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Shutdown over a Wall

  • Thread starter Thawra # Furoshima
  • Start date

The Shutdown will lead to

  • A compromise

    Votes: 4 30.8%
  • Building the wall

    Votes: 3 23.1%
  • Not Building the wall

    Votes: 6 46.2%
  • A trump victory

    Votes: 5 38.5%
  • Democrats Victory

    Votes: 6 46.2%
  • Nobody win

    Votes: 2 15.4%
  • An economic slowdown

    Votes: 4 30.8%
  • Society suffering

    Votes: 4 30.8%

  • Total voters
    13
SeaAb

SeaAb

Legendary Member
Staff member
Super Penguin
A catholic doesn’t accept abortions to support fake global warming or illegal immigration
Nobody against legal immigrants
Problem with criminal and illegal
The progressive want to make illegal immigration not a criminal issue
Even Obama officials refuse this
Weak attempt at deflection.
 
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  • Thawra # Furoshima

    Thawra # Furoshima

    Well-Known Member
    Immigrants on edge over prospect of ICE raids
    BY BRETT SAMUELS 266TWEET SHARE MORE



























    Immigrant communities across the country are on edge after mass deportation operations promised by President Trump failed to materialize in recent days.
    Trump has claimed the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids were “very successful” and took place out of the public eye. But immigration advocates said they’ve seen no evidence of a widespread sweep, and experts question whether the president may have hindered the efforts by speaking publicly about them.
    Advocacy organizations are urging those who may be targeted by ICE to remain vigilant, cautioning that the larger raids could take place in the coming days, weeks or months.
    “I think this threat is still out there, and there’s no trust in this administration,” said Sergio Gonzales, deputy director of the Immigration Hub. “People are still very much living as if this could happen at any moment.”
    Immigration advocacy groups and local officials braced for raids targeting at least 10 major cities and thousands of individuals with deportation orders after Trump said they would begin last Sunday.
    In the days since, ICE carried out enforcement activity in New York City, Oregon, Denver and elsewhere. Gonzales said he’d heard of instances of individuals and family members being picked up by ICE but that it was unclear whether they were part of regular ongoing enforcement efforts.
    But the sweeping operation that many expected never arrived.
    John Sandweg, who served as acting ICE director in the Obama administration, said he believes there was an unreasonable expectation for the scope of the operation. He noted the agency lacks the resources to round up the scores of immigrants Trump had indicated would be targeted in one coordinated swoop.
    “This operation was never going to be what I think the media and the advocates and maybe even the president thought it would be, which was thousands of ICE agents swarming around the streets of America,” Sandweg said. “It was always going to be much lower profile than I think people realized.”
    The specter of ongoing raids looms as immigration promises to be a flashpoint ahead of the 2020 election. Trump continues to wield the issue as a driving motivator for his base of supporters, while Democrats frame the administration’s treatment of migrants as a human rights catastrophe.
    Trump spoke publicly of his plans for mass immigration raids in the days before they were set to commence.
    “There’s nothing to be secret about,” Trump said last week, calling it a “major operation.”
    Sandweg said ICE operations are “never” publicized ahead of time and signaled Trump may have endangered the operation with his comments.
    “It’s a serious concern there primarily for officer safety reasons … and then also because it’s been pretty well documented that the effectiveness of these operations dissipates dramatically when word is out when they’re going to commence,” he said.
    Refusing to concede the raids failed to live up to his promise, Trump has maintained over the past week that the raids were “very successful” and that “thousands” of violent gang members have been taken out of the country.
    “On Sunday, there was a lot of activity, but you didn’t even see it because it went very smoothly,” Trump told reporters on Tuesday.
    ICE did not respond to requests for comment on whether the operation went through as planned.
    Reps. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) wrote to the acting Homeland Security secretary and acting ICE director this week requesting information on how many people were apprehended between Sunday and Wednesday and how many collateral arrests were made of people who were not original targets of raids.
    “The Administration’s plans to execute large-scale, coordinated enforcement operations and ongoing efforts to publicize inhumane family separations have caused significant anxiety, fear and trauma for American families and discord for citizens and migrants alike,” the lawmakers wrote.
    Gonzales said the effects of the president consistently targeting immigrants are evident in certain communities.
    He described families shutting themselves in their homes and keeping kids from going to school out of fear of an ICE operation. Immigrants who worry about being deported may be reluctant to speak with the police, he said, putting a strain on local law enforcement.
    “When there’s this kind of panic and fear, it’s not just immigrant communities who are being impacted,” he said. “It’s certainly having an impact on all the other facets of these towns and these communities.”

    Jorge-Mario Cabrera, director of communications for the Los Angeles-based Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, added that the threat of mass sweeps will only intensify the emotional toll for many immigrants who feel “unwanted.”
    Cabrera said he has little doubt that ICE will regroup and carry out the operation at a later date and that Trump's rhetoric will continue to incite anti-immigrant feelings among some in the country.
    “I think the dramatic moment that the media and some of us were waiting for did not materialize,” Cabrera said. “But moments where families are separated still take place and will continue to take place … in the next days and weeks and months until this administration is over.”
     
    proIsrael-nonIsraeli

    proIsrael-nonIsraeli

    Legendary Member
    Immigrants on edge over prospect of ICE raids
    BY BRETT SAMUELS 266TWEET SHARE MORE
    Immigrant communities across the country are on edge after mass deportation operations promised by President Trump failed to materialize in recent days.
    Trump has claimed the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids were “very successful” and took place out of the public eye. But immigration advocates said they’ve seen no evidence of a widespread sweep, and experts question whether the president may have hindered the efforts by speaking publicly about them.
    Advocacy organizations are urging those who may be targeted by ICE to remain vigilant, cautioning that the larger raids could take place in the coming days, weeks or months.
    “I think this threat is still out there, and there’s no trust in this administration,” said Sergio Gonzales, deputy director of the Immigration Hub. “People are still very much living as if this could happen at any moment.”
    Immigration advocacy groups and local officials braced for raids targeting at least 10 major cities and thousands of individuals with deportation orders after Trump said they would begin last Sunday.
    In the days since, ICE carried out enforcement activity in New York City, Oregon, Denver and elsewhere. Gonzales said he’d heard of instances of individuals and family members being picked up by ICE but that it was unclear whether they were part of regular ongoing enforcement efforts.
    But the sweeping operation that many expected never arrived.
    John Sandweg, who served as acting ICE director in the Obama administration, said he believes there was an unreasonable expectation for the scope of the operation. He noted the agency lacks the resources to round up the scores of immigrants Trump had indicated would be targeted in one coordinated swoop.
    “This operation was never going to be what I think the media and the advocates and maybe even the president thought it would be, which was thousands of ICE agents swarming around the streets of America,” Sandweg said. “It was always going to be much lower profile than I think people realized.”
    The specter of ongoing raids looms as immigration promises to be a flashpoint ahead of the 2020 election. Trump continues to wield the issue as a driving motivator for his base of supporters, while Democrats frame the administration’s treatment of migrants as a human rights catastrophe.
    Trump spoke publicly of his plans for mass immigration raids in the days before they were set to commence.
    “There’s nothing to be secret about,” Trump said last week, calling it a “major operation.”
    Sandweg said ICE operations are “never” publicized ahead of time and signaled Trump may have endangered the operation with his comments.
    “It’s a serious concern there primarily for officer safety reasons … and then also because it’s been pretty well documented that the effectiveness of these operations dissipates dramatically when word is out when they’re going to commence,” he said.
    Refusing to concede the raids failed to live up to his promise, Trump has maintained over the past week that the raids were “very successful” and that “thousands” of violent gang members have been taken out of the country.
    “On Sunday, there was a lot of activity, but you didn’t even see it because it went very smoothly,” Trump told reporters on Tuesday.
    ICE did not respond to requests for comment on whether the operation went through as planned.
    Reps. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) wrote to the acting Homeland Security secretary and acting ICE director this week requesting information on how many people were apprehended between Sunday and Wednesday and how many collateral arrests were made of people who were not original targets of raids.
    “The Administration’s plans to execute large-scale, coordinated enforcement operations and ongoing efforts to publicize inhumane family separations have caused significant anxiety, fear and trauma for American families and discord for citizens and migrants alike,” the lawmakers wrote.
    Gonzales said the effects of the president consistently targeting immigrants are evident in certain communities.
    He described families shutting themselves in their homes and keeping kids from going to school out of fear of an ICE operation. Immigrants who worry about being deported may be reluctant to speak with the police, he said, putting a strain on local law enforcement.
    “When there’s this kind of panic and fear, it’s not just immigrant communities who are being impacted,” he said. “It’s certainly having an impact on all the other facets of these towns and these communities.”

    Jorge-Mario Cabrera, director of communications for the Los Angeles-based Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, added that the threat of mass sweeps will only intensify the emotional toll for many immigrants who feel “unwanted.”
    Cabrera said he has little doubt that ICE will regroup and carry out the operation at a later date and that Trump's rhetoric will continue to incite anti-immigrant feelings among some in the country.
    “I think the dramatic moment that the media and some of us were waiting for did not materialize,” Cabrera said. “But moments where families are separated still take place and will continue to take place … in the next days and weeks and months until this administration is over.”
    "Immigrants on edge over prospect of ICE raids" is misleading header.

    Correct header should be "Illegals are on edge over prospect of ICE raids ".

    PS. People need to be constantly vigilant of liberal switch-and-bait.
     
    Thawra # Furoshima

    Thawra # Furoshima

    Well-Known Member
    "Immigrants on edge over prospect of ICE raids" is misleading header.

    Correct header should be "Illegals are on edge over prospect of ICE raids ".

    PS. People need to be constantly vigilant of liberal switch-and-bait.
    True legal immigrants have nothing to worry
     
    Thawra # Furoshima

    Thawra # Furoshima

    Well-Known Member
    White House hails judge's decision to allow asylum restrictions to continue
    BY CHRIS MILLS RODRIGO186TWEET SHARE MORE




























    The White House on Wednesday praised a federal judge who ruled against blocking the Trump administration's effort to restrict Central American migrants’ ability to apply for asylum in the U.S.
    "Today’s ruling in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia is a victory for Americans concerned about the crisis at our southern border," press secretary Stephanie Grisham wrote in a statement. "The court properly rejected the attempt of a few special interest groups to block a rule that discourages abuse of our asylum system."
    "Tens of thousands of migrants making opportunistic asylum claims have not only exacerbated the crisis at our southern border but also have harmed genuine asylum seekers, who are forced to wait years for relief because our system is clogged with meritless claims."
    U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Kelly of the District of Columbia ruled against an injunction request from Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition and the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services earlier Wednesday.
    The case was the first legal challenge to the rule announced earlier this month by the departments of Justice and Homeland Security that would make asylum-seekers who pass through another country before reaching the U.S. ineligible for asylum.
    There are exceptions in the rule for victims of trafficking. It also allows exceptions for migrants passing through countries that have not signed major international refugee treaties and for migrants who have been denied asylum in the countries they traveled through.
    The rule would primarily effect Central American immigrants crossing through Mexico.
    The two immigrants rights groups promised to continue seeking legal recourse to block the rule despite Kelly's ruling.

    "This new rule is contrary to our laws and we will continue to challenge this attempt to remove asylum eligibly from those who are fleeing violence and persecution around the world,” Claudia Cubas, Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition’s litigation director, said in a statement.
    The American Civil Liberties Union filed a similar challenge to the rule in San Francisco court and is set to deliver arguments Wednesday.
    The Trump administration has aggressively pursued efforts to tighten asylum rules and limit immigration, all of which have been met with legal challenges.
    Load Comments
     
    Thawra # Furoshima

    Thawra # Furoshima

    Well-Known Member
    Historical Decision Crusader Supreme Court allow the wall to be built
    Another promise achieved
    Supreme Court Lets Trump Proceed on Border Wall
    Image
    A section of fencing along the border near El Paso.

    A section of fencing along the border near El Paso.CreditIlana Panich-Linsman for The New York Times
    By Adam Liptak

    • July 26, 2019
    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Friday gave President Trump a victory in his fight for a wall along the Mexican border by allowing the administration to begin using $2.5 billion in Pentagon money for the construction.
    In a 5-to-4 ruling, the court overturned an appellate decision and said that the administration could tap the money while litigation over the matter proceeds. But that will most likely take many months or longer, allowing Mr. Trump to move ahead before the case returns to the Supreme Court after further proceedings in the appeals court.
    While the order was only one paragraph long and unsigned, the Supreme Court said the groups challenging the administration did not appear to have a legal right to do so. That was an indication that the court’s conservative majority was likely to side with the administration in the end.
    The court’s four more liberal justices dissented. One of them, Stephen G. Breyer, wrote that he would have allowed the administration to pursue preparatory work but not construction, which he said would be hard to undo if the administration ultimately lost the case.
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    President Trump promptly posted on Twitterthat he was delighted with the ruling: “Wow! Big VICTORY on the Wall. The United States Supreme Court overturns lower court injunction, allows Southern Border Wall to proceed. Big WIN for Border Security and the Rule of Law!”
    The ruling came on the same day that Mr. Trump signed an agreement with Guatemalathat was intended to slow the flow of Central American migrants seeking refuge in the United States. Migrants who travel north through Guatemala will be required to seek asylum there first.
    The border wall case, Trump v. Sierra Club, No. 19A60, concerned injunctions entered by a trial judge that blocked the transfer of military funds to wall construction. An appeals court refused to stay the trial judge’s ruling while it considered the administration’s appeal. The Supreme Court’s ruling on Friday allows construction to proceed while the litigation continues.
    Dror Ladin, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, one of the groups behind the legal challenge, said the ruling was a temporary setback.
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    “We will be asking the federal appeals court to expedite the ongoing appeals proceeding to halt the irreversible and imminent damage from Trump’s border wall,” Mr. Ladin said. “Border communities, the environment, and our Constitution’s separation of powers will be permanently harmed should Trump get away with pillaging military funds for a xenophobic border wall Congress denied.”
    Justice Breyer was the only member of the court to file an opinion. “This case raises novel and important questions about the ability of private parties to enforce Congress’s appropriations power,” he wrote. But the immediate issue for the court, he added, was merely whether to enter a stay of the trial court’s injunction.
    Allowing construction to start, Justice Breyer wrote, could cause irreparable harm to the challengers and to the environment. On the other hand, he wrote, the administration could lose access to the funds if it did not finalize contracts by the end of September. The solution, he wrote, would be to let the government negotiate and sign contracts, but not start building.
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    “I would grant the government’s application to stay the injunction only to the extent that the injunction prevents the government from finalizing the contracts or taking other preparatory administrative action,” Justice Breyer wrote, “but leave it in place insofar as it precludes the government from disbursing those funds or beginning construction.”
    video

    The border between the U.S. and Mexico has long been marked by barriers. But they weren’t always about deterring immigration. Here’s how the modern border came to be, starting with the year 1848.IMAGE BY JOHN MOORE/GETTY IMAGES
    In February, President Trump declared a national emergency along the Mexican border. The declaration followed a two-month impasse with Congress over funding to build his long-promised barrier wall, an impasse that gave rise to the longest partial government shutdown in the nation’s history.
    After Congress appropriated only a fraction of what Mr. Trump had sought, he announced that he would act unilaterally to spend billions more.
    Soon after, two advocacy groups represented by the A.C.L.U. — the Sierra Club and Southern Border Communities Coalition — sued to stop Mr. Trump’s plan to use money meant for military programs to build barriers along the border in what he said was an effort to combat drug trafficking.
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    Judge Haywood S. Gilliam Jr., of the United States District Court in Oakland, Calif., blocked the effort in a pair of decisions that said the statute the administration had relied on to justify the transfer did not authorize it.
    “The case is not about whether the challenged border barrier construction plan is wise or unwise. It is not about whether the plan is the right or wrong policy response to existing conditions at the southern border of the United States,” Judge Gilliam wrote. “Instead, this case presents strict legal questions regarding whether the proposed plan for funding border barrier construction exceeds the executive branch’s lawful authority.”
    A divided three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, refused to stay Judge Gilliam’s injunction while the court considered the government’s appeal.
    The public interest, the majority said, “is best served by respecting the Constitution’s assignment of the power of the purse to Congress, and by deferring to Congress’s understanding of the public interest as reflected in its repeated denial of more funding for border barrier construction.”
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    In urging the Supreme Court to intercede, Noel J. Francisco, the solicitor general, wrote that the plaintiffs’ “interests in hiking, bird watching and fishing in designated drug-smuggling corridors do not outweigh the harm to the public from halting the government’s efforts to construct barriers to stanch the flow of illegal narcotics across the southern border.”
    Mr. Francisco argued that the lower courts had misread two provisions of a federal law in concluding that the transfer was not authorized. The law allows reallocation of money to address “unforeseen military requirements” where the expenditures had not already been “denied by Congress.” Mr. Francisco wrote that the drug enforcement measures were unforeseen when the Defense Department made its budget request and that Congress had never addressed the particular narcotics measures.
    In response, the A.C.L.U. said that the central issue in the case was straightforward. The administration, the group wrote, “lacks authority to spend taxpayer funds on a wall that Congress considered and denied.”
    “This was a deliberate decision by Congress,” the A.C.L.U.’s brief said. “Less than six months ago, this country endured the longest government shutdown in its history due to Congress’s refusal to appropriate funds for the wall construction at issue here.” That meant, the brief said, that the construction was, in the words of the federal law, “denied by Congress.”
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    In a separate case, the House also challenged the administration’s actions.
    In June, Judge Trevor N. McFadden of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the House could not showthat it had suffered the sort of injury that gave it standing to sue. Courts, he wrote, should generally resolve disputes between the other two branches as only a last resort.
    Here, he wrote, “Congress has several political arrows in its quiver to counter perceived threats to its sphere of power,” including legislation “to expressly restrict the transfer or spending of funds for a border wall.”
    In a Supreme Court brief supporting the opponents of the border wall, lawyers for the House said the cases posed a fundamental question. “Under our constitutional scheme,” they wrote, “an immense wall along our border simply cannot be constructed without funds appropriated by Congress for that purpose.”
    Michael D. Shear contributed reporting.
    Follow Adam Liptak on Twitter: @adamliptak.
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    Thawra # Furoshima

    Thawra # Furoshima

    Well-Known Member
    Not only the wall
    Crusader Fortress for illegals smugs but also reducing by half legal immigrants
    The Crusader in Chief
    With his new immigration policy, Trump has found an official way to 'send them back'
    Cuccinelli said that this policy would affect roughly 400,000 people a year, whose applications for a green card or permanent citizenship will now include a “meaningful analysis of whether they are likely to become a public charge.” Immigration advocates say the real impact could be much larger, with the policy easily being used in a broader way that could have ramifications for millions of current or future immigrants.
    Go Crusaders Go
     
    Thawra # Furoshima

    Thawra # Furoshima

    Well-Known Member
    August 23, 2019 - 03:17 PM EDTFederal report: Arrests of non-US citizens have tripled in past 20 years
    Federal report: Arrests of non-US citizens have tripled in past 20 years
    BY RAFAEL BERNAL 0TWEET SHARE MORE
    A new federal report shows that arrests of non-U.S. citizens have more than tripled over the last two decades, mostly driven by increases in immigration enforcement.
    The report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) shows that 64 percent of all federal arrests last year were of non-U.S. citizens, up from 37 percent in 1998.

    Federal arrests of foreign nationals more than tripled in that period, up 234 percent, while arrests of U.S. citizens were up 10 percent.
    But the report's findings show those increases are attributable mostly to enhanced immigration enforcement in the later years of President George W. Bush's administration, throughout the Obama administration and in 2018 under President Trump.
    Among its key findings, the report reads, "in 2018, 85% of federal arrests of non-U.S. citizens were for immigration offenses, and another 5% of arrests were immigration-related."
    "The Trump administration is determined to enforce immigration laws more thoroughly, which means more prosecutions and arrests of non-citizens for committing immigration offenses," said Alex Nowrasteh, an immigration researcher at the Cato Institute.
    "These numbers reflect administrative choices to allocate law enforcement and prosecutorial resources more than a surge in lawbreaking behavior," Nowrasteh added.
    The BJS report shows federal immigration arrests – regardless of nationality – have skyrocketed in the past 20 years, from 20,942 in 1998 to 108,667 last year.
    Federal arrests for non-immigration offenses have remained relatively stable, with 87,086 arrests in 2018, compared to 82,863 in 1998 and a high of 98,505 in 2005.
    Federal immigration arrests remained under 30,000 per year from 1998 to 2003, then grew consistently every year, from 39,135 in 2004 to 78,033 four years later.
    That growth coincides with Bush's second term, the ultimately-failed push for bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform, and passage of the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which allowed for construction of barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as increased funding for immigration enforcement.
    The growth in arrests up to 2007 also parallels the years in which the undocumented population grew, mostly driven by emigration from Mexico.
    The number of undocumented immigrants in the United States peaked at 12.2 million in 2007, and by 2016 had decreased to about 10.7 million, according to the Pew Research Center.
    Immigration arrests throughout President Obama's administration remained high but stable, with a spike to 96,374 in 2013 and a dip to 71,119 in 2015 and 68,315 in 2016.
    In 2017, Trump's first year in office, undocumented immigration fell sharply, resulting in only 58,031 federal immigration arrests, but arrests ballooned in 2018 to 108,667 as his administration ratcheted up plans to tackle illegal migration.
    According to the BJS report, that number was significantly affected by the proportion of Border Patrol detentions that resulted in federal arrests.
    "There were 21 federal criminal immigration arrests per 100 apprehensions by the U.S. border patrol in the southwest border patrol sectors in 2018, up from 12 per 100 in 2017," read the report's findings.
    And the Trump administration's zero-tolerance policy, which mandated prosecution of first-time illegal entry, played a role in those ballooning numbers.
    While the number of suspects in federal immigration cases for illegal re-entry, misuse of visas and alien smuggling stayed relatively stable between the final years of the Obama administration and the first two of the Trump administration, first-time illegal entry cases soared.
    In 2018, 61,581 people were suspects of first-time illegal entry, compared to 27,657 in 2017 and 35,546 in 2016.
    The Obama administration, which also prioritized immigration enforcement, identified 51,378 such suspects in 2013, its peak year.
    The Department of Justice (DOJ) touted the report in a press release this week from the Office of Justice Programs, focusing on the growth in federal arrests of foreign nationals.
    "While non-U.S. citizens make up 7% of the U.S. population (per the U.S. Census Bureau for 2017), they accounted for 15% of all federal arrests and 15% of prosecutions in U.S. district court for non-immigration crimes in 2018. Non-U.S. citizens accounted for 24% of all federal drug arrests and 25% of all federal property arrests, including 28% of all federal fraud arrests," the DOJ said in a statement.
    Nowrasteh pushed back at the data highlighted in the announcement.
    "It’s a press release with the most dramatic statistics displayed without context, nuance, or explanation – not a serious data analysis. The federal government enforces immigration laws so it makes sense that most arrests are of non-citizens," said Nowrasteh.
    The Trump administration has pushed forward several initiatives to combat immigrant crime, although statistics show immigrants – both documented and undocumented – are less likely to commit crime than the general population.
    In an analysis of American Community Survey information, Nowrasteh found that undocumented immigrants are about half as likely to be incarcerated than the general population, and documented immigrants about half as likely to be incarcerated as undocumented immigrants.

    The BJS report shows that foreign nationals accounted for 105,748 of the 108,667 federal immigration-related arrests in 2018, but only for 19,279 of the 87,086 non-immigration related arrests.
    "Historically, non-citizens began to make up a majority of arrests for crimes when the government decided to enforce the handful of immigration crimes against as many illegal immigrants as possible during the last years of the Bush administration," said Nowrasteh.
    "It’s worth noting that it is virtually impossible for U.S. citizens to actually commit most of those crimes," he added.
    The Crusader in Chief
    110,000 illegal immigrants arrests yearly against 68,000 for Hussein
     
    Thawra # Furoshima

    Thawra # Furoshima

    Well-Known Member
    September 03, 2019 - 05:38 PM EDTTrump moving forward to divert $3.6B from military projects for border wall
    BY JORDAIN CARNEY2,295TWEET SHARE MORE






























    The Trump administration is moving forward with its plan to divert $3.6 billion from military construction projects, notifying congressional leaders and lawmakers whose states will be impacted by the shuffle.

    Defense Secretary Mark Esper called congressional leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer(D-N.Y.), on Tuesday to detail the decision to reprogram the money away from military construction projects and to the border.

    Schumer, who has projects in his home state that will be impacted, panned the decision as a "slap in the face" to members of the military.

    Defense Secretary Mark Esper called congressional leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), on Tuesday to inform them of the decision to reprogram the money away from military construction projects and to the border.

    Schumer panned the decision as a "slap in the face" to members of the military.

    "The president is trying to usurp Congress’s exclusive power of the purse and loot vital funds from our military. Robbing the Defense Department of much- needed funds is an affront to our service members and Congress will strongly oppose any funds for new wall construction," he added.

    Pelosi told House Democrats on a caucus-wide conference call on Tuesday that Esper also informed her of the move earlier in the day, according to a call participant.

    “Canceling military construction projects at home and abroad will undermine our national security and the quality of life and morale of our troops, making America less secure," Pelosi said later in a public statement.

    “The House will continue to fight this unacceptable and deeply dangerous decision in the Courts, in the Congress and in the court of public opinion, and honor our oath to protect the Constitution," she added.

    Pentagon officials on Tuesday also confirmed that Esper approved $3.6 billion in Defense Department dollars to build 175 miles of wall on U.S.- Mexico border, with Congress being briefed on the construction projects that will be affected by the order.

    The notification to congressional leadership comes after Trump declared a national emergency earlier this year to access more money for the border wall after Congress passed a funding bill that included only $1.35 billion for the border.

    Republicans bristled over Trump's decision to declare the national emergency to get wall funding but Congress was unable to override Trump's veto of a resolution to nix the declaration. Democrats have pledged to force another vote this fall.

    As part of the declaration, Trump announced that he would reshuffle $3.6 billion from military construction projects. Republicans are promising to "back fill" the money in the upcoming government funding bills though that requires cooperation from Democrats.

    In the meantime, roughly 127 military construction projects are being put on hold, half of which are overseas and half are planned U.S. projects, according to the Pentagon.

    Pentagon Comptroller Elaine McCusker, who also spoke to reporters, said construction is expected to begin in about 135 days.

    Officials also said that the additional miles of wall to be built are expected to diminish the number of U.S. troops deployed to the border, but could not give an estimate as to how many.

    Democrats immediately balked at the Pentagon's decision to formally move forward with the reprogramming.

    Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, knocked the administration on Tuesday saying there was "no credible reason" for diverting the funding.

    “There should be broad, bipartisan opposition to misusing defense dollars in this manner in both Congress and the courts," he added.

    “The President is robbing the men and women of our armed services of funds meant for critical construction projects that are necessary to serve our troops, support our allies, deter our adversaries, and care for our military families — all to build a wall that will do nothing to solve the humanitarian crisis at our Southwest border or protect the American people," Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), **** Durbin (D-Ill.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) said in a joint statement.

    Leahy is the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee, while Durbin is the top Democrat on the Defense subcommittee and Schatz the top Democrat on the military construction subcommittee.

    Schatz added in a subsequent tweet that "every service member, family member, and veteran should look at the list of projects he is de-funding and know that Trump thinks a wall is more important."

    Democrats on the Senate Appropriations Committee sent Esper a letter on Tuesday requesting more information on the impacted projects, including how they were selected.

    "We ... expect a full justification of how the decision to cancel was made for each project selected and why a border wall is more important to our national security and the wellbeing of our service members and their families than these projects," 10 Democrats on the panel wrote in their letter.
     
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    Democrats walk tightrope in fight over Trump wall funds
    BY NIV ELIS AND CRISTINA MARCOS150TWEET SHARE MORE






























    Democrats face politically fraught options in opposing President Trump’s move to divert $3.6 billion in military funds to build 175 miles of his border wall.
    The legislative responses available to Democrats are few, given that the courts have largely ruled in the administration’s favor when it comes to emergency powers and the transfer of Pentagon funds. Pressing the issue runs the risk of derailing government funding legislation that Congress needs to pass by Oct. 1 to avert another shutdown.
    While Democrats have vowed not to backfill accounts for the 127 military construction projects being tapped by the Pentagon for wall construction, standing firm could allow Trump to blame them for reduced funding for military projects.
    And Democrats know that trying to add stringent language about the wall to any funding bills this month could increase the odds of another shutdown.
    They’re wary of risking a shutdown over what’s likely to be a short-term stopgap measure and would rather address the issue as part of a wider funding debate later this year.
    “The goal of keeping the government open would outweigh a provision the White House would never agree to,” said a Democratic aide.
    But Democrats have pushed back by ruling out a request by the Office of Management and Budget to free up border wall funds as part of any forthcoming stopgap.
    That prompted a swift rebuke from the White House on Wednesday.
    “After more than a year of denying there was a crisis at the border, Democrats have now decided it’s good politics to refuse critical resources for the same crisis they now admit is real,” said a senior administration official. “It’s time Congressional Democrats end the gimmicks, and do what’s right to end this crisis and protect the American border.”
    The back-and-forth on Wednesday came a day after Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced the funding policy in a letter to congressional leaders.
    “The funds being made available are associated only with deferred military construction projects that are not scheduled for award until fiscal year 2020 or later and do not include any family housing, barracks, or dormitory projects,” Esper wrote in a letter announcing the policy.
    That did little to mollify Democrats, who also rejected Esper’s characterization that the reprogramming was nothing more than a delay of project funding.
    Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), who chairs the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies, made clear on Tuesday that she would not support backfilling the funds being diverted for the wall.
    “I reminded his Administration today that I will not support this theft from our military and that down the road, the House of Representatives will not backfill any projects he steals from today,” she said.
    But that position could prove tricky for Democrats since it would let Republicans argue that Democrats are willing to hold military projects hostage due to their opposition to the wall.
    “We need to secure our border and protect our military; we can and should do both,” said Sen. Martha McSally(R-Ariz.), who is up for reelection next year.
    McSally noted that the Senate passed its version of an annual defense policy bill that backfills money the White House diverted toward building a border wall.
    The House and Senate are still working to iron out differences between their respective annual defense policy bills, known as the National Defense Authorization Act, before the law expires at the end of the year.
    The House-passed version includes a provision that would prevent the Trump administration from using Pentagon funds for a border wall, while the Senate bill goes in the other direction and calls for meeting the Trump administration’s request to backfill the $3.6 billion for military construction projects.
    But before Congress gets around to making final spending decisions for fiscal 2020, it will have to pass a stopgap measure by Oct. 1 to avert a shutdown. That deadline could also become a flashpoint.
    A showdown over the wall in December prevented a similar stopgap measure from going through, resulting in a record 35-day partial government shutdown.
    Another possible line of attack for Democrats could be a renewed attempt to overturn Trump’s emergency declaration, a move that would force a Senate vote and require Republicans in both chambers to go again on the record on the Trump administration bypassing Congress.
    Trump in March vetoed Congress’s attempt to nix his declaration. But Democrats can force another vote every six months, and that could create a dilemma for GOP lawmakers whose states or districts stand to lose out on military construction projects under the diversion of funds.
    "Congress has been ceding far too much powers to the executive branch for decades and it is far past time for Congress to restore the proper balance of power between the three branches,” said Sen. Mike Lee (R), who along with fellow Utah Sen. Mitt Romney (R) raised concerns about $54 million worth of military construction projects in their state affected by the declaration.
    Democrats also say they will rely on legal challenges to block the funds, arguing that Trump’s move usurps Congress’s power of the purse enshrined in the Constitution. But a lawsuit filed by House Democrats earlier this year was dismissed by a federal judge in Washington, who ruled in June that they lacked standing to bring the challenge.

    That’s not stopping other entities from turning to the courts, even though previous challenges have fallen short. In July, the Supreme Court ruled that Trump could use $2.5 billion in military funds for the wall while litigation played out.
    But on Tuesday, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said it would seek a court order to stop the Pentagon’s transfer of funds.
    “The fact that the government sat on these so-called ‘emergency funds’ for seven months further confirms that this is nothing but an unlawful power grab,” said Dror Ladin, staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project. “We’ll be back in court very soon to block Trump’s latest effort to raid military funds for his xenophobic wall."
     
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    y 26, 2019 - 06:32 PM EDTSupreme Court rules Trump can use military funds for border wall construction
    BY JACQUELINE THOMSEN 58,302TWEET SHARE MORE






























    The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that the Trump administration can start using military funds to construct a wall on the southern border, handing the president a major legal victory.

    The ruling allows the administration to use $2.5 billion in military funds to begin construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border while litigation plays out. A lower court had issued an injunction blocking officials from using those funds.

    The Supreme Court's four liberal justices each at least partially dissented on the rulingFriday.

    In an unsigned order, justices said they ruled in favor of the administration partly because “the Government has made a sufficient showing at this stage that the plaintiffs have no cause of action to obtain review” of the administration’s compliance with the federal statute invoked to divert the military funds.

    President Trump hailed the news in a tweet, calling it "a Big WIN for Border Security and the Rule of Law!"
    Democrats blasted the move Friday night, with Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (D-Calif.) calling it "a deeply regrettable and nonsensical decision."

    Schumer argued the ruling "flies in the face of the will of Congress and the Congress’s exclusive power of the purse, which our founders established in the Constitution."

    “It’s a sad day when the president is cheering a decision that may allow him to steal funds from our military to pay for an ineffective and expensive wall for which he promised Mexico would foot the bill," Schumer added in a statement.

    The ACLU, one of the groups that challenged the border wall funding, vowed to continue to fight the administration’s efforts.

    Dror Ladin, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project, said in a statement that the groups will ask to expedite the appeals process.

    “Border communities, the environment, and our Constitution’s separation of powers will be permanently harmed should Trump get away with pillaging military funds for a xenophobic border wall Congress denied,” Ladin said.

    The administration had asked the justices earlier this month to temporarily pause lower court rulings that blocked officials from tapping some of the diverted Pentagon dollars for border wall construction.

    Solicitor General Noel Francisco argued that the needs of the administration outweighed those of groups like the ACLU and Sierra Club who are challenging the use of the Defense Department funds for the wall. And he said that if the funds remain frozen until the end of the fiscal year, authorities may not be able to use them at all.

    U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam in California, an Obama appointee, issued a permanent injunction blocking officials from utilizing $2.5 billion of the roughly $6 billion in diverted military dollars, siding with the groups' arguments that building the wall would cause "irreparable harm" to their interests at the border.

    And the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 ruling earlier this month, declined to temporarily halt that injunction, finding that “the use of those funds violates the constitutional requirement that the Executive Branch not spend money absent an appropriation from Congress."

    Trump declared a national emergency earlier this year to reallocate the military funds for the border wall. That move followed a record 35 day-long partial government shutdown, as lawmakers from both parties refused to give Trump his requested amount of funds for border security.
    House Democrats also attempted to sue to stop the diversion of the Pentagon dollars for a wall, claiming that only lawmakers can allocate federal funding under the Constitution.
    But U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden in D.C., a Trump appointee, found that the lawmakers did not have the standing to bring forward the suit. That ruling is currently being appealed.
    Historical decision
     
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    September 25, 2019 - 01:01 PM EDT
    Senate again votes to end Trump emergency declaration on border wall

    Senate again votes to end Trump emergency declaration on border wall
    BY JORDAIN CARNEY 1
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    The Senate again voted on Wednesday to end President Trump’s emergency declaration on the U.S.-Mexico border wall, paving the way for a veto showdown with the White House.

    Senators voted 54-41 on a resolution to end the declaration, which Trump used to shift billions of dollars from the military toward wall construction.

    Under the National Emergencies Act, a resolution ending the declaration needed only a simple majority to clear the Senate, making it likely to be approved. But underscoring the broad swath of concern about Trump’s actions among the Senate GOP caucus, 11 Republican senators voted to nix the declaration.

    GOP Sens. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Roy Blunt (Mo.), Susan Collins (Maine), Mike Lee (Utah), Jerry Moran (Kansas), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Rand Paul (Ky.), Rob Portman (Ohio), Mitt Romney (Utah), Pat Toomey (Pa.) and Roger Wicker (Miss.) voted to end he president's declaration.

    The vote marks another setback from Trump in the midst of a chaotic week on Capitol Hill. The White House is locked in a burgeoning impeachment battle with Democrats and lawmakers still need to fund the government before Monday to prevent the second shutdown of the year.
    Democrats have seized on the administration’s decision to shift money away from military construction projects as a way to politically box in Republicans by forcing them to decide between breaking with Trump or voting to allow money to be shifted away from projects in their own states.

    “The vote today is the surest and likely the only way to restore funding the president has stolen from our troops and military projects across the country,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said ahead of the vote.

    He added that if Republicans voted to uphold Trump’s use of his emergency powers they would be setting "a dangerous precedent that could embolden not just this president but future presidents to ignore congressional authority.”

    Trump’s decision to leapfrog Congress and declare a national emergency came after lawmakers passed a government funding bill that included $1.375 billion for border barriers.

    But the decision has become a perennial headache for the GOP. Under the National Emergencies Act, Democrats can force a vote on ending Trump’s emergency declaration every six months. The Senate previously voted to end it in February, with 12 Republicans voting with Democrats, but the House was unable to override a veto.

    “It’s a vote the Democrats can insist on. I’m pretty sure there’s no Republican insisting on taking that vote again,” said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), a member of GOP leadership, referring to the second vote.

    Under a list circulated by the Pentagon, officials are shifting money away from military construction projects in 14 states that have Republican senators to go instead toward the border wall.

    Some of those states will be at the heart of the 2020 battle for control of the Senate, including Arizona, Colorado and North Carolina, where GOP Sens. Martha McSally (Ariz.), Cory Gardner (Colo.) and Thom Tillis (N.C.) are on the ballot.

    Democrats also trolled Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday, holding a press conference with a former educator from Fort Campbell Middle School in Kentucky, which lost $62 million under the emergency declaration.

    McConnell knocked Democrats on Wednesday, arguing they were forcing them to hold a repeat vote even though they knew the outcome—that Congress won’t be able to override a veto.

    “Still unwilling to work with the president and Republicans on a long-term bipartisan solution for border security, Senate Democrats are making us repeat the same show vote again. I would urge my colleagues to vote for border security and vote against Democrats’ resolution,” he said.

    Republicans who support ending the emergency declaration argue that their decision isn’t about Trump personally but about broader concerns on upholding the separation of powers.

    “Let me be clear: The question before us is not whether to support or oppose the wall, or to support or oppose the President. Rather, it is: Do we want the Executive Branch—now or in the future—to hold a power that the Founders deliberately entrusted to Congress?” GOP Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), a co-sponsor of the resolution, asked earlier this month.

    But Republicans would also likely have sparked fierce backlash from their party’s base if they broke with Trump on the wall, an issue that fires up the president’s core group of supporters.

    They are hoping to backfill the $3.6 billion being diverted to the border as part of the fiscal 2020 funding bills.

    Democrats, however, have pledged to block any effort to replace the money. The Senate has also struggled to get its funding bills off the ground. The military construction and Veterans Affairs bill, which would include the backfilled funds, hasn’t yet been brought up in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

    Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who is up for reelection, said he would vote to uphold the emergency declaration even though it is resulting in military projects in his state losing money.

    “Same way I voted last time. How would I square voting differently?” Cornyn asked.

    When a reporter noted his state was losing money according to the Pentagon list, he added: “that’s way too parochial.”

    Spokespeople for McSally and Tillis also confirmed ahead of the vote that they would also support the emergency declaration.

    “Senator Tillis will once again be supporting President Trump’s emergency declaration because Democrats refuse to provide the president with the tools and resources he needs to address the crisis at our southern border and keep America safe,” said a spokesperson for Tillis.

    Democrats urged additional Republicans to support the resolution, but were also realistic about their chances of picking up more GOP votes. Critically for Trump, Republicans were able to keep the vote total below 67, the amount needed to override a veto.

    “I do remember what happened with one senator who actually put out a column … saying he was going to vote against this extension of presidential power, 48 hours later he reversed himself,” Durbin said, referring to Tillis. “I don’t know what pressure these Republican senators face … in questioning the president.”
     
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