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After protests, Trump retreats, but bitter attacks on migrants continue

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Issue 2610
Protest outside the immigration centre in Portland, Oregon
Protest outside the immigration centre in Portland, Oregon (Pic: Kelly Kenoyer on Twitter)

Facing outrage, Donald Trump has signed an executive order putting a stop to the policy of separating children and parents at the US-Mexico border.

But Trump’s plan could see children detained indefinitely with their parents.

Trump administration officials made clear that the order was not retroactive, meaning that over 2,300 children who have been forcibly taken away from their parents since early May would remain separated.

Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy remains whereby parents are being criminally prosecuted for crossing the border without the required documents. They will inevitably be separated from their children when they are taken to court.

Trump’s new order still allows separation if there is “a risk to the child’s welfare”—which could be widely interpreted.

In a speech on Wednesday Trump repeated threats that the US would cut aid to countries that people crossing the border came from.

His vile attacks have led to resistance.

In Portland and Los Angeles blockade protests have been taking place in front of Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities. These are places where migrants are temporarily detained during the deportation process.

Earlier this week vice-president Mike Pence was confronted by between 2,000 and 3,000 protesters in Philadelphia where he was speaking at a fundraiser for the Republican candidate for governor.

Chants included, “Trump says go back, we say fight back.”

After protests by workers, several airlines have said they will not fly children separated from their parents by the Trump administration.

A nationwide day of protests is set for 30 June in the US. In announcing that it was still on, one of the organisers said, “Trump’s shift – thanks to public outrage – means kids and babies will still be in jail. This isn’t a fix, it’s making baby jails permanent. Reunite the families.”

Let’s take to the streets against Trump when he comes to Britain.

Together Against Trump, Friday 13 July, 2pm, BBC Portland Place, march to Trafalgar Square for rally at 5pm.

Officials prepare for full state visit to Britain next year

As protesters are preparing to confront Donald Trump when he comes to Britain on 13 July, diplomats have discussed showering him with the full pomp and ceremony of a state visit in 2019.

The US president would be the first leader to be given this treatment after Britain leaves the European Union next year if the proposals discussed by Britain’s national security adviser and his US counterparts go ahead.

Sir Mark Sedwill said it would be “worth having him here” to coincide with Second World War commemorations in “May next year”.

The diplomat is heard making the comment to US ambassador Woody Johnson at a reception to open formally the new US embassy building in Vauxhall, London.

In a conversation captured in Channel 4 documentary Inside the American Embassy, Sedwill says, “Let’s plan for a series of visits in his first term.”

After suggesting next May for the state visit, he adds, “The key thing is that we get him here.”

Johnson replies, “Let’s get him here once. Once you get it then you know what you are dealing with.”

The US ambassador urges the security adviser not to let “fear” about the visit “hold you back”.

Sir Mark told the ambassador he had already had discussions with his former counterpart in Washington, ex-national security adviser HR McMaster and suggested making it “the first big visit after Brexit”.

Ten crimes of Trump that show why you should protest against him on 13 July
Ten crimes of Trump that show why you should protest against him on 13 July
  Read More

The discussions underline the importance of the protests in July. They can humiliate Trump and keep him out next year.

Johnson also suggested Britain needs to look to Trump and takes “some inspiration” from what he has achieved.

Lew Lukens, deputy chief of mission, told reporters at the launch of the documentary that planning for Trump’s visit on 13 July had been delayed by his recent travels.

He said, “Normally one month before a visit we would have a pretty good idea at this point of the schedule but we don’t in this case.

“The team from Washington from the White House that travels in advance of a visit to set up the programme was completely wrapped up with the Singapore summit [with North Korea], so they haven’t been here yet.

“We have a rough idea. He’ll meet the prime minister. We think there’ll be an engagement with the queen but we don’t have any details at this point.”

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