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Spencer Platt/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former Arkansas Gov. and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee posted a photo of apparent gang members on Twitter, saying they are House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's "campaign committee."

The image, tweeted Saturday morning, shows five tattooed men using what appears to be hand signs for MS-13, an international criminal gang that was formed by El Salvadoran refugees in Los Angeles during the 1980s and has since spread throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Central America.

"Nancy Pelosi introduces her campaign committee for the take back of the House," Huckabee tweeted alongside the photo.

Huckabee, who ran for the Republican nomination for president in 2008 and 2016, received widespread criticism for the tweet, which was also liked by more than 15,000 Twitter users and retweeted over 6,400 times as of Saturday afternoon.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly referred to MS-13 as a reason for tightening border security. And Huckabee tweeted the image amid a raging debate between Democrats and Republicans over immigration.

Outrage erupted across the nation after the controversial "zero-tolerance" immigration policy was put into effect last month by Trump's administration. The policy, enacted by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in early May, stated that everyone who tries to cross the southern border illegally would be criminally prosecuted, and that parents will be separated from their children as they await trial.

Trump, appearing to cave to immense political pressure, signed an executive order on Wednesday ending the practice of forcibly separating immigrant families at the border with Mexico. But thousands of children have already been taken away from their detained parents.

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Alex Wong/Getty Images(LEXINGTON, Va.) -- White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said she was told to leave a Virginia restaurant because she works for President Donald Trump.

Sanders wrote on Twitter on Saturday that the owner of Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, asked her to leave because of who she works for.

"Her actions say far more about her than about me," Sanders tweeted. "I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so."

Sanders' father, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, weighed in, calling the incident an example of "bigotry."

"Bigotry. On the menu at Red Hen Restaurant in Lexington VA. Or you can ask for the 'Hate Plate,'" Huckabee tweeted.

A man who says he was Sanders' waiter at the farm-to-table restaurant wrote on Facebook that he only served her for a couple minutes before the owner "asked her to leave and she complied."

"Her family left on their own accord, we didn't actually refuse service or 'kick her out,'" he wrote in the Facebook post.Responding to comments on his post, which has been shared hundreds of times, the man wrote that "the owner felt that Sarah's moral decisions conflicted with her own."

ABC News reached out to the owner and the waiter for comment but did immediately heard back Saturday afternoon.

The incident occurred after a week of widespread outrage over the Trump administration's policy of forcibly separating migrant families who illegally cross the southern border from Mexico.

Trump signed an executive order Wednesday to end the practice of separating migrant families. But well over a thousand children remain apart from their parents, and many continue to criticize the president's "zero tolerance" approach to illegal immigration.

Sanders wasn't the first official to be personally confronted with public anger over the administration's immigration policy. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who oversees the nation's borders, was bombarded by protesters on Tuesday night while she dined at an upscale Mexican restaurant in Washington, D.C.

Video of the confrontation was posted to Facebook.

The protesters, members of Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America, loudly booed at Nielsen and repeatedly shouted "shame."

"Secretary Nielsen, how dare you spend your evening here eating dinner as you're complicit in the separation and deportation of over 10,000 children separated from their parents," one protester yelled. "How can you enjoy a Mexican dinner as you’re deporting and imprisoning tens of thousands of people who come here seeking asylum in the United States?"

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Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump is apparently trying to deflect criticism of his administration's separating more than 2,000 migrant children from their parents by suggesting that former President Obama did worse.

Trump tweeted Saturday morning that President Obama kept immigrants "in cages, wrapped in foil," pushing a Drudge Report headline that linked to an article that ran in The Daily Caller, a conservative media outlet.

The Daily Caller article was posted on Tuesday, when public outrage over the family separations was at a height. On Wednesday, the president signed an executive order to end the policy and keep migrant parents and children together.

The Obama administration also used detention facilities for migrants who crossed the border illegally, but it did not engage in widespread family separations.

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iStock/Thinkstock(AUSTIN, Texas) -- A campaign ad released Wednesday by a progressive running in Texas’s 31st Congressional District in 2018 is gaining national attention for its candid presentation of issues including domestic violence, misogyny, and money in politics.

MJ Hegar, a decorated Air Force veteran who led the fight in 2012 to overturn a policy barring women from direct ground combat, is challenging U.S. Rep. John Carter, a Tea Party Republican who has held his seat for 15 years, in a district that includes a major military base.

While Hegar will face an uphill battle in a deep red district, progressives with similar profiles have seen success in this year’s primaries. Two female air force veterans recently won Democratic nominations: Chrissy Houlahan for Pennsylvania’s 6th district, and Amy McGrath for Kentucky’s 6th district. McGrath’s acclaimed ad is packed with parallels to Hegar’s video.

Hegar thinks her new ad is already moving the needle on her campaign. On Wednesday, just hours after the video was released, Cook Political Report updated the TX-31 seat from “Solid” to “Likely” Republican.

The bio spot, entitled “Doors,” tracks the barriers Hegar has faced both personally and professionally, from her mother’s decision to “walk out the door” on her abusive father, to the discrimination she experienced as a female pilot and the doors she says were shut when she lobbied Congress for the rights of servicewomen, without the backing of corporate PACs.

“When I was in D.C. trying to make real change and fight for a stronger military, I was treated like I was not important because I was not a donor,” she told ABC News.

This isn’t Hegar’s first time sharing gritty personal details with the public. Her 2017 memoir, "Shoot Like a Girl," is now being produced as a biopic, with Angelina Jolie starring as Hegar.

The book includes candid discussions of controversial issues facing the military, including her allegations of sexual assault against military physician. Hegar has emphasized the importance of destigmatizing sexual assault.

After serving three tours in Afghanistan as a major in the U.S. Air Force, Hegar earned a Purple Heart and was honorably discharged after her plane was shot down by Taliban combatants.

In 2012, Hegar filed suit with four servicewomen against the U.S. Secretary of Defense. Backed by the ACLU, the veterans in Hegar v. Carter argued against the Combat Exclusion Policy, which barred women from direct ground combat, winning a victory in 2013.

While she celebrated the outcome, Hegar insists that “legislation leads culture” and policy victories are only the first step in broader social progress.

She thinks progressive change is only beginning to come to military culture. “It seems like a lot of the steps we’ve taken are having an impact, but it is still largely a good old boys’ club.”

Hegar, who describes herself as an “adrenaline junkie,” decided her next target would be the influence of big money in politics. In “Doors,” she says that she was shut out of the political process because she wasn’t a wealthy donor.

“One of those closed doors was my congressman, Tea Party Republican John Carter. Apparently being his constituent, and a veteran, wasn’t enough to get a meeting. I guess I also needed to be a donor,” she says in the ad.

Hegar has made her own rejection of corporate PAC money a centerpiece of her campaign, and in April gained the endorsement of the anti-corruption organization End Citizens United.

The candidate is also backed by veterans’ advocacy groups like VoteVets, and sees her military background as compatible with many traditionally progressive causes. For Hegar, a robust defense and national security platform includes opposition to travel bans, independence from foreign oil and support for environmental legislation.

While Hegar sees climate change as a pressing reality and a national security issue, she says respects differing views including those of climate change skeptics. Still, she says there are other compelling interests in transitioning to renewable energy: not least, American reliance on foreign oil.

“I accept the science, but I respect other people’s freedom to be discerning and make their own decisions. But they can’t deny that our military pays the price for our dependence on foreign oil,” Hegar told ABC News.

On the recent immigration crisis, Hegar says she doesn’t know “why Secretary Nielsen still has her job,” and that she’s baffled at many of the Trump administration’s actions.

“I don’t understand a lot of the things I’m reading in the news and I’m seeing on TV, and I think that a lot of Americans are feeling that way. We’re kind of like, are we watching a dystopian movie playing out, or are we watching the news?”

Responding to Hegar's ad, Todd Olsen, a spokesperson for Carter’s campaign, cited a recent instance in which Carter worked with a veteran constituent.

When Charles Nelson, an army veteran, needed a kidney transplant, he found that the Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ choice program wouldn’t cover a transplant from his son, Coty, who is not a veteran.

Carter sponsored the Veterans’ Transplant Coverage Act, which passed on June 7, ensuring that non-veteran organ donors like Nelson’s son are eligible for VA health care coverage for transplant operations.

“John Carter is respected because of his responsiveness to constituents,” Olsen told ABC News.

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ABC News.(WASHINGTON) -- As the immigration crisis played out this week along the southern border, family members of two undocumented immigrants detained and separated from their families came to Washington for help in getting their loved ones released.

Here are their stories:

Cristobal Paute

Veronica Paute vividly remembers the moment Immigration and Customs Enforcement apprehended her brother, 35-year-old Cristobal Paute, in his home earlier this year: Federal agents knocked down the door and threatened to arrest everyone in the house if her brother didn't surrender, she told ABC News. (An ICE spokesperson says enforcement actions differ based on the circumstances.)

After two hours, Paute says her brother gave himself up to avoid putting his children and family at risk.

The separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border in recent weeks has captured the attention of millions and mobilized many against the practice. But for others, being separated from loved ones is a reality they've lived with for months or years.

“It’s not only happening at the border, it’s happening also at our communities,” Veronica Paute said about her brother's arrest in February. “It’s real. It’s not fiction. I live in that pain and I want [people] to know there is a family that is missing their brother, father every single day and every single night.”

This week, Paute and other immigrant family members in similar situations came to Capitol Hill from New York to meet with , Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, in hopes she would take up their campaign to get their loved ones, locked in detention centers for months, released.

Although the separation issue is different from loved ones being deported, the families say the pain is the same.

“We were devastated. We were scared. We didn’t know what to do, where to go, who to speak to,” said Paute. “We were really scared because [even] in [your] worst nightmare, [you don’t] expect something like that to happen. We’ll see on the news things like that going on, but when it touches [you] personally, it’s more horrifying.”

Cristobal Paute did not have a criminal record, according to Bruna Bouhid, National Communications Manager for United We Dream, a youth-led national immigrant organization. Bouhid believes Cristobal’s arrest came from contact with U.S. Customs Border and Protection a decade ago, and he remained in their system. ICE says a criminal conviction is not necessary for agents to arrest someone for immigration violations.

Paute says nothing has been the same since he was “taken away.”

“Father’s Day just passed and we don't really celebrate it anymore,” said Paute, pausing to collect herself before continuing. Paute says her brother's children would bring home Father's Day crafts made at school, hoping to give them their gifts if he comes home.

The family had been able to visit Cristobal Paute at a detention center two hours from their home in New York until he was moved to a new detention facility in La Salle, Louisiana. Now, phone calls have become the only way to keep in touch, Paute said. She fears that if her brother is deported back to Ecuador, he will commit suicide from depression.

“If he gets deported, he will be alone back home,” Veronica Paute said. “He has no [close] relatives back there. We have learned that [of] some other younger people that have been deported, they find themselves alone [and] they just decided to put an end to their lives.”

Manuel Arpi

The Trump administration's crackdown on undocumented immigrants is affecting the lives of children, too – so much so that 15-year-old Jefferson Arpi had to get a part-time job to make ends meet for his family after his father, 41-year-old Manuel Arpi, was detained by four undercover ICE agents in October 2017 while on his way to work.

“[My father] worked a lot” and was the breadwinner for the family, Arpi told ABC News while visiting the Capitol on Wednesday. “Now everyone in this family has to work to barely make enough to pay the rent.”

Arpi told ABC News when he found out his father was arrested, he thought he would be detained and sent back to Ecuador, too, despite Arpi having been born in America and holding U.S. citizenship. When he later learned he would not be detained because he was a citizen, Arpi said the relief was short-lived because he realized staying would mean giving up his father – something he wasn’t willing to do.

“Since family is more important than anything, I thought if he went back I should, too,” Arpi said. “I [would] rather stay with my parents even if they’re in another country.”

Because Arpi is 15 years old, he would have to wait until he was a legal adult before joining his father, but he fears that if his father is deported, he will die before Arpi can reunite with him in Ecuador.

“He really talks about that a lot,” Arpi said. “[He says] my life doesn't have any meaning if I’m not with you guys and [I’d] rather just die because it’s not life if I'm not living with my family.”

Similar to Cristobal Paute, Manuel Arpi's family says he was moved to three different detention facilities before ending up at a center in Alabama where his family can only reach him by phone. But while they speak to him every day, United We Dream said Manuel’s children rarely leave their home or celebrate holidays because everything they do reminds them of their father. The organization says the eldest son of the family requires therapy and antidepressants to cope with their father’s detention.

Despite the recent challenges his family has faced, Arpi said he still believes the American dream is a possibility for immigrants in the U.S. and that President Donald Trump is stripping him of his rights.

“Each citizen has their natural rights of life, liberty and property,” Arpi said. “I can’t have life or liberty or property without my father. So he’s [President Trump] depriving me of those natural rights. I would like him to bring back my father and bring back the immigrant parents that are detained. Stop separating families because it’s not worth it.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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ABC News.(NEW YORK) -- Three days after President Donald Trump signed an executive order to end the administration's policy of separating children from their parents when caught illegally crossing the southern border, much is left to be sorted out.

An administration official said on Friday evening that U.S. Customs and Border Protection "expects that all unaccompanied children in their custody who were separated from adults who were being prosecuted will have been reunited with their families."

But the news comes with a large caveat.

The statement only applied to children in CBP custody, those who had not yet been turned over to the care of the Department of Health and Human Services. The majority of children separated from parents are in the care of HHS -- and there's no real plan as for how to reunite them.

Of the about 2,300 separations since May 5 -- when the Trump administration's "zero-tolerence" policy went into place -- about 500 were reunited by CBP before going into HHS custody.

Thousands more remain in custody and HHS has not released information as to how many, if any, have been reunited with parents.

Attorneys who represent clients currently separated from their children remain in limbo.

"It's devastating because I already know when I meet them for the first time and they start telling me that they are this parent that I'm not gonna have the answers that they want in any time that they should have," said attorney Erik A. Henshaw, who works in the Western District of Texas in El Paso. "I'm not gonna be able to tell them right then and there, 'Don't worry, we'll find your little boy, we'll find your little girl.' I have to tell them honestly I don't know if and when we're going to find them.

"I don't know if I'll find them during their case. I don't know if it'll happen when you get to immigration proceedings. I don't know if you're going to be deported or removed and have never actually found and/or had contact with your child," Henshaw added.

Officials this week continue to look for locations to hold a swelling number of migrants caught at the border.

Earlier this week, HHS requested that the Pentagon be prepared to house up to 20,000 unaccompanied migrant children at U.S. military bases. An internal memo obtained by Time Magazine, showed the Navy was planning to use remote facilities to house thousands of migrants in California, Alabama and Arizona.

For now, the personal toll is high for those caught in Immigration and Customs Enforcement's net.

Nila Serrano waited for more than three hours Friday inside a drab Department of Homeland Security (DHS) office in downtown Baltimore hoping to post bond for her sister-in-law Delsy Guadalupe Serrano Torres, who goes by Lupe.

Lupe fled domestic violence in Honduras and crossed illegally into the U.S. in mid-May with her 8-year-old son Danny, Serrano told ABC News Friday afternoon. She was apprehended by Border Patrol and is currently in an ICE detention facility in El Paso. Meanwhile, Danny has been placed with a foster family in Manhattan.

Danny’s aunt, Nila, has been going through the process to become an official HHS sponsor for Danny. The paperwork was done, but she was waiting for the results of the fingerprints. Until then he will remain in New York, according to his aunt.

"It's been traumatic, very traumatic," Serrano said of her sister's separation from her son. "You know, just as she told me, she's like, 'Well, you're a mother. You know how it is.' I mean, you wonder if your child has eaten, if they're sleeping OK. Are they safe? You wonder those things, you know? And now it's just a long ... long separation that should not have happened."

Serrano thought she was going to be able to get her sister-in-law released from detention Friday; she even bought her a Greyhound bus ticket to Maryland. But the Baltimore office closed at 3:30 p.m. and she was told the El Paso office was at lunch.

She said she will go back Monday and try again.

ABC News' Patrick O'Gara contributed to this report.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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The Washington Post/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Republican congressional nominee Katie Arrington of South Carolina was seriously injured in a car accident Friday night, according to a series of posts on her Twitter account and authorities.

Arrington, who was endorsed by President Donald Trump and recently won the Republican nomination for South Carolina's 1st Congressional District over incumbent Rep. Mark Sanford, was traveling with a aide to Hilton Head on Highway 17 when a vehicle driving in the wrong direction struck their car Friday. Both were injured and remained hospitalized the following morning, according to the tweets on Arrington's account.

The aide was identified Saturday morning as Jacqueline Goff, 59, according to the Charleston County Sheriff's Office.

The driver of the other vehicle, Helen White, 69, died at the scene, the sheriff's office said.

Arrington, who was a passenger in the car, "sustained a fracture in her back and several broken ribs," as well as other injuries that required her to undergo "major surgery including the removal of a portion of her small intestine and a portion of her colon," one tweet said.

The main artery in her legs partially collapsed and will need a stint, according to another tweet.

"Additional surgeries will be required including one likely today; and it is likely that Katie will remain hospitalized for the next two weeks," the tweet said.

"As we all know, Katie Arrington is an extremely strong woman and has tremendous faith and an incredibly supportive family," another tweet said. "And it is from her strong faith, the support of her family, the prayers and support of our community, and the incredible doctors and staff at the hospital that she is certain she will be back to work for our state soon."

Just hours before Arrington won the GOP congressional primary, Trump tweeted his endorsement for Arrington and lambasted her opponent, Sanford, who has been critical of the president.

"Mark Sanford has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign to MAGA. He is MIA and nothing but trouble. He is better off in Argentina," Trump's tweet said. "I fully endorse Katie Arrington for Congress in SC, a state I love. She is tough on crime and will continue our fight to lower taxes. VOTE Katie!"

On Saturday morning, the president sent his "thoughts and prayers" for those involved in the accident.

"My thoughts and prayers are with Representative Katie Arrington of South Carolina, including all of those involved last nights [sic] car accident, and their families," Trump tweeted.

Arrington's political rivals -- Sanford and Joe Cunningham, the Democratic nominee for the seat -- sent well wishes via Twitter too.

Cunningham said he'd be suspending "campaign events until further notice."

The National Republican Congressional Committee wished Arrington a "speedy and full recovery."
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Isaac Brekken/Getty Images(BOSTON) -- The adult son of Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has been accused of sexual assault by a woman on a JetBlue flight Wednesday.

The incident allegedly happened on flight 1354 from Washington, D.C., to Boston, according to Boston ABC affiliate WCVB.

"On June 20, the crew of flight 1354 were notified of an incident between customers shortly before landing in Boston," JetBlue said in a statement. "The aircraft landed at approximately 11 p.m. local time where it was met by local authorities."

A woman on the flight accused Andrew Baker, known as A.J., of inappropriate touching, WCVB reported.

"A.J. is fully cooperating and looks forward to a resolution of this matter," Baker's attorney Roberto Braceras said in a statement to ABC News.

The U.S. Attorney's Office, which would usually have jurisdiction on a case happening on a plane, said it could not "confirm nor deny they are investigating" this case.

The Massachusetts State Police said the "matter is being handled by the US Attorney’s Office."

The governor's office deferred comment, saying only, "This is a personal matter for the Baker Family and A.J. will cooperate with any request from authorities."

Baker, a Republican, took over as governor of Massachusetts in January 2015. He ran against Democrat Deval Patrick in 2010, but lost, before beating Martha Coakley in 2014. The 61-year-old is running for reelection this year.

A.J. is one of the governor's three children, two boys and a girl.

ABC News' Rex Sakamoto, Devin Villacis and Brendan Rand contributed to this report.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. Navy is preparing to house as many as 25,000 migrants at remote Navy facilities in California, Arizona, and Alabama, according to a U.S. official with knowledge of an internal Navy document.

The document, prepared for Navy Secretary Richard Spencer by an assistant secretary, appears to have been written in anticipation of the Trump administration requesting the Department of Defense house migrants at U.S. military facilities.

The existence of the memo, which ABC has not seen, was first reported by TIME Magazine.

Earlier this week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) requested that Pentagon be prepared to house up to 20,000 unaccompanied migrant children at U.S. military bases, but it is unclear if the facilities identified by the Navy in the internal memo would meet HHS needs.

The document said the Navy could spend $233 million to construct and operate a facility that could house 25,000 migrants for up to six months. The facilities, which could be constructed as tent cities, are described in the memo as "temporary and austere," the official confirmed.

Although the Navy is preparing to house 25,000 migrants, some of the facilities identified in the document could house up to 47,000. Facilities at former Naval Weapons Station Concord, near San Francisco, and the Marine Corps' Camp Pendleton in Southern California could each house up to 47,000 migrants.

Twenty-five thousand migrants could be located at Navy Outlying Field Wolf in Orange Beach, Alabama and nearby Navy Outlying Field Silverhill. An unknown number of migrants could be held at the Marine Corps Air Station near Yuma, Arizona.

"It would be inappropriate to discuss internal deliberative planning documents," Navy spokesperson Capt. Greg Hicks told ABC News.

Department of Defense spokesperson Lt. Col. Jamie Davis said DoD was "conducting prudent planning" and looking at its installations should the Department of Homeland Security "ask for assistance in housing adult illegal immigrants."

There has not been a request to the Defense Department to house adult migrants, only up to 20,000 unaccompanied migrant children.

 Last month, ABC News reported that HHS officials were touring four U.S. military bases to see if they could be used to house migrants in the event that other facilities reached capacity. Those bases did not include any Naval facilities, but Air Force bases in Texas and Arkansas, as well as the Army's Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas.

While officials have completed their tours of those installations, no final determination has been made as to whether any of those four bases would house migrants.

HHS has used U.S. military facilities to house migrants in the past.

In 2014, the department used bases in Texas, Oklahoma, and California to house 7,000 unaccompanied migrant children after HHS facilities reached capacity.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Trying to steer the controversy over immigration back to his favored talking points, President Donald Trump met Friday with what he calls "angel families" whose loved ones were killed by undocumented immigrants.

As his administration has in recent days, he compared their tragedies to the uproar over children being separated from their parents at the border, saying the victims he highlighted were permanently taken away from their families.

“You never hear this side. You don't know what's going on,” Trump said. “They're not separated a day, two days. Permanently separated because they were killed by criminal illegal aliens.”

Trump then apparently referred to a 2011 Government Accountability Office report and ticked off some statistics.

“According to a 2011 government report, the arrests attached to the criminal alien population included an estimated 25,000 people for homicide. 42,000 for robbery. Nearly 70,000 for sex offenses and nearly 15,000 for kidnapping,” he said.

But citing that report, to which he referred to on the campaign trail too, is “misleading and lacks context,” the Washington Post’s fact-check team reported in November 2016.

The 2011 report collected data from 2003 and 2009 to come up with those figures and used information specifically from five states with the highest populations of inmates who were in the country illegally.

There were 25,064 homicides among that population over six years, but that represents only about one percent of the nearly three million arrests that occurred in the study population. About half of the arrests, overall, were related to immigration, drugs, and traffic violations.

The other offenses and numbers he cites are also correct but again lack context. Robberies and kidnapping both represent one percent of total arrests, and sex offenses represent two percent.

Other studies also show that undocumented immigrants are no more likely to commit serious crimes than native-born Americans. One study from the libertarian Cato Institute showed that criminal convictions and arrest rates for illegal immigrants in Texas were lower than those for native-born Americans.

A separate study conducted by the University of Wisconsin, Madison criminologist Michael Light, looking at statistics from 1990 to 2014, found that “undocumented immigration does not increase violence. Rather, the relationship between undocumented immigration and violent crime is generally negative, although not significant in all specifications.”

The president also demanded, “Where is the outcry over the savage gang MS-13 and its bloodthirsty creed, kill, rape and control? Because the news media has overlooked their stories. I want the American people to hear directly from these families about the pain they've had to endure losing.”

The Washington Post reported Friday that eleven MS-13 members were indicted in Virginia for the deaths of two teenage boys. Ten of the 11 are in federal custody.

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Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. Senate investigators are demanding President Donald Trump’s longtime political supporter Roger Stone produce documents related to a meeting he had with a Russian citizen offering dirt on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign.

“I have no reason to dissemble or hide it because nothing illegal or improper happened at the meeting or subsequent to the meeting,” Stone told ABC News during an interview this week.

The committee’s request comes days after it was revealed that in May 2016 Stone was approached through intermediaries by Henry Greenberg, reportedly a Russian citizen who claimed to have damaging material on Hillary Clinton, as first reported by The Washington Post on Sunday.

Over lunch in Sunny Isles, Florida, a community north of Miami that is popular with Russian transplants and tourists, Greenberg reportedly offered to sell Stone damaging material on Clinton for $2 million – a deal Stone said he declined.

Stone served as an early adviser to Trump’s presidential campaign but left amid controversy in 2015. He told ABC News he “never discussed the matter with Donald Trump or anyone in his campaign” and he “flatly rejected this proposal as ludicrous and frankly forgot about it.”

Stone now alleges he was set up by the FBI because he believes Greenberg worked as an FBI informant.

There is no outside evidence to support the claim that Greenberg was working as an FBI informant at the time he approached Stone.

Calls by ABC News to phone numbers associated with Greenberg were not immediately answered. Greenberg told The Post he had worked with the FBI but that ended in 2013.

The new disclosure raised concerns among Democrats overseeing congressional investigations into allegations of Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential campaign because Stone had never mentioned the contact when he testified before the House Intelligence Committee last year.

“In multiple respects now, the testimony of Roger Stone appears inaccurate or deliberately misleading,” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Sunday, referring to Stone’s September 2017 committee testimony.

Stone was asked about foreign contacts during his interview in September 2017.

"I just didn't remember,” he told ABC News on Wednesday, noting that 2016 “was a pretty busy year. I don't think a failure of memory constitutes a perjury."

Attorneys for both men sent letters dated June 15 to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., seeking to revise their respective prior testimony to the committee to include reference to the interactions with Greenberg. Both letters say the men forgot about the interactions, but have since had their memories refreshed.

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Alex Wong/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Indicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is being held in the VIP section of the Northern Neck Regional Jail, but that Very Important Person distinction offers him little comfort.

On Thursday, Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered that Manafort “confined in a corrections facility separate” from others in custody at the facility. The order also states he’ll be afforded, “reasonable opportunity for private consultation” with his lawyer.

Manafort, who is accused of spending more than a million dollars in allegedly laundered money at clothing stores in New York and Beverley Hills, CA, and millions more on antiques and furnishings for his luxury homes, is now living the austere and lonely existence as inmate number 45343.

According to Northern Neck Superintendent Ted Hull, in the VIP sections there is “no qualitative or quantitative difference” in any cell at the facility. That means Manafort has access to the same things as other inmates.

Hull would not speak about the specifics of Manafort conditions of confinement, but noted that certain inmates are housed in specially designated cells based on a variety of conditions, including the risk that they might be victimized, certain developmental disabilities, health conditions or having a high degree of notoriety or high public interest in their case.

Cells in the section where Manafort is house are equipped with a toilet, a shower, a place to sit and a small table. The cells also have a television with some basic cable offerings and a phone that can make outgoing collect calls, Hull says.

Manafort passes each day surrounded by walls painted in two shades of brown that are used throughout the facility.

One color called “bagel” is a dark tan and covers the wall from the floor to the top of the fifth row of cinderblocks.

Above the fifth row of cinderblocks to the ceiling, the walls are painted a color called “biscuit,” described by Hull as a lighter cream, allowing for more light to be reflected.

The cell sizes are approximately between 12 x12 feet and 14 x 14 feet, Hull said.

Meals three times a day are brought to the cells of inmates like Manafort.

Inmates at the facility have access to recreational facilities, such as indoor and outdoor basketball, soccer and a gym as well as a library. Hull says the jail is working to provide email access to inmates to allow them to read incoming messages, but not send them.

Manafort arrived at his court appearance last week in a posh Range Rover – he allegedly used laundered money to pay for at least three of the luxury SUVs – but his next trip to court will likely be in the back of a government inmate transport vehicle.

The short trip from his Alexandria, Virginia condo to the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse D.C. took about 30 minutes. Hull says the trip from Northern Neck to the D.C. court will take approximately two hours.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The House of Representatives passed a bipartisan, comprehensive bill Friday that aims at curbing the country’s growing opioid epidemic.

By a vote of 396-14, the House passed H.R. 6, the SUPPORT for Patients Communities Act, which is the collective product of the lower chamber’s extensive effort this year to combat the opioid crisis.

The bill contains several Medicaid, Medicare, and public health reforms, such as adding a review of current opioid prescriptions and screening for opioid use disorder as part of the Welcome to Medicare initial examination. It also aims at reducing the trafficking of Chinese fentanyl into the United States by giving law enforcement new tools to detect suspicious packages in the mail.

The measure was crafted by Energy and Commerce Chairman Rep. Greg Walden, who called it “the biggest effort” Congress has taken to address opioids.

During debate on the bill Friday morning, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy spoke passionately about the issue – highlighting the story of his press secretary, Erin Perrine, whose brother Eamon Callahan died of a drug overdose two years ago.

“Erin was 24 days from her wedding when she learned she would never see her brother again—that he would not be there to celebrate with her on one of the happiest days of her life,” McCarthy, R-Calif., said. “Let that be a lesson to us all: There is no event so joyful, no place so safe, that it is untouched by the drug crisis. Even a wedding chapel. Even here, in the halls of power. Even in my office.”

The House had already passed a bevy of pieces of legislation that address opioid abuse, but this bill combines them into one measure that will operate as the legislative vehicle to send a package to the Senate.

In the Senate, all three committees of jurisdiction working on a companion package have reported their bills and leaders believe the package is ready for the full Senate to consider.

“The relevant chairmen and the Democrat ranking members and others are working on setting up an agreement for floor consideration,” Don Stewart, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, said. “All three of the committees reported their bills with wide bipartisan support. The Leader is obviously a strong supporter of the bills we’ve passed and the bills that are coming to the floor.”

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John Moore/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- White House press secretary Sarah Sanders on Friday accused Democrats and the media of “shameful” exploitation of a photo of a young girl crying as her mother was searched by U.S. Border Patrol agents.

The White House is seizing on what has been a growing conservative counter-narrative to that photo, in accusing the media of unfairly using the photo as an image that has become emblematic of the family separation crisis that resulted from the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy.

The photo was worked into a stylized TIME Magazine cover in which the young girl is photo-shopped next time a photo of President Donald Trump, who is looking down at her as she cries.

The photo was taken by John Moore, a special correspondent and senior staff photographer for Getty Images, who was doing a ride-along with a Customs and Border Patrol agent in a part of the Rio Grande Valley called El Rincon late on June 12.

Moore told ABC News on June 18 that they saw a group of roughly 20 mothers and children "gathered on a dirt road." The agents spoke with and searched the group, and when the mother from Honduras put her daughter on the ground, the girl, whose name he did not learn, "started screaming immediately."

Moore has been covering border issues for a decade now as a photojournalist and he's seen similar interactions between immigrants and border agents before, but the difference with this instance was that it happened with the backdrop of the recent zero-tolerance policy being enforced by the Trump administration.

"What was different this time is I knew what would happen afterward," he told ABC News earlier this week.

Moore noted that the mother and child were together when they left with authorities and he didn't see the pair formally separated, nor had he been able to confirm whether or not they were separated afterward, though the policy indicates that they could be separated.

"All that happens behind closed doors... We'll never see that," he told ABC News of a possible separation.

ICE said in a statement that the woman, Sandra Maria Sanchez, who is from Honduras, was previously deported in 2013 and was arrested on June 12 by agents with U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Border Patrol near Hidalgo, Texas while traveling with a family member.

On Sunday she was transferred to ICE custody and is now at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas. Her immigration proceedings are ongoing, according to ICE.

Trump has not publicly reacted to the specific photo in question, though he has said that he, the first lady, and his daughter Ivanka, have all been impacted by the photos they’ve seen related to the migrant children separations.

Under the executive order that Trump signed on Wednesday, the Justice Department is to start a legal process to change an existing court settlement that restricts the government to keeping children in detention with their parents for no longer than 20 days. The sought-after change would allow children to stay with their families for however long the adults are detained.

The order does not do anything to affect the fate of families that have already been separated.

On Friday, he tweeted his resolve to maintain tight border security standards, even as he also accused Democrats of “phony stories of sadness and grief.”

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Lincoln Sheriff's Office(AUGUSTA, Ga.) -- Reality Winner, a former U.S. intelligence specialist accused of leaking a report on Russian election hacking, will change her plea to guilty when she appears for a hearing next week in Augusta, Georgia, according to court documents.

Winner, a six-year Air Force veteran, was charged a year ago with espionage for allegedly leaking information to The Intercept about potential Russian interference in the 2016 election.

She was denied bail and has remained in jail since her arrest, which is rare in espionage cases, according to the Courage Foundation.

“My daughter Reality has decided to change her plea. I believe that this plea is in Reality’s best interest at this time. Given the time and circumstances and the nature of the espionage charge I believe that this was the only way that she could receive a fair sentence. I still disagree strongly with the use of the espionage charge against citizens like Reality,” her mother, Billie Winner Davis, said in a statement through the Courage Foundation.

“The cards were stacked [against] her and she couldn’t defend herself against the espionage charge as that charge doesn’t allow for defendant to show public interest or best interest or intent,” Winner Davis continued.

Under the 1917 Espionage Act, Winner could face up to 10 years in prison.

“Releasing classified material without authorization threatens our nation’s security and undermines public faith in government," Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said at the time of her arrest. "People who are trusted with classified information and pledge to protect it must be held accountable when they violate that obligation."

The Obama administration also pursed espionage charges against some people accused of leaking government secrets.

At the time of the arrest, questions were raised about whether The Intercept failed to protect its source for the story. Just after the story was published the FBI arrested Winner.

In a statement at the time of the arrest The Intercept said a secret NSA document was provided to the media outlet completely anonymously.

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