Outside Iona



Nielson, who served as the Secretary of Homeland Security, met with the Secretary of Defense John Mattis in November of last year.

Abigail Rapillo, News Editor

Wonder what’s been happening in the world since the last issue of the Ionian?


  1. Update on the Immigration Crisis: Close the border or send immigrants to sanctuary cities?

A lot has happened on the border in the past two weeks.

Kirstjen Nielsen resigned from her position as secretary of homeland security on April 7 amid criticism from the president that she was too soft on immigration policy. Nielsen oversaw the “zero-tolerance” attitude toward illegal migration, which lead to the separation of families and thousands of children being directed into the public child care system. Kevin McAleenan, a U.S. border enforcement officer, is currently the acting secretary of homeland security.


President Donald Trump also suggested closing the border to Mexico altogether. He first suggested the idea in the first week of April. He later said he would give Mexico one year to reduce the flow of immigrants coming from Mexico and Central American countries, after learning that the U.S. economy would take a hit if they closed the border. However, the president said that if it is warranted, he will close the border, and impose a 25 percent tariff on cars.


The system to house immigrants before they are processed is overwhelmed and the administration has said many times it cannot support the large number of immigrants coming into the United States. Trump also said that he had considered sending the overflow of immigrants in border facilities to “sanctuary cities” like New York City. The sanctuary cities were first challenged by Trump during his first year in office for putting up barriers between the local police and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.


The president has also begun cutting off financial support to the Central America countries of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.


According to the New York Times, Nielsen estimated that border officials had stopped nearly 100,000 migrants in March. The trend of who is crossing the border is also changing. As reported by multiple outlets, the number of families coming from Central America has risen over the past few years, making them harder to deport. Before, the trend was toward individual people from Mexico, making the deportation process quicker and easier. Now, housing these families apprehended at the border is causing the overcrowding problem, and what Democratic Party representatives and news outlets are calling a humanitarian crisis.


Information from The New York Times, The Washington Post, Fox News, CBS, Vox and CNN.


  1. Notre Dame catches fire

Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France caught fire on April 15, collapsing the wooden spire above the cathedral. The fire broke out just before 7 p.m. local time, just a few minutes after the cathedral closed for the day. The cathedral was undergoing a renovation process when the fire broke out. Multiple sources report that the front stone towers are undamaged, and that the structure as a whole was saved, but officials are unsure of how much was damaged as of press time. Much of the wooden framework of the building has been destroyed.


French officials reported that the fire was hard to put out, due to fear of destroying the entire building.


The cathedral is 859 years old this year and holds countless pieces of art from the last 800 years. The fire was determined to be an accident. French president Emmanuel Macron has pledged to rebuild the cathedral. No deaths were reported, and one firefighter was injured.


Information from The Washington Post, The New York Times and NPR.