About 500 of the more than 2,300 children separated from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border have been reunited since May, a senior Trump administration official said Thursday, as confusion mounted over the "zero tolerance" policy that called for the prosecution of anyone caught entering the United States illegally.
It was unclear how many of the roughly 500 children were still being detained with their families. Federal agencies were working to set up a centralized reunification process for the remaining separated children and their families at the Port Isabel Detention Cente just north of border in Texas, said the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
The U.S. government was wrestling with the ramifications of President Donald Trump's move to stop separating families at the border and Congress again failing to take action on immigration amid outcry from all corners of the world, with the images and sounds of crying children dominating the news.
The House Republican immigration overhaul dangled precariously Thursday, imperiled by stubborn differences between conservative and moderate factions — and by President Donald Trump's running commentary about a bill he only half-heartedly supported and then suggested would never become law.
Republican leaders were twice forced to postpone final voting, first until Friday and then punting it to next week, as negotiators made a last-ditch push for support.
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Melania Trump made an unannounced visit to a Texas facility Thursday to get a first-hand look at some of the migrant children sent there by the U.S. government after their families entered the country illegally.
The first lady's stop at Upbring New Hope Children's Center in McAllen came the morning after President Donald Trump signed an executive order halting the practice of separating these families. She may also visit a second facility later in the day where children housed in cages were seen by The Associated Press last week.
The president had come under pressure to stop the practice, including from GOP allies and the first lady herself, following a public outcry sparked by widespread images of children held in fence-like structures.
Jessica Gresko/AP, File
States will be able to force more people to pay sales tax when they make online purchases under a Supreme Court decision Thursday that will leave shoppers with lighter wallets but is a big financial win for states.
Consumers can expect to see sales tax charged on more online purchases — likely over the next year and potentially before the Christmas shopping season — as states and retailers react to the court's decision, said one attorney involved in the case.
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Florida's busiest airport will be the first in the nation to require a face scan of passengers on all arriving and departing international flights, officials said Thursday, a move that pleases airport executives but worries privacy advocates.
Officials at Orlando International Airport said the expansion of face scans would speed up the time it takes for passengers to go through customs.
"It's almost like Christmas in June for me," said Phil Brown, chief executive of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. "The process of going into and out of Orlando is going to be greatly enhanced."
The Pentagon will make space available on military bases for as many as 20,000 unaccompanied migrant children detained after illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, a spokesman said Thursday.
The request for temporary shelter — amid a growing political battle over detained migrants — was made by the Department of Health and Human Services and accepted by the Defense Department, said the spokesman, Army Lt. Col. Jamie Davis.
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Immigrant advocates applauded President Trump’s decision on Wednesday to end the separation of migrant families crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally but fear a return to long detentions while the families’ appeals for asylum are decided.
“We’re going to go from family separation, which is a terrible practice and we shouldn’t be doing it, but we’re going to go back to longtime family detention, which is just as abhorrent a practice,” said Jacquelyn Kline, a lawyer who has represented parents and children being held at Berks County Residential Center in Leesport, Pennsylvania.
Outrage over the images and sounds of small children removed from their parents, crying on their own behind chain-link fences, forced Trump to reverse his policy, but warnings from advocates about the medical, physical and emotional damage of long detentions have not gotten the same response, she said.
Gregory Bull/AP, File
Twenty-six days after being apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border with his son, a Brazilian man in detention says he has no idea when he may see his 9-year-old, who he fears is distraught and having difficulty communicating because he only speaks Portuguese.
In a phone interview late Thursday from Cibola County Correctional Center in Milan, New Mexico, the 31-year-old father said he had only spoken to his son once by phone since they were separated. The father, who has applied for asylum, agreed to speak to The Associated Press on the condition his name not be used because he fears for his life if sent back to Brazil.
"He cried. He was so sad," said the father of his son. "I had promised him it would only be three to five days."
A 17-year-old boy fatally shot by a police officer in Pennsylvania seconds after he fled a traffic stop did not pose a threat to anyone, a lawyer for the family of the teen said.
Civil rights attorney S. Lee Merritt said late Wednesday that he doesn't see any apparent justification for the use of deadly force by an East Pittsburgh police officer that left Antwon Rose Jr. dead. Allegheny County police are conducting an independent investigation of the shooting in East Pittsburgh, a borough about 10 miles (16 kilometers) east of Pittsburgh.
Part of the encounter was captured on video and posted to Facebook by a bystander. Officer Michael Rosfeld confirmed to a WTAE-TV reporter who went to his house Thursday that he was the officer who fired the shots but said he had not watched the news and was unaware the video even existed. Rosfeld said he could not talk about the shooting because of the open investigation.
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The European Union is set Friday to slap tariffs on $3.4 billion in American products, from whiskey and motorcycles to peanuts and cranberries. India and Turkey have already targeted U.S. products, ranging from rice to autos to sunscreen.
And the highest-stakes fight still looms: In two weeks, the United States is to start taxing $34 billion in Chinese goods. Beijing has vowed to immediately retaliate with its own tariffs on U.S. soybeans and other farm products in a direct shot at President Donald Trump's supporters in America's heartland.
Charles Krauthammer, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and pundit who helped shape and occasionally dissented from the conservative movement as he evolved from "Great Society" Democrat to Iraq War cheerleader to denouncer of Donald Trump, died Thursday.
He was 68.
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Viruses that sneak into the brain just might play a role in Alzheimer's, scientists reported Thursday in a provocative study that promises to re-ignite some long-debated theories about what triggers the mind-robbing disease.
The findings don't prove viruses cause Alzheimer's, nor do they suggest it's contagious.
But a team led by researchers at New York's Mount Sinai Health System found that certain viruses — including two extremely common herpes viruses — affect the behavior of genes involved in Alzheimer's.
The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating after a cruise vessel carrying 326 people hit six moored sailboats in Boston Harbor on Thursday morning.
Santa Ana PD
A flight attendant for a Chinese airline pleaded guilty Thursday to attempting to smuggle two-dozen spotted and box turtles in a carry-on bag from Los Angeles to China.
Virginia's governor ordered state officials Thursday to investigate abuse claims by children at an immigration detention facility who said they were beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering in concrete cells.
Gov. Ralph Northam announced the probe in a tweet hours after The Associated Press reported the allegations. They were included in a federal civil rights lawsuit with a half-dozen sworn statements from Latino youths held for months or years at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center. The AP report also cited an adult who saw bruises and broken bones the children said were caused by guards.