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What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

Know Anyone Who Thinks Racial Profiling Is Exaggerated? Watch This, And Tell Me When Your Jaw Drops.


This video clearly demonstrates how racist America is as a country and how far we have to go to become a country that is civilized and actually values equal justice. We must not rest until this goal is achieved. I do not want my great grandchildren to live in a country like we have today. I wish for them to live in a country where differences of race and culture are not ignored but valued as a part of what makes America great.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Opinion | I’m a Dreamer and a Rhodes Scholar. Where Do I Belong? - The New York Times

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"A person shouldn’t have to be a “genius” or “economically productive” to have access to equal opportunity."

By Jin Park

"In November, I became the first Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals beneficiary to win the Rhodes scholarship. The news was bittersweet.

In 2017 the Trump administration rescinded the option for overseas travel for those with DACA status, the Dreamers who were brought to this country illegally as children. This means that when I leave the country in October to study at Oxford with my fellow Rhodes scholars, I may not be able to come back.

This is a perpetual reality of being undocumented: I never know if I have a place in America — my home — even after receiving one of the most esteemed scholarships in the world.

My family left South Korea during the Asian financial crisis in 1997. I remember being whisked away in the middle of the night when I was 7 and boarding a flight for what my parents said was “a magical place” called America. At the time, I was unaware of the economic forces that had compelled my parents to make the journey to a new country.
We settled in a Korean enclave in Flushing, Queens. The language, people, smells and flavors reminded us of home, and that helped ease our transition into our new life. My mother found work in a beauty salon, providing manicures and facials. My father was hired as a line cook in a Korean restaurant, working 12-hour shifts six days a week.

I started going to a school in a nearby Korean church. I slowly began adapting to my new life. I found comfort in learning how to speak English. Despite their demanding workload, my parents were resolute and nurturing. When my father learned that playing baseball was an American rite of passage, we’d go out to the sidewalk in front of our apartment complex to play. He didn’t know how to pitch, but he tried to teach me anyway. In 2012 I received DACA status, which allowed me to apply to Harvard. I graduated in December with a degree in biology and government.

These days the conversation around immigration is centered on conspiracy theories and racially charged statements. I’m reminded daily that I don’t belong here, and find myself having to justify why I should be allowed to remain.

I can argue that I am smart, driven and able to contribute to this country, just like my fellow undocumented immigrants. We pay taxes to help keep systems such as Medicare and Social Security solvent — systems that we may never directly benefit from.

According to a 2017 study, 91 percent of Dreamers are employed and will contribute $460.3 billion to the gross domestic product over the next decade. Over 65 percent of us are pursuing a degree in higher education.
And yet I resist citing my “intelligence” or “abilities” to defend my presence here, because a human being need not be a Rhodes scholar to be treated with basic fairness and decency. A human being shouldn’t have to be a “genius” or “economically productive” to have access to equal opportunity.

We are your co-workers, your friends, your classmates and your fellow Americans — we work, learn and laugh alongside you.

As I attempt to make sense of what it means to be an undocumented immigrant, I often retreat into the Pusey Archives at Harvard to pore through the personal library of John Rawls. Rawls, considered the most important philosopher in the 20th century, concentrated on one crucial question: How can a society establish just institutions when there are seemingly irreconcilable differences among its members? He argues that we must recognize first and foremost those who stand among us, who are members of the union, and who therefore must be treated fairly.

I plan to use my time at Oxford to think about how undocumented immigrants can urge this country to recognize that we are American — we stand among you and we are embedded in this country, its practices and its institutions. I hope to start a dialogue about how we as Americans can collectively forge a common identity that respects human rights.

When I step on that plane in October and leave the United States for the first time since I arrived 16 years ago, I will think of the bustling flea market on 41st Street and Union Avenue in Flushing, and of the smell of freshly made spicy tteokbokki rice cakes in Korean eateries along Northern Boulevard that I pass on my way to the 7 train. These are my roots. These are the sights and sounds that nurtured me as I became the person I am today.

Walking through those streets has taken on a new meaning as I grapple with the knowledge that soon it may very well be the last time I do so.

There’s a Korean adage that warns that, “What becomes far from the eyes becomes far from the heart.” Yet I have no doubt that these sights and sounds will carry me and remain with me wherever I go, because that’s the nature of home: It stays with you even if the country you call home won’t accept you.

Jin Park is a 2018 graduate of Harvard."

Opinion | I’m a Dreamer and a Rhodes Scholar. Where Do I Belong? - The New York Times:

F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia - The New York Times





"WASHINGTON — In the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests, according to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation.
The inquiry carried explosive implications. Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.
The investigation the F.B.I. opened into Mr. Trump also had a criminal aspect, which has long been publicly known: whether his firing of Mr. Comey constituted obstruction of justice.
Agents and senior F.B.I. officials had grown suspicious of Mr. Trump’s ties to Russia during the 2016 campaign but held off on opening an investigation into him, the people said, in part because they were uncertain how to proceed with an inquiry of such sensitivity and magnitude. But the president’s activities before and after Mr. Comey’s firing in May 2017, particularly two instances in which Mr. Trump tied the Comey dismissal to the Russia investigation, helped prompt the counterintelligence aspect of the inquiry, the people said.
The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, took over the inquiry into Mr. Trump when he was appointed, days after F.B.I. officials opened it. That inquiry is part of Mr. Mueller’s broader examination of how Russian operatives interfered in the 2016 election and whether any Trump associates conspired with them. It is unclear whether Mr. Mueller is still pursuing the counterintelligence matter, and some former law enforcement officials outside the investigation have questioned whether agents overstepped in opening it.
The criminal and counterintelligence elements were coupled together into one investigation, former law enforcement officials said in interviews in recent weeks, because if Mr. Trump had ousted the head of the F.B.I. to impede or even end the Russia investigation, that was both a possible crime and a national security concern. The F.B.I.’s counterintelligence division handles national security matters.
If the president had fired Mr. Comey to stop the Russia investigation, the action would have been a national security issue because it naturally would have hurt the bureau’s effort to learn how Moscow interfered in the 2016 election and whether any Americans were involved, according to James A. Baker, who served as F.B.I. general counsel until late 2017. He privately testified in October before House investigators who were examining the F.B.I.’s handling of the full Russia inquiry.
“Not only would it be an issue of obstructing an investigation, but the obstruction itself would hurt our ability to figure out what the Russians had done, and that is what would be the threat to national security,” Mr. Baker said in his testimony, portions of which were read to The New York Times. Mr. Baker did not explicitly acknowledge the existence of the investigation of Mr. Trump to congressional investigators.
No evidence has emerged publicly that Mr. Trump was secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials. An F.B.I. spokeswoman and a spokesman for the special counsel’s office both declined to comment.
Rudolph W. Giuliani, a lawyer for the president, sought to play down the significance of the investigation. “The fact that it goes back a year and a half and nothing came of it that showed a breach of national security means they found nothing,” Mr. Giuliani said on Friday, though he acknowledged that he had no insight into the inquiry.
The cloud of the Russia investigation has hung over Mr. Trump since even before he took office, though he has long vigorously denied any illicit connection to Moscow. The obstruction inquiry, revealed by The Washington Post a few weeks after Mr. Mueller was appointed, represented a direct threat that he was unable to simply brush off as an overzealous examination of a handful of advisers. But few details have been made public about the counterintelligence aspect of the investigation.
The decision to investigate Mr. Trump himself was an aggressive move by F.B.I. officials who were confronting the chaotic aftermath of the firing of Mr. Comey and enduring the president’s verbal assaults on the Russia investigation as a “witch hunt.”
A vigorous debate has taken shape among some former law enforcement officials outside the case over whether F.B.I. investigators overreacted in opening the counterintelligence inquiry during a tumultuous period at the Justice Department. Other former officials noted that those critics were not privy to all of the evidence and argued that sitting on it would have been an abdication of duty.
The F.B.I. conducts two types of inquiries, criminal and counterintelligence investigations. Unlike criminal investigations, which are typically aimed at solving a crime and can result in arrests and convictions, counterintelligence inquiries are generally fact-finding missions to understand what a foreign power is doing and to stop any anti-American activity, like thefts of United States government secrets or covert efforts to influence policy. In most cases, the investigations are carried out quietly, sometimes for years. Often, they result in no arrests.
Mr. Trump had caught the attention of F.B.I. counterintelligence agents when he called on Russia during a campaign news conference in July 2016 to hack into the emails of his opponent, Hillary Clinton. Mr. Trump had refused to criticize Russia on the campaign trail, praising President Vladimir V. Putin. And investigators had watched with alarm as the Republican Party softened its convention platform on the Ukraine crisis in a way that seemed to benefit Russia.
Other factors fueled the F.B.I.’s concerns, according to the people familiar with the inquiry. Christopher Steele, a former British spy who worked as an F.B.I. informant, had compiled memos in mid-2016 containing unsubstantiated claims that Russian officials tried to obtain influence over Mr. Trump by preparing to blackmail and bribe him.
In the months before the 2016 election, the F.B.I. was also already investigating four of Mr. Trump’s associates over their ties to Russia. The constellation of events disquieted F.B.I. officials who were simultaneously watching as Russia’s campaign unfolded to undermine the presidential election by exploiting existing divisions among Americans.
“In the Russian Federation and in President Putin himself, you have an individual whose aim is to disrupt the Western alliance and whose aim is to make Western democracy more fractious in order to weaken our ability, America’s ability and the West’s ability to spread our democratic ideals,” Lisa Page, a former bureau lawyer, told House investigators in private testimony reviewed by The Times.
“That’s the goal, to make us less of a moral authority to spread democratic values,” she added. Parts of her testimony were first reported by The Epoch Times.
And when a newly inaugurated Mr. Trump sought a loyalty pledge from Mr. Comey and later asked that he end an investigation into the president’s national security adviser, the requests set off discussions among F.B.I. officials about opening an inquiry into whether Mr. Trump had tried to obstruct that case.
But law enforcement officials put off the decision to open the investigation until they had learned more, according to people familiar with their thinking. As for a counterintelligence inquiry, they concluded that they would need strong evidence to take the sensitive step of investigating the president, and they were also concerned that the existence of such an inquiry could be leaked to the news media, undermining the entire investigation into Russia’s meddling in the election.
After Mr. Comey was fired on May 9, 2017, two more of Mr. Trump’s actions prompted them to quickly abandon those reservations.
The first was a letter Mr. Trump wanted to send to Mr. Comey about his firing, but never did, in which he mentioned the Russia investigation. In the letter, Mr. Trump thanked Mr. Comey for previously telling him he was not a subject of the F.B.I.’s Russia investigation.
Even after the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, wrote a more restrained draft of the letter and told Mr. Trump that he did not have to mention the Russia investigation — Mr. Comey’s poor handling of the Clinton email investigation would suffice as a fireable offense, he explained — Mr. Trump directed Mr. Rosenstein to mention the Russia investigation anyway.
He disregarded the president’s order, irritating Mr. Trump. The president ultimately added a reference to the Russia investigation to the note he had delivered, thanking Mr. Comey for telling him three times that he was not under investigation.
The second event that troubled investigators was an NBC News interview two days after Mr. Comey’s firing in which Mr. Trump appeared to say he had dismissed Mr. Comey because of the Russia inquiry.
“I was going to fire Comey knowing there was no good time to do it,” he said. “And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself — I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won.”
Mr. Trump’s aides have said that a fuller examination of his comments demonstrates that he did not fire Mr. Comey to end the Russia inquiry. “I might even lengthen out the investigation, but I have to do the right thing for the American people,” Mr. Trump added. “He’s the wrong man for that position.”
As F.B.I. officials debated whether to open the investigation, some of them pushed to move quickly before Mr. Trump appointed a director who might slow down or even end their investigation into Russia’s interference. Many involved in the case viewed Russia as the chief threat to American democratic values.
“With respect to Western ideals and who it is and what it is we stand for as Americans, Russia poses the most dangerous threat to that way of life,” Ms. Page told investigators for a joint House Judiciary and Oversight Committee investigation into Moscow’s election interference.
F.B.I. officials viewed their decision to move quickly as validated when a comment the president made to visiting Russian officials in the Oval Office shortly after he fired Mr. Comey was revealed days later.
“I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr. Trump said, according to a document summarizing the meeting. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”


F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia - The New York Times

Friday, January 11, 2019

Before Trump, Steve King Set the Agenda for the Wall and Anti-Immigrant Politics - The New York Times

"Years before President Trump forced a government shutdown over a border wall, triggering a momentous test of wills in Washington, Representative Steve King of Iowa took to the House floor to show off a model of a 12-foot border wall he had designed.



And long before Mr. Trump demonized immigrants — accusing Mexico of exporting criminals and calling for an end to birthright citizenship — Mr. King turned those views into talking points, with his use of misleading data about victims of undocumented immigrants and demeaning remarks about Latinos.



Immigration is Mr. Trump’s go-to issue, his surest connection to his most faithful supporters, and his prime-time address on Tuesday night underscored his willingness to use fear and misleading statements to appeal to voters — just as he did with warnings about a migrant caravan before the midterm elections.



The Republican Party hadn’t always intended to go this route: Officials tried for years to come up with broad-based immigration reform that would appeal to growing numbers of Latino voters. But Mr. Trump’s preoccupation with the wall and anti-immigrant politics reflects how he has embraced the once-fringe views of Mr. King, who has used racist language in the past, promotes neo-Nazis on Twitter and was recently denounced by one Republican leader as a white supremacist.



With the federal government in a third week of paralysis over a border wall, Mr. Trump’s positions are a reminder of how Mr. King’s ideology and his language maligning undocumented residents helped shape the Republican message in 2016 and 2018 and define Mr. Trump’s agenda and prospects for re-election. Mr. King may have been ostracized by some Republicans over his racist remarks and extremist ties, but as much of the nation debates immigration, his views now carry substantial influence on the right.



Early in Mr. Trump’s term, the president invited Mr. King — who was long snubbed by establishment Republicans like the former House speaker John A. Boehner — to the Oval Office. There, the president boasted of having raised more money for the congressman’s campaigns than anyone else, including during a 2014 Iowa visit, Mr. King recalled in an interview with The Times.



“Yes, Mr. President,” Mr. King replied. “But I market-tested your immigration policy for 14 years, and that ought to be worth something.”



Mr. King, a 69-year-old former bulldozer operator with a combative manner, who has been elected nine times, helped write the book on white identity politics that are ascendant in Mr. Trump’s Republican Party. That provides both a template for Mr. Trump and a warning.





Mr. King, left, in March 2006. He has denounced immigration reform efforts under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama as “amnesty.”

Photo by: Doug Mills/The New York Times

Mr. King’s full-throated embrace of nativism has long found a supportive constituency in the rural Midwest, the region that was a key to Mr. Trump’s 2016 victory and represents his most likely path to re-election.



But at the same time, Mr. King’s margin of victory in 2018 shrank to its narrowest in 16 years. He made national headlines for endorsing a Toronto mayoral candidate with neo-Nazi ties and for meeting with a far-right Austrian party accused of trivializing the Holocaust. On Twitter, he follows an Australian anti-Semitic activist, who proposed hanging a portrait of Hitler “in every classroom.” And in October, the chairman of the Republican House elections committee, Representative Steve Stivers of Ohio, condemned Mr. King, saying, “We must stand up against white supremacy and hate in all forms.”



Mr. King lost corporate agriculture donors like Purina, Land O’Lakes and Smithfield. He dropped from an 18-point lead over his Democratic opponent in his internal polls to barely squeaking out a three-point win on Election Day. On Wednesday, Mr. King drew a formidable challenger for his Fourth District seat in the 2020 Republican primary: Randy Feenstra, an assistant majority leader in the State Senate, who said Mr. King had left Iowa “without a seat at the table” because of “sideshows” and “distractions.’’



Mr. King, in the interview, said he was not a racist. He pointed to his Twitter timeline showing him greeting Iowans of all races and religions in his Washington office. (The same office once displayed a Confederate flag on his desk.)



At the same time, he said, he supports immigrants who enter the country legally and fully assimilate because what matters more than race is “the culture of America” based on values brought to the United States by whites from Europe.



“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” Mr. King said. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”



After this article was published Thursday, Mr. King issued a public statement calling himself a “nationalist” and defending his support of “western civilization’s values,” and said he was not an advocate for “white nationalism and white supremacy.” “I want to make one thing abundantly clear: I reject those labels and the evil ideology they define,” he wrote.



Mr. King’s influence over national politics derives from his representation of the reddest district in the first presidential nominating state. Nearly all the 2016 Republican presidential contenders sought his blessing at a forum he hosted in Des Moines in January 2015, Mr. Trump included.





Mr. King graduated from Denison High School in 1967 with an all-white senior class. The school now has a Hispanic majority.

Photo by: Mary Mathis for The New York Times

“Donald Trump came to Iowa as a real nonideological candidate,” Mr. King recalled. Mr. Trump’s first hire in Iowa, Chuck Laudner, was a former chief of staff to Mr. King. Mr. Trump’s first Iowa rally directly followed a visit to the Mexican border.



The previous year, Mr. Trump had visited to endorse Mr. King’s re-election. As the congressman warned of scenarios like Islamic State terrorists or even Africans with ebola illegally entering the country, Mr. Trump listened and nodded. When he stepped to the microphone, he echoed Mr. King.



“Well, border security is a very big issue,” he said. “People are just flooding across.”



Tom Tancredo, a former Colorado congressman who once held the most conservative views in official Washington on immigration, calling for a moratorium on even legal immigrants, said he “handed the baton to Steve King” when he left the House in 2008.



David Johnson, a former Republican state senator from Mr. King’s district, said he heard in the president’s rhetoric a direct echo of Mr. King. “They belong to the same subset of white nationalists who are afraid of how the country is changing,” he said.



Mr. King was born in Storm Lake, Iowa, and attended high school in nearby Denison, then a nearly all-white rural farming region, where his father managed a state police radio station.



After founding an earth-moving company, Mr. King ran successfully for the State Senate in 1996. His most notable legacy from six years in the Legislature was a law making English the official state language. It was a time when packinghouses and other agricultural employers had dropped wages, and Latino migrants increasingly were taking jobs that no longer attracted native-born Iowans.



Elected to Congress in 2002, Mr. King attracted the attention of hate-watch groups like the Anti-Defamation League as he spoke increasingly about preserving “Western culture” or “Western civilization.” The groups consider those buzzwords that signal support to white nationalists, along with an obsession with birthrates and abortion rates among different ethnic groups.



“He uses the concepts of either ‘culture’ or ‘civilization’ to obfuscate that he’s talking about whiteness and race,” said Lawrence Rosenthal, chairman of the Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies.





Mr. King has been elected to nine terms, but his margin of victory shrank to his narrowest ever in November.

Photo by: Scott Morgan/Reuters

In 2011, Mr. King objected to the Affordable Care Act’s mandate to cover contraception. “That’s not constructive to our culture and our civilization,” he said in a speech in the House. “If we let our birthrate get down below the replacement rate, we’re a dying civilization.”



Mr. King seems further emboldened during the Trump presidency.



In an interview in August with a far-right web publication in Austria, Mr. King displayed a deep familiarity with racist tracts and ideas embraced by white supremacists.



He spoke of “the Great Replacement,” a conspiracy theory on the far right that claims shadowy elites are working behind the scenes to reduce white populations to minorities in their own countries.



“Great replacement, yes,” Mr. King said in the interview. “These people walking into Europe by ethnic migration, 80 percent are young men.”



The accusation that a “great replacement” of whites is underway — which conspiracy theorists often link to prominent Jews like George Soros — animated the torch-carrying white nationalists in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017, who chanted, “You will not replace us” and “Jews will not replace us.”



Mr. Trump’s refusal to condemn the marchers, and his insistence that there were “very fine people on both sides,” was cheered by neo-Nazi websites.



In Mr. King’s interview with the Austrian website, he repeated his yearslong critique of multiculturalism.



“What does this diversity bring that we don’t already have? Mexican food. Chinese food,” he said. “Those things, well, that’s fine, but what does it bring that we don’t have that is worth the price?”





While serving in the Iowa Legislature in the 1990s, Mr. King helped pass a law making English the state’s official language.

Photo by: Mary Mathis for The New York Times

In recent years, Mr. King has forged alliances with far-right European leaders, including Marine Le Pen of France and Geert Wilders of the Netherlands, one of the most anti-Muslim politicians in Europe, who calls for closing mosques.



Ahead of Dutch elections in March 2017, Mr. King endorsed Mr. Wilders in a tweet, saying, “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”



Amid an ensuing controversy, he claimed the tweet wasn’t about race. Virulent white supremacists, however, heard otherwise.



“Steve King is basically an open white nationalist at this point,” wrote Andrew Anglin, the founder of the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer.



Mr. Anglin and others celebrated that Mr. Trump’s election had made once-fringe beliefs about ethnonationalism acceptable to mainstream politicians.



As Republicans have morphed from the party of George W. Bush, who sought legal status for 12 million undocumented immigrants, to the party of Mr. Trump and Mr. King, some party leaders fear for the future in a nation where Hispanic voters are a rapidly growing electorate.



“Great damage has been done,” said Carlos Curbelo, a moderate Republican who lost a South Florida congressional seat in the midterms. “For anyone who cares about having a small-government, free-enterprise party in America that can aspire to win national elections, it’s a real concern.”



Mr. Curbelo, who tried to forge compromise on immigration in the House last year, said Mr. Trump told him privately, including on Air Force One, that he wanted a deal with Democrats.



But the president is paralyzed by the far right, Mr. Curbelo said. “He’s terrified of losing his base and the so-called conservative media.”



Last week, as the new Congress was sworn in, Mr. King sat on his side of a chamber sharply delineated by demographics. The Democratic majority included record numbers of African-Americans and women, including the first Native American and the first Muslim women. Mr. King’s side was mostly people who look like him.



“You could look over there and think the Democratic Party is no country for white men,” he said.



Before Trump, Steve King Set the Agenda for the Wall and Anti-Immigrant Politics - The New York Times

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Opinion | Borderline Insanity . "President Trump rained cruelties on immigrants and asylum seekers and now wants hundreds of millions of dollars to address the humanitarian crisis he caused.- The New York Times

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Jan. 7, 2019

The editorial board represents the opinions of the board, its editor and the publisher. It is separate from the newsroom and the Op-Ed section.

As the government shutdown over President Trump’s demand for border-wall funding moves through week three, the administration is looking to cut a deal with Democrats by emphasizing the deepening humanitarian crisis at the border — a crisis caused in large part by this administration’s inhumane policies, political grandstanding and managerial incompetence.

In a letter Sunday to lawmakers, the White House laid out its latest proposal for addressing the border tumult. The administration called for more immigration and Border Patrol agents, more detention beds and, of course, $5.7 billion to build 234 new miles of border wall. The White House also demanded an additional $800 million for “urgent humanitarian needs,” such as medical support, transportation and temporary facilities for processing and housing detainees.

Translation: Mr. Trump’s mass incarceration of migrant families is overwhelming an already burdened system that, without a giant injection of taxpayer dollars, will continue to collapse, leading to ever more human suffering.

The situation is an especially rich example of the Trump Doctrine: Break something, then demand credit — and in this case a lot of money — for promising to fix it.

Late last week, frustrated by his standoff with Democrats, Mr. Trump even threatened to declare a national emergency in order to get his wall built without Congress’s approval — a move guaranteed to prompt a ferocious legal challenge.

Any attempt to sell Mr. Trump’s cruel immigration agenda with a veneer of humanitarian measures should be viewed with skepticism. This administration has long held that the best way to deal with asylum seekers fleeing the horrors of their home countries is to increase their suffering upon reaching the United States to discourage others from even trying.

There is no question but that the administration remains ill equipped to cope with the fallout from its narrow fixation on deterrence. Migrant children are being piled into holding cells where they fall ill — or worse. The number of detainees at Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities has swelled to unprecedented levels, requiring periodic mass releases. Without preparation or planning, hundreds of migrants are simply dropped off at bus stations in border cities. The Times found that, in the final week of December, some 600 migrants were unceremoniously released onto the streets of El Paso.

Mr. Trump’s spiteful choice to shut parts of the government is only making the situation messier. Immigration judges are being furloughed, further slowing the processing of asylum requests. Border Patrol agents are working without pay, eroding morale. In perhaps the choicest twist of fate, some $300 million in new contracts for wall construction cannot be awarded until the shutdown ends.

With Democrats now controlling the House, the president is right to assume that he will need a new negotiating approach. But the answer isn’t for lawmakers to throw good money after bad, or to try to prettify a retrograde agenda with humanitarian trimmings.

The Trump administration is asking Congress and the American public to embrace warped logic, that its policies are going to continue and that the only question is whether any money should be spent on measures to ease the suffering caused by those policies.

After two years of watching this administration run amok, surely Democratic lawmakers can come up with a better approach."

Opinion | Borderline Insanity - The New York Times:

Monday, January 07, 2019

Rep. Lieu: Trump’s national emergency is ‘made up’

Rep. Lieu: Trump’s national emergency is ‘made up’

This is the legal provision which prohibits Trump from legally using the military to build a wall. I don't believe that conservative judges will support the President in this legal violation.



343 U.S. 579 (1952)
YOUNGSTOWN SHEET & TUBE CO. ET AL.
v.
SAWYER.
No. 744.
Supreme Court of United States.

Argued May 12-13, 1952.
Decided June 2, 1952.
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT.[*]

"...The President's power, if any, to issue the order must stem either from an act of Congress or from the Constitution itself. There is no statute that expressly authorizes the President to take possession of property as he did here. Nor is there any act of Congress to which our attention has been directed from which such a power can fairly be implied. Indeed, we do not understand the Government to rely on statutory authorization for this seizure. There are two statutes which do authorize the President 586*586 to take both personal and real property under certain conditions.[2] However, the Government admits that these conditions were not met and that the President's order was not rooted in either of the statutes. The Government refers to the seizure provisions of one of these statutes (§ 201 (b) of the Defense Production Act) as "much too cumbersome, involved, and time-consuming for the crisis which was at hand."

Moreover, the use of the seizure technique to solve labor disputes in order to prevent work stoppages was not only unauthorized by any congressional enactment; prior to this controversy, Congress had refused to adopt that method of settling labor disputes. When the Taft-Hartley Act was under consideration in 1947, Congress rejected an amendment which would have authorized such governmental seizures in cases of emergency.[3] Apparently it was thought that the technique of seizure, like that of compulsory arbitration, would interfere with the process of collective bargaining.[4] Consequently, the plan Congress adopted in that Act did not provide for seizure under any circumstances. Instead, the plan sought to bring about settlements by use of the customary devices of mediation, conciliation, investigation by boards of inquiry, and public reports. In some instances temporary injunctions were authorized to provide cooling-off periods. All this failing, unions were left free to strike after a secret vote by employees as to whether they wished to accept their employers' final settlement offer.[5]

587*587 It is clear that if the President had authority to issue the order he did, it must be found in some provision of the Constitution. And it is not claimed that express constitutional language grants this power to the President. The contention is that presidential power should be implied from the aggregate of his powers under the Constitution. Particular reliance is placed on provisions in Article II which say that "The executive Power shall be vested in a President . . ."; that "he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed"; and that he "shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States."

The order cannot properly be sustained as an exercise of the President's military power as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. The Government attempts to do so by citing a number of cases upholding broad powers in military commanders engaged in day-to-day fighting in a theater of war. Such cases need not concern us here. Even though "theater of war" be an expanding concept, we cannot with faithfulness to our constitutional system hold that the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces has the ultimate power as such to take possession of private property in order to keep labor disputes from stopping production. This is a job for the Nation's lawmakers, not for its military authorities.

Nor can the seizure order be sustained because of the several constitutional provisions that grant executive power to the President. In the framework of our Constitution, the President's power to see that the laws are faithfully executed refutes the idea that he is to be a lawmaker. The Constitution limits his functions in the lawmaking process to the recommending of laws he thinks wise and the vetoing of laws he thinks bad. And the Constitution is neither silent nor equivocal about who shall make laws which the President is to execute. The 588*588 first section of the first article says that "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States . . . ." After granting many powers to the Congress, Article I goes on to provide that Congress may "make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof."

The President's order does not direct that a congressional policy be executed in a manner prescribed by Congress —it directs that a presidential policy be executed in a manner prescribed by the President. The preamble of the order itself, like that of many statutes, sets out reasons why the President believes certain policies should be adopted, proclaims these policies as rules of conduct to be followed, and again, like a statute, authorizes a government official to promulgate additional rules and regulations consistent with the policy proclaimed and needed to carry that policy into execution. The power of Congress to adopt such public policies as those proclaimed by the order is beyond question. It can authorize the taking of private property for public use. It can make laws regulating the relationships between employers and employees, prescribing rules designed to settle labor disputes, and fixing wages and working conditions in certain fields of our economy. The Constitution does not subject this lawmaking power of Congress to presidential or military supervision or control.

It is said that other Presidents without congressional authority have taken possession of private business enterprises in order to settle labor disputes. But even if this be true, Congress has not thereby lost its exclusive constitutional authority to make laws necessary and proper to carry out the powers vested by the Constitution 589*589 "in the Government of the United States, or any Department or Officer thereof."

The Founders of this Nation entrusted the lawmaking power to the Congress alone in both good and bad times. It would do no good to recall the historical events, the fears of power and the hopes for freedom that lay behind their choice. Such a review would but confirm our holding that this seizure order cannot stand.

The judgment of the District Court is

Affirmed."

Monday, December 31, 2018

Author Alice Walker: Trump has 'inferiority complex', envied Obama

Va. 6th District Rep. Goodlatte Blocking Bill Aimed at Helping A - WVIR NBC29 Charlottesville News, Sports, and Weather

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FARGO, N.D. (AP) - A departing Republican congressman from Virginia who's blocking a bill by a departing senator from North Dakota intended to help abused Native American women says the measure is unfair to law enforcement.

Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte tells The Roanoke Times that he agrees with the intent of North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp's plan to improve the federal government's response to violence against American women. However, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee says it hurts agencies that have no link to tribal communities and therefore cannot fulfill requirements for grants.

The Senate unanimously passed the initiative. With the House adjourned until further notice, the measure known as Savanna's Act will likely expire at the end of the year.

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska has said she will reintroduce the bill when lawmakers return to Washington.

Va. 6th District Rep. Goodlatte Blocking Bill Aimed at Helping A - WVIR NBC29 Charlottesville News, Sports, and Weather: