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Central American Mother Suing Trump Says ‘I Had Seen Officers Grab Little Children by Their Hair and Throw Them into Cells’

A Guatemalan mother says that she witnessed immigrant child abuse from officers and wants her daughter returned unharmed.

REUTERS

Perla Karlili Alemengor Miranda De Velasquez is an asylum-seeking mother from Guatemala who is suing the Trump administration for the return of her daughter.


The mother explained through a translator that she willingly let her 12-year-old daughter leave with border agents at 3 am because "she had seen officers physically abuse small children who resisted," according to the Daily Mail.

"I didn't want her to go, but I had seen officers grab little children who were three or four years old by their hair and throw them into cells when they tried to get back to their mothers," Miranda said in the interview. "I didn't want them to hurt my daughter."

Miranda's attorney told the Daily Mail that the translation is correct and that "his client would stand by that statement."

The lawsuit names Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen as two of the six defendants whom Miranda is holding responsible for the safe return of her child.

After crossing the border on May 19, the lawsuit says that Miranda had her government-issued IDs and her daughter's birth certificate despite her daughter being "mischaracterized" as an "unaccompanied child" — an important distinction that can otherwise mislabel a child as a trafficking victim.

The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) is "an act of congress designed to ensure actual unaccompanied alien minors are 'protected from traffickers and other persons seeking to victimize or otherwise engage children in criminal activity,'" the lawsuit says.

According to Miranda's attorney, the act is there to protect children, but mislabeling them "wrongly puts the burden on the parents to prove that they are not traffickers or doing something to endanger or victimize the child."

Aside from mislabeling, the living conditions in detention centers has been a major topic of concern since the Trump administration's "zero-policy" resulted in the separation of 2,300 children from their families in just one month.

Less than a week ago, CNN released a story detailing the poor living conditions and alleged abuse of children in detention facilities that took place last year.

After riding in the car with friends, a ninth grader was pulled over in McAllen, Texas, and taken into custody after unable to show identification.

The high schooler was then separated from his mother, who illegally brought him into the country as a baby, and ultimately endured "grave abuse" at a shelter for unaccompanied immigrant children.

"They will grab my hands and put them behind my back so I can't move. Sometimes they will use pens to poke me in the ribs, sometimes they grab my jaw with their hands," CNN reported of the boy, named John Doe 2, in the legal filings of his detainment.

According to CNN, the same punishment was described by five other children who detailed being placed in handcuffs and restraint chairs, including a statement from another child who said, "he was left naked, strapped to the chair for more than two days."

While some immigration attorneys handling these cases told the news outlet that "some of these facilities provide the best care they can give given the circumstances," Miranda's account seems to fall in line with that of John Doe 2's.

According to the lawsuit, Miranda described how her daughter said she was kept "in a small room" and "fed cold food" in poor sleeping conditions with only an aluminum blanket and no pillow, the Daily Mail reported.

Miranda has been freed on bond and is adamant that her daughter not only be freed as well, but released unharmed.

Laquan McDonald Reduced to 'Second Class Citizen,' Says Family

The light sentence given to the officer who killed McDonald, "suggests to us that there are no laws on the books for a Black man that a white man is bound to honor," said his great-uncle.

Hours of testimony at Jason Van Dyke's sentencing on Friday ended in shock for one family, and relief and happiness for the other.

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Two Students Leave University of Oklahoma After Blackface Video Surfaces

"Obviously we've had a second incident in several years," University of Oklahoma President James Gallogly said. "It shows that there must be something systemic. We have work to do."

Screenshot/ Snapchat

Another video of a student in blackface has surfaced at the University of Oklahoma (OU).

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Senator Holds Airlines Accountable When Servicing Customers With Disabilities

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) is working to stop wheelchairs from getting damaged during air travel.

TWITTER

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) is leading the charge for better airline management of customers' motorized wheelchairs. Duckworth has been confined to a wheelchair since her helicopter was shot down in Iraq and she lost both of her legs.

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California Defies Trump's Order NOT to Pay Furloughed Workers Unemployment

Over 55 percent of civil service employees in the state are people of color.

Screenshot from ABC 7

President Donald Trump signed legislation on Wednesday that said all furloughed workers would receive back pay once the government reopens. However, the Trump administration has ordered states not to provide unemployment coverage to federal workers who have been required to work without pay during the partial government shutdown.

California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Thursday the U.S. Department of Labor sent states a letter with that mandate, according to NPR. The Department of Labor said the roughly 420,000 federal employees who are "essential" cannot file for unemployment as they are "generally ineligible."

It also reported 10,454 initial claims by federal workers for the week that ended Jan. 5, doubling the previous week's figure. Thousands more have applied since, state officials said.

Newsom said the decision by the Department of Labor's decision was "jaw-dropping."

"So, the good news is, we're going to do it, and shame on them," he said.

"From a moral perspective, there is no debate on this issue and we will blow back aggressively on the Department of Labor."

The California Employment Development Department (EDD) reports unemployment claims for one week during the shutdown are up 600 percent from the same time last year. The state has over 245,000 federal employees.

Over 55 percent of civil service employees in the state are people of color, and they are over 35 percent of the country's federal workforce.

Newsom encouraged people to continue to apply while the state figured out how to get the money. He estimated benefits that would last up to 26 weeks and provided a few hundred extra dollars a month. He said he knows it doesn't fix everything, but hopefully it helps.

His message to Trump: "Let us states do the job you can't seem to do yourself."

Some state officials said they had asked utilities and other companies to extend mercy to federal employees, and the federal Office of Personnel Management published sample letters that furloughed employees could send to creditors to ask for patience.

Texas has received more than 2,900 claims from federal workers since the shutdown began on Dec. 22, while Ohio is approaching 700. Kansas reported 445 filings, and Alabama was closing in on 500. Montana said it had logged almost 1,500.

Trump tweeted on Friday that he would be making a "major announcement" on Saturday about the government shutdown.

A senior administration official told CNN that Trump plans to offer Democrats another proposal to end the shutdown.

Reader Question: How are people you know that are furloughed workers surviving?

Black Student in Kansas Sues School District for Racial Discrimination

The dance team's choreographer told Camille Sturdivant that her skin was "too dark" to perform because she "clashed" with uniforms.

Camille Sturdivant has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the Blue Valley School District for the abuse she was subjected to as a member of the high school dance team.

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Viral Video of Daycare Employee Mistreating a Black Child Spurs Investigation

A Black toddler was subjected to having her hair pulled and being pushed by the employee.

My Little Playhouse Learning Center

In a video that has now gone viral on Instagram and Facebook, a woman is shown pushing and pulling the hair of a toddler at a daycare center.

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