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US to launch raids on undocumented migrants Sunday: report

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US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents are planning to launch sweeping deportation raids this weekend as the Trump administration expands its crackdown on undocumented immigrants, the New York Times reported Thursday.

A senior administration immigration officials says that ICE has about one million names on a list of targets in the raids, which have been postponed for two weeks, partly due to resistance from inside ICE, according to the Time report.

The report says the move planned for Sunday will initially target some 2,000 members of undocumented migrant families in at least 10 cities.

ICE has already obtained removal orders from courts, allowing them to move quickly to expel the migrants, some of whom may have been in the United States for over a decade, building lives for their families.

Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, said Wednesday that ICE has court-issued removal orders for around one million people, but acknowledged that it has nowhere near the manpower and facilities capacity to pursue that many.

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“They are absolutely going to happen,” Cuccinelli said of the raids, speaking to reporters at the White House.

“There are approximately a million people in this country with removal orders. Of course that isn’t what ICE will go after in this. But that’s the pool of people who have been all the way through the due process chain.”

In a tweet, he added, “Border numbers are down in June but we are still in the middle of a major humanitarian crisis. Congress can fix this if they pass common sense asylum reforms that the Trump administration has been asking for.”

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The removal orders can be issued on the completion of court cases involving the migrants, whether for minor civil infractions or their own citizenship or asylum cases.

Fearing removal, migrants often don’t show up for cases and judges summarily rule against them.

ICE has stayed quiet about the raids, but they would come as President Donald Trump seeks to show toughness on immigration amid a still-strong flow into the country of migrants across the border with Mexico.

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On Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security said 104,344 migrants were detained after crossing the border in June, down 28 percent from May’s 13-year record high but still an extremely high figure, some 60,000 more than the same month a year ago.

While migrant flows usually ebb in the hot summer, DHS said initiatives with El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, where most of the migrants come from, and a joint crackdown with Mexico, whose territory most must transit, had contributed to the downturn.


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Illinois GOP embarrasses itself with meme calling four Democratic congresswomen ‘The Jihad Squad’

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Top leaders of the Illinois Republican Party sought to reverse damage on Sunday after posting a movie-style poster on Facebook that depicted four progressive congresswomen who have been repeatedly attacked by President Donald Trump in recent days as "The Jihad Squad."

This article was originally published at Salon

The poster, whose image was reportedly uploaded to the Facebook account of the Republican County Chairmen's Association of Illinois on Friday night, displayed images of the four newly elected congresswomen of color — Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts — who are often nicknamed "The Squad." It showed the lawmakers in film-style action poses with a smiling Pressley aiming a gun and Ocasio-Cortez donning a red evening dress that was on fire. Omar is seen pursing her lips and Tlaib is screaming.

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Democrats, White House near deal to raise debt ceiling

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US Democrats have nearly reached a deal with the Trump administration to raise the debt ceiling, allowing the government to borrow more money and avoid a disastrous default, sources close to the negotiations said Monday.

The "near-final agreement" would suspend the debt limit until the end of July 2021, and increase government spending by raising budget caps on defense and domestic outlays, one source said.

Republicans and Democrats have been hammering out the broad constructs of a deal for weeks as they faced calls to approve the agreement in the House by Friday, when the chamber begins a six-week recess.

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Ivanka Trump visits defense contractor Lockheed Martin to promote apprenticeships

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President Donald Trump's eldest daughter visited defense contractor Lockheed Martin to discuss apprenticeships for minorities.

White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump visited the company's Denver-area facility Monday to discuss its apprenticeship programs and efforts to promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) degrees, reported UPI.

The president's daughter and Lockheed CEO Marilyn Hewson heard from several women who benefitted from Lockheed programs, and Trump pointed out that women who earn STEM degrees were more likely to remain in that industry if they receive on-the-job training during school.

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