Category Archives: Mexico Border

21 Year Retired Air Force Veteran Master Sergeant and Civic Activist Michelle Harris seeks to turn the LD 13 Senate Seat Blue in November

Democratic LD 13 Senate Candidate Michelle Harris

With her husband as a campaign manager and 30 volunteers at her disposal, retired 21 Year Air Force Veteran Master Sergeant and local Civic Activist Michelle Harris is seeking the LD 13 Senate Seat this November in order to make it Blue. Her potential opponent, to be determined after the August 28 Primary, may be disgraced expelled State House Member Don Shooter. This well qualified and experienced Clean Elections candidate, with a compelling message and agenda, is one of many Democrats that will help shift the balance of power from Republicans in the November Elections.

Over water, coffee, croissants, and a very huge Blueberry Muffin at Mimi’s Café at Dysart and the I-10, Master Sergeant Harris enthusiastically relayed why she is the best candidate for the State Senate in LD 13 and the its residents whose territory stretches from Yuma in the South to Wickenburg in the North with parts or all of Glendale, Goodyear, Litchfield Park, Buckeye, and Avondale in between. Motivated to run because local state leaders from the district or the Corporation Commission did not take the time to address concerns in a either a timely (sewage rate increase) or any (school voucher expansion) manner, Harris wants to use the training and experience gained from her service in the Air Force to engage with all stakeholders on the needs of the district and solve problems in a consensus fashion. If she prevails this November, she will be the first Democrat in recent memory to win a legislative seat in this district.

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Lifting All People Up is the Goal of LD 15 State Senate Candidate Kristin Dybvig-Pawleko

LD 15 State Senate Candidate Kristin Dybvig-Pawelko

After bearing the ravings of a “gentleman,” in desperate need of decaf coffee, going through drive-through rage at the Starbucks at Tatum and Paradise Village Gateway in Phoenix, Democratic Candidate Ms. Kristin Dybvig-Pawleko (pronounced Dib Vig Pa Welko) passionately framed why she is the best candidate to win the open State Senate Seat in Legislative District 15 this November.

A first-time Clean Elections candidate, running as a team with LD 15 State House candidate and fellow educator Jennifer Samuels, Dybvig-Pawleko wants to bring a community-minded consensus solution approach to governing that emphasizes lifting all people up by building up our public education system, infrastructure, local and state economies, and stopping gun violence.

LD 15 includes parts or all of Peoria, Phoenix, Cave Creek, Paradise Valley, and Deer Valley. Unlike recent past elections where there has been minimal or no Democratic presence, this year features three Democrats vying for the two State House seats in LD 15 and a very enthusiastic State Senate Candidate in Ms. Dybvig-Pawleko.

The Republican running in the State Senate Race is current LD 15 House incumbent Heather Carter, who according to Ms. Dybvig-Pawleko, is a “nice lady” but does not follow  what residents want her to do in the legislature. A Representative that follows the reactionary party line, Ms. Carter (also an educator) did not support any of the measures that would assist educators in the classroom and voted with her party in making the processing of ballot initiatives more difficult, a woman’s right to choose more intrusive, allowing gun sales without a background check, and repealing campaign reform measures such as the revealing of campaign donors.

Realizing that the actions of local and state officeholders in areas like education, infrastructure, and zoning, most impact the people, Ms. Dybvig-Pawleko sees her pragmatic progressive ideas and approach to problem-solving as the best ways to represent the people in LD 15 and move the district and state forward.

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Latest on the immigrant family separation crisis

There appears to be some confusion created by the judge’s orders in the Ms. L. v. ICE case and the Flores Settlement Agreement, that Trump administration lawyers from the Department of Justice are taking advantage of — some would say abusing, at the expense of innocent children.

Dara Lind at Vox.com explains, A new court ruling officially opens the door for Trump to separate some migrant families again:

Judge Dolly Gee of the Central District of California formally refused the administration’s request to modify the Flores court settlement, which governs the treatment of children in immigration custody. The Flores agreement was the court ruling that the administration had pointed to for its policy of family separation — because it couldn’t keep children detained longer than 20 days, per Flores, it had to split children from their parents while the parents were in detention.

Gee rejected the administration’s request to allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to keep migrant families in detention facilities for as long as it took to process their cases (a process which, for asylum seekers, can take months or longer).

It’s a defeat on the second front of a legal war for the Trump administration and its “zero tolerance” policy at the US-Mexico border. In the Flores case, the administration is fighting for indefinite family detention. In a separate federal case in San Diego, it’s being stopped from resuming family separation and hounded to quickly reunite the nearly 3,000 families separated while the policy was in full effect through mid-June.

But Monday night’s ruling also makes it clear that the administration has the power to start separating some migrant families again.

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Helping Children is the First Priority for State Senate Candidate and 2016 Arizona Teacher of the Year Christine Marsh.

LD 28 Democratic State Senate Candidate and 2016 Teacher of the Year Christine Marsh

While petting a year old German Shepard Mix named Zuzu at the Democratic Party LD 28 office on Shea and 32nd Street, State Senate Christine Marsh relayed her reasons for wanting to replace incumbent Kate Brophy McGee in the Arizona Senate and the legislative goals she would like to pursue after taking office in January 2019.

Partially inspired by a conversation with a student, in her English class at Chaparral High School, on whether children in Arizona were worth as much as children in other states, Ms. Marsh, a 2016 State Teacher of the Year, is running largely on a pro-public education platform in the Purple Arizona District 28 on a ticket with State House Incumbent Kelli Butler and House Challenger Aaron Lieberman. A very attainable Marsh win in LD 28 would help Democrats achieve their realistic goal of gaining control of the State Senate in November’s elections.

Arizona Legislative District 28 is similar in some ways to Arizona Legislative District 18. It is a district that is becoming increasingly blue as evidenced by Kelli Butler’s State House win in 2016 and Kate Brophy McGee’s two-point squeaker over Democrat opponent Eric Meyer in the same election. A district that includes parts of Phoenix, Paradise Valley, and Glendale, Democrats have a well-organized and energized team led by Field Director Chris Fleischman (the dog parent of Zuzu) and able volunteers like Tyler Kowch, an Arizona resident who found education in Canada a cheaper option.

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Federal judge rejects request to modify Flores Settlement Agreement

A federal judge in Los Angeles dealt the Trump administration another significant blow on Monday by rejecting its attempt to indefinitely detain immigrant children caught crossing the border illegally with their parents (in the decades-old Flores case). Judge rejects Trump administration bid to indefinitely detain immigrant children with parents:

U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee issued an   order lambasting the Justice Department for its request to modify the 1997 [Flores] settlement agreement that set rules for how the government can deal with immigrant children in its custody. Calling President Trump’s executive order on immigrants “ill-considered,” the judge accused the administration of attempting to shift blame to the courts for a crisis of Congress’ and the president’s making.

Gee’s order came as Justice Department attorneys told a federal judge in San Diego [Ms. L. v. ICE] they would miss Tuesday’s deadline for authorities to reunite parents and children younger than 5 who were forcibly separated at the border.

Just over half the 102 children identified by the government will be reunited by Tuesday’s deadline, the attorneys told U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw, who had previously ordered the reunifications in response to a legal action brought by the American Civil Liberties Union. The rest includes children whose parents were already deported, have criminal records and are unfit to care for them, Justice Department attorneys said. In the case of one 3-year-old boy, they said, authorities couldn’t find any parental records.

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Federal courts deliver a pounding to the Trump administration’s immigration policies (updated)

At the end of June, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who has jurisdiction over the child immigrants being separated from their parents and held in detention centers, testified before the Senate Finance Committee that he can find separated migrant kids ‘within seconds’:

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Tuesday he could find any child separated from their migrant parents “within seconds.”

“There is no reason why any parent would not know where their child is located,” Azar told the Senate Finance Committee. “I could at the stroke of keystrokes … within seconds could find any child within our care for any parent.”

Azar pushed back on reports that parents and children forcibly separated at the Mexican border under President Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy can’t find each other. He said that by using his computer “portal” through the Office of Refugee Resettlement, he could easily locate the kids.

Azar’s testimony was under oath. The Senate must now consider charging him with perjury or lying to Congress.

Late last week, U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw in Ms. L v. ICE, Case No.: 18cv0428 DMS (MDD), U.S. District Court Southern District of California, denied the Trump administration’s request to extend the deadline to reunite families that had been separated at the border — not so simple as “the stroke of keystrokes … within seconds could find any child within our care for any parent,” is it? Judge insists timeline be met to reunite children at border:

A judge insisted on Friday the Trump administration stick to a deadline to reunite children separated from their parents at the border, instead acknowledging that more time may be justified only in specific cases.

U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw ordered the administration to share a list of the 101 children with the American Civil Liberties Union, which successfully sued to force the reunions, by Saturday afternoon. The two sides will try to determine over the weekend which cases merit a delay in an effort to present a unified front in court on Monday morning.

“The government must reunite them,” the judge said. “It must comply with the time frame unless there is an articulable reason.”

The administration said it needed more time to reunite 101 children under 5 years old to ensure the children’s safety and to confirm their parental relationships.

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