WASHINGTON – The Trump administration on Monday credited Mexico and Central American countries with helping to cut U.S. border arrests by nearly 60% from a record high earlier this year but then lashed out at a federal judge for ruling against a strict anti-asylum policy.
With President Donald Trump’s anti-immigration policy shaping up as an issue in his 2020 re-election campaign, Mark Morgan, the acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said that 64,000 people were detained or turned back at the southwest border in August. That was down 22% from July and 56% from a high mark in May.
Even so, the total was the highest for any month of August in more than a decade, as Central American migrants have headed north in record numbers, many seeking asylum from impoverished countries with some of the highest murder rates in the world.
A decade ago, migrants were mostly Mexican. But in recent years they have been overtaken by Central Americans, mostly from the so-called Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
The Trump administration has been pressuring all of those countries to do more to keep people from reaching the U.S.
border, threatening Mexico with tariffs unless it complied.
The United States has persuaded Guatemala to become a so-called safe third country that would accept asylum-seekers, though the deal has yet to be ratified by Guatemala’s government, in a bid to reduce the strain on the United States.
Washington is working with Honduras on a similar agreement.
The United States has failed to persuade Mexico to do the same. Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard reiterated Mexico’s rejection of the status on Monday after Morgan said talks were ongoing for a “cooperative agreement” with Mexico to help stem the tide of migrants.
In the meantime, Mexico has agreed to keep Central American asylum-seekers just south of the U.S. border pending their U.S.
court appointments and has deployed National Guard officers to halt them.
Ebrard is to meet with U.S. officials on Tuesday to discuss Mexico’s efforts. He said last week that Mexico does not expect the United States to threaten tariffs at this time.
“Right now Mexico has been doing a great job for us, and, frankly, we’re very appreciative, but we’ve also been very, pretty rapidly changing the regulations, the rules,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
Earlier on Monday, a U.S. judge dealt Trump a setback, ruling that an injunction against a restrictive rule on asylum-seekers should apply nationwide.
The rule, unveiled on July 15, requires most immigrants who want asylum in the United States to seek asylum first in a third country they had traversed on their way.
San Francisco-based U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar had previously issued a nationwide injunction blocking the rule. But the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals narrowed it to only border states within its jurisdiction – California and Arizona – and sent the question back to Tigar.
On Monday, Tigar ruled it should apply across the entire border, pending a trial on the underlying legality of the Trump administration rule.
In a statement on Monday evening, the White House said the ruling “is a gift to human smugglers and traffickers,” adding that the administration hopes the Supreme Court will set aside the injunction in its entirety.
Morgan criticized Tigar for his ruling and what he called “unprecedented judicial activism.” He lamented that with each new administration policy to “address this crisis, we end up getting enjoined. It’s very, very frustrating, but we’re just going to keep going.”
Opponents of Trump’s immigration policy praised the judge’s ruling, saying that previously, asylum-seekers could be arbitrarily barred, based on where they happened to cross the border.
“Sadly, while this ruling removes a major hurdle, far too many obstacles remain,” Melissa Crow, an attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center, said in a statement.
Extra cricket benefitted me, says Alyssa Healy
Dubai [UAE], September 17 (ANI): Amid a busy schedule, Australia women batter Alyssa Healy said that ‘extra cricket’ has benefitted her game.
“I think it’s becoming more and more important for us [to manage our downtime]. We’re learning on our feet how to be professional cricketers and playing around the world quite frequently, but the girls are getting a lot better at managing their downtime,” ICC quoted Healy as saying.
“I’m [feeling] good, it helps when you can laze around on the beach all day and drink some mocktails. I’m enjoying my time here, it’s been a busy couple of months but I made that decision to play the extra cricket and I think it’s benefited me,” she added.
Currently, Healy is featuring for her team on their Caribbean tour which follows an all-format Ashes series which took place in July. Before the Ashes series, she played with Yorkshire Diamonds in the Women’s Cricket Super League.
Australia women registered a massive nine-wicket victory over West Indies women on Tuesday. Healy, while chasing a target of 98 runs, scored unbeaten 58 runs.
Healy expressed her dissatisfaction with her innings but said that victory is all that matters.
“It was one of the more ugly innings that I’ll have, but to get a win, that’s what really matters and hopefully we get a nice true wicket in a couple of days’ time and we can make a big total if need be,” Healy said.
Australia have won first two T20I against West Indies and the third T20I match will be played on September 19. (ANI)
From the US to Ghana, a Taste of Home in the Homeland
ACCRA, GHANA – African Americans are being encouraged to visit Ghana to mark 400 years since the beginning of the transatlantic slave trade. In the capital, Accra, one returnee chef is awaiting U.S. visitors to give them a taste of home in the homeland.
At her roadside cafe in Accra, Chef Sage cooks up food influenced by her time in the United States, the Caribbean and Ghana. Spices from her lentil burgers waft into the air, as members of her loyal customer base take their seats at the outdoor tables.
“I had that Southern influence, my grandmother with cornbread and macaroni cheese – the whole soul food works, and then also being in the Caribbean, having that Caribbean influence as well. I don’t know if a lot of people residing in Africa know that the foods in the Caribbean are so similar, you have direct descendants coming from Africa to the Caribbean,” Sage said.
Chef Sage — she prefers not to use her real name — says she’s seeing more African American customers who are in Ghana for “Year of Return” activities, visiting to mark 400 years since the start of the transatlantic slave trade.
They sit alongside regular customers as Chef Sage and her family serve up plant-based fusion meals. Chef Sage was born in Brooklyn, New York, moved to Saint Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands as a child and in 2005 relocated to Ghana.
“I think when African Americans relocate to Ghana, we do consider this our homeland and we are happy to be here but that food, you are still looking for what you are accustomed too. So I think I attract African Americans because I still have those flavors infused in the food,” Sage said.
Chef Sage does private catering in Accra, as well as her weekly roadside cafe. The menu changes weekly but can include anything from sweet potato pie to tacos to fusion salads – all made with local ingredients.
Customers like Grisel Industrioso say the food is about good taste and community.
“You have people from Jamaica, different Caribbean islands, from you have people from North America, America itself but from different places, you have people from California and from the East like myself but there is something that brings us together as one people. We can all relate to this food,” Industrioso said.
The links between food in Ghana and the United States are something Essie Bartels, a Ghanaian food entrepreneur, also explores. Her spice mixes and sauces aim to show the similarities in food cultures around the world, especially those with African heritage.
“Being able to see where all these hotspots of flavors are and bringing them together, that is what I am trying to do with Essie Spice and that is what I hope the Year of Return will do to inspire people to see how connected even food is around the world,” Bartels said.
Bartels and Chef Sage say the Year of Return is a good time to reflect on shared history and heritage.
Bermuda Battens Down for Category 3 Hurricane Humberto
MIAMI, FLORIDA – Bermuda’s government called up troops and urged people on the British Atlantic island to make final preparations for an expected close brush Wednesday with Hurricane Humberto, a powerful Category 3 storm. Authorities ordered early closings of schools, transportation and government offices.
Gov. John Rankin called up 120 members of the Royal Bermuda Regiment to prepare for possible storm recovery efforts and National Security Minister Wayne Caines said schools, government offices and ferries on the island would close at noon and bus service would halt at 4 p.m.
Officials expected tropical storm-force winds to begin whipping at Bermuda in the morning and warned that hurricane-force gusts would probably last until early Thursday. Humberto was predicted to pass just north of the territory of some 70,000 people, though a small shift in its path could bring the storm over the island itself.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Humberto’s maximum sustained winds strengthened to 120 mph (195 kph) and it would probably remain a Category 3 hurricane through Thursday, though there could be some fluctuations in its winds. The storm was centered about 195 miles (310 kilometers) west of Bermuda early Wednesday, moving east-northeast at 16 mph (26 kph).
In Texas, the remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda threatened to drench parts of Southwest Texas and southwestern Louisiana with up to 18 inches (46 centimeters) of rain over the next few days. It was the first named storm to hit the Houston area since Hurricane Harvey’s much heavier rains flooded more than 150,000 homes around the city and caused an estimated $125 billion in damage in Texas.
Tropical Storm Jerry also formed Wednesday morning, forecast to become a hurricane as it nears the outermost Caribbean islands Thursday night or Friday.
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Lorena was moving off Mexico’s Pacific Coast, and forecasters now expect it to become a hurricane Friday as it approaches shore. They warned of heavy rains and flooding to resorts from Zihuatanejo to Cabo Corrientes. Lorena had top winds of 65 mph (100 kph) early Wednesday and was centered about 120 miles (195 kilometers) south-southeast of Manzanillo, moving northwest at 13 mph (20 kph).
Further off Mexico’s Pacific Coast, Tropical Storm Mario also was expected to be a hurricane by Friday as it approaches the southern tip of Baja California and become nearly stationary through Friday night.
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