Yes, the government is still partially shutdown and its ramifications continue to build in a slow-but-sure domino effect. We have the latest details on the shutdown for you this morning, but we also have a look at its core issue: the fight over U.S. immigration policy. Through the lens of one local family — an asylum-seeking Jamaican couple facing deportation and finding sanctuary in a Germantown church — one can see the dysfunction of a system that turns neighbors into beneficiaries and then, suddenly, victims. It’s an unforgettable read from Inquirer reporter Jeff Gammage and WHYY’s Laura Benshoff.
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For 14 years, Clive and Oneita Thompson put down roots and raised their family in South Jersey. They arrived to the U.S. legally in 2004 after fleeing gangsters who threatened to kill them in Jamaica.
During that time they benefited from the dysfunction of the country’s broken asylum system. They’ve since been denied asylum and the U.S. government now considers them immigration fugitives due for deportation.
Since August they have sought sanctuary in a Germantown church. For three months, The Inquirer and WHYY spent time with the Thompsons, learning their story and finding out what it might take for the family to walk out of the church and back to their lives.
It’s day 32 of the partial government shutdown. President Trump proposed a new plan to reopen the government over the weekend which Democrats immediately panned because it still requires $5.7 billion for a border wall. The House and Senate are back in session today, but no votes are scheduled.
Here in Philly, the shutdown has jeopardized a celebration of the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote scheduled for next year.
To ease the pain a bit for those out of work, Temple University’s dental school is offering free dental care to furloughed government workers.
In July, Pennsylvania prisoners began moving from the old Graterford prison to a new building.
The $400 million State Correctional Institution Phoenix in Montgomery County has been described as the largest prison on the East Coast. Inquirer reporters Samantha Melamed and Joseph N. DiStefano have found the move came with large problems, too.
The move left prisoners with tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage to their personal property (to be reimbursed by taxpayers) and disputes over construction and owed payments continue.
Great capture, @lightbender_photo! Definitely worth those frigid temps.
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“Gillette’s spot serves up a nice notion. It’s pretty tough to argue against wanting a segment of people to be the best they can be. Yet remarkably, some people were repelled by that invitation. That’s because the execution was flawed.” — Digitas Health vice president and group creative director Annie Heckenberger on Gillette’s controversial new ad.