Tag Archives: DACA

General strike, rally called for this weekend in Seattle

trump-triggeredFrom MyNorthwest.com: Better stock up on essentials before the weekend — just in case. A National General Strike, a Seattle area strike, and a rally have been called for. And as with any event in Seattle, whether it be a Seahawks game or a protest march, locals should plan for traffic and other interruptions.

A general strike means no working, no school, and no shopping. For many people, this should be easy. According to the Facebook event for the general strike, it will run from Feb. 17-20 (Friday through Monday). It covers the weekend and Presidents Day, which some workers have off as a holiday.

The event is organized by General Strike USA. It’s a bit wordy, but according to the event page:

WE DEMAND RECONSTITUTION. Disrupt the economy until we have a government, instead of being had by one. This is how we stop Trump and the entire corrupt political establishment before they destroy us and the planet we call home.

At this dangerous point in our history, we must confront a bitter truth: any political system that can allow Donald Trump to come to power is not a system worth keeping. Indeed, our elections, as controlled by the major political parties, offer us merely a contest of personalities rather than a choice between real alternatives. These contests mask the major parties’ underlying unity in a neoliberal economic establishment that serves the wealthy few at the expense of the impoverished many.

The general strike promotes a change of the system, not a change within the system, and encourages dismantling the establishment.

So far, the Facebook event has more than 2,000 people signed up, nationally, to participate, with 3,000 more interested in taking part. And 22,000 more have been invited to strike.

General strike in Seattle: A separate, unrelated general strike is organized in Seattle amid the national event. The Solidarity Strike is slated to take place between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., Feb. 17 at Volunteer Park in Seattle. It is organized by Solidarity for Justice in Education.

As the organization’s name implies, the strike is more focused on Washington’s education system as lawmakers are in session, attempting to fully fund it. The State of Washington has been ordered by its own Supreme Court to fully fund education. But there has been a tug-of-war between Democrats and Republicans on just how to do that.

The event notice states: Solidarity Demonstration to #Resist the WA Senate Republican proposal to fund education by undermining collective bargaining rights of Education Workers. All Labor Unions are welcome and encouraged to stand in support of this Legislative attack on Unions. No Right to Work in Washington.

The Seattle event has 1,300 people interested in taking part, and 324 confirmed to go. There are 1,600 more invited to come. Comments on the event’s page seem to have a theme — it would have a better turnout if organizers planned it on the weekend, instead of during the workday.

Free Daniel rally: Before Seattle’s strike in Volunteer Park, another event has been put together at the last minute by a range of organizers, including Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant.

The “Free Daniel Rally Against Deportations Fight Trump!” is scheduled for 9 a.m. at the Seattle Federal Courthouse in downtown Seattle. At least 1,000 people are interested in attending, and more than 200 have committed to going. Another 1,400 have been invited.

The event is partially motivated by a series of immigration roundups and detainments. Then, locally, Daniel Ramirez Medina was detained after he had an encounter with the law. He is covered under regulations passed under the Obama administration that allows immigrants who entered the country as minors to stay in renewable two-year periods. That regulation is known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

The Facebook event states: Over the last week, Trump’s administration has detained and deported 600+ immigrants. Here in Seattle, on Tuesday 2/14, Daniel Ramirez Medina, a 23-year-old father who has received repeated approval to stay and work under the DACA program, was taken by ICE.  Medina has a court appearance on Friday during the rally.

The Department of Homeland Security argues another perspective. It says that those protected under DACA can be deported if they are perceived as threats to public safety.

According to a press release from DHS:

On February 10, Daniel Ramirez-Medina, a gang member, was encountered at a residence in Des Moines, Washington, during an operation targeting a prior-deported felon. He was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and was transferred to the Northwest Detention Center to await the outcome of removal proceedings before an immigration judge.

This case illustrates the work ICE fugitive operations teams perform every day across the country to remove public safety threats from our communities when they encounter them. ICE officers, along with their law enforcement partners, have and will continue to enforce our nation’s laws to protect public safety, national security, and to preserve the integrity of our immigration system.”

DCG

 

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Undocumented student sues Wells Fargo for denying her student loan

Wells Fargo Immigrant Loans

Mitzie Perez/Photo from WCB TV

Aside from this student’s immigration status, I’d be more concerned she won’t find a real job to pay back her loan, given the focus of her studies

From Fox Business:  A federal lawsuit on Monday accused banking giant Wells Fargo of illegally denying student loans to young immigrants who are protected from deportation and allowed to work and study in the U.S. under a program created by former President Barack Obama.

Wells Fargo said it was disappointed the plaintiffs sued instead of working with the bank on a solution.

The young immigrants in the country illegally have Social Security numbers and documents that meet bank requirements for identification, but Wells Fargo refuses to give them loans based on their citizenship status, according to the lawsuit from the Los Angeles-based Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

The loans, meanwhile, are available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents, the suit says.

It seeks a court order declaring the policy discriminatory and forcing Wells Fargo to grant the loans to those participating in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. It also seeks unspecified monetary damages.

“Wells Fargo understands the dream of pursuing higher education and we remain focused on our responsible lending practices to assist temporary and permanent residents and U.S. citizens in obtaining student financing,” the bank said in a statement.

Banking experts say financial institutions can face unique challenges getting repaid by borrowers who are not in the country permanently, including potential difficulty in accepting payments from foreign banks.

A spokesman for Chase Bank said it does not offer student loans. An email to representatives for Bank of America was not immediately returned.

The lawsuit comes amid concern among immigrant groups that President Donald Trump will cancel the DACA program as part of a broader effort to control immigration. Trump has signed executive actions over the past week to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, temporarily ban immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries and suspend the United States’ entire refugee program.

“It’s very important in our view to establish that there are clear rules against this kind of discrimination, particularly in a time like this,” said Tom Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, referring to the new administration.

Obama created DACA by executive order in 2012, providing temporary protection for immigrants brought to the United States by their parents before the age of 16 and who live in the country illegally.

Under the program, recipients receive a Social Security number, allowing them to work, pay taxes, study and travel for a two-year period. More than 750,000 immigrants had been approved for DACA as of December 2016, federal officials say.

Mitzie Perez, one of those immigrants and a plaintiff in the lawsuit, came to the U.S. illegally in 1997 from Guatemala at age 5. Now 25, Perez is a junior at the University of California, Riverside, where she is focusing on gender and sexuality studies.

She applied for a student loan from Wells Fargo last year to help cover the costs of her education but was not able to proceed with the online loan application after she disclosed she was not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, according to the lawsuit. She said she works and has used credit cards to cover her tuition. “Every day I consider not completing my education because I don’t have the means,” she said.

The lawsuit seeks class-action status on behalf of other DACA recipients who have been denied loans by Wells Fargo. Saenz said it was too early to know how many people might qualify.

DCG

DHS memo indicates President Trump will hit the ground running with border wall construction

According to an internal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) memo that Reuters reviewed, once he’s inaugurated on January 20, President Donald Trump will hit the ground running on constructing that US-Mexico border wall he’s promised.

obama border patrol

Julia Edwards Ainsley reports for Reuters, Jan. 3, 2017, that the DHS memo “offers a glimpse into the president-elect’s strategy for securing the U.S. borders and reversing polices put in place by the Obama administration.”

The DHS memo recounts “wide-ranging” requests for documents and analysis by Trump’s transition team in a meeting the team had with DHS officials on December 5, 2016. Trump asked for the documents in order “to assess all assets available for border wall and barrier construction.”

Trump’s transition team asked for documents and information on:

(1) Copies of every executive order and directive Obama sent to immigration agents since he took office in 2009. (Note that President Trump can undo Obama’s executive orders with a wave of his pen and without Congressional consent or approval. See “How Trump can undo what Obama did in past 8 years”)

(2) A DHS aerial surveillance program called Operation Phalanx, which authorizes 1,200 Army National Guard airmen to monitor the southern border for drug trafficking and illegal migration. The program once deployed 6,000 airmen under President George W. Bush but was considerably scaled back by Obama.

(3) Whether federal workers have altered DHS’s biographic information about migrants “out of concern” for their civil rights and civil liberties. A DHS official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the agency interpreted this Trump transition team request to mean the transition team wanted to make sure that federal workers were not tampering with information to protect DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients and other migrants from deportation.

Note: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is an Obama administration immigration policy that allows certain undocumented immigrants illegal aliens who entered the U.S. as minors (defined as before their 16th birthday) to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit. To be eligible, they must have (illegally) entered the U.S. before June 2007; are under age 31 as of June 15, 2015; are currently in school or  a high school graduate or  honorably discharged from the military; have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor or otherwise pose a threat to national security. DACA does not provide lawful status or a path to citizenship. DACA has collected information including participants’ addresses that can theoretically be used to locate and deport them if the policy is reversed.

(4) DHS’s capacity for expanding “immigrant” detention.

(5) Resources available for building walls and barriers. DHS officials who attended the meeting with Trump’s transition team understood the request to include both the northern and southern borders. In response, U.S. Customs and Border Protection staffers identified:

  • Specific locations in more than 400 miles along the U.S.-Mexico border, and about the same distance along the U.S.-Canada border, where new fencing could be erected.
  • The costs of building a fence are estimated at $3.3 billion for 452 miles along the U.S.-Canada border, and $11.37 billion for 413 miles of fencing on America’s southwest border which would keep pedestrians as well as vehicles from crossing. Pedestrian fences require more staff and would cost $11.2 million per mile.

In fiscal year 2015, the latest year for which data is available, border patrol agents apprehended 331,333 illegal migrants on the U.S.-Mexico border, and 2,626 illegal migrants on the U.S.-Canada border.

H/t ZeroHedge

~Eowyn

Texas attorney general: U.S. is heading toward a constitutional crisis because of Obama flouting Congress and courts

Ken Paxton

In an interview on Fox News yesterday, Ken Paxton, the attorney general of the State of Texas, was asked whether America is heading toward “a constitutional crisis” because of Obama’s total disregard for Congress and now the courts. (The segment begins at the 2:55 mark in the Fox News video, here.)

Paxton replied:

“I think we are. If you think about what’s going on here — the President is violating federal law, the U.S. Constitution, which is going past what Congress is supposed to be doing, and now we’ve got the administration in court not being forthcoming about they’re supposed to be forthcoming about. We definitely have a huge issue here related to whether the Obama administration is going to follow the Constitution, and then once they get into court, whether they’re going to tell the truth.”

Paxton’s stunning remark was precipitated by Obama’s latest “F-you” to the court, specifically to Andrew Hanen, the federal judge who is single-handedly doing the job of the useless Congress by standing up to Obama’s reckless amnesty.

Judge Andrew Hanen

Judge Andrew Hanen

On Feb. 16, 2015, U.S. District Judge Hanen issued a preliminary injunction to temporarily block Obama’s amnesty so as to give a coalition of 26 states the time they need to pursue a lawsuit to permanently stop the amnesty orders. If the implementation of Obama’s amnesty were not blocked, Hanen reasons, the 26 states will “suffer irreparable harm in this case” because once the millions of illegals obtain amnesty, “the genie would be impossible to put back into the bottle.” (See “Federal judge stops Obama’s executive amnesty for illegals”)

At issue are two executive memoranda signed by Obama last November:

  1. The first memorandum expands eligibility for Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which halts deportations and allows work permits for certain undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children.
  2. The second executive memo, known as DAPA, would extend similar benefits to the parents of U.S. citizens and permanent legal residents.

See also “Obama has issued more executive orders than any U.S. president in history.

Combined, DACA and DAPA could affect as many as 5 million immigrants living in the country illegally. Some estimates are as high as 10 to 12 million illegals.

4 days after Judge Hanen’s order blocking the implementation of Obama’s amnesty, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it would seek an emergency stay of the judge‘s injunction. (See “Obama emergency order to restart amnesty in defiance of federal judge Hanen”)

Hanen responded by denying the DOJ’s request. So the federal government has asked the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans to lift Hanen’s injunction while the case is appealed.

Obama vs. Hanen

 

The latest tussle between Judge Hanen and Obama took place last Thursday, March 19, 2015.

As reported by FoxNews, at a Texas hearing on Obama’s amnesty executive actions, Judge Hanen sharply scolded a DOJ attorney — that the administration had misled Hanen on a key part of the program, for which Hanen fell “like an idiot.” Hanen said he could order sanctions against the administration if he finds the DOJ indeed had misrepresented the facts.

At issue is whether the DOJ had misled the judge into believing that a plank of the Obama amnesty program would not go forward before he made the Feb. 16 ruling to temporarily halt it. The program is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that gives deportation reprieves (i.e., effective amnesty) to thousands of young illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as “minors.” The problem is that even before Hanen’s ruling on Feb. 16 to block DACA’s implementation, federal officials had already given 3-year reprieves and work permits to more than 108,000 illegal aliens.

Kathleen Hartnett Associate White House Counsel Kathleen Hartnett, a Harvard Law grad like Obama, successfully worked on repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

At the Thursday hearing, Hanen chided DOJ attorney Kathleen Hartnett for telling him at a January hearing before the Feb. 16 injunction was issued that nothing would be happening with regard to DACA until Feb. 18.

“Like an idiot I believed that,” Hanen said.

A flustered Hartnett repeatedly apologized to Hanen for any confusion related to how the reprieves and work permits were granted. “We strive to be as candid as possible. It truly became clear to us there was confusion on this point,” she said.

“Can I trust what the president says? That’s a yes or no question,” Hanen asked.

“Yes your honor,” Hartnett replied.

The coalition of 26 states have asked that Hanen consider issuing sanctions against the Obama administration because, in the words of the coalition’s lead attorney Angela Colmenero (who is also a lawyer with the Texas Attorney General’s Office), DOJ attorneys had made “representations (that) proved not to be true or at a minimum less than forthcoming.”

Obama’s DOJ lawyer Hartnett insists “There is absolutely no basis for sanctions here. The government is absolutely trying to do the right thing.”

Hanen said he would issue a ruling “promptly” on what action, if any, he will take against the Justice Department.

See also:

~Éowyn

Obama emergency order to restart amnesty in defiance of federal judge Hanen

Obama gives America the finger

This creature in the White House really must be the devil himself.

Mike Lillis reports for The Hill, Feb. 20, 2015, that the Department of Justice (DOJ) plans to seek an emergency stay that would essentially undo U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen‘s injunction from earlier this week. If the stay is granted, the government could restart a pair of amnesty executive memoranda that will shield millions of illegals from deportation.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said DOJ will file for the stay by “Monday at the latest.”

The emergency stay had been sought by “immigrant rights” advocates like head of the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) Marielena Hincapié, who want to get the programs up and running as soon as possible while the appeals process plays out.

Marielena Hincapie
Making good on earlier vows, DOJ will also file a separate appeal seeking to restart the executive programs. Earnest said, “We will seek that appeal because we believe when you evaluate the legal merits of the arguments, that there is a solid legal foundation for the president to take the steps he announced last year to help reform our immigration system.”

At issue are two new initiatives launched unilaterally by Obama on Nov. 20:

  • The first expands eligibility for Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which halts deportations and allows work permits for certain undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children.
  • The second, known as DAPA, would extend similar benefits to the parents of U.S. citizens and permanent legal residents.

Combined, the programs could affect as many as 5 million immigrants living in the country illegally.

Republicans are seeking to stop both of Obama’s executive actions in a funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security, but the bill has been blocked repeatedly by Senate Democrats, raising the possibility of a partial government shutdown next week.

Rep. Lamar Smith, a Republican from Texas and former Judiciary Committee chairman, ripped Obama’s request for an emergency stay, saying it’s “no surprise that the most partisan and imposing Department of Justice of our time would rush to defend the president’s lawless actions. Putting a stop to these overreaching executive actions isn’t about Republicans or Democrats; it’s about respecting and restoring the rule of law. This is why it’s even more important that Senate Democrats stop playing politics with the Constitution and stop blocking House legislation that would halt the president’s executive overreach.”

Many states have objected to Obama’s policies as well. Texas and 25 other states have filed a lawsuit contending the programs marked an abuse of executive authority that would cripple their budgets with exorbitant new costs.

It is that lawsuit that prompted Judge Hanen’s ruling announced near midnight last Monday to put a temporary halt on Obama’s amnesty so as to give the lawsuit the time to be heard. Hanen has not yet ruled on the merits of the states’ complaints, but said they have a significant enough case that both the DAPA and expanded DACA programs should be put on hold until the legal challenges are resolved.

The effects of the decision were immediate, as administration officials quickly announced that they would not begin accepting applications for either program until the court decisions are final. Before the ruling, the Homeland Security Department was poised to begin accepting applications for the expanded-DACA program this week, and the for the DAPA program in May. Both have been suspended indefinitely.

Hanen’s injunction does not affect the original DACA program, which remains up and running.

Gil Kerlikowske

Meanwhile, Judge Hanen’s decision is being ignored by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that is charged with border enforcement.

In an email sent to CBP agents on Wednesday, CBP Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske ordered border agents to continue the relaxed border enforcement guidelines that accompanied Obama’s executive amnesty. (National Review)

H/t FOTM’s MomOfIV

See also:

~Éowyn

House passes bill defunding Obama’s amnesty for illegals

Conn Carroll reports for Townhall that yesterday, Jan. 14, 2015, the GOP-dominated House of Representatives passed a Department of Homeland Security spending bill that effectively defunds Obama’s November 2014 executive amnesty program.

Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho)

Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho)

Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-ID) said after the vote, “The House defended its constitutional authority to make the law of the land in today’s vote to oppose President Obama’s unconstitutional executive actions on immigration. I am hopeful the Senate will do its job and reassert the duty of Congress to make immigration law.”

Rep. Rob Aderholt (R-Alabama)

Rep. Rob Aderholt (R-Alabama)

An amendment offered by Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) forbidding DHS from spending any money implementing Obama’s Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program passed 237 to 190. The amendment specified that the spending restrictions applied to fees collected by the agency and applied to four other memos written prior to November 20.

The Aderholt amendment did not, however, touch Obama’s June 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. A group of conservative members, led by Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), struck a deal with Aderholt not to include the DACA program in his amendment. These conservatives felt that including DACA would be a distraction from DAPA and would make it easier for Democrats to attack Republicans for wanting to deport children.

Note: What the Obama administration and the MSM call “children” include strapping teens who are criminals and gang members. Please see Trail Dust’s post “We need to re-define the term ‘minors’”.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)

A separate amendment, offered by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), did defund Obama’s DACA program. It too passed, but by a substantial smaller 218 to 209 margin.

Neither of these amendments would actually lead to any new deportations, but they would stop the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services office from giving work permits to illegal immigrants.

Pew Research Center estimates that DAPA would legalize 3.9 million illegal immigrants while 1.5 million are eligible for DACA, which means if Obama has his way, amnesty would be given 5.5 million illegal aliens.

Now the funding measure will move to the Senate where it faces an uncertain future. Republicans do have a 54-46 majority in the Senate, but Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jon Tester (D-MT), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Angus King (I-ME), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) have all come out against the Aderholt amendment. It is not clear how Republicans can get to the 60 votes necessary to overcome a Democratic filibuster.

If they don’t Senate Republican leaders may try to narrow the defunding provisions to win over Democratic votes.

But even if they do, the POS in the White House has already said he will veto any bill that defunds his amnesty.

king

See also:

~Eowyn