Trump Speeds Up Plans To Force Foreign Students, Others Out Of U.S.

Faced with the prospect of losing the power to make immigration policy after the November 2020 presidential election, Trump administration officials are speeding up efforts to force foreign nationals to leave the United States, including a new policy that could push out many international students. The latest policy should be seen in the context of the June 22, 2020, presidential proclamation that blocked the entry of foreign-born professionals and encouraged them to depart the country by preventing the entry of many family members. The proclamation also included a plan, if implemented, that could drive many long-time H-1B visa holders out of America.

“The Trump administration seems to be doing everything it can to stop all immigration to the United States,” said Stephen Yale-Loehr, a Cornell Law School professor and an advisor to the National Foundation for American Policy, in an interview. “Families are separated and employers can’t bring in needed workers. These latest actions are hurting, not helping, our economy.”

On July 6, 2020, the Trump administration announced that international students at U.S. universities “operating entirely online may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States,” according to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). “The U.S. Department of State will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools and/or programs that are fully online for the fall semester nor will U.S. Customs and Border Protection permit these students to enter the United States. Active students currently in the United States enrolled in such programs must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status. If not, they may face immigration consequences including, but not limited to, the initiation of removal proceedings.” (Emphasis in original.)

The announcement sent shockwaves through U.S. universities, many of which decided for health and safety reasons to offer classes exclusively online in the fall. Public universities facing state budget crises already expected to be harmed financially by the near absence of new international students, who often pay full tuition. Administration policies that may drive out existing international students as well will be a further financial blow and are likely to crush the dreams of many students, note analysts.

“By not allowing continuing international students who are studying at institutions that make the decision to continue with online classes, rather than moving to in-person or hybrid models, SEVP has made it more difficult for both these students and institutions. This is very unfortunate,” said Miriam Feldblum, executive director of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, in an interview. She recommends the administration, at minimum, to continue the current flexibility from the spring on allowing all online classes, which was extended into the summer. Feldblum would also like to see online fall semester enrollment count towards eligibility to participate in Curricular Practical Training (CPT).

The Department of Homeland Security plans to publish a new regulation on the policy as a temporary final rule, allowing it to take effect immediately, though it is expected to be challenged in court. “The policy forces schools to pick a model and stick to it, despite the fact that Covid-19 is a moving target,” said Dan Berger, a partner at Curran, Berger & Kludt, in an interview. “Depending on how the virus progresses, schools with hybrid models [in-person and online classes] may go online this fall. The administration’s message does not allow much-needed flexibility based on public health as the Covid-19 situation plays out.” 

“The policy also forces some students to leave who are here and safe, even if the country they are going to has a Covid-19 outbreak or closed borders,” said Berger. “Schools offer more than just classes. There is support here for students who have nowhere to go, even if the students are taking classes online. And forcing schools that were online to add an in-person class to meet the ‘hybrid’ definition would mean bringing students into contact with each other just for immigration purposes.”

The new Trump administration policy may force international students currently enrolled at Harvard University to leave the United States. Harvard recently announced that “all course instruction (undergraduate and graduate) for the 2020-21 academic year will be delivered online.”

“We are deeply concerned that the guidance issued today by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement imposes a blunt, one-size-fits-all approach to a complex problem, giving international students, particularly those in online programs, few options beyond leaving the country or transferring schools,” said Harvard President Larry Bacow in a statement. “This guidance undermines the thoughtful approach taken on behalf of students by so many institutions, including Harvard, to plan for continuing academic programs while balancing the health and safety challenges of the global pandemic. We must do all that we can to ensure that our students can continue their studies without fear of being forced to leave the country mid-way through the year, disrupting their academic progress and undermining the commitments – and sacrifices – that many of them have made to advance their education.” (Note: On July 8, 2020, Harvard and MIT filed a lawsuit seeking to block the upcoming rule on international students.)

In response to the question, “Does it look like Harvard will have international students on campus in the fall?” William Stock of Klasko Immigration Law Partners said, “Apparently not.”

The new policy may upend hundreds of thousands of lives, but for Trump administration officials, who fear this is their final chance to institute lasting changes to U.S. immigration policy, it is just one of many measures designed to discourage international students and others to follow their dreams to America. Attorney Dan Berger said, “The chilling effect of this new policy on international students coming to the United States will be tremendous.” That is the point.

[Forbes]

Trump attacks NASCAR and Bubba Wallace over Confederate flag banning, noose incident

President Donald Trump on Monday took aim at NASCAR’s Darrell “Bubba” Wallace, a prominent Black driver, falsely claiming on Twitter that the sport’s recent anti-racist stance had lowered its television ratings.

“Has @BubbaWallace apologized to all of those great NASCAR drivers & officials who came to his aid, stood by his side, & were willing to sacrifice everything for him, only to find out that the whole thing was just another HOAX?” Trump tweeted. “That & Flag decision has caused lowest ratings EVER!”

Utilizing his Twitter account on Monday to criticize NASCAR for banning the Confederate flag and separately two sports teams considering changing their names, Trump demonstrated his eagerness to make his views on race a central part of his re-election campaign amid the growing national conversation after George Floyd’s death on May 25 in police custody.

In a statement posted on his Twitter page, Wallace framed his response as advice to young people, saying, “All the haters are doing is elevating your voice and platform to much greater heights!”

“Last thing, always deal with hate being thrown at you with LOVE!” he said. “Love over hate every day. Love should come naturally as people are TAUGHT to hate. Even when it’s HATE from the POTUS.. Love wins.”

NASCAR drivers have rallied to support Wallace. NASCAR Cup Series driver Tyler Reddick tweeted in response to Trump, “We don’t need an apology.”

“We did what was right and we will do just fine without your support,” he continued. The tweet was later deleted.

NASCAR released a statement saying the organization “continues to stand tall with Bubba.”

“We are proud to have Bubba Wallace in the NASCAR family and we commend his courage and leadership,” the statement said.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Fox News said Trump’s tweet was part of a “broader point” about the “rush to judgment.”

“The president is merely pointing out that we have to let facts come out before we rush to judgment,” she said.

Reporters grilled McEnany over the tweet during Monday’s press briefing, questioning her about Trump’s claim that banning the Confederate flag was bad for ratings.

McEnany said Trump was not taking a stance on the Confederate flag nor whether it was a good or bad decision for NASCAR to ban it. Instead, McEnany argued that that “NASCAR men and women” are “being called racist” and that Trump was defending them.

“He stands against the demonization of Americans and he stands firmly on the side of preserving our history,” she said.

Asked whether a Confederate flag would be permitted at a Trump rally, McEnany said the campaign does not allow flags other than official Trump campaign gear into rallies. Trump campaign national deputy press secretary Courtney Parella confirmed the policy to NBC News, saying, “We do not permit rally attendees to bring their own signage or displays of any kind and only allow approved rally signs inside our events.”

Speaking with Fox News Radio, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. and a prominent Trump ally, said he didn’t think Wallace “has anything to apologize for.”

“You saw the best in NASCAR,” he said. “When there was a chance that it was a threat against Bubba Wallace, they all rallied to Bubba’s side. So I would be looking to celebrate that kind of attitude more than being worried about it being a hoax.”

Since NASCAR announced a ban on the Confederate flag last month, the sport has seen a boost in television ratingsOvernight ratings following the sport’s June race at Martinsville, Virginia, which immediately followed the banning announcement, were up 104 percent over a comparable 2019 race.

The Talladega race in Alabama later in June, where the noose incident Trump referred to happened, rated as the most-watched Monday contest in years. NASCAR has also benefited from being one of the few live events on TV, as most other sports remain idled in the U.S. due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Before Talladega, a door-pull rope shaped like a noose was found in Wallace’s assigned garage, raising questions about whether it had been placed there intentionally in response to his outspokenness in support of banning the Confederate flag at NASCAR events. Fellow NASCAR drivers marched alongside his car in a show of unity afterward. The FBI investigated the incident and ruled out a hate crime, citing video evidence showing the rope was in the stall months before it was assigned to Wallace. NASCAR released a photo of the rope to dispel the idea it was a hoax.

“I was relieved just like many others to know that it wasn’t targeted towards me,” Wallace told Craig Melvin on NBC’s “TODAY” last month. “But it’s still frustrating to know that people are always going to test you and always just going to try and debunk you, and that’s what I’m trying to wrap my head around now.”

As a politician, Trump’s history with NASCAR dates to early in his presidential campaign when he won the endorsement of the sport’s top leadership. At this year’s Daytona 500, Trump took the presidential limo on the track as a pace car before the race began. And at this weekend’s Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis, one driver began racing in a fully decked-out pro-Trump branded car. He crashed a few laps into the race.

This weekend, Trump delivered a lengthy speech on defending statues from being removed or torn down and has increasingly bashed protesters.

Recent tweets have also gotten the president into hot water, such as when he promoted and then deleted a video showing an apparent Trump supporter shouting “white power.”

The White House said he didn’t hear the comment when he posted.

[NBC News]

Trump Vows to Veto Defense Bill Over Amendment to Rename Military Bases Named After Confederates

President Donald Trump vowed to veto a $740 billion defense spending bill unless Congress drops a proposed amendment to rename U.S. military bases named after Confederate leaders.

As the country faces ongoing social unrest over the death of George Floyd, the public debate continues on whether Confederate figures deserve to be publicly honored with statues or major instillations bearing their names. Amid these calls for racial justice, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has proposed an amendment for the Defense Authorization Bill that would require the names of Confederate leaders to be completely scrubbed from several military bases over the next 3 years.

Trump has repeatedly defended monuments honoring Confederates in recent weeks, and on Tuesday night, he used his racially-charged insult for Warren again while promising to veto the bill if her amendment gets through.

[Mediaite]

Trump Says He May End Housing Desegregation Rule

President Donald Trump said he may get rid of a fair housing rule originally designed to desegretate neighborhoods, which some say in practice simply means building more housing. His administration has been trying to revise an Obama-era regulation on how to enforce the Civil Rights-era law; opponents say it’s an effort to weaken the rules.

Trump in a Twitter post though suggested he may want to go further. “At the request of many great Americans who live in the Suburbs, and others, I am studying the AFFH housing regulation that is having a devastating impact on these once thriving Suburban areas,” Trump said in a tweet. “Not fair to homeowners, I may END!” Trump didn’t offer additional details about his plans.

[Bloomberg]

Trump Tweets Video of St. Louis Couple Aiming Guns at Protesters

President Donald Trump on Monday retweeted a widely scrutinized video of a St. Louis couple aiming guns at a protest march.

The couple, who are White, stood in front of their home, both armed with guns, shouting back and forth with a march that included Black Lives Matter protesters, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. One of the people was aiming a gun directly at demonstrators, who were marching on the home of Mayor Lyda Krewson to demand her resignation after she read aloud names and addresses of protesters who wanted to cut police funding.

Trump retweeted the ABC News video without comment, appearing to endorse the couple’s stance. The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

On Sunday, Trump retweeted a video of his supporters arguing with critics in Florida, including one who shouted “white power.” Trump later deleted his tweet, and the White House said he hadn’t heard the phrase.

The president on Monday also retweeted a series of wanted posters from U.S. park police seeking to identify people suspected of vandalizing statues near the White House.

[Bloomberg]



Trump Tweets, Thanks Florida Supporter Chanting ‘White Power’

Donald Trump tweeted a video of someone in a golf cart shouting the racist slogan, “White Power” and others yelling, “Fuck Trump” on Sunday morning. The video was originally posted by the Twitter handle Fifty Shades of Whey, which noted that the seniors of The Villages in Florida were “protesting against each other.” Trump was seemingly unaware that those protesting against him, who were holding up signs that accused him of racism, were apparently also residents of The Villages. Nevertheless, the president thanked area denizens in his post, writing, “Thank you to the great people of The Villages. The Radical Left Do Nothing Democrats will Fall in the Fall. Corrupt Joe is shot. See you soon!!!”

[The Daily Beast]

Update

Trump deleted the tweet and claimed he wasn’t aware. This is problematic for two reasons. First, the “white power” chant occurs in the first few seconds of the video. Second, why is a President sharing content without vetting it?

Trump targets individual anti-racism protesters in post-golf tweetstorm

The leader of the free world went after individual anti-racism protesters on Saturday.

Trump escalated his war on protesters by posting “attempt to identify” wanted posters of protesters who allegedly vandalized a statue of former President Andrew Jackson.

The statue is in Lafayette Square, which was the scene of the gassing of peaceful protesters so Trump could hold a photo-op posing with a Bible.


[Raw Story]

Trump defends officer who shot Rayshard Brooks as police call in sick

Donald Trump has defended the police officer who shot dead Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta, as a number of officers called in sick after their colleague was charged with murder.

Garrett Rolfe, a white officer, shot Brooks, who is black, twice in the back as Brooks pointed a police Taser stun gun in his direction while running away. Rolfe faces 11 charges over the killing.

A significant number of officers did not show up for work on Wednesday night, the city’s police department said. Atlanta’s mayor suggested the city may have to call in officers from other jurisdictions.

Brooks’s death has prompted protests in the city and elsewhere as it emerged that Brooks, 27, was 18ft from Rolfe, and running away, when he pointed the Taser – which prosecutors say Rolfe knew was not functional – before being shot.

The protests over Brooks’s death have added to demonstrations against racism and police brutality across the country following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month, where the 46-year-old was killed when a white police officer kneeled on his neck.Advertisement

Amid the outrage, Trump appeared on Fox News, where he defended Rolfe and appeared to criticize Brooks.

“You can’t resist a police officer, and if you have a disagreement, you have to take it up after the fact,” Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity. “It was out of control – the whole situation was out of control.”

Trump said police had been treated unfairly in the US.

He said: “It’s up to justice right now. It’s going to be up to justice. I hope he [Rolfe] gets a fair shake, because police have not been treated fairly in our country. But again, you can’t resist a police officer like that.”

The Atlanta police department sought to downplay the number of officers who did not report for duty, but admitted there were a significant number of absences.

“Earlier suggestions that multiple officers from each zone had walked off the job were inaccurate,” the department said in a tweet. “The department is experiencing a higher than usual number of call-outs with the incoming shift. We have enough resources to maintain operations & remain able to respond to incidents.”

Atlanta’s mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, told CNN there were enough officers to cover the city, but said the department may have to call in police from other agencies.

She said: “We have other partners … so, we will be fine.”

The most serious charge against Rolfe, felony murder, carries a sentence of life in prison or the death penalty, should prosecutors choose to seek it.

On Thursday, a video interview that Brooks had conducted in 2019, as part of a project about criminal reform, was shared by the company Reconnect.

In it, Brooks described how the criminal justice system treats many people unfairly. He said: “Some people, they get a tap on the wrist [from the authorities]. But some people don’t.”

Brooks discussed how people who had spent time in jail were treated on their release. He said: “You get treated like an animal. Some of the system could look at us as individuals; we do have lives, you know.”

He added: “I’m trying, I’m not the type of person to give up. I’m going to keep going till I make it to where I want to be.”

Brooks’s funeral is due to take place at a church in Atlanta on Tuesday. Actor and director Tyler Perry, who lives in the city, has offered to pay for the funeral.

In an article for People magazine, Perry said he was grappling with how to explain racism in the US to his five-year-old son.

He wrote: “I know that as his father, a black man in America, it is my duty to prepare him for the harsh reality that awaits him outside of the watchful eyes of his loving parents. It will be a hard, heartbreaking conversation, but one that I must have and will have soon.”

[The Guardian]

Trump Defends Confederate Monuments in ‘Police Reform’ Speech: ‘We Must Build on Our Heritage, Not Tear it Down’

At a White House event on police reform, President Donald Trump seemed to reference the recent destruction of Confederate monuments by protesters, but again made clear he favors preserving those memorials to the pro-slavery South.

During remarks on what the White House calls his “Executive Order on Safe Policing for Safe Communities,” Trump concluded a riff on the coronavirus crisis by saying, of a potential vaccine, that “even without it, it goes away.”

“But if we had the vaccine, and we will, if we had therapeutic or cure, one thing is sort of blends into the other, it will be a fantastic day and I think that’s going to happen, and it’s going to happen very soon,” Trump added.

“Americans can achieve anything when we work together as one national family,” he continued. “To go forward we must seek cooperation not confrontation, we must build upon our heritage, not tear it down. And we must cherish the principles of America’s founding as we strive to deliver safe, beautiful, elegant justice. And liberty for all.”

Trump’s remarks in the Rose Garden were for the purpose of announcing an executive order that was prompted by nationwide protests over the police killing of George Floyd — a strange setting for Trump to renew his longtime defense of the Confederacy and its symbols.

[Mediaite]

Trump calls use of tear gas, other force on Minneapolis protesters a ‘beautiful scene’

President Donald Trump praised the use of tear gas and other force to disperse Minneapolis protesters, calling it a “beautiful scene” and describing the National Guard’s actions “like a knife cutting butter.”

“I’ll never forget. You saw the scene on that road … they were lined up. Man, they just walked straight. And yes, there was some tear gas and probably some other things,” Trump said in opening remarks at a roundtable on policing and race. “And the crowd dispersed and they went through. By the end of that evening, and it was a short evening, everything was fine.”

Trump’s event at a conservative, evangelical and predominantly white church in Dallas on Thursday afternoon came as the White House has yet to announce what new measures it might support in response to the protests against racial injustice that have gripped the nation since the killing of George Floyd by a police officer.

Trump did not mention Floyd by name in his remarks but suggested the work of confronting bigotry and prejudice will “go quickly and it’ll go very easily.”

“But we’ll make no progress and heal no wounds by falsely labeling tens of millions of decent Americans as racist or bigots,” the president said.

He has largely criticized the protests that took place in cities across the United States, including Minneapolis, where Floyd was killed. Minnesota’s Gov. Tim Walz activated its National Guard after three nights of protests and violent riots; on Thursday, Walz endorsed a package of sweeping police reforms.

In response to the national reckoning over police brutality and America’s systemic racism, Democrats unveiled sweeping police reform legislation, and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only black Republican member of the Senate, is spearheading proposals in his chamber.

Trump offered some broad outlines of the steps he might embrace to answer the national demand for action. He told the roundtable participants he was working on an executive order to “encourage police departments nationwide to meet the most current professional standards for the use of force, including tactics for de-escalation.”

He defended police officers and slammed calls to “defund” them, saying it means people want to get rid of law enforcement. Most advocates use the term to mean the reallocation of police budgets to social services including housing and education.

“We have to respect our police. We have to take care of our police. They’re protecting us. And if they’re allowed to do their job, they’ll do a great job,” Trump said. “And you always have a bad apple. No matter where you go, you have bad apples and there not too many of them.”

Hours after the event, Trump weighed in on the debate in more provocative terms. “The Radical Left Democrats: First they try to take away your guns. Then they try to take away your police!” he tweeted.

The president’s more concrete actions in the past 24 hours appear aimed at his political base rather than the multiracial nation he governs.

That includes publicly rejecting the idea of renaming military bases whose names honor Confederate military figures — an idea that had been under consideration at the Pentagon — and threatening a federal response to “ugly Anarchists” protesting in Seattle.

Trump’s campaign released an ad Wednesday focused on his self-proclaimed credentials as a law-and-order president while seeking to cast Biden as overly supportive of those who have protested Floyd’s death.

“Antifa destroys our communities. Rioting. Looting. Yet Joe Biden kneels down,” the narrator says, as footage of Biden kneeling at a church in Wilmington, Del., is superimposed over images of violent protests.

Biden, who held an event Thursday in Philadelphia related to recovering economically from the coronavirus crisis, issued a statement ahead of Trump’s trip to Dallas questioning the president’s motives.

“For weeks we’ve seen President Trump run away from a meaningful conversation on systemic racism and police brutality,” the former vice president said. “Instead, he has further divided our country. Today’s trip to Texas won’t change any of that. President Trump is more interested in photo ops than offering a healing voice as our nation mourns.”

[Philadelphia Inquirer]

1 2 3 31