Tag Archives: Department of Health and Human Services

Claims That ICE Agents Were ‘Just Following Orders’ Won’t Save Them From Liability for Children’s Suffering, Legal Scholars Warn

“While such employees may say they were ‘just following orders,’ their highest command is to uphold the Constitution. This overrides any contrary decision from ICE or even Trump himself.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-11-2018

Screenshot: Fox News

A new report finds that individual Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents could be held personally liable for the suffering of families and children under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy—and warns that the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court could harm the chance of anyone being held accountable for the forcible separation of families.

U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw’s order that the government reunite all children under the age of five with their parents went largely unheeded yesterday, as the court-imposed deadline passed with fewer than half of the children being returned to their families. Continue reading

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Fighting Resolution to Restrict Baby Formula Sales and Promote Breastfeeding, Trump Officials Threatened Funding Cuts

“What happened was tantamount to blackmail, with the U.S. holding the world hostage and trying to overturn nearly 40 years of consensus on best way to protect infant and young child health.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-8-2018

As baby formula sales have gone down in welathy countries in recent years, the baby food industry has targeted developing countries with marketing campaigns. A UN resolution passed this spring—despite pushback from the U.S.—aimed to promote breastfeeding around the world. (Photo: USAID/Flickr/cc)

International delegates to the United Nation’s World Health Assembly looked on at the group’s recent meeting, as U.S. representatives appeared to put the interests of the $70 billion baby food industry ahead of those of parents and children—and pressured other countries to do the same.

The New York Times reported Sunday that American officials, led by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, attempted to strongarm Ecuadorean delegates out of introducing a resolution to encourage and support breastfeeding and urge governments to restrict misleading marketing claims about baby formula.  Continue reading

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Outrage Grows as Trump Official Complains Deadline for Putting Kids Back in Parents’ Arms Too “Extreme”

“This is a cruel and harmful policy that was aggravated by the administration’s lack of basic humanity in thinking ahead of time about how it would bring these families back together.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-6-2018

Hundreds of thousands of Americans protested against the Trump administration’s forcible separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border last weekend, days after a federal judge ordered officials to reunite families. (Photo: Lindsey Turner/Flickr/cc)

Outrage over the Trump administration’s treatment of families who have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border, many seeking asylum, grew on Friday as officials told a U.S. District court that they would likely not be able to meet a deadline set more than a week ago for reuniting parents with their children.


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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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‘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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‘This Is a Big Deal’: Fearing ‘Public Relations Nightmare,’ Pruitt’s EPA Blocked Release of a Major Water Contamination Study

Journalists, members of Congress, environmental and public health advocates, and water experts are all calling on the Trump administration to “immediately” release the report

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 5-15-2018

Screenshot: YouTube

Fearing a “public relations nightmare,” President Donald Trump’s White House and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under the reign of administrator Scott Pruitt, blocked the release of a major water contamination story, according to emails obtained by the Union of Concerned Scientists and reported on by Politico.

News of the Trump administration’s interference with a federal study on “a nationwide water-contamination crisis” infuriated reporters, politicians, experts, and advocates for public health and the environment. Friends of the Earth tweeted, “Scott Pruitt is more worried about journalists than poisoning millions of Americans.” Continue reading

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‘No One Should Be Fooled’: Warren Rips Trump’s HHS Pick Over Desire to Gut Medicaid

“You want to smile and pretend otherwise until you get the job,” Warren said.

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for CommonDreams. Published 1-9-2018

Alex Azar. Screenshot: YouTube

While President Donald Trump’s Health and Human Services (HHS) nominee Alex Azar—a former pharma executive—spent most of his Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday ducking and dodging pointed questions about his long history of “price gouging,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) decided to call Azar out on his support for gutting Medicaid and turning the program into a block grant.

After Azar suggested he supports block granting Medicaid as a “concept to look at” but refused to say whether he would move in that direction if confirmed, Warren said, “Mr. Azar, you can own up to the fact that you want to cut Medicaid and gut the Affordable Care Act, like every other member of the Trump administration.”

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