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By Suzanne Gamboa and Gwen Aviles

Democrats poised to hold committee positions in Congress that will give them jurisdiction over agencies in charge of keeping immigrants in custody, especially children, said Thursday they plan to step up scrutiny of immigration detention next year.

Democrats won control of the House in November, which means they take over leadership of committees and subcommittees in the next Congress, which opens in early January.

“There’s a lot of work to be done,” said Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard of California, who as the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations’ subcommittee on Homeland Security is in line to become its chairwoman.

On her to-do list: provide better access to legal counsel; use alternatives to detention, particularly for families; ensure that immigration facilities are more regularly inspected; and secure more funding for the hiring of social workers to work with unaccompanied child migrants.

“Mainly it’s going to be oversight, pushing for fairness and justice for these immigrants,” Roybal-Allard said.

Although illegal immigration has dropped significantly in recent years, the Trump administration has stepped up immigration detention, including holding parents and children from Central America who have been more likely to cross the border and surrender to law enforcement authorities and request asylum.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., the incoming chair of the House Appropriations’ Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Services, pledged to “get accountability for the taxpayers’ dollars” that are being spent to hold unaccompanied immigrant children in tents in Tornillo, Texas.

She criticized a White House request for another $190 million for the program to be added to the spending bill that Congress is negotiating, which she said would prolong the detention of immigrant children beyond the current average of about 70 days.

“I will do everything I can to prevent them from getting one more nickel,” DeLauro said.

Congress is trying to finish up the spending package this year, and there is debate over how much will be spent on immigration enforcement, including immigration detention and the border wall that President Donald Trump has promised to build at Mexico’s expense.



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Disgraced Labour MP apologises for 'EMOTIONAL OUTBURSTS' after baseball bat threat

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LABOUR MP Kate Osamor issued a grovelling apology where she explained she is working “to better manage my feelings” after she was forced to resign for threatening a journalist with a baseball bat.

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California lawmaker arrested on child cruelty suspicion

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By Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California state lawmaker Joaquin Arambula was arrested Monday on suspicion of misdemeanor child cruelty, Fresno police Chief Jerry Dyer said.

The arrest came after officials at Dailey Elementary Charter School discovered an injury on a child who came into an office Monday afternoon, Dyer said. He did not describe the injury or Arambula’s relationship to the child. He was cited for willful cruelty to a child,

Arambula, a Democratic state assemblyman, is married with three young daughters.

“Joaquin is a committed father who wants what is best for his children,” his spokeswoman Felicia Matlosz said in a Tuesday statement. “He is fully supportive of the process, which will show he is a loving and nurturing father.”

Arambula is a former emergency room physician who won a 2016 special election to represent part of Fresno and the surrounding rural areas. His father Juan Arambula was a state assemblyman in the early 2000s.

Officials at the elementary school reported the child’s injury to child protective services, which called Fresno police, Dyer said. Officers called Arambula and his wife, Elizabeth, who both arrived at the scene.

The child described how the injury occurred and said Arambula inflicted it, Dyer said. The police determined the injury happened Sunday evening. Arambula was cooperative and cordial, but he did not provide a statement to officers based on advice from his attorney, Dyer said.

Officers were “confident that a crime had occurred” and arrested Arambula on suspicion of willful cruelty to a child, Dyer said. He was taken in a patrol car to police headquarter, finger-printed, photographed and then released because his crime is a misdemeanor. The injury did not rise to the level of a felony.

All school district employees in California are considered “mandated reporters” under state law, meaning they are required to report known or suspected child abuse. They are not responsible for determining if an allegation is valid, according to the state Department of Education’s website. They are expected to report if abuse or neglect is suspected or a child shares information leading them to believe it took place.

They are then required to call law enforcement or child protective services, and law enforcement is required to investigate. A physical injury inflicted on a child by someone else intentionally is considered child abuse or neglect.

Officials at the elementary school and Fresno Unified School District did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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‘Mogg’s lost his marbles!’ European Research Group will DESTROY Brexit, warns Alan Duncan

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THERESA May loyalist Sir Alan Duncan accused Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg’s powerful European Research Group of “loosing their marbles”, before issuing a chilling warning that their “myopic” shock vote of no confidence against the Prime Minister could destroy Brexit altogether.

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