FEMA is headed to the southern border.
The number of unaccompanied migrant children there has skyrocketed in recent weeks – and now stands at over 4,200 children. Lawyers visiting one facility reportedly said there are a "staggering number" of children living in overcrowded conditions. And that some had been there for as long as a week. Children also reported being hungry, sleeping on the floor, not seeing the sun, and having to wait five days or more for a shower. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said, "a Border Patrol facility is no place for a child." Now, FEMA's getting involved.
The Dept of Homeland Security said FEMA and volunteers will help receive, shelter, and transfer migrant children. And that authorities will work to place children with a family member or sponsor until their immigration case is settled. There's been a surge in the number of migrants recently as many – fleeing poverty and crime in Central America – hope the Biden admin will be more welcoming than the former one. But it's led to detention facilities being overcapacity. And the Biden admin's facing mounting criticism for how it's handled things at the border.
Lawmakers across the aisle have condemned the Biden admin for its treatment of minors at the border. And some have drawn parallels to when the Trump admin kept "kids in cages." Republicans blame Biden, claiming his more inviting approach to immigration has led to a flood of migrants at the border. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that the Biden admin inherited a "broken system at the border" and that they're trying to correct it. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is planning to visit the border with other Republicans today to see what's happening firsthand.
President Biden's promised to reverse course on the former admin's immigration crackdown. But changes are still in the works. And in the meantime, asylum seekers – including children – are stuck in the middle.
Breonna Taylor. On Saturday, her family led hundreds of people in a Louisville protest to mark the one-year anniversary of Taylor's death. On March 13, 2020, officers shot and killed the 26-year-old Black woman following a "no-knock" search warrant. Months later, Louisville reached a $12 million settlement with Taylor's family as part of a wrongful death lawsuit. But the city has not charged any of the officers in her death. Now, protesters and Taylor's family are once again calling on state and local officials to hold the officers accountable. And her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, has filed a federal lawsuit against the Louisville Metro Police Department and the officers involved in the shooting. Walker's accusing the dept of violating his constitutional rights the night of the raid.
George Floyd. On Friday, the Minneapolis City Council unanimously approved a $27 million civil settlement with Floyd's family. Last May, the 46-year-old Black man died after now-fired police officer Derek Chauvin pinned him to the ground for about nine minutes as other officers watched. Floyd's family sued the city, arguing that police violated Floyd's civil rights and failed to properly train its officers. Now, Minneapolis is paying the largest settlement of its kind. Mayor Jacob Frey (D) said the move was a "milestone" for Minneapolis's racial reckoning. But Philonise Floyd said he'd "give all this back" to have his brother alive.
Trial pending: Some experts say the deal could paint Chauvin as guilty ahead of his trial later this month. Which could lead Chauvin's legal team to call a mistrial. Or make it harder to seat an impartial jury.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY). Over the weekend, he faced growing calls to resign amid sexual harassment allegations. Since December, at least six women have come forward against him, detailing years of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior. It's prompted an independent investigation by the NY attorney general and an impeachment investigation by state legislators. All the while, his admin's facing an investigation into underreporting coronavirus deaths in nursing homes. Now, New York's Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are saying Cuomo "lost the confidence" of his fellow New Yorkers and that he should step down. As for the governor himself, he's saying he's not going anywhere and blamed his party for "playing politics."
Red (ethics) flag: Longtime Cuomo ally and NY "vaccine czar" Larry Schwartz made calls to county execs to gauge their loyalty to the governor. Which had some concerned about whether their responses could affect the state's vaccine rollout. To which Schwartz said 'I wouldn't do that.'
The Grammys. Women won all four major categories at last night's awards show: Megan Thee Stallion is thee best new artist. H.E.R. has the song of the year. Billie Eilish got everything she wanted. And Taylor Swift won her third album of the year award – the stuff of Folklore. And then there's Beyoncé, who made history with her 28th Grammy win – the most of any female artist in history. But there were other talkers too: Silk Sonic (hi, Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak) gave a smooth performance. Harry Styles's boas deserve a Grammy. Dua Lipa left us Levitating. And Lil Baby reminded us of "The Bigger Picture." That's a WAP.
Their friends, according to former President Obama. We spoke to him about his daughters' favorite White House guests, the highs and lows of his first term in office, and his new book "A Promised Land."
Skimm’d by Maria del Carmen Corpus, Mariza Smajlaj, Clem Robineau, and Julie Shain
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