We’re looking at something very severe with respect to Guatemala,” the US president said on Wednesday.Jimmy Morales, Guatemala’s president, said the agreement would allow the country to avoid “drastic sanctions … many of them designed to strongly punish our economy, such as taxes on remittances that our brothers send daily, as well as the imposition of tariffs on our export goods and migratory restrictions.” As part of the agreement the US will increase access to the the H-2A visa program for temporary agricultural workers from Guatemala. The country’s government said its labour ministry would, in the coming days, ”start issuing work visas in the agriculture industry, which will allow Guatemalans to travel legally to the United States, to avoid being victims of criminal organisations, to work temporarily and then return to Guatemala, which will strengthen family unity.”“We have long been working with Guatemala and now we can do it the right way.” Mr Trump said.“This landmark agreement will put the coyotes and smugglers out of business.”Despite the president’s optimism it remains unclear how the agreement will take effect. Guatemala’s constitutional court has granted three injunctions preventing its government from entering into a deal without approval of the country’s congress and Mr Morales himself has questioned the concept of a “safe third country”, which forms the basis of the agreement.“Where does that term exist?” he asked reporters on Friday, hours before the deal was struck.”It does not exist, it is a colloquial term. No agreement exists that is called ‘safe third country.”Rights groups have condemned the deal, with multiple experts questioning its legality.Jordan Rodas, a human rights prosecutor, said his team was studying the agreement and whether Enrique Degenhart, Guatemala’s interior minister, had the authority to sign it.Amnesty International condemned the deal, saying ”any attempts to force families and individuals fleeing their home countries to seek safety in Guatemala are outrageous.”Rights groups and student organisations rallied against the agreement in Guatemala City, gathering in front of the constitutional court.Many believe the nation, which is mired in poverty and unemployment, has no capacity to take in refugees.The problems of homelessness, severe drought, gang violence and unemployment which are endemic in El Salvador and Honduras are also present in Guatemala.Eliot Engel, a Democrat who chairs the House Committee on Foreign Affairs said Mr Trump’s decision to sign the agreement was “cruel and immoral.”‘’It is also illegal,” he added. “Simply put, Guatemala is not a safe country for refugees and asylum seekers, as the law requires.”The president was asked on Friday if he expected to reach similar agreements with Honduras and El Salvador.He replied, “I do indeed.” Additional reporting by agencies



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Stephen Colbert Offers A Scathing Takedown Of Trump's Cruel Immigration Policy

Stephen Colbert Offers A Scathing Takedown Of Trump's Cruel Immigration Policy> The United States is using cruelty as a deterrent on our southern border.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Is Thomas Markle's story of whether to attend the royal wedding a 'rollercoaster of speculation' or a cruel soap opera?

Is Thomas Markle's story of whether to attend the royal wedding a 'rollercoaster of speculation' or a cruel soap opera?Perhaps there really was a time, long ago, when if one wanted to be informed of the activities of the royal family, one consulted the court circular. Now, of course, you go on US celebrity gossip website TMZ. And there in glaring headlines you find a story, not of family joy at a forthcoming wedding, but of pain and suffering – much of it heaped on Meghan Markle’s 73-year-old father Thomas. You could, as one newspaper has, call it “a rollercoaster of speculation surrounding whether Mr Markle would attend Saturday’s royal wedding at Windsor Castle in Berkshire”.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

College Costs Are America's Cruel Graduation Gift

College Costs Are America's Cruel Graduation GiftSpringtime at the school where I teach is usually a celebration of how far so



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Tweeters Erupt Over Trump Aide's Cruel Taunt About John McCain 'Dying Anyway'

Tweeters Erupt Over Trump Aide's Cruel Taunt About John McCain 'Dying Anyway'People are calling for White House aide Kelly Sadler to resign after she



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Deer At 'Santa's Journey' Exhibit in Ireland Picked Off By Cruel Poachers

Deer At 'Santa's Journey' Exhibit in Ireland Picked Off By Cruel PoachersThree Sika deer that were part of a Santa wonderland display in Ireland vanished in a trail of blood earlier this month, apparently shot and killed by poachers, according to authorities.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Seth Rich’s parents speak out against ‘unspeakably cruel’ conspiracy theories

Seth Rich’s parents speak out against ‘unspeakably cruel’ conspiracy theoriesA slew of recent, unfounded stories about the death of former DNC staffer Seth Rich has led his parents to write an op-ed condemning the commentary.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Seth Rich’s parents speak out against ‘unspeakably cruel’ conspiracy theories

Seth Rich’s parents speak out against ‘unspeakably cruel’ conspiracy theoriesMary and Joel Rich, the parents of murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich, penned an op-ed in the Washington Post condemning “conservative news outlets and commentators” for peddling conspiracy theories. This month, Fox News, Sean Hannity, Newt Gingrich, and other right-wing voices have alleged that Rich was killed because he supposedly shared DNC documents with WikiLeaks.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines