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Tag: editorial

Sun Sentinel: Trump Should Welcome FBI Investigation into Russian Interference

Donald TrumpBy Editorial Board
Sun Sentinel

If he’s got nothing to hide, President Trump should welcome the fact that the FBI is investigating possible links between Russia and the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election.

Trump should be the first one saying “Bring it on” after FBI Director James Comey said Monday he’s been authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation because of the extreme public interest in the case.

Ever since Trump was inaugurated on Jan. 20, there have been questions and rumors about links between members of Trump’s campaign and the Russian government. The public deserves answers, and the president should also want to finally clear the air on an issue that has dogged his campaign for months. There has been enough speculation, and Trump should be pushing for facts and information to be made public.

Instead, what we got from Trump on Monday were early morning tweets slamming the idea that there was any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. The tweets came before Comey appeared in front of a House panel and confirmed for the first time the FBI is investigating possible Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election.

“. . . there is no evidence Potus colluded with Russia,” Trump tweeted at 6:35 Monday morning. “This story is FAKE NEWS and everyone knows it!”

Trump tried to put the attention on leaked classified information, rather than the information itself.

“The real story the Congress, the FBI and all others should be looking into is the leaking of Classified information,” Trump tweeted at 7:02 a.m. “Must find leaker NOW.”

About two hours later, Trump asked in a tweet, “What about all of the contact with the Clinton campaign and the Russians?”

Trump’s propensity for deflection won’t be successful now. The world knows the FBI is investigating, and facts are needed — not tweets, and not speculation.

To read more click here. 

LA Times: Arresting Immigrants at Hospitals, Schools, Courthouses Is Counterproductive

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

By Editorial Board
Los Angeles Times

A woman in El Paso showed up at a courthouse last month seeking protection from an abusive spouse. Instead, she was arrested by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and slated for deportation. In a Pasadena courthouse, a defendant was snatched from his attorney’s side and whisked away for deportation.

President Trump’s supporters may cheer on the ICE agents in these cases — after all, he won the White House in part by promising to crack down on illegal immigration. But as the government itself has recognized, it is both heartless and counterproductive to arrest people on immigration violations as they engage with the fundamentals of civic life: taking children to school (remember: children here illegally are entitled to attend public schools under the Supreme Court’s 1982 Plyler v. Doe ruling) or going to church or seeking treatment at a hospital. Under the Obama administration, ICE adopted a formal policy of avoiding arrests in such “sensitive locations.”

Courthouses, however, were wrongly excluded from the list of sensitive locations. On Thursday, the chief justice of the California Supreme Court, Tani Cantil-Sakauye, asked the government to keep ICE agents away from courthouses, which, she said, “should not be used as bait in the necessary enforcement of our country’s immigration laws.” The ACLU, noting countless cases around the country in which ICE has interrogated and arrested people as they sought to pay for traffic citations, appear for court hearings as witnesses, get married or obtain restraining orders in domestic violence cases, said the practice “obstructs the ability of immigrants to access the courts” and “endangers public safety.”

To read more click here. 

Des Moines Register: ATF Tobacco Investigation Schemes Is ‘Highly Questionable’

atf badgeBy Editorial Board
The Des Moines Register

It’s getting harder and harder to tell the good guys from the bad guys.

First there was the scandal involving federal agents who helped route guns to Mexican drug cartels. Then it was revealed that law enforcement officials nationwide have routinely abused forfeiture laws to seize the property of law-abiding citizens.

Now there are signs that agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives used highly questionable — arguably illegal – cigarette sales in order to fund a secret bank account used to pay informants.

And we’re not talking about a handful of rogue agents raising a few thousand dollars. The evidence points to tens of millions of dollars being raised by law enforcement officials through the same schemes used by the criminals they were supposed to be apprehending.

The operation, detailed in a recent report from the New York Times, wasn’t authorized by the Justice Department, the agency under which the ATF operates, and that appears to have been by design. It gave agents access to a bank account that, because it was off the books, wasn’t subject to the usual level of oversight.

The scheme itself was built on a complex series of transactions, some of which involved the sale and shipment of water and snacks disguised as cigarettes.

To read more click here. 

Washington Post: Senate Should Confirm Trump’s Nominee for No. 2 Spot at DOJ

rod_rosenstein_us_attorneyBy Editorial Board
Washington Post

Though President Donald Trump’s opening weeks have been chaotic and dispiriting, the nation’s new chief executive has still managed to make a few good choices. One of his best was nominating Rod Rosenstein to be the No. 2 at the Justice Department. The sooner the Senate confirms him, the sooner the administration will have another adult in its top ranks. So it’s unfortunate that Mr. Rosenstein faced demands from Democrats at his Tuesday confirmation hearing that no one in his position should accede to.

As deputy attorney general, Mr. Rosenstein would oversee the daily operations of a vast, 115,000-person bureaucracy responsible for enforcing laws on everything from hate crimes to antitrust. After nearly three decades in the Justice Department, serving under presidents of both parties, “Rod Rosenstein has demonstrated throughout his long career the highest standards of professionalism,” Sen. Benjamin Cardin, D-Md., testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The senator praised Mr. Rosenstein’s “nonpartisan” approach and noted his wide support among Democratic officials in Maryland, where Mr. Rosenstein serves as U.S. attorney and has had notable success prosecuting gang crime and political corruption.

Instead of that record, Mr. Rosenstein’s hearing was dominated by the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week from issues involving Russia and the 2016 presidential election. With Mr. Sessions sidelined, Justice Department decisions regarding any investigation into Russia’s meddling and contacts between Mr. Trump’s circle and Russian officials would fall to Mr. Rosenstein.

He assured senators that “political affiliation is irrelevant to my work” and promised to “support any properly predicated investigation related to interference by the Russians or by anybody else in American elections.”

To read more click here. 

Albuquerque Journal: Trump’s Change on Immigration Is Encouraging Sign

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

By Editorial Board
Albuquerque Journal

President Donald Trump’s emerging immigration policies received some much-needed clarity – and realism – last week, and though far from definitive, the outline he provided in his address to Congress and during a private meeting with television news anchors is a path the nation has needed for far too long.

And it certainly is more helpful than some of his campaign rhetoric on the issue.

While his critics have harped continually on alleged “mass deportation” plans – which Trump has denied – the word out of Washington last week was about potential compromises that would be a reasonable blueprint for immigration reform that his predecessor avoided even when Democrats controlled both houses of Congress.

And while many in the news media have been borderline hysterical in reporting deportations under Trump, it is far below the more than 2.5 million deportations under President Obama.

Trump’s apparent outline for an overhaul of a broken system is based on several reasonable principles, starting with border security. That, by the way, was key in the Senate “Gang of Eight” compromise floated in the Senate a few years ago.

It also focuses, appropriately, on deporting illegal immigrants with criminal records – especially those who already have outstanding deportation orders – and the end of the catch-and-release system where those apprehended were simply told to show up for a deportation hearing that many then skipped.

For those reasons, Trump is proposing more Border Patrol agents.

To read more click here. 

Chicago Tribune: Trump Works Both Sides of Fence on Immigration Issues

Border fence along Mexico and the U.S.

Border fence along Mexico and the U.S.

By Editorial Board
Chicago Tribune

On immigration, there are two Donald Trumps.

The first Trump is a strident nationalist hell-bent on deporting all unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S., about 11 million people. Just last week, the Trump administration ordered ramped-up deportations.

The second Trump, a lifelong resident of cosmopolitan New York, hints that he just might know better. He occasionally gives a passing nod to the thought that these are human beings we’re talking about.

It was that second Trump who showed up at a meeting Tuesday with TV news anchors. The president actually said, contrary to his usual demonizing rhetoric, that he would like to find a way to give legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants who have not committed serious crimes. “The time is right for an immigration bill as long as there is compromise on both sides,” Trump reportedly said.

If Trump was listening to his better angels, it’s nice to know he has better angels.

Click here to read more.

Baltimore Sun: Trump’s Immigration Policies Are Inhumane, Unsafe

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Editorial Board
The Baltimore Sun

The new immigration policies President Donald Trump‘s administration released Tuesday make America less humane; they target millions of people who have been in this country for years, have contributed to society and have raised children here. They make America less free because they portend the creation of a massive “deportation force” that will hunt through communities coast-to-coast for those here illegally, inevitably sweeping up the innocent and increasing racial and ethnic profiling. But most of all, they will make America less safe.

Mr. Trump’s spokesman, Sean Spicer, says the president intends to “take the shackles off” immigration officers to make “the No. 1 priority” removing those “who pose a threat to our country.” Actually, that was the No. 1 priority under the Obama administration, which instructed immigration enforcement agents to prioritize deportation of those who committed serious crimes while in the United States. The Trump policy would allow for deportation of people who violate traffic laws or who have even been accused of a crime but not convicted. Innocent until proven guilty no longer applies, and immigration agents will have vastly expanded authority to determine on their own who constitutes a “threat.”

Immigration courts are facing a huge backlog as it is, some 540,000 cases with an average wait of more than two years. In some courts, the delay is much longer. Mr. Trump says he wants to throw more resources at the system, but how much and how quickly? For the time being, flooding the courts with people who have not shown themselves to be a danger would only delay the deportation of people who are.

Mr. Trump plans to deal with that to some degree by vastly expanding a program that eliminates due process for some immigrants caught in this country illegally. The “expedited removal” program, as it was used by the Obama administration, allowed for the elimination of some protections and hearings before deportation for people caught near the border who had been in the country for less than two weeks. Mr. Trump wants to expand it nationwide and draw in those who have been here for up to two years.

To read more click here. 

Other Stories of Interest

NY Post: Trump’s Immigration Orders Are Strong, But Not Harsh

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

By Editorial Board
New York Post

Team Trump’s newest immigration orders definitely toughen enforcement, but they’re a far cry from mass roundups.

If the administration sticks to this approach — prioritizing the serious criminals for apprehension and deportation, while also making it harder to succeed at immigrating illegally — it’ll have broad public support.

Over-the-top approaches (deporting law-abiding moms) will mean big trouble.

In that regard, it’s worth noting that Trump still hasn’t touched Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which gives safe harbor and work permits to those brought here illegally as young children, a k a “the dreamers.”

The Department of Homeland Security also sought to provide instant clarity this time ’round, with background briefings even as DHS chief John Kelly issued his latest orders.
In a conference call with reporters, one official noted, “We do not have the personnel, time or resources to go into communities and round up people and do all kinds of mass throwing folks on buses. That’s entirely a figment of folks’ imagination.”

Yet Trump is moving to actually enforce US law, reversing the across-the-board Obama-era slowdown of enforcement actions. Violent criminals remain the top priority, but are no longer the only priority.

Now plea-bargaining a felony down to a misdemeanor won’t leave you automatically exempt from immigration enforcement, nor will DHS officials wink at an illegal immigrants’ fraudulent filing for welfare benefits.

To read more click here. 

Other Stories of Interest

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