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The Latest: White House says judge’s ruling threatens safety

Linda Sarsour
The Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on immigrant parents and children separated at the U.S. border (all times local):

5 p.m.

The White House says a judge’s order requiring thousands of migrant families who were forcibly separated to be reunited within 30 days “further complicates” efforts at effective enforcement of immigration laws.

White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters declined to say whether the administration will be able to abide by the deadline.

She told reporters aboard Air Force One that the ruling “clearly shows the need for congressional action to fix our broken immigration system.”

She added that “the injunction must be removed immediately or we can’t keep the country safe.”

The judge mandated that all families be reunited within 30 days and children under 5 be reunited with their parents within 14 days. He also issued a nationwide injunction against further family separations in most circumstances.

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4:30 p.m.

A Democratic congresswoman was among about 575 people arrested at a rally protesting the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy on immigration.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington state tweeted Thursday that she was proud to be arrested to protest the policy that has separated families at the southern border.

She and other protesters were charged with unlawful demonstration, a charge that includes crowding or obstructing others in a public place.

Jayapal says she and other protesters were “here to fight for our families to be free, to fight for the ability of our kids to be with their parents — not in cages, not in prison, but able to live their lives free, safe and secure.”

Police say those who were arrested were processed on the scene and released.

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4:15 p.m.

Authorities say seven demonstrators have been released from custody after they were arrested while protesting U.S. policy outside the Immigration and Customs Enforcement building in Portland.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oregon says the demonstrators were taken into custody for failing to comply with directions given by law enforcement officers and blocking entrances to the building.

The alleged violation is a misdemeanor, and all were ordered to appear in court Sept. 7.

An eight person was temporarily detained, but released with being charged.

Federal law enforcement officers swept protesters from the area Thursday morning in an effort to reopen the building that’s been closed because of safety concerns.

Activists upset with Trump administration immigration policy had been occupying the property since June 17.

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4:05 p.m.

Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin says parents trying to gain entry into the U.S. illegally are putting their children in harm’s way, and she says she’s “very angry” about it.

The Kansas City Star reports Palin made the comments Wednesday at a Kansas City, Missouri, rally for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tony Monetti. Monetti is seeking the GOP nomination for the seat held by Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.

A federal judge on Tuesday ordered the government to reunite more than 2,000 immigrant children with their families within 30 days, or 14 days in the case of those younger than 5.

Palin says that from what she has seen she’s “very angry at the parents who are bringing their children, putting them in harm’s way — bringing them to the border knowing that they’re going to try to get in illegally know that there will be ramifications.”

Palin’s 2008 running mate Sen. John McCain of Arizona has called the administration’s zero tolerance policy “an affront on the decency of the American people …”

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3:45 p.m.

Hundreds of people have gathered at a Senate office building to protest the Trump administration’s now-rescinded policy of separating migrant families at the southern border.

Many protesters in the atrium of the Hart Senate building wore foil blankets similar to those given to migrants housed at U.S. detention facilities.

Protesters loudly chanted “What do we want? Free families” and “This is what democracy looks like.”

Democratic Sens. Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York joined with the protesters and pumped their fists. At one point, Merkley donned a foil sheet as he gave a TV interview.

Winnie Wong, political adviser for the liberal National Women’s March, said the protest would translate into “the energy we will need to see to at the ballot box in November.”

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3:15 p.m.

The total number of migrant children in the care of the federal Health and Human Services department is up slightly since last week.

An HHS spokesperson said Thursday the department has 11,869 children in its care currently. That’s about 70 more children than HHS officials reported on Wednesday of last week.

The numbers show that there doesn’t appear to be much progress reuniting children separated from their parents despite a recent court order.

Most of the children arrived at the southwest border unaccompanied, a recurring migration problem year after year.

The latest HHS numbers don’t provide a breakdown of the children separated from their parents as a result of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar told lawmakers this Tuesday that number was 2,047.

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3 p.m.

A federal judge in Chicago has ordered the immediate release from detention of a 9-year-old Brazilian boy who was separated from his mother at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Judge Manish Shah said Thursday that Lidia Karine Souza can have custody of her son, Diogo, who has spent four weeks at a government-contracted shelter in Chicago. The mother, who has applied for asylum, was released from an immigrant detention facility in Texas June 9.

A federal judge on Tuesday ordered the government to reunite more than 2,000 immigrant children with their families within 30 days, or 14 days in the case of those younger than 5.

Since her release, Souza has moved in with relatives outside Boston. She was allowed to visit Diogo on Tuesday, their first meeting since May.

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12:10 p.m.

Hundreds of people have gathered for a rally outside a federal courthouse in South Texas to protest the separation of thousands of migrant children from their parents.

Thursday’s rally organized by the ACLU and other groups drew busloads of people to the courthouse in Brownsville where judges hear immigration cases involving those who are seeking asylum or have entered the country illegally.

Many are holding placards with slogans like “First we march then we vote” and “Families belong together.”

Actor Jay Ellis, who appears on the HBO show “Insecure,” told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times that “we see our own loved ones” in the images of families “dragged through courts and onto buses and into these detention centers.”

The rally comes two days after a federal judge ordered the government to reunite more than 2,000 immigrant children with their families within 30 days, or 14 days for those younger than 5

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11:55 a.m.

Federal officers arrested eight protesters while trying to reopen a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement building in Portland that has been closed for more than a week because of a round-the-clock demonstration.

The names of those arrested and the charges they face were not immediately available Thursday.

Federal Protective Service spokesman Rob Sperling says officers moved in at dawn and unblocked the entrance to the facility. Employees are likely to return to work next week.

There were no reports of injuries.

The Oregon protesters want to abolish the immigration and customs agency and end the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy.

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11:45 a.m.

About 100 people protesting a contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to house detainees at a jail in western Michigan shut down a government meeting and police say seven were arrested for blocking traffic after the meeting.

The Grand Rapids Press reports Karla Barberi raised the issue at Thursday’s Kent County Board of Commissioners meeting. She’s a volunteer organizer with immigrant rights group Movimiento Cosecha GR.

Board Chairman Jim Saalfeld called for deputies to remove Barberi after she refused to sit, but she wasn’t removed.

The meeting was suspended. Police blocked traffic as protesters marched, but those arrested refused to leave the streets.

The contract includes allowing the county jail to charge the federal agency for each day it holds a person with a detainment request.

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11:40 a.m.

A Brazilian woman seeking asylum in the U.S. says she is hopeful a federal judge will order the release of her 9-year-old son from detention in Chicago.

Lidia Karine Souza was separated from her boy, Diogo, at the U.S.-Mexico border in May. Diogo has been held at a government-contracted shelter for four weeks. Souza was released from a Texas detention facility June 9.

A lawyer on Tuesday filed a lawsuit to secure Diogo’s release. Judge Manish Shah said Thursday that he needs to give the case more thought and should rule later in the day.

After the hearing, Souza told reporters she’s confident the lawsuit will succeed, but that the wait is “heartbreaking.”

The lawsuit argues Diogo is not an unaccompanied minor and should be returned to his mother.

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11:10 a.m.

Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden says he would vote against the nomination of Lynn Johnson as assistant Health and Human Services secretary for family support because of concern over how her past policies as a state child welfare official could bear on her handling of the situation of thousands of children in detention at the border.

The position includes heading the department’s Administration for Children and Families and the Office of Refugee Settlement, which has custody over the children being held near the U.S.-Mexico border who were separated from their parents seeking asylum.

Wyden is a Democrat and said Thursday that Johnson, who headed Colorado’s child welfare program, “green-lighted a law allowing foster kids to be placed in juvenile detention facilities.”

Wyden made the statement at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on the nominee for new IRS commissioner. Wyden is the senior Democrat on the panel.

The committee had been scheduled to vote on the nominations of Johnson and three other officials, but not enough senators were present.

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11 a.m.

A federal judge in Chicago has declined to rule immediately on the release of a 9-year-old Brazilian boy who was separated from his mother at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Another judge on Tuesday ordered the government to reunite more than 2,000 immigrant children with their families within 30 days, or 14 days for those younger than 5.

The same day, lawyers for Lidia Karine Souza filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration to demand the release of her son, Diogo.

Judge Manish Shah said Thursday that he would “like to give it some thought” but he could issue a ruling later in the day.

Diogo has spent four weeks at a shelter in Chicago. Souza has applied for asylum and was released from a facility in Texas June 9.

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10:40 a.m.

Federal officers in Portland have moved to reopen a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office that has been closed for more than a week because of an occupation by activists.

Federal Protective Service spokesman Rob Sperling said in a statement that law enforcement began clearing a camp of demonstrators at dawn Thursday. Media reports say officers took some protesters into custody.

There have been no reports of violence.

The group rallying under the moniker Occupy ICE PDX began its round-the-clock demonstration June 17. Protesters want to abolish the agency and end the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy.

Officials closed the office a few days into the occupation because of safety concerns.

On Monday, they warned protesters to stop blocking entrances.

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9:10 a.m.

A group of Democrats in Congress is proposing legislation directed at giving lawmakers more access to government shelters housing immigrant children.

Democrats have pushed for more access to facilities holding immigrants, especially after the Trump administration started to broadly separate families crossing the southern U.S. border.

In some cases, they’ve been turned away from facilities they have tried to visit or denied access to immigrants being held.

U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas and U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon co-sponsored the proposal released Thursday.

The bill would require “immediate access” for any member of Congress to a federal facility unless national security restrictions applied.

Castro and Wyden say they want to ensure that children “already suffering trauma” are being treated humanely.

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8:40 a.m.

Washington state authorities have ordered protesters to dismantle their tent structures outside the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, where detainees from the southern border crisis are being held.

The Tacoma News Tribune reports that Tacoma police issued the 24-hour notice requiring the protesters to dismantle any structures they erected that are in violation of Tacoma Municipal Code, including tents, canopies, gazebos, sunshades, tarps and temporary restroom facilities.

Since Saturday, people have gathered to protest the federal government for detaining migrants — separating them from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border — while the adults await immigration processing.

On Tuesday, there were 160 protesters, including 10 people were arrested in a confrontation with Tacoma police officers.

A spokesman for the protesters says they won’t move and called the order a scare tactic.

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1 a.m.

Lawyers for a Brazilian immigrant plan to go forward with an emergency hearing in federal court in Chicago to get the woman’s 9-year-old son back.

Lidia Karine Souza has been separated from her son since they illegally crossed into the U.S. from Mexico in late May. The hearing is set for Thursday.

She says she has filled out 40 pages of documents but that officials are setting more requirements, telling her the rules have changed.

She searched for weeks to find Diogo after the two were separated at the border in late May. She was released June 9 from a Texas facility.

Souza’s attorneys on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration to demand her son be immediately released.

He has spent four weeks at a government-contracted shelter in Chicago, much of it alone in a room, quarantined with chicken pox.

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See AP’s complete coverage of the debate over the Trump administration’s policy of family separation at the border: https://apnews.com/tag/Immigration

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