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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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MS Governor Signs Discrimination Bill

If it walks like a duck....The Governor of Mississippi claims the anti-gay bill he just signed is an expression of religious freedom not discrimination. Baloney.

The bill, H.R. 1523, as sent to the Governor, is here.

The Governor and legislature call it an anti-discrimination bill -- it prevents legal action against those who discriminate against gays and transgenders, provided they say they are doing so for religious and moral reasons.

What a shameful and disgusting bill.

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Apple to DOJ: We're Not Your Hackers

Apple filed a motion today saying the Department of Justice has no right to make it hack into iPhones.

Apple argues that not only does it not even know exactly how to create the software in question, the larger issue is the bad precedent of allowing the FBI to compel it, or any other tech company, to write code against its will.

“If Apple can be forced to write code in this case to bypass security features and create new accessibility, what is to stop the government from demanding that Apple write code to turn on the microphone in aid of government surveillance, activate the video camera, surreptitiously record conversations, or turn on location services to track the phone’s user?” asks the brief. “Nothing.”

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Apple, the Feds and San Bernadino Update

NPR has published Apple's Feb. 17, 2016 response to a federal magistrate judge in New York who requested information the day before on instances in which the Feds are seeking assistance unlocking encrypted data on iPhones. You can view it here. The case is In re Order Requiring Apple Inc. to Assist in the Execution of a Search Warrant Issued by the Court, No. 15-MC-1902, Eastern District of New York. The Magistrate Judge is Jamie Orenstein, who has long been concerned about the privacy intrusions inherent in government requests for cell phone data. Here's an example from last October. [More...]

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Trump Calls for Apple Boycott

Donald Trump, calls for a boycott of Apple because it won't turn over the encryption code to the San Bernadino shooters' phone.

While his views on Apple are about as important as one grain of sand is to a whole beach, his views as a whole seem to be swaying Republicans. He's leading with one-third of the early Republican vote.

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The IC Overclassifies Torture Docs

Steven Aftergood:

The Central Intelligence Agency has improperly classified and withheld from release at least five categories of information related to its post-9/11 rendition, detention and interrogation program, according to a detailed complaint filed by Openthegovernment.org with the Information Security Oversight Office. Classification of this information has impeded government accountability for the controversial CIA programs and derailed a full public reckoning over abuses that occurred, the complaint said.

Good luck with that. Have you forgotten the "IC equities" in this (NewSpeak for coverups). From the complaint:

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State of Emergency Declared in Ferguson

There is no rest in Ferguson, MO on the anniversary of the death of Michael Brown. St. Louis Executive has declared a state of emergency.

Prosecutors announced they have filed charges against 18 year old Tyrone Harris, who was shot by police last night. Dozens of protesters have been arrested outside the federal courthouse in St. Louis and charged with trespassing.

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Senate Approves USA Freedom Act

The Senate has approved the USA Freedom Act. Already passed by the House, it will now go to President Obama for signing.

The USA Freedom Act, a bill that would end the National Security Agency’s practice of collecting troves of call data from telephone companies, passed on a 67 to 32 vote. It would instead mandate a six-month transition to a system in which the data would remain in private hands but could be searched on a case-by-case basis under a court order.

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DEA Secretly Tracked Billions of Phone Records For Decades

Via USA Today:

For more than two decades, the Justice Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration amassed logs of virtually all telephone calls from the USA to as many as 116 countries linked to drug trafficking, current and former officials involved with the operation said. The targeted countries changed over time but included Canada, Mexico and most of Central and South America.

Federal investigators used the call records to track drug cartels' distribution networks in the USA, allowing agents to detect previously unknown trafficking rings and money handlers

The program began under Bush I and continued throught the terms of the next three Presidents. It was carried out by DEA's "intelligence arm" with little oversight. It was stopped by AG Eric Holder in 2013. [More..]

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Ferguson Police Chief Resigns

In the latest fallout from DOJ's Ferguson report, Ferguson city officials announced that Police Chief Thomas Jackson resigned today. Ferguson City Manager John Shaw resigned on Tuesday, and Municipal Judge Ronald Brockmeyer resigned on Monday. Jackson's resignation letter is here.

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