Department of Homeland Security promises new policies to protect migrant children after two die in two weeks; Trump claims most of the government workers not getting paid during shut down are Democrats; Russia warns Turkey to stay out of Syria.
1. Department of Homeland Security promises new policies to protect migrant children after 2 die in 2 weeks
After the death of a second migrant child in the past two weeks that was held in US custody, the Department of Homeland Security has announced that it is enacting new policies to improve the way it cares for children and adults held in custody at federal facilities.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced on Wednesday the government is directing several federal agencies to assist the U.S. Customs and Border Protection implement several new directives.
In response to the unprecedented surge of children into our custody, I have directed a series of extraordinary protective measures,” Nielsen said in a statement.
An eight-year-old Guatemalan boy died on Monday night after being diagnosed with a cold and a high fever in New Mexico. On December 8, a seven-year-old girl from Guatemala died of dehydration and septic shock after being taken into custody with her father.
“It is now clear that migrants, particularly children, are increasingly facing medical challenges and harboring illness caused by their long and dangerous journey,” Nielsen said.
2. Trump claims most of people not getting paid during shut down are Democrats
Trump weighed in on the continuing showdown over funding for a border wall and the resulting government shut down in a tweet that is raising some eyebrows.
President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday: “Have the Democrats finally realized that we desperately need Border Security and a Wall on the Southern Border. Need to stop Drugs, Human Trafficking,Gang Members & Criminals from coming into our Country. Do the Dems realize that most of the people not getting paid are Democrats?”
Previously, Trump said many of the workers had told him they were fine with not getting paid as long as he secures additional funding for a border wall. Now, Trump is claiming that most of the furloughed workers were “Democrats.” However, the President has offered no proof, and is drawing the ire of the press for this unsubstantiated claim.
3. Russia warns Turkey to stay out of Syria
Russia has issued a warning to Turkey, after Turkish armored vehicles have arrived at the border with Syria. Turkey is determined to clear US-allied Kurdish fighters from Manbij in northern Syria, and is coordinating with Washington in that effort.
The warnings to Turkey from Russia follow US President Donald Trump’s announced last week that America was completely withdrawing its forces in Syria. Russia has said that it expects Syrian forces to regain control of areas vacated by US troops. The Kremlin is expecting to hand the territory over to Assad’s forces.