Morning Update: In Case You Forgot This Is A Dystopia

ICE's planned raids, Trump drops the citizenship question, Facebook's ad transparency tool. Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, July 12.

ICE raids targeting thousands of families across the US are planned for Sunday

A massive coordinated operation to remove undocumented families in several cities is expected to launch on Sunday. Two sources told us one of the largest family detention centers has stopped booking new detainees to clear space to hold the families who will be arrested.

The operation is expected to last several days, and will target undocumented families who have been issued final removal orders.

The family detention center in Dilley, Texas, has stopped admitting new detainees, dropping its population from 1,628 people to just over 200 as of this week, and creating added capacity to hold families picked up in the raids. Families generally cannot be held for longer than three weeks.

One of our sources said the forthcoming operation will be “traumatic” for children in the targeted families. Here’s everything we know about the planned raids.

Trump has backed down on putting a citizenship question on the 2020 census

President Donald Trump will drop the pursuit of adding a citizenship question to the upcoming census — a dramatic concession from his position last week that the question is “absolutely moving forward.”

Trump said that because of the time it would take to continue litigating over the question, the administration would pursue a different option: to collect citizenship data from federal agencies.

If this plan sounds familiar, it’s because the Census Bureau had originally recommended it to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. He rejected it in favor of adding the citizenship question.


Italian prosecutors are investigating a proposed deal to pump Russian oil money to the party of Italy’s far-right deputy prime minister. The announcement of the investigation came a day after we revealed a bombshell recording in which a close aide of Matteo Salvini's and five other men can be heard negotiating the terms of the proposed deal in Moscow.

Elizabeth Warren wants to create a task force to investigate abuses of immigrants. The presidential candidate released a broad immigration plan that includes measures for holding authorities accountable for human rights violations.

Jeffrey Epstein has offered to ground his private jet and have a live-in monitor instead of going to jail. The billionaire, who is charged with running a sex trafficking ring of underage girls out of his $77 million Manhattan townhouse, wants to await his trial at home. He offered to install video cameras and hire private security guards.

Jason Momoa is being body-shamed because he doesn’t have abs anymore. Fans are jumping to Momoa's defense after he was body-shamed on social media for not having a six-pack.

Facebook will now show you how to opt out of targeted ads

After sustained criticism over lack of transparency in how users get served ads, Facebook responded by launching a new tool that will give people a little more information about how targeted ads work.

The good news is you can see more details about why you’re seeing an ad in your feed, how it is linked to an ad agency or data broker, and how to opt out of interest-based ads from businesses that have your information.

In case you forgot that this is a dystopia, though, the bad news is by looking at the tool, you may feel worse about how your data is passed around by third-party data brokers like credit reporting bureaus and marketing agencies.

Still, the major step here: This is the first time Facebook is actually showing you which marketing companies and data brokers have your data. Read Katie Notopoulos’s analysis of the new tool.

Enjoy these longreads this weekend

Midsommar Is Scary But Not Because Of All The Grisly Deaths. Have you seen Midsommar? There are spoilers in Alison Willmore’s thoughtful piece about the movie, so if you’ve seen it (or don’t plan to see it because you avoid horror movies), read on: “Midsommar mostly takes place in Sweden, but at its core is a particularly American sense of rootlessness.”

MTV’s New Dating Show Actually Gets Queer Dating. I’ve long tapped out of dating reality shows, and Pier Dominguez’s piece on Are You the One might get me to return. For seven seasons, men and women have been paired on the show. But in the new season, MTV included only sexually fluid participants who are attracted to all genders. Per Dominguez’s analysis: It works, as the show “explores the complexities of gender and desire in a way rarely seen on reality TV.”

The Rise of The Rom-Com Schlub. I’ve seen Always Be My Maybe but haven’t yet seen Long Shot. Alison Willmore draws a line between the two: The films let their ambitious women have it all — because the men in their lives are willing to hold their purses.

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