A woman was arrested Wednesday, July 4, after scaling the base of the Statue of Liberty. Sometimes hiding under Lady Liberty’s sandal, other times in the folds of her dress, protester Therese Patricia Okoumou, 44, dug her heels in for the long haul in an effort to shine a spotlight on the migrant jails under the Trump administration.
Okoumou was eventually apprehended by the New York City Police Department’s Emergency Service Unit. The Emergency Service Unit is utilized for some of the most dangerous rescue operations in the area.It took three hours to talk Okoumou down from the proverbial ledge.
In total, approximately 16 officers were called to the scene in an effort to diffuse the situation and bring her to safety.
The Latest: Police have reached a person who scaled the base of the Statue of Liberty on the Fourth of July. https://t.co/EcPjBPPSax
— The Associated Press (@AP) July 4, 2018
Police have captured a woman who had climbed up to the robes of the Statue of Liberty in a protest over the separation of migrant families on the border https://t.co/C8OJAlxh2l pic.twitter.com/ZEIz2cPdEB
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) July 4, 2018
Okoumou is an immigrant from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. According to court documents, she once filed a lawsuit against the New York City Commission on Human Rights. She is also affiliated with the human rights group Rise and Resist, according to group organizer Martin Joseph Quinn.
Liberty Island turned away visitors during the incident. A reported 3,000 people were rerouted from the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island when Statue Cruises paused operations.
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Group Turned Away for Trying to Deliver Baby Wipes to Children at Detention Center
An Associated Press report was issued on last week citing inhumane conditions at the U.S. southern border so, naturally, some Americans wanted to help.
According to The Texas Tribune, Austin Savage and five of his friends jumped into an SUV headed toward the border. Their vehicle was stocked with supplies, including over $340 worth of baby wipes, diapers, soap, toys, toothpaste, and other personal hygiene items.
When they arrived at the Clint Border Patrol facility, the group discovered the lobby was closed. Savage recalled that there were eight or 10 Border Patrol agents in the parking lot nearby, but none of them came by to assist the do-gooders.
“A good friend of mine is an immigration attorney, and he warned us that we were going to get rejected,” Savage said. “We were aware of that, but it’s just the idea of doing something as opposed to passively allowing this to occur.”
“It makes me feel powerless knowing there’s children taking care of toddlers and little kids,” said Gabriel Acuña. “Knowing what’s happening in your community and that you can’t give these kids supplies to clean or clothe themselves — it’s heartbreaking. For God’s sake, they’re kids, man.”
Just last week, an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice argued in court that the government shouldn’t be required to give migrant children inside Border Patrol detention facilities toothbrushes, soap, towels or showers.
A legal team interviewed 60 children at the facility near El Paso that has become the latest place where attorneys say young migrants are describing neglect and mistreatment at the hands of the U.S. government. They are now warning the public that kids are taking care of kids, and there’s inadequate food, water and sanitation for the 250 infants, children and teens at the Border Patrol station.
Data obtained by The Associated Press showed that on Wednesday there were three infants in the station, all with their teen mothers, along with a 1-year-old, two 2-year-olds and a 3-year-old. There are dozens more under 12. Fifteen have the flu, and 10 more are quarantined.
Three girls told attorneys they were trying to take care of the 2-year-old boy, who had wet his pants and had no diaper and was wearing a mucus-smeared shirt when the legal team encountered him.
“A Border Patrol agent came in our room with a 2-year-old boy and asked us, ‘Who wants to take care of this little boy?’ Another girl said she would take care of him, but she lost interest after a few hours and so I started taking care of him yesterday,” one of the girls said in an interview with attorneys.
Watch the video below to see more firsthand.
Pelosi to Trump: ‘You’re Scaring the Children’
CNN’s Jake Tapper reported that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Donald Trump spoke on the phone for 12 minutes last week about how he’s “scaring” children everywhere.
Well, you can’t make this stuff up.
The topic of discussion during the phone meeting was Immigration and Customs Enforcement deportation raids.
Ivanka Trump: We Were Trying to Save the Babies from Coyotes
Ana Navarro was a guest host on ABC’s The View on Friday and she didn’t mince words when it came to Trump’s crocodile tears.
“When Ivanka first came on the scene…I thought this was a great thing, I thought she’s going to soften up her father, is going to be a good, positive influence on her father,” Navarro said. “This act of, ‘I am vehemently against this, vehemently against that, but at the same time I remain in this complicit administration and I cash in and laugh all the way to the bank, getting patents in China, and selling stuff here and selling stuff there.’ The act is getting old.”
Commander Jonathan White of the U.S Public Health Service Commissioned Corps said 559 kids of the original 2,551 from separated families remain in custody.
In fact, he said he warned the Trump administration about the health and welfare pitfalls of separating families at the border, but to no avail.
“There’s no question that separation of children from parents entails significant potential for traumatic psychological injury to the child,” White said.
Still, Trump continued plowing her way through.
“I am the daughter of an immigrant, my mother grew up in communist Czech Republic, but we are a country of laws,” she said at Newseum. “She came to this country legally and we have to be very careful about incentivizing behavior that puts children at risk of being trafficked, at risk of entering this country with coyotes or making an incredibly dangerous journey alone. These are not easy issues, these are incredibly difficult issues and like the rest of the country, I experienced them actually in a very emotional way.”
Let’s make sure we save the children from coyotes. Because that’s the real issue here.
“Children were separated from their parents and referred as unaccompanied alien children when in fact they were accompanied,” White said.
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