Newswire : Supreme Court upholds Muslim travel ban

by: Frederick Lowe, Northstar News

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U. S. Supreme Court building

The U.S. Supreme Court handed President Trump a major victory Tuesday by upholding his ban on immigrants and visitors from seven mostly Muslim countries.
In a 5-4 ruling in the case titled Trump v. Hawaii, the justices rejected the argument that Trump overstepped his authority under immigration laws and that the targeting of mostly Muslim-majority countries amounted to religious discrimination.
Chief Justice John Roberts who wrote the majority opinion said the ruling concerned the nation’s security.
Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor joined by Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the court’s ruling blindly endorsed a discriminatory policy motivated by animosity towards Muslims.
Sotomayor added that the ruling is a total and complete shutdown of Muslims coming to this country under a façade masquerading as national security measures.
Trump’s order issued in September 2017 was the third version of the travel ban. It imposed a 90-day ban on citizens from Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia Yemen, North Korea, and Venezuela entering the U.S. Later, the order put a 120-day hold on the admission of refugees.
“The Supreme Court has upheld the clear authority of the President to defend the national security of the United States. In this era of worldwide terrorism and extremist movements bent on harming innocent civilians, we must properly vet those coming into our country,” Trump said in a statement.
Following the Supreme Court’s ruling, advocacy and rights groups warned of an increase in attacks against Muslims, reported Al Jazeera.
Since Trump took office, reports of crimes against Muslims have climbed, Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman of Council on American-Islamic Relations, told Al Jazeera.

Newswire : Obama calls Trump’s Iran announcement ‘misguided,’ decision to withdraw a ‘serious mistake’; Congresswoman Terri Sewell also questions decision

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Obama and Terri Sewell
Former President Barack Obama has weighed in on President Trump’s announcement that the U.S. will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.
“There are few issues more important to the security of the United States than the potential spread of nuclear weapons, or the potential for even more destructive war in the Middle East,” Obama wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday. “That’s why the United States negotiated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in the first place.”
“The reality is clear. The JCPOA is working – that is a view shared by our European allies, independent experts, and the current U.S. Secretary of Defense,” Obama added.
The former president further called Trump’s announcement “misguided” and a “serious mistake.”
“Walking away from the JCPOA turns our back on America’s closest allies, and an agreement that our country’s leading diplomats, scientists, and intelligence professionals negotiated. In a democracy, there will always be changes in policies and priorities from one Administration to the next. But the consistent flouting of agreements that our country is a party to risks eroding America’s credibility, and puts us at odds with the world’s major powers,” Obama noted.
Alabama Congresswoman Terri Sewell issues similar statement
On Tuesday, May 8, President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. International partners have urged the Administration to uphold the Iran Deal, which has substantially limited Iran’s nuclear capabilities.
“After months of deliberation and extensive conversations with nuclear experts, military officials, and constituent groups, I decided to support the Iran Deal because I believed it was our best option for ensuring a nuclear-free Iran,” said Rep. Terri Sewell. “The Iran Deal was not perfect, but its collective enforcement by the international community made it the best path forward. President Trump’s reckless withdrawal from the Iran Deal has the potential to destabilize an already unstable region. As we lay the groundwork for a diplomatic breakthrough with North Korea, reneging on the Iran Deal could also endanger our chances at establishing another major international agreement. Unilaterally walking away from this agreement leaves America isolated and puts our national security at risk.”

Newswire : Trump’s budget would hurt Black and Brown people


By Rep. Cedric L. Richmond

Rep. Cedric Richmond (D. LA), Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus

Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from the Richmond Free Press
( – If you want to know how a president feels about your community, then all you need to do is look at his or her budget because it reflects their values — both what they value and what they don’t.If you look at President Trump’s proposed FY 2019 budget, it’s clear he doesn’t value low-income and Black and brown communities because he cuts programs that these communities disproportionately rely on, including the Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (the food stamp program), Medicaid, the Low-Income Heating Assistance Program and Community Development Block Grants, which provide funding for projects and programs including affordable housing, anti-poverty programs and infrastructure development that inner-city and rural communities need to survive.
One of the most disgusting examples of this is President Trump’s proposal for the food stamp program, a program that serves close to 44 million Americans, 26 percent of whom are black. In addition to proposing to cut the program by $213 billion, which would leave 4 million low income people without these benefits, President Trump proposes to prevent families from choosing what type of food they buy for themselves.
He wants to send these families Blue Apron-style boxes of perishable and non-perishable food items, including items produced by American farmers. Although the administration has characterized this proposal as a cost-savings measure that would help low income communities eat more nutritious foods and American farmers make a profit, it is demeaning and disrespectful because it’s based on a notion that low income people can’t and shouldn’t think for themselves. Under this proposal, SNAP beneficiaries wouldn’t be able to decide what they want to eat, including culturally appropriate foods for their family.
And they wouldn’t know what foods they were getting, preventing them from planning meals for their family.Additionally, there are logistical problems with the proposal. Families may not have a car and be unable to pick up the box of food at the designated location in their community .On top of that, providing an over-abundance of fresh perishable foods to families where parents work two and three jobs and may not have time to cook them may make a bad situation worse.
These concerns and others make it unlikely that this plan will save the federal government $130 billion over 10 years as predicted by the Trump administration. The food stamp proposal isn’t the only issue with President Trump’s FY 2019 budget.

His budget cuts two critically important education programs for low-income students — GEAR UP, a grant program focused on increasing the number of low income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education, and Promise Neighborhoods, an Obama era grant program that provides cradle-to-college-to-career services for children living in low-income neighborhoods.
In addition, his budget would cut a number of programs that help workers, especially workers who belong to unions. For example, his budget would cut Occupational Safety and Health Administration training grants that the agency uses to help employers better enforce workforce health and safety requirements. His budget also targets labor unions, whose membership is 14 percent African-American, by investing in more union focused investigations.
President Trump’s budget also would insufficiently invest in our nation’s infrastructure, while also cutting grants that fund infrastructure development at the state and local level. President Trump proposes to invest $200 billion in repairing America’s roads and bridges even though there’s trillions of dollars of infrastructure work to be done across the country, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers.
This insufficient investment will force states to rely too much on the private sector for funding they need to start and finish projects, projects that will likely come with a cost for the very commuters they’re supposed to help: Toll roads.President Trump calls his budget “An American Budget.” But the Americans he has in mind aren’t those who are living paycheck to paycheck and aren’t those who are members of Black and brown communities.