Outrage is mounting over the Trump administration’s practice of separating immigrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border as part of the crackdown against immigrants and asylum seekers. The Associated Press reports nearly 2,000 children have been separated from their parents since April 19. The New York Times is reporting some parents have been deported without their children and with no information about how the family will be reunited. On Friday, Vice President Mike Pence was interrupted by opponents of family separation during a speech in Columbus, Ohio.
Vice President Mike Pence: “… including our historic tax cuts.”
Protester: “Why are you ripping children from their families?”
Vice President Mike Pence: “Let’s hear it for America First Policies, that brought all of us here together today. Well, I’m here—I’m here today, first and foremost—I’m here today, first and foremost, to say thank you.”
Protester: “It’s cruel!”
Vice President Mike Pence: “Thank you to almost all of you.”
People were yelling, through Pence’s speech, “Why are you ripping children from their families?”
Over the weekend, there were protests at detention centers nationwide. In Tornillo, Texas, Democratic Congressmember Beto O’Rourke and former El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar helped lead a march to a newly opened tent city where migrant children are being held.
Hundreds of protesters also rallied at a family processing center in McAllen, Texas, while hundreds more protested in Houston, Texas, outside a former warehouse and homeless shelter where the government plans to detain hundreds of separated children. Meanwhile, in New Jersey, a group of Democratic lawmakers visited a private immigrant detention facility in the town of Elizabeth to speak with asylum-seeking parents held there after they were separated from their children.
This all comes as, in South Texas, at least five people died Sunday when an SUV carrying undocumented immigrants crashed after being chased at high speeds by Border Patrol agents. We’ll have more on the protests and growing outrage over family detention after headlines, and we’ll speak to a whistleblower who quit his job at a Tuscon shelter for unaccompanied minors and separated children.
In Afghanistan, civilians celebrated an unprecedented 3-day ceasefire between the Afghan government and the Taliban during the weekend’s Eid celebrations. It was the first nationwide lull in hostilities between the two parties since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. Over the weekend, Taliban and government fighters celebrated the ceasefire and gathered for joint festivities marking the end of Ramadan. Despite the ceasefire, there were at least two suicide bombings by ISIS militants over the weekend, including a car bombing targeting a gathering of Taliban and Afghan soldiers in the eastern city of Nangarhar that killed 26 people. The Taliban said Sunday it will not extend the ceasefire.
In Yemen, there are reports that hundreds of fighters have been killed and more than 4,000 civilians have been forced to flee their homes since the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition launched an all-out offensive against the key port city of Hodeidah nearly one week ago. Early this morning, coalition aircraft bombarded Hodeidah’s main airport, wounding dozens and preventing aid organizations from reaching parts of the city. This is Yehia Tanani, who was forced to flee with his family.
Yehia Tanani: “Me, my kids, my siblings, mother, father and my cousins, the whole village left. But almost half of us went back with the elderly. The children couldn’t take it. Those who died died, and those who survived survived. Those who were killed are in the refrigerator at the hospital. We know of 10 to 15 bodies that are in the refrigerators. And we don’t know who our enemy is.”
International groups have warned the U.S.-backed offensive to seize the key port city of Hodeidah will exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, which is already experiencing the world’s worst cholera epidemic, with more than 1 million people afflicted, and with millions more on the brink of famine. We’ll have more on Yemen later in the broadcast.
In Nigeria, at least 31 people were killed in twin suicide bomb attacks in the northeast state of Borno. The suspected Boko Haram attack targeted people returning from Eid celebrations Sunday night.
India is facing its worst water shortage crisis in its history. That’s according to a new report from an Indian government think tank, which says as many as 200,000 people die in India every year from a lack of access to clean water. The report also says 600 million people in India are facing acute water shortages and that 21 Indian cities are expected to run out of groundwater by 2020.
In Colombia, right-wing politician Iván Duque has won Sunday’s contentious presidential runoff, beating out his left-leaning challenger Gustavo Petro in an election that will determine the future of Colombia’s historic peace deal with the FARC. Duque was handpicked by former right-wing President Álvaro Uribe. Duque has vowed to roll back key parts of the peace deal. He’s also opposed to drug legalization.
In Spain, about 600 refugees have finally disembarked in the port of Valencia, after being stranded at sea for over a week when the new right-wing Italian government blocked them from arriving in Italy. On Sunday, Pope Francis demanded a global pact to protect refugees.
Pope Francis: “Next Wednesday will be World Refugee Day, promoted by the United Nations to draw attention to what our brothers, who are forced to flee their land because of conflicts and persecution, live through often, with great anxiety and suffering. This year, this day falls in the wake of consultations between governments for the adoption of a global pact on refugees that is due to be adopted within the year, a pact for safe, orderly and regular migration.”
Israel has introduced new legislation to make it illegal for human rights groups to film Israeli soldiers in order to document human rights violations. The proposed law would criminalize both filming and publishing footage, with a maximum 5-year prison sentence. This is Amit Gilutz with the human rights group B’Tselem.
Amit Gilutz: “The problem is not with the documentation of reality, but with reality itself, the reality in which Israel is holding 5 million people with no political rights, indefinitely, for generation after generation, under its military control. If that embarrasses, if the occupation embarrasses the Israeli government, it is welcome to work to end the occupation. But the documentation of human rights violations happening under the occupation will continue nonetheless.”
Back in the United States, longtime political cartoonist Rob Rogers has been fired from his job at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette after 25 years, in what he says was a response to his critical cartoons about President Trump. Among his recent sketches that his editors refused to publish was one that depicted a caution sign with a silhouette of Trump snatching a small refugee child, as well as a Memorial Day cartoon in which Trump is laying a wreath in front of a gravestone for “truth,” “honor” and “rule of law.”
In Detroit, thousands of independent media makers gathered for the 20th anniversary of the Allied Media Conference over the weekend. The annual conference began in 1999 as the Midwest Zine Conference and has since grown into one of the biggest gatherings of independent media makers in the country. This is Linda Campbell of Detroit People’s Platform.
Linda Campbell: “In this time in America, just to be able to know that there still exists—and we’re able to build spaces to build together, to talk about our different movements and the intersections across different movements, both here nationally and across the world. It’s also a space where a lot of young people of color gather. And that’s encouraging at times when some of our communities of color are under attack, particularly our immigrant communities.”
In New York City, a taxi cab driver has died by suicide, as Wall Street-backed ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft have pushed longtime taxi cab drivers to financial ruin. Fifty-nine-year-old Abdul Saleh was a Yemeni immigrant who had been a taxi driver for 30 years. He was found dead in his Brooklyn apartment on Friday morning. He’s the sixth taxi cab driver to die by suicide in New York City in recent months.
And in Pennsylvania, MOVE member Debbie Africa has been granted parole and was released from prison after a decades-long campaign to win her freedom. Debbie Africa was imprisoned for nearly 40 years, after being arrested during a massive police raid on the Philadelphia MOVE house in 1978, during which one police officer was killed. At the time of her arrest, she was 22 years old and was eight-and-a-half months pregnant with her son, Mike Jr. After her release Saturday, Debbie Africa reunited with her son, Mike, for the first time outside prison walls in their entire lives.