Skip to main content

Stories You Might Have Missed This Week

The Trump administration gives FEMA funds to ICE, the number of migrant children in custody soars, and Scott Pruitt courts a coal job.
A boy is taken into custody by U.S. Border Patrol agents near the U.S.-Mexico Border on June 12th, 2018, near Mission, Texas.

A boy is taken into custody by U.S. Border Patrol agents near the U.S.-Mexico Border on June 12th, 2018, near Mission, Texas.

This week, we brought you stories on death on the Dakota Access Pipeline, Big Oil's black mark on California's climate record, and immigration judges' skepticism of Jeff Sessions' plan to tackle court backlogs. We've also been tracking Hurricane Florence and bringing you dispatches from the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco.

In other words, our small newsroom has been very busy. Here are a few more stories we're keeping an eye on.

The Trump Administration Diverted Close to $10 Million From FEMA to ICE

The federal government transferred $9.8 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to a document released Wednesday by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon).

"It wasn't enough to rip thousands of children out of the arms of their parents," Merkley said in a statement. "[T]he administration chose to partly pay for this horrific program by taking away from the ability to respond to damage from this year's upcoming and potentially devastating hurricane season."

Speaking of ICE, More Migrant Children Are Being Detained Than Ever

The number of migrant children currently in federal custody is 12,800, according to Department of Health and Human Services data obtained by the New York Times, compared to just 2,400 in May of last year. According to the data, though the number of children crossing the United States-Mexico border is about the same as in previous years, the number of children in custody has ballooned because stricter enforcement has led to fewer children being sponsored for release. The Times notes that the children separated from their parents under the administration's zero tolerance policy account for just a fraction of the detained children; the majority of these children crossed the border alone.

Remember Scott Pruitt? He May Be Getting a Coal Gig

The embattled former Environmental Protection Agency chief is in talks with Joseph W. Craft III, the chief executive of Alliance Resource Partners and a friend of Pruitt's, about a possible job, the Washington Post reports. One of the many scandals that swirled around Pruitt during his EPA tenure involved him and Craft attending a college basketball game together. The Post reports that Pruitt's under some financial pressure, having amassed between $115,000 and $300,000 in legal fees last year (that estimate does not include any fees from this year, when many scandals involving him broke). "Scott Pruitt has always been doing the dirty work for coal millionaires," Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, told the New York Times. "The only difference is now he'll be paid by them directly rather than ripping off the taxpayer."