Reporting live from along the southern border in Texas, MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle revealed a disturbing aspect of President Donald Trump’s family separation policy during a captivating interview with a leading immigration attorney.
Ruhle interviewed Jonathan Ryan, the executive director of Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), the largest immigration legal services non-profit in Texas.
The host introduced Ryan as “an American hero” for his work “on the front-lines helping these children.”
“You are the person going into these centers and helping represent the families,” Ruhle noted. “Talk me through their plight.”
“What we know as lawyers, is that in a short amount of time, we are going to be in court and we’re going to be witnessing, I presume, people carrying babies into the court sitting them down, I don’t know, alone on someone’s lap, in front of a judge, across from a well-trained, highly paid, government ICE prosecutor, and that child is going to have to face a complex deportation hearing alone,” Ryan explained. “In addition to being detained away from their parents, the legal services that the government provided by a matter of law are slowly being stripped away.”
Like the administration’s new “zero tolerance” policy, ending funding for attorneys to represent the detained children is also a new policy.
“Just 30 days ago, my organization — which provides direct representation through government funding to children, these babies — got an e-mail saying ‘stop working immediately,'” he revealed. “We can no longer provide direct representation to these children.”
“Why?” Ruhle followed-up.
“The government made a decision to issue a stop work order,” he replied.
“No one is defending the children?” she asked.
“These children have no access to independent counsel,” he answered.
“These parents being prosecuted get a public defender, meanwhile, their baby is in a jail and being prosecuted — with no access to legal defense,” Ryan explained. “Many people think, if you’re detained, if you’re part of the legal process, the United States gives you a lawyer, but that’s not the case in immigration court, even for those babies.”
“It was 30 days ago, but the government made another decision 30 days ago to stop all funding for direct representation of these children — immediately before enacting this policy,” he noted.
Hope Hicks denied under oath knowing about Trump’s hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels
Former White House communications director Hope Hicks on Wednesday denied under oath knowing anything about the hush-money scheme set up by former Trump "fixer" Michael Cohen to pay off President Donald Trump's former mistresses.
"Hicks told lawmakers today that she did not have knowledge during 2016 campaign of hush-money payments made in run-up to election," reports CNN's Manu Raju. "Also she wouldn’t discuss what she learned about those payments during her time at White House because of immunity claims."
Hicks told lawmakers today that she did not have knowledge during 2016 campaign of hush-money payments made in run-up to election, per sources. Also she wouldn’t discuss what she learned about those payments during her time at WH bc of immunity claims https://t.co/GZWqzCzpGX
Federal Reserve chair defiant in face of Trump threats: ‘The law is clear — I have a four-year term’
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell sounded a defiant note on Wednesday as he announced that there would be no further cuts to interest rates for the time being.
Even though President Donald Trump has been publicly calling for a rate cut to spur additional economic growth ahead of his reelection campaign, Powell kept interest rates at their current level and signaled that he did not foresee any interest rate cuts for the rest of the year.
Powell was asked by a reporter if he was concerned about being "demoted" by Trump in the wake of this announcement, the Federal Reserve Chairman said he wasn't worried.
John Dean explains the big mistake Hope Hicks made by stonewalling Congress
Former White House counsel John Dean, a key figure in the Watergate scandal, said Wednesday on CNN that there was a serious flaw in the attempt to prevent longtime Trump confidant Hope Hicks from testifying to Congress.
White House lawyers have asserted that Hicks has absolute immunity and is not legally required to testify about her time as Trump's director of communications. Hicks testified Wednesday during a closed-door hearing before the House Judiciary Committee — where she reportedly refused to answer questions about her White House job.
"Privilege is not being asserted here. Instead, the White House says that Hicks has absolute immunity regarding the time that she spent at 1600 Pennsylvania. Does absolute immunity even exist? And if so, can you explain to me the difference between the two?" CNN host Brooke Baldwin asked Dean.