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US Lawmakers Prepare for Vote Next Week on Immigration Bill

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representative plan to hold a vote next week on an immigration bill despite Trump urging them Friday to abandon efforts to pass legislation until after the mid-term elections.

Even if the Republicans — who have a majority in both the House and Senate — approve a bill, it faces almost certain defeat in the upper chamber where Democrats hold enough seats to prevent Republicans, even if they all vote together, from reaching the 60 votes needed for passage.

Earlier in the week, the president had called for Congress to quickly approve sweeping immigration legislation. But in a Friday tweet the president said, “Republicans should stop wasting their time on Immigration until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November. Dems are just playing games, have no intention of doing anything to solves this decades old problem. We can pass great legislation after the Red Wave!”

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican representing a majority Hispanic district in the state of Florida, who is not running for re-election, termed the president’s tweets “schizoid policy making.”

Another retiring lawmaker, Republican Congressman Mark Sanford of South Carolina, a frequent Trump critic who recently lost his primary election, said Trump’s reversal sends “a horrifically chilling signal” that “makes immigration reform that much more unlikely.”

On Saturday, California Democratic Senator Kamala Harris spoke in Otay Mesa, a community in San Diego, at a rally for revised immigration policies. “This is a fight born out of knowing who we are and fighting for the ideals of our country,” she said. Harris spoke after touring a detention facility and speaking with several mothers.​

Trump’s call for Congress to postpone action came as House Republican leaders failed to garner enough support for two bills that would overhaul U.S. immigration laws and bolster border security.

A hard-line measure authored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte failed to pass on Thursday. The measure would have not guaranteed young undocumented immigrants a way to achieve permanent legal residency and included controversial enforcement measures such as a required worker validation program.

House Republican leaders suddenly delayed a vote Thursday on a compromise measure that has the support of key moderate Republican after concluding they lacked enough support to gain passage despite the growing controversy over separating children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border. Next week the House will vote on the compromise bill, which would provide $25 billion for Trump’s border wall, provide a pathway to “dreamers” and keep migrant families intact.

In his weekly radio address Saturday, Trump said the path to immigration reform starts on Capitol Hill.

“Congress and Congress alone can solve the problem. And the only solution that will work is being able to detain, prosecute and promptly remove anyone who illegally cross the border,” the president said.

Aboard Air Force One on Saturday en route to Las Vegas, Nevada, Trump lashed out at House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York, accusing them on Twitter of favoring illegal immigrants over American citizens. ​

All 435 seats in the House and a third of the 100-member Senate will be contested in the November election.

What is unclear, however, is whether Trump realizes the moderate Republicans he is alienating are among the most vulnerable in the mid-term elections.

“No one has more to lose in November than the president does when it comes to the majority in the House, because if this majority flips over to be a Democrat, there will be a big push for impeachment,” said Republican Congressman Bradley Byrne of Alabama, an opponent of the immigration measure.

Trump demonstrated Friday after his tactical retreat on immigration policy that there is no strategic shift to his overall tough approach to those attempting to illegally enter the country — vowing to “end the immigration crisis, once and for all.”

U.S. immigration laws, Trump declared, are “the weakest in the history of the world.”

Trump made the remarks on Friday in an auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, adjacent to the White House, where he presided over an event with “Angel Families” — those who have had relatives killed by people who have entered the country illegally.

“Your loss will not have been in vain,” the president told the families who held large photos of their slain relatives. “We will secure our borders … the word will get out. Got to have a safe country. We’re going to have a safe country.”

Family members were called by Trump to the presidential lectern to recount how their loved ones were killed by those who were in the United States illegally. Several of those speaking condemned the media for ignoring the stories of the victims and praised Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for their attention to border security.

Trump, in his remarks, also suggested those illegally in the United States commit more crimes on a statistical basis than citizens or resident aliens.

However, studies have shown that undocumented immigrants are less likely to commit a crime in the U.S. than native-born citizens, including one published by the libertarian CATO Institute this year. 

Despite Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric, 75 percent of Americans believe immigration in general is beneficial to the U.S., according to a poll released Thursday by the polling organization Gallup.

“Americans’ strong belief that immigration is a good thing for the country and that immigration levels shouldn’t be decreased present the president and Congress with some tough decisions as to midterm elections loom,” Gallup said in a press release.

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DOJ Gives Congress New Classified Documents on Russia Probe

The Justice Department says it has given House Republicans new classified information related to the Russia investigation after they had threatened to hold officials in contempt of Congress or even impeach them.

A spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan says the department has partially complied with multiple requests from the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees. House Republicans had given the department a Friday deadline for all documents, but Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said the department asked for more time.

“Our efforts have resulted in the committees finally getting access to information that was sought months ago, but some important requests remain to be completed,” Strong said in a statement Saturday. “Additional time has been requested for the outstanding items, and based on our understanding of the process we believe that request is reasonable. We expect the department to meet its full obligations to the two committees.”

In a letter sent to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes late Friday, the Justice Department said it had that day provided a classified letter to his panel regarding whether the FBI used “confidential human sources” before it officially began its Russia investigation in 2016. Nunes has been pressing the department on an informant who spoke to members of President Donald Trump’s campaign as the FBI began to explore the campaign’s ties to Russia.

The department has already given top lawmakers in the House and Senate three classified briefings on the informant. But Nunes has said he wanted the entire committee to receive the information.

In the letter, the Justice Department’s acting assistant director of congressional affairs, Jill Tyson, said the department had also given Nunes materials related to oversight of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Republicans have for months questioned whether the department abused that act when prosecutors and agents in 2016 applied for and received a secret warrant to monitor the communications of a Trump campaign associate.

Democrats have criticized the multiple document requests, charging that they are intended to discredit the department and discredit or even undermine special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s Russia ties and whether there was obstruction of justice.

House Speaker Paul Ryan has backed the document requests, and he led a meeting last week with committee chairmen and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to try to resolve the issue. In a television interview two days after that meeting, on June 17, Nunes said if they don’t get the documents by this week, “there’s going to be hell to pay” and indicated the House could act on contempt or even impeachment. A spokesman for Nunes did not immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday.

Tyson also wrote House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte, who had subpoenaed the department for documents related to the Russia investigation and also the department’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails in 2016. She detailed progress on those requests and said the department is “expeditiously completing them.”

In the letters, Tyson said the department had built “new tools” to search top secret documents and had diverted resources from other congressional requests.

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Trump Emphasizes Border Security as Immigration Debate Rages

President Donald Trump put the emphasis on border security Friday, capping off a week when the immigration issue became a political firestorm that swept through Washington. The president reversed his policy of separating immigrant children from their parents on Thursday, but the administration now faces the daunting task of reuniting families and figuring out how to detain them. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more

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Позиція України: «негайне звільнення Сенцова і всіх інших бранців» в обмін на 23 росіян – Геращенко

«У випадку з Сенцовим і Балухом рахунок йде на дні. І це страшно»

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Кличко заявляє, що на Поштовій площі буде створений музей

На місці розкопок на Поштовій площі буде створено музей. Про це, за повідомленням офіційного порталу Києва, мер Києва Віталій Кличко заявив в ефірі телеканалу «Київ». 

«Ми на Київраді прийняли рішення, яке допоможе у створенні музею на Поштовій площі. Ми зробили так, аби і від інвестора можна було вимагати виконання його зобов’язань. Ми вирішили заснувати комунальне підприємство, яке буде займатися питанням збереження артефактів. Ми ставимося до цього дуже відповідально», – заявив Віталій Кличко.

Кличко також прокоментував заяви, що влада нібито не хоче створювати музей на Поштовій площі: «Лунають звинувачення, що хтось не бажає робити музей. Я завжди казав: музей там буде. Крапка. І ми розробили алгоритм, як далі діяти покроково».

21 червня Київська міська рада ухвалила рішення про продовження археологічних розкопок на Поштовій площі.

Новий проект рішення Київради, зокрема, передбачає залучити міжнародних експертів і фахівців із археології та консервації до проведення археологічних розкопок та до визначення об’єктів культурної спадщини, які підлягають консервації та музеєфікації на місці. Згідно із рішенням, відбудеться відкритий міжнародний конкурс із музеєфікації артефактів та організації публічного простору на Поштовій площі: «доки триватиме конкурс, Київрада не вноситиме будь-які зміни до цільового призначення власника або землекористувача ділянки на Поштовій площі», мовиться на сайті Київради.

У документі йдеться і про створення при КМДА комунального закладу «Центр консервації предметів археології», який вивчатиме способи можливої консервації подібних знахідок та займатиметься їх втіленням.

Також для того, щоб забезпечити подальші археологічні дослідження, мовиться у повідомленні, рішення передбачає створення нового проекту укріплення об’єкту розкопок.

Стародавню вулицю часів Київської Русі на Поштовій площі розкопали навесні 2015 року під час будівництва торгового центру. За оцінками археологів, дерев’яні споруди тут були зведені у ХI–XII століттях. Одна з них могла бути майстернею для виготовлення жіночих прикрас зі скла, бо в ній знайшли свинцеву суміш, яку використовували у такому виробництві, а також шматки жіночого браслета.

У листопаді 2017 року комітет Верховної Ради України з питань культури і духовності рекомендував тимчасово зупинити будівництво на Поштовій площі в центрі Києва до затвердження дорожньої карти археологічного дослідження території і музеєфікації об’єкту культурної спадщини.

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AP Fact Check: Trump Off Mark on Immigrant Crime

President Donald Trump got some crime and immigration statistics right Friday but was off the mark on others in an appearance with those he calls “angel families,” people who lost loved ones at the hands of those living in the country illegally.

A look at how his statements compare with the facts:

TRUMP: “So here are just a few statistics on the human toll of illegal immigration. According to a 2011 government report, the arrests attached to the criminal alien population included an estimated 25,000 people for homicide, 42,000 for robbery, nearly 70,000 for sex offenses, and nearly 15,000 for kidnapping. In Texas alone, within the last seven years, more than a quarter million criminal aliens have been arrested and charged with over 600,000 criminal offenses. You don’t hear that.”

THE FACTS: Trump is likely working from a 2011 U.S. Government Accountability Office report that looked at arrests, costs and incarcerations of immigrants who were in the U.S. illegally. The statistics he cites are accurate. He doesn’t note that about half of all of the 3 million arrests of the “criminal alien population” in the study were for immigration (529,859), drugs (504,043) or traffic (404,488). And some of the immigration arrests were related to civil violations, not criminal charges. The report didn’t distinguish between the two.

TRUMP: “I always hear that, ‘Oh, no, the population’s safer than the people that live in the country.’ You’ve heard that, fellas, right? You’ve heard that. I hear it so much, and I say, ‘Is that possible?’ The answer is it’s not true. You hear it’s like they’re better people than what we have, than our citizens. It’s not true.”

THE FACTS: Trump is questioning reports that those living in the country illegally commit fewer crimes than people in the population overall. He shouldn’t.

Several studies from social scientists and the libertarian think tank Cato Institute have shown that people here illegally are less likely to commit crime than U.S. citizens, and legal immigrants are even less likely to do so.

A March study by the journal Criminology found “undocumented immigration does not increase violence.”

The study, which looked at the years 1990 through 2014, argues that states with bigger shares of such people have lower crime rates.

A study last year by Robert Adelman, a sociology professor at University of Buffalo, analyzed 40 years of crime data in 200 metropolitan areas and found that immigrants helped lower crime. New York City, for example, has the nation’s largest population of immigrants living in the country illegally — about 500,000 — and last year had only 292 murders among a total population of 8.5 million people. A city murder rate is often used as a bench mark for overall crime because it’s difficult to fudge murder statistics.

And Ruben Rumbaut, a University of California, Irvine sociology professor, co-authored a recent study that noted crime rates fell sharply from 1990 to 2015 at a time when illegal immigration spiked.

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Detained Parents ‘Desperate’ to Know Where Children Are

The Guatemalan father last saw his 12-year-old daughter on June 5 and knows nothing about her whereabouts.

The Guatemalan mother of three sons — ages 2, 6 and 13 — is being held in Pearsall, Texas,

The Honduran mother is in detention in El Paso, Texas, and believes her son is in New York.

Two days after U.S. President Donald Trump ordered an end to separating immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border, the three parents, like thousands of others, are “desperate” for information about the whereabouts and well-being of their children, their lawyer says.

No access to information

“Our clients are being held in detention facilities with no access to information about their children,” said Jerome Wesevich, an attorney with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc. in Brownsville, Texas. “The government has some procedures in place for supplying information. So far those have been entirely inadequate.”

The legal aid organization is suing the Trump administration over family separations on behalf of the three parents, one of two major legal challenges to the government’s now-rescinded policy.

Wesevich said Trump’s executive order, issued Wednesday, has done little to inspire hope among the separated families.

“I’d say there is not a lot of optimism,” Wesevich said. “The president’s announcement is not very understandable about what it’s going to mean in practical terms.”

​More than 2,300 children

According to the Department of Homeland Security, more than 2,300 children were separated from their parents between early May when the government started a “zero-tolerance policy” on immigration enforcement and last week.

The Department of Homeland Security says it has a plan to reunite the families in the wake of Trump’s order, but it hasn’t spelled out how it intends to carry out the program.

The Pentagon said Thursday that it had accepted a request from the Department of Health and Human Services, the agency tasked with finding shelter for asylum seekers, to house as many as 20,000 unaccompanied migrant children.

With uncertainty surrounding the government’s reunification plan, legal assistance organizations are working to locate and connect separated families.

The Texas Civil Rights Project said Friday that it was seeking to reunite as many as 381 immigrants who have been separated from their children.

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid said it would continue its efforts on behalf of the three Central American parents while hoping for a resolution to the plight of the more than 2,300 separated children.

“The point of our lawsuit that they do it as compassionately and quickly as possible,” Wesevich said. “By compassionate, I mean the parents are provided with information on where their children are, how they’re being cared for.”

The legal aid on Friday asked a federal court in Washington to order government agencies to provide the three parents with “immediate access to basic information about their children’s whereabouts and well-being, and frequent, meaningful opportunity to see and hear their children.”

Among other things, the three want government agencies to provide them with the exact address of where their children are being held; a description of the place they’re being held; information about whether the children have suffered any illness; and finally, the government’s best estimate on when they’ll be reunited.

The government has not responded to the lawsuit.

A spokeswoman for Customs and Border Protection, one of the agencies named in the lawsuit, declined to comment, citing the pending litigation.

Short phone calls

The three parents were detained and separated from their children as they crossed the border into the United States in recent weeks.

Wesevich said the father from Guatemala “does not know where (his daughter) is at all.”

The Honduran mother of a 9-year-old son has told the legal aid that she believes her son has been moved to New York.

Since their separation, the mother has been allowed to speak with her son three times for about five minutes each time, according to court filings.

“He only asks when we will see each other again and begs to be with me,” the mother is quoted in court documents as saying. “He is scared and lonely and desperate to be with me. I try to tell him everything will be OK and that I’ll see him soon but, the truth is, I don’t know what will happen with us.”

The Guatemalan mother of three sons has been allowed to speak with them for 10 minutes two times each week. 

“Of course her 2-year-old is unable to provide reliable information about his circumstances, and staff provide only general information to M.G.U., nothing specific about her children’s well-being, which causes her anguish,” according to court papers.

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Mexican Airline Offers Free Flights to Reunite Families

Mexican airline Volaris said Friday it was offering free flights to reunite families separated by the “zero tolerance” immigration policy of U.S. President Donald Trump.

“It hurts us to see these children without their parents and it is our vocation to reunite them,” Volaris said in a statement.

The airline said it would work with authorities in the United States, Mexico and Central America to offer free flights on its pre-existing routes to reunite children with their parents. According to its website, Volaris flies to more than 65 locations across Mexico, the United States, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

After facing an uproar at home and abroad, Trump bowed to intense pressure Wednesday and signed an order ending the separation of children from their families while parents were prosecuted for crossing the border illegally.

This week, four major U.S. airlines asked the federal government not to use their flights to transport migrant children away from their parents.

Some of the more than 2,300 children separated from their parents since mid-April have been flown to states far from the border area between Mexico and the United States, where their parents are being charged in immigration courts, according to media reports.

There have been some cases of immigrants being deported without their children. On Thursday, El Salvador demanded a 7-year-old boy be returned to his father who was deported back to the Central American country this week.

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Одеському активісту Устименку надали державну охорону

Активісту одеського Автомайдану Віталієві Устименку надали державну охорону. Про це він сам написав на Facebook.

Телеведучого та активіста «Автомайдану» Віталія Устименка 5 червня забрали до лікарні зі слідами побоїв та ножовим пораненнням спини, після того як двоє невідомих напали на нього поблизу одеської філії Суспільного телебачення, де Устименко вів програму «Тема дня». Очевидці інциденту зазначили, що двоє нападників чекали активіста ще за півгодини до нападу.

Пізніше, 18 червня, трапився напад на головного редактора херсонського сайту «Мост», представника ГО «Інститут масової інформації» у Херсонській області Сергія Нікітенка.

За словами журналіста, нападники на нього схожі на людей, які раніше завдали ножових поранень Устименкові. Він упізнав їх на скріншоті із відео з подій в Одесі.

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AP FACT CHECK: Trump Falsely Claims Progress on North Korea

President Donald Trump is trumpeting results of his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that get ahead of reality.

He is declaring that North Korea has begun ridding itself fully of nuclear weapons following an agreement with Kim in Singapore earlier this month, even though his Defense Department says otherwise.

Trump also prematurely claimed the return of remains of U.S. servicemen missing from the 1950-53 Korean War.

A look at how his statements compare with the facts:

TRUMP: “The big thing is, it will be a total denuclearization, which has already started taking place.” — remarks Thursday at Cabinet meeting.

THE FACTS: That’s not what his Pentagon chief, Jim Mattis, says. When asked by a reporter Wednesday whether he had seen any sign that North Korea had begun steps toward denuclearization, Mattis replied, “I’m not aware of any. Obviously, we’re at the very front end of the process. Detailed negotiations have not begun.”

At the summit, Kim committed to “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” but no details were worked out.

In May, before the summit, North Korea demolished tunnels at its sole underground nuclear test site, although outsiders have not inspected the result. Its nuclear program has many other elements, including nuclear materials production facilities, nuclear warheads, ballistic missiles and missile launchers.

Soldiers’ remains

TRUMP: “We got back our great fallen heroes, the remains sent back today, already 200 have been sent back.” — remarks Wednesday at rally in Duluth, Minnesota.

THE FACTS: No remains have been returned, although Pentagon officials say they are prepared to receive them. Although the Singapore declaration said this would happen immediately, U.S. officials have given no indication that North Korea has committed to any specific timetable for the return.

On Thursday, in remarks at a Cabinet meeting, Trump modified his claim, saying, “They’ve already sent back or are in the process of sending back the remains of our great heroes who died in North Korea during the war.”

Aside from uncertainty over when North Korea will return the remains it has collected over the years, it’s unclear whether all will be in a condition to permit their positive identification, or whether they all are even Americans. A number of allied soldiers who fought alongside the U.S. during the war also are missing.

Nearly 7,700 American service members are listed as unaccounted for from the Korean War, of which an estimated 5,300 were lost in North Korea.

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