Josh Breisblatt Profile picture
Sep 18, 2018 67 tweets 30 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Going to do a little live tweeting of today's #HSGAC hearing on the Flores Settlement which the administration and @RonJohnsonWI are looking to overturn so they can get the asylum system and hold children indefinitely in detention
@RonJohnsonWI @immcouncil and @AILANational have a statement for today's hearing which you can see here…
Currently @RonJohnsonWI is doing all he can to say why he thinks the Flores settlement is bad and how he thinks it incentivizes #immigration. He is doing a great job showing he doesnt know what he is talking about. Migrants do not know about the TVPRA or Flores...
what they do know and are seeing, and fleeing is record levels of violence in Central America which is driving migration. You can learn more about why people are fleeing in @immcouncil report here:…
.@RonJohnsonWI says he wants to get the "facts" so they can make an informed decision. When he says that it sounds reasonable, the problem is the 10 minute speech before, was anything but reasonable. He wants to get our asylum system and indefinitely detain children and families
.@clairecmc largely echoing my thoughts, she said Johnson wants to get the facts out there but doing legislation is premature. We do not have all the facts in order to move forward, she also says she disagrees with holding children indefinitely
.@clairecmc now spitting some knowledge on the committee, bring up the fact that alternatives to detention work. They cost WAY less and are effective in getting people to show up to their #immigration court hearings.
.@clairecmc is now going off on government oversight, and lack of efficiency in the #immigration system. She draws on her history as a prosecutor to say alternatives to detention work. "it is not about imprisoning families indefinitely."
Oh and interesting fact, Jon Kyl has taken over @SenJohnMcCain seat on #HSGAC and is at the hearing. We are now introducing the witnesses
First up is Matt Albence from @ICEgov. You can imagine what he is going to say. In the first 30 seconds we have heard, the court system is making it hard for ICE to do its job.. So @ICEgov doesnt like constitution or the law apparently
Albence is now complaining about the #immigration court backlog, Flores and the TVPRA. Once again, it appears @ICEgov does not like enforcing the LAWS on the books
Albence is now claiming that people do not show up to their court hearings or do not leave when there is a final removal order. However, if you look at @immcouncil paper we know that the numbers do not bear that out:…
Albence is now complaining the alternatives to detention do not work as well as they would like. Yet why does @ICEgov continue to ask for $190 million a year for a program if it is so ineffective?!?!
Albence is going off on ATDs here, its pretty amazing to hear @ICEgov throw a program under the bus that gets almost $200 million a year and they constantly are asking for more money for.
Albence now has recommendations for the committee of course. He wants to gut the asylum system, get rid of Flores (create indefinite detention for families) and get rid of Special Immigrant Juvenile Status...To be clear, this means @ICEgov doesnt want to enforce the current law..
We now have Robert Perez, he is acting deputy commissioner of @CBP. He is from the Office of Field of Operations, which deals with Ports of Entry. So far he is toeing the administration's line.
We now have Joe Edlow from @TheJusticeDept who is Acting Dep AG. He is giving us a history of Flores.
Once again we have a government official complaining about following the law...
And now we have @USGAO Rebecca Gambler. She will present on @DOJ_EOIR management of the #immigration courts. Just a hunch.. it's bad.
As Rebecca Gambler said as it relates to Alternatives to Detention, @USGAO found that 99% of people on an alternative SHOWED UP to their court date... wow
Matt Albence forced to admit under questioning by @clairecmc that Alternatives to Detention work in getting people to show up to their #immigration court hearings
This is amazing... Matt Albence from @ICEgov is now saying he needs MORE money for Alternatives to Detention so he can monitor more people, after he just got done throwing the program under the bus during his testimony. What a joke
.@clairecmc laying into the DOJ witness who does not seem to have good answers when McCaskill is asking about hiring judges and how that is a better investment than holding families in prisons.
Another way for to make sure #immigration cases are adjudicated in a timely way... appoint counsel for immigrants in proceedings.. It speeds things up
And now @SenRonJohnson seeing things are going badly, is stepping in to try and ask some leading "clarifying" questions.
.@RonJohnsonWI is now complaining that immigrants get to appeal their detention order...

Oh no! God forbid people get due process!
Now up @senrobportman who starts by talking about trafficking and how he has gotten involved in immigration. He has been obsessed with unaccompanied kids for years on the oversight and accountability issue. This is nice and all but @HHSGov is not a witness at this hearing...
Not sure why Joe Edlow is up there. He seems woefully unprepared to answer some of these questions. Next time just have @DOJ_EOIR testify.
Portman asks the key question.. Has DHS and DOJ ever given a number to senators as to what they would need to run the system the way they want?

The answer is no of course because the cost to infidelity detain people would be astronomical.
.@senrobportman says just give him a number on how to cut the #immigration backlog in half and ends his questions.
.@SenGaryPeters now asking @ICEgov to answer about the Family Case Management Program, and is it true that under that program 99% showed up for their hearings.

Albence reluctantly admits that is true and then tries to throw out unrelated numbers.
Albence is now complaining about the FCMP because the program didnt have enough removals for him. Albence admits though he would have to look "closer at the numbers."
Good follow up question by @SenGaryPeters pointing out this all may not be resulting in the removals @ICEgov would like because they have legitimate and good claims for asylum.
.@SenGaryPeters asks a great question to close out his questions, he asks in attempting to rollback Flores did they consider the volume of evidence in medical journals and by medical associations saying that any kind of detention of kids has a significant negative impact on them
Surprising to no one.. no one had a good answer.
.@SenatorLankford now asking questions on parentage and family issues. @CBP just said they do not do DNA testing at the border. @MadhuGrewal @Kat_Obser is that right?
.@SenatorLankford is asking a lot of questions that seem better directed at @HHSGov. Too bad they are not at this hearing...
Why is it that @SenRonJohnson gets to do like 5 minutes of questions after each senator? Basically he tries to do 5 minutes of cleanup after Senators beat up on @ICEgov and @CBP
.@SenatorHassan with a strong start. This hearing is about the "indefinite detention of children... This is not who we are as a nation."
.@SenatorHassan now reading from reports discussing the care in family detention and discussing 2 whistle-blowers from @ICEgov. CBP and ICE claim they have not heard of these people.

Just wow...
Hassan is just killing it, she is now reading from DHS's OWN findings that family detention should be discontinued. So her question is.. in light of ALL of this, why does @ICEgov now want to detain families and children indefinitely?
Albence is not answer the question and trying to pretend that the new @DHSgov regulations do not necessarily do that.

But that is a lie.
.@CBP is now admitting their new regulations they are putting forward on Flores is an attempt to DETER people from coming.
.@RonJohnsonWI once again on cleanup mode. Wants to give Matt Albence of @ICEgov a chance to explain his position on detention because Johnson says he does not indefinite detention either...
.@SenatorHassan shoots back, that is EXACTLY what this is.

Johnson sees this is not going well, does not let Albence explain further and says he would be ok with some kind of a cap on length of detention
.@SenatorHeitkamp now up, hitting on the same theme. This is about children in detention.
Heitkamp now grilling @DHSgov and @TheJusticeDept on whose fault the issue of family separation, & who is responsible for investigating sexual assault & abuse in these unaccompanied children facilities.

Heitkamp seems shocked, is it not a federal crime? DOJ does not seem to know
Unfortunately DOJ, CBP and ICE are not going to be able to answer @SenatorHeitkamp many of these allegations are in @HHSGov facilities. Too bad they are not here as witnesses
Heitkamp calls it out, where is HHS?!?! Why are they not here. Heitkamp points out they will be ones holding children for long periods of time.
Edlow should stop talking. He is not making @TheJusticeDept look good here.
.@SteveDaines just said Flores impairs the ability to enforce the nation's #immigration laws and is talking about the rule of law.

What does Daines think Flores is?!?! It is the LAW
@SteveDaines so now we have moved on to opiods and drugs. Not even asking about Flores now
.@SteveDaines apparently missed the first 2 hours of the hearing.. He just just asked are alternatives to detention effective?

Albence responds it IS effective in getting people to go to court. But says not in effectuating removals which is all he cares about
Some actual NEWS out of this hearing. Albence from @ICEgov just said the new MOA with @HHSGov where ICE can ID and go after sponsors, has allowed them to apprehend 41 sponsors. Potentially having a huge chilling effect
@ICEgov @HHSGov .@DougJones with a great question, asking about the need for counsel in #immigration proceedings and how those with lawyers are 5 times more likely to win their case. Says we need more lawyers! Well done
@ICEgov @HHSGov @DougJones .@DougJones wants to know if they will work to expand access to counsel.
This is AMAZING. Matt Albence at @ICEgov is touting the Legal Orientation Program a KEY program giving migrants education about the #immigration system. Albence and @ICEgov LOVE the program.. BUT at the same time @TheJusticeDept is trying to END IT
You really cannot make this up. @ICEgov touting a program and how great it is and then @TheJusticeDept just did a report saying it sucks and is horrible. See more from @immcouncil here:…
It is amazing watching Edlow right now trying to avoid talking about LOP and how his boss Jeff Sessions wants to end it.
.@DougJones doing a great job pointing out the need for counsel. How it speeds up the process and is good for the #immigration system.
Also Matt Albence had one thing wrong, he highlighted Dilley Texas as a facility with LOP. Dilley has the Dilley Pro Bono Project but it does NOT have LOP. So he is wrong
.@KamalaHarris is now asking about Albence saying @ICEgov detention is a summer camp. He stands by that statement.

But he refuses to answer if he would send his kids there.
.@KamalaHarris asks about family separations.

@CBP says they are not doing that now.
.@KamalaHarris has a long exchange with Albence on trying to get data related to prosecutions of people related to trafficking. One of @DHSgov big claims for family separations is fraud and trafficking.She wants to know who has been prosecuted.
@DHSgov NEVER has an answer for her
.@SenatorCarper is now up. He has been obsessed and made it his mission to focus on root causes in Central America to help fix this crisis.

He says Trump administration has been woefully inadequate in its response and request for funds
.@RonJohnsonWI now trying to do all the cleanup because this hearing backfired badly on him. Trying to claim that detention has been a deterrent.

There is no real data to back that up just look at CBPs own data…
.@RonJohnsonWI says he feels there is an extremely high chance an Flores rule will be challenged in court and it will get held up and never happen.

Seems like he knows the administration is trying to violate the constitution.Quite the way to END the hearing.

The hearing is over

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More from @jbreisblatt

Jul 31, 2018
As we wait for the @senjudiciary hearing to get started, see @immcouncil full statement for today's hearing on the Trump administration's separation of families →
@senjudiciary @immcouncil And we are underway with @ChuckGrassley making his opening statement, calls the family separations an "unintended consequence" of the "zero tolerenace" policy. Wow. That is just not true. Sessions when he announced the policy stated unapologetically that separations WOULD happen
.@ChuckGrassley says he is "disturbed" by the allegations that ICE officers coerced parents into signing away rights they did not understand, see more on this here
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