‘He talked about jobs’: Trump comes out fighting and touts ally in Roseanne

Ann Coulter has warned of a backlash but a sitcoms success with ordinary Americans inspired the president to throw away the script

Donald Trump grabbed the page with his right hand and proved it to the audience.” You know, this was going to be my remarks. It would have taken about two minutes but …” He tossed the sheet into the air then ducked as it came fluttering down, waving his hands with contempt.

” That would have been a little boring ,” he said with sly grinnings.” No, I’m reading off the first paragraph and I told,’ This is boring. Come on. We have to say- tell it like it is .'”

There may have been a White House speechwriter somewhere who felt a little part of him or herself die. But the audience in White Sulphur Springs in West Virginia chuckled and lapped it up. It was the Trump they have come to know and love: norm-busting, improvisational, throwing away the script. Dispensing with expertise in favour of ” telling it like it is”, purportedly letting himself to be wholly known.

It was also a Trump that America is having to come to terms with: capricious, erratic on policy, increasingly self-assured, cutting loose from advisers and trusting in his gut instinct. In the past week alone, he has effectively proclaimed a trade war on China( giving the stock market the jitters ), announced its intention to deploy troops to the Mexican border and flirted with the idea of pulling the US military out of Syria.

To understand how such decisions are induce, it is essential to comprehend the bubble Trump now occupies. Dissenting voices in the administration have been purged. Perceived foes (” Fake News Media”, Amazon) are insulted and humiliated. Flattering cable news hosts, celebrities and opinion poll are embraced, as are popular culture hits such as Roseanne, which the president believes represents the forgotten tribes of America only he can rescue. It is a case of keep your friends close and your enemies demonised.

” Trump is desperately trying validation from anywhere he can find it ,” told Kurt Bardella, a political commentator and columnist for HuffPost and USA Today.” He will cling on to anything or anyone that give him affirmation. It’s certainly an interesting style to shape public policy .”

Thursday assured his fourth visit to West Virginia, where he beat Hillary Clinton in a landslide and where he could eulogise” clean, beautiful coal” and expound conspiracy theories about migrants and rape without fear of contradiction. Senator Shelley Moore Capito praised him as” an incredible listener “. State governor Jim Justice said:” I love him with all my heart, and I’ll support him to the demise. He’s a great human .”

Then there was Tony Hodge, a mail carrier, who told the assembling how Trump’s tax cuts had saved his family $2,417 this year, allowing them to renovate their kitchen. His spouse Jessica, almost in tears, added:” I told I wasn’t going to cry. Gosh. I only want to say thank you to you for the tax cuts.

” This is a big deal for our family. I think half of this audience is our household. We actually support you. And this is a big deal. These tax cuts are a big deal. Thank you for listening to us. Thank you for fighting for us. Thank you for caring enough to allow us the opportunity to come here and tell you’ thank you’ to your face. My little 10 -year-old wants to be president one day .”

It is testimony like this , not the jabs of Tv satirists or the arguments made at demonstrations such as last month’s March for Our Lives, that make up Trump’s diet and persuade him that he is on the right track. Indeed, like a besieged despot, he regularly patronises states that voted for him while generally avoiding hostile province in the hands of the “resistance”. His one visit to California so far was dominated by prototypes for his perimeter wall.

‘ If he builds the wall, he’ll be the Emperor God again ‘

Ann
Ann Coulter had blamed Trump over his failure to secure significant funding for the border wall. Photograph: Latour/ Variety/ REX/ Shutterstock

Likewise, Trump’s inner circle could not be described as catholic, challenging or diverse. As chairwoman he could host the leading historians, judges and philosophers of the age. But regular diners at the White House reportedly include Sean Hannity and Bill Shine, a host and executive on Fox News, the conservative channel Trump watches avidly and hires staff from. The Fox Business host Lou Dobbs is regularly put on speakerphone during Oval Office sessions, according to the Daily Beast.

If Hannity plays the role of boxer’s corner man, firing his man up, the rightwing commentator Ann Coulter effectively slaps Trump across the face to maintain him focused. Last week she let rend at the president for signing a $1.3 tn spending bill that allocated just $1.6 bn for the wall, which the Department of Homeland Security has estimated would cost more than $20 bn.

” The Former Trumpers should keep Donald Trump awake at night ,” Coulter, writer of In Trump We Trust, told the New York Times in one of the starkest warns yet of a potential backlash from his base. But she also offered him a style back:” If he constructs the wall, he’ll be the Emperor God again. I’ll throw a huge party. I’ll start a committee to put him on Mount Rushmore. But right now, if I were a betting female, I don’t think we’re getting a wall .”

Attacks like this may have played a large its participation in Trump’s abrupt announcement that he wants to send national guard troops to defends parts of the Mexican border, which apparently came as a surprise to many at the Pentagon. Bardella, a former spokesman for the rightwing site Breitbart News, said:” Any day there is a certain level of criticism from his right, he immediately does something to throw them a bone.

” Trump’s strategy- if there is a strategy- is to hold on to those 35% to 40% dedicated Trumpians who will never abandon him whatever he tells or does at the expense of the rest of the country .”

Most opinion polls depict the president’s acceptance rating hovering around 40%. But he repeatedly highlights the one that does most to legitimise him.” Thank you to Rasmussen for the honest polling ,” he tweeted the coming week about a survey rejected an an outlier by most experts.” Just make 50%, which is higher than Cheatin’ Obama at the same time in his Administration .”

Another comfort blanket has been thrown from an unlikely quarter: the Tv actor and comedian Roseanne Barr, whose series has just returned after two decades off air. A huge 18 million viewers tuned in to the first episode, rising to about 25 million with DVR-delayed viewing and striking a specific chord in states such as Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania that helped Trump win the election. This week’s episode had 15.2 m overnight viewers, still highly impressive for a sitcom in 2018.

Trump, ever obsessed with crowd sizings and viewing figures, said in a speech in Cleveland, Ohio:” Appear at her ratings. They were unbelievable … and it was about us”- presumably a reference to the unpretentious white working class household it illustrates. He called Barr to congratulate her.

Gwenda Blair, author of Donald Trump: Master Apprentice, told:” Roseanne has induced her Trump loyalty apparent. Why wouldn’t he embrace her? Of course he would want to see the’ real America’ being recognised. He ensure the world as like a photo opportunity if someone is a winner or champ, he wants to be in that photo .”

Roseanne
Roseanne Barr and John Goodman in a scene from the reboot of Roseanne. Photograph: Adam Rose/ AP

But Barr, 65, shares Trump’s penchant for fringe conspiracy theories. On the working day of her show’s premiere, she accused the teenage gun control activist and Parkland survivor David Hogg of dedicating a Nazi salute. She afterward retracted the claim. In another tweet, she claimed Trump has ” freed so many children held in bondage to pimps all over the world “. It was a debunked rumor that she again deleted.

Yet in a split-screen nation where even TV viewing habits are divided, Barr’s show has been praised as a rare place where people can disagree on politics without grabbing each other’s throats. She portrays a Trump voter who, in the first episode, tells her appalled sister,” He “was talkin about a” tasks, Jackie “. The sister, who wears a pink pussy hat and” Nasty Woman” T-shirt, brings Russian salad dressing for dinner. Barr’s onscreen husband is played by John Goodman, who became acting president in the liberal favourite The West Wing and more recently parodied the former secretary of state Rex Tillerson on Saturday Night Live.

Trump voter Sabrina Motes, 38, from Orlando, Florida, said:” It’s a typical blue-collar household. It shows the core people that Hillary dismissed. When she tells,’ He talked about chores ‘, a lot of people out there felt that route .”

Jeffrey Seibold, an unemployed 58 -year-old from Hagerstown, Maryland, added:” It’s a dysfunctional family like the style I grew up- mine was a lot worse. A lot of middle-class Americans are like that. I was a truck driver for 20 years and I’ve been all over America. We all have the same wants and desires but we just have different ways of getting there .”

‘ He’s doing a fine task ‘

Despite Coulter’s alarm bells over the wall, eight Trump supporters interviewed by the Guardian said they remain loyal to the president. Seibold said:” He’s doing a fine task. I’m more than satisfied. If he operates for re-election, he has my support .”

Shannon Wilburn, 50, who leads a Christian youth centre in Roby, Texas, said she had witnessed first hand the concerns at the border and recently learned, via Facebook, of a mutual acquaintance who had two vehicles stolen by undocumented migrants. Trump still believes he can get the wall built, she told:” He’s been vocal from the beginning so it’s hard to see him backing down on that .”

Audience
Audience members listen as Trump speaks in White Sulpher Springs. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/ AFP/ Getty Images

Pam Rutherford, a business proprietor in Boonsboro, Maryland, also had no sadness over her election.” I think he’s doing what he said he’s going to do. He’s meeting a lot of resistance, which is what I was expecting. He’s doing the best he can without the subsistence he needs to follow through on it. He has a pile of crap to sift through but I’m glad he has the backbone to deal with it .”

But the 48 -year-old admitted:” I don’t see him getting the wall built with all the pushback he’s been getting on it. He can’t construct it himself .”

Trump insatiable craving for plaudits can lead to frustrations. Ahead of a running lunch with the heads of three Baltic countries this week, he claimed that Nato was ” taking in a tremendous amount of money because of Donald Trump” and informed the Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaite to say so in front of the Tv cameras. It was a scene of potentially toe curling awkwardness.

Grybauskaite gave a discursive answer that praised the US rather than Trump himself.” And has Donald Trump made a difference on Nato ?” he inspired again, a little uneasily. Once more, she did not quite answer as immediately as he would have liked, so he cut her off and said:” And again, Nato has taken in billions of dollars more because of me .”

He does, after all, remain his own greatest cheerleader.

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US government accused of unlawfully separating hundreds of migrant families

ACLU condemns widespread practice of tearing children away from both parents and says government has infringed due process

There have been at least 429 cases of immigrant mothers being separated from their children in the past two years, according to a class-action lawsuit filed on Friday against the Trump administration.

The American Civil Liberties Union( ACLU) suit alleges the US government has violated due process for hundreds of asylum-seeking families by separating parents and children without a hearing and without proving the child would be endangered by staying with the parent.

Administration officers said last year they were considering enforcing a family separation policy to deter asylum seekers. No such policy has been announced.

” Whether or not the Trump administration wants to call this a’ policy ‘, it surely is engaged in a widespread practise of tearing children away from their parents ,” said Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project.

Immigrant rights groups said they had watched hundreds of mothers separated from their children under the Trump administration and that they expected the practice to continue.

Michelle Brane, director of the Women’s Refugee Commission’s migrant rights and justice program, said her group had identified 429 cases of family separation from its own run and from legal service providers and social service agencies. Brane told the Guardian these cases, which include toddlers to young teenagers, happened “more or less” in the past 15 months.

” I have been informed at various hours off the record, by government officials, that there are any debates and other schemes in place to expand the practice ,” Brane said in national courts declaration.

These lawsuits included parents and children separated while being placed into immigration proceedings and others separated after the mother was prosecuted for immigration violations while seeking asylum, according to tribunal documents. The suit also claims “were not receiving” process for mothers to contest a separation.

In the lawsuit, a plaintiff identified as Ms C said she has not watched her 14 -year-old son, J, since they arrived in the US in August 2017 to seek asylum. Ms C, who fled Brazil, said she has only spoken to J a few hours by phone since the separation.

” I hope I can be with my son very soon ,” Ms C said.” I miss him and am scared for him .”

In January, more than 200 child welfare, growth, health and justice organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and Unicef, warned that such separations can cause lasting harm to children.

” The psychological distress, anxiety and depression associated with separation from a parent would follow the children well after the immediate period of separation- even after the eventual reunification with a parent or other family ,” the organizations said in a letter to the homeland security secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen.

The Department of Homeland Security( DHS ), which oversees immigrant detention, does not comment on pending litigation.

In court documents, the lawyers and rights groups acknowledged separation may be necessary in cases where it is suspected the adult and child are not associated or the parent could pose imminent danger to the child. But they alleged the government had not demonstrated this was the situation for the hundreds of cases in the suit.

The lawsuit filed on Friday broadened a suit filed in late February that challenged the separation of an asylum-seeking mother from her seven-year-old daughter.

The woman, a Congolese citizen named as Ms L in court documents, has been separated from her daughter for four months. DHS released the mother from a San Diego detention facility on Tuesday, but she has not been reunited with her daughter, who was being held in Chicago.

In a letter to DHS sent on 2 March, Democratic Illinois senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth requested more information on how many children have been separated from their families since Trump took office, how long the separations have been and whether DHS plans to continue separating.

The senators said:” While we may have different views on many immigration policies, we hope you will agree that it is cruel and inhumane to separate a parent from her child and immediately bring a stop to this practice .”

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Why a US government agency deleted the words ‘nation of immigrants’ | Linda R Tropp and Dina G Okamoto

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services softly deleted the words asserting Americas promise as a nation of immigrants last week. That matters

For more than a century, the identity of the United States has been grounded in the notion that we are a” nation of immigrants .” Immigrants have built innumerable contributions to our economy, infrastructure, and cultural activities- building our railroads and bridges, bringing innovation and new ideas, and settling in communities that thrive throughout our country today. But now, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services( USCIS ), a federal agency charged with immigrant affairs, has turned its back on this rich legacy.

As of last week, the mission statement of the USCIS has changed. No longer does its mission speak to” America’s promise as a nation of immigrants” that promotes “an awareness and understanding of citizenship” along with” ensuring the integrity of our immigration system .” Now, the new version focuses on” adjudicating requests for immigrant benefits” while” protecting Americans” and” procuring the homeland “.

Why do changes to the USCIS’s mission statement matter? It may seem like only a few terms, but this new language is happening within the context of other alarming changes to our national immigration policies and practices.

Refugee admissions have been curbed to a historic low, and people with” temporary protected status” who fled their homelands due to natural disasters or civil wars are being sent back.

Several crucial programs are at risk of being discontinued, including programs that allow 50,000 people from countries underrepresented in current immigration streams to come to the US, pathways for those who arrived in the US as children without legal documents to remain in the US to work and attend school, and the family-based system of immigration- one of the foundations of US immigration policy – which lets US citizens to reunite with family members by sponsoring their migration to the US.

All of these changes have been presented under the guise of protecting against threats to our national security. But these policies stand in stark contrast to the will of the American people. Despite increased attention on anti-immigrant sentiments, Americans across the country largely embrace immigrants of all faiths and cultural activities and want our government to do the same.

Most Americans believe the numbers of immigrants coming to the United States should be kept at its present level or increased. And 60% percentage of Americans oppose constructing a wall on our own borders with Mexico. Nearly three-quarters of Americans now support granting legal status to immigrants originally brought to the US without newspapers as children, driven by the same moral imperative that has guided family reunification endeavours over the last 50 years.

These high levels of endorsement in national polls are bolstered by the actions of US citizens from many walkings of life who have taken to the streets in protest, boldly stating that” immigrants are welcome here “.

Indeed, across the country, people and communities have been sending the clear message that immigrants are not only welcomed, but valued. Hundreds of local governments have advocated for their towns and townships to be recognized as” welcoming cities” for immigrants.

Spanning from the industrial rust-belt of the midwest to our nation’s borders, civic leaders have gone to great lengths to greet immigrants, since they are open up new industries, inhabit local schools, revitalize housing markets, and infuse new life into local communities. And while the majority of immigrants in the US are here legally, nearly 500 US cities have chosen to become” sanctuary cities” to protect immigrants without legal status from expulsion, even at health risks of losing federal funding.

These actions by everyday Americans uphold our nation’s values and reflect the best of who we are as a country, while our federal immigration policies are seeking to close doorways and build walls. One of the best ways to honor our values as a nation is not to shut opportunities to immigrants, but to successfully integrate them into the fabric of national societies. As researchers who have been studying immigration and race relations for 20 years, our research shows that one of the best ways to integrate immigrants into the fabric of society is to interact with and welcome them.

Such encouraging effects of contact between US citizens and immigrants are not limited to big cities or liberal-leaning areas. Recent immigrants have established themselves both in diverse urban areas and new destinations across the United States.

According to recent poll data, more than 75% of US adults report that there are immigrants living in their community, with about a quarter( 27%) reporting many recent immigrants in the community where they live. Our surveys of US citizens, including both white and black Americans, show that the more they encounter and interact with immigrants, the more inclined they are to welcome them into their communities.

This significance of welcoming does not simply serve to express our national values or concern about immigrants and their wellbeing. Greeting immigrants is also important for creating a shared sense of identity and community within our nation. Parallel surveys we have conducted under immigrants show that the more they feel welcome by Americans, the more they come to identify as American themselves and to seek to become US citizens- factors that can fuel greater civic participation and contributions to our society.

The recent barrage of exclusionary immigration policy proposals are attempts to sow the seeds of dread, nervousnes, and distrust. Rather than pursue public policies that set immigrants apart, we should seek to integrate immigrants and highlight the assets they bring to communities across our nation.

Linda R Tropp is a prof of social psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Dina G Okamoto is the director of the Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society at Indiana University. They are both visiting scholars at the Russell Sage Foundation.

Compromise or cave-in? Democrats’ deal to end shutdown sows division

After Senate Democrats agree to measure promising to address Dreamers, progressives dread party has been too quick to concede

Government shutdown: first closure in four years looms hours before deadline

As the minutes ticked towards midnight, dueling parties in Congress proved no signs of violating impasse over spending and Daca

US border patrol routinely sabotages water left for migrants, report says

Humanitarian groups report agents routinely destroy furnishes left in Arizona desert, condemning people to die of thirst

‘I am not a racist,’ Trump says, after backlash over ‘shithole’ nations remark

I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed, chairwoman says, denying making the statements attributed to him

Donald Trump defended himself on Sunday in the wake of recent denigrate remarks about Haiti and African nations, declaring” I am not a racist”, as two Republican senators backtracked on their interpretation of the comments.

The president addressed the issue as he arrived for dinner at his private golf club with the House majority leader Kevin McCarthy of California.

Asked what he thinks about people who think he is racist, Trump said,” No, No. I am not a racist .”

” I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed. That I can tell you ,” he told reporters.

Trump has been accused of using the word “shithole” to describe African countries during an Oval Office meeting last Thursday with a bipartisan group of six senators. The chairman also questioned the need to admit more Haitians to the US, according to people who were briefed on the conversation but were not authorized to describe the session publicly.

Trump also said in the meeting that he would prefer immigrants from countries such as Norway instead.

Trump on Sunday denied stimulating the statements attributed to him, but didn’t get into specifics about what he did or did not say.

” Did you assure what various senators in the room to say something about my commentaries ?” he asked.” They weren’t constructed .”

Two Republican senators who had earlier said they did not recall Trump using the vulgarity to describe African countries backtracked on Sunday and challenged other senators’ descriptions of the remark.

Georgia Senator David Perdue and Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton had issued a statement on Friday saying they” do not recall the President saying those remarks specifically .”

However, Perdue on Sunday described as a” gross misrepresentation ” reports that Trump employed the vulgarity. He said Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina were mistaken in indicating that was the occurrence. All four senators were at the meeting.

” I am telling you that he did not use that word. And I’m telling you it’s a gross misrepresentation ,” Perdue said on ABC’s” This Week .”

Cotton said he ” didn’t hear ” the word used” and I was sitting no further away from Donald Trump than Dick Durbin was ,” Cotton told CBS’s” Face the Nation .”

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US says 200,000 people from El Salvador must leave within 18 months

Trump administration names fourth country in four months to lose protection under TPS program, which since 1990 has provided expulsion relief

Nearly 200,000 people from El Salvador must leave the US in the next 18 months or change their immigration status, the US Department of Homeland Security said on Monday.

This announcement came despite efforts by immigration advocates and El Salvador’s government to persuade the Trump administration to continue providing lawful status and the ability to work to Salvadorans who have been protected from expulsion since the country was hit by two devastating earthquakes in 2001.

” They are Americans in all but their paperwork ,” said Frank Sharry, executive director of the immigration group America’s Voice Education Fund.” Now, the Trump administration is trying to drive them back to a country engulfed in corruption, violence and weak governance .”

El Salvador is the fourth country in four months to lose protection under the Temporary Protected Status( TPS) program, which since 1990 has offered deportation relief to people from regions experiencing armed conflict and natural disasters.

DHS said it cancelled the TPS for Salvadorans because the dangerous conditions created by the earthquakes, which killed more than 1,000 people , no longer exist. The country has rebuilt from the damage but is beset by drought, economic issues and gang violence.

” The administration will no doubt taken the most narrow view of what it could consider ,” said Royce Murray, policy director at the American Immigration Council.

Christian Chavez Guevara, who has TPS and has lived in the US since 2000 was emotional as he described how this decision would affect his family in a bellow with reporters.

” Our family is going to break apart ,” said Chavez, who is married to a US citizen and is the guardian of his 15 -year-old US citizen cousin whose mother was deported. He also cares for two stepchildren.

” I don’t know what to do ,” Chavez said.” There is not a plan for the future now .”

The majority of the 195,000 Salvadorans with TPS have lived in the US longer than Chavez, according to a 2017 report by the Center for Migration Studies. The report saw 51% of Salvadorans with TPS have lived in the US for more than 20 years and 34% have homes with mortgages. They live mostly in California, Texas, New York and Washington DC.

” This is a bad decision ,” said Refugees International president Eric Schwartz.” Given conditions in El Salvador, the return of hundreds of thousands of law-abiding residents of the United States who have been here for nearly two decades is just wrong. It’s wrong ethically and in terms of US interests in stability in El Salvador .”

Salvadorans with TPS have until 9 September 2019 to leave the US or change their status.

DHS acknowledged some TPS recipients had lived and worked in the US for many years but said only Congress could create a pathway to lawful immigration status for the population.” The 18 -month delayed termination will enable Congress time to craft a potential legislative solution ,” the DHS statement said.

This echoes the Trump administration’s justification for ending a program that offered temporary expulsion protection to undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals( Daca ). Trump cancelled Daca, but said he wanted Congress to find a solution that would protect that population.

” Alongside the decision to end Daca last autumn, we’ve now placed a million people who have worked and lived legally in the US for years- and who have been vetted- we have now taken that status away from them ,” said Murray.” No one gains in this scenario .”

Play Video
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Dead or imprisoned for having an abortion: fighting El Salvador’s brutal laws- video

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Florida judge halts deportation of 92 Somalis shackled on plane for 48 hours

Judges order came after lawyers filed class action lawsuit against American government that alleged the Somalian immigrants were held in inhumane conditions

A Florida judge has halted the deportation of 92 Somali men and women who alleged US immigration authorities physically abused them when they were shackled on an airplane for virtually 48 hours during a failed attempt to return the group to Somalia.

US federal district magistrate Darrin Gayles halted their expulsion hours after lawyers filed a class action suit against the government that alleged the Somalian immigrants were held in “inhumane conditions” on the airplane and faced heightened peril in Somalia because of subsequent media attention.

The group of deportees, which included people who had lived in the US for decades, were headed to Somalia on 7 December when the flight was referred back to the US from Dakar, Senegal, after being held there for 23 hours.

The judge’s order on Tuesday night stops the governmental forces from deporting the men and women for at least two weeks. The government said in court on Tuesday that it had planned to try to deport the group again on Wednesday morning.

” The magistrate acted simply in time ,” Rebecca Sharpless, lead lawyer on the lawsuit, said in a statement.

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement( Ice ), which chartered the expulsion flight, does not comment on pending litigation. In earlier statements about the flight, which received widespread media attention, Ice denied allegations of mistreatment.

The agency said the flight was turned around after a layover in Dakar because the relief crew was unable to get sufficient rest.

” Various logistical alternatives were explored, and ultimately Ice decided to reschedule the mission to Somalia and return to the United States with all 92 detainees ,” relevant agencies said in a statement.

The plaintiffs said in the lawsuit that if returned to Somalia, they fear death and persecution at the hands of the Islamist militant group al-Shabaab, which has spread terror throughout the country and killed more than 500 people with a massive truck bomb in October.

The US has in recent decades avoided deporting people to Somalia because of its instability- only 31 people were removed to Somalia in coming fiscal year 2012 and 2013.

Despite the escalating conflict with al-Shabaab, the US has dramatically increased deportations there since late 2016. In coming fiscal year 2016, 198 Somalis were deported, rising to 521 in 2017.

Judge Gayles, of Florida’s southern district court, also ordered the Department of Homeland Security( DHS) and Ice to provide “adequate medical treatment” to passengers who may have suffered injuries during the journey and provide them with reasonable access to an attorney.

His order expires at 11.59 pm on 2 January, but could be extended.

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Somalis were shackled for nearly 48 hours on failed US deportation flight

Suit says 92 people suffered inhumane conditions and egregious abuse but Immigration and Customs Enforcement denies mistreatment allegations

More than 90 Somali men and women were held shackled on an airplane for virtually 48 hours- and some were forced to urinate where they sat- during a failed attempt to deport them from the US, according to a lawsuit filed late on Monday.

Seven passengers representing the 92 people onboard alleged they suffered” inhumane conditions and egregious abuse” on the 7 December flight, which was due to land in Mogadishu, Somalia, but merely reached Dakar, Senegal, where it was held for 23 hours before returning to the US.

” When the plane’s lavatories overfilled with human waste, some of the detainees were left to urinate into bottles or on themselves ,” the lawsuit says.” Ice[ Immigration and Customs Enforcement] agents wrap some who protested, or merely stood up to ask a question, in full-body restraints. Ice agents kicked, struck, or dragged detainees down the aisle of the plane, and subjected some to verbal abuse and menaces .”

Ice does not comment on pending litigation but denied allegations of mistreatment in earlier statements about the flight. The agency said the flight was turned around after a layover in Dakar because the relief crew was unable to get sufficient rest.

” Various logistical options were explored, and ultimately Ice decided to reschedule the mission to Somalia and return to the United States with all 92 detainees ,” the agency said in a statement.

The plaintiffs, who include people who have lived in the US for decades, say they fear death and persecution at the hands of the Islamist militant group al-Shabaab, which has spread terror throughout Somalia and killed more than 500 people with a massive truck bomb in October.

This fear has been heightened by widespread media attention their flight received when it returned to the US.

” When this plane goes back, everyone will know they are coming back, including al-Shabaab ,” said Rebecca Sharpless, an immigration attorney who helped file the lawsuit.

In sworn testimonies, the plaintiffs described scenes of violence on the plane and their intense anxieties of being returned to Somalia, where the US this year deployed its highest number of troops in 25 years as part of a broad offensive against al-Shabaab.

Plaintiff Abdiwali Ahmed Siyad, 33, said he left Somalia in 1990 after being struck by a bullet, losing an eye and being stabbed by a terrorist there when he was four years old.

” An Ice guard stepped on my shackles and palmed my face and shoved me down twice ,” Siyad said in a sworn testimony.” The guards also refused to let me pray or use the bathroom .”

He said he was denied drug for depression and used the bathroom once in 48 hours.

In his testimony, Siyad, the father of a US citizen, said that he had no ties to the country after two brothers was murdered and his family’s property confiscated by al-Shabaab.” Because of the press and reporting about this plane incident, I am very, very afraid al-Shabaab will know about me and will murder me if I return ,” he said.

Attorneys for the deportees said Ice indicated different groups could be returned to Somalia on Wednesday or sooner.

The class action lawsuit asks the US to instead reopen the passengers’ removal occurrences because of a US law that forbids removal of people to places where they would probably face persecution or torture. The lawsuit also asks the US to treat the passengers for injuries sustained on the flight and guarantees to those put back on the path to expulsion are not abused by Ice in future removal proceedings.

Before the lawsuit was filed, Ice denied in a statement that anyone was injured on the flight and said the bathrooms were functional during the course of its flight.” The allegations of Ice mistreatment onboard the Somali flight are categorically false ,” Ice said.

The agency also said 61 of the 92 passengers had criminal convictions including murder, rape and worsened assault. But lawyers for the passengers said some of the convictions were for petty crimes such as shoplifting.” I’m not terribly persuaded we’re deporting the worst of worst ,” said Minnesota attorney Kim Hunter, who represents two of the passengers.

Hunter said about one-third of the passengers, including her clients, did not have a criminal record. Many passengers were also asylum seekers who had been denied protection even as family and friends received temporary deportation protection.

The US has in recent decades avoided deporting people to Somalia because of its instability- merely 31 people were removed to Somalia in fiscal years 2012 and 2013.

Despite the escalating conflict with al-Shabaab, the US has dramatically increased expulsions there since late 2016. In coming fiscal year 2016, 198 Somalis were deported, rising to 521 in 2017.

The sudden rounding-up of Somali immigrants with long-established ties in their own communities echoes Ice’s attempt to deport more than 200 Iraqi Christians in June.

A federal judge halted those expulsions because of the” inordinately grave consequences” detainees could face if returned to Iraq.

” This is now a disturbing pattern where Ice is targeting people who have been living in the community for many years on these orders of supervision and with work permits and suddenly they are snatched from their families and communities ,” said Sharpless.

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