Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Friday News Roundup - Domestic

A U.S. Border Patrol agent takes down personal data from Salvadorian mother Ana Esmeralda and her son Manuel Alexander, 2, after they were taken into custody on July 2 in Los Ebanos, Texas.
John Moore/Getty Images
A U.S. Border Patrol agent takes down personal data from Salvadorian mother Ana Esmeralda and her son Manuel Alexander, 2, after they were taken into custody on July 2 in Los Ebanos, Texas.

“Tanks, but no tanks,” the Washington, D.C. City Council opined on Twitter.

They were talking about President Donald Trump’s July 4 “Salute To America,” the much-touted parade and fireworks display in D.C.

WAMU reporter Elly Yu told us earlier this week that President Trump has angled for a military parade ever since he saw one during a visit to France in 2017.

And the humanitarian crisis at the border continues to escalate.

Yimi Alexis Balderramos-Torres, a 30-year-old Honduran man, died in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody this week. He was waiting in Mexico while his application for asylum was processed and later crossed into the United States without legal documentation.

BuzzFeed reported ICE “was detaining more than 54,000 immigrants in jails around the country, an all-time record,” as of June 22.

Several members of Congress visited the border this week, including Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. At one of the facilities they toured, Ocasio-Cortez said some migrant women told her they were being forced to drink out of toilets. This allegation was corroborated by other members of Congress on the trip and follows repeated allegations by immigrants saying they were forced to drink out of toilets.

Earlier that day, ProPublica published a story about a Facebook group for Customs and Border Protection (CPB) officials. They reported that group members posted violent memes about migrant deaths, in addition to “a vulgar illustration depicting Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez engaged in oral sex with a detained migrant.”

After the story’s publication, CBP said it opened an investigation into the posts.

In a statement, the Border Patrol chief, Carla Provost said “Any employees found to have violated our standards of conduct will be held accountable.”

And this week, NPR reported that the Department of Homeland Security issued fines to some immigrants who are in the country illegally.

From NPR’s reporting:

It’s the latest hard-line effort by the administration as it clamps down on illegal immigration at the border and increases interior enforcement.

“It is the intention of ICE to order you pay a fine in the amount of $497,777,” Lisa Hoechst, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer, wrote to Edith Espinal Moreno in a letter dated June 25, 2019, obtained by NPR from lawyers for Moreno.

The Trump administration also seemed to drop its effort to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 Census.

But then — the president tweeted. He wrote on Twitter:

“The News Reports about the Department of Commerce dropping its quest to put the Citizenship Question on the Census is incorrect or, to state it differently, FAKE! We are absolutely moving forward, as we must, because of the importance of the answer to this question.”

But a lawyer from the Department of Commerce said this during a July 3 hearing on the case.

The tweet this morning was the first I had heard of the President’s position on this issue, just like the plaintiffs and Your Honor. I do not have a deeper understanding of what that means at this juncture other than what the President has tweeted. But, obviously, as you can imagine, I am doing my absolute best to figure out what’s going on.

I can tell you that I have confirmed that the Census

Bureau is continuing with the process of printing the

questionnaire without a citizenship question, and that process

has not stopped.

The DOJ says that the government is now looking for a way to add the question.

And the U.S. Women’s National Team is in the final of the World Cup. They won against England 2-1, even without the star power of midfielder Megan Rapinoe, who was sidelined with a hamstring injury. Lucky for the U.S., Rapinoe says she thinks she’ll be ready to play in the finals, which will take place on July 8 against The Netherlands.

We wrap up all the news from this holiday week and more.


Susan Glasser, Staff writer, The New Yorker; global affairs analyst, CNN; @sbg1

Josh Kraushaar, Political editor, National Journal; @HotlineJosh

Anita Kumar, White House correspondent and associate editor, Politico; @anitakumar01

For more, visit

© 2019 WAMU 88.5 – American University Radio.

Copyright 2021 WAMU 88.5. To see more, visit WAMU 88.5.