Trump calls on NFL to suspend Raiders’ Marshawn Lynch

President Donald Trump took to Twitter to criticize Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch early Monday morning.

After photographs surfaced showing Lynch standing during the Mexican national anthem and sitting during the US national anthem at a game against the New England Patriots in Mexico City on Sunday, Trump called for his suspension.

“Marshawn Lynch of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders stands for the Mexican Anthem and sits down to boos for our National Anthem. Great disrespect! Next time NFL should suspend him for remainder of season. Attendance and ratings way down,” he tweeted.

The President and the NFL have butted heads over athletes’ decisions to kneel during the national anthem at games, with Trump calling on the league to fire players who protest during the anthem earlier this year.

This marks the second day Trump has taken to social media to criticize African-American athletes.

Trump helped negotiate the release of three UCLA basketball players, including LiAngelo Ball, accused of shoplifting in China. On Sunday, the President tweeted that he should have left the basketball players in jail, suggesting that Ball’s father was “unaccepting” of Trump’s efforts to negotiate the players out of China.

“Shoplifting is a very big deal in China, as it should be (5-10 years in jail), but not to father LaVar,” Trump said later on Sunday. “Should have gotten his son out during my next trip to China instead. China told them why they were released. Very ungrateful!”

[CNN]

Trump administration to end protected immigration status for Nicaraguans

The Trump administration is planning a January 2019 end to a temporary residency permit program for 5,000 citizens from Nicaragua who have lived in the United States for almost two decades.

The administration is also postponing a decision until next July on how to deal with a similar program for 86,000 residents from Honduras.

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke said Monday that the program, known as Temporary Protected Status, is no longer necessary for Nicaraguans in the U.S. Duke said temporary residents living under that permit would be allowed 12 months to allow for an orderly transition for their return and for their Central American homeland.

Duke postponed a final decision in the case of Honduras in order to learn more information, automatically extending the current temporary permits for Hondurans in the U.S. for six months, until July 5, 2018. The department’s announcement came 60 days before the programs for both countries were slated to expire on January 5, 2018.

The TPS program currently covers 435,000 people from nine countries ravaged by natural disasters or war and who came to the U.S. — legally or otherwise — during the period their countries were covered by the presidential decree.

While the status was meant to be temporary, it was repeatedly renewed by the Bush and Obama administrations over concerns that the countries could not cope with the repatriation of so many people former residents.

Since taking office, Trump has ended the temporary permit program for Sudan and issued a shorter-than-usual renewal for nearly 60,000 Haitians, who were designated for temporary permits after the devastating 2010 earthquake.

Immigrants from Honduras and Nicaragua have been able to renew their temporary permits every 18 months since 1999, when both countries were given TPS status by the Clinton administration due to destruction from Hurricane Mitch a year earlier.

The Congressional Research Service said this month that only 57,000 people from Honduras and 2,550 from Nicaragua were expected to renew their TPS status.

[USA Today]

Reality

TPS was created by Congress in 1990 to avoid sending foreign nationals to countries too damaged or unstable to receive them because of natural disasters, armed conflict or health epidemics.

Anger over Donald Trump’s UK crime tweet

Donald Trump has been accused of fuelling hate crime with a tweet erroneously linking a rise in the UK crime rate to “radical Islamic terror”.

He said crime in the UK had risen by 13% amid the “spread” of Islamist terror – despite the figure referring to all crimes, not just terrorism.

The Labour MP, Yvette Cooper, said the statement was “inflammatory and ignorant”, while ex-Labour leader Ed Miliband said Mr Trump was “a moron”.

The Home Office declined to comment.

Mr Trump’s tweet used data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS)’s latest crime update, which reported a 13% increase across all offences in the 12 months to June.

It covered England and Wales, not the whole of the UK.

Police recorded 5.2m offences in the last year, the bulk of which were not associated with terrorism.

Rises were recorded in crime public order offences, stalking and harassment, possession of weapons and robbery.

The statistics – which made no reference to “radical Islamic terror” – showed that 35 out of the 664 homicides in England and Wales were caused by terror attacks in London and Manchester.

US media outlets have speculated whether Mr Trump’s tweet followed a TV report on One America News Network, a conservative TV channel, which aired the statistics on Friday morning.

Donald Trump is half right.

Crime has gone up by 13% – but not in the UK. The increase announced yesterday covered England and Wales whereas Scotland and Northern Ireland publish their data separately.

But overlooking that mistake, what about the phrase that appears to connect the increase to the “spread of radical Islamic terror”?

The number of cases of murder and attempted murder linked to Islamist-related extremism, has indeed gone up substantially.

Of the 664 homicides recorded in the year ending June 2017, 34 resulted from the Westminster Bridge, Manchester Arena and London Bridge attacks – there were no such deaths last year.

The attacks also accounted for the majority of the 426 additional attempted murders registered by police.

Arrests for terror-related offences went up as well, from 226 to 379, across England, Wales and Scotland, though that number also includes people detained for far-right extremism.

But in terms of overall offending, this increase in terror-related crime represents a fraction, when you consider that there were an extra 579,553 offences recorded by police compared with the year before.

[BBC News]

US to Withdraw From UNESCO Cultural Agency

The Trump administration on Thursday said it would withdraw the United States from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), citing anti-Israeli bias from the organization.

UNESCO was informed of the administration’s decision on Thursday. The State Department said the U.S. would instead seek to be a permanent observer to UNESCO, which promotes collaboration among countries through culture, education and science.

This is not the first time the United States has withdrawn from the organization, nor is it the first time the United States has criticized UNESCO for anti-Israeli bias. The United States also withdrew from the organization during the Cold War under President Ronald Reagan.

During the Obama administration, the U.S. slashed $80 million per year of its funding for the organization, according to Foreign Policy, a move that followed UNESCO’s admittance of Palestine as a member.

The cuts have increased the money owed by the United States to UNESCO to $500 million, the magazine reported.

Fights over Israel and the Palestinian cause have been frequent flashpoints for the United States under past administrations.

Israel last year summoned its UNESCO ambassador after the organization declared that one of Jerusalem’s holy sites is specifically a “Muslim holy site of worship,” according to Reuters.

The U.S. will still be involved with the organization “as a non-member observer state,” the State Department said.

The goal is “to contribute U.S. views, perspectives and expertise on some of the important issues undertaken by the organization, including the protection of world heritage, advocating for press freedoms, and promoting scientific collaboration and education.”

The withdrawal will become official on Dec. 31, 2018.

[The Hill]

Donald Trump Goes All In On Slashing Legal Immigration

President Donald Trump threw himself behind a bill on Wednesday that would make it dramatically more difficult for people to come to the U.S. legally, in spite of his past claims that he did not want to cut the number of people allowed into the country.

Trump held an event at the White House with Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) to boost the latest iteration of their bill to slash the ways foreign nationals can move to the United States.

The bill from Cotton and Perdue, known as the RAISE Act, would end the practice of prioritizing green cards for adult children and extended family of people already in the U.S., discontinue an immigration lottery program and limit the number of refugees to be accepted into the U.S. to only 50,000.

The president said the bill would be “the most significant reform to our immigration system in half a century” and would “reduce poverty, increase wages and save taxpayers billions and billions of dollars.”

He also claimed the current green card system provides a “fast-track to citizenship” ― although in truth, having a green card is the standard path to citizenship.

The bill would favor applicants “who can speak English, financially support themselves and their families, and demonstrate skills that will contribute to our economy,” Trump said.

The president said the legislation would require immigrants to be more self-sufficient and prevent them from collecting safety net benefits. “They’re not gonna come in and just immediately collect welfare,” he said.

Current law already bars anyone who might become a “public charge” from receiving a green card, and prevents lawful permanent residents from receiving most safety net benefits for five years. But immigration hawks have long complained of loopholes in those restrictions. For instance, food stamps and Medicaid ― two of the country’s biggest safety net programs ― are exempt from the public charge criteria.

The idea, according to the president and senators, is to move toward a “merit-based” immigration plan, along the lines of the systems in Canada and Australia. But this legislation wouldn’t simply change the makeup of who can come into the country ― it would dramatically reduce the number of immigrants admitted overall, the bill’s proponents say.

“This legislation will not only restore our competitive edge in the 21st century, but it will restore the sacred bonds of trust between America and its citizens,” Trump said. “This legislation demonstrates our compassion for struggling American families who deserve an immigration system that puts their needs first and that puts America first.”

Most economists say that immigration is actually beneficial to the economy and that curtailing legal immigration would slow growth. And Canada and Australia both admit legal immigrants at a far higher rate relative to their total populations than the U.S. does, including on the basis of family ties.

Trump also claimed that the current immigration “has not been fair to our people,” including immigrants and minority workers whose jobs, he said, are taken by “brand new arrivals.”

In fact, the bill could disproportionately affect nonwhite Americans, who are more likely to be recent immigrants and still have relatives living abroad, by making the already difficult process of bringing their families to the U.S. next to impossible.

Cotton previously said the bill would help prevent people from immigrating to the U.S. and then bringing over their “village” or “tribe.”

Trump told The Economist in May that he was not looking to reduce the number of legal immigrants. “We want people coming in legally,” he said at the time.

Immigration reform groups and even one Republican senator immediately panned the bill. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who pushed for a broad immigration reform bill in 2013, said in a statement that he supports merit-based immigration but believes cutting legal immigration would hurt the economy.

“I fear this proposal will not only hurt our agriculture, tourism and service economy in South Carolina, it incentivizes more illegal immigration as positions go unfilled,” he said. “After dealing with this issue for more than a decade, I know that when you restrict legal labor to employers it incentivizes cheating.”

[Huffington Post]

Sean Spicer Gets Confronted in Apple Store, Responds With Racism

White House spokesman Sean Spicer was accosted by an Indian-American woman — who peppered him with questions about committing “treason” and working for a “fascist” like President Trump — as he shopped in an Apple store over the weekend.

The encounter has since gone viral after the woman who filmed it, Shree Chauhan, 33, claimed online that Spicer had made a racist statement to her, saying: “It’s such a great country that allows you to be here.”

“Unlike this administration, I do not believe in ‘alternative facts.’ I believe in facts. I do not believe in accusing someone of this level of racism, when if in fact it was not,” Chauhan wrote Sunday in a lengthy post on Medium.

“So I watched the video over and over again,” she said. “And his words were clear…’Such a great country that allows you to be here.’ That is racism and it is an implied threat.”

Chauhan, who lives in Washington, D.C., filmed the interaction with Spicer on Periscope Saturday night after spotting the White House spokesman in the store. She had been there getting her iPhone fixed and said she ultimately felt the need to “speak truth to power.”

“It is customary to give public figures their space…However, given what Mr. Spicer and his boss are doing to this country, I do not believe they are entitled to these norms and customs,” Chauhan explained.

In the clip, the self-described “eternal optimist” can be heard asking Spicer a series of questions, including “How does it feel to work for a fascist” and “Have you helped with the Russia stuff?”

“We have a great country,” the press secretary replies, while appearing to try to ignore Chauhan.

“Have you committed treason too? Just like the president,” she asks. “What can you tell me about Russia?”

It is after this barrage that Spicer delivers his allegedly “racist” remark, saying: “It’s such a great country that allows you to be here.”

Chauhan wrote on Medium that the response left her disgusted.

“I am still stunned by the boldness of having my citizenship threatened on camera,” she said. “I was not polite. But when does being impolite mean that I should be thrown out of the United States of America? The country I was born in, the country I was raised in, the country I love despite its flaws.”

Speaking to the Daily Mail about the video on Sunday, Chauhan shot down claims that Spicer could have been referring to the First Amendment rights of all Americans to exercise free speech when he made the comment.

“He’s the press secretary for the president of the United States,” she said. “Don’t tell me what he probably meant because he also works for this administration that has done all of these things.”

Chauhan went on to note how Trump has signed executive orders temporarily banning refugees and asylum seekers from predominantly Muslim countries in the Middle East and Africa.

“He could’ve said, ‘Such a great country that allows dissent,’” she told the Mail. “There’s a lot of way that could’ve been said. To have someone who speaks for the president of the United States tell me to my face that I shouldn’t be here and I was born here — that is a real thing.”

Chauhan added that she’s feared for her safety since the day Trump was elected.

“I woke up the day after the election in fear of what would happen to someone like me. And we’ve seen what happened,” she said. “We’ve seen what happened to Indians.”

Earlier this month, a 39-year-old Seattle resident of Sikh heritage was shot by a man who reportedly shouted “go back to your country” just before pulling the trigger.

Weeks before that incident, a pair of Indian engineers were targeted by a Navy veteran who told them the same thing before blasting away at them. One of the men ended up dying and the other was wounded.

“They’re gonna spin it however they want, but there is a palatable fear that people have in this country and it is warranted,” Chauhan said. “On a regular basis, Mr. Spicer consistently defends the actions — and I believe unconstitutional actions — and lies on behalf of this administration.

“Spicer has the protection of the podium when he’s in the press room,” she added. “I didn’t have time to sit there and ask questions I would ask if I was a reporter…Maybe having someone like a regular person ask those questions instead [of reporters] — that might work.”

(h/t New York Post)

Media

Trump’s Chief Strategist Steve Bannon Suggests Having Too Many Asian Tech CEOs Undermines ‘Civic Society’

President-elect Donald Trump’s chief strategist seems to think there are too many immigrants leading Silicon Valley. Steve Bannon, who previously served as Breitbart News Network’s executive chairman, hinted at some of his views on foreign workers at technology companies in the past. In an interview between Trump and Bannon that took place last year, and that The Washington Post resurfaced yesterday, Bannon alluded to the idea that foreign students should return to their respective countries after attending school in the US, instead of sticking around and working at or starting tech companies.

Trump voiced concern over these students attending Ivy League schools and then going home: “We have to be careful of that, Steve. You know, we have to keep our talented people in this country,” Trump said.

When asked if he agreed, Bannon responded: “When two-thirds or three-quarters of the CEOs in Silicon Valley are from South Asia or from Asia, I think . . . ” he didn’t finish his sentence. “A country is more than an economy. We’re a civic society.”

While Bannon didn’t explicitly say anything against immigrants, he seemed to hint at the idea of a white nationalist identity with the phrase “civic society.” Taken in tandem with the stories Bannon allowed to go up on Breitbart News, including pieces that attacked women, feminists, political correctness, muslims, and trans people, Bannon’s comment wouldn’t come as a surprise.

(h/t The Verge)

Reality

As we explained in our blog about Steve Bannon and his ties to the white supremacist alt-right movement, they whole-hardheartedly believe that other races and cultures are inferior to a white western democracy. Bannon’s comments would absolutely be in line with these unfounded beliefs.

Media

Trump Says Clinton Would Triple the U.S. Population in One Week With New Immigrants

Donald Trump made another incendiary claim at multiple campaign stops on Sunday — he declared that if his opponent Hillary Clinton wins the presidency, that she could let in more than 600 million new immigrants, claiming that she is in favor of “open borders.”

The current population in the United States is about 325 million.

“But she wants open borders,” Trump said at a campaign stop in Greeley, Colorado. “You saw that during the debate. WikiLeaks got her again. She never talked about open borders. She wants open borders. We could have 600 million people pour into our country. Think of it. Once you have open borders like that, you don’t have a country anymore.”

At his third and final stop in Albuquerque, Trump repeated the claim, although he increased the number by 50 million.

“She wants to let people just pour in,” Trump said. “You could have 650 million people pour in and we do nothing about it. Think of it. That’s what could happen. You triple the size of our country in one week.”

There is no evidence to support Trump’s claims. Clinton has said that in her first 100 days, she would present legislation for comprehensive immigration reform to Congress that would include a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in the United States, currently estimated to be more than 10 million.

Trump himself has not addressed what he would do with undocumented immigrants already in the country, saying repeatedly that he would address the issue after the border is secure and all criminal undocumented immigrants were deported. Under Trump’s plan, the vast majority would be deported, since his deportation plan prioritizes immigrants accused of crimes and those that overstay their visas.

(CBS News)

Reality

When Clinton was talking about “open borders” she appears to be talking about trade and energy (though it’s a little hard to see the full context, because the excerpt is only a paragraph long): “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere.”

Media

Trump Campaign Now Says Immigrant Deportation Force ‘To Be Determined’

Donald Trump’s new campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, on Sunday said that the creation of a “deportation force” for undocumented immigrants under a Trump administration was “to be determined.”

Throughout the Republican primary, Trump supported the forcible removal of the some 11 million undocumented immigrants estimated to live in the United States.

Last November, he called for a deportation force to do the job. In an interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” he said, “You’re going to have a deportation force, and you’re going to do it humanely.”

Trump has made the vilification of immigrants a central part of his campaign: from his plan to build a wall along the Mexican border (and claims that Mexico will “pay for it”) to his call to ban people who are Muslim from traveling to the United States. He made headlines in June for saying that an American-born judge presiding over a Trump University lawsuit could not be impartial because of the judge’s Hispanic ancestry.

But in August, his campaign convened a meeting of a new Hispanic advisory board. Speaking to NBC Latino of an “open-minded” Trump, Hispanic supporters who attended the meeting suggested the GOP candidate would unveil a new immigration plan that offered solutions beyond deportation.

In light of the meeting and apparent policy reversal, CNN’s Dana Bash pressed Conway, who was named Trump’s campaign manager just days ago, Sunday on whether Trump still supported launching the deportation force he called for during the primary.

Conway evaded the question twice, then responded, “To be determined.”

(h/t NBC News)

Reality

While Conway’s answer does not completely discount a deportation force, it does put it in to question, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

With the many other flip-flops since becoming the Republican party’s nominee, he’s rejected virtually every stance that his supporters loved which separated him from the other candidates during the primaries. How could Trump be taken at his word for anything anymore?

As we explained in our policy review of Trump’s immigration reform, mass deportations would involve rounding up every undocumented person and forcibly removing them from the country. What Trump is advocating here, the forced removal of a portion of a population with the same national heritage from an area, already has a name, it’s called “ethnic cleansing” and it is not seen as a positive and moral thing. On top of the horrific crimes against humanity being proposed, what Trump also fails to mention here is the cost. Immigration and Customs Enforcement told lawmakers that it costs about $12,500 to deport one immigrant from the United States. Multiply that by 11.3 million, and you get $141.3 billion.

Along with tripping the number of ICE agents and a nationwide E-Verify system, Trumps plan would be a giant middle finger to individual freedom and morality while costing the taxpayers over $160 billion.

Media

 

Trump Says He’d Racially Profile and Deport US Citizens Over ‘Extreme Views’

In an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Republican nominee Donald Trump said that as President he would start racial profiling United States citizens, and should their views be “extreme” he would have them deported.

As an example, Trump used the father of Omar Mateen, the man who killed 49 people at Pulse nightclub in Orlando — in spite of his status as a U.S. citizen.

“I’d throw him out,” Trump said of Seddique Mateen, according to the Washington Post. The former reality TV star said that racial and religious profiling is something our country should start practicing in the interest of protecting itself.

“But look,” said Trump, “we have — whether it’s racial profiling or politically correct, we’d better get smart. We are letting tens of thousands of people into our country. We don’t know what the hell we’re doing.”

“And frankly, the Muslims have to help us, because they see what’s going on in their community,” he said. “And if they’re not going to help us, they’re to blame also.”

Regarding Seddique Mateen, Hannity asked, “What do we do when we find somebody that has extreme views? Do we throw them the hell out?”

“I’d throw him out,” Trump said as the audience cheered. “If you look at him, I’d throw him out. You know, I looked at him. And you look, he’s smiling.”

(h/t Raw Story)

Reality

Donald Trump is putting forth a proposal that would be a clear violation the 1st, 4th, and 14th amendments to the United States Constitution, as well as existing laws.

Mateen is a U.S. citizen, a status that is considered irrevocable except in extremely rare cases in which naturalized citizens become “denaturalized.” Typically, to be denaturalized one must get caught forging documents, falsifying important information or concealing of relevant facts, refusal to testify before Congress, membership in groups attempting to overthrow the government and dishonorable discharge from the military.

Racial profiling is the practice of targeting individuals for police or security detention based on their race or ethnicity in the belief that certain minority groups are more likely to engage in unlawful behavior.

Racial profiling is patently illegal, violating the U.S. Constitution’s core promises of equal protection under the law to all and freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. Just as importantly, racial profiling is ineffective. It alienates communities from law enforcement, hinders community policing efforts, and causes law enforcement to lose credibility and trust among the people they are sworn to protect and serve.

Media

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