Category Archives: Mexico Border

Oh, SNAP! GOP House Freedom Caucus revolt on farm bill may backfire with additional support for discharge petition on DACA

This morning the Washington Post reported, Spooked by discharge petition, GOP leaders scramble to kill House immigration rebellion:

House Republican leaders made a full-court press Wednesday to forestall a GOP immigration rebellion that they fear could derail their legislative agenda and throw their effort to hold the majority in doubt.

The effort began in a closed-door morning meeting where Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) warned that a freewheeling immigration debate could have sharp political consequences. McCarthy to GOP: DACA vote could cost us the House. It continued in the evening, when the leaders of a petition effort that would sidestep were summoned to a room with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), McCarthy and three other top leaders.

Their message, according to attendees, was that efforts were underway at the highest levels, including with the White House, to get immigration legislation on the House floor before the midterm elections.

Politico adds, “Two additional Republicans, John Katko of New York and David Trott of Michigan, signed on after McCarthy’s scolding, leaving the group just four signatures shy of their goal.”

“Clearly we have had a positive impact on our leadership and on this institution because this issue is being taken seriously, and people are thinking through how something can be achieved,” said Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.), who filed the “discharge petition” that would set up votes on a series of immigration bills.

The House leaders presented no firm plan for action at the meeting, and the discharge petition effort will continue, Curbelo and others said afterward.

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9th Circuit Court of Appeals hears DACA appeal while new arrivals face family-separation policy

A three-judge panel with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on Tuesday questioned the government’s rationale for terminating the DACA program that offered a reprieve from deportation to immigrants who came to the United States illegally as children, with one judge inquiring whether officials had yet considered re-justifying the decision to make it more legally sound. Appeals court hears arguments on DACA — but offers few clues on how it might rule:

The 9th Circuit is the first appellate court to hear oral arguments on whether the Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, commonly known as DACA, can pass legal muster.

The judges — two appointed by President Barack Obama and one by President Bill Clinton — asked skeptical questions of both sides, and it was difficult to determine how they might rule.

The judges inquired about whether the judiciary could rightly second-guess what the government characterizes as an exercise of prosecutorial discretion, and whether the government might — as one lower court judge suggested — consider providing more solid legal reasoning for coming to the decision it did. They also asked about whether the government might have violated the due-process rights of DACA recipients whose lives could be upended.

A federal judge in San Francisco — weighing bids to save DACA from the states of California, Maine, Maryland and Minnesota; California’s university system; and individual DACA recipients — had blocked the administration from ending the program, at least temporarily. The ruling was largely based on the judge’s conclusion that the decision to end it was arbitrary and based on flawed legal reasoning.

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Fully Funding Education is the Top Issue as LD 18 Democrats look to take both State Representative Seats in 2018

State Representative Mitzi Epstein

State Representative Mitzi Epstein

Education, Education, Education. That is the top issue for all three candidates competing for the two Representative seats for LD 18 as they vie to continue the trajectory of making this district increasingly blue in this year’s election.

As reported in a previous overview of LD 18, it is a district that includes Ahwatukee-Phoenix, Tempe, Chandler, and Mesa. Socioeconomically, it is a mostly upper-middle-class district. It is where the main campus of Mesa Community College is located as well as technology powerhouses GoDaddy and Intel.

Jennifer Jermaine

Until recently, the district has predominately elected Republican candidates for its local seats. Democrats made their first electoral gains in the district this decade with victories for State Senator Sean Bowie and State Representative Denise “Mitzi” Epstein in 2016.

The party hopes to continue this trend by re-electing Bowie and Epstein to their current positions and electing either Jennifer Jermaine or LaDawn Stuben who will run against Republican State Representative incumbent Jill Norgaard.
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AG Candidate January Contreras Will Protect Vulnerable Populations

January Contreras

January Contreras

Over cups of coffee and water at the Tucson Café Passe (the bratwurst is good as well), Democratic Attorney General Candidate January Contreras, a fourth generation Arizonan, described the reasons she is the right person to lead the state’s justice department starting in January 2019.

An experienced jurist and advocate, Contreras, a wife of 24 years and mother to two sons, has an extensive record of public service. Mentored (and still guided) by former Attorney General, Governor, and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, she has served as a Deputy County Attorney for Maricopa County and Assistant Attorney General. In these capacities, Contreras prosecuted criminals, people, and entities that committed health care fraud against vulnerable citizens like the elderly in nursing homes.

Furthermore, under former Governor Janet Napolitano, her duties also included policy advisor and serving as the Assistant Director at the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) where she fought proposed cuts to the system. Joining Governor Napolitano at the Department of Homeland Security during the Obama Administration, Contreras helped establish the Council on Combating Violence against Women and served on other task forces designed to further advances for women and children.

Returning to Arizona, Contreras founded ALWAYS (Arizona Legal Women and Youth Services), an organization dedicated to assisting victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, and child abuse. When necessary, Contreras would help the victims for free.
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Listen to the Recording of the Secret Republican CD2 Candidates Forum

GOP Congressional candidates Danny Morales, Lea Marquez-Peterson, Marilyn Wiles and Brandon Martin.

GOP Congressional candidates Danny Morales, Lea Marquez-Peterson, Marilyn Wiles and Brandon Martin.

I have published the audio file from the Saturday, March 24 forum for GOP candidates running for Congress in Tucson’s CD2. Click here to listen to it.

The recording starts with a question about school gun violence, with candidate Lea Marquez Peterson finishing a sentence and some static. The next voice is Danny Morales (he has a high voice) saying he is a certified peace officer. Next is Brandon Martin (with the lower male voice) talking about the Constitution. The second female voice is Marilyn Wiles talking about better enforcement of gun laws.

To read the written report, click Fear Dominates Secret Tucson GOP CD 2 Congressional Candidate Forum.

The questions posed to each candidate were:

  • What is your position on “chain migration” and have you always felt this way?
  • How do you expect to represent Arizona without becoming a part of the establishment?
  • Since we live on the border describe your position on stopping illegal immigration and are you in favor of a border wall?
  • Given the recent successes Democratic candidates in special elections across the country, why do you think you can defeat the Democratic candidate in this race?
  • What form of government is the US? What is a republic?
  • What is your position on DACA and your solution for Dreamers?
  • How would you rejuvenate our economy here in Southern Arizona without increasing government jobs?
  • If negotiations fail, would you support a pre-emptive strike on North Korea and Iran?
  • The Air Force recently narrowed the list to four bases for the next F-35 Wing, with Davis Monthan being one of the four. Are you for F-35s at DM?
  • Would you join the House Freedom Caucus and who in the House would you enjoy working with?
  • Would you introduce a bill to change Congressional benefits and insurance and withhold payroll payments without a balanced budget?
  • Have you ever used illegal narcotics, marijuana or cocaine?
  • Are you taking out of state contributions and from who?
  • What changes would you suggest be made to the census? Should we declare if you are a citizen or not?
  • Given the current political uncertainty, please give a few examples of your topics and your approach to a divided executive versus legislative government, versus the current one-party majority that we have now that may exist after your swearing-in. (The question was thrown out as unintelligible.)
  • Do you support term limits?
  • If President Trump fires the special counsel, would you support him or do you view this as an impeachable offense?

Militarize the border? Has this fool ever heard of posse comitatus?

FOX & Friends and FOX prime time pundits (aka presidential advisers) have our nativist racist Twitter-troll-in-chief all worked up about a “caravan” of Central American refugees coming to America. Why Is Trump Still Obsessing About a Caravan of Migrants?

But the truth is that, according to the Washington Post, Trump’s ignorance about what is going on is even worse than we thought. Here are some things he doesn’t seem to know:

  • “The Mexican government on Monday evening moved to break up the caravan of migrants moving through southern Mexico”
  • This is an “annual caravan intended to raise awareness about the plight of people making the dangerous trek across Mexico toward the United States”
  • “Mexico deported 16,278 people during the first two months of 2018; 97 percent of them were Central Americans, according to the Washington Office on Latin America, a human rights group.”
  • “Mexico increased its immigration enforcement in 2014, when it enacted a “Southern Border Plan” in response to a flood of unaccompanied Central American children who were transiting the country and arriving in the United States.

While Trump is rage tweeting, this is happening:

On Monday, Mexico’s interior minister, Alfonso Navarrete, said he and U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen had spoken. “We agreed to analyze the best ways to attend to the flows of migrants in accordance with the laws of each country,” Navarrete tweeted.

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