Daily Dispatch 1/31/19


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Daily Dispatch

January 31, 2019


Countdown to Shutdown v.2.0:

 

Top News:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is saying he is open to anything that will prevent another shutdown, giving his Republican Senators on the conference committee extra leeway to negotiate a deal. Democrats are also signaling a willingness to give a little on border “fencing” where there is evidence such fencing is needed, but are still steadfast against a wall. Instead, they’re offering money for drug scanning technology at ports of entry, improvements to CBP facilities (intended to improve conditions for asylum seekers taken into CBP custody), and HSI investigations of human trafficking. They also seek to increase aid to Central America.

Neither side wants a shutdown. Bills are being introduced that would effectively ban shutdowns. One such bill, introduced by Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), is called the “Stop STUPIDITY (Shutdowns Transferring Unnecessary Pain and Inflicting Damage In The coming Years) Act” (they really could have done a better job with the acronym, srsly).

Trump’s rage tweeting about “WALL” leaves people wondering whether he’ll be willing to sign a compromise bill, fearful of negative coverage from Fox News and outrage from his base. One hope had been that semantics would win the day - with terms like "barrier" and "security" allowing both sides to claim victory - but Trump shot that down in a tweet this morning (see below). Still, the chances of shutdown might be shrinking, as the White House is finalizing the executive order to declare a national emergency in order to pilfer funds from FEMA and other agencies for WALL.

Here’s a sampling of the 13 tweets Trump has sent so far today:

Meanwhile...

  • New Jersey Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman has invited Victorina Morales, an undocumented worker recently fired from Trump’s Bedminster golf club, to attend the State of the Union address.
  • Bloomberg Government observes that government spending on detention and ICE operations has grown 40% over the past four years, even as Trump asks for more and more and more. Most of this increase is going straight into the pockets of CoreCivic and GEO Group, the private prison companies that ICE contracts to run detention facilities and detainee transportation.
  • Cardinal Joseph Tobin, archbishop of Newark, penned an op-ed for the NYT on “The ‘Ethics’ of Trump’s Border Wall,” with the subtitle, “a wall would cause harm to immigrants and refugees, all of whom are equal to us in the eyes of God.”

More News:

From NYT: “End Forced Labor in Immigrant Detention”

From NYT: “He Says ‘Wall,’ They Say ‘Border Security’: A Glossary of the Border Debate”

From the AP: “ICE force-feeding detainees on hunger strike”

From CBS News: “ICE told hundreds of immigrants to show up to court Thursday — for many, those hearings are fake”

From Vanity Fair: “Even Trump’s Allies Are Questioning Kushner’s Doomed Immigration Plan”

From USA Today: “Kirstjen Nielsen spars with House Dems on oversight as Trump’s immigration team pushes back”

From HuffPo: “A Texas School District Is Helping Immigrants Facing Deportation. Here’s Why.”

 


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Daily Dispatch 1/30/19


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Daily Dispatch

January 30, 2019


Countdown to Shutdown v.2.0:

 

Top News:

The 17 members of the bipartisan dog-and-pony show meets for the first time this afternoon in room HC-5 in the Capitol basement to negotiate a deal on the border wall. No one is particularly optimistic that they can produce something that a mercurial president is guaranteed to like. Some members are trying to thrown in some nonsense about debt limits and spending restrictions, but most agree that this would just leave more room for disagreements and deal-breakers. Same goes for DACA protections and TPS. Outside this committee, lawmakers are pushing for a bill that would ban government shutdowns. This has some support from both sides, but there’s still no reason to think it will go anywhere.

You can read more about all of this in reporting from Politico and WaPo.

But who cares about any of that when there is MUCH BIGGER NEWS!!?!

Much Bigger News:

As you know by now, many of Trump’s favorite border stories seem to be apocryphal: immigrants with “stronger, bigger, and faster vehicles” than CBP; prayer rugs being found in the southern desert; women and children duct-taped in vans. CBP can’t seem to back-up these claims, so where do they come from?

Well, the internet has finally figured it out.

Steel yourself…

Ready?  All of these stories come from the 2018 action movie Sicario: Day of the SoldadoThe president gets his “facts” about the “emergency” at the border from a movie with 61% on Metacritic (63% on Rotten Tomatoes). Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro are Trump’s top border security advisors. Here’s the proof:

“They have the best vehicles you can buy. They have stronger, bigger, and faster vehicles than our police have, than ICE has, than Border Patrol has.”

“We’ve found prayer rugs out here. It’s unreal.”

“Women are tied up. They are bound. Duct tape put around their faces and around their mouths. In many cases, they can’t even breathe and put in the back of cars, vans, or trucks.”

“If they come through the ports, people will see four women sitting in a van with tape around their face and around their mouths.”

Wow. Just... woooow.

Here’s MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow breaking it down:

And here’s The Late Show’s Stephen Colbert sending it up:

Other News:

From Politico: “'Several thousand' more troops preparing to deploy to the border, Shanahan says”

From CNN: “Undocumented former Trump workers ask Congress for protection”

From the Texas Tribune: “Texas quietly informs counties that some of the 95,000 voters flagged for citizenship review don't belong on the list”

From WaPo: “Trump’s company plans to expand check of employees’ legal status following report that it hired undocumented workers for years”

From Axios: “Inside Kushner’s immigration plans”

 


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Daily Dispatch 1/29/19


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Daily Dispatch

January 29, 2019


Countdown to Shutdown v.2.0:

 

Hopes are high for the new bipartisan committee to negotiate a deal that everyone will love because it averts another shutdown and protects from ~scAry~ immigrants. Here are the members of said committee, which meets tomorrow:

House Democrats House Republicans Senate Democrats Senate Republicans

Nita Lowey (D-NY)

Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA)

David Price (D-NC)

Barbara Lee (D-CA)

Henry Cuellar (D-TX)

Pete Aguilar (D-CA)

Kay Granger (R-TX)

Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN)

Tom Graves (R-GA)

Steven Palazzo (R-MS)

Patrick Leahy (D-VT)

Dick Durbin (D-IL)

Jon Tester (D-MT)

Richard Shelby (R-AL)

Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)

John Hoeven (R-ND)

Roy Blunt (R-MO)

Meanwhile, as Trump threatens to declare a state of emergency to fund his border wall, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) asked AG nominee Bill Barr whether he would support this move. His written response:

The President’s authority to declare a national emergency, and the authorities that are triggered by such a declaration, would depend upon the specific facts and circumstances at the time… I have not examined the facts and circumstances pertaining to security on the southern border with this issue in mind, and therefore, I am not in a position to further comment on what would constitute a national emergency. If confirmed, I will ensure that the Department’s advice on this subject is consistent with any applicable law, including the National Emergencies Act.

Guidance for implementing the Migrant Protection Protocols (aka “remain in Mexico”) was provided to USCIS yesterday and included the following:

The officer should conduct the assessment in person, via video teleconference, or telephonically. At the time of the interview, the USCIS officer should verify that the alien understands that he or she may be subject to return to Mexico under Section 235(b)(2)(C) pending his or her immigration proceedings. The officer should also confirm that the alien has an understanding of the interview process. In addition, provided the MPP assessments are part of either primary or secondary inspection, DHS is currently unable to provide access to counsel during the assessments given the limited capacity and resources at ports-of-entry and Border Patrol stations as well as the need for the orderly and efficient processing of individuals. (More coverage here.)

Here is a fact check on this tweet:

An exchange between Rep. Steve King (R-IA) and a constituent at a town hall gathering:

Constituent: One of the things that I was bothered by, when you had this problem, was the reverse racism toward the white European man that founded this country. And that’s the values that we’re built on. And we have to be embarrassed to say, anymore, that we are white and European background, and I think that is wrong, and I think we need to push back.

King: First I would say in response to your statement and your question, Pam, that we can do the things that you’ve described and we can, at the same time, embrace everything that Dr. Martin Luther King taught us, all at the same time. And if we had stuck with his vision, we wouldn’t be in the place we’re in today in this society, in this country. (Here's the video.)

Other Stories:

13 civil rights groups are demanding transparency from - and threatening to sue - the state of Texas for violating the Constitutional rights of 95,000 registered voters flagged by the Texas Secretary of State for “citizenship checks.” The first batch of letters requesting “proof of citizenship” were mailed today.

Is the US planning to send 5,000 troops to Colombia?

From CNBC: “In her shutdown battle with Trump and the GOP, Nancy Pelosi drew a line on governing”

From Vox: “There is a crisis at the border. It’s just not what Trump says it is”

From NBC News: “Comedian traveling home from gig is detained by immigration agents”

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Daily Dispatch 1/28/19


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Daily Dispatch

January 28, 2019


Countdown to Shutdown v.2.0:

 

Mick Mulvaney says Trump is open to shutting down the government again on Feb. 15 if he doesn’t get his wall. Or he might declare a state of emergency. House and Senate Democrats so far aren’t budging on the wall issue. As Nancy Pelosi responded to a reporter’s question about the wall on Friday, “have I not been clear on a wall?” Trump puts the chances of reaching an agreement before the deadline at less than 50-50. So, looks like we’re at a 33% chance of a spending agreement, 33% chance of a shutdown, 33% chance of an emergency declaration, and 1% chance of a zombie apocalypse that will render the issue moot.

Trump’s Friday announcement was filled with all of his greatest hits: drugs, MS13, terrorists, and the taped-up women:

Women are tied up. They are bound. Duct tape put around their faces and around their mouths. In many cases, they can’t even breathe and put in the back of cars, vans, or trucks… They can’t come through the ports. If they come through the ports, people will see four women sitting in a van with tape around their face and around their mouths. Can’t have that. And that problem, because of the internet, is the biggest problem. It’s never been like this before. But you can imagine, it’s at the worst level, human trafficking in the history of the world.

Trump has referred to the tape-gagged women 10 times this month, despite having no concrete case to support his description. CPB tried to find evidence to back up Trump’s claim but couldn’t. Vox was provided an internal email from CBP, in which agents were asked to provide any evidence or information related to Trump’s tape-gagged women.

Subject: Quick Turnaround: RFI taped-up women smuggled into the U.S.

All,

We require your assistance on a quick turnaround for C-1 [CBP head Kevin McAleenan].

Please forward any information that you may have (in any format) regarding claims “that traffickers tie up and silence women with tape before illegally driving them through the desert from Mexico to the United States in the backs of cars and windowless vans.” Reference the news article below for further info.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/01/17/trumps-stories-taped-up-women-smuggled-into-us-are-divorced-reality-experts-say/?utm_term=.aa7fc9337070

We require this information to be submitted to BPHQG2 by 1200 EST.

V/R,

Armando Sianez — Acting Assistant Chief
US Border Patrol Headquarters

As we reported on Friday, the new Migrant Protection Protocols, which require asylum seekers to await decisions in Mexico, began on Friday. To the surprise of many, the CBP union (the same union that has backed Trump on things like the border wall, even deleting its previously held anti-wall position from its website earlier this month) spoke out against the policy. NBPC President Brandon Judd told CNN: "This is attacking the legal process, because it's discouraging people from following the law. We are incentivizing illegal immigration and punishing legal immigration."

Related: "Mexico Protests U.S. Decision to Return Asylum Seekers" (NYT)

This pretty much sums up Trump’s idea of what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck:

SNL’s cold open includes an appearance by Kate McKinnon’s “Wilbur Ross” who totally gets it. (My favorite of Mr. Ross’s money-saving tips: “Or, for a period of time, you could have your horses attend public school.”)

Keep an eye on this story: Trump tweets about 58,000 non-citizens voting in Texas. The Texas Tribune pushes back.

Tomorrow will see the publication of Cliff Sims’ Team of Vipers, which includes this not-at-all-surprising quote from Trump’s immigration goon Stephen Miller: “I would be happy if not a single refugee foot ever again touched America’s soil.”

Here is an interesting look at “The Tech Revolt,” conversations with socially conscious Silicon Valley workers holding employers to account for, e.g., their cooperation with ICE.

More Stories:

From WaPo: "Steve King is spurned in Washington. In Iowa sentiment is mixed"

From Politico: “Trump White House stonewalls as Puerto Rico aid runs dry”

From the Texas Observer: “In Texas, 3 Out of 4 County Jail Inmates Haven’t Been Convicted of a Crime”

From the Miami New Times: “Miami Child Migrant Camp Operators Plan $100 Million Stock Offering With Firm Once Tied to John Kelly”

From NBC News: “Trump golf club fired 12 workers living in the U.S. illegally, lawyer says”

From AP: “More than 25,000 workers strike at Mexican border factories”

From NYT: "Jared Kushner, a Confident Negotiator, Finds Immigration Deal to Be Elusive"


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Haiti: Quarterly Report from Jean Marie Vincent Formation Center

This year marks the 20th Anniversary of our partnership with the Jean Marie Vincent Formation Center near Gros Morne, Haiti. We will be celebrating the year with a delegation to Haiti in August – more details will be forthcoming once dates have been selected.

Over the past 20 years, the program has grown from a modest effort to forestall land erosion along the highway by reforesting adjacent hillsides, to a holistic program of sustainable agriculture that reaches communities throughout the region. We will be telling the story of the Jean Marie Vincent Formation Center throughout the year. Today we begin by simply sharing an update from the final quarter of work at the Center in 2018, which demonstrates the broad scope and creative efforts of the team in Gros Morne.

Some program highlights from the final three months of the year include:

  • In the last quarter 19,500 trees (including, coffee, lime, and avocado) were delivered for planting.
  • A weekly radio program was broadcast, titled The Earth is Our Mother, meant to educate people on key environmental themes. Important issues covered in recent months were the impact of plastic waste on the environment, especially rivers and oceans, and discussion of the health impacts of trash on people and animals in the area.
  • Trainings with a peasant organization [OTADB7MGM] in Moulen/Baden on soil conservation, and the establishment of a satellite nursery for saplings, with emphasis on trees whose produce can be monetized (lime and avocado).
  • Planting of weevil-resistant sweet potatoes with 23 families, covering over 42 acres.
  • Harvesting of the parish garden, which was down this year because of lack of rain. However, the garden has become self-sufficient in seed production.
  • Meetings with people who live near the forest on Tet Mon (original site of reforestation program) to discuss the importance of the forest for the community, and also to provide agricultural tools to the forest’s neighbors.
  • Expansion of the seed bank, with distribution to nine new families for a total of 25 families served this quarter.
  • Expansion of courtyard garden program to 27 families.
  • 20 trainings for “reinforcing” groups that help manage local programs on production, formation and economic management.

The work that is animated from the Jean Marie Vincent Formation Center continues to thrive under the creative management of Guy-Marie and Méléus Téligène, and is supported by the outreach director Marcel Garçon, who brings the program to communities throughout the region. We are continually inspired by their efforts, as we are by your ongoing support for the program.

 

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Daily Dispatch 1/25/19


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Daily Dispatch

January 25, 2019


CAVED-IN: With the SOTU on the line, his poll numbers dropping, Trump took to the Rose Garden this afternoon to announce that a deal has been reached to re-open the government until February 15. He then immediately alluded to the possibility of declaring a national emergency (“a very powerful alternative” that he wasn’t ready to use “at this time”). He called federal workers, and all Americans, very special. Trump asked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to put the proposal to a vote immediately. Good news, but given that Trump then went on for several minutes about the “wall” and women with duct tape on their mouths and “see-through technology,” it looks like we’ll find ourselves right back where we started. (Indeed, if this were a drinking game, we’d all be wasted – coyotes, human traffickers, MS13, smugglers, “you see what’s happening,” etc.) 

He ended the speech with an ultimatum: either he gets his wall funding by February 15 or the he will shutdown the government again or declare a national emergency, he still hasn’t decided. (All of this was an effort to make the announcement sound like he had somehow won, when in reality all he did was TOTALLY CAVE.)

Other highlights:

  • He noted that the backlog in immigration courts is much greater than it was, but failed to note that this was due to his shutdown.
  • He called immigration a “health crisis” because immigrants “are very, very sick.” 
  • He said we have “the lowest employment and the best employment.”
  • “The farms.” 

Yesterday, Trump suggested he might be ready to negotiate if Democrats were willing to include “some sort of pro-rated down payment” on the wall (whatever that means). The two bills expected to fail in yesterday’s Senate vote did just that. But, to the surprise of many, the clean stopgap bill that would open the government until Feb. 8 received more votes than the “build that wall” bill. Six Republicans crossed party lines to vote for the former, while only one Democrat voted for the latter. This undoubtedly influenced the president’s decision to COMPLETELY CAVE.

Federal employees missed two paychecks, the federal courts were running out of money, and people were at risk of not receiving benefits like WIC. The FBI said that the shutdown was making it impossible for them to do day to day law enforcement work (hmm… could that be the real motivation for the shutdown?…). The effects of the shutdown were expanding, with heavy delays and even ground stops at airports due to staffing problems at two FAA air-traffic control facilities. Tensions were running high, as evinced by a post-vote exchange in which Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson snapped at McConnell, “this is your fault.”

Watch: Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) tears into Sen. “Ted” Cruz (R-TX) on the Senate floor over his universally unbearable personality support for the border wall.

What happens next? Rumors are circulating that the White House might form a “supercommission” to study border security/border wall. But, as he confirmed in today’s announcement, Trump is also re-considering declaring a national emergency to distract from the indictment of Roger Stone, who has Richard Nixon’s face tattooed on his back and that totally a true fact get money for the wall. The White House has prepared a draft executive order. According to CNN:

“The massive amount of aliens who unlawfully enter the United States each day is a direct threat to the safety and security of our nation and constitutes a national emergency,” a draft of a presidential proclamation reads.

“Now, therefore, I, Donald J. Trump, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C 1601, et seq.), hereby declare that a national emergency exists at the southern border of the United States,” the draft adds.

Earlier today, Trump managed to incorporate all three of his favorite topics (witch hunts, coyotes, and CNN) into a single tweet:

[Note: he probably meant to say “biggest witch hunt,” though that is also not true.]   

Other News:

The Texas Tribune asked all Texas federal lawmakers if they think the wall was worth the shutdown. Answers fell along party lines with one exception: Republican Rep. Will Hurd, who represents the district that stretches from San Antonio to the El Paso border region, said “No.”

DHS will begin the new Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) today, returning asylum seekers to Tijuana, Mexico where they must stay until their asylum requests have been processed.

From The Hill: “Migrant children illegally held in unlicensed facilities, attorney says”

 

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Daily Dispatch 1/24/19


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Daily Dispatch

January 24, 2019


And the shut goes on.

For the first time in weeks, however, there appears to be movement. Maybe.

The House is preparing a bill that would give Trump his $5.7 billion for various kinds of border security EXCLUDING THE WALL. And Mitch McConnell is said to have crawled out from under his rock.

UPDATE: Pelosi pushes back on reports of Democratic proposal

The two bills the Senate plans to vote on today (Trump’s border wall bill and a clean stopgap bill) with both definitely fail, but will provide useful information on what could work going forward – which bill will get more votes is the question.

Some think the SOTU kerfuffle is the only way to shake Trump out of his border frenzy. Above all Trump cares about his TV ratings. After acquiescing to Pelosi’s demand to postpone the SOTU until the government opens, you can bet he’s finding renewed motivation to shutdown the shutdown.

But you never know…

Jared is chatting with various lawmakers about offering green cards to DACA recipients as a way to end the shutdown.

Meanwhile, billionaire Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross doesn’t understand the big deal with missing a couple of paychecks.

And Twitter had its fun with Trump’s new border wall slogan.

But even conservative anti-immigrant activists are getting tired of hearing Trump talk about his wall.

More Stories:

USCIS staffers leaked information about not leaking information to the public. Said one USCIS official, “if they want to stop people from talking to the press, they got to stop being so scandalous.”

From The Intercept: “Trump’s Shutdown Offer Creates a De Facto Asylum Ban for Central American Minors”

HHS Secretary Alex Azar has refused a House committee request to testify on family separation.

A press release on Trump’s spending bill from the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

From TIME: “Stories of Migrants Risking Everything for a Better Life”

Four federal lawsuits challenging “grave harm” to immigrant kids on the part of the government are currently wending their way through the courts

From the Texas Tribune: “Texas dreamers in limbo as Trump bargains their protections for border wall funding”

From Slate: “Four Young Men Arrested and Charged in Apparent Terrorist Plot Against Muslim Community in Upstate New York”

Families for Freedom reports that it has been “Families for Freedom have been contacted by family members of persons detained at Etowah County Detention Center about a hunger strike due to the very poor quality of the food being served as well as intolerable conditions and treatment. Communication with the detained people have been severely restricted for some time now (our hotline has been blocked) and personal calls are allegedly being disconnected at the mention of the strike action. There are also allegations of retaliation with folks placed in lockdown for refusing food.” This report has been corroborated by Shut Down Etowah and Adelante Alabama Worker Center.

 

 

 

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Daily Dispatch 1/23/19


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Daily Dispatch

January 23, 2019


Today, the Senate will vote on two bills: Trump’s “compromise” bill (more on that below) and a “clean” funding bill that would reopen the government until February 8. Neither will pass, but the exercise will serve two purposes: give lawmakers a chance to vote on something (which they haven’t done in weeks) and demonstrate to Trump that his bill isn’t a magic bullet.

As HuffPo reminds us, Trump’s bill would “gut existing asylum laws for children and trafficking victims from Central America, ban asylum for minors who present themselves at ports of entry, gut the concept of temporary protected status for future cases and expand immigration detention.”

Trump will have two meetings on immigration today: a phone call with local leaders and an in-person meeting with conservative leaders in the Roosevelt Room at the White House.

A great headline from CNN today:  “State Department cancels border security conference due to shutdown over border security”

Trump has succeeded in making immigration the top issue facing the country. And while he may be taking most of the blame for the shutdown at this point, come election time, the obsession with the immigration issue is more likely to help him than his eventual opponent.

From The Hill: “Pope [Francis]: Fear of migration ‘makes us crazy’”

The State of the State of the Union: The White House has asked the sergeant-at-arms to inspect the Capitol ahead of the SOTU, but given that Pelosi has yet to invite him, word is he’s considering giving the address outside of DC at a more rally-like event – which means it is NOT the SOTU. While Sarah Sanders describes SOTU as a “conversation with the American people,” it is in fact a report to the Congress, so… 

And Trump has a new little slogan for his border wall:

He’s really proud of it…

Other Stories:

So much talk about “immigration loopholes,” but not so much about this one: a report from the Senate committee on Homeland Security reveals thousands of requests by adult men to bring child brides into the U.S.

Catholic Legal Immigration Network and Northwest Immigrant Rights Project have filed suit against HHS for using kids as bait to arrest potential sponsors. Read the full document here.

Anne Arundel county (Maryland) decided to end its 287(g) cooperation with ICE. The plan was to continue contracting with ICE to house detainees in the county jail but to use the proceeds to provide legal representation for those detainees.  ICE, though, isn’t having it and ended the contract as a retaliatory measure: “ICE looks to partner with counties that are willing to cooperate in support of our public safety mission and believes the (county’s) decision to terminate the agreement undermines this mission.”

Listen: “Native American Leader: ‘A Border Wall Is Not The Answer’” (NPR)

And for all the unpaid and furloughed workers:


 

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Daily Dispatch 1/22/19


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Daily Dispatch

January 22, 2019


Breaking: Supreme Court takes no action on DACA – meaning the earliest they will hear Trump’s case is 10 to 12 months from now, if they agree to hear it at all. Lower court rulings requiring DACA continue will remain intact until then.

This news from SCOTUS makes Trump’s Saturday offer (extending DACA for three years and throwing Dems a bone on TPS) less appealing to Democrats. Which means there’s currently no end in sight to the shutdown. Both sides are digging in. Here’s more on the state of play from Politico.

Related: Long shifts, no paychecks, services cut, and reports of hunger strikes – these three articles show how the shutdown is impacting federal prisons.

The Wall:

ProPublica teams up with The Texas Tribune to investigate DHS’s abuse of power in a border wall land grab.

From BBC News: “Trump wall – all you need to know about US border in seven charts”

Op-ed from The Hill: “A wall to separate us from reason”

The Resistance:

Volunteers for a humanitarian group that leaves food and water in the desert for migrants traveling on foot have been convicted of entering a wildlife refuge without a permit and abandonment of property.

From El Paso Times: “Bill would make New Mexico a ‘sanctuary state’”

Trump Administration Celebrates MLK Day – Hijinks Ensue:

The mere anticipation of Trump and associates trying to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day is enough to make someone cringe. Here’s a round-up of their efforts – and how the internet responded.

Mike Pence appeared on “Face the Nation,” citing his favorite line from King’s “I Have a Dream” speech: “Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.” He followed up with this zinger: “That’s exactly what President Trump is calling on Congress to do — come to the table in the spirit of good faith,” Pence said. “We’ll secure our border. We’ll reopen the government, and we’ll move our nation forward, as the president said yesterday, to even a broader discussion about immigration reform in the months ahead.”

Sarah Sanders had hoped to issue an innocuous tweet commemorating King: “Today we honor a great American who gave his life to right the wrong of racial inequality.” But Twitter took issue with the phrase “gave his life.”

For his part, Trump visited the MLK Memorial in DC – briefly… very briefly.

Then, for some reason, embattled Iowa Representative Steve King thought it would be a good idea to chime in. And, although he managed to squeak out a tweet that (while it used a somewhat apocryphal quote) was surprisingly unremarkable, the internet had some thoughts to share.

And the NRA thought to itself, “eh… why not?”

 


 

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Update on Temporary Protected Status: It will not end on July 22 for Haiti

There are currently four different legal challenges to Trump’s decision to suspend Temporary Protected Status for most countries. Developments in one particular case have ramifications for TPS holders from Haiti, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Sudan. We are working to ensure that this information gets out into communities affected as there continues to be much confusion about the timeframe.

We will continue to demand a permanent solution, one that offers a path to permanent residency and citizenship.

The following update is from Steve Forester, an attorney with the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti:

As a result of developments in the Ramos case, Haiti TPS WON’T end July 22!  It’ll go thru December at least, and no one who now has TPS needs to pay or do ANYTHING at all to benefit!  More good news: any Haitian who had TPS but doesn’t anymore because they didn’t reregister for it in either 2017 or 2018 may and should reregister now!  (But beware of rip-off artists: no one who now has TPS needs to pay anyone or do anything except show their employer a Fed Register Notice to be published in March extending TPS thru December!)

DETAILS OF THIS:  Due to TPS-related legal developments in the ongoing Ramos federal court case:

1)  TPS for Haitians will virtually certainly NOT end on July 22, 2019; the government in early March will automatically extend it to approximately January 1, 2020, and quite possibly will do so for another nine months beyond that date, to September, 2020; no one who properly re-registered for TPS needs to pay or do anything at all to benefit from this!

2)  Haitians with TPS who didn’t re-register for it in 2017 or 2018 out of fear, confusion, or another good reason can and should seek to reregister now; the gov’t has agreed to give such applications “presumptive weight” as being filed late for good cause—meaning they should be granted and then entitled to the TPS extensions described above/below!

More Details:

As you know, DHS’s November 2017 decision ending Haiti TPS, with an 18-month grace period set to expire on July 22, 2019, is being challenged in four federal district court suits, including the Ramos litigation in San Francisco. On October 3, 2018, Judge Chen in Ramos issued a preliminary injunction (“PI”) in the plaintiffs’ favor, blocking as unconstitutional, while the injunction remains in effect, implementation of DHS’s TPS termination decisions for Haiti, El Salvador, Sudan, and Nicaragua.

The U.S. government (“USG”) has appealed Judge Chen’s order to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals but has agreed, while the court’s order is in effect, to certain important measures. These measures are reflected in an October 31 Federal Register Notice (“FRN”) (“Continuation of Documentation for Beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status Designations for Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador”) or in a declaration filed in Ramos by a high-ranking USG official.

These important protective measures include the following:

  • Automatic 9 month extensions, starting in April 2019, unless there is a loss at a court of appeals: “DHS will issue another Federal Register Notice approximately 30 days before April 2, 2019, that will extend TPS for an additional nine months from April 2, 2019, for all affected beneficiaries under the TPS designations for Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador.  DHS will continue to issue Federal Register Notices at nine-month intervals so long as the preliminary injunction remains in place and will continue its commitment to [an] orderly transition period, as described above.” (There’s no way the Ninth Circuit will decide by early March, much less the Supreme Court.  So the early March additional Federal Register Notice referenced above will issue.)
  • TPS work and legal status will be automatic for those registered—no need to pay for employment authorization cards or further registration:Under the agreement, for as long as the district court’s order is in place, people with TPS who have re-registered previously – or who re-register late – will not need to register again or apply for a new EAD. They can rely on their existing (to-be-expired) EAD or TPS approval notice, as well as the Federal Register Notice, as valid authorization to work or as proof of legal status in the United States. They do not need to pay any further money to the US government, and should not need to pay for additional legal assistance either.
  • Re-registration possible—and likely guaranteed—for people who did not re-register during the Trump Administration: Crucially, Haitians with TPS who didn’t reregister in 2017 or 2018 due to fear or other good reason can successfully do so now!  If they now reregister for TPS late for good cause, the USG will give their applications “presumptive weight” as being valid!  This means that any Haitian TPS recipient who failed to reregister in 2017 or 2018 should be successful in doing so now — late — if they explain that they didn’t reregister on time due to fear, confusion, or other good reason.  (This is extremely important for example for the estimated nearly 16,000 Haitians with TPS who let their TPS status lapse early this year by not trying to reregister!)
  • No new terminations for these countries for now: The USG will not try to write new TPS termination notices for Haiti or the three other nations while the court’s order remains valid.
  • At least 6 months additional protection even if there is a loss at a higher court: “In the event the preliminary injunction is reversed and that reversal becomes final, DHS will allow for an orderly transition period,” which effectively amounts to about six months from the date of any such hypothetical future final, non-appealable order. This means that – if the district court’s order is overturned on appeal (at the court of appeals or the Supreme Court), the earliest that TPS holders from these countries could lose their legal status is about 6 months after the appeals court’s decision.

Prompt congressional action for a longer-term solution remains key.  But please help spread this crucially important info for TPS’ers explained above in Haitian American communities! Haitians with TPS need to know they needn’t fear anything changing on July 22; and Haitians who used to have it but who failed to reregister for it under Trump need to know that they may and should reregister for it now to get its protections.

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Contact Us

  • Quixote Center
    7307 Baltimore Ave.
    Ste 214
    College Park, MD 20740
  • Office: 301-699-0042
    Email: info@quixote.org

Direction to office:

For driving: From Baltimore Ave (Route 1) towards University of Maryland, turn right onto Hartwick Rd. Turn immediate right in the office complex.

Look for building 7307. We are located on the 2nd floor.

For public transportation: We are located near the College Park metro station (green line)