Tag Archives: Security

Victory Over ‘Civil Liberties Train Wreck’ as Federal Judge Rules US Terror Watchlist Unconstitutional

After years of abuse and secrecy, court’s decision seen by rights advocates as very welcome but “long overdue”

By Eoin Higgins, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 9-5-2019

A Transportation Security Administration agent at a checkpoint verifying passenger identification in John Glenn Columbus International Airport. (Photo: Michael Ball/cc)

A federal judge on Wednesday ruled that the government’s terror watchlist violates the civil rights of Americans placed on it, opening the door for a major piece of legislation from the global war on terror being overturned.

“This is a really important ruling, long overdue,” said Jameel Jaffer, director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. “The watchlist is overbroad, opaque, and arbitrary—a civil liberties train wreck.” Continue reading

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‘Outright Blackmail’: Trump Admin. Reportedly Offered Captain Multi-Million Dollar Bribe in Effort to Seize Iranian Tanker

“The U.S. complains loudly that Iran engages in ‘blackmail.’ Yet Brian Hook is directly emailing tanker captains offering bribes to get them to bring their ships into U.S. clutches.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 9-4-2019

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo . (Photo: Fox Business)

Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif on Wednesday accused the Trump administration of engaging in “outright blackmail” after the Financial Times reported a State Department official offered the captain of an Iran-owned oil tanker millions of dollars to divert the ship to a nation which would detain it on behalf of the United States.

According to FT, Brian Hook, head of the State Department’s Iran Action Group, sent an email promising the captain of Iranian supertanker Grace 1 “several million dollars” to do the bidding of the Trump administration. Continue reading

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Americans’ support for immigration is at record highs – but the government is out of sync with their views

Polls show that Americans feel more welcoming toward immigrants than they have in the past. Evgenia Parajanian/Shutterstock.com

Mariano Sana, Vanderbilt University

Since its start, the Trump administration has implemented policies to step up immigration enforcement and reduce the number of immigrants admitted into the U.S.

Many of these efforts – like the border wall, the travel ban, family separations, DACA termination and detention centers – have received wide media attention. In addition, the White House slashed refugee admissions, ended a number of special programs and changed rules used to adjudicate visa applications. Continue reading

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Asylum-Seekers Who Followed Trump Rule Now Don’t Qualify Because of New Trump Rule

Migrants hoping for U.S. protection have been waiting in Mexico for months, as the U.S. allowed fewer than ever to enter. Then it changed the rules entirely.

By Dara Lind. Published 7-22-2019 by ProPublica

An asylum seeker arrives in Tijuana, 2018. Photo: Daniel Arauz/flickr

 

The Trump administration has long said that there’s a right way to seek asylum in the United States: Come to an official port of entry at the border, then invoke the right under U.S. law to humanitarian protection.

But now, thousands of people are being barred from the U.S. precisely because they followed those rules.

Under an administration policy issued last week, most migrants who’ve passed through a third country — say, Mexico — will not even be allowed to request asylum at official border crossings. Continue reading

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To Keep Public Housing From Becoming ‘Panopticon of Automated Face Scanning,’ Democrats Push Facial Recognition Ban

“Surveillance of poor communities isn’t about safety, it’s about social control.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-23-2019

Two congresswomen are expected to introduce legislation banning the use of facial recognition surveillance in public housing this week. Photo: Change.org

Privacy and civil liberties advocates applauded a pair of Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday as they prepared to introduce legislation to protect public housing residents from the rise of facial recognition surveillance.

In a letter sent to their fellow members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) invited co-sponsors for the No Biometric Barriers to Housing Act, which would stop public housing complexes which accept funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from installing facial recognition tools. Continue reading

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‘Catastrophic,’ ‘Beyond Shameful,’ and ‘Xenophobia-Fueled’ Trump Admin. Panned Over Proposal to Slash Refugee Cap to Zero

“An admissions goal of zero would be another low in a global race to the bottom”

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-19-2019

Stephen Miller, White House senior advisor who’s widely considered to be the architect of the administration’s immigration policy. Photo: A. Davey/flickr

Human rights advocates said the Trump administration would be making a “catastrophic” and “grave error” if it followed through on a newly-reported proposal to slash refugee admissions to zero next year.

“It is beyond shameful and a new low, even for this administration, to even consider accepting no refugees to the U.S.,” said Ryan Mace, grassroots advocacy and refugee specialist for Amnesty International USA. Continue reading

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As ICE Raids Begin, Advocates Remind Immigrants That ‘You Have Rights’

“I can only imagine the fear our immigrant communities feel this morning.”

By Eoin Higgins, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-14-2019

Photo: ICE (Public domain)

Long-feared ICE raids began quietly over the weekend as the agency moved slowly to lead off what’s expected to be several days of actions targeting families as part of President Donald Trump’s war on immigrants.

Plans for the raids were made public on July 11. Reporting from The New York Times revealed the scope of the planned raids—targeting 10 cities and thousands of families—and President Donald Trump, in a tweet, confirmed the operation. Continue reading

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Call to Action by Journalists, Academics Urges Americans to Use ‘All Nonviolent Means Necessary’ to Shut Down Trump Detention Camps

“From abolitionism to Standing Rock, Americans have come together time and again to defy horrific injustice. Now, as the government tries to normalize concentration camps, it is time like never before to target those responsible.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-9-2019

“Inspired by the civil rights movement, ACT-UP, and early labor struggles, we must employ every nonviolent tactic at our disposal to oppose this institutionalized criminality,” states the call to action. (Image: NoMoreConcentrationCamps.org)

A group of nearly two dozen prominent journalists, academics, and activists Tuesday called on Americans across the nation to use “any nonviolent means necessary” to force the closure of President Donald Trump’s immigrant detention facilities.

“We are calling on all people of conscience to shut down the concentration camps on the U.S.-Mexico border,” reads the call to action, which was backed by renowned linguist and dissident Noam Chomsky, environmentalist and author Naomi Klein, Intercept co-founder Jeremy Scahill, and others. Continue reading

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Judge Releases German Rescue Ship Captain, Saying Carola Rackete Was Fulfilling ‘Her Duty to Protect Life’

“A big win for solidarity with all people on the move…and against the criminalization of helpers.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-3-2019

Carola Rackete. Photo: Sea-Watch

In a rebuke of far-right Italian leader Matteo Salvini’s anti-immigration policy, a judge on Tuesday ordered the release of Carola Rackete, the captain of a German rescue ship, who had been arrested for bringing African migrants to Italy.

Rackete should not be held in custody, Judge Alessandra Vella said, because she had simply been fulfilling “her duty to protect life.”

The captain was arrested Saturday for hitting a police boat in June when she entered the port of Lampedusa carrying 40 migrants, who she rescued off the coast of Libya with her charity organization, Sea-Watch. She had been under house arrest in Italy since then and potentially faced up to 10 years in prison before Judge Alessandra Vella’s ruling. Last year, Interior Minister Salvini ordered rescue ships to stay out of Italian ports Continue reading

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Horror on the Border: Slew of Recent Incidents Highlight Human Rights Crisis

More bad news from the southern border

By Eoin Higgins, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 6-14-2019

There has been a steady stream of heartbreaking news at the southern border under the President Donald Trump administration, including the jailing of children and deaths of detained migrants.

Five stories in just the last several days punctuate the crisis: Continue reading

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