Posts tagged with "Trump Administration"

End Gun Violence illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Boulder Shooter Kills Ten People

Colorado Supermarket Mass Shooting:

Gunman kills 10, including police officer

The series of mass shootings have continued within the United States, this time in Boulder Colorado at 3600 Table Mesa Drive. A gunman killed 10 people at a King Soopers supermarket on Monday afternoon. One of the victims included police officer Eric Talley who was first on the scene. Officer Talley was first to respond to report of gunfire at the grocery store. The workers and shoppers that survived were able to flee the scene and others were able to take shelter within the store – enduring the horrific violence that echoed throughout the store.

The shooting started shortly after 2:30 p.m. in the parking lot of King Soopers. Videographer Dean Schiller provided a livestream video showing what appears to be victims and an employee saying the shooter was inside of the store. Two roommates commented that “he just came in and started shooting” without saying a word. They went on to note that the gunman “let off a couple of shots, then was silent, and then he let off a couple more – He wasn’t spraying.”.

Survivor Ryan Borowski commented to CNN’s Don Lemon that he was still processing what happened. Borowski had just gone to buy some ice cream at the grocery store. He had changed his mind at the last minute and went down a different aisle. Borowski then heard the first gunshots, which he then started running to the back of the store. Borowski and several others rushed out of the store through the back, telling employees “Gun, gun, gun. Run, run, run.” Borowski went on to comment “I don’t remember anybody screaming. It was just go, go, go, get out of here… I knew I had to move.”.

Steven McHugh commented that his son-in-law and his two granddaughters were in the store as their dad got the vaccination for Covid-19. McHugh was told that his family watched people get shot and managed to run to a staff area to hide in a coat closet until police were able to intervene.

The 21-year-old suspect, Ahmad Al Issa, was taken into custody and treated for injuries, however, there are not many answers as to why the violent crime was carried out. Issa is facing 10 counts of first-degree murder and will be taken to Boulder County Jail. Officials say it will take days to investigate the crime scene thoroughly and notify families of the loss of their loved ones. Local, state, and federal agencies responded to the scene to aid in the investigation.

Officer Eric Talley had been with the department since 2010 and was very passionate about his job according to Officer Mark Bliley, head of the Boulder Police Department’s union. Bliley continued to say that Talley had a unique ability to connect with people; that he was a highly respected, well-loved person and officer – a solid person that everyone loved.

Kelli McGannon, King Soopers spokeswoman, said the company is working with investigators and will be deferring to law enforcement on all inquiries about the shooting. “Our hearts are broken over this senseless act of violence,” she said.

Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords commented “It’s beyond time for our leaders to take action” on gun control. Giffords is a gun control advocate and mass shooting survivor. She went on to comment that “This is not normal, and it doesn’t have to be this way. This is an especially personal tragedy for me. I survived a shooting at a grocery store, in a tragedy that devastated my beloved community of Tucson. It’s been 10 years, and countless American communities have had to face something similar. Today it’s a tragedy in Boulder, Colorado. This past weekend it was a house party in Philadelphia. And last week it was an armed attack on Asian American women in the Atlanta area.”

The supermarket shooting occurred just seven days after the violent mass shooting in Atlanta where eight innocent people, including six Asian women, were killed when a gunman terrorized three spas. On March 17, five people were gunned down in a drive-by shooting while preparing a vigil in Stockton, California. Just a day later, four victims were shot in Gresham, Oregon. In Houston, five people were shot within a club during a disturbance on March 20. In Philadelphia, five people were injured and one murdered during a shooting at a party on the same day.

The Colorado Healing Fund is collecting donations for victims of the Boulder shooting. The Colorado Healing Fund is a non-profit organization created to support victims of mass tragedies.

Victims of the King Sooper’s Mass Shooting:

  • Denny Strong, 20 years old
  • Neven Stoanisic, 23 years old
  • Rikki Olds, 25 years old
  • Tralona Bartkowiak, 49 years old
  • Suzanne Fountain, 59 years old
  • Teri Leiker, 51 years old
  • Officer Eric Talley, 51 years old
  • Kevin Mahoney, 61 years old
  • Lynn Murray, 62 years old
  • Jody Waters, 65 years old
Rita Azar illustration for 360 MAGAZINE article on immigration

American Attitudes Towards Immigrants

New Report: What Immigration Issues Do Americans Hold Sacred?

Why has immigration moved from being a mundane policy issue into one of the most hotly-debated topics in American politics today? Why was family separation so widely rebuked by the public and why is building a border wall so divisive?

Answers to these questions can be found in a new report published by the Center for Inclusion and Belonging at the American Immigration Council and Over Zero, titled: “What Immigration Issues Do Americans Hold Sacred? A Psychological Journey into American Attitudes Towards Immigrants” by Nichole Argo, Ph.D. and Kate Jassin, Ph.D.

The report—and the behavioral survey upon which it is based—overcome the limitations of traditional polling by digging deeper into how deeply respondents think about immigration issues, and why they feel the way that they do. 

In March 2020, the authors conducted a nationally representative survey to examine 14 key immigration issues. They asked respondents to choose between an open or restrictive stance on each issue, then reflect on how much it mattered to them. They then asked how much money it would take for respondents to give up this value.  

Stances that cannot be traded away for any amount of money are considered “sacred values.” They are processed in the brain differently than regular values, and efforts to argue or negotiate around them as if they are regular values are likely to backfire.

How sacred is immigration in the United States today to those on the right and the left? Very. This is one explanation for why the debate becomes so heated on immigration and easily divides Americans. 

What are the beliefs, values, experiences, and attitudes most associated with open or restrictive sacralization and what can we do about it?  

View the full report and key findings here

Kaelen Felix illustrates eviction article for 360 Magazine.

EVICTIONS POSTPONED FOR NOW

By Althea Champion

The Trump Administration recently announced a new eviction moratorium, which took effect Sept. 4th and will last until the end of December. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention put forward the order, which is meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, rent will be due when the moratorium expires at the end of the year.

The order is expected to go much further than its predecessor, the eviction ban classified under the CARES act, which protected 12 million tenants in qualifying properties and expired July 24th. The new moratorium is expected to protect all tenants who do not expect to earn more than $99,000 this year or face other financial limitations, and prove they are eligible.

This protection is meant to prevent a devastating wave of homelessness, that of which will likely spread the virus, worsening an already dire situation in the U.S.

Tenants breathed a huge sigh of relief as the news broke. According to a survey conducted by the National Housing Law Project, 85% of respondents expected a dramatic surge in eviction cases once the moratoria expired. However, the bills of tenants are not evaporating. Rather, they are starting a tab kept by their landlords.

“This Order is a temporary eviction moratorium to prevent the further spread of COVID-19,” the order reads. “This Order does not relieve any individual of any obligation to pay rent, make a housing payment, or comply with any other obligation that the individual may have under a tenancy, lease, or similar contract.”

Rather, it simply does not allow a landlord or owner of a property to evict tenants from their homes during the four month period it is active.

Tenants need to apply as soon as possible.

“To apply for the new moratorium, tenants will have to attest to a substantial loss of household income, the inability to pay full rent and best efforts to pay partial rent,” reports Matthew Goldstein of the New York Times. “Tenants must also stipulate that eviction would be likely to leave them homeless or force them to live with others at close quarters.”

This moratorium does not offer financial assistance. Instead, renters and landlords will take on the debt as they continue living in and renting their homes.

“The eviction moratorium the CDC enacted works from a health point of view, but it dodges the fundamental question, which is, how are we ultimately going to pay for this?” said Doug Quattrochi, a small landlord from Mass. on PBS NewsHour. “Just putting temporary band-aids on isn’t going to work when we knew, at the start of this, we were gonna need stitches.”

Rita Azar illustrates US Federal officer story in 360 MAGAZINE.

Federal Agents Move into Multiple US Cities

By Emmet McGeown

On June 29, 4-year old LeGend Taliferro was killed by gunfire in Kansas City, Missouri. He had fallen asleep inside his pillow fort and at around 2am he was murdered in a targeted shooting of his apartment, according to the Kansas City Police Department.

Having been diagnosed with a heart defect shortly after birth, LeGend received his first open-heart surgery at just 4 months old. His mother, Charron Powell, said that her only child “has the heart of a lion” and was always excited to create awareness for conditions similar to his.

As a result of this horrific murder and spiking crime rates in St. Louis Attorney General, William Barr, announced “Operation LeGend” on July 8. This Justice Department initiative has directed agents from the FBI, DEA, ATF, and US Marshals Service to supplement local law enforcement agencies with the aim of cracking down on illegal gun trafficking and aiding ongoing homicide investigations.

In total, 225 federal agents were sent to Kansas City to help the 400 federal agents already located in the metro area. US Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, Tim Garrison, announced on July 31 that 97 arrests have been made by federal and local law enforcement since the launch of Operation LeGend. Five arrests were made for homicide, but other offenses cited were drug trafficking, robbery, and child molestation.

However, this has not been the extent of federal intervention in US cities. In a Fox News phone interview, the President stated “We’ll go into all of the cities, any of them. We’re ready.” Such a statement is emblematic of the President’s desire to make federal policing a key part of his Nixonian “law and order” campaign strategy. Undoubtedly, he is hoping to appeal to suburban voters worried about crime spilling into their neighborhoods from urban centers. The President also claimed that he was prepared to dispatch “50,000, 60,000 people” into American cities.

Trump has presented increasing crime rates in cities as a partisan issue whereby Democrat-run cities are the most dangerous places in the country largely due to their leadership’s political affiliation. Overall, out of the 50 largest cities in the US the homicide rate has increased by 25% in cities with Democratic mayors and by 15% in Republican-run cities revealing a decidedly bipartisan issue despite the President’s best efforts.

Operation LeGend’s coordinated law enforcement plan has now expanded into Chicago, Albuquerque, Cleveland, Detroit and Milwaukee. Reasons for this move include a 54% increase in homicides in Chicago from last year, a 7% increase in Detroit’s violent crime compared to the previous year while each of Cleveland’s 5 police districts are coping with an increase in shootings of around 20%.

Such statistics reveal a problem in many US cities, yet the question remains as to whether this problem can or should be solved through federal intervention or whether this, being a local issue, should be remedied via local resources.

Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, Detention Centers Must Release Children

Detention Centers Must Release Children

On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Dolly Gee ruled that the Trump administration must release 124 children who have been held for more than 20 days in family detention facilities. Judge Gee’s ruling cited the threat of COVID-19 and insufficient protections in the crowded facilities, writing that “family residential centers are on fire and there is no more time for half measures.”

While the ruling is a positive development, it also sets up the possibility that the Trump administration will, as Families Belong Together noted, “use this court victory as grounds for a new family separation policy.” Judge Gee confined her ruling to children because of her role in adjudicating child safety issues related to the Flores Settlement Agreement. 

Instead of replaying the systematic separation of children from their parents – one of the darkest chapters of this or any other presidency – it’s time for the administration to allow all the families held in detention to be released.

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice: We call on the administration to do the right thing, and to do it right now. In fact, there has never been a reason for family detention in the first place. Now that the virus is sweeping through these facilities, the urgent imperatives are to save lives and keep families together. 

Don’t force families to choose between forced separation and forced exposure to COVID-19. Release families to proven alternatives that are effective, humane and that keep families together. These case management programs lead to almost universal compliance by those seeking asylum with all appointments and decisions.  

In the summer 2018, a huge public backlash forced the Trump administration to publicly walk back their family separation practices. Given the administration’s immigration cruelty and the Trump campaign’s relentless xenophobia, we shouldn’t be surprised if President Trump uses this moment to again embark on a policy of family separation.

America faces yet another moment of truth. Are we going to rip children away from their parents again, or are we going to keep families together and safe?

Follow Frank Sharry, Douglas Rivlin Twitter: @FrankSharry and @douglasrivlin 

Follow America’s Voice : Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Cuba Travel

On June 4, 2019, the Trump Administration announced further restrictions on travel to Cuba, immediately halting cruise ship arrivals and some other forms of travel. Edward Piegza, founder of Classic Journeys, explains the latest rules.

Why should I care about the new Cuba Travel Restrictions?

On Tuesday, June 4, 2019, the Trump administration announced new rules about people-to-people and cruise travel to Cuba. These will affect most Americans traveling to Cuba. If you have plans for such a trip – or have been thinking about making them – you may naturally be confused. Here’s a summary of the changes to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations and the Export Administration Regulations announced by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) (the section at the Department of the Treasury that regulates the trade and travel embargo to Cuba and which issues licenses for travel to Cuba) and the Commerce Department, respectively.

Can I travel legally to Cuba with Classic Journeys on its People-to-People programs? 

Yes, indeed. Your travel to Cuba on Classic Journeys’ People-to-People programs is 100% legal because our programs fall under OFAC’s ‘grandfather’ clause. OFAC considers the grandfather clause to apply when a People-to-People organization like Classic Journeys had completed a travel-related transaction prior to June 5, 2019, in connection with a particular departure date, even if, prior to June 5, 2019, you as a traveler had not yet reserved your trip. In other words, because we had already reserved our hotel accommodations for our People-to-People trips in Cuba prior to June 5, 2019, your travel to Cuba on our People-to-People programs is grandfathered in as completely legal.

How do the new regulations affect People-to-People travel?

OFAC has allowed U.S. organizations whose people-to-people programs in Cuba fall under a ‘grandfather’ clause, such as those operated by Classic Journeys, to proceed with those programs through the end of 2019. 

So, what is a qualifying “travel-related transaction” that allows Classic Journeys’ People-to-People programs to Cuba to be legal under the grandfather clause? 

The qualifying “travel-related transaction” that needs to have been completed prior to June 5 could be, for example: having made a reservation for an accommodation (whether or not paid for) or booking and paying for transportation. These are just two examples and are not meant to be exhaustive. In the case of Classic Journeys, our close relationships with local people in Cuba mean that we already had our hotel reservations confirmed prior to June 5.

What People-to-People programs and dates are legal with Classic Journeys under the new regulations? 

All three of our People-to-People programs (Long Weekend in Havana, Cuba for Families: Havana and the Viñales Valley, and Havana Cienfuegos & Trinidad) and all of their departure dates for 2019 are 100% legal.

Can you still fly to Cuba legally on commercial air flights?

Commercial air flights are not affected by the changes. Note that your airline will ask you at the time of ticketing to select from a listing of the type of license under which you are traveling to Cuba legally. Your first choice option for the license will be a “people-to-people” exchange with the “grandfather clause” aka referencing the fact that your People-to-People organization- Classic Journeys – has made its arrangements prior to June 5, 2019. If that option is not available, you can select “educational activities” (so long as there is no mention of a degree requirement). If the airline you are considering does not have one of these options right now, they are likely playing catch up with the new regulations; so you can check back with them in a few days or try one of the many other airlines with commercial flights from the U.S. to Cuba.

How do the new regulations affect cruise travel to Cuba?

The changes have immediately ended travel to Cuba by U.S.-flagged cruise ships or foreign-flagged cruise ships departing from U.S. ports. The Commerce Department has not included a “grandfather” clause to allow cruises that have already been scheduled, and for which passengers have already made arrangements. If you have a paid a deposit or final payment for cruise travel to Cuba, you should contact your cruise company for a refund.

What about private aircraft and boats; can they travel legally to Cuba? 

No. The authorization for private vessels and private aircraft (such as private fishing boats and private sailboats, and corporate or private jets) is revoked.

How will the changes under President Trump affect the people of Cuba?

We’ve made so many wonderful friends in Cuba and seen the lives of the Cuban people change for the better during recent years. So, of course, we’re concerned about what it will mean to their prosperity and general welfare with the enaction of these new travel regulations. The Cubans have been through so much in the last 60 years. They’ve always managed to bear their hardships with grace and warm solidarity in their families and communities.

One known feature of the new regulations is that they will cap remittances – the money that can be sent to Cubans from friends and family members in the U.S. – at $1,000 per person every three months. In a country where the median monthly salary is just $32, you can only imagine how a reduction in remittance income will impact everyday life. In addition, travel had become a major source of income for Cubans, as well, so any reduction in that resource will echo throughout the country in a way for the people who can least afford it and whom we and our government want to help.

We choose guarded optimism.

We are approaching Cuba as we always have – with care, enthusiasm, and with pride in the fact that legal travel for Americans to Cuba has changed the lives of our American guests and the everyday local Cubans they’ve met, in overwhelmingly positive ways. You can still travel to Cuba legally with Classic Journeys. We like to think of this way of travel as an informal version of ‘Voice of America” with boots on the ground… yours in fact, as you communicate a positive story of the American people to local Cuban people. We urge you to hold fast to your plans. And if you’ve been hesitating to plan a Cuba trip, you know now that you can, and we encourage you to do so.

ABOUT CLASSIC JOURNEYS

Since its founding in 1995 with one style of travel in a total of three countries, Classic Journeys has expanded to offer five styles of travel (culture + walking, culinary, family, multi-sport, and river cruising) and 100 itineraries in 50 countries across six continents. With its focus on providing every guest a handcrafted trip of a lifetime, Classic Journeys has won awards from a variety of publications including Afar, Saveur, National Geographic and Travel + Leisure – the latter having named it a “World’s Best Tour Operator” every year since 2007. 

Professor Jeffrey Swartz on Manafort Sentencing

LAW SCHOOL PROFESSOR AND LEGAL ANALYST ON PAUL MANAFORT SENTENCING

Western Michigan University Cooley Law School Professor Jeffrey Swartz, a former prosecutor and former Judge in Miami-Dade County, is offering the below statement regarding the sentencing of Paul Manafort.

As a former prosecutor I am incensed at Judge T. S. Ellis III’s hubris at believing he sees the Manafort prosecution for one thing, while ignoring the greater issues of continuing to punish non-violent, but yet serious white-collar behavior so leniently.  Mr. Manfort’s attorneys successfully invoked the constant battle between the two theories of punishment that have been the stalwart of our system of justice for two hundred years, Utilitarianism (the certainty of punishment as a general deterrence to society not to violate the law) and Retributivism (addressing sentencing to the individual defendant based upon their own moral blameworthiness, i.e. their just deserts).

Judge Ellis’ findings give short shrift to the underlying criminality of Manfort’s conduct and business.  The prosecution sentencing memorandum and, although we have not seen it, what appears to be in the Pre-Sentence Investigation and Report seem to outline the long history of Manfort’s criminal behavior, contempt for the laws of the United States, our system of justice even while out on bond, including his attempt to tamper with witnesses, and his disregard for the undermining of our democracy and form of government.

The Sentencing Guidelines were promulgated by Congress to provide a means for judges to standardize the approach toward how to appropriately punish the conduct of defendants based upon objective criteria.  They also contemplate that the court will consider “all relevant conduct”, not just that conduct for which the defendant was convicted. Although they are just “guidelines” they provide for departures both upwards and downwards, giving the court “appropriate discretion” to adjust its ultimate decision, where the findings of the court support the exercise of that discretion.  In that regard they are both Utilitarian (certainty and consistency of punishment) and retributive (assuring an individualistic approach to a particular defendant).

Judge Ellis ignored everything other than his own opinion that there was an ulterior motive for this prosecution.  He more than exercised his discretion. I would argue that he abused that discretion in the grossest way. A guidelines range of 234 to 288 months may have been more severe than most thought appropriate.  However, Ellis reduced that to less than twenty percent of the bottom of those guidelines at forty-seven months less nine months credit for time served.

The penalty Ellis imposed, even in the face of not granting Manafort even the three-point adjustment for acceptance of responsibility, seems to indicate a disdain for white-collar prosecution in general.  A disdain many ex-prosecutors, who have appeared before him, have stated he has exhibited in the past. He also made clear his displeasure at the government’s prosecution of Mr. Manafort, which was exhibited on more that one occasion through specific statements he verbalized and his rulings at trial, by interfering in the government’s introduction of evidence and testimony.

The depth and breadth of Manfort’s criminality, and its effect on our society was set forth in the prosecution’s memorandum, which Ellis chose to ignore.  This was not a “one-off” as Ellis seemed to allude in the pronouncement of his sentence, but a lifetime systematic course of conduct. Manafort is a criminal in every sense of the word, who deserved far more than he received.

The only saving grace is that Manafort must face sentencing before Judge Amy Berman Jackson next week.  Judge Jackson has likewise indicated a disdain for a party in her case. Judge Jackson is the judge who ordered Manafort into custody for his actions while out on bond.  It was before her that Manafort entered into a plea agreement, which mandated his truthful and complete cooperation with the special counsel’s investigation, to which Manafort chose to not cooperate fully, but to actually lie to investigators and grand jurors.  I could argue that in so doing he was attempting to obstruct justice.

I can only hope that Judge Jackson corrects Judge Ellis’ lack of perspective and balance.  It is fair to expect that Jackson will sentence Manafort to an appropriate term of incarceration intended, not only to send a message to all those who would engage in the crimes in which Manafort engaged, but to give Manafort his just desserts.  Whether it amounts to a “life” sentence or not, anything less than 120 to 144 months would be a true miscarriage of justice, in light of the fact that those guilty of far less egregious behavior receive greater sentences than Manafort received from Ellis.

Negotiations End With California Over Clean Car Standards

Reports indicate that the Trump administration has ended negotiations with California over the administration’s plans to roll back vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards. This indicates that the administration is likely to revoke a waiver that permits California and other states to enact more stringent standards than the federal government.

The fact that the Trump administration has stopped talking to California officials about the clean cars standards is an ominous sign. It signals President Donald Trump’s determination to undo the standards – which have saved consumers more than $70 billion at the gas pump and cut dangerous climate pollution – and revoke the California waiver, which allows that state, 13 others and the District of Columbia to protect their citizens from harmful tailpipe pollution. 

Rolling back the clean car standards is reckless. Doing so threatens not only the lives and pocketbooks of every American but also the long-established ability of states to protect their residents from pollution. 

While the Trump administration doubles down on dangerous policies to benefit the auto industry and big oil, more leaders are stepping up to defend the clean car standards. On Wednesday, more than 200 state lawmakers from 14 states called on the auto industry to oppose the rollback and instead support the lifesaving and money-saving standards. 

The industry and administration should heed their call and preserve the standards, which constitute one of the most effective programs we have to combat climate change.

TPS Holders Sue Trump Administration

Six adults with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and two U.S. citizen children of TPS holders filed a class-action lawsuit today seeking to stop the unlawful termination of TPS for over 100,000 TPS holders from Honduras and Nepal and prevent the separation of tens of thousands of U.S. citizen children from their TPS-holder parents. The suit was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Plaintiffs are represented by the ACLU Foundation of Southern California and ACLU Foundation of Northern California in the release, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, and Sidley Austin. [Read the filing here]

In October of 2018, the Court enjoined the termination of TPS for Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador, finding substantial evidence that the terminations were motivated by racism and violated the Administrative Procedure Act. Plaintiffs in Bhattarai v. Nielsen allege that the terminations of TPS for Honduras and Nepal suffer from the same legal flaws and should be set aside. Plaintiffs also allege that the terminations are unconstitutional because they require the U.S. citizen children of TPS holders to choose between their country and their family.

Plaintiff Keshav Raj Bhattarai, a member of Adhikaar and Nepali TPS holder shares, “I am proud to be a part of this lawsuit, for all the other Nepali TPS holders like me. With TPS I have been able to build a new life here with my family and I have a found a stable job. When I see so many people’s lives at risk in losing TPS, I am troubled to see that this country would harm its hardworking workers and people. I wish to continue working to support this country, and also continue supporting the rebuilding of Nepal, which is still recovering from the earthquake.”

The complaint filed today alleges that, in terminating TPS for Honduras and Nepal, political appointees in the Department of Homeland Security deliberately ignored recommendations from U.S. Ambassadors and evidence of conditions on the ground. Instead, they predetermined that TPS must be terminated to further the President’s “America First” policy, which seeks to exclude non-white, non-European immigrants. The complaint recites a litany of racist statements made by President Trump in reference to Latin American and South Asian countries and immigrants, including referring to immigrants as snakes and animals, mispronouncing Nepal as “nipple,” and faking an Indian accent in imitation of Indian Prime Minster Narendra Modi.

Plaintiff Donaldo Posadas Caceres, a member of the Painters’ Union (IUPAT DC21) with TPS from Honduras explains, “I’m taking part in this lawsuit not just for myself and my daughter but for everyone who would be hurt by our TPS being taken away. Forcing our children to choose between the life they have here or a country they don’t know is unfair. Sending all of us to danger and instability is unjust. I’m proud to have been a union painter for two decades in this country and it does not feel right to see all of that just cut away.”

Jessica Bansal, NDLON’s Co-Legal Director, said: “The Trump Administration is illegally trying to gut the humanitarian TPS program, but TPS holders are fighting back. They have already won a temporary reprieve for hundreds of thousands of TPS holders. With today’s filing, they seek to protect tens of thousands more.”

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are members of diverse organizations fighting to defend TPS in the courts and in Congress, including Adhikaar, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), AND the National TPS Alliance.

Jenny Zhao, Staff Attorney at Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, said: “The Trump Administration’s plan to end TPS for Honduras and Nepal must be stopped before it causes immeasurable harm to TPS holders, their families, and their communities.”

Minju Cho, Staff Attorney at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles said: “TPS holders are valued members of our communities. They are parents to tens and thousands of U.S. citizen children. TPS is vital to people’s ability to work and provide for themselves and their families. We are proud to stand alongside these communities in their fight against the Trump administration’s unconstitutional attempt to take TPS away.”

Ahilan Arulanantham, Senior Counsel at the ACLU of Southern California, said: “We are proud to represent these courageous U.S. citizen children and their parents who held Temporary Protected Status before the Trump Administration unlawfully stripped it away. They ask only that our government respect their due process rights. We hope the Court will uphold the rule of law and grant them the protection they deserve.”

Natural Habitat Adventures Takes Stand Against Alaska’s Proposed Pebble Mine

Southwest Alaska is now ground zero in a conservation crisis. A massive open-pit gold and copper mine is slated for development inside the headwaters of the Bristol Bay watershed, home to two national parks, a national wildlife refuge, a state park and countless acres of sensitive and pristine roadless terrain. As a global leader in conservation tourism, Natural Habitat Adventures is taking a stand against this dramatic insult upon the environment, wildlife and Alaskan communities. Together with Alaska’s fishing industry, Native communities and more than 200,000 World Wildlife Fund supporters, Natural Habitat Adventures encourages opposition to the Pebble Mine’s environmental impacts and the destruction of Alaska’s pristine habitats, inviting signatures to WWF’s petition here.

A Continuing Standoff

A fight against the proposed Pebble Mine has raged for nearly two decades, following the discovery of the rich mineral deposit near Katmai National Park. Prospects looked positive for protecting this sensitive environment in 2014 when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Obama Administration deemed this heavy metal mining project too risky to consider further.

But the EPA under the current administration has reversed course, reopening the permitting process and charging the Army Corps of Engineers with preparing an Environmental Impact Statement that will aid regulators reviewing the permit application. The outlook for Bristol Bay and Katmai National Park, where Natural Habitat Adventures leads trips to view coastal brown bears, has become precarious. As the Trump Administration pushes the Pebble Mine agenda forward, the possibility grows for approval of a massive mining operation that would mar a vast tract of untouched wilderness and two of Bristol Bay’s prime river systems.

A Destructive Impact

The proposed industrial site would be nearly as deep as the Grand Canyon and consume more land than the area of Manhattan. It lies within an active earthquake zone. And it would harm one of the most productive marine ecosystems on the planet—including the world’s largest wild salmon fishery, which produces 46 percent of the world’s wild sockeye salmon harvest alone and provides income for 31 Alaska Native villages and more than 12,000 jobs for fisherman and processors—a $5.4 billion annual industry.

In addition to the footprint of the mine itself, multiple landscape-altering transportation systems would traverse pristine wilderness that provides critical habitat for wildlife, including thousands of bears and millions of wild salmon, and sustains ecosystem health for Alaska Natives who have relied on natural resources in this region for centuries. Other wildlife that depends on this unique environment include bald eagles and 189 other bird species, seals, walrus, pacific right whales, beluga whales, rainbow trout, and more than 40 other species of terrestrial mammals such as moose, wolves and others.

The Pebble project will cause irreparable harm to this vulnerable ecosystem. In addition to tailings and toxic water pollution on site, the injuries include an 80-mile-long road crossing more than 200 streams and penetrating the most productive brown bear habitat on Earth, a year-round icebreaking ferry running across Lake Iliamna, and a large industrial airstrip and port that includes a 4.2-mile dredged corridor through some of ¬¬the world’s most unmarred and productive marine ecosystems. A new road would pass within a mile of the McNeil River State Game Refuge and Sanctuary, currently the undisturbed home of one of Alaska’s densest concentrations of large mammals, including the largest congregation of brown bears anywhere on the planet.

Join the Opposition: Stop Pebble Mine—Make Your Voice Heard by June 29

Time is running out to help protect the brown bears, salmon and other abundant wildlife of Southwest Alaska. The public comment period for the Pebble Project Environmental Impact Statement ends after June 29, 2018, making it critical to voice concern about the Pebble Mine before the end of the month.

Join Natural Habitat Adventures and WWF’s joint opposition to the Pebble Mine by sharing your specific concerns about the project with the Army Corps today. Precise, detailed comments hold the most weight.