Mollie Reilly reports for HuffPost:

“The American Civil Liberties Union announced Friday it is suing President Donald Trump’s administration over its new travel ban.
The group is bringing its challenge in the U.S. District Court in Maryland. Multiple organizations, including the National Immigration Law Center, are joining the complaint.
“President Trump’s newest travel ban is still a Muslim ban at its core, and it certainly engages in discrimination based on national origin, which is unlawful,” ACLU executive director Anthony D. Romero said in a statement. “Adding a few North Koreans and a tiny group of Venezuelan officials doesn’t paper over the original sin of the Muslim ban. We’ll see President Trump in court — again.”
The latest iteration of the ban, announced earlier this week, is set to place new restrictions on travel to the U.S. from eight countries starting on Oct. 18. The updated ban removed earlier restrictions on Sudan, while adding North Korea, Venezuela and Chad to the list. Restrictions remain in place for Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia.
It’s Trump’s third attempt to restrict travel from a small group of countries.
The ACLU and other groups have decried the new version of the ban as just as xenophobic as its earlier versions, which faced legal challenges as to whether the policies unconstitutionally discriminated against Muslims.
“This is still a Muslim ban ― they simply added three additional countries,” said Becca Heller of the International Refugee Assistance Project earlier this week. “Of those countries, Chad is majority Muslim, travel from North Korea is already basically frozen and the restrictions on Venezuela only affect government officials on certain visas. You can’t get any more transparent than that.”


Although the Trumpsters have shored up Travel Ban 3.0 with some specifics, it’s still stupid and unnecessary. Whether that makes it illegal, however, is a more difficult question.



SWAMP NEWS: “FREQUENT LIARS CLUB” — Treasury Secretary Steven “Munchkin” Mnuchin Claimed He Needed USG Jet For Honeymoon For “National Security Reasons” — Flunks “Straight Face Test!”

Mollie Reilly reports for HuffPost:

“Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has defended asking to use a government plane for his honeymoon travel this summer, claiming his request was “purely a national security issue.”

As ABC News reported Wednesday, the former Goldman Sachs banker requested the use of a U.S. Air Force jet during his honeymoon travel in France, Italy and Scotland. (Mnuchin married the Scottish actress Louise Linton in June.) According to the report, using such an aircraft could have cost taxpayers as much as $25,000 per day.

In an interview with Politico Live on Thursday, Mnuchin said his staff made the request so he could have “access to secure communication” throughout his trip.

“This had nothing to do with convenience,” he said. “This was purely a national security issue.”

Mnuchin said that due to spending “over 50 percent” of his time working on national security, he needed a secure communication facility to continue to conduct business while on his honeymoon.

“I speak to, almost on a daily basis, either the president, the secretary of state, the national security adviser, [Defense Secretary] General [James] Mattis,” he said. “We are dealing with, as you know, some of the most complicated issues right now, whether it be North Korea, Iran, Venezuela or anywhere else.”

“At the time my staff wanted to make sure I constantly had access to secure communication and secure information,” he continued. “This was one of the things we explored, so they put in a request to consider the use of an aircraft ― not so much just for flying, but effectively it was a portable office so that I could be available.”

A Treasury spokesperson gave a similar explanation on Wednesday.

Mnuchin said his staff withdrew the request after finding another way to give him access to secure communication channels.”


Read the rest of Mollie’s entertaining “Swamp Report” at the link.

Wow! I guess that The Munchkin’s marriage to famously culturally tone deaf actress Louise (“Let ’em eat Gucci”) Linton wasn’t going to keep him occupied for much of their honeymoon. I suppose he worked while she bought out the high-end clothes shops! I can only imagine what The Munchkin’s contributions to the national security strategies for North Korea or Iran might be!




Mollie Reilly reports in HuffPost:

“SAN FRANCISCO ― California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) announced Monday he is suing President Donald Trump’s administration to block it from ending protections against deportation for hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants.

Attorneys general in Maine, Maryland and Minnesota are joining the suit.

Becerra’s announcement came one week after the Trump administration rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and left the issue for Congress to resolve legislatively in the next six months, when work permits and deportation protections will begin to lapse for many of its recipients. Implemented by President Barack Obama in 2012, DACA protects from deportation roughly 800,000 “Dreamers” who came to the U.S. as children and allows them to work legally. More than 200,000 Dreamers live in California.

In the lawsuit, Becerra argues that rescinding DACA violates the Fifth Amendment’s due process clause due to concern that the administration will use the personal information Dreamers provided to apply for the program to find and deport them or their family members.

He also argues that using that information would violate the legal principle of equitable estoppel, which essentially protects against a “bait and switch,” in this case giving Dreamers reason to believe their personal information wouldn’t be used against them and then doing so anyway.

The lawsuit also contends the administration violated two federal laws ― the Administrative Procedure Act and the Regulatory Flexibility Act ― by rescinding the program without giving the public proper notice nor soliciting public comment on changes to it. Becerra also argues that the Justice Department’s action violates those statutes because the department failed to adequately assess the effect rescinding DACA will have on businesses and municipalities.

“The reckless choice to rescind DACA violated the Constitution as well as federal laws that help ensure our government treats everyone fairly and transparently,” Becerra said at a press conference Monday morning.”


Read the complete article at the link.

All it takes is for one of these cases to succeed. And, California, in the 9th Circuit, seems a promising venue for the State.









Mollie Reilly reports for HuffPost:

“Hawaii has filed a challenge to the State Department’s implementation of President Donald Trump’s travel ban, disputing the administration’s guidelines for what relationships to the U.S. are necessary to continue travel to the country.

Hawaii is challenging guidance issued by the State Department on Wednesday that says travelers from the six banned countries must have formal ties or close family relationships with someone or an entity within the U.S. Having familial ties “does not include grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, fiancés, and any other ‘extended’ family members,” the guidance said. (The State Department later said fiancés would, in fact, count as close family.)

In its motion, Hawaii asked a federal judge to clarify that the Trump administration can’t enforce those bans.

“The state of Hawaii is entitled to the enforcement of the injunction that it has successfully defended, in large part, up to the Supreme Court — one that protects the State’s residents and their loved ones from an illegal and unconstitutional Executive Order,” reads the state’s motion.

“In Hawaii, ‘close family’ includes many of the people that the federal government decided on its own to exclude from that definition,” said Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin. “Unfortunately, this severely limited definition may be in violation of the Supreme Court ruling.”

Trump signed the executive order, which seeks to ban travel to the U.S. for most nationals of six Muslim-majority countries for 90 days and suspend refugee resettlement for 120 days, in March.

The travel ban went into effect Thursday, three days after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to partially reinstate a watered-down version of it before the court hears arguments on its constitutionality in October.

In its ruling, the Supreme Court specified that the ban could be implemented with the exception of individuals who have “a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United State.” The court, however, did not specify what qualifies as a “bona fide” relationship, thus leaving the matter up to State Department interpretation.

In March, Hawaii became the first state to sue to block Trump’s second attempt at a travel ban, which included citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, all majority-Muslim countries. In its suit, the state said its universities would be hurt by the ban because they would struggle to recruit faculty and students. It also argued that the ban would have a detrimental effect on tourism, critical to the state’s economy.”


Stay tuned for the results!




Sanctuary Wars: The Republic, And Its Cities, Strike Back!

Immigration beat reporter Beth Fertig of WNYC/NPR reports:

“There is no single definition of a sanctuary city, and policies vary tremendously across the country. But in New York City, immigration agents are not allowed in the jails. When immigrants without legal status are arrested, they can only be detained or turned over to federal agents for deportation if there’s a warrant and they’ve been convicted of a violent crime. A 2014 local law spells out nearly 170 different offenses that meet that definition. They include various forms of assault, arson and sex crimes.

Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito said these limits make sense.

“If you’re committing a nonviolent offense but you’re otherwise contributing positively to the city, why should you be torn apart from your family?”

Police Commissioner James O’Neill and Mayor Bill de Blasio joined the argument Wednesday, saying that immigrants will be less likely to cooperate with law enforcement if they’re afraid of deportation. “We build trust,” said O’Neill. “I wouldn’t want to do anything to put that at risk.”

Trump’s order changes enforcement priorities, too. In addition to aliens convicted of criminal offenses, the Department of Homeland security will also prioritize those who have been “charged with any criminal offense, where such charge has not been resolved.”

Avideh Moussavian, a policy attorney with the National Immigration Law Center, warned that this policy could lead to “gross infractions of due process protections.”

She said people could become enforcement priorities if “they have been merely charged with an offense, even if their charge is pending and turns out later to be dismissed.”

From a practical standpoint, it would be very difficult to deport more immigrants. The nation’s immigration courts have a tremendous backlog of cases. Judges who handle immigration cases estimate there are 75 vacancies among their ranks, and Trump has imposed a federal hiring freeze. However, the executive order means that the freeze on judges could be lifted in the name of national security.”

Read Beth’s complete article, including comments from Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute  in favor of the President’s crackdown at:

Mollie Reilly, Deputy Politics Editor, and her colleagues write on HuffPost:

“Independent of the ultimate legality of the executive order, politicians from those sanctuary cities say they aren’t budging, and legal advocacy groups are gearing up for the coming legal fight.
The president is “in for one hell of a fight,” California state Sen. Scott Weiner (D), who represents San Francisco, said in a statement.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh (D) said his city “will not retreat one inch” from its policy against holding undocumented immigrants it otherwise would not hold based on requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said his city “will not be intimidated by the authoritarian message coming from this administration.” San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee (D) said “nothing has changed” in his city, noting the lack of specifics in Trump’s order.
“We are going to fight this, and cities and states around the country are going to fight this,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) said at a press conference Wednesday.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) already began hinting at a legal challenge, releasing a statement that Trump lacks the constitutional authority for his executive order and that he will do “everything in [his] power” to push back if the president does not rescind it.
Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D) also warned of potential legal challenges to come, saying in a statement that the order “raises significant legal issues that my office will be investigating closely to protect the constitutional and human rights of the people of our state.”
There’s no exact definition of “sanctuary city.” Places like San Francisco and New York use the term broadly to refer to their immigrant-friendly policies, but more generally the term is applied to cities and counties that do not reflexively honor all of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s requests for cooperation. Many of these localities do work with ICE to detain and hand over immigrants suspected or convicted of serious crimes, but they often release low-priority immigrants requested by ICE if they have no other reason to hold them.
“The reason that many local law enforcement officers don’t honor detainers is because courts have said that they violate the Constitution, and if they violate the Constitution, the localities are on the hook financially,” said Cesar Cuauhtemoc Garcia Hernandez, a law professor at the University of Denver who teaches on the intersection of criminal law and immigration.
Just on Tuesday, a federal court in Rhode Island joined several others that have ruled in recent years that certain ICE detainers can violate people’s constitutional rights ― even those of U.S. citizens.
But Trump’s executive order seems to overlook this legal reality, and instead frames sanctuary cities with the alarmist rhetoric he used on the campaign trail.”

Read Mollie & co.’s complete report here: