WASHINGTON--White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer resigned on Friday, ending a short and turbulent tenure that made him a household name and the butt of late-night television comedy lampoons, amid further upheaval within President Donald Trump's inner circle.
WASHINGTON--U.S. immigration agents are planning nationwide raids next week to arrest, among others, teenagers who entered the country without guardians and are suspected gang members, in a widening of President Donald Trump's crackdown on illegal immigrants.
The raids are set to begin on Sunday and continue through Wednesday, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters. The teenagers targeted will be 16- and 17-years-old.
The raids represent a sharp departure from practices during the presidency of Barack Obama. Under Obama, minors could be targeted for deportation if they had been convicted of crimes, but were not arrested simply for suspected gang activity or membership.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a statement that a person can be identified as a gang member if they meet two or more criteria, including having gang tattoos, frequenting an area notorious for gangs and wearing gang apparel. The agency said it does not comment on plans for future law enforcement operations, but that it focuses on individuals who pose a threat to national security and public safety.
The memo instructing field offices to prepare for the raids was dated June 30. A Department of Homeland Security official speaking on background confirmed on Friday the raids were still scheduled to take place, though ICE could still change its plans.
Trump, who campaigned on the promise of tough immigration enforcement, has made deporting gang members, especially those belonging to the El Salvador-based Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, a top priority.
"You have a gang called MS-13. They don't like to shoot people. They like to cut people. They do things that nobody can believe," Trump said at a rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa last month. In a May speech, the president promised the gang would be "gone from our streets very soon, believe me."
Although children can be deported like adults, U.S. immigration law considers minors arriving at the border without a parent or guardian particularly vulnerable and gives them additional protections. Minors apprehended entering the country without a guardian are placed in custody arrangements by U.S. Health and Human Services, often with a family member living in the United States.
Law enforcement agencies maintain databases of individuals suspected of having gang affiliations, but the lists have come under fire from civil rights groups. Marielena Hincapie, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center in Los Angeles, said the databases often contain inaccurate information.
"This is troubling on several levels," Hincapie said. "For one, the gang databases in places like California are rife with errors. We have seen babies labeled as potential gang members."
Immigration lawyer David Leopold of Ulmer & Berne said innocent children could be swept up in the raids. "In many cases, children don’t freely decide to join a gang. They are threatened by older gang members and forced to get a gang tattoo if they live in a certain neighborhood," he said.
WASHINGTON/PHOENIX, Ariz.-- U.S. Senator John McCain promised on Thursday he would return rapidly to Washington despite his newly diagnosed brain cancer, flashing the fighting spirit that has defined him since he was held in captivity as a Navy pilot during the Vietnam War.
WASHINGTON--The U.S. Supreme Court rejected on Wednesday a bid by President Donald Trump to include grandparents and other relatives of Americans in his travel ban on people from six Muslim-majority countries.
WASHINGTON--A congressional panel wants to interview President Donald Trump's eldest son, his former campaign chairman and all others who were at a June 2016 meeting with Russian nationals, part of investigations into allegations that Moscow meddled in the U.S. election campaign, senators said on Tuesday.
WASHINGTON--For seven years, U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell vowed to slay Obamacare if only his Republican Party controlled both chambers of Congress and the White House. Pull it out "root and branch," he pledged.
LOS ANGELES--Firefighters battled on Saturday to gain control of a destructive wildfire burning near Santa Barbara, California that mushroomed in size overnight, pushed by gusty offshore winds into dry brush that has not burned in decades.
HONOLULU--Flames ripped through three floors of a Honolulu tower block, killing three people including a mother and her adult son, officials and media said.
WASHINGTON--The U.S. State Department will require all nations to provide extensive data to help it vet visa applicants and determine whether a traveler poses a terrorist threat, according to a cable obtained by Reuters.
WASHINGTON--U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he did not fault his son Donald Trump Jr. for meeting with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 presidential election campaign and that he was unaware of the meeting until a few days ago.
WASHINGTON--President Donald Trump on Monday prodded the Republican-led U.S. Congress to pass major healthcare legislation but huge obstacles remained, with a senior lawmaker saying the Senate was unlikely to take up the stalled bill until next week.
WASHINGTON--U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday he and Russia's president had discussed forming a cyber security unit, an idea harshly criticized by Republicans who said Moscow could not be trusted after its alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.
WASHINGTON--A few dozen Ku Klux Klan members and supporters shouted "white power" at a rally on Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia where they protested against a city council decision to remove a statute honoring Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
The group was guarded by scores of police and outnumbered by hundreds of counter-protesters who waved signs denouncing racism. Anti-KKK protesters raised their voices in chants and shouts, drowning out speeches from the white supremacists, live video feeds on social media showed.
There were no initial reports of violence at the rally that lasted less than an hour. The Klan group that brandished Confederate flags and signs with anti-Semitic messages was separated from crowds by a ring of fencing and a heavy police presence.
Later police fired tear gas cannisters when some protesters refused orders to disperse. Twenty-three people were arrested, but officials could not confirm their affiliations.
In February, the Charlottesville City Council voted 3-2 to remove the statue from the park once named for Lee and make plans for a new memorial to remember the southern city's enslaved population, The Daily Progress, the local newspaper reported.
At least one person who participated in the Klan rally against the statute removal could be seen with a holstered pistol.
Confederacy statues and flags have been removed from public spaces across the United States since 2015, after a white supremacist murdered nine black parishioners at a South Carolina church. Critics of the monuments say they foster racism by celebrating leaders of the Confederacy in the pro-slavery South during the U.S. Civil War. Supporters say they represent an indelible part of U.S. history and part of regional heritage.
HAMBURG--In a meeting that ran longer than either side had planned, U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia's Vladimir Putin discussed alleged Russian meddling in the U.S. election on Friday but agreed to focus on better ties rather than litigating the past.
SAN FRANCISCO--A U.S. appeals court on Friday rejected Hawaii's request to issue an emergency order blocking parts of President Donald Trump's temporary travel ban while the state sought clarification over what groups of people would be barred from travel.
WARSAW--President Donald Trump affirmed the U.S. commitment to the defence of NATO allies on Thursday in a Warsaw speech that gently criticized Russia, and he said Western civilization must stand up to "those who would subvert and destroy it".