Category Archives: Civil Rights

Supreme Court Ruling Gives Any President a Blank Check to Detain American Citizens

MintPress speaks with legal expert and law professor Ryan Alford, who warns that hidden within the recent Supreme Court ruling on the Trump administration’s “Muslim travel ban” is a massive power giveaway to the executive branch that allows any president to order the mass detention of American citizens without worrying about a challenge from the courts.

By Whitney Webb. Published 6-29-2018 by MintPress News

Though the recent Supreme Court ruling on Trump vs. Hawaii, which upholds President Trump’s “Muslim ban,” has been widely covered by the press, very few outlets – if any – have explored some truly unnerving implications hidden within the court’s majority opinion. In order to explore these implications further, MintPress spoke to Ryan Alford, Associate Professor at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law and author of Permanent State of Emergency: Unchecked Executive Power and the Demise of the Rule of Law.

MPN: Chief Justice Roberts, who wrote the majority opinion, talks a lot about whether the judicial branch even has the authority to rule over executive orders like Trump’s so-called “Muslim ban.” Is he accurate in asserting that the Supreme Court has limited authority in this matter or is this another power giveaway to the executive branch? Continue reading

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Citing ‘Deprivation’ They Would Cause, Federal Judge Blocks Kentucky’s Trump-Backed Medicaid Work Requirements

“Today’s win means that nearly 100,000 Kentucky residents will continue to be able to see their doctors, stay healthy, and take care of their families.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 6-29-2018

“This is a victory for the people of Kentucky who rely on Medicaid for life-saving healthcare,” Frederick Isasi, executive director of Families USA, said in a statement on Friday. (Photo: ACLU)

Kentucky’s Medicaid work requirements—which were enabled and enthusiastically approved by the Trump administration—would have stripped healthcare from around 100,000 people, but a federal judge on Friday decided to block the new restrictions from taking effect, arguing that the White House’s approval of the rules did not adequately account for the “deprivation” they would cause.

“This is a victory for the people of Kentucky who rely on Medicaid for life-saving healthcare,” Frederick Isasi, executive director of Families USA, said in a statement on Friday. “Most Medicaid enrollees that are not elderly or disabled are in families that are working. Let’s stop perpetuating stereotypes and stop trying to take health care away from families.” Continue reading

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With 700+ Events Planned for Saturday, Nationwide Rallies Will Demand End to Trump’s ‘Zero-Humanity’ Policy

“All people deserve the right to raise their children in a healthy and safe environment without being targeted by aggressive immigration tactics and being forced to live in constant fear.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 6-29-2018

More than 700 direct actions are planned in cities and towns across the country on Saturday, as Americans rally against President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, the forcible separation of families, and the imprisonment of children.

A list and map of events with start times and details is available at MoveOn.org.

“Donald Trump and his administration have cruelly separated thousands of children from their families. Now they’re jailing families—and they haven’t yet reunified the families already brutally torn apart,” wrote the Families Belong Together coalition. “But we won’t allow it to continue. On June 30, we’re rallying in Washington, D.C., and around the country to tell Donald Trump and his administration to permanently end the separation of kids from their parents. End family internment camps. End the ‘zero-humanity’ policy that created this crisis. And reunify the children with their parents.”

A main event in Washington, D.C. is expected to draw tens of thousands of marchers, two days after thousands of women marched to Capitol Hill and nearly 600—including Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.)—were arrested for demonstrating in the Hart Senate Office Building.

Organizers are asking attendees to wear white as a symbol of unity and solidarity.

Smaller protests are planned in all 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and in front of the U.S. embassy in Lisbon, Portugal.

The Trump administration’s practice of separating families began last month after Attorney General Jeff Sessions implemented a “zero tolerance” policy under which all adults who cross the U.S.-Mexico border without passing through an official port of entry are prosecuted. Following Trump’s signing of an executive order Plannlast week—only after the policy sparked international outrage—Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents will no longer separate families.

More than 2,000 children remain in detention centers without their parents, and the Trump administration is planning to detain families together indefinitely while adults await immigration trials.

Dozens of social justice groups were mobilizing their ranks to participate in the Families Belong Together protests this week, including Planned Parenthood, Win Without War, and National Nurses United.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Medical Association (AMA) have both spoken out against the Trump administration’s practice of separating families, citing the grave psychological damage being done to both children and parents who have been forcibly separated—many after fleeing violence in their home countries.

The United Nations has also denounced the practice as well as the indefinite detention of families, which is a violation of international humanitarian law.

On Twitter, the Families Belong Together coalition applauded the tens of thousands of Americans planning to march on Saturday, and urged the public to continue fighting the Trump administration’s anti-immigration agenda in the weeks and months ahead.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

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#WomenDisobey: Hundreds of Demonstrators Arrested on Capitol Hill for Protesting Cruel Child, Family Detention

“The mothers, sisters, wives and daughters of America will not stand down until the imprisoned children are released and reunited with their families. And we will not stay silent as federal enforcers indefinitely incarcerate whole families in detention camps.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 6-28-2018

Thousands of women are protested in Washington, D.C. on Thursday against the Trump administration’s immigration policy, including the forcible separation of families. (Photo: @womensmarch/Twitter)

Hundreds of women were arrested on Thursday at a mass demonstration in Washington, D.C., rallying against the Trump administration’s continued separation of families and the criminalization of asylum seekers at the southern U.S. border.

Wrapping themselves in foil blankets like those seen in images of children’s detention centers, nearly 600 protesters were arrested and charged with unlawfully demonstrating at the Hart Senate Office Building starting at around 3:15pm. Continue reading

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#MidtermsBeforeSCOTUS Takes Off as Democrats Told to ‘Stiffen Their Spines

“Here it is, plain and simple. McConnell set the rule. Now, he and Senate Republicans need to follow it.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 6-27-2018

Screenshot: ABC News

“Mitch McConnell should follow the Mitch McConnell rule. Let the American people have a say when women’s health and equal rights are on the line.”

As the #MidtermsBeforeSCOTUS hashtag began to take off on Wednesday, that was how Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) responded to the news that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is retiring, a move that gives President Donald Trump the chance to nominate a second ultra-conservative justice and push the high court even further to the right.

The “McConnell rule” Warren cites is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s infamous 2016 declaration that no Supreme Court justice can be confirmed during an election year—a completely fabricated directive that allowed McConnell to steal a high court pick from former President Barack Obama. Continue reading

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#EndTheLies: Abortion Rights Advocates Slam All-Male Majority’s SCOTUS Ruling on Fake Women’s Health Centers

“They claim it’s a free speech issue but they have no problem forcing doctors to lie to women seeking abortion with medically inaccurate information that even many doctors oppose.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 6-26-2018

Photo: SFGate/Twitter

Demanding unlicensed anti-choice health centers “stop the lies” they tell women who are facing unwanted pregnancy, reproductive rights advocates on Tuesday railed against the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in which the majority ruled that so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” can withhold crucial health-related information from patients.

“Fake” health centers were able to secure their victory thanks to the “stolen seat” inhabited by Justice Neil Gorsuch, noted groups including NARAL Pro-Choice America.

“Five male Supreme Court justices gave crisis pregnancy centers the right to lie to women today,” said Heidi Hess, CREDO Action co-director, in a statement. “Rather than affirm women’s right to control their bodies and their lives, the Court voted to control women, and to set the stage for even more attacks on our reproductive rights.” Continue reading

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‘Most Important Surveillance Story You Will See for Years’: Report Reveals How AT&T Buildings Serve as Secret Hubs for NSA Spying

“AT&T has bent over backwards to help the U.S. government spy on essentially all internet traffic.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 6-25-2018

AT&T Center, Los Angeles. Photo: Laurie Avocado/flickr/cc

“The most important surveillance story you will see for years just went online, revealing how AT&T became the internet’s biggest enemy, secretly collaborating against its customers and partners to destroy your privacy.”

That was how whistleblower and privacy advocate Edward Snowden reacted to the publication of an explosive story by The Intercept on Monday, which reveals for the first time how “fortress-like” AT&T buildings located in eight major American cities have played a central role in a massive National Security Agency (NSA) spying program “that has for years monitored billions of emails, phone calls, and online chats passing across U.S. territory.” Continue reading

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Yes, US Immigration Prisons Are Absolutely ‘Concentration Camps’

Inhumane forms of immigrant mass incarceration weren’t rolled out by Trump alone, but we should still recognize the danger of the Homeland Security State’s rapid expansion and growing cruelty.

By Elliott Gabriel. Published 6-22-2018 by MintPress News

Photo: Human Rights Watch

 

The ongoing furor over a drastic increase in the mass confinement of migrant families and children has forced people in the United States to cast a hard look at the immigration enforcement regime that has aggressively developed in recent years.

The discussion is increasingly recasting immigrant detention centers as U.S. concentration camps. This has brought questions of justice, human and civil rights back into focus — in contrast to the Trump administration’s narrow reliance on the question of law-and-order. Continue reading

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‘To Make It Easier to Screw the Poor,’ Trump Wants to Massively Reorganize Federal Government

Provisions of this “closely guarded” plan reportedly include merging the Education and Labor Departments, and creating a welfare “megadepartment”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 6-21-2018

Anti-Trump protesters march in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 29, 2017. (Photo: Susan Melkisethian/Flickr/cc)

Update:

The White House on Thursday released a 32-point plan (pdf) to reorganize several departments of the federal government. The proposal was developed in response to an executive order President Donald Trump issued early last year and cannot be implemented without congressional approval.

Earlier:

In what critics are calling an “insane” proposal by the Trump administration “to make it easier to screw the poor,” the White House is reportedly considering sweeping changes to the organization of the federal government, which could be announced as early as Thursday. Continue reading

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For families who have already been separated, policy change doesn’t guarantee reunification<

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order he says will “keep the families together” when they’re apprehended illegally crossing the border. But that does little for families who have already been split apart.

Undocumented immigrant children at a U.S. Border Patrol processing center in McAllen, Texas. Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

They crossed the border as families. Now, as some parents face the prospect of being sent back across it, many have no way of knowing how much deeper into the United States their children may have been sent without them — maybe all the way to north to New York or Michigan, or maybe just a few miles away in Texas.

The Trump administration has already reversed course on a widely-panned “zero tolerance” policy that resulted in separating more than 2,000 migrant children from their parents after they crossed the border together illegally; the president said Wednesday that families will no longer be split up. But in many cases, attorneys and advocates say, the damage is already done: Even if no more families are separated, there’s not yet a clear path for reuniting those who already were.

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