100 Days Later, Morale Within Border Patrol on the Rise

Breaking a historic pattern of not endorsing presidential candidates, the National Border Patrol Council publicly supported Donald Trump last year.

“We need a person in the White House who doesn’t fear the media, who doesn’t embrace political correctness, who doesn’t need the money, who is familiar with success, who won’t bow to foreign dictators, who is pro-military and values law enforcement, and who is angry for America and NOT subservient to the interests of other nations. Donald Trump is such a man,” The National Border Patrol Council’s website said.

Now, 100 days into Trump’s presidency, the union is still backing him.

“A lot of it is still going to take time,” Art Del Cueto said. “But we have seen an immediate change.”

The change was in morale within the agents, Del Cueto said. He’s Vice President of the National Border Patrol Council and President of the Tucson Sector’s union.

Listen to the interview with Art Del Cueto here:

Featured Image: John Moore/Getty Images

What Would a NAFTA Repeal Mean for Nebraska Corn Farmers?

Alan Tiemann is a fourth generation Nebraska farmer. Back in November, he was a Trump voter.

“You know when he gave his speech on TV, I thought, there’s the guy I want to be president,” said Tiemann, “and then he turns around and does something and it’s like, come on. Give me a break.”

Tiemann is talking about Trump’s unpredictable tweets and comments, which have a certain impact on him, especially talk about NAFTA, trade with Mexico and a possible border tax to pay for the proposed border wall. That’s because as a corn farmer, Tiemann relies on trade with Mexico, the largest consumer of U.S.-grown corn. In fact, his corn is made into ethanol, and he’s optimistic about Mexico becoming a bigger market for this alternative fuel in the future.

But given President Trump’s notorious criticism of NAFTA (which enables this high volume of trade), Tiemann is seeing uncertainty and worry from partners in Mexico. As part of the U.S. Grains Council, he meets with buyers in other countries and reports on U.S. crops. This year, the council is paying special attention to Mexico in order to soothe any fears about trade, going as far as to hold their annual meeting in Mexico City. But when asked how to handle the current situation, he isn’t quite sure.

“How do you reassure someone when you don’t know what the next tweet is going to be? I don’t know,” he said.

Featured Image: Julia Shu

100 Days: What About Now?

The first 100 days of a presidency is kind of like that point in a relationship where you’ve gotten a glimpse at your partner’s true colors–maybe you think you can see what their intentions are for the next four years.

But what is it about a president’s first 100 days, in particular, that have pollsters calculating approval ratings and think pieces predicting the fate of the rest of the 1,360 days left in the president’s term? Why do we judge a new president off of the first 100?

Well, there’s a bit of historical significance to using the first 100 days in office to gauge a new president’s performance. It actually goes back to our 1933, and the country’s 32nd president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. When he took office during the Great Depression, Roosevelt knew he had to act fast to turn things around. So in his first 100 days, he completely transformed the country with a whole set of new policies and actions.

So if FDR can make radical change to completely alter the trajectory of the U.S. in his first 100 days in office, what kind of change can other presidents do in their first 100 days?

President Trump’s first 100 days has seen a lot of change, from a roll out of executive orders to his potentially terminating or altering NAFTA.

According to a Gallup poll, on April 27, Trump’s approval rating was at 40%. It fell as low as 35% in March, the lowest approval rating of a president in modern U.S. history, going all the way back to President Truman. That means about one third of Americans approved of Trump.

We decided to round up a handful of Trump lovers, haters and skeptics to hear straight from the source. We hear from past guest Juan Canino, the Trump-voting brother to two Trump-hating sisters; Jared Gomez, a Trump voter who took to Twitter to air his grievances about Trump’s actions; and Irving Allen, one of the Black Lives Matter activists we featured in our “The New Deciders” episode back in October 2016, who back then was unsure of if he’d even vote at all.

Featured Image: Ian Walton/Getty Images

100 Days Later, Still Marching

When Ana Breton attended the Women’s March in Washington D.C., she came across a group of people waving huge Mexican flags. Ana, who immigrated to the United States from Mexico, felt inspired. She went back to her job at Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, but instead of just writing comedy, now Ana decided she would have another vocation: being an activist. That same week, she heard President Trump discuss his plans to build a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. For Ana, that was the tipping point. She went home and created a Facebook event for her very own march, one specifically for Latinos and immigrants.

The following day when she checked her Facebook, more than 10,000 people had confirmed interest in attending. Even though Ana had little activism experience, all of a sudden she was in charge of organizing a march along with other activists who, like her, began protesting only in the last 100 days.

Featured Image: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Lawyers Under Trump: Front and Center

For many lawyers, the Trump presidency has been a new world. While activists have filled the streets, lawyers have been fighting him in court, and gaining national recognition in the process. This has inspired many lawyers to be vocal about their beliefs and back up their words with action, joining protests across the country.

At the same time, however, this notoriety comes at a price. Many lawyers getting involved in anti-Trump actions are struggling to deal with the responsibility of fighting for their clients in a political world that is looking less and less certain, and they are talking about the toll of the work on their own mental health more openly.

Latino USA speaks with a lawyer and a legal representative to shed light on this new world for lawyers.

Featured Image: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

Fighting to Protect Immigrants in Rural Trump Country

In the 2016 election, rural Minnesota, like much of the Midwest, experienced a red surge—large numbers of rural, white, working-class voters who used to vote Democrat suddenly voted Republican in national and local elections. For the first time in years, Republicans had won control of both houses of the state legislature.

The day after the election, Minneapolis-based activist Mariano Espinoza decided to get to work. The way he saw it, the federal government was promising to crack down on immigrants without legal status, now the state government was unfriendly to immigrants as well. So who would stand up for the undocumented in the rural meatpacking towns that dot the Minnesota countryside?

Since then, Espinoza has been spending much of his free time traveling around rural Minnesota and trying to convince local municipal governments to pass ordinances that will help protect immigrants: measures like creating municipal IDs, or ordering local police departments not to cooperate with ICE.

Latino USA followed Mariano on one such trip to the Minnesota city of Willmar to see how activism in the Trump Era is working on a very local scale.

Featured Image: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Eugenio Derbez’s First Film in English ‘How to Be a Latin Lover’ Out Now, His Latino USA Convo Out Soon

“How to Be a Latin Lover” is playing in theaters across the United States now and will debut in Mexico May 5.

Latino USA spoke with the film’s star and producer Eugenio Derbez for an upcoming episode. Tune in next week for the interview to hear him talk about the challenges of crossing over into Hollywood, the hardest part about making a movie in English and about starting fresh in the U.S.

“How to Be a Latin Lover” stars Derbez, Salma Hayek, Rob Lowe and Kristen Bell. The movie was produced by Derbez and it’s his first film in English. Despite the title, the movie is PG-13 “so you can bring your kids, your abuelitas, your tíos, el perro y el perico,” Derbez told Latino USA.

“I was aware that it was a strong stereotype in the U.S. because every time I wore a suit or a tuxedo all the Anglos they were immediately like, ‘oh the Latin lover,’ or ‘you look like a Latin lover,'” Derbez said. “So it was funny to me and I think that the best way to break down a stereotype is to poke fun at it. So I decided to make fun of the stereotype to make people understand that it’s just that a stereotype.”

Listen to Part of the April 27 Press Call for Arturo Hernández García, Now Detained by ICE

During a press call earlier on Thursday, advocates for Arturo Hernández García, a Denver father of two who was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Wednesday, said they were exploring several legal options to stop Hernández García’s possible deportation to Mexico. In 2014, Hernández García took sanctuary at First Unitarian Society of Denver, the same church in which Jeanette Vizguerra took sanctuary two months ago. According to advocates, Hernández García spent nine months at the church, until he was notified by ICE in July of 2015 that he was no longer a priority for deportation. Advocates believe that Hernández García’s detention was politically motivated, a charge that ICE has denied.

“Hernandez Garcia has overstayed his original, six-month visa by nearly 14 years,” ICE spokesperson Carl Rusnok told The Denver Post in a statement. “He has exhausted his petitions through the immigration courts and through ICE.”

The press call featured the following individuals: Rev. Noel Andersen, the national grassroots coordinator for Church World Service; Jennifer Piper of the American Friends Service Committee: Rev. Mike Morran of First Unitarian Society of Denver: Ana Sauzameda (Hernández García’s wife) and Vizguerra.

Cop Called to End Kids’ Dance Event Ends Up Teaching Them How to Salsa

This police officer in San Antonio, Texas, has sure got some smooth moves.

When a neighbor called cops out to shut down a children’s dance club event that was being held in a backyard late Saturday, the unidentified officer went off script — and ended up teaching the attending youngsters how to dance salsa.

Leslie Sapp, whose daughter was attending the Next Generation Dance Crew event, shared the above footage of the heartwarming moment to Facebook. It’s now going viral.

Read more at HuffPost Latino Voices.

DHS Says Publishing Names of Children for Detained Immigrants Database Was ‘Lapse in Privacy Protocols’

After being alerted Wednesday evening by Latino USA that a new online database of detained immigrants for the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement Office (VOICE) included names of children as young as two years old, a Department of Homeland Security spokesperson said late Wednesday night that “a lapse in privacy protocols” has been rectified.

“The Department of Homeland Security’s policy is and remains to protect the information of minors in our custody,” DHS spokesperson Gillian Christensen said via email. “Following the April 26 launch of the DHS-Victim Information and Notification Exchange (DHS-VINE) the appropriate filter was not applied to the data being made available to site users, which allowed for a lapse in privacy protocols. Once identified, ICE immediately began work to resolve the issue and restored the appropriate filters to the system within hours. Consistent with DHS policy, information about minors in ICE custody is no longer available through DHS-VINE.”

Christensen’s response came after Latino USA tested DHS-VINE around 8pm ET on Wednesday night. Latino USA had entered the search query of “M. Martinez” as a name and “El Salvador” as a country of residence. About 9 of the more than 30 results included the names of detained children between ages 2–17.

At 8:27pm ET, Latino USA emailed DHS about why minors were included in this database, which, according to a April 26 DHS press release,  was “an automated service being launched today that will help victims track the immigration custody status of illegal alien perpetrators of crime.”

By 8:36pm ET, Christensen acknowledged receipt of the email and included press contacts from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). ICE told Latino USA in an 8:39pm ET email that it could set up a call on Thursday morning with one of the officials at VOICE to talk about the database. Latino USA agreed to the call and decided to not file a story about the database until it spoke with someone at VOICE, the new ICE office that the DHS release said “will assist victims of crimes committed by criminal aliens.”

At 11:16pm ET, Christensen emailed Latino USA with the statement about how the online filters were not applied to the database, the same statement that appeared in a Wednesday night Los Angeles Times story about why minors were included in the database. According to the Times, “A 3-year-old boy from El Salvador detained in Texas at Karnes Residential Center —an immigration detention center— and a 4-year-old Guatemalan girl in Phoenix were just some of the scores of children listed in the public system.”

On Thursday morning, Latino USA re-entered the same  “M. Martinez/El Salvador” search query, and no minors under 18 were listed. In addition, Latino USA contacted Appriss, the company listed at the bottom of the DHS-VINE page, to ask what happened with the launch of the DHS-VINE page and whether it had fixed the filter on Wednesday night. As of this posting, Appriss has yet to respond.

Also on Thursday morning, Latino USA reconnected with ICE to see if it could speak to a VOICE official and also answer questions about how the DHS-VINE page is being explained by different platforms. For example, according to the DHS April 26 media release, DHS-VINE can be used to “help victims track the immigration custody status of illegal alien perpetrators of crime” and will also offer “automated alerts” to people who register. However, when visiting the actual DHS-VINE page, it says that “DHS-VINE is a free, confidential service that provides crime victims/witnesses, their family members, and victim advocates confidential notification of changes in custody status.” It also adds that “DHS-VINE provides victims and witnesses with information on changes in the custody status of aliens, allowing these individuals to have the sense of security that they deserve.” The ICE.gov VOICE announcement about DHS-VINE, says that ICE is providing “assistance signing-up to receive automated custody status information about an alien in custody (DHS-VINE).”

April 27 screen grab from DHS-VINE

Furthermore, when a user clicks on “Search for Offenders in Your State,” it goes to VineLink.com, which describes itself as “an online portal to VINE, America’s number one victim notification network. VINE has been providing victims and concerned citizens with the power of information for decades, allowing these individuals to have the sense of security that they deserve.” (Appriss also includes a video overview about VINE.)

April 27 screen grab from VineLink.com

Latino USA also asked ICE about whether the new DHS-VINE portal lists all immigrant detainees over 18 and to clarify what the terms “Final Book-Out” and “Initial Book-In” mean. It also asked about whether the database includes asylum seekers, which would essentially violate government privacy policies. As of this publication, ICE has yet to respond to these additional questions. If ICE responds, Latino USA will provide an update.

UPDATE, April 28, 2017
An ICE official has responded to four follow-up questions submitted by Latino USA:

Q: Are all detainees 18 and over being listed in the DHS-VINE database?
A: Information on aliens younger than 18 years of age, based on the date of birth the alien provides, is filtered out of search results in DHS-VINE.

Q: What do terms like “Final Book-Out” and “Initial Book-In” mean in the database?
A: Those terms refer to events in the immigration enforcement lifecycle when an alien leaves ICE custody and enters ICE custody, respectively.

Q: Why is there a Search for Offenders in Your State link on vinelink.dhs.gov that takes users to vinelink.com?
A: VINELINK.com is a portal to register to receive notifications on criminals who are incarcerated state and local custody. DHS-VINE is linked to VINELINK.com to ensure notifications to registrants continue as the alien leaves the criminal justice system and enters ICE custody.

Q: Who exactly is part of the database? We noticed that some detainees are in family residential centers. Are some of these names asylum seekers?
A: The VINE database includes information on aliens on whom ICE has lodged a detainer, who have been booked into ICE custody, or have been booked out of ICE custody. Those are the events that trigger the notification process (for example, notification of entering ICE custody).

ICE takes seriously its responsibility to protect personal information in accordance with law and policy while at the same time providing useful information to victims, families and their representatives.

I can also confirm to you that consistent with 8 C.F.R. Section 208.6, no asylum related information is disclosed in VINE.