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4th Circuit Rules Upholds Nationwide Injunction of Trump Travel's Ban

In a 205 page opinion, available here, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, rejected most of Trump's travel ban. A Washington Post article is here.

In a 10-to-3 decision, the Richmond-based court said the president’s power to deny entry into the United States is not absolute and sided with challengers, finding that the travel ban “in context drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination.”

...All of the judges in the majority were nominated to the court by Democratic presidents, and the three dissenting judges — Paul V. Niemeyer, Dennis W. Shedd and G. Steven Agee — were nominated to the bench by Republican presidents.

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ICE Starts Victims' Telephone Program

The latest appalling action by ICE: Check out its "Voice Program", announced yesterday. It stands for "Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement Office." There's even a VINE feature to help anyone track find and track undocumented persons who have been convicted of a crime.

ICE also says this is just a beginning. It is going to be also expanding services to allow the agency "to collect metrics and information." On whom? The victims or the perpetrators? Or both?

It uses deprecated terms like "illegal" to refer to undocumented persons.

My view: This program is an unacceptable use of federal resources that highlights the shameful bigotry in the Trump Administration's agenda.

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U.S. to Pay $1 Million for Border Agents' Role in Violent Death of Undocumented Man

U.S. Border Patrol agents viciously beat Anastacio Hernandez, an undocumented immigrant, to death with batons and tasers. It was filmed by passers-by, and even though the agents tried to grab the cameras, one got by them. The U.S. will now pay Mr. Hernandez's family $1 million.

The United States settled a lawsuit with Hernandez’s estate last month, agreeing to dole out $1 million to his five children and his common-law wife, Maria Puga. The battle could have dragged on for years longer in court, the family’s attorney said, but they were worried President Trump could make Hernandez’s death a political issue amid efforts to beef up border security.

Still, none of the agents involved have been fired or disciplined or “lost a dime of pay,” for a beating that broke five of Hernandez’s ribs, damaged his spine and ultimately killed him, according to Eugene Iredale, the family’s attorney, who claims the immigrant was handcuffed as he was beaten.

“In 90 minutes, this case exemplifies the range of deficiency and misconduct that typifies the action of law enforcement that handles immigration enforcement,” Iredale told The Washington Post. “These agents are doing this in front of G-d and the world.”

Here is the Justice Department press release from 2015 with a bizarrely different version of the facts explaining why the officers aren't being charged. Here's what the other groups found: [More...]

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Senate Votes to Repeal Internet Privacy Rules

The Senate has voted to repeal internet privacy rules enacted under President Obama:

According to the rules approved by the Federal Communications Commission in October under then-President Barack Obama, internet providers would need to obtain consumer consent before using precise geolocation, financial information, health information, children's information and web browsing history for advertising and internal marketing.

The vote was a victory for internet providers such as AT&T Inc (T.N), Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O) and Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N), which had strongly opposed the rules.

Excessive intrusive advertising, especially auto-play video and non-properly scaled, ad-laden and ugly-as* news websites have already ruined the internet. [More...]

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ICE Releases "Declined Detainer" Report

DHS today, following Donald Trump's Executive Order on public safety in January, released an ICE report with a week's worth of numbers for detainers requested and their outcome. The report is called "a Declined Detainer Outcome Report."

The Declined Detainer Outcome Report is a weekly report that shows those jurisdictions with the highest volume of declined detainers, and includes a list of sample crimes associated with those released individuals. This report is mandated by the president’s executive order “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States.”

The full report, covering 1/28 to 2/3/17 is here.

The report is merely an attempt to create a shaming list. Non-compliance with an ICE detainer request is nothing to be ashamed of. ICE detainer requests are just that -- requests -- they are not orders, and compliance is voluntary. [More...]

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Fed. Judge Halts Trump's Immigration Order Nationally

A federal judge in Hawaii has issued a nationwide order blocking Trump's new immigration order.

The Judge issued his 43 page Order two hours after the hearing ended. The opinion is here.[More...]

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Wikileaks ReleasesTrove of CIA Hacking Tools

Wikileaks released a trove of documents about CIA hacking tools used to break into "smartphones, computers and even Internet-connected televisions."

What it means (according to Edward Snowden)"[it's the]first public evidence [of]USG secretly paying to keep US software unsafe."

The CIA reports show the USG developing vulnerabilities in US products, then intentionally keeping the holes open. Reckless beyond words.

...Why is this dangerous? Because until closed, any hacker can use the security hole the CIA left open to break into any iPhone in the world.

Although Wikileaks says Signal and WhatsApp were compromised, Snowden says the released documents show "iOS/Android are what got hacked - a much bigger problem." Others say if you're worried about being hacked, Signal is still the safest option.

Check out Sam Biddle at The Intercept, Wikileaks Dump shows CIA Could Turn Smart TVs into Listening Devices.

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Ecuador Takes a Stand Against Trump's Immigration Policy

Ecuador has launched a campaign against U.S. Immigration policies. It is providing consular assistance and wants Ecuadorians to know that they are not alone, no matter where they are.

Here are some of the graphics, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Translation isn't really needed but I added some to the less obvious graphics:)

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Ecuador Complains About State Dept. Human Rights and Drugs Reports

Breaking with yet another tradition, Donald Trump's Secretary of State couldn't be bothered to personally appear for the release of the State Department's annual report on human rights.

“It’s just signaling a lack of basic interest and understanding in how support for human rights reflects what’s best about America,” said Rob Berschinski, senior vice-president for policy at Human Rights First.

Ecuador is blasting the report, saying the accusations against it are unfounded. In an official release, essentially telling the U.S. to examine abuses within its own borders before casting aspersions on others, it makes a few good points:

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Massive Raids By ICE

Shades of 2011 in 2017, 2006, and earlier. ICE is on the warpath once again.

What we need is a path to legalization, respect for family re-unification, and an ICE meltdown.[More...]

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Constitutional Rights Apply to Everyone, Including Immigrants

Donald Trump occupies the oval office but he cannot erase the Constitution. The Constitution protects everyone, including the undocumented and non-citizens.

If you are not a citizen, here are your most basic rights, according to the National Immigration Law Center, which joined with the ACLU and other groups yesterday to hand Donald Trump his first judicial defeat over his outrageous executive order discriminating against Muslims and refugees according to country of origin:

  • Officers from any law enforcement agency, including ICE and the Border Patrol, must show you their ID if you ask for it. You have the right to ask them to show you an identity document.
  • You have the right to remain silent. You are not required to answer any questions or sign any papers about where you’re from or what your immigration status is.
  • You have the right to call and speak with an attorney. Be prepared. Look up the phone number of a lawyer or organization that provides legal help to immigrants. Then memorize their phone number, or write it down and carry it with you wherever you go.

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Border Agents Refused Entry to Canadians Who Wanted to March

The Washington Post reports that U.S. Border Patrol Agents refused entry to Canadians who were coming to the U.S. to join the Women's March:

U.S. border agents asked what they planned to do in the United States. “We said we were going to the Women’s March on Saturday and they said, ‘Well, you’re going to have to pull over,’ ” Dyck told the Guardian. Agents then searched their car and examined their cellphones, according to Dyck. Each member of the group was fingerprinted and had their pictures taken.

Finally, after two hours, the agents told Dyck and his friends to turn around. “They said, ‘You’re headed home today,’ ” Dyck told the Guardian. Officials warned that they’d be arrested if they tried to cross at a different spot this weekend, Dyck said. “And that was it, they didn’t give a lot of justification.”

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ACLU Ready to Fight Trump's Policies in Court

The ACLU says Donald Trump is a one-man constitutional crisis and it is ready to fight him in court.

In the event of a Trump presidency, we have undertaken a constitutional analysis of his most controversial policy proposals. These include his pledges to deport over 11 million undocumented immigrants, to ban Muslims from entering the United States, to surveil American Muslims and their houses of worship, to torture again, and to revise libel laws. We have found them all wanting, to say the least. According to our analysis, Trump’s proposals taken together would violate the First, Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth Amendments to the Constitution.

ACLU lawyers have prepared this legal analysis of his positions. [More...]

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Supreme Court Splits on Obama's Appeal of Immigration Program

The Supreme Court today refused to lift the injunction on Obama's DAPA program for parents of immigrant children in the U.S. The Court split 4-4. There is no opinion as such, just a statement that "The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided Court." Here are the questions the Supreme Court addressed. The 5th Circuit opinion that the Court refused to set aside today is here.

Hispanic voter registration has risen dramatically. Republican voices may be louder on the issue, but I'm confident they will be defeated. Today's ruling will energize those favoring immigration reform and family reunification. [More...]

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DEA Wants Easier Access to Your Medical Records

I've always thought the state prescription monitoring databases are a huge abuse of patient privacy in the name of the futile war on drugs. The Daily Beast reports on DEA's fight for access to your medical records without a warrant or court order.

The DEA has claimed for years that under federal law it has the authority to access the state’s Prescription Drug Monitor Program database using only an “administrative subpoena.” These are unilaterally issued orders that do not require a showing of probable cause before a court, like what’s required to obtain a warrant.

Thankfully, a judge in Oregon balked (but read on) [More...]:

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