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  Department of Homeland Security

The Trump Administration has repeatedly referenced the dangers of trekking to and attempting to illegally enter the southwest border of the United States. As the perilous realities of these journeys have gone underreported, the Department of Homeland Security has compiled a list of the illegality stemming from trafficking and smuggling, the health and safety risks of entrusting someone to illegally take you across the border, and the dangerous transnational criminal organizations that exploit the porous southwest border to bolster their numbers in the interior.

On July 10, Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen met with foreign and security ministers from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Mexico in Guatemala City, Guatemala to discuss how to expand and share joint public messaging efforts to dissuade potential migrants from taking the dangerous journey north—and work to counter-message the advertising and false information promoted by human smugglers.

Human Smugglers/Traffickers

  • July 16, 2018 : DHS Directorate uses data analytics to target human smugglers.
  • July 16, 2018 : U.S. Border Patrol agents discover an assortment of narcotics during a failed smuggling attempt worth over $673K.
  • July 16, 2018 : 3-year-old, abandoned by human traffickers, rescued along river by US border Patrol agents
  • July 14, 2018 : ICE agents arrest 18 human smugglers, 117 illegal immigrants in Texas, New Mexico
  • July 14, 2018 : CBP identified a stash house in Rio Grande Valley attempting to smuggle 54 illegal aliens from Guatemala, Honduras, India, Mexico, El Salvador, and Ecuador.
  • July 11, 2018 : Border Patrol agents across the Rio Grande Valley arrested four gang members and two sex offenders including active members of MS-13 and the 18th Street gang.
  • July 5, 2018 : Border Patrol Agents Rescue 64 Illegal Aliens Trapped in Tractor Trailers
  • July 2, 2018 : U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Falfurrias Checkpoint arrested two United States citizens attempting to smuggle 12 illegal aliens inside a tractor-trailer.
  • July 2, 2018 : Border patrol finds two teen human trafficking victims with migrant group
  • July 2, 2018 : CBP Officers at Laredo Port of Entry This Weekend Apprehend Man with Warrant for Sex-related Offenses Against a Child
  • June 30, 2018: NYT describes the perils of an El Salvadorian immigrant’s attempt to cross the U.S.-Mexico border with assistance from professional human traffickers whose services cost more than $12,000. Traffickers forced 70 illegal immigrants into a “stash home,” in Texas where they deprived the immigrants of food and water for 36 hours.
  • June 26, 2018: CBP arrested a US national attempting to smuggle an unaccompanied 8 year old alien from Honduras across a checkpoint near Falfurrias, TX.
  • June 20, 2018: CBP rescued a 6-year-old illegal alien from Costa Rica who had been abandoned by a smuggler near Lukeville, AZ, in temperatures over 100F.
  • June 19, 2018: Smugglers led ICE agents on a high speed chase that resulted in the death of 5 illegal aliens when their driver crashed near Eagle Pass, Texas. The SUV was carrying 13 suspected illegal aliens in total, including a juvenile, and the survivors were hospitalized.
  • June 18, 2018 : Kirstjen Nielsen Addresses Family Separation at Border: Full Transcript
  • June 15, 2018: CBP agents found 10 illegal aliens near Tucson, AZ, in a home with no air conditioning, littered with trash, decaying food and human feces.
  • June 8, 2018: CBP discovered six illegal aliens trapped inside cabinets in the back of a truck. The cabinets were closed with ratchet straps and had no air circulation on a hot day.
  • June 5, 2018: The bodies of three illegal immigrants who had been abandoned by smugglers were discovered in the Rio Grande Valley near Edinburg, TX in separate incidents.
  • May 11, 2018: CBP agents arrested a convicted sex offender from California who was attempting to smuggle four illegal aliens from Mexico west of Yuma, AZ.
  • May 8, 2018: CBP discovered a severely dehydrated illegal alien that claimed to have been assaulted by a smuggler on a ranch near Laredo, TX.
  • April 7, 2018: CBP agents discovered 9 illegal aliens near Laredo, TX, over the course of two days. Two of the illegal aliens had been abandoned by smugglers and one was severely dehydrated and in need of immediate medical attention.
  • April 2, 2018: CBP agents near Tucson, AZ rescued an injured and severely dehydrated 34-year old illegal alien from Guatemala who had been abandoned by smugglers, along with 11 other illegal aliens, two of whom had to be treated for dehydration.
  • February 2, 2018: A recent DOJ partnership with Mexico has resulted in federal prosecution of more than 50 international defendants for various roles in trafficking women and young girls. In 2017, more than 500 defendants were convicted for various human trafficking offenses.
  • October 5, 2017: Young women and girls face extraordinary risk of sexual violence on the journey to the United States.  60-80% of the women and girls who cross Mexico to get to the U.S. border are raped along the way.
  • July 28, 2017 : The deadly toll of human smuggling and trafficking in the US
  • April 21, 2017: Eight Mexican drug cartel members were convicted for participating in the trafficking of nine women, two minors, and the prostitution of a twelfth woman. The young Mexican and Guatemalan women were recruited on false promises, smuggled into the United States and sold into sex slavery in various states.

Dangerous Means of Transportation

  • July 12, 2018 : Border Patrol Arrests Kansas Man Smuggling Two and Recover Stolen Vehicle
  • July 11, 2018 : Human smuggling by boat has increased in Southern California
  • July 9, 2018 : Border patrol discovers a roughly $133,122 worth of narcotics in vehicle’s front floorboards.
  • July 3, 2018 : Laredo Sector Border Patrol Agents Discover Illegal Aliens Concealed Inside Duffle Bags
  • July 2, 2018 : Willcox Border Patrol agents arrested seven Mexican nationals on interstate during attempt to smuggle six persons inside 2003 Chrysler 300 trunk.
  • June 22, 2018: Border Patrol rescued an illegal alien from Mexico off of the top of a train he had jumped on to, sustaining injuries to his ankle and ribcage.
  • June 19, 2018 : Louisiana State Police rescue 25 immigrants, including 2 children, from human trafficking operation
  • June 19, 2018: CBP agents discovered 18 illegal aliens inside a utility truck near Tucson, AZ, including two children. The truck had no source of light, fresh air ventilation or air conditioning, water or any means of escape from the inside.
  • March 7, 2018: During January and February alone, CBP rescued 448 illegal aliens being smuggled in tractor trailers in the South Texas Corridor.
  • July 24, 2017: A tractor-trailer filled with at least 90 illegal aliens was discovered in a Walmart parking lot in San Antonio, TX, with temperatures around 101F. 10 of illegal aliens died as a result of severe dehydration and lack of oxygen, with an additional 20 in “dire condition” and suffering from heatstroke.

Environment

  • June 29, 2018: CBP encountered 31 illegal aliens near the Rio Grande in Texas, primarily comprised of families and unaccompanied children from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
  •  June 29, 2018: CBP agents rescued four illegal aliens who had been swept away by a river on separate occasions, the body of one illegal alien floating in the Rio Grande near Peñitas, Texas and, at a later occasions, an alien from Honduras who was pronounced dead when agents arrived on scene near Falfurrias, Texas.
  • June 28, 2018: CBP rescued six illegal aliens from Mexico and Honduras, three of whom were rescued from the peak of the Mohawk mountains and had to be treated for dehydration.
  • June 26, 2018: The number of migrants dying from extreme heat on the U.S.-Mexico border rose 55 percent in the past nine months from 31 deaths during the same period in 2017 to 48 in 2018.
  • June 23, 2018: CBP rescued 57 aliens who were abandoned by their smuggler guides during a record heatwave of 108F in the Arizona desert. The group included 36 minors, 17 of whom were unaccompanied including a one-year-old toddler. An underage pregnant female had to be provided with intravenous fluids by CBP EMTs.
  • June 26, 2018: CBP rescued a previously deported illegal immigrant from Honduras who was drowning in the Yuma River near Yuma, AZ.
  • June 11, 2018: CBP reported that 11 illegal aliens had lost their lives due to heat exhaustion near Del Rio, Texas since October of 2017.
  • May 23, 2018: 80 illegal immigrants were found in the rear of a tractor trailer, 50 miles from the Mexican border, after being detained, many were treated for dehydration.
  • May 11, 2018: CBP intercepted a teenage girl attempting to smuggle fentanyl across an immigration checkpoint near Tucson, AZ.
  • March 2, 2018: CBP rescued an illegal alien from Mexico who had fallen 35 feet from a cliff near Tucson, AZ.
  • February 27, 2018: CBP rescued three illegal aliens from drowning near Calexico, CA.
  • February 20, 2018: CBP rescued a suspected illegal alien who was drowning in the New River, along the US-Mexico border.
  • February 15, 2018: CBP discovered the body of an illegal alien who had previously been injured and most likely fell into a canyon while attempting to transit with a group of migrants.
  • February 8, 2018: CBP found an injured illegal alien from Mexico and her teenaged son, in the wash near Douglas, AZ.
  • February 6, 2018: 412 migrants died attempting to cross into the United States illegally in 2017, this number is a small increase above the 398 deaths that occurs in 2016, but is relatively high compared with year-to-year border apprehensions which fell 44 percent between 2016-2017. The report notes documentation of 1,468 immigrant deaths on the U.S.-Mexico border since 2014.
  • February 6, 2018: 191 immigrants perished in 2017 attempting to cross into the United States over the Rio Grande River, a 26 percent increase over the 151 fatalities recorded in Texas in 2016. The cause of the increase has been attributed to increased rainfall in 2016 which caused the Rio Grande to flow faster and deeper than in past years.
  • December 18, 2017: CBP agents found ten illegal aliens who had frozen to death on separate occasions.

Dangers Posed by Other Illegal Aliens Entering Via Similar Routes

  • July 13, 2018 : 8 MS-13 members indicted in Dallas on charges including racketeering conspiracy, attempted murder and assault with a dangerous weapon
  • June 29, 2018: CBP arrested two illegal aliens who were convicted child molesters on separate occasions near Donna and Falfurrias, Texas.
  • June 22, 2018: CBP officers in Laredo Texas apprehended two individuals with outstanding warrants for aggravated sexual assault and sexual assault of a child, respectively, on two separate occasions.
  • June 18, 2018: CBP officers near Del Rio, Texas apprehended a Honduran national who had been convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a child, and was attempting to re-enter the country after having been previously deported.
  • June 1, 2018: Within the span of three days, CBP officers in Texas arrested four criminal aliens who had prior convictions for child molestation.
Keywords: Border Security
Topics: Border Security, Immigration Enforcement
  Department of Homeland Security

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen has announced her determination that an extension of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Somalia is warranted pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act. After carefully reviewing conditions in Somalia with interagency partners, Secretary Nielsen determined the ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions that support Somalia’s current designation for TPS continue to exist. Therefore, pursuant to the statute, she has extended Somalia’s TPS designation for 18 months.

Individuals from Somalia with TPS will be eligible to re-register for an extension of their status for 18 months, through March 17, 2020. Prior to the conclusion of the 18-month extension, the Secretary will review conditions in Somalia to determine whether its TPS designation should be extended again or terminated.

The decision to extend TPS for Somalia was made after a review of the conditions upon which the country’s designation is based. Following careful consideration of available information, including recommendations received as part of an inter-agency consultation process, the Secretary determined that the conditions supporting Somalia’s designation for TPS continue to exist. Thus, under the applicable statute, the current TPS designation must be extended.

There are approximately 500 Somali TPS beneficiaries. This 18-month extension of Somalia’s designation for TPS permits current Somali TPS beneficiaries to re-register for TPS and remain in the United States with work authorization through March 17, 2020. To be eligible for TPS under Somalia’s current designation, along with meeting the other eligibility requirements, individuals must have continuously resided in the United States since May 1, 2012, and have been continuously physically present in the United States since September 18, 2012.

Further details about this extension for TPS, including information about the re-registration process and employment authorization documents, will appear in a Federal Register notice.

Keywords: immigration, Secretary Nielsen, USCIS
Topics: Citizenship and Immigration Services, Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, Secretary of Homeland Security
  Department of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will host a National Cybersecurity Summit on July 31, 2018 at the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House in New York City, New York. The DHS National Cybersecurity Summit will bring together a broad group of representatives from across government including officials from Department of Defense, National Security Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Energy, and Department of Treasury. They will be joined by academia and industry CEOs across sectors including telecom, financial, and energy to lay out a vision for a collective defense model to protect our nation’s critical infrastructure. Through panels, keynote addresses, and breakout sessions, the summit will serve as a launching point for a number of DHS initiatives to advance cybersecurity and critical infrastructure risk management.

“An interconnected world offers a myriad of benefits to American businesses and the public, but the innovations and conveniences of modern technology pose new and complex security challenges,” said Kirstjen M. Nielsen, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. “With the majority of critical infrastructure owned and operated by the private sector, it is essential that we maintain strong partnerships between DHS and the private sector to underpin our collective defense against the evolving threats we all face. Because of our increasing hyper-connectivity, cybersecurity remains a shared responsibility; too big for anyone acting alone. This summit is another opportunity to gather our interagency and private partners and chart our shared path to protect our nation’s critical infrastructure against cyber threats and achieve a secure and resilient cyberspace.”

“There is an evident need for a coordinated, cross-sector, government-industry effort to protect our nation’s critical infrastructure from the growing cybersecurity threat,” said Christopher C. Krebs, Under Secretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate. “DHS is leading the federal government's efforts to champion that coordinated, integrated approach and this summit is a clear signal from government and industry alike that we need to move beyond simply sharing threat information – we need to advance efforts to manage risk in a prioritized manner.  The summit is just the start of that movement, as we sprint forward with a shared vision of the actions and respective expectations of how we will address risk together.”

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Keywords: Cybersecurity
Topics: Cybersecurity
  Department of Homeland Security

On July 13, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen joined Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin in Mexico City, Mexico for meetings with Mexican government officials. While in Mexico, Secretary Nielsen participated in discussions with President Enrique Peña Nieto, Secretary of Foreign Relations Luis Videgaray Caso, Secretary of Governance Alfonso Navarrete Prida, and President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Secretary Nielsen also joined Secretary Pompeo and Secretary Mnuchin for a meet and greet with U.S. Embassy employees and thanked Department of Homeland Security personnel in country for their service.

During the meetings with Mexican government officials, Secretary Nielsen reaffirmed the importance of the close U.S. alliance with Mexico, our enduring partnership on issues of mutual importance, and the need to continue confronting shared challenges together.

The Secretary proposed specific ways to continue and deepen cooperation on confronting illegal migration and on building regional asylum capacity. She also emphasized the need for governments, international organizations, and the private sector to develop a comprehensive regional approach to stemming Central American migrant flows, countering human smuggling, and fighting back against trafficking. She discussed options for engagement with public and private sector partners throughout the region to increase prosperity and diminish migratory push factors. The Secretary reaffirmed her commitment to partnering to protect communities and vulnerable populations.

The Secretary also spoke with the Mexican officials on decisively addressing security challenges, including joint operations to combat dangerous transnational criminal organizations and drug smugglers.

These meetings are part of Secretary Nielsen’s ongoing engagement with Mexican and Central American leaders regarding efforts to combat transnational criminal organizations, address drug smuggling, and stop illegal immigration. Earlier this week Secretary Nielsen led a U.S. delegation to Guatemala to meet with regional officials to discuss accelerating joint efforts on security and migration in preparation for a major summit in the United States later this summer.

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Keywords: International partnerships
Topics: International Engagement, Secretary of Homeland Security
  Department of Homeland Security

On July 12, 2018, the United States Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center released another tool in support of the effort to end the prevalence of targeted violence effecting the Nation, the world, and most importantly – our schools.  ENHANCING SCHOOL SAFETY USING A THREAT ASSESSMENT MODEL – An Operational Guide for Preventing Targeted School Violence, was developed to provide fundamental direction on how to prevent incidents of targeted school violence.

The guide provides schools and communities with a framework to identify students of concern, assess their risk for engaging in violence, and identify intervention strategies to mitigate that risk.

The Secret Service created the National Threat Assessment Center in 1998 to focus on research, training and threat assessments related to various forms of targeted violence. Following the tragedy at Columbine High School in April 1999, the Secret Service partnered with the Department of Education to study 37 incidents of targeted violence that occurred at elementary and secondary schools.  The goal of that study, the Safe School Initiative (SSI), was to gather and analyze accurate and useful information about the thinking and behavior of students who commit acts of violence.  The findings of the SSI led to the establishment of threat assessment programs in schools – something the Secret Service remains fervently committed to. 

“The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting tragedy served as the impetus to go beyond our past work and go in depth regarding the how - how do we solve this epidemic?” said Secret Service Director R. D. “Tex” Alles.  “The report truly is an operational guide and I am confident that if embraced and followed by our Nation’s communities and schools, that we will together reduce the occurrence of violence and the tragic loss of life.”

To ensure no school goes overlooked, the new guide is available to the public and for download at DHS.gov/school-safety-and-security and www.SecretService.gov.  The Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center will also be printing and distributing copies to schools across the country.

This report is not the end of the Secret Service’s work to prevent school shootings and targeted violence.  Work is currently underway to release an updated comprehensive study with an anticipated completion date in the spring of 2019.

Keywords: Active Shooter, schools
Topics: Academic Engagement, Critical Infrastructure Security
  Department of Homeland Security

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen released the following statement regarding the release of FEMA’s 2017 Hurricane Season After-Action Report today:

“By capturing the insights gained from the previous hurricane season, this report, which is focused only on the efforts of DHS and FEMA, provides a transformative roadmap for how we respond to future catastrophic incidents in support of states, tribes, and territories. No two disasters are alike and each requires the first responders on the ground, as well as Federal support, to adapt to the unique circumstances and needs in real-time. With every response or recovery effort, we take with us lessons learned that help build a nation-wide culture of preparedness and shape the way FEMA and the emergency management community respond to and recover from future disasters. 2017 taught us that we need to further strengthen the Nation’s ability to rapidly stabilize critical lifelines. It also underscored the importance of enhancing logistics capabilities across the emergency management community.  While we don’t know what future hurricane seasons may bring, we do know that the women and men of DHS and FEMA remain committed and dedicated as ever to helping our fellow Americans.”

Read the 2017 Hurricane Season After-Action Report here.

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Keywords: emergency planning
Topics: Emergency Communications, Secretary of Homeland Security
  Department of Homeland Security

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen will travel to Mexico City, Mexico with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin on Friday, July 13th. While in Mexico, Secretary Nielsen will meet with President Enrique Pena Nieto, Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray Caso, Secretary of Governance Alfonso Navarrete Prida, and President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

During these meetings, Secretary Nielsen will reaffirm the necessity for regional governments, international organizations, and the private sector to share responsibility for Central American migrant flows and find options for these individuals to remain within or closer to their countries of origin. She will also discuss options for engagement with public and private sector partners throughout the region to increase prosperity and diminish migratory push factors in Central America. Further, she will highlight the need to aggressively continue joint efforts to combat dangerous transnational criminal organizations and drug smugglers.

The purpose of Secretary Nielsen’s meetings is to reaffirm the U.S. partnership with Mexico and discuss concrete joint actions the U.S. and Mexico can take to address transnational criminal organizations, drug smuggling, and irregular migration.

These meetings are part of Secretary Nielsen’s ongoing engagements with Mexican and Central American leaders regarding efforts to combat transnational criminal organizations, address the opioid epidemic, and stop illegal immigration. Secretary Nielsen is part of the delegation leading joint international efforts to address these issues.

This trip serves as a follow up to Secretary Nielsen’s July 10th meetings with Mexican and Central American ministers in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Secretary Nielsen looks forward to working closely with President-elect Lopez Obrador after his administration takes office later this year.

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Keywords: International partnerships
Topics: International Engagement, Secretary of Homeland Security
  Department of Homeland Security

Under order of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, the departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Homeland Security (DHS), and Justice (DOJ) have been reunifying alien minors under 5 years old who are currently in the custody of HHS with adults who have been in the custody of DHS.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the following joint statement regarding reunification efforts for children under age 5:

“Dedicated teams at the Departments of Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, and Justice have worked tirelessly to ensure the safety of Ms. L class members. As of this morning, the initial reunifications were completed. Throughout the reunification process our goal has been the well-being of the children and returning them to a safe environment. Our agencies’ careful vetting procedures helped prevent the reunification of children with an alleged murderer, an adult convicted of child cruelty, and adults determined not to be the parent of the child. Of course, there remains a tremendous amount of hard work and similar obstacles facing our teams in reuniting the remaining families. The Trump administration does not approach this mission lightly, and we intend to continue our good faith efforts to reunify families.

“Certain facts remain: The American people gave this administration a mandate to end the lawlessness at the border, and President Trump is keeping his promise to do exactly that. Our message has been clear all along: Do not risk your own life or the life of your child by attempting to enter the United States illegally. Apply lawfully and wait your turn.

“The American immigration system is the most generous in the world, but we are a nation of laws and we intend to continue enforcing those laws. Establishing the immigration system demanded of our political leaders by the American people for more than 30 years—one that serves the national interest—will allow our nation to further realize the foundation of freedom, safety, and prosperity we inherited from our Founders.”

Below are more details on HHS, DHS, and DOJ progress on reunification, as of 7 a.m. EST, July 12, 2018.

There are 103 children under age 5 covered by the court case. Of the 103 children:

  • 57 children have been reunified as of 7 a.m. EST on July 12.
  • 46 children were acknowledged by the court to be ineligible for reunification or determined by HHS, DHS, and DOJ to be ineligible under court-approved criteria.

    Of these 46:

    • 22 children have been found ineligible due to safety concerns posed by the adults in question:
      • 1 adult is being treated for a communicable disease.
      • 1 adult planned to house the child with an adult charged with sexually abusing a child.
      • 1 adult was alleged to have abused the child.
      • 1 adult had a falsified birth certificate (parentage is being examined).
      • 7 adults were determined not to be a parent.
      • 11 adults have a serious criminal history (charges or convictions for child cruelty, kidnapping, murder, human smuggling, domestic violence, etc.).
    • 24 children are not currently eligible for reunification due to circumstances of the adults in question:
      • 12 adults have been deported and are being contacted.
      • 9 adults are in custody of the U.S. Marshals Service for other offenses.
      • 2 adults are in custody of state jails for other offenses.
      • 1 adult’s location has been unknown for over a year

By The Numbers: Reunification - Separated Children Under 5 Years Old - As of 7am, July 12, 2018 - The HHS has a process for reunification and is executing on its mission to provide high-quality care to unaccompanied alien minors. Here is a breakdown of the 103 separated children under the age of 5 in the care of the Office of Refugee Resettlement: 57 Children reunified with parents | 24 Not eligible due to adult's circumstances (12 adults deported, 9 adults in custody of US Marshals Service, 2 adults in state jails, 1 adult's location is being verified) | 22 not eligible due to safety concerns (11 adults with serious criminal charges and convictions, 1 adult being treated for communicable disease, 7 adults were determined not to be a parent, 1 adult was alleged to have abused the child, 1 adult planned to house the child with an adult charged with sexually abusing a child, 1 adult had falsified birth certificate)
Download "By the Numbers: Reunification" Infographic

Keywords: Family detention, immigration
Topics: Immigration Enforcement
  Department of Homeland Security

On July 10, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen met with foreign and security ministers from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Mexico in Guatemala City, Guatemala to discuss joint international efforts to combat human trafficking, drug smuggling, and illegal immigration. During these meetings, the ministers and Secretary Nielsen reiterated their commitment to carry out concrete actions to enhance information-sharing best practices as well as collectively address security challenges and illegal migration flows. Secretary Nielsen was also joined by the State Department’s Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Carl Risch, Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Kristen Madison, and Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Francisco Palmieri.

Commitments:

  • Expand and share joint public messaging efforts to dissuade potential migrants from taking the dangerous journey north – and work to counter-message the advertising and false information promoted by human smugglers.
  • Enhance security cooperation, including joint efforts to combat human smuggling and illicit trafficking.
  • Step up operations and resources dedicated to dismantling transnational criminal organizations.
  • Deepen information sharing about criminals, threat actors, and migration trends, including through co-locating more frontline operators and establishing action plans to share data in real-time across borders.
  • Bolster police forces, anti-gang units, and anti-extortion teams in Central America.
  • Expand asylum capacity in the region to make sure individuals can find safety closer to home, rather than feeling compelled to come to the U.S. border.
  • Expand biometric systems and data sharing to disrupt the movement of individuals who would pose a threat to regional security.

To continue this collaborative momentum, Secretary Nielsen and her counterparts agreed the governments will meet again in the coming weeks. The Secretary also reiterated the U.S. government plans to co-host with the Government of Mexico in the near future a major summit in the U.S. to discuss implementation of an ambitious, action-oriented agenda to reduce illegal migration flows, as well as efforts to improve security, economic prosperity, and governance.

Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen Meets with Central American Leaders in Guatemala

(Official DHS Photo/Tara Molle)

Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen Meets with Central American Leaders in Guatemala

(Official DHS Photo/Tara Molle)

Keywords: immigration, International partnerships
Topics: Immigration Enforcement, International Engagement, Secretary of Homeland Security
  Department of Homeland Security

How Are Families Being Reunified?

Under order of the U.S. Federal District Court, Southern District of California, on July 10, 2018, HHS and DHS will facilitate the reunification of alien minors under 5 years old who are currently in the custody of HHS with parents in the custody of DHS.

Four Step Process for Reunification:

First, the Administration has been working to ensure that any reunifications that take place are done with parents whose relationship with the child has been verified and who have successfully cleared a background check to ensure the safety and welfare of the child.

  • Some parents have been found unsuitable for reunification because of issues discovered during a criminal background check, including child cruelty, child smuggling, narcotics crimes, robbery convictions, and a warrant for murder.
  • Adults that have been determined to not be the child’s parent. Some adults claimed to be parents but when approached about doing a DNA test to verify parentage admitted they were not parents.
  • Other issues that may prevent a parent from being eligible for reunification include:
    • Parents in the custody of the U.S. Marshall Service or in State and County jail for other offenses.
    • Parents that are being treated for a communicable disease.
    • Parents that were deported and therefore cannot be reunited on July 10.
    • Parents that have been released within the U.S. and therefore require more thorough processes to ensure that there is no danger to the child from the release.
    • Parents whose parentage and criminal background checks are still under review.
    • Children that have already been reunified with a parent.

Second, parents separated from their children are transported to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody.

  • For children under 5 years old, the HHS Incident Management Team (IMT) and Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) have investigated detained adults to verify parentage, conducted thorough criminal background checks to determine no danger is presented to the child, and gathered information from case management and clinical services provided to the child.
  • On Tuesday, July 10, physical reunification of minors with parents in ICE detention will take place for all children under 5 whose parents are cleared for parentage and no danger to the child.

Third, ORR instructs each grantee shelter with a separated child under five to prepare the child for transportation to be reunified on Tuesday.

  • The shelter program will facilitate transporting the child using staffing consistent with state licensure standards and ORR Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) Program procedures, with accompanying supervision.
  • Programs will transport the child, the child’s possessions, and – if applicable – a supply of necessities (such as medications and diapers) along with the child to an ICE custody.
  • Programs will be in contact with the IMT immediately upon departure from the grantee shelter and remain in contact with the IMT while children are in transport to ICE custody.

Fourth, upon arrival at the ICE custody, custody of the child will be transferred into ICE custody. ICE will facilitate physical reunification of parent and child. DHS will determine next steps for the parent and child.

  • HHS will complete custody transfer to ICE.
  • HHS will provide ICE documentation certifying parentage that the parent does not present a danger to the child.

HHS identified children that may have been separated from parents, and worked with DHS to determine if the adults purporting to be parents of those children meet the parameters set forth by the court. HHS has sought guidance from the Court to assist in this process.

Disclaimer: These numbers are as 1pm ET on July 10, 2018 and are subject to change

Not Eligible For Reunification

  • 14 are not eligible for reunification because their parents are not class members.
    • 8 parents had serious criminal history discovered during background checks (criminal histories identified include child cruelty and narcotics, human smuggling, a warrant for murder, and robbery).
    • 5 adults were determined not to be the parent of the accompanying child.
    • 1 parent faces credible evidence of child abuse.
  • 2 are not eligible for reunification because their parents are not class members at this time.
    • 1 parent has been determined to present a danger to the child at this time because an adult in the household where the parent plans to live with the child has an outstanding warrant for aggravated criminal sexual abuse against a 10 year old girl. This determination can be reconsidered if the parent identifies a different living situation.
    • 1 parent detained in ICE custody is currently being treated for a communicable disease. When the parent no longer has a communicable disease, the reunification process can proceed.
  • 10 are not eligible for reunification at this time. They will be assessed for reunification after they are released from criminal custody, provided that Defendants are made aware of that release.
    • 8 parents are in the custody of U.S. Marshals Service. They will be assessed for reunification after they are released from criminal custody and are transferred to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) custody.
    • 2 additional parents are in state or county custody. They will be assessed for reunification after they are released from criminal custody, provided that Defendants are made aware of that release.
  • 1 child cannot be reunified at this time because the parent’s location has been unknown for more than a year. Defendants are unable to conclusively determine whether the parent is a class member, and records show the parent and child might be U.S. citizens.

Likely Eligible For Reunification

  • 4 children were reunified with family members before the July 10 deadline.
    • 1 was released to a parent that ICE released into the U.S.
    • 1 was released to a parent in the U.S. with the other parent being deported.
    • 1 was released to a parent in the U.S. with the other parent being still in ICE custody
    • 1 voluntarily departed with the child’s adult sibling, with the consent of the parent who is still in ICE custody.
  • 51 are eligible for reunification with a parent who is currently in ICE detention.
    • 34 parents have cleared a criminal background check and parentage has been verified through a positive DNA match. They are expected to be reunified on July 10, 2018.
    • 16 parents have cleared a criminal background check but the process for verifying parentage has not yet been completed. They are expected to be reunified on July 10, 2018, or as soon thereafter as parentage can be verified.
    • 1 parent has criminal background check results that are still in question and are being resolved today.
  • 20 are eligible for reunification but cannot be reunified by July 10 due to legitimate logistical impediments that render timely compliance impossible or excusable.
    • 12 of those parents were removed from the United States. The Government will work with Plaintiffs’ counsel to contact these 12 parents and determine whether they wish to have their child reunified with them in their home country. The parties’ proposals regarding the process to be followed for these individuals are laid out below.
    • 8 parents were previously released into the United States and are undergoing safety and suitability screening in accordance with the TVPRA.

What Happens to Children 5 Years of Age and Older?

  • The IMT continues to collaborate with ORR and ICE on planning for the larger population of separated UAC aged 5-17, who would be transferred into ICE custody for purposes of reunification with a parent.
  • Personnel under the direction of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) continue to meet with parents of children aged 5-17 in ICE detention to assist in completion of family sponsorship application materials, complete parentage verification tests, and facilitate contact by phone between parents and children.
  • The personnel include representatives from the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, National Disaster Medical System, ACF/ORR, ASPR, with contractor support.
Keywords: immigration
Topics: Immigration Enforcement
07/20/2018   Washington House Republicans

AGRICULTURE & WATER Heat impacted the Whatcom raspberry harvest. Here’s what’s ready for u-pick now. (Bellingham Herald) The first fruit to fall: Washington cherries are early casualties of Trump’s trade war (Puget Sound Business Journal) Dave Reichert says tariffs are already threatening small farms (MyNorthwest) It’s a good year for most crops (Yakima Herald) Funds... Read more »

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07/19/2018   Washington House Republicans

AGRICULTURE & WATER Couple combines love of education, farming (Skagit Valley Herald) Columbia River Treaty will be topic of free town hall event (The Columbian) Dept. of Ecology looks to tighten water quality inspections (KGMI Radio) BUSINESS, ECONOMY & LABOR UPDATE: Olympia-Tumwater is NOT the nation’s worst job market (KOMO TV) Verify: Is Starbucks actually... Read more »

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07/18/2018   Washington House Republicans

AGRICULTURE & WATER Cherries to China: The pitfalls of tariffs (Yakima Herald) Ag News: New grocery lobby power (KIT Radio) BUSINESS, ECONOMY & LABOR Seattle tops the nation in tower cranes for third straight year as construction reaches new peak (The Seattle Times) COLUMN: Our kids are last priority for teachers union (Dori Monson, MyNorthwest)... Read more »

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07/17/2018   Washington House Republicans

AGRICULTURE & WATER McMorris-Rodgers: Perdue visit great opportunity for Northwest agriculture (Washington Ag Network/KONA Radio) BUSINESS, ECONOMY & LABOR Boeing predicts strong growth in world’s airplane fleet, looking past near-term uncertainties (The Seattle Times) New national park website to draw tourists to Tri-Cities (Tri-City Herald) COURTS, CRIME & LAW ENFORCEMENT Carmen Best picked as new... Read more »

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07/16/2018   Washington State Senate Democrats
The Washington State Senate today released its new ‘Policy on Appropriate Workplace Conduct’ following approval by the Senate Facilities & Operations Committee. The recommendations were developed by the Respectful Workplace Policy Task Force made up of Senate staff from both caucuses and non-partisan Committee Services. The Senate’s previous policy was updated to better reflect current best practices for addressing workplace sexual harassment and discrimination. Most notably, the policy creates a non-partisan Human Resource Officer position to manage the complaint and investigation process. The new policy requires the person who fills this position to manage regular training on the policy at least every two years and when new staff is hired or a new member is elected. The new policy also codifies the Senate’s current practice of releasing to the public investigation records involving members of the Senate if a Senator is a respondent and the Secretary of the Senate or Facilities & Operations Committee finds a violation. The ‘Policy on Appropriate Workplace Conduct’ and relevant resources for staff will be available online for easy access. “The task force that developed this policy has been a great example of a collaboration between the Senate caucuses and Committee Services. Everyone’s voices were heard and the result is a more appropriate policy that takes very seriously the responsibility to provide staff with a workplace free from discrimination, harassment and intimidation. It respects the accuser’s right to privacy, the accused’s right to due process and the public’s right to know,” said Kimberly Wirtz, Communications Director for the Senate Republican Caucus and a member of the Task Force. “We believe this policy will instill more confidence in the reporting and investigation of complaints.” “I’m pleased with the collaborative work we […]
07/16/2018   Washington State Senate Democrats
The Washington State Senate today released its new ‘Policy on Appropriate Workplace Conduct’ following approval by the Senate Facilities & Operations Committee. The recommendations were developed by the Respectful Workplace Policy Task Force made up of Senate staff from both caucuses and non-partisan Committee Services. The Senate’s previous policy was updated to better reflect current best practices for addressing workplace sexual harassment and discrimination. Most notably, the policy creates a non-partisan Human Resource Officer position to manage the complaint and investigation process. The new policy requires the person who fills this position to manage regular training on the policy at least every two years and when new staff is hired or a new member is elected. The new policy also codifies the Senate’s current practice of releasing to the public investigation records involving members of the Senate if a Senator is a respondent and the Secretary of the Senate or Facilities & Operations Committee finds a violation. The ‘Policy on Appropriate Workplace Conduct’ and relevant resources for staff will be available online for easy access. “The task force that developed this policy has been a great example of a collaboration between the Senate caucuses and Committee Services. Everyone’s voices were heard and the result is a more appropriate policy that takes very seriously the responsibility to provide staff with a workplace free from discrimination, harassment and intimidation. It respects the accuser’s right to privacy, the accused’s right to due process and the public’s right to know,” said Kimberly Wirtz, Communications Director for the Senate Republican Caucus and a member of the Task Force. “We believe this policy will instill more confidence in the reporting and investigation of complaints.” “I’m pleased with the collaborative work we […]
07/16/2018   Washington House Republicans

AGRICULTURE & WATER Would Whatcom be Whatcom without raspberries? Here’s what farmers are facing. (The Bellingham Herald) Farmers fear impacts of trade war, but hold back from blaming Trump (The Spokesman-Review) Local apple, pear growers feeling hit from retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports (KOHO Radio) Program helps orchardists suffering fire blight damage (The Wenatchee World)... Read more »

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07/13/2018   Washington House Republicans

AGRICULTURE & WATER DOE: Washington water situation not great, but no need to panic (Washington Ag Network/KONA Radio) BUSINESS, ECONOMY & LABOR Microsoft calls on Congress to regulate controversial facial recognition technology (The Seattle Times) Fast-food chains agree to drop ‘no-poaching’ clauses that hold down wages (Puget Sound Business Journal) Retailers struggle as Washington state... Read more »

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07/12/2018   Washington House Republicans

AGRICULTURE & WATER An uncertain market for Washington wheat (Columbia Basin Herald) State investigation fails to verify worker complaints against Sarbanand Farms (KGMI Radio) Levee repairs on track (Skagit Valley Herald) BUSINESS, ECONOMY & LABOR GOP lawmakers want state to change provisions for union dues (The Spokesman-Review) Microsoft cuts sales jobs with layoffs (The Columbian)... Read more »

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07/11/2018   Washington House Republicans

ABORTION COLUMN: On the streets of Seattle, feels like the fight for Roe is already lost (Danny Westneat/The Seattle Times) AGRICULTURE & WATER Hop acreage in U.S., Washington still growing, but at slower pace (Yakima Herald) BUSINESS, ECONOMY & LABOR COLUMN: Public unions should negotiate in the light (John A. Trumbo/Tri-City Herald) COMMUNITY & FAMILY... Read more »

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07/10/2018   Washington House Republicans

AGRICULTURE & WATER All Yakima basin residents at 100 percent water (Yakima Herald) BUSINESS, ECONOMY & LABOR Need a job? QFC has more than 200 openings areawide (The News Tribune) Auto businesses in Seattle file opposition to ‘devastating’ vehicle tariffs (Puget Sound Business Journal) COMMUNITY & FAMILY ISSUES New complaint filed against Tacoma megachurch pastor... Read more »

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07/09/2018   Washington House Democrats

Legislative Assistant to Representative Marcus Riccelli, Washington State House of Representatives

Mission: To assist Legislators in successfully fulfilling their public obligations by providing support services in the areas of administration, office management, communication, research and public relations

Reports to: Representative Riccelli, Caucus Staff Director, Chief Clerk

Location: The position is based in Olympia during session and a district office in Spokane during interim.

To apply: Please send your cover letter and resume in one document to jobs.hdc@leg.wa.gov by July 23, 2018

PREFERRED SKILLS, KNOWLEDGE AND ABILITIES

  • Strong writing, editing, and oral communication skills, including knowledge of standard format and protocol for professional correspondence
  • Highly organized and able to perform multiple detailed tasks accurately and efficiently under time constraints
  • Experience conducting complex and detailed scheduling
  • Knowledge of legislative process and state and local government structure, functions, and services
  • High level interpersonal and customer service skills, including ability to proactively anticipate member needs
  • Flexibility to travel to requested locations to attend meetings on the member’s behalf
  • Familiarity with the 3rd Legislative District
  • Ability to work independently, exercise professional judgment, and maintain confidentiality
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word and Outlook

TYPICAL ASSIGNMENTS

Administration & Office Management:

  • Manage the Representative’s calendar, including complex scheduling assignments, individual appointments, group meetings, public events, and travel arrangements
  • Manage office operations, including detailed expense reimbursements; district office lease, equipment, and accounts; answer phone and act as first point of contact for all callers and visitors; create and maintain electronic and physical filing and organizational systems

Communication & Public Relations:

  • Draft responses on behalf of the Representative to constituent emails, letters, and phone calls. Manage a high volume of constituent inquiries and casework. Draft and edit weekly email newsletters. Draft correspondence to agencies and other elected officials
  • Facilitate and coordinate communication between the Representative, legislators, state officials, staff, agency personnel, stakeholders and constituents in the development and advancement of legislation
  • Serve as a liaison between the Representative and constituents of the Legislative District; exercising independent judgment to determine and implement appropriate courses of action
  • Coordinate between Communications staff and the Representative to prepare articles, newsletters, press releases, speeches, and talking points

Research:

  • Track advancement of bills throughout drafting and legislative process to ensure that timelines and deadlines are met.  This may entail maintaining detailed bill tracking spreadsheets, gathering information from agencies and legislative staff, monitoring committee hearings, coordinating committee testimony, and drafting supporting documents
  • Perform casework, including facilitating communication between constituents and government agencies, assisting constituents in accessing services, and researching and solving complex problems
  • Identify and monitor district-specific issues
  • Work with Office of Program Research and Caucus staff to develop materials and prepare issue briefings for members

The Washington State House of Representatives is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, people of color, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

07/09/2018   Washington House Republicans

AGRICULTURE & WATER Cherries, apples, wheat: U.S.-China trade war could wilt growth in Washington farm exports (The Seattle Times) COLUMN: Farmer to farmer with Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue (Sue Lani Madsen/The Spokesman-Review) BUSINESS, ECONOMY & LABOR Local industries brace for impact of trade disputes (Skagit Valley Herald) Trade war with China sparks uncertainty in geoduck... Read more »

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