An undocumented mother and father living in North Brownsville, Texas, were told by their local hospital that their 2-month-old son needed emergency stomach surgery that required them to travel to the only capable nearby facility, Driscoll Children's Hospital, in Corpus Christi, Texas. In order to get to Corpus Christi, Oscar and Irma Sanchez would have had to pass through a Border Patrol checkpoint. But even before they decided to go, a Border Patrol agent showed up at the hospital, likely summoned by a nurse, and told the parents that he would escort them through the checkpoint but arrest them and put them in deportation proceedings afterwards, NPR reports. The Sanchezes agreed to go:
The Border Patrol followed the ambulance, the night of May 24, as it raced to Corpus through desolate ranchland, carrying Oscar, Irma, and tiny Isaac — with an IV in his arm and a tube in his stomach. Once they arrived at Driscoll Children's Hospital, the green-uniformed agents never left the undocumented couple's side. Officers followed the father to the bathroom and the cafeteria and asked the mother to leave the door open when she breast-fed Isaac.
"Everywhere we went in the hospital," Oscar says, "they followed us." [NPR]
Oscar and Irma Sanchez have no criminal records and "advocates are puzzled why the Border Patrol chose to put the Sanchezes under such intense supervision, which one would expect for higher-value targets like drug traffickers or MS-13 gang members," NPR writes. Additionally, the Sanchezes' case raises immigration advocates' concerns about the Trump administration's treatment of "sensitive locations," or safe zones. Under President Obama, the Department of Homeland Security avoided arresting immigrants at hospitals, schools, churches, or public demonstrations.
"That's how you treat criminals that are harmful, and that's understandable for our own protection," said immigrant advocate Ana Hinojosa. "But [the Sanchezes are] a family that's just here trying to make a living, provide an education and a future for their children." Read or listen to the full story at NPR. Jeva Lange
The CW has turned the Archie comic book franchise into a hit teen drama, Riverdale. On Tuesday, The Tonight Show looked at what would happen if you gave the same treatment to another storied 1900s comic strip, Peanuts. Charlie Brown (Jimmy Fallon), now in high school (and with hair), is still (almost) kicking the football, but now Linus has been murdered, and the gang's town has a seedy underbelly. The Riverdale cast makes a cameo. Watch below. Peter Weber
On Monday night, Charles Barkley had a message for the voters of Alabama: Show the country "we're not a bunch of damn idiots" by electing Democrat Doug Jones to the Senate. After Jones' victory on Tuesday night, Barkley delivered another message, this time to the Democratic Party: "Start making life better for black folks and people who are poor."
The NBA legend and Alabama native spoke to CNN shortly after Jones won Tuesday night, saying he was "so proud of my state" because they "rose up today." By giving Jones a narrow victory — he defeated Republican Roy Moore by about 21,000 votes — it was a "wake-up call for Democrats," Barkley said, adding: "They've taken the black vote and the poor vote for granted for a long time. It's time for them to get off their ass and start making life better for black folks and people who are poor. They've always had our votes, and they've abused our votes, and this is a wake-up call. We're in a great position now, but this is a wake-up call for Democrats to do better for black people and poor white people."
The Washington Post's exit polls found that 96 percent of black voters cast their ballots for Jones, while 98 percent of black women and 93 percent of black men believed the accusations of sexual misconduct made against Moore. Catherine Garcia
On Tuesday, the Justice Department turned over to the House Intelligence Committee some 375 text messages between two FBI officials, senior counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, and according several news organizations that reported the content of the messages Tuesday night, both FBI officials referred to President Trump as an "idiot" between Aug. 16, 2015, and Dec. 1, 2016. Strzok was removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign's relationship with Russia over the summer, immediately after such messages were discovered; Page had already returned to the FBI.
Page called Trump a "loathsome human" as well as an "idiot," and Strzok also called Trump "awful." Most of the private text exchanges were in reference to Trump's appearances on TV; the colleagues were having an extramarital affair, according to Fox News. On election night, Strzok called Trump's apparent win "terrifying," and both officials said at one point during the presidential race they hoped Hillary Clinton would beat him. Strzok was assigned to the Clinton email investigation, and Republicans say these text exchanges prove he was biased toward Clinton and against Trump.
Strzok, who identified himself a "conservative Dem" in a March 2016 exchange, also called Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) an "idiot like Trump" and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) a "douche," panned former Attorney General Eric Holder, and suggested he would vote for Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), then Trump ("He was pretty much calling for death for [NSA leaker Edward] Snowden. I'm a single-issue voter. ;) Espionage Machine Party"). Page said Kasich was rumored to be gay and said she "booed at the TV" when Holder was on.
Republicans are pouncing on the exchanges, but "the last of the messages are from last December," The Associated Press notes, "so it's unclear how helpful they will be to Trump allies seeking to prove that Mueller's probe was tainted by bias." You can read the exchanges at Fox News. Peter Weber
A forged 13-page document accusing Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) of sexual harassment was circulated to several major media outlets in an attempt to discredit Schumer and the publications, Axios reported Tuesday.
Axios says the document, a password-protected PDF, had the file name "Schumer_Complaint," and looked like a lawsuit that had been filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. It named a former Schumer staffer, who worked in his office from 2009 to 2012; when approached by Axios, the woman said she had never seen the document before and the claims are "completely false, my signature is forged, and even basic facts about me are wrong. I have contacted law enforcement to determine who is responsible. I parted with Sen. Schumer's office on good terms and have nothing but the fondest memories of my time there."
Schumer's communications director, Matt House, also told Axios the document is fake and "every allegation is false. We have turned it over to the Capitol Police and asked them to investigate and pursue criminal charges because it is clear the law has been broken." A person close to Schumer told Axios there are several claims in the document that can easily be discredited, like the allegation Schumer acted inappropriately on Sept. 16, 2011, in Washington; he was actually in New York City at the time. Catherine Garcia
With 100 percent of precincts in Alabama reporting and Democrat Doug Jones ahead by nearly 21,000 votes, Republican Roy Moore told his supporters to keep the faith, because "when the vote is this close, it's not over."
Moore, who during the special Senate race was accused by several women of groping them when he was in his early 30s and they were teenagers, said he had been "painted in an unfavorable and unfaithful light," and he did not concede the election. He told his supporters to go home and get some rest, and stay tuned for news about a recount.
In Alabama, there is an automatic recount when the vote is within half of a percent, but Jones is ahead by 1.5 percentage points. Moore might be counting on absentee ballots, but MSNBC's Steve Kornacki said those were among the first votes to be counted. It's unclear how many provisional and military ballots there are, but Kornacki estimated there are 1,000 to 1,500 outstanding. Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill told CNN he doesn't think the vote margin will change substantially before the election is certified between Dec. 26 and Jan. 3. Catherine Garcia
In his victory speech Tuesday night, Democrat Doug Jones, the projected winner of the Alabama special Senate election, said his entire campaign was based on "dignity and respect."
"This campaign has been about the rule of law," he continued. "This campaign has been about common courtesy and decency and making sure everyone in this state, regardless of which ZIP code you live in, is going to get a fair shake in life." Jones thanked the volunteers who "knocked on 300,000 doors" and made "1.2 million phone calls" on his behalf, and said he's ready to go to Washington to work on health care, particularly funding the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). It was a night to "rejoice," Jones said, celebrating Alabama taking "the right road," and he ended his speech with a Martin Luther King Jr. quote: "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." Catherine Garcia
If you were expecting an angry tweet from President Trump after the candidate he supported in the Alabama Senate special election, Republican Roy Moore, lost to Doug Jones, the Democrat, nope. On Tuesday night, Trump tweeted out his cordial congratulations to Jones.
Congratulations to Doug Jones on a hard fought victory. The write-in votes played a very big factor, but a win is a win. The people of Alabama are great, and the Republicans will have another shot at this seat in a very short period of time. It never ends!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2017
Moore wasn't Trump's first choice in the race — he campaigned for Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.) in the GOP primary. But he eventually went all-in for Moore, who he saw as a reliable Republican vote in the Senate. Peter Weber