LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on immigrant parents and children separated at the U.S. border (all times local):
Advocacy groups on human rights and immigration issues are voicing concerns about border enforcement and asylum practices in a meeting with Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan.
Border Network for Human Rights Executive Director Fernando Garcia said he was seeking information at the meeting Tuesday about expanded criminal prosecution of immigrants at the border, obstacles to processing asylum claims and new reports of alleged abuses by Border Patrol agents.
Garcia also says human rights groups including the ACLU are worried about plans to hold immigrants at military bases in Texas including Fort Bliss. He says the further “militarization” of the border is especially unwarranted at El Paso, which has one of the lowest crime rates in the nation.
Seventeen states, including Washington, New York and California, are suing to force the Trump administration to reunite migrant families who have been separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The states, all led by Democratic attorneys general, joined Washington, D.C., in filing the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Tuesday. It’s the first legal challenge by states over the practice.
Immigration authorities have separated about 2,300 children from their parents in recent weeks, sparking global outrage as images of weeping children emerged.
The president last week issued an executive order designed to end the practice, but the states say his order is riddled with caveats and fails to reunite parents and children who have already been torn apart.
The lawsuit says the migrants have been denied due process and their right to seek asylum.
Dozens of protesters have showed up outside a Los Angeles hotel where Attorney General Jeff Sessions has arrived to address the conservative Criminal Justice Legal Foundation.
Protesters gathered outside the Millennium Biltmore hotel in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday at midday.
They chanted, “Free our children, jail Sessions!” and “No justice, no peace!”
Police and security guards stood guard outside the hotel’s entrance.
Mexico’s top diplomat says the executive order signed last week by President Donald Trump to keep migrant families from being separated still violates their human rights.
Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray also says children already separated should be reunited with their parents immediately.
Videgaray told reporters Tuesday that Trump’s move “is the criminalization of the migration, which we believe is absolutely unacceptable, and the consequences this criminalization has for the children.”
Videgaray says Mexico is drafting a resolution to bring before the Organization of American States in Washington on Friday that condemns the Trump administration’s policy toward migrant families and calls for a human rights mission to investigate the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Police are arresting about two dozen protesters who sat down and blocked a street outside the U.S. attorney’s office in downtown Los Angeles to protest the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
Officers began the arrests shortly before 10 a.m. Tuesday, a few hours before a scheduled address by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to the conservative Criminal Justice Legal Foundation’s annual meeting at a Los Angeles hotel.
Demonstrators on sidewalks cheered as the protesters in the street were calmly handcuffed by officers and led away.
Lawyers who visited a federal immigration detention lockup in rural Texas where the U.S. government says it is establishing a family reunification center say no information about the detainees is being released.
Attorneys from the Legal Aid Justice Center in Virginia said on a conference call Tuesday that they need to have names, federal alien identification numbers or case numbers to access the facility at Port Isabel, near Los Fresnos.
They can only take a pen and paper when they meet detainees, who are all adults.
The lawyers have spoken to about 200 detainees since last week and only a handful knew where their children were being held. Detainees report that a 1-800 number for information about separated children doesn’t work.
The lawyers say detainees are segregated by country of origin. Many hail from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.
A conservative suburb of Austin, Texas, is ending a contract with a 500-bed immigration detention center that has been a target of lawsuits and criminal investigations for a decade.
Commissioners in Williamson County voted 4-1 on Tuesday to sever ties with the T. Don Hutto Residential Center starting in 2019. The facility houses women and is overseen by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The canceled contract comes amid uproar over the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy and families that were split up by the government.
The facility opened in 2006 after being converted from a medium-security prison. It originally held women and children until 2009, when the U.S. government settled a lawsuit over how children were being confined.
Advocates say problems inside the facility have persisted. It is privately run by CoreCivic, which was formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America.
Dozens of protesters have gathered outside the US attorney’s office in Los Angeles to protest the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
Tuesday’s protest outside the federal courthouse in downtown Los Angeles comes hours before U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is expected to address the conservative Criminal Justice Legal Foundation’s annual meeting.
Protesters are chanting: “Sessions, where’s your heart?”
Protesters also are carrying signs reading: “Free the children!” and “stop caging families.”
A man wearing a Donald Trump mask has a sign reading: “Know your enemy.”
A handful of Los Angeles police officers are standing to the side of the protest.
Immigrant rights advocates are asking a judge to order the release of immigrant parents separated from their children at the U.S. border and their reunification.
Attorneys on Monday asked the federal court in Los Angeles that is overseeing a longstanding settlement governing detention conditions for immigrant children to include their parents as plaintiffs.
The complaint filed by pro bono law firm Public Counsel on behalf of three Central American mothers whose children were taken from them by U.S. authorities in May argues that families need to heal from the trauma of forced separation together and outside the confines of detention.
Attorneys say the mothers are fleeing persecution and seeking asylum in the United States.
The Department of Justice declined comment.
The Trump administration has asked the court to let authorities detain families together during immigration proceedings to try to discourage illegal immigration.
The image of an immigrant child clinging to her mother has been removed from a mural near the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic site in Kansas.
The Kansas City Star reports that the image was painted over Monday.
The 130- by 30-foot (40- by 9-meter) mural tells the story of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that ended segregated education and faces a former all-black school in Topeka where the lead plaintiff’s child was a student.
Artist bj McBride says she added the mother and child to the mural Friday following reports of the separation of parents and children at the U.S. border. She later decided it was “distracting.”
Sarah Fizell, executive director of the nonprofit ArtsConnect behind the mural, says the image didn’t fit with the mural’s story.