From Hollywood Reporter: Sam Bee broke down the “mixed bag” of Tuesday’s midterm election on her 100th show Wednesday night, highlighting the Democrats’ re-taking of the House of Representatives and bemoaning the re-elections of Rep. Steve King and Rep. Duncan Hunter.
The Full Frontal host also addressed the spat that CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta and President Trump had during a press conference on the midterms earlier in the day. During the fight, Trump told Acosta, “CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them.”
“No, we should be ashamed of you working for us,” Bee countered. “Oh my god! You are at work. This is behavior that would have gotten me fired from Tim Horton’s and they didn’t even fire me for turning their donuts into bongs.”
She later narrated the interior monologue of the press aide who tried to take the microphone away from Acosta, who held on. The aide later backed off and kneeled so as not to be in the way of cameras. “I hate this job so much, It’s horrible, and … plié,” Bee said.
At the top of Wednesday’s show, the Full Frontal host addressed the news that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had resigned earlier that day at the request of President Trump, an expected shift after the midterms. “He wanted to leave to spend more time doing what he loves most — racism,” Bee joked.
Bee proceeded to tick off some of the positive outcomes of the election, including the fact that the Democrat-majority House will be in charge of the House Intelligence Committee and therefore be responsible for Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election. She also said Rep. Maxine Waters, a favorite to chair the House Financial Services Committee, “can subpoena the f*ck out of Trump’s tax returns.”
More importantly, Bee, added, addressing the GOP, “You can kiss your wall goodbye. Democrats are not going to give you an inch.” She then played a clip of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi praising a bipartisan approach to solving issues. “Guys?” she joked.
In other highlights Bee mentioned, the 2018 midterms ushered in a record number of women to serve in Congress and Florida passed Amendment 4, returning the right to vote to felons. “So I’m going to say something I rarely get to say: Good job Florida,” Bee joked.
Still: “I have to admit, I was a little disappointed in the size of the blue wave,” Bee said, noting that Democrats only gained 23 seats in the House. She also added in downsides to the night’s results that Rep. Steve King of Iowa and Rep. Duncan Hunter of California, who have both been accused of racism, were re-elected.
Bee concluded, “Last night was a mixed bag, but overall we should take it as a win” given the gerrymandering and voter suppression that Bee said was hurting the Democrats.
Later in her program, Bee also praised the campaign of Democrat Georgia Gov. candidate Stacey Abrams, who has called for a runoff in her fight against Brian Kemp, and listed “Bullshit we won’t forget” that included dirty tactics and off-color statements form Republican candidates during the election season.
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Don’t let the lack of the word “illegal” in this story fool you. Gov. Inslee has, in effect, turned Washington state into a sanctuary state.
From MyNorthwest.com: Just hours after President Trump signed an executive order to keep families together at the U.S.-Mexico border, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee called the policy child abuse and announced he will give $1.2 million to support Northwest Immigrant Rights Project’s civil legal aid services.
The money will be used to defend immigrant rights and to help families reunite. “We know that this was an intentional infliction of abusive behavior to punish innocent children,” Inslee said. “It is a form of child abuse.”
The governor said that everyone is entitled to a fair and due process, and to be treated with dignity and respect. As for Trump’s executive order, Inslee said it’s too late. The damage has been done. “We have more than 2,300 children separated from their parents today,” Inslee said.
The governor said Trump’s administration has lied about the separation of children from their parents, why they did what they did to the children, lied about who is responsible, and lied about what it will take to reunite families.
Inslee and state Attorney General Bob Ferguson sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Department of Homeland Security head Kirstjen Nielsen for answers about why the policy was enacted and about the location of the children and parents. He said they have not received answers.
Trump said on Wednesday, “We are keeping families together.” But he added the “zero tolerance” policy will continue.
Vice President Mike Pence added that they are calling upon Congress to change the laws. Trump added that the word “compassion” comes into it.
The president has been trying to win over congressional support on immigration amid a crisis along the border involving the separation of immigrant children from their families.
Illegal alien Marco Antonio Munoz made the separation from his family a permanent one
From Daily Mail: A Honduran father who was heartbroken after being separated from his wife and child at the US border killed himself while in custody last month.
Marco Antonio Muñoz, 39, was found dead on the floor of his Star County, Texas jail cell on May 13, lying in a small pool of his own blood with an article of clothing tied around his neck. Texas authorities believe that Muñoz suffered a breakdown when he was separated from his family after entering the US illegally through the Rio Grande, according to a Star County Sheriff’s report obtained by The Washington Post.
The incident occurred shortly after the Trump administration instituted a ‘zero tolerance’ policy on illegal immigration, which seeks to prosecute individuals arrested for unlawful entry into the US.
‘If you cross the border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you. It’s that simple,’ US Attorney General Jeff Sessions told reporters on May 8 while announcing the new White House initiative. ‘We don’t want to separate families, but we don’t want families to come to the border illegally and attempt to enter into this country improperly,’ Sessions added.
Nearly one of every four Border Patrol arrests on the Mexican border from October through April was someone who came in a family, meaning any large increase in prosecutions is likely to cause parents to be separated from their children while they face charges and do time in jail.
So far, the policy (should say lawbreakers) has separated more than 1,800 families, according to The New York Daily News.
A Border Patrol source who spoke to the Post said Muñoz had crossed into the US on May 12 with his wife and three-year-old son. They were apprehended shortly after their arrival in the small border town of Granjeno, Texas, which serves as a common crossing point for immigrants. After being transferred to a detention facility, the Post reports that Muñoz attempted to apply for asylum. Border agents said Muñoz ‘lost it’ after they informed him they would be separating him from his family, at one point law enforcement resorting to ‘physical force to take the child out of his hands.’
The report stated that while Muñoz had not attempted to hurt any of the Border Agents, he was described as being in a ‘preassault’ state because he was so agitated. As one agent told the Post, he ‘had the look of a guy at a bar who wanted to fight someone.’
Muñoz remained combative for most of the evening, attempting to escape at one point during his detention. ‘He yelled and kicked at the windows on the ride to the jail,’ the agent added.
Muñoz was booked into the Star County Jail at 9.40pm and placed in a padded cell, with guards checking on him every 30 minutes.
At around 9.50am the next day, a guard discovered Muñoz unresponsive on the floor of his cell without a pulse. The guard ‘noticed a small pool of blood by his nose,’ and ‘a piece of clothing twisted around his neck which was tied to the drainage location in the center of the cell,’ the Post reported.
Muñoz’s wife and son were later released from custody, according to the Post. It remains unclear if the family was allowed to claim his remains.
The Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the border patrol, says they are working on new programs to help explain the separation process to the American people and individuals affected by the policy.
According to Brown’s office: Kidnapping, robbery, using a firearm, inflicting corporal injury, intent to terrorize and obstructing a police officer are now classified as “nonviolent crimes.”
That’s California for you…
From Sacramento Bee: Amid a brewing legal battle with the Trump administration over California’s liberal immigration policies, Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday granted pre-Easter pardons to five immigrants illegal aliens facing possible deportation.
They were among 56 pardons and 14 commutations that the Democratic governor handed down ahead of the Sunday holiday. The majority were convicted of drug-related or other nonviolent crimes, according to Brown’s office.
Executive clemency is particularly significant for immigrants, since they can be deported for old convictions, even if they have legal resident status. By forgiving their criminal records, Brown eliminates the grounds on which they could be targeted for removal from the country. “These are individuals who have turned their lives around and deserve a second chance,” said UCLA School of Law Professor Ingrid Eagly, who represents two of the immigrants pardoned Friday. She added that the stakes are higher since the election of President Donald Trump, who has emphasized stricter immigration enforcement.
“Under the current administration, there’s much more of a focus on deportation. More individuals are being picked up and placed into deportation proceedings,” Early said. “There’s also less discretion being exercised by immigration agents on the ground and by immigration prosecutors.”
The pardoned immigrants are:
Sokha Chhan, who is in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement pending deportation to Cambodia. He came to the United States at the age of 13 to escape the Khmer Rouge regime and has lived here for 35 years. Chhan was sentenced in 2002 for inflicting corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant and threatening a crime with the intent to terrorize, both misdemeanors; he served three years probation and 364 days in jail. In his clemency application, one his five children, whom Chhan raised as a single father, wrote that he had shown her “what it meant to be a loving and independent individual.”
Daniel Maher, who has publicly advocated for immigrants with a criminal record to have an opportunity for redemption. Maher moved to California from Macau legally when he was 3 years old, according to KQED, but he never applied for citizenship and he lost his green card when he was sentenced in 1995 for kidnapping, robbery and using a firearm (as a prohibited possessor). He served five years in prison, before being released early for good behavior, and three years on parole. Maher now oversees the curbside recycling program in Berkeley and has been recognized by the city for training at-risk youth for green jobs. He was detained, but not deported, by ICE in 2015.
Phann Pheach, who was born in a refugee camp in Thailand and came to the United States at the age of 1, according to a GoFundMe account set up by his wife. Pheach was convicted in 2005 for possession of a controlled substance for sale and obstructing a police officer; he served six months in prison and 13 months on parole. Pheach has been detained by ICE and is facing deportation proceedings to Cambodia, “a place he never once knew,” his wife wrote on the fundraising page for his legal defense. “He is the glue that holds his family together,” she added. “I am crumbling apart without my husband, who I have been with for over 10 years.”
Francisco Acevedo Alaniz, who was convicted for vehicle theft in 1997 and served five months in prison and 13 months probation. In his clemency application, he reported being active in his church and volunteering with a youth sports program.
Sergio Mena, who was sentenced in 2003 for possession of a controlled substance for sale and served three years probation.
Immigration has been at the center of a political showdown between California and the Trump administration. Earlier this month, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions filed suit against California for three new laws passed last year to protect immigrants living in California illegally. Brown slammed Sessions for “initiating a reign of terror” against immigrants illegal aliens in California and accused the federal government of “basically going to war” against the state. Days later, Trump visited California for the first time as president and dismissed the state as “totally out of control.”
During the past year, as federal immigration authorities have escalated their enforcement efforts, Brown has regularly included immigrants in his annual Easter and Christmas acts of clemency.
Read the rest of the story here.
And yet demorats will continue to defend their sanctuary policies which allow these animals to freely roam in the U.S.
From Fox News: Frustrated MS-13 gang leaders feeling the pressure from the Trump administration’s crackdown are looking to send “younger, more violent offenders” to the United States to take over the role of being enforcers, officials say.
The revelations were made Thursday during a House Committee on Homeland Security meeting on fighting international criminal organizations, where officials discussed the arrests and imprisonment of MS-13 members and leadership over the last year. “They’re very much interested in sending younger, more violent offenders up through their channels into this country in order to be enforcers for the gang,” said Stephen Richardson, assistant director of the FBI’s criminal investigative division, according to VOA News.
Peter King, R-N.Y., the committee’s chairman, said his staff recently visited El Salvador and was told by law enforcement there that the gang — which mostly operates out of prisons in the Central American country — is “frustrated that MS-13 members in [the U.S.] are not violent enough.”
“It’s a horrifying thought,” King was quoted as saying by VOA News.
Justice Department figures say the gang has 40,000 members worldwide, with around 10,000 in the U.S. carrying out crimes ranging from extortion to gun trafficking.
“We’re looking at the information we’re getting and doubling down our efforts against MS-13,” Raymond Villaneuva, an assistant director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told lawmakers in response to King’s comments. The gang, also responsible for dozens of gruesome deaths throughout the U.S., was designated a “priority” last year by the Justice Department’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. Prosecutors are able to pursue any legal avenue to target MS-13, according to Attorney Gen. Jeff Sessions.
U.S. officials and three Central American countries announced in September that more than 3,800 members of MS-13 and the 18th Street gangs have been charged since March.
Sessions also said in December the Justice Department convicted more than 1,000 gang members in the U.S. in 2017, VOA News reported. MS-13 is believed to be behind 25 killings on New York’s Long Island alone in the past two years.
Trump in July 2017 visited Brentwood, N.Y., a town that has experienced the gang’s wrath, and pledged to push Congress for additional federal immigration agents to crack down on gang members who are in the country illegally. He also called MS-13 members “animals.”
Many MS-13 recruits are middle- and high-school students, predominantly in immigrant communities, who are said to risk violent retribution if they leave.
Shannon Watts hardest hit.
From USA Today: The FBI was flooded Friday with more than 200,000 background check requests for gun purchases, setting a new single day record, the bureau reported Saturday.
In all, the FBI fielded 203,086 requests on Black Friday, up from the previous single-day highs of 185,713 last year and 185,345 in 2015. The two previous records also were recorded on Black Friday.
Gun checks, required for purchases at federally licensed firearm dealers, are not a measure of actual gun sales. The number of firearms sold Friday is likely higher because multiple firearms can be included in one transaction by a single buyer.
The surging numbers received by the bureau’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), comes just days after Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a sweeping review of the system, which allowed a court-martialed Air Force veteran to purchase the rifle used earlier this month to kill 25 people inside a Sutherland Springs, Texas, church.
The victims included a pregnant woman whose unborn child also died in the Nov. 5 massacre.
Following the shooting, the Air Force acknowledged it had not provided the FBI with details of the court martial, which likely would have blocked the 2016 sale of the murder weapon to Devin Kelley.
In a memo issued Wednesday, Sessions ordered the FBI and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to review the NICS system.
The breakdown in the Kelley case highlighted longstanding problems within the system, which for more than 20 years has served as the centerpiece of the government’s effort to block criminals from obtaining firearms. Yet it has largely struggled to keep pace with the volume of firearm transactions and still properly maintain the databases of criminal and mental health records necessary to determine whether buyers are eligible to purchase guns.
Last year, the FBI official overseeing NICS was forced to transfer personnel from construction projects and units that oversee the gathering of crime statistics to keep up with the surge of requests for background checks. The office processed a record 27.5 million background checks in 2016.
Stephen Morris, a former assistant FBI director, told USA TODAY after the shooting that the NICS system has long been plagued by incomplete or outdated information.
In many cases, a background check may show a record of arrest, but there is no additional information to indicate whether the case was dismissed or resulted in a felony conviction which would prohibit a gun purchase.
The mere record of arrest is not enough to prohibit a gun sale, so FBI analysts must race to fill such information gaps within the three-day time period allotted for each check. The search sometimes requires inquiries to police departments, courthouses and prisons across the country to match final dispositions to the incomplete records.
Read the rest of the story here.
Kate Steinle: Murdered by an illegal alien in sanctuary San Francisco
The death of Kate Steinle meant nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, to demorats in California.
I cannot express here, within our guidelines, how outraged I am with the so-called lawmakers of that state.
From Fox News: Lawmakers in California on Saturday passed “sanctuary state” legislation even as President Trump and his administration have vowed to crack down on jurisdictions that do not cooperate with federal immigration agents.
The bill approved early Saturday limits police cooperation with federal immigration authorities and is intended to bolster protections for illegal immigrants in the state.
But the acting director of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Saturday warned of “tragic consequences,” saying the policy “will make California communities less safe.” “By passing this bill, California politicians have chosen to prioritize politics over public safety,” Thomas Homan, the acting director of ICE, said in a statement. “Disturbingly, the legislation serves to codify a dangerous policy that deliberately obstructs our country’s immigration laws and shelters serious criminal alien offenders.”
Homan said ICE wants to work with local law enforcement to prevent “dangerous criminal aliens” from being released back onto the streets.
The legislation will now be considered by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, who announced his support after the top state Senate leader agreed to water down the bill and preserve authority for jail and prison officials to cooperate with immigration officers in many cases. The bill that passed Saturday prohibits law enforcement officials from asking about a person’s immigration status or participating in immigration enforcement efforts. It also prohibits law enforcement officials from being deputized as immigration agents or arresting people on civil immigration warrants.
The legislation follows Trump’s vow to crack down on sanctuary cities. Such policies limit just how much local law enforcement officials cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
The debate about sanctuary cities intensified in July 2015 when Katie Steinle, 32, was killed as she strolled along the San Francisco waterfront with her father. Steinle was fatally shot by a illegal alien with a criminal record who had slipped into the U.S. multiple times illegally. On Friday, a federal judge in Chicago has ruled Attorney General Jeff Sessions can’t withhold public grant money from so-called sanctuary cities for refusing to follow federal immigration policies. U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber made the ruling Friday, in which he granted Chicago’s request for a temporary “nationwide” injunction. The ruling means the Justice Department cannot deny grant money requests until Chicago’s lawsuit against the agency is concluded. Leinenweber wrote that Chicago has shown a “likelihood of success” in its arguments that Sessions overstepped his authority with the requirements.
The city of Chicago sued the Trump administration in August after it threatened to withhold funds from sanctuary cities, and refused to comply with the Justice Department’s demand that it allow immigration agents access to local jails and notify agents when someone in the U.S. is about to be released from custody. At least seven cities and counties, including Seattle and San Francisco, have refused to cooperate with new federal rules regarding sanctuary cities.
Paul’s Twitter profile pic. From his Twitter bio, “From the best state in Mexico: Colima.”
Want to be the “best you can be,” Paul? You can start online here.
Surprisingly, there are very few sympathetic comments on the liberal Seattle Times web site.
From Seattle Times: Paúl Quiñonez Figueroa wakes up around 6 a.m. every day, anxious. “I could literally wake up to the end of DACA,” he said of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which since 2012 has allowed young people brought to this country illegally to live and work here. As a 22-year-old DACA recipient, the waiting has been killing him. “He should announce it already,” Quiñonez Figueroa said Friday in his Northgate apartment.
On Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions did it for the president. Sessions announced an “orderly, lawful wind-down” of DACA over the next six months. The Department of Homeland Security will accept no new applications. Current DACA recipients, however, will be allowed to work legally until their two-year permits expire. That gives Quiñonez Figueroa until February 2019. “Having a few extra months to prepare for the end of life as we know it is not treating us with empathy or with heart,” Quiñonez Figueroa, an activist with Washington Dream Coalition, said immediately after Sessions’ remarks. And he was infuriated that President Donald Trump, who had pledged to show heart when dealing with Dreamers, “did not have the decency to face us.”
Now, he’s looking toward the congressional debate that Trump and Sessions have set up as they left the fate of DACA recipients to the legislative branch.
Quiñonez Figueroa, who works as a legislative assistant to state Rep. Shelley Kloba D-Kirkland, said he and his peers plan to press members of Congress to vote on a new DREAM Act introduced this year. The bipartisan bill goes further than previous, failed versions; those eligible would include not just young, undocumented immigrants illegal aliens who go to college or serve in the military but also those in the workforce. Unlike DACA, it would provide a path to citizenship.
Quiñonez Figueroa said, however, “we’re not going to be used as bargaining chips to put down our parents, to put down our friends.”
He was referring to speculation that Trump and some Republicans might try to trade passage of the DREAM Act for items on the president’s agenda less friendly to immigrants: building a wall on the border with Mexico, hiring thousands of new Border Patrol agents and placing new restrictions on legal immigration.
If Congress tacked such addendums onto the DREAM Act, Quiñonez Figueroa said, DACA recipients like him would seek to kill the bill, he said.
His views represent something of an evolution in the Dreamer movement. It has generated tremendous momentum in part because people brought here as kids are often seen as blameless, unlike other immigrants who come to the U.S. illegally.
But some are so uneasy with being in a special category that they no longer want to be called “Dreamers” — a term they feel connotes virtue unique to them. “We’ve moved far beyond that,” Quiñonez Figueroa said.
He and others want the parents who brought them here to have the same protections they do, even while that is a much more controversial notion. ‘Best I could be’ For a long time, Quiñonez Figueroa was angry about being uprooted from his home in a small town in the Mexican state of Colima, about 500 miles due west of Mexico City. He was 7. “I remember my childhood as happy — normal,” he said. “Why did I have to grow up undocumented illegally here?” Only last year, when he returned to Colima while studying in Mexico for the summer, did he realize the poverty of his hometown, the challenges his cousins faced in getting to college and the dangers of a country beset by drug cartels.
Then, his parents’ decision to reunite the family in the U.S. — where his father had been working construction and was finding return visits increasingly hard because of toughening border security — made more sense.
He remembers the trip in the back seat of a car, eating potato chips and trying to keep his younger brother quiet as they crossed into California, driven by a legal resident. His mother followed a week later, taking a riskier trip through the desert that she never talked about.
Eventually, they made their way to Eastern Washington, where they had extended family. Quiñonez Figueroa mostly grew up there. Tutored by his mom, who had wanted to be a teacher but couldn’t afford the necessary schooling, he was placed in a program for advanced students.
He threw himself into extracurriculars: volunteering as a bilingual interpreter, running cross-country and playing tennis, joining the debate and Spanish clubs. “I had to be the best I could be,” he said. Otherwise, he wouldn’t get the private scholarships he needed to go to college. Even when DACA came into being right before his last year of high school, and he was deemed eligible, he couldn’t get federal financial aid due to his status. As the Trump administration has been keen to point out, DACA recipients are still considered undocumented illegal even though the government has granted them permission to work here temporarily. Accepted by Gonzaga University, Quiñonez Figueroa benefited from Washington’s version of the DREAM Act, approved while he was there, to allow undocumented students illegal aliens to get state financial aid.
He quickly built up his résumé. He interned for U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a Michigan Democrat, in Washington, D.C., and got a fellowship to spend a summer at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs.
After school, he worked as an Eastern Washington field director for Sen. Patty Murray’s re-election campaign, and was interested in working for the federal government. But undocumented immigrants illegal aliens are not allowed.
So he turned to local politics. In his job as Rep. Kloba’s assistant, he does everything from running the office budget to helping arrange town-hall meetings. Not ready to give up It was in Mexico last summer that Quiñonez Figueroa realized how American he has become. Participating in a program that brought DACA recipients to study side by side with Mexican students, he picked up on subtle but distinct cultural differences, like the way he and his peers would complain about service they found lacking.
“We were called ‘arrogant Americans,’” he recalled. He nevertheless discovered he could get by in Mexico if he had to. His Spanish was passable. There were opportunities for college-educated professionals like him.
Staring down the possibility of a forced repatriation, he said it wouldn’t be end of the world, but added: “I’m not ready to give up.”
His game plan: go to graduate school and hope that by the time he’s done Congress will have passed a law allowing him to stay.
From Yahoo: Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., said that Democrats have a message “much bigger” than opposing President Trump and that the party is focused on telling Americans “we see them.”
“The issues are not simple, so the message is not going not be simple,” Harris told Yahoo News in a small gaggle of reporters after she gave a speech at the “Women Unshackled” criminal justice conference Tuesday morning. Harris said Democrats should not have a “monosyllabic” simple slogan, but instead focus on issues that matter to Americans, like jobs, the economy, health care, climate change and criminal justice reform.
“It’s going to be multitiered, but essentially it’s about telling the American public we see them,” Harris said of the Democrats’ message. “All Americans want to know that they are healthy, that their children and their parents are going to have access to health care and dignity. All Americans want to know they can get a job and keep a job. All Americans want to be able to retire with dignity.” “These are truths, and when we see people for who they really are, and instead of some demographic based on what a pollster looks at, I think we’ll all be better for it,” she added.
Democrats have struggled to articulate a unified message since Trump won. And the issue of the party’s branding sparked up again after a top House Democrat, Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., recently told the Associated Press that the message is “being worked on.” Harris is a buzzed-about potential candidate for president in 2020 and has already raised significant amounts of money for her Senate colleagues running in 2018. Harris has said she’s not giving “any consideration” to running for president, but Democratic donors are increasingly speculating about her as a top contender.
Harris’ criminal justice speech Tuesday to a bipartisan group of lawmakers and activists was greeted with enthusiastic applause, and the senator was nearly mobbed afterward with fans wanting to take selfies with her. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, a Republican, and Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., are also speaking at the event, organized by the U.S. Justice Action Network.
In her speech, Harris criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions for steering the country back toward another war on drugs, which she called an “abject failure” and “crazy.”
“We made a mistake when decades ago we decided to criminalize what is a public health matter,” Harris said, advocating for drug treatment instead of jail time for nonviolent offenders.
She also spoke of her recent visit to a women’s prison in Chowchilla, Calif., where she talked to incarcerated women who were making American flags. “I walked away thinking, ‘Isn’t it part of who we are as Americans that we believe in second chances?’” she said. Harris, a former prosecutor elected just last November, has made criminal justice reform one of her top issues in her short time in the Senate. She has co-sponsored legislation with other Democratic lawmakers to ban the practice of shackling pregnant inmates, and she announced during her speech that she would also be introducing legislation to reform the bail process so that decisions about whether to release prisoners ahead of their trials is based more upon the security risk of doing so and not upon how much money the prisoner has.
The senator told reporters she’s “optimistic” that legislation could pass, even in a divided Washington. “I think this is something that should not be thought of as even bipartisan — this should be a nonpartisan issue,” Harris said.
Works for me.
From NY Post: The US Department of Justice on Friday gave New York City and eight other local governments that provide “sanctuary” to illegal immigrants until June 30 to prove they’re not violating federal law by refusing to cooperate with immigration authorities. The ultimatums from President Trump’s administration were accompanied by an accusation that many of the targeted jurisdictions are “crumbling under the weight of illegal immigration and violent crime.”
“New York City continues to see gang murder after gang murder, the predictable consequence of the city’s ‘soft on crime’ stance,” the DOJ said in a news release.
A related letter to the director of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Office of Criminal Justice warns that the feds could withhold funding, suspend or terminate grants, declare the city ineligible for future funding or take “other action, as appropriate.”
A City Hall spokesman called the threat “nothing new.” “This grandstanding shows how out of touch the Trump administration is with reality,” spokesman Seth Stein said.
“Contrary to their alternative facts, New York is the safest big city in the country, with crime at record lows in large part because we have policies in place to encourage cooperation between NYPD and immigrant communities.”
Letters were also sent to officials in Chicago, New Orleans, Philadelphia and Miami; Clark County, Nev.; Milwaukee County, Wis.; Cook County, Ill., and the state of California.