Thursday March 21st, 2019 10:32PM

The Latest: Oregon senator opposes nominee for HHS post

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on immigrant parents and children separated at the U.S. border (all times local):

11:10 a.m.

Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden says he would vote against the nomination of Lynn Johnson as assistant Health and Human Services secretary for family support because of concern over how her past policies as a state child welfare official could bear on her handling of the situation of thousands of children in detention at the border.

The position includes heading the department's Administration for Children and Families and the Office of Refugee Settlement, which has custody over the children being held near the U.S.-Mexico border who were separated from their parents seeking asylum.

Wyden is a Democrat and said Thursday that Johnson, who headed Colorado's child welfare program, "green-lighted a law allowing foster kids to be placed in juvenile detention facilities."

Wyden made the statement at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on the nominee for new IRS commissioner. Wyden is the senior Democrat on the panel.

The committee had been scheduled to vote on the nominations of Johnson and three other officials, but not enough senators were present.


11 a.m.

A federal judge in Chicago has declined to rule immediately on the release of a 9-year-old Brazilian boy who was separated from his mother at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Another judge on Tuesday ordered the government to reunite more than 2,000 immigrant children with their families within 30 days, or 14 days for those younger than 5.

The same day, lawyers for Lidia Karine Souza filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration to demand the release of her son, Diogo.

Judge Manish Shah said Thursday that he would "like to give it some thought" but he could issue a ruling later in the day.

Diogo has spent four weeks at a shelter in Chicago. Souza has applied for asylum and was released from a facility in Texas June 9.


10:40 a.m.

Federal officers in Portland have moved to reopen a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office that has been closed for more than a week because of an occupation by activists.

Federal Protective Service spokesman Rob Sperling said in a statement that law enforcement began clearing a camp of demonstrators at dawn Thursday. Media reports say officers took some protesters into custody.

There have been no reports of violence.

The group rallying under the moniker Occupy ICE PDX began its round-the-clock demonstration June 17. Protesters want to abolish the agency and end the Trump administration's zero-tolerance immigration policy.

Officials closed the office a few days into the occupation because of safety concerns.

On Monday, they warned protesters to stop blocking entrances.


9:10 a.m.

A group of Democrats in Congress is proposing legislation directed at giving lawmakers more access to government shelters housing immigrant children.

Democrats have pushed for more access to facilities holding immigrants, especially after the Trump administration started to broadly separate families crossing the southern U.S. border.

In some cases, they've been turned away from facilities they have tried to visit or denied access to immigrants being held.

U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas and U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon co-sponsored the proposal released Thursday.

The bill would require "immediate access" for any member of Congress to a federal facility unless national security restrictions applied.

Castro and Wyden say they want to ensure that children "already suffering trauma" are being treated humanely.


8:40 a.m.

Washington state authorities have ordered protesters to dismantle their tent structures outside the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, where detainees from the southern border crisis are being held.

The Tacoma News Tribune reports that Tacoma police issued the 24-hour notice requiring the protesters to dismantle any structures they erected that are in violation of Tacoma Municipal Code, including tents, canopies, gazebos, sunshades, tarps and temporary restroom facilities.

Since Saturday, people have gathered to protest the federal government for detaining migrants — separating them from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border — while the adults await immigration processing.

On Tuesday, there were 160 protesters, including 10 people were arrested in a confrontation with Tacoma police officers.

A spokesman for the protesters says they won't move and called the order a scare tactic.


1 a.m.

Lawyers for a Brazilian immigrant plan to go forward with an emergency hearing in federal court in Chicago to get the woman's 9-year-old son back.

Lidia Karine Souza has been separated from her son since they illegally crossed into the U.S. from Mexico in late May. The hearing is set for Thursday.

She says she has filled out 40 pages of documents but that officials are setting more requirements, telling her the rules have changed.

She searched for weeks to find Diogo after the two were separated at the border in late May. She was released June 9 from a Texas facility.

Souza's attorneys on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration to demand her son be immediately released.

He has spent four weeks at a government-contracted shelter in Chicago, much of it alone in a room, quarantined with chicken pox.


See AP's complete coverage of the debate over the Trump administration's policy of family separation at the border:

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Health, AP Health - Children's Health
© Copyright 2019
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: Trump to tout economic policies in Wisconsin
President Donald Trump is attending a pair of fundraising events in Milwaukee benefiting a joint effort between the Republican Party and his re-election campaign
12:19PM ( 2 minutes ago )
The Latest: Gorbachev has high hopes for Putin-Trump summit
Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev says the next month's U.S.-Russian summit could become a historic event
12:19PM ( 2 minutes ago )
Trump to tout economic policies at Foxconn ground-breaking
President Donald Trump is highlighting his economic policies with the ceremonial groundbreaking for a $10 billion Foxconn factory complex in Wisconsin expected to bring thousands of jobs to the state
12:19PM ( 3 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Manslaughter charge: Georgia officer shot fleeing black man
Georgia police officer surrenders after authorities obtain arrest warrants stemming from June 20 shooting death of man who fled vehicle during a traffic stop
11:41AM ( 41 minutes ago )
Finnish neutrality key to Helsinki hosting US-Russia summit
A look at Finland's longstanding neutrality and how that makes its capital, Helsinki, a logical choice to host the US-Russia summit
11:40AM ( 42 minutes ago )
The Latest: Warren says Trump is 'not the king'
Senator Elizabeth Warren says the country is in a perilous state with Republicans controlling the executive and legislative branches and President Donald Trump about to make his second Supreme Court nomination
11:31AM ( 51 minutes ago )
AP National News
Rosenstein, Wray face angry House Republicans in hearing
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray are facing sharp questioning before the House Judiciary Committee
11:15AM ( 1 hour ago )
Mattis says US will keep current troop levels in South Korea
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has reassured his South Korean counterpart that the U.S. will maintain its current number of troops on the Korean Peninsula
10:42AM ( 1 hour ago )
Trump skewers Heitkamp as too liberal for NDakota voters
President Donald Trump blasted North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp as too liberal for the conservative state as he tried to rally voters against a Democrat who has at times been a useful ally
10:28AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Trump brands Sen. Heitkamp 'liberal Democrat,' but she's not
President Donald Trump has urged North Dakota voters to defeat "liberal Democrat" Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, although she is a moderate who strays at times from Democratic positions
8:47AM ( 3 hours ago )
House rejects Republican immigration bill, ignoring Trump
The Republican-led House has rejected a far-ranging immigration bill despite its eleventh-hour endorsement by President Donald Trump
7:51AM ( 4 hours ago )
Australian spy and lawyer charged over East Timor scandal
A former spy and his lawyer who accused the Australian government of illegally bugging the East Timorese Cabinet while negotiating a deal to share oil and gas revenue have been charged with conspiring to disclose secret information
7:23AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Science Says: How family separation may affect kids' brains
Doctors have long known that separating families and other traumatic events can damage children's well-being
7:46AM ( 4 hours ago )
Arizona court: Hashish not included in medical marijuana law
The Arizona Court of Appeals has ruled that hashish does not qualify as a protected drug under the state's medical marijuana law
10:47PM ( 13 hours ago )
Desperation 'you can smell' as pot shops sell untested weed
Cheap weed is on the menu in California, but customers must act fast to cash in on it.
6:39PM ( 17 hours ago )
AP Health
Unclear math: HHS has 2,047 children; full US count lacking
Health Secretary Azar says migrant parents share the blame for separations; 2,047 separated children remain in HHS custody
5:48PM ( 1 day ago )
Migrant kids could end up in already strained foster system
Foster care advocates say the government won't likely be able to reunite thousands of children separated from parents who crossed the border illegally, and some will end up in an American foster care system that is stacked against minorities
5:34PM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: Chairman of black caucus defends Waters' remark
The chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus is defending Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters for telling an audience to "push back" on members of President Donald Trump's Cabinet in public settings
4:09PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Health - Children's Health
Ethiopia, Eritrea leaders to meet 'soon' in surprising thaw
Ethiopia, Eritrea leaders to meet 'soon' amid surprising diplomatic thaw: Foreign minister
12:12PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Colombia advances while Senegal is eliminated by tiebreaker
Yerry Mina scored on a header in the 74th minute and Colombia defeated Senegal 1-0; Senegal was eliminated because it had more yellow cards than Japan
12:09PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Japan advances on yellow cards despite losing at World Cup
Japan advanced to the knockout round at the World Cup on a tiebreaker, fewer yellow cards than Senegal
12:08PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Immigrant mom heads to court to get her son back
Immigrant mom heads to court to demand immediate release of her 9-year-old son held in custody for 4 weeks
12:07PM ( 16 minutes ago )
The Latest: Japan squeezes into next stage at World Cup
Japan has squeaked in the knockout stage at the World cup by the narrowest of margins after losing 1-0 to Poland in its last group match
12:04PM ( 19 minutes ago )