DACA Under Siege by Trump and AG Jeff Sessions

Last week, Trump pardoned Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a notorious national symbol of racism who refused court orders to stop his racial profiling in his zealous multi-year campaign of persecution against Latino communities. Now, one week later, Trump is throwing MORE red meat to his anti-immigrant and white supremacist supporters by going after immigrant kids, once again undermining American values in order to feed the bigotry of his extreme base. 

This morning, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced to the world that we, as a nation, can no longer be trusted to keep its word, that our word is no longer our bond. You see, in a stunning act of cruelty even for Trump, he had Attorney General Jeff Sessions announce termination of key parts of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program effective six months from now, upending the lives of 800,000+ young people. That 

DACA recipients – often referred to as DREAMers — were brought to the US as children and for many of them this is the only country they’ve ever really known. Under the DACA program, they registered with the government and passed background checks in exchange for being able to work, pay taxes, and feel secure in their homes without the fear of deportation.

Many on the anti-immigrant Right who have been fighting against DACA since Day One have focused their criticism on the way in which it was done – with an executive order by President Obama. They have claimed that the real problem was just that Congress didn’t pass the law – so now it’s up to Congress to call their bluff and pass the DREAM Act.

Congress needs to act now to protect our investment in their education and assimilation before Trump releases his hordes of ICE thugs to begin deportation of DREAMers as their 2-yr authorizations come up for  renewals. And we even have a head start, because the bill already has bipartisan support!

Congress can undo this outrage by passing the DREAM Act of 2017, which would provide a path to citizenship for DACA recipients and other young undocumented immigrants who graduate from US high schools and attend college, enter the workforce, or enlist in a military program.

In the Senate, the DREAM Act is sponsored by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) … we need to demand that the Senate make this bipartisan bill a priority, to get relief to the DREAMers who need it.

Petition:  << Tell Congress to PASS the DREAM Act of 2017 without delay! >>

Or, better yet, take a moment from your day and call or write your members of Congress and ask them to expedite bringing the Dream Act of 2017 [ House bill#:  H.R.3440 / Senate bill#: S.1615 ] to the floor for a vote AND to vote for its passage:

Trump Set to Deport Dreamers to Appease His Supremacist Base

A Note from Senator Catherine Cortez Masto —

Last month, we celebrated the fifth anniversary of President Obama’s landmark Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This program granted hundreds of thousands of young people the opportunity to come out of the shadows and pursue the American Dream.

Dreamers are our soldiers, engineers, teachers and the future of this great nation. They embody everything we stand for as a country. But right now, DACA is under grave threat, and Dreamers are anxious about their future. Anti-immigrant attorneys general are threatening to sue the Trump administration if he doesn’t end DACA – and recent reports suggest Trump is finally about to follow through with his disgraceful campaign pledge to end the program. Now, more than ever, we need to stand up and defend these inspiring young men and women!

More than 12,000 DACA recipients call Nevada home, and I have been fortunate enough to spend time with many of them. They are fighters. They never give up. These young people were brought to our country as children, and for many of them, America is the only place they’ve ever called home. But now, they face constant uncertainty about their futures. This is wrong. We should be helping them live up to their full potential.

Not only is rescinding this program un-American, it is economically unsound. Deporting nearly 800,000 DACA beneficiaries would cost our economy at least $433 billion over the next 10 years. That’s not an economic policy we should embrace.

Welcoming immigrants is an American tradition. We should not be tearing families apart and inciting fear and discrimination. Dreamers are our loved ones, our friends, our neighbors, and we must protect them.

Thank you for standing up for these extraordinary young people.

¡La lucha sigue! 
The fight continues!


Got a Twitter account?  Tweet your demands to respect and protect DACA to: @POTUS, @realDonaldTrump, @VP, @MarkAmodeiNV2, @SenDeanHeller

Boo: Senator Heller Voted “AYE” to Nix PBO’s Immigration Executive Order

— Zach Hudson, NVDEMs spokesperson.

Heller02Senator Heller, who talks about “Anchor Babies,” cast his vote yesterday to kill Immigration Executive Action, eagerly hoping to be able to deport thousands of Nevada Immigrants.  He, however, voted on the losing side of that argument with the bill being “rejected” when it failed to garner 60 votes for passage.

Nevada State Democratic Party spokesperson Zach Hudson released the following statement after Senator Dean Heller voted to defund President Obama’s immigration executive action which is intended to keep families together:

“For all the talk of Dean Heller moderating on immigration after nearly losing his Senate race, today we saw the Dean Heller who uses phrases like ‘anchor babies’ and is scared of Sharron Angle’s shadow is still very much alive. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that a politician who wants to bring an Arizona-style immigration law to Nevada and opposes birthright citizenship would vote to defund a program that is preventing countless Nevada families from being torn apart. Nevadans saw today that when it matters most, Dean Heller will put appeasing the anti-immigrant wing of the Republican Party over helping keep families together.”

Heller’s Record on immigration:

Collins Plan Would Repeal President Obama’s Executive Action On Immigration That Granted Deferred Action To Immediate Family Of US Citizens. According to an article by Alexander Bolton of The Hill, “The Collins proposal would repeal Obama’s executive action from November that would grant de facto legal status to the immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, which would affect up to 5 million immigrants.” [The Hill, 2/4/15]

Heller Voted For The Collins Plan. [ S.534, Roll Call Vote 63, 2/27/15]

Heller spoke of “anchor babies” when discussing his previous opposition to comprehensive immigration reform. In October 2007, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported that Heller. “…spoke Saturday of his opposition to comprehensive immigration reform, saying no new laws are needed. ‘I don’t support amnesty. I don’t support benefits for illegals. I don’t support the Dream Act. I don’t support anchor babies. No sanctuary cities and no North American Union,’ he said.” [Reno Gazette-Journal, 10/14/2007]

In May 2011, Heller Said, “Just So You Know If I Was A Legislature In Arizona I Would Have Supported That Arizona Bill.” [Heller Tele-Town Hall, 5/05/11]

Heller Said He Would Support An Immigration Law Like Arizona’s In Nevada. In March 2011, Heller said he would support a policy similar to Arizona’s immigration law in Nevada. He said, “I am talking to members of the Arizona delegation about immigration policy down there. I think we need a similar policy here in NV and I would support a similar policy and I am surprised that this legislature isn’t talking more about immigration reform based on the size of the debt we have.” [Nevada Newsmakers, 3/21/11(video)]

On Deferred Action : The Hill reported that Heller “criticized President Obama for announcing a new policy on deporting young immigrants living in the country illegally rather than working with Congress to craft new immigration legislation.” [The Hill, 6/15/12]

On Birthright Citizenship : Heller reiterated his support for an overhaul of the 14th Amendment, saying the children of illegal immigrants should only receive birthright citizenship if at least one parent is a citizen. “I don’t believe we should be giving benefits to non-United States citizens over United States citizens,” he said. [AP, 1/06/12]

Heller Voted Against The DREAM Act. In 2010, Heller voted against the DREAM Act, which would provide a path to legal residency for hundreds of thousands of young, undocumented immigrants first brought to the United States illegally by their parents. While Republicans criticized the bill as de facto amnesty for undocumented immigrants and payment to Latino voters, Democrats argued the bill was a way to avoid punishing children for the acts of their parents and to strengthen military readiness and national competitiveness. The House measure would apply to adults under 30 who were brought to the U.S. prior to their 16th birthday and who had been in the country for at least five years. The bill would grant conditional legal status to qualifying young adults to completed at least two years of college or military service. It also required background and medical checks and the submission of biometric information. “The DREAM Act is about our nation’s cherished values of equality and opportunity. The DREAM Act would have strengthened our military readiness and national competitiveness. And it is the right thing to do. That is why this legislation passed the House with bipartisan support,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said after Senate Republicans blocked the bill’s passage. The bill passed, 216-198. [CQ Today, 12/08/10; Pelosi press release, 12/18/10; HR 5281, Vote #625, 12/08/10]

Heller has caught significant flack after it was found that his campaign web site was “putting out one message on immigration policy in English, and a more forgiving message in Spanish.”  Additionally Heller’s Spanish language website “indicated concern over Nevada students whose first language is not English,” even though Heller “has consistently supported limiting or eliminating the ability to conduct government business in any language other than English.” [MSNBC, 5/29/12; Las Vegas Sun, 5/28/12]

Oh … and just so you know, Nevadans are stuck with Senator Heller and can’t do much about his failures to represent Nevadans until the 2018 elections when we can finally replace him with someone who represents all of us … not just his financial benefactors.

What Does “Conservative Judicial Activism” Look Like

— by Erin Neff, Executive Director, ProgressNow Nevada

The majority on the U.S. Supreme Court continues to stridently put politics above justice as it finishes its radical term this week.

Today the court upheld the most controversial aspect of Arizona’s immigration law — the portion that all but sanctions racial profiling. While the court did strike down the majority of the law as unconstitutional, some of the conservative justices wanted to uphold the entire thing.

And Justice Antonin Scalia, a Reagan appointee, used the bench to speak out about President Obama’s recent executive order giving “dreamers” (those who would qualify under the DREAM Act) a path to citizenship.

How is that blind justice?

This is the most radical court in history. The majority — Reagan and Bush appointees — issue opinions that break court rules and shatter common sense.

How else can you explain corporations are people?

Today the court upheld its horrific Citizens United opinion by overturning an attempt by Montana to try to regulate the unfettered corporate money in its political system.

This radical Roberts Court is the precise reason Sheldon Adelson can spend tens of millions of dollars to try to impact the presidential election. It’s the reason the Koch Brothers, Karl Rove and their affiliated “non-profits” have spent multiple millions on ads calling for the repeal of health care reform.

In Nevada, these groups have spent $4.4 million on TV ads calling for the repeal of Obamacare. They’ve outspent supporters of health insurance 4-to-1. Citizen’s United will never create an even system because it allows those with the money to speak the loudest.

On Thursday, the court is expected to announce its decision on the Affordable Care Act as corporations and their puppet on the presidential trail scream for repeal.

We know there’s power in people. And we’re thankful Obamacare has insured 22,000 young adults and 750 people with pre-existing conditions right here in Nevada.

Check out this video thanking Obamacare for providing access to health coverage for millions of Americans.  Watch it and share it. Together we can stand up to the corporate money. Together we can stand against a radical court. And together we can say Thanks Obamacare. 

President Obama’s Immigration Executive Order

Last Friday, the Department of Homeland Security announced a new policy to make our immigration policy more fair and efficient.

President Obama said, “This morning, Secretary Napolitano announced new actions my administration will take to mend our nation’s immigration policy, to make it more fair, more efficient, and more just, specifically for certain young people sometimes called DREAMers. Now, these are young people who study in our schools, they play in our neighborhoods, they’re friends with our kids, they pledge allegiance to our flag. They are Americans in their heart, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper. They were brought to this country by their parents, sometimes even as infants, and often have no idea that they’re undocumented until they apply for a job or a driver’s license or a college scholarship.”

President Obama continued, “This is a temporary stop-gap measure that lets us focus our resources wisely while giving a degree of relief and hope to talented, driven, patriotic young people…”

“In the absence of any immigration action from Congress to fix our broken immigration system, what we’ve tried to do is focus our immigration enforcement resources in the right places. So we prioritized border security, putting more boots on the southern border than at any time in our history — today, there are fewer illegal crossings than at any time in the past 40 years. We focused and used discretion about whom to prosecute, focusing on criminals who endanger our communities rather than students who are earning their education. And today, deportation of criminals is up 80 percent. We’ve improved on that discretion carefully and thoughtfully. Well, today, we’re improving it again.

President Obama concluded, “This is the right thing to do.”

Read the full remarks here and watch the video here.

Under the Reading Lamp — 1/30/2012


Jim Hightower | Buying Our Future
Jim Hightower, Op-Ed: “Already, four of the top GOP presidential contenders have dropped out. Michele Bachmann went first, because she was too wacky, followed by Jon Huntsman, because he was too sane. Herman Cain gave up because he was too exposed, and Rick Perry because he was too dim-witted. But the greatest surprise is the sudden surge of the Adelson campaign. Little-known until now, Adelson was the big winner in South Carolina, has made his mark in Florida, and looks to have the political kick needed to go the distance.”


Plan for Popular Presidential Vote Quietly Advances
Matthew Cardinale, News Report: Unlike many of the younger democracies around the world, the United States still does not elect its president by popular vote. Indeed, a majority of U.S. citizens elected Al Gore to be president in 2000, but because the U.S. elects its presidents by way of a convoluted system called the electoral college, George W. Bush was declared the winner that year instead.


Robert Reich | Why No Responsible Democrat Should Want Newt Gingrich to Get the GOP Nomination
Robert Reich, Op-Ed: “Independents, who will be key to the general election, are especially alarmed by Gingrich. As they should be. It’s not just Newt’s weirdness. It’s also the stunning hypocrisy. His personal life makes a mockery of his moralistic bromides. He condemns Washington insiders but had a forty-year Washington career that ended with ethic violations. He fulminates against finance yet drew fat checks from Freddie Mac. He poses as a populist but has had a $500,000 revolving charge at Tiffany’s.”


ALEC’s Latest Actions
Ben Adler, Op-Ed: “These include bills that are plainly counter-productive, such as the ‘Eliminating Support Services for Newborn Children’ Act. According to Granite Progress ‘This legislation would eliminate support services for newborn children whose parents are utilizing TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families).’ How that will break the cycle of the poverty or give the disadvantaged children of poor people a more fair shot at becoming productive citizens is unclear.”


Foster Care, Uncertain Futures Loom for Thousands of Immigrant Children
Marjorie Valbrun, News Report: More than 5,000 children of immigrants are languishing in state foster care nationwide because their parents were living in the United States illegally and were detained or deported by federal immigration authorities. These children can spend years in foster homes, and some are put up for adoption after termination of their parents’ custody rights. With neither state nor federal officials addressing the problem, thousands more are poised to enter the child welfare system every year.


Dream Activists Heckle Romney in Miami
Amanda Peterson Beadle, Video Feature: Three immigration activists interruptedMitt Romney’s stump speech in Miami last week, shouting, “Why are you trying to separate our families?” and “What about equality?” Romney ignored the three hecklers, who said they were part of the DREAM Act movement. This is not the first time Romney has been targeted by students because of his promise to veto the DREAM Act or for his extreme immigration views — the harshest among the GOP presidential field. “We are here for a pro-family agenda. Pro families that are undocumented, pro families that have parents who are same-sex couples,” one activist said. “Romney has a platform that is anti-family.”


Future of U.S. Manufacturing Begins With Education
George Koo, News Analysis: “Advanced manufacturing depends on staffing the factory floor from the production line to the line supervisors with people possessing technical skills. The training programs Obama talked about might serve as temporary Band-Aids that might keep certain production from leaving in the short term. But to maintain a world leadership position, the US will need far more technicians, engineers and scientists than the country is producing.”


Wisconsin Recall Drive More Popular Than GOP Presidential Candidates – Combined
John Nichols, Op-Ed: “America is almost four weeks into the voting stage of the Republican presidential race. The candidates are debating. The media is covering the competition 24/7, and in such minute detail that Rick Perry’s quitting of the contest was treated as news. And Republicans in three states have caucused and voted in numbers that party leaders, pundits and the talk-radio amen corner tell us are significant. Yet at the same time, those same party leaders, pundits and radio talkers continue to dismiss the movement to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker as a false construct with little real hope of prevailing.”


A Tale of Two Cities: Beijing and Detroit
Helena Norberg-Hodge, Op-Ed: “Around the world, two opposing forces are contending to define our future. On one side are those working for a new economy—one that is more equitable, decentralized, and attuned to the needs of people and nature. On the other are the forces behind corporate globalization and its consolidation of political and economic power. While thousands of people have braved the winter cold and pepper spray to alert the world to the plight of the 99%, our governments are still forging ahead with destructive deregulatory treaties.”


Shedding Light on the Shadow Banking System
Ellen Brown, Op-Ed: “The scandal involves employees signing names not their own, under titles they did not really have, attesting to the veracity of documents they had not really reviewed. Investigation reveals that it did not just happen occasionally but was an industry-wide practice, dating back to the late 1990s; and that it may have clouded the titles of millions of homes. If the settlement is agreed to, it will let Wall Street bankers off the hook for crimes that would land the rest of us in jail – fraud, forgery, securities violations and tax evasion.”


Analysis: Buffett Rule Will Raise $50 Billion Per Year, Affect Just 0.08 Percent of Taxpayers
Pat Garofalo, News Analysis: When President Obama announced his latest vision for the so called “Buffett rule” — a 30 percent minimum tax on millionaires — during his State of the Union address this week, Republicans were quick to criticize it. For instance, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) derided the proposal as a “political gimmick.” “It’s a smokescreen,” added Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA). However, as a new analysis from Citizens for Tax Justice pointed out, the Buffett rule as laid out in the speech could raise up to $50 billion per year to pay down the deficit, while affecting just 0.08 percent of taxpayers.


After the Battle Against SOPA-What’s Next?
Lawrence Lessig, Op-Ed: “January 18, 2012, could prove to be an incredibly important day, and not just for copyright policy or the Internet. On that day, two critically important things happened. First, with its 6-2 decision in Golan v. Holder, the Supreme Court shut the door, finally and firmly, on any opportunity to meaningfully challenge a copyright statute constitutionally.”


Civil Rights Advocates Meet in L.A. to Discuss Voter Suppression Laws
Jose Luis Sierra and Zaineb Mohammed, News Report: Earlier this week, at a press briefing co-hosted by New America Media (NAM) and Common Cause, civil rights lawyers and advocates representing California’s largest ethnic communities spoke of the need to work together to ensure that 2012 elections are open and accessible, in light of a rash of state laws that they say are being deliberately designed to suppress the vote of ethnic minorities and the poor.


Growing Elite Opposition to Military Option Against Iran
Jim Lobe, News Analysis: “Like the imminent prospect of one’s hanging, to paraphrase the 18th century British essayist Dr. (Samuel) Johnson, the suddenly looming possibility of war can concentrate the mind wonderfully. If that aphorism didn’t apply in the run-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq 10 years ago, it appears to be the case now for key sectors of the U.S. foreign-policy elite – notably, liberal hawks who supported the Iraq war – with regard to the sharp rise in tensions between Iran and both the U.S. and Israel earlier this month.”


Mega Manufacturer Caterpillar Locks Out Workers to Force Pay Cuts While Making Record Profits
Pat Garofalo, News Report: While certainly not in the same league with Apple’s abuses, Caterpillar is just the latest company attempting to force workers to accept wage cuts at the same time its hauling in huge profits and paying its CEO millions. AT&T, Navistar, John Deere, and Wellpoint have all pulled the same trick in the last few years, laying off hundreds of workers. Caterpillar’s CEO, John Oberhelman, made $10.5 million in 2010.


US Media Iraq Reporting: See No Evil
Dave Lindorff, Op-Ed: “The Iraq war may be over, at least for US troops, but the cover-up of the atrocities committed there by American forces goes on, even in retrospectives about the war. A prime example is reporting on the destroyed city of Fallujah, where some of the heaviest fighting of the war took place. On March 31, 2004, four armed mercenaries working for the firm then known as Blackwater (now Xe), were captured in Fallujah, Iraq’s third largest city and a hotbed of insurgent strength located in Anbar Province about 40 miles west of Baghdad.”

National Effort to Support the DREAM Act Tomorrow

A national effort in support of the DREAM Act takes place tomorrow (Monday, January 30) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. People from all around the country will be calling their congressional delegation and asking them to support the DREAM Act. Here is contact information for our Nevada delegation:

Senator Harry Reid
Phone: (202) 224-3542 l Fax: (202) 224-7327

Senator Dean Heller
Phone: (202) 224-6244 l Fax: (202) 228-6753

Rep. Shelley Berkley
Phone: (202) 225-5965 x1505 l Fax: (202) 225-3119

Rep. Joe Heck
Phone: (202) 225-3252 l Fax: (202) 225-2185

Rep. Mark Amodei
Phone: (202) 225-6155 l Fax: (202) 225-5679