Progressive Breakfast for June 22

Morning Message Tim Wilkins

How I Met Detained Minors on My Flight From Dallas

I first saw them sitting as a group in Terminal B at Dallas International Airport. Clean-cut young teens in matching sweatsuits – must be a volleyball team from a private middle school, I thought. When we got on the plane, I noticed their green wristbands and matching rubber shoes. This was no volleyball team; these were detained minors, separated from their families. I spoke with them and their handlers, and learned this is a daily occurrence. These children are polite, clean-cut, and very scared. Why? Because now, thanks to us, they're orphans. Mr. President, these are children, not animals. This must end now.

20,000 Children To Be Housed On Military Bases

Pentagon will make room for up to 20,000 migrant children on military bases. WaPo: “The Defense Department will house up to 20,000 unaccompanied migrant children on military bases in coming months, a Pentagon official said Thursday, the latest twist in the Trump administration’s immigration enforcement effort. The agreement comes after the Department of Health and Human Services made the request. Army Lt. Col. Jamie Davis, a military spokesman, said Thursday that the Pentagon will support it. In a notification to lawmakers, the Pentagon said Wednesday night that officials at HHS asked whether beds could be provided for children at military installations ‘for occupancy as early as July through December 31, 2018.'”

DOJ Wants Indefinite Detention Of Families

DOJ Takes First Steps Toward Indefinite Detention Of Families. HuffPost: “The Trump administration is now fighting in court for the ability to lock up migrant children indefinitely — along with their parents. The Department of Justice filed an emergency motion in federal court on Thursday to modify a 1997 settlement that prevents the government from detaining migrant children longer than 20 days. Ending the limitations on the length of time kids can be detained, the administration argues, is the only tenable alternative to splitting up families that are apprehended crossing the border illegally. Although the Trump administration argues the changes it outlined on Thursday are the only way to end family separations, the filing suggests parents and kids could be split up again down the road.”

Government Reorganization A Path To Social Service Cuts

Trump to propose government reorganization, targeting safety net programs. NYT: “President Trump plans to propose a reorganization of the federal government as early as Thursday that includes a possible merger of the Education and Labor Departments, coupled with a reshuffling of other domestic agencies to make them easier to cut or revamp, according to administration officials briefed on the proposal. The plan, which will most likely face significant opposition in Congress from Democrats and some Republicans, includes relocating many social safety net programs into a new megadepartment, which would replace the Department of Health and Human Services and possibly include the word “welfare” in its title. Mr. Trump and his budget director, Mick Mulvaney, the architect of the plan, have sought to redefine as welfare subsistence benefit programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, and housing aid. It is part of a rebranding effort, championed by conservative think tanks and House Republicans, to link them to unpopular direct-cash assistance programs that have traditionally been called welfare.”

House Vote On Immigration Bill Delayed

House vote on “compromise” immigration bill delayed until next week. CBS: “Republicans’ efforts to overhaul immigration isn’t going as smoothly as they hoped. After a vote on the more conservative of two GOP proposals failed Thursday, a vote on the more moderate “compromise” bill was pushed off to Friday — and then to next week. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana, told reporters Thursday evening that more issues need to be worked out before the House takes up a vote, after House Republicans met to discuss the matter Thursday afternoon. Asked if the House would take up a vote on the compromise bill Friday, Scalise said, ‘Right now we’re going to keep working with our members.'”

Federal Judge Rules CFPB ‘Unconstitutional’

Federal judge rules that CFPB’s structure is unconstitutional. CNN: “A federal judge says the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska in Manhattan objected to the CFPB’s setup as an independent agency with a single director who can be fired by the president only for cause, not at will. In January, a federal appeals court in Washington said that structure is legal. Preska said she disagreed. The immediate effect of the ruling appears to be limited. It means the CFPB can’t be party to a lawsuit about a company accused of scamming 9/11 first responders. The New York attorney general, who was also a plaintiff, can move forward with the case. But the judge’s decision adds fodder to the political fight over the independence of the CFPB, which was established after the financial crisis to safeguard Americans against predatory financial institutions.”

More from OurFuture.org:

A Shining ‘City On a Hill’ Must Treat Immigrants Humanely. Leo Gerard: “By signing an executive order ending forced separation of immigrant families, President Donald Trump has admitted that this cruel practice was his administration’s policy and that he could have stopped it at any time. Despite having the power to stop taking children from parents, the Republican administration enforced the practice since April, splitting more than 2,300 youngsters, some just months-old babies, from their mothers and fathers. The administration continued to enforce it even after photographs showed toddlers wailing, and some parents were deported without their children and without information about how to find or reunite with them. A nation of immigrants bears an obligation to do better. If we are to be a “shining city on a hill”, the United States must do better.”

Imagining a Safe Haven for Our Children. Jacqueline Bediako: “Arrive on the scene. Shoot. Bang. Dead child. Gone forever. Mother crying. Blood pressure, spiked. Doom, imminent. Siblings, distraught. Funeral. This predictable chain of events is what seems to happen when police officers arrive on the scene. Calling the police doesn’t seem to protect Black children, in fact it does quite the opposite. We’ve seen children killed by police. Children of color also face disparities in access to good food, housing, education, healthcare and transport. We need to imagine a safe haven for our children, which doesn’t involve the police.”