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US reaches agreement over separated migrant families

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The Trump administration has
reached a settlement over the separation of migrant children and
their parents at the US border, allowing some individuals to
apply for asylum in the United States, according to court
documents.

Under the plan, filed late Wednesday, the administration
said that while it did not plan to return any parents who have
already been deported, the government would consider individual
cases where that may be warranted.

The agreement, which must be approved by the federal judge
in the case, stems from US President Donald Trump’s
“zero-tolerance” immigration policy earlier this year that left
thousands of children in detention facilities and separated from
their parents, sparking widespread condemnation.

If approved, the settlement would mark a significant step in
resolving the lawsuit brought by American Civil Liberties Union
(ACLU) on behalf of separated families.

In early May Trump had sought to prosecute all adults
crossing the border without authorization, including those
traveling with children, but ended the family separations the
next month.

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The administration has said more than 2,300 migrant children
were separated from their parents.

On Wednesday, the New York
Times reported that the overall number of detained migrant
children reached a total of 12,800 this month, citing data
obtained from members of Congress.

Most of those children
crossed the border alone, without their parents, the newspaper
reported.

It was not immediately clear how many asylum seekers the
agreement would affect.

Migrants who choose not to agree to the settlement would be
“promptly removed to their country of origin,” according to the
agreement put before US District Judge Dana Sabraw in San
Diego.

The ACLU filed the suit on behalf of a mother and her
6-year-old daughter, who had fled the Democratic Republic of
Congo
over religious persecution and were separated after
entering the United States to seek asylum.

The case is Ms. L et al v US Immigration and Customs
Enforcement et al, US District Court, Southern District of
California, No. 18-00428.

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Kenya: Tuju Tells Judges Not to Undermine President Kenyatta

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Jubilee Secretary-General Raphael Tuju has sensationally warned High Court judges not to ‘frustrate’ the government that offers them ‘protection’.

While speaking in an interview with NTV, the seasoned politician, who also is a Cabinet Secretary without a portfolio reminded the judges that they depend on the same government they were reportedly fighting and frustrating.

“Judges should learn the word ‘interdependence’ because as soon as they finish a ruling, they need policemen to escort them home as guards or drivers. The world is much more complicated. We are a little more humble than the judges who say this is what is, period! If you don’t like it, period!”

His sentiments came a few days after a five-judge bench declared the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) irregular, illegal and unconstitutional.

The BBI bill is considered a brainchild of President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga. It seeks to, among others, change the constitution so as to allow the increase in funding at the grassroots and increase political positions within the executive.

Tuju meanwhile also called out the judges for not respecting the head of state saying that the “High Court judges were not courteous to the President by referring to him as ‘Mr’, and also limiting his powers in his role as a symbol of national unity.

“The judges who ruled on this matter and even insinuated that the President has no say on this matter, I would call it selective reading of a constitution. In Article 10 of the constitution, the President has the responsibility for national unity.”

Justices Teresia Matheka, Joel Ngugi, George Odunga, Jairus Ngaah, and Chacha Mwita – on Thursday, May 13 in a landmark case ruled that the BBI initiative was unconstitutional and that President Uhuru Kenyatta failed to respect, uphold and safeguard the Constitution by initiating a referendum.

Tuju also stressed the President listens to legal advice from his team before speaking.

“The President is the President of the whole country. It is wise that he listens to his legal advisers before he talks about this. When it comes to the court, we have to navigate very carefully,” he said.

Law Society of Kenya President Nelson Havi responded to Tuju’s sentiments by warning him that Kenya was not the Uganda of the 1970s.

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“Raphael Tuju, hear and get me loud and clear. Your behaviour seems to know no limit. Judges volunteer to serve in an Arm of Government. Their security is not a privilege but a right. This is not the Uganda of the 1970s. Cross that line again and you will live to regret it,” he warned.

In the hard-hitting ruling, the judges singled out multiple legal blunders that President Kenyatta committed in his desire for law reforms.

They said the Head of State made a fatal legal mistake in attempting to change the Constitution through a popular initiative, an avenue that is not available to him.

They also ruled that the BBI constitutional committee, a body created by the president, was illegal, adding that Mr Kenyatta had failed the leadership and integrity test.

They warned that the president could be sued in his personal capacity.

The judgement was arguably the most significant ruling by Kenyan courts since Mr Kenyatta’s election win was nullified in 2017.