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Latest from Jamie Dupree

    As President Donald Trump lashed out at Democrats on Monday, demanding again that Congress act to tighten federal immigration laws, more Republicans in the Congress began to distance themselves from a recent Trump Administration policy change, which has resulted in the separation of some 2,200 illegal immigrant families detained by border authorities. “As the son of a social worker, I know the human trauma that comes with children being separated from their parents,” said Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS), as he asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to “take immediate action to end the practice of separating children from families at the border.” “We as compassionate Americans absolutely detest watching families being pulled apart,” said Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), who in a speech on the Senate floor said on one hand the President is correct to call for action in Congress on immigration – but that the Trump Administration has been wrong to separate so many families in the last six weeks, labeling the situation “a mess.” At the White House, the President didn’t shy away from the controversy, again blaming Congress for not acting, and making it clear he wants to stop a recent surge in illegal immigration across the southern border. “The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility,” the President said. “Not on my watch.” President Trump: 'The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility. It won't be.' Full video here: https://t.co/9VB9dut7IQ pic.twitter.com/LSlnsoSUQ1 — CSPAN (@cspan) June 18, 2018 The President will take that sharp message on Tuesday evening to a meeting of House Republicans at the Capitol, trying to rally them to get behind a piece of immigration legislation, which could solve a series of issues. GOP leaders though have been trying for months to figure out a deal, but have found the party too splintered over what to do on DACA, younger illegal immigrant “Dreamers,” and ways to tighten what Mr. Trump says are odious loopholes in immigration law. “A county without borders is not a country at all,’ the President declared, as he said that illegal immigrants are bringing “death and destruction” to America. “They are thieves and murderers and so much else,” Mr. Trump added. But Mr. Trump’s criticism of Democrats and Congress has drawn more opposition in recent days from within his own party, who feel the White House is wrongly trying to use the plight of immigrant children to force through immigration law changes. “President Trump has chosen to implement this policy and he can put an end to it,” said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), “but he chooses not to do so and instead blames others.” Since Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Trump’s so-called “zero-tolerance” policy, nearly 2,000 children have been separated from their parents and are being held in detention centers and other institutional facilities. This is not who we are. This must stop immediately. — Sen. Maria Cantwell (@SenatorCantwell) June 19, 2018 “The administration has the power to rescind this policy. It should do so now,” said Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) via Twitter. While Mr. Trump has repeatedly blamed Democrats for the separation of families, it was the Trump Administration that decided to take this step in early May, by prosecuting adults for illegally entering the country. That move to enforce the law triggers a situation in which children are removed from their parents, leading to the uproar of recent days. “This is the Trump administration’s policy,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). “President Trump could put an end to this immoral policy right now.” Republicans have floated various ideas in recent days – it wasn’t clear if any could make it through the House, as immigration has vexed GOP lawmakers for years, as this latest battle has turned up the heat even more. “It’s not good policy to separate children at our border from their parents & release them into the US,” said Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY). “It’s also not good policy to just immediately release an entire family together into the US when that family enters our country illegally.”  
  • In an extended media session with reporters on the north lawn of the White House Friday morning, President Donald Trump defending his outreach to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, blasted former FBI Director James Comey in the wake of an internal review of his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, and sparred with reporters over how the Trump Administration is separating illegal immigrant children from their families. Mr. Trump began the unexpected media blitz by walking out to where Fox and Friends anchor Steve Doocy was broadcasting from the White House lawn, as the two engaged in a nearly 30 minute back-and-forth on a series of issues of note, beginning with Thursday’s report from the Inspector General of the Department of Justice. “Comey was the ringleader of this whole den of thieves,” the President said on Fox, accusing top FBI officials of “plotting against his election,” singling out the FBI’s Peter Strzok, who said in an August 2016 text about Trump’s bid for President – “We’ll stop it.” “I am amazed that Peter Strzok is still at the FBI, and so is everybody else that read that report,” the President said. Here is the Fox and Friends interview: After finishing that live appearance, the President was mobbed by reporters, as he then engaged in a spirited 20 minute give and take on the White House driveway. As in the Fox News appearance, the President was peppered with questions about his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections, and the status of immigration legislation in the Congress. “I did a great job this weekend,” the President said of his Singapore summit, ridiculing critics who said he won nothing more than a paper thin promise from Kim Jong Un to denuclearize. “If you’re fair – which most of you aren’t – but if you are fair, when I came in, people thought we were probably going to war with North Korea, as the President said he had opened new lines of communication with the Pyongyang regime, arguing that can only be seen as a good thing, as they work out the details of denuclearization. The freewheeling impromptu news conference was spirited at times, as reporters pressed to get their questions, as sharply questioned the President, especially on his charge that Democrats were to blame for the Trump Administration’s decision to separate illegal immigrant children from their parents, when taken into custody by U.S. border agents.
  • After staying silent about the details of a much-awaited report on how the FBI and Justice Department handled the Hillary Clinton email investigation, President Donald Trump on Friday morning said the comment of a top FBI official that “we’ll stop” the Trump bid for President, demonstrated the political bias that he and other Republicans argue has infected the top ranks of the FBI. “Doesn’t get any lower than that!” the President tweeted early on Friday morning. Mr. Trump also lashed out at former FBI Director James Comey, who was singled out for “insubordinate” conduct in the internal review by the Justice Department, criticizing him for going ignoring department guidelines, and going public about the Clinton email probe. “Comey will now officially go down as the worst leader, by far, in the history of the FBI,” the President said. “I did a great service to the people in firing him.” The IG Report is a total disaster for Comey, his minions and sadly, the FBI. Comey will now officially go down as the worst leader, by far, in the history of the FBI. I did a great service to the people in firing him. Good Instincts. Christopher Wray will bring it proudly back! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2018 FBI Agent Peter Strzok, who headed the Clinton & Russia investigations, texted to his lover Lisa Page, in the IG Report, that “we’ll stop” candidate Trump from becoming President. Doesn’t get any lower than that! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2018 In the first of his tweets, Mr. Trump joined Congressional Republicans in singling out a text – which had evidently not been turned over to lawmakers earlier – FBI official Peter Strzok was asked on August 8, 2016 if he thought Trump was going to be President. “No. No he’s not,” Strzok replied. “We’ll stop it.” That was 9 days after the FBI had opened a counter-intelligence investigation of the Trump Campaign – questioned by investigators, Strzok denied that he was hinting at some type of internal palace coup. The Justice Department Inspector General, Michael Horowitz, said that Strzok-Page exchange “created the appearance of bias and thereby raised questions about the objectivity and thoroughness” of the Clinton email investigation. “This is antithetical to the core values of the FBI and the Department of Justice,” Horowitz wrote in his report. As shown in the graphic above, Strzok denied there was any effort to undermine Mr. Trump, noting that the FBI had stayed quiet about the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections, and any possible links to people with ties to the Trump Campaign. Republicans in the House promised more questions for Strzok, as the head of the House Judiciary Committee vowed to subpoena him for testimony. In reviewing this report it is clear the FBI and DOJ withheld relevant text communications between Lisa Page and Peter Strzok. The House Judiciary Committee intends to issue a subpoena to Peter Strzok to compel his testimony before the Committees. #IGReport — House Judiciary (@HouseJudiciary) June 14, 2018 “This Peter Strzok text about “stopping” Donald Trump was hidden from Congressional investigators,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC). “We never had it. Absolutely unreal.” Asked directly on Thursday whether Strzok – who had helped lead the Clinton email probe – was going to be disciplined, FBI Director Christopher Wray would only say that disciplinary reviews would take place for certain, unnamed individuals. “This report did not find any evidence of political bias or improper considerations actually impacting the investigation under review,” said FBI Director Wray.
  • Promising to hold FBI officials accountable for any misconduct related to the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails during her time as Secretary of State, the FBI Director on Thursday said that while a new internal report made clear there were errors in judgment linked to that investigation, it did not show the FBI wrongly dealt with that politically sensitive investigation. “This report did not find any evidence of political bias or improper considerations actually impacting the investigation that was under review,” the FBI chief said, referring to the Clinton email probe, though he made clear, the actions of certain officials would be under further review. “We’re going to adhere to the appropriate disciplinary process, and once that process is complete, we won’t hesitate to hold people responsible for their actions,” FBI Director Wray told reporters, though he refused to name which FBI officials or agents might be under further review. Asked to describe his reaction to the report in one word, Wray chose “disappointed.” FBI Director Christopher Wray says the Justice Department IG report “did not find any evidence of political bias or improper considerations impacting the investigation under review,” although it identifies “errors of judgement” https://t.co/J4caXSRfyu — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) June 14, 2018 Wray refused to identify which officials have been referred for possible disciplinary action. The 568 page report on how the feds handled the Clinton email probe sternly rebuked former FBI Director James Comey, blasting his decision to violate Justice Department protocols, in going public several times about he Clinton email probe. “We found that it was extraordinary and insubordinate for Comey to do so,” as Inspector General Michael Horowitz rejected Comey’s argument that questions about bias within the Justice Department forced him to go against FBI norms, and hold a July 5, 2016 news conference, where he detailed why no charges were filed against Clinton. “We concluded that Comey’s unilateral announcement was inconsistent with Department policy and violated long-standing Department practice and protocol by, among other things, criticizing Clinton’s uncharged conduct,” the report read. But when it came to the question of whether Clinton should have been charged with any crimes, over her handling of classified information through her private email server while Secretary of State, the IG report found no evidence that political bias was behind that decision. “We found no evidence that the conclusions by the prosecutors were affected by bias or other improper considerations,” the report stated, saying the decisions were based on “the facts, the law, and past Department practice.” One area of concern for the IG was why the FBI did not act more quickly to check out the possibility of new leads in the email case, when a laptop belonging to ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) – who was married to top Clinton aide Huma Abedin – was found to contain thousands of emails involving Mrs. Clinton. For a variety of reasons – delays in the New York Field Office, questions about how significant the find really way, a lack of a new search warrant, and the fact that some investigators were now working on the Russia investigation – it took a full month for the FBI to finally act on the matter. “We found these explantations to be unpersuasive justifications for not acting sooner,” the IG report stated, as he raised questions about bias involving FBI official Peter Strzok. The #IGReport says “we did not have confidence that Strzok’s decision [to prioritize the Russia investigation over the email investigation] was free from bias.” That’s as strong as it gets in IG speak. pic.twitter.com/IiGFRp0BM2 — Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) June 14, 2018 On Capitol Hill, the two parties had two very different reactions to the details of the IG probe. For Democrats it proved one thing – that Comey had wrongly gone public about Hillary Clinton’s email investigation several times, while saying nothing about the Trump-Russia probe. “Director Comey’s mishandling of the publicity around the Clinton email campaign all accrued to the benefit Trump – not the other way around,” said Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer. “The decisions described in the report all helped Donald Trump win the election,” said Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY). “All the errors were in Trump’s favor.” “All errors were in Trump’s favor,” @RepJerryNadler says about the IG report on the Clinton email probe, calling Comey “absolutely wrong” to publicly reopen the investigation #tictocnews pic.twitter.com/tlbCBJHJXE — TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) June 14, 2018 Democrats also said they were told by the Inspector General that more information would be forthcoming at a later date about leaks from the New York Field Office of the FBI to President Trump’s attorney, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. “The report does not answer how he got those leaks, and Democrats are demanding answers,” said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. For Republicans, the IG report fell far short of expectations; several GOP lawmakers quickly fired off a letter demanding to see the early draft of the report. “We are concerned that during this time, people may have changed the report in a way that obfuscates your findings,” said a letter spearheaded by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), as Republicans zeroed in on new details about text messages between certain agents. “A different FBI agent responded to the prospect of a Trump presidency by proclaiming, ‘We’ll stop it,’ said Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA). “For the sake of the Republic, thank God they failed.” The following is in the IG report. Why didn’t Rosenstein disclose this to Congress when we asked for the texts? August 8 2016 Strzok-Page texts Page: [Trump’s] not ever going to become President, right? Right?! Strzok: No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it. — Ron DeSantis (@RepDeSantis) June 14, 2018 A key Republican, House Judiciary Committee Chair Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), announced that would have his panel subpoena Peter Strzok, accusing the Justice Department of withholding evidence. “The Deputy Attorney General learned of these texts days before the IG report was made public while others at the DOJ or FBI learned of these texts in May of 2018,” Goodlatte wrote in a letter. For more on what’s in the 568 page report, review this Twitter thread by @jamiedupree at https://twitter.com/jamiedupree/status/1007326627016134657
  • Accusing President Donald Trump of using his foundation as to illegally funnel help to his campaign for President before the Iowa Caucus in 2016, the state of New York filed a lawsuit Thursday against Mr. Trump, his children, and the Trump Foundation, charging the group was used to illegally raise money for his bid for the White house. “Mr. Trump’s wrongful use of the Foundation to benefit his Campaign was willful and knowing,” the lawsuit states. The suit, by acting New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood, said the Trump Foundation acted as nothing “more than a checkbook for payments from Mr. Trump or his businesses to nonprofits, regardless of their purpose or legality. “Despite his knowledge of the prohibition on political activity and on using the Foundation’s assets for his own benefit, Mr. Trump nevertheless used the Foundation to intervene in the election to assist him,” the lawsuit added. In a defiant response on Twitter, the President denied wrongdoing, and said the lawsuit was nothing but the culmination of long standing political attacks from New York Democrats. The sleazy New York Democrats, and their now disgraced (and run out of town) A.G. Eric Schneiderman, are doing everything they can to sue me on a foundation that took in $18,800,000 and gave out to charity more money than it took in, $19,200,000. I won’t settle this case!… — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 14, 2018 ….Schneiderman, who ran the Clinton campaign in New York, never had the guts to bring this ridiculous case, which lingered in their office for almost 2 years. Now he resigned his office in disgrace, and his disciples brought it when we would not settle. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 14, 2018 As the President noted, the lawsuit was about much more than fundraising before the 2016 Iowa Caucus, as it goes through a series of financial transactions in the years before Mr. Trump became a candidate for President.
  • Republicans in the Congress say they expect a report from the Justice Department’s internal watchdog due to be released on Thursday to clearly show that former FBI Director James Comey and other top officials mishandled the probe of Hillary Clinton’s private email server from her time as Secretary of State, as both parties were poised to grab favorable evidence from the report, said to be several hundred pages in length. While it was not listed on his schedule issued by the White House, President Donald Trump was expected to be briefed on the report Thursday morning, with lawmakers getting their first look at the findings soon after from Inspector General Michael Horowitz. “We believe it will talk about some of the misdeeds within the FBI and DOJ, as it related to the Hillary Clinton investigation,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), who told reporters he expected a very public rebuke of Comey’s decision to hold a news conference in July 2016 to announce that Clinton would face no charges related to her emails, and possible violations of how classified information was handled by her and top aides at the State Department. “Violating protocols at the head of the FBI is a problem, it’s an ethical problem,” Meadows told reporters on Wednesday. Comey would seem to be the logical target on basic procedural grounds, as he has fully admitted that his news conference about the Clinton email investigation went against Justice Department policies – and that his announcements just before the 2016 elections about possible additional evidence were outside standard procedures as well. But in testimony before Congress before he was fired by President Trump, Comey defended the moves, saying he felt the Justice Department – and especially Attorney General Loretta Lynch – were seen as too political to announce the findings of the Clinton email investigation. “Her meeting with President Clinton on that airplane was the capper for me,” Comey said of Attorney General Lynch in testimony before Senators last year, as he said that tarmac meeting made him decide that he had to step forward. “That offered us the best chance of the American people believing in the system,” Comey argued. For months, Republicans have charged that Comey and other top-ranking FBI officials ignored evidence of wrongdoing by Clinton and her top aides, as GOP lawmakers looked for more than just procedural errors by Comey to be highlighted by the IG report. GOP Congressman Pete King: IG report will show devastatingly the improprieties of James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, and Lisa Page — Yaakov M. (@ThePoliticsZone) June 12, 2018 Asked about his confidence in Inspector General Horowitz, Meadows had high praise – but made clear he might not accept every conclusion, especially if it differed with his reading of the investigation. “Michael is an honest broker,” Meadows told reporters. “The OIG report will undoubtedly discuss numerous missteps,” said Joyce Alene, a federal prosecutor during the Obama Administration. “But, it was the Trump campaign that benefited from all of them,” added Alene on Twitter, who is now a law professor at the University of Alabama. Democrats argue the election year publicity surrounding the Clinton email investigation – when compared to the FBI silence about an existing counterintelligence probe into Russian ties to the Trump Campaign – certainly shows that Comey was not even handed, as Clinton supporters still bridle at the thought that Comey somehow favored their candidate in 2016. The IG report is due to be released Thursday; that will be followed by two days of hearings on the findings next week – Monday in the Senate, and Tuesday in the House.
  • A former director of security for the Senate Intelligence Committee, James Wolfe, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to federal charges that he lied to FBI agents about whether he had been in contact with or leaked classified information to four different reporters, with some of that happening during the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections. Until his retirement in May, Wolfe, 58, had been responsible for managing “all classified material” provided to the Senate Intelligence Committee – Wolfe is not charged with leaking any of those items, but instead with making false statements to investigators, when asked if he had been in contact with specific reporters. Wolfe’s legal team immediately signaled that they would seek a gag order on the federal government about the case, “including President Trump,” said lawyer Benjamin Klubes. James Wolfe’s attorney speaking outside court following arraignment pic.twitter.com/HCnLOr3gu3 — Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) June 13, 2018 Former Senate Intel Committee security director James Wolfe enters a plea of not guilty in federal court to charges of lying to the FBI. Wolfe’s lawyers say they “will vigorously defend Mr. Wolfe against this unfair & unjustified prosecution.” — Ryan Lucas (@relucasz) June 13, 2018 In the indictment unsealed last week, Wolfe was told in late October of 2017 that FBI agents were investigating leaks of classified information; in December, Wolfe was asked about certain news reports, and whether he had contact with several unnamed reporters. “During the December 15, 2017 interview, WOLFE continued to deny any contact with other reporters and denied providing to any of them classified information or information that he learned as Director of Security for the SSCI that was not otherwise publicly available,” the indictment stated. Also of note in this case is reporter Ali Watkins, who was hired by the New York Times in December; the 26 year old Watkins had been involved in a romantic relationship with Wolfe, and during that time, she was covering high profile stories involving intelligence matters for several other news organizations. “She has said that Mr. Wolfe did not provide her with information during the course of their relationship,” the newspaper reported, as the New York Times announced it was reviewing her “work history.” Watkins previously worked at McClatchy, Huffington Post, BuzzFeed and Politico. As part of the Wolfe probe, investigators reportedly seized several years of phone and email records belonging to Watkins, which prompted objections from news organizations. Then, a new story emerged about Watkins, as the Washington Post reported that an agent in the Department of Homeland Security had met with Watkins in June 2017, revealing that he knew extensive details of her relationship with Wolfe, including trips they had taken together. The Post reported that has prompted an internal DHS investigation.
  • Hours after President Donald Trump tweeted his opposition to Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC), voters in his Charleston-based district tossed the former South Carolina Governor out of his seat in the U.S. House, making him the second incumbent to lose a primary in the 2018 mid-term campaign, as supporters of the President flexed their muscles in a series of races on Tuesday. “Mark Sanford has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign to MAGA,” the President wrote on Twitter, with less than three hours until the polls closed in the Palmetto State, as GOP candidate Katie Arrington had highlighted the times that Sanford had split with the President, or criticized Mr. Trump. “We’ve all see Mark on TV attacking our President,” Arrington said in a recent television ad, as she reminded voters repeatedly that Sanford had differed with Mr. Trump on funding for a border wall and more. Mark Sanford has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign to MAGA. He is MIA and nothing but trouble. He is better off in Argentina. I fully endorse Katie Arrington for Congress in SC, a state I love. She is tough on crime and will continue our fight to lower taxes. VOTE Katie! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2018 Before all the votes were in, Sanford was conceding defeat, telling supporters, “I’m going to lose this race.” Sanford, who at times had been critical of policy decisions and actions of the President, became the second GOP lawmaker to lose a bid for re-election in the Congress, joining Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC), who lost his primary in May. As of now, 56 sitting members of the House will not be back for the next session of Congress that begins in January of 2019 – two have been defeated, 32 decided not to run again, and 22 others are seeking a different elected office. Of those 56 departures, 39 are Republicans, and 17 are Democrats. Sanford’s defeat came a week after Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL) was forced into a runoff, with voters in the Yellowhammer State still unhappy over her criticism of Mr. Trump – from before the 2016 election, when she questioned his fitness for office after the release of a Hollywood Access videotape that featured vulgar remarks by the President when talking about women. Rep. Mark Sanford (R)'s increasingly probable defeat in #SC01 means vocally Trump-skeptic Rs essentially have two choices: 1) retire or 2) lose your next primary.* *except in Utah — Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) June 13, 2018 While Mr. Trump’s candidate won by defeating Sanford, not everything the President touched in South Carolina worked, as his endorsement of Gov. Henry McMaster (R) could not prevent McMaster from being forced into a runoff in the GOP primary. That next vote will be on June 26. Meanwhile in Virginia, Republicans selected pro-Trump supporter Corey Stewart to run against Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) in November. At Stewart’s victory celebration, a chant of “Lock her up!” came from the crowd at one point, a reminder of more conservative direction that the GOP has taken in recent years in Virginia. Kaine is seen as the strong favorite over Stewart in November.
  • Jamie  Dupree

    Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog.A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989. Politics and the Congress are in Jamie’s family, as both of his parents were staffers for members of Congress. He was also a page and intern in the House of Representatives. Jamie has covered 11 national political conventions, with his first being the 1988 Democratic Convention in Atlanta. His political travels have had him on the presidential campaign trail every four years since 1992, chasing candidates throughout the primary calendar.He is heard on Cox Radio stations around the country: WSB-AM Atlanta, WDBO-AM Orlando; WOKV-AM/FM Jacksonville; WHIO-AM/FM Dayton, Ohio; and KRMG-AM Tulsa, Oklahoma.Jamie and his wife Emily live just outside the Beltway with their three children. Some may know Jamie from his other on-air hobby, as he is a licensed amateur radio operator. When not at work or playing with his kids, you can often find him with a golf club in his hands.Follow Jamie on Twitter and Google+

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  • Two brothers accused of at least seven robberies across metro Atlanta in May are no ordinary criminals: they’re identical twins. Marquavious and Juntavious Burton, 20, were arrested in early June. According to Fulton County jail records, the twins have been arrested multiple times since 2015 on charges such as aggravated assault and theft by receiving stolen property. The latest charges include seven counts of armed robbery and a charge of participating in criminal street gang activity. Police believe they may be responsible for even more recent robberies. The Burton twins have also been accused of shooting at some of the robbery victims, Channel 2 Action News reported.  In other news:
  • Two Cobb County siblings were killed after their 17-year-old sister allegedly lost control of the family’s SUV on a South Carolina interstate, police said Monday.  Jessica Wolwark was driving a Chevrolet northbound on I-85 in Anderson County when she ran off the highway and the SUV overturned Saturday morning, according to police.  Wolwark and her mother, Natalia Anggraeni, were both wearing seat belts and were seriously injured in the crash. Two other family members died from their injuries after being ejected, police said.  Kirana “Kiki” Wolwark, 15, and 12-year-old Nate Wolwark were both killed, a family friend posted on a Go Fund Me page. The family was traveling from their Kennesaw home to Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C., where the girls were to attend a religious retreat, according to Chrissy Concepcion, who set up the fundraising page for the family. The family does not have medical insurance, she said. The South Carolina medical examiner was unable to confirm the identities of those killed, but family friends confirmed the names and ages of the Wolwark siblings.  “Kiki was a joy to be around, and spread her love for animals to everyone she knew,” Concepcion posted. “Nate was the perfect boy; always helpful, caring, and accepting of everyone around him.” The driver and her mother were both taken by helicopter to a Greenville hospital, where both remained Monday. Anggraeni has a broken neck and several broken ribs, Concepcion said. Jessica Wolwark has torn ligaments in her arm, but is expected to be released from the hospital this week.  The South Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.  In other news: 
  • President Donald Trump tried on Tuesday evening to push Republicans in the House to pass an immigration reform bill later this week, basically telling GOP lawmakers he would support whatever they could pass, as Republicans struggled to find the votes to do that, and pressed the White House to back off a new policy that separates some illegal immigrant kids from their parents after being picked up at the border. “The system’s been broken for many years,” the President told reporters at the Capitol before the unusual Tuesday evening gathering. “The immigration system, it’s been a really bad, bad. system, probably the worst anywhere in the world. And we’re gonna try and see if we can fix it.” Earlier in the day, the President had told a gathering of business leaders that he would not back off his calls for major changes in U.S. immigration laws. “When people come up, they have to know they’re never going to get in, or else it’s never going to stop,” Mr. Trump said of the flow of illegal immigration across the southern border with Mexico. President Trump: 'I'm asking Congress to do is to give us a third option, which we have been requesting since last year, the legal authority to detain and promptly remove families together as a unit. We have to be able to do this. This is the only solution to the border crisis.' pic.twitter.com/UllzH6rL4y — CSPAN (@cspan) June 19, 2018 But complicating matters for the President was the recent move to force the separation of children and parents, if the parents were being charged for illegally entering the United States, as that continued to draw stern opposition from GOP lawmakers of all stripes. “All of us are horrified at the images that we are seeing,” said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). “We ought to stop separating families,” said Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS). “The Administration disagrees,” as GOP lawmakers said the conflict wasn’t really discussed during the Tuesday night meeting with Mr. Trump. “We can have strong border security without separating families,” said Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH). 13 GOP Senators signed a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, asking the Trump Administration to “halt current policies leading to the forced separation of minor children from their parents,” but that missive fell on deaf ears at the White House, as GOP lawmakers scrambled for kind of legislative answer. If every Senator is willing to support it by unanimous consent, the Senate could pass a bill, before the end of the week, that would allow families charged with illegal entry to be kept together while awaiting an expedited hearing. I truly hope that is what we do. — Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) June 19, 2018 House GOP leaders on Tuesday night posted two different immigration bills for possible House votes – one was a more conservative plan backed by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), which was unlikely to get close to a majority; a second was a more moderate bill that lacked the support of conservatives. It left many unsure what would happen if votes occurred this week on the House floor. “I’m still working through whether I can vote for the compromise bill,” said Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH), as more conservative lawmakers withheld their support from the only all-GOP plan that has a chance for approval. Meanwhile, even as Mr. Trump tried to push Republicans to stick together on immigration, he managed to cause some internal GOP pain, as lawmakers said the President – during the closed door meeting with House lawmakers – took a verbal shot at Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC), who lost his primary a week ago to a candidate backed by the President. “Is Mark Sanford here? I just want to congratulate him on running a great race,” the President reportedly said, drawing quiet groans and hisses from some GOP members. One Republican, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) said later on Twitter, that the jab was uncalled for. “This was a classless cheap shot,” Amash wrote.
  • U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson accused the Trump administration of a 'cover-up' after officials denied him entry Tuesday to a detention center for migrant children in South Florida where he had hoped to survey living conditions. Nelson and U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, both Florida Democrats, went to the contractor-run Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children following reports it was receiving detained children who had arrived in the country illegally. Wasserman Schultz said the facility was being used for an estimated 1,000 children, aged 13 to 17 — most of whom arrived as unaccompanied minors and about 10 percent of whom are children separated from their families at the border. She said two other South Florida facilities were being used for younger children. 'It is an affront as the senior senator of this state that an agency head would tell me that I do not have entrance into a federally funded facility where the lives and health of children are at stake,' Nelson said. President Donald Trump's immigration policies have drawn intense scrutiny following reports of the forced separation of migrant children from their parents. Democrats and some Republicans are urging an end to the practice at the U.S.-Mexico border. Thousands of children split from their families at that border are being held in government-run facilities. Wasserman Schultz said her staff had spoken Tuesday with the Florida-based company, Comprehensive Health Services, contracted to run the facility. She said her staff was told the lawmakers would be 'welcomed warmly and allowed into the facility.' But Nelson said Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services Eric Hargan told him it would take two weeks for them to gain access. 'I think what they're doing is a cover-up for the president,' Nelson said. Trump doesn't like the negative response he's received, even from fellow Republicans, Nelson said. 'Are they abusing these kids? Are they sleeping on the floor? Are they in cages, like we've seen in some videos?' Wasserman Schultz asked after being barred from the building. The Florida facility is overseen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Department spokesman Kenneth Wolfe said in an email Monday that it had reopened as 'a temporary unaccompanied alien children program facility.' He did not provide further details. Gov. Rick Scott's office, however, released documents Tuesday that showed that federal authorities in February notified state officials and members of Congress that the Homestead facility would be reopened. Federal authorities didn't give an exact date, but said the Homestead location would reopen after damage from Hurricane Irma was repaired. The release from HHS also stated that the facility would only be used for 'unaccompanied alien children' detained by immigration officials. Later Tuesday, Scott called on Trump's administration to stop separating the families. The Republican governor sent his request in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. Scott's letter also requested that federal authorities notify state officials when they bring into Florida migrant children who have been separated from their families. Scott also wants to know what services are being provided to the children and whether they have had any health screenings. He said the information is needed to make sure that the children are being protected. An Associated Press reporter was denied access to Azar while he visited a Miami hospital Tuesday to talk with patients about drug costs. Spokesman Gavin Smith barred the AP reporter from asking Azar about the immigration facility because an interview with the secretary had not been pre-arranged. Several dozen children could be seen Tuesday playing soccer outside the building behind a chain link fence, mostly talking and shouting to each other in Spanish. Security officials would not let reporters near the facility or provide details on conditions inside. Mark Greenberg, a former head of the HHS Administration for Children and Families, said agency policy says requests to visit facilities for migrant children be submitted two weeks in advance. However, Greenberg said in the current state of heightened concern it behooves HHS to act rapidly on requests from lawmakers. Greenberg said much of the reason for lead time is logistical: the facilities are operated by federal contractors and government officials should be present for a congressional inspection. 'The current urgency of concerns about what is happening to children who have been separated from their parents makes it important to provide access as quickly as possible,' he said. Greenberg is currently a senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute, a Washington think tank focused on immigration. ___ Reporter Gary Fineout contributed to this story from Tallahassee. 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
  • Top Republicans responded Tuesday to the Trump administration’s hard-line immigration policy of separating families at the U.S.-Mexico border, a “zero tolerance” policy implemented six weeks ago. Many Republicans responded publicly to the harsh criticism over the policy, saying they support keeping migrant children and parents together. >> Read more trending news Update 10:00 p.m. EDT June 19: The growing backlash against the Trump administration’s immigration policy is expanding as tech workers take a stand in Silicon Valley. Microsoft workers are demanding the tech giant end its relationship with Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the wake of the forced separation of families at the U.S. southern border. Some 100 Microsoft employees signed an open letter that calls for the company to sever its ties with ICE, according to The New York Times. “We believe that Microsoft must take an ethical stand, and put children and families above profits,” employees said in the letter. The letter was addressed to Microsoft chief executive, Satya Nadella. Microsoft has a contract with ICE worth more than $19 million “for processing data and artificial intelligence,” the Times reported.  Axios reported the letter demanded three things: Cancel its contract with ICE, create a public policy stating that 'neither Microsoft nor its contractors will work with clients who violate international human rights law,” and commit to 'transparency and review regarding contracts between Microsoft and government agencies, in the US and beyond.' Update 8:30 p.m. EDT June 19: Protests unfolded in several U.S. cities Tuesday against the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which has resulted in the separation of at least 2,000 children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border over the past six weeks. In New York, opponents of the policy marched from Union Square to Lower Manhattan, demanding an end to the separation policy. In San Francisco, protesters marched to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement building, demanding that the agency stop separating children from their parents at the border. Protesters also gathered in Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square to protest the administration’s immigration policy during an appearance by Vice President Mike Pence at a GOP fundraiser. Update 6:30 p.m. EDT June 19: As President Donald Trump meets with Congressional Republicans this hour over immigration, it’s unclear whether lawmakers can agree on immigration legislation and whether the meeting will address the controversial policy of separating undocumented families at the U.S. border. Trump is reportedly urging House Republicans to pass “the compromise bill and the Goodlatte bill,” according to The Hill, which is citing GOP sources. Senior Trump administration officials are doubling down on the administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, calling out opponents of the plan, according to a new statement, the Huff Post reported on Twitter. “The administration’s zero tolerance policy is a response to a humanitarian crisis brought about by loopholes in federal immigration law that encourage human trafficking and smuggling. As a result of these loopholes, the only two options for the U.S. government are to either release into the country illegally all illegal Central American migrants who show up at our border with a minor, or to prosecute them for illegal entry. There is no policy of family separation,” the statement said. “The Trump administration has repeatedly asked Congress to give us the authority to detain families together and promptly return families together. Members of Congress who are pushing to give immunity for child smuggling will only increase the crisis ten-fold.” The statement urges Congress to close the loopholes so the government can return “illegal alien families in a fair, expeditious and humane fashion.” Update 4:42 p.m. EDT June 19: An undocumented child with Down syndrome was separated from her parents while illegally trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border, according to The Wall Street Journal. The 10-year-old girl was separated from her parents, even though her father is a legal U.S. resident, and sent to an immigration facility in McAllen, Texas, the Journal reported, while her mother was sent to a facility in Brownsville. The separation occurred while the mother was trying to get the girl and her brother across the border.    The newspaper learned of the situation after an interview with Mexico’s Foreign Prime Minister Luis Videgaray. During a speech at a small business event Tuesday, Trump blamed Mexico for contributing to the crisis at the U.S. southern border, saying the Mexican government could help end the stream of people traveling to the U.S. if it wanted to.  Update 3:09 p.m. EDT June 19: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said Tuesday that Republicans support creating a plan to keep migrant children and parents together amid criticism of a Trump administration policy that separates families suspected of coming into the country illegally at the border. “I … and all of the other senators of the Republican conference support a plan that keeps families together,” McConnell told reporters Tuesday. Sen. Orin Hatch, R-Utah, has passed a letter around to colleagues calling on U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to stop separating families, The Hill reported. “I’m asking for a pause,” Hatch said. “I think we ought to pause and look at this very carefully.” Update 2:07 p.m. EDT June 19: A pair of Florida Democrats was barred Tuesday from going inside a Miami-area facility housing immigrant children as the national debate raged around the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant children from parents at the border. U.S. Rep. Debbie Wassermn Schultz and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson attempted to enter the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children Tuesday, but Wasserman Schultz said they were told that they needed to put in a request to visit the facility two weeks ahead of time. The lawmakers said that they were told by the company that runs the facility that they would be able to visit Tuesday, but they were stopped by the a representative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “This is not a good day for our country, where a U.S. senator and a U.S. congressman have been turned away from a federal facility because the Trump administration does not want us to check on the welfare and the care of the children inside -- children who have been taken from their moms and dads,” Nelson said. Update 1:30 p.m. EDT June 19: President Donald Trump once again blamed laws passed by Democrats for his administration’s policy of separating migrant children from parents suspected of coming into the country illegally while speaking Tuesday at a meeting of the National Federation of Independent Business. Trump said the policy is necessary because loopholes in the immigration laws mean families “cannot  be detained together or removed together, only released.” “These are crippling loopholes that cause family separations,” Trump said. “Child smugglers exploit the loopholes and they gain illegal entry into the United States, putting countless children in danger.” There is no law that mandates the separation of children and parents at the border. “We've got to stop the separation of the families, but politically correct or not we have a country that needs safety, that needs security, that has to be protected,” Trump said. “We don’t want people pouring into our country, we want them to come in through the process, through the legal system and we want ultimately a merit-based system where people come in based on merit.” Update 11:40 a.m. EDT June 19: More than 20 state attorneys general are calling for an end to the Trump administration’s immigration policy, which has led to children being separated from their parents at the border and has sparked national outrage. The 21 Democratic state attorneys general, from states including Massachusetts, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Washington, sent a letter Tuesday to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. “Put simply, the deliberate separation of children and their parents who seek lawful asylum in America is wrong,” the attorneys general said in the letter. “This practice is contrary to American values and must be stopped. We demand that you immediately reverse these harmful policies in the best interests of the children and families affected.” The group is led by New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas, who on Tuesday called the immigration policy “inhumane” and “draconian.” “The Justice Department is ignoring its legal and moral obligations for the sake of a political agenda at the expense of children and the efforts of state law enforcement officials,” Balderas said. “The latest move to unnecessarily separate families is cruel and another example of this administration putting politics ahead of people.” Update 10:15 a.m. EDT June 19: President Donald Trump insisted on Twitter that “Democrats are the problem” in the immigration debate as criticism of his administration’s policy of separating children from parents at the border continues. Trump wrote Tuesday morning that Democrats “don’t care about crime and want illegal immigrants, no matter how bad they may be, to pour into and infest our Country, like MS-13.” The president has blamed Democrats for the recent surge in family separations, saying that laws need to be changed in order to change the separation policy. >> Recording of crying immigrant children separated from parents at border sparks outrage “Now is the best opportunity ever for Congress to change the ridiculous and obsolete laws on immigration,” Trump said Tuesday in a tweet with the hashtag #CHANGETHELAWS.   There are no laws mandating the separation of children and parents at the border. The president also wrote Tuesday morning that “if you don’t have Borders, you don’t have a Country,” and reiterated a claim that crime has risen in Germany since the country started accepting migrants, despite government numbers that show crime at its lowest rate since 1992. Update 9:44 a.m. EDT June 19: The executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund called stories of children being separated from their parents as a result of the Trump administration’s immigration policy “heartbreaking,” saying in a statement Monday that “such practices are in no one’s best interests, least of all the children who suffer their effects.” “Detention and family separation are traumatic experiences that can leave children more vulnerable to exploitation and abuse and can create toxic stress which, as multiple studies have shown, can impact children’s long-term development,” said Henrietta Fore, an American who has headed UNICEF since earlier this year. She noted that the U.S. government has long supported UNICEF’s efforts to help uprooted children in Syria, South Sudan, Somalia and Haiti. >> Clergy group brings church charges of child abuse, immorality against Jeff Sessions over zero-tolerance policy “Children -- no matter where they come from or what their migration status -- are children first and foremost,” she said. “I hope that the best interests of refugee and migrant children will be paramount in the application of U.S. asylum procedures and laws.” Update 8:40 a.m. EDT June 19: Sen. John McCain called the Trump administration’s family separation policy “an affront to the decency of the American people” in a tweet Monday night. The Arizona Republican said the policy is “contrary to principles and values upon which our nation was founded.” “The administration has the power to rescind this policy,” he wrote. “It should do so now.” >> Is the immigration separation policy new, where did it come from, where are the detention centers? McCain is among a growing number of Republican lawmakers voicing concern over the administration's 'zero tolerance' approach to illegal border crossings. Under the policy, all unlawful crossings are referred for prosecution. With adults detained and facing prosecution, any minors accompanying them are taken away. Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May. Update 7:15 p.m. EDT June 18: The nonprofit news organization ProPublica released an eight minute audio recording of wailing children, who were separated from their parents last week. >> All 5 living first ladies speak out on separation of immigrant children, parents at border A U.S. border patrol agent can be heard laughing in the background as the 10 children from Central America are separated from their families. Update 6:00 p.m. EDT June 18: Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, during a briefing Monday afternoon, said there’s nothing new about the current policy of separating undocumented children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. >> Trump's 'zero tolerance' immigration policy: 4 things to know 'This entire crisis is not new, Nielsen said, pointing to 'loopholes' in federal immigration laws from the past, but that could change this week with the introduction of several immigration measures in the U.S. House and Senate, including one from Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Cruz is expected to introduce the “Protect Kids and Parents Act,” according to news reports. The measure would double the number of federal immigration judges from 375 to 750. It would authorize new temporary shelters to better accommodate families.  The bill would mandate that immigrant families remain together, unless there’s criminal conduct or a threat to the children, and it would require that asylum cases are heard within 14 days of application.   Update 5:35 p.m. EDT June 18:  The head of the Department of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, addressed the growing backlash over the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy at the southern U.S. border, which is separating undocumented children from their parents. Nielsen defended the policy and urged  Congress to fix the system and close the loopholes. >> Before Trump policy, immigrant families arrested at the border were detained together Update 5:30 p.m. EDT June 18: Two more first ladies have weighed in on the widening controversy over the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents at the southern U.S. border. Michelle Obama retweeted comments Laura Bush made that Trump’s “zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart.” >> Trump border policy: How to help immigrant children separated from families Former first lady Rosalynn Carter also released a statement Monday, according to The New York Times. 'The practice and policy today of removing children from their parents' care at our border with Mexico is disgraceful and a shame to our country,' Carter said. Update 4:30 p.m. EDT June 18: The Department of Health and Human Services has released photos of the “tent city” in the Texas border outpost of Tornillo, just outside of El Paso, where the U.S. government is sending children separated from their parents at the border. There are already dozens of children at the facility, according to news reports. Update 3:10 p.m. EDT June 18: Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, called Monday for the resignation of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen amid the ongoing debate over the Trump administration’s immigration policy. The demand came one day after Nielsen said in a tweet that, “We do not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period.” Nielsen echoed President Donald Trump’s claims that a law is behind the recent spike in separations of migrant children and their parents at the border. “We will not apologize for enforcing the laws passed by Congress,” Nielsen said. “We are a nation of laws. We are asking Congress to change the laws.” However, as Harris and numerous fact checkers have noted, there is no law that mandates the separation of children and parents at the border. Harris said in a statement Monday that Nielsen’s “misleading statements ... are disqualifying.” “We must speak the truth,” Harris said. “There is no law that says the Administration has to rip children from their families. This Administration can and must reverse course now and it can and must find new leadership for the Department of Homeland Security.” Update 2:30 p.m. June 18: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday that President Donald Trump is telling an “outright lie” when he claims that Democrats are behind the recent surge in separations of children from their parents on the border. “This is not happening because of the 'Democrats' law,' as the White House has claimed,” Clinton said. “Separating families is not mandated by law at all.” Clinton, who ran as a Democrat against Trump during the 2016 presidential election, also appeared to chastise U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who cited a Bible verse last week while justifying the Trump administration’s immigration policy. “Those who selectively use the Bible to justify this cruelty are ignoring a central tenant of Christianity,” Clinton said. “Jesus said, ‘Suffer the little children unto me.’ He did not say, ‘Let the children suffer.’” Update 2 p.m. EDT June 18: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush urged President Donald Trump to end the policy that’s allowed authorities to separate migrant children from their parents on the border, writing Monday on Twitter that 'children shouldn't be used as a negotiating tool.” “(Trump) should end this heartless policy and Congress should get an immigration deal done that provides for asylum reform, border security and a path to citizenship for Dreamers,” he wrote. The president has repeatedly called for Democrats to negotiate with Republicans to address illegal immigration after falsely claiming that the party is behind laws that mandate the separation of child from parent at the border. No such law exists.  Jeb Bush, brother of former President George W. Bush and son of former President George H.W. Bush, ran against Trump in 2016 for the Republican presidential nomination. In an op-ed published Sunday by the Washington Post, former first lady Laura Bush called the Trump administration policy “cruel.” 'I live in a border state,' Bush wrote. 'I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart.' First lady Melania Trump has also criticized the policy, telling CNN in a statement through her spokeswoman that “She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart.” Update 12:46 p.m. EDT June 18: President Donald Trump again accused Democrats of obstructing efforts to deal with illegal immigration and the separation of children and parents at the border, telling reporters Monday that “we’re stuck with these horrible laws” because Democrats refuse to sit down with Republicans. There are no laws mandating the separation of children and parents at the border. “We have the worst immigration laws in the entire world,” Trump said. “Nobody has such sad, such bad – and in many cases, such horrible and tough – you see about child separation. You see what’s going on there.” “The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility,” Trump said. Update 12 p.m. EDT June 18: U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday said authorities don’t want to separate children from their families but that officials have a duty to prosecute people who illegally cross the border. “When we ignore our laws at the border we obviously encourage hundreds of thousands of people a year to likewise ignore our laws and illegally enter our country, creating an enormous burden on our law enforcement, our schools, our hospitals and (our) social programs,” Sessions said Monday during the National Sheriffs’ Association Annual Conference in New Orleans. He framed the issue as a debate over “whether we want to be a country of laws or whether we want to be a country without borders.” “President Trump has said this cannot continue,” Sessions said. “We do not want to separate parents from their children. If we build the wall, if we pass legislation to end the lawlessness, we won’t face these terrible choices. We will have a system where those who need to apply for asylum can do so and those who want to come to this country will apply legally.” Sessions’ arguments echoed those of President Donald Trump, who has blamed Democrats for passing laws that he said led to the separations. There are no laws mandating the separation of children and parents at the border. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said earlier Monday that officials will not apologize for enforcing immigration laws. 'We have to do our job,' she said. Original report: President Donald Trump defended his administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy on Monday, writing in a series of tweets that children are being used “by the worst criminals on earth” to get into America as critics slammed the policy for separating children from their parents. “Children are being used by some of the worst criminals on earth as a means to enter our country,” Trump wrote. “Has anyone been looking at the Crime taking place south of the border. It is historic, with some countries the most dangerous places in the world. Not going to happen in the U.S.” The president pointed to a rise in crime in Germany as an example of the chaos caused by illegal immigration, writing in a tweet that it was a “big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture.” However, Germany’s internal ministry reported last month that criminal offenses in the country were at their lowest since 1992, according to Reuters. This spring, the Trump administration ordered prosecutors to charge every person illegally crossing the border. Children traveling with the adults have been separated and placed in detention centers, prompting protests nationwide. The president has blamed Democrats for not fixing the law that allows for the separations. “Tell them to start thinking about the people devastated by Crime coming from illegal immigration,” the president wrote. “Change the laws!” Despite his claim that Democrats are at fault for the situation, The Associated Press reported that the Trump administration “put the policy in place and could easily end it.” The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • Earthlings in the Northern Hemisphere: Are you hot enough yet? Well, Thursday we're welcoming the longest day of the year. Right, summer solstice! So besides it being opposite of the winter solstice, how do we explain this annual event? To understand the summer solstice, you've got to understand the Earth's tilt. It might not feel like it, but the Earth is skewed at a 23.5-degree angle. It's also spinning while spinning — but that's for another day. 'The overhead sun is over the Tropic of Cancer. It receives the largest amount of solar radiation. … On this day, the length of daytime in the Northern Hemisphere is the longest of the year,' according to an explanation in a video from the Kurdistan Planetarium. As the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration points out, the name itself speaks to the length of day: 'The word solstice comes from Latin solstitium or sol (the sun) + -stit-, -stes (standing).' Basically, it'll feel like the sun is standing still. Since most places up north can expect somewhere around 16 hours of daylight on the summer solstice, it’s a good time to soak up some rays. But the annual event also coincides with many formal traditions. In Scandinavia, for example, many people celebrate Midsummer, a historically pagan celebration in which people feast and dance around a maypole. They also drink and sing — at the same time. 'We recommend two beers per nube. This will improve both your singing and your Swedish,' a participant said. In some Christian traditions, people celebrate the nativity of St. John the Baptist through feasts and bonfires. If you’re confused on what to do for summer solstice, just enjoy a meal or take a picture of the sun. You'll have plenty of time for both.