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HC Wake-Up Call: Kamala Harris Running for President, 300 Families Separated Before ‘Zero-Tolerance’ Policy, & MLK Jr.’s Son Criticizes Pence

Good morning Her Campus! With a break-neck news cycle, there is no possible way for you to stay on top of every story that comes across your feeds—we’re all only human, after all.

But, life comes at you fast. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for this quick and dirty guide to stories you might’ve been sleeping on (like, literally. It’s early.)

Kamala Harris Enters 2020 Race

California Democratic Senator Kamala Harris announced on Monday’s episode of Good Morning America that she’s running for president in 2020. If elected, she would be the first woman and woman of color to serve as U.S. president. “I love my country, and this is a moment in time that I feel a sense of responsibility to fight for the best of who we are,” Harris said. Her campaign also released a video on social media Monday morning, in which she asked her supporters to join wit her to “claim our future.” 

“Justice. Decency. Equality. Freedom. Democracy. These aren’t just words. They’re the values we as Americans cherish. And they’re all on the line now,” Harris said in the video. “The future of our country depends on you and millions of others lifting our voices to fight for our American values. That’s why I’m running for president of the United States. “I’m running to lift those voices, to bring our voices together.”

Prior to joining the Senate in 2016, Harris served as San Francisco District Attorney and California Attorney General. Harris is the fourth woman entering the 2020 race, joining Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. 

Customs & Border Protection Letter Says 300 Families May Have Been Separated Before ‘Zero Tolerance’ Policy Took Effect

According to a new letter from Customs and Border Protection, nearly 300 undocumented immigrant parents may have been separated from their children before the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy was enacted. The separations — which weren’t recorded at the time — occured in Texas in 2017. 

“Following an increase in family unit apprehensions in El Paso, US Border Patrol’s El Paso Sector undertook a limited effort to pursue prosecutions against all amenable adults, including parents in family units,” Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleen said in a letter to Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden. “CBP records indicate that this led to approximately 283 parents referred for prosecution between July and November 2017.”

Senator Wyden responded in a statement, saying, “This Orwellian response from Custom and Border Protection does not respond to the pressing questions about the fate of children and their parents. It fails to deliver the data necessary to understand what happened to these kids and their families.”

The news comes after the Health and Human Services inspector general admitted last week that “thousands” more children had been separated from their parents than the government reported. 

Martin Luther King Jr.’s Son Criticizes Vice President Pence for Using His Dad’s Words to Argue for Border Wall

On Sunday’s episode of CBS’ Face the Nation, Vice President Mike Pence cited Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech while praising Trump’s ongoing demands for a border wall. “One of my favorite quotes from Dr. King was, ‘Now is the time to make the real promises of democracy.’ You think of how he changed America,” Pence said. “He inspired us to change through legislative process to become a more perfect union. That’s exactly what President Trump is calling on the Congress to do: Come to the table in a spirit of good faith. We’ll secure our border, we’ll reopen our government.”

King’s son, Martin Luther King III, criticized Pence’s comment at a breakfast in Washington hosted by Rev. Al Sharpton on Monday, according to CNN. “Whenever I get to this period, it always is reflective. This year is probably more reflective than ever because I wonder what my father would be thinking and (asking), especially since we have an administration and administrators — and Rev. said the vice president, I forget exactly what you said, Rev. — but the vice president attempted to compare the President to Martin Luther King Jr.,” King said. “Now, Martin Luther King Jr. was a bridge builder, not a wall builder. Martin Luther King Jr. would say love not hate would make America great. Did you all hear that? Love not hate would make America great. See, we hadn’t achieved, we’ve had spurts of greatness.”

What to look for…

Ariana Grande’s new album. On Monday, she announced “Thank U, Next” will be available for pre-order this Friday.

Follow Allison on Twitter @AllisonMCrist.