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Category Archives: Civil Liberties

WaPo – Memos signed by DHS secretary describe sweeping new guidelines for deporting illegal immigrants

David Nakamura, The Washington Post – “Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has signed sweeping new guidelines that empower federal authorities to more aggressively detain and deport illegal immigrants inside the United States and at the border. In a pair of memos, Kelly offered more detail on plans for the agency to hire thousands of additional enforcement agents, expand the pool of immigrants who are prioritized for removal, speed up deportation hearings and enlist local law enforcement to help make arrests. The new directives would supersede nearly all of those issued under previous administrations, Kelly said, including measures from President Barack Obama aimed at focusing deportations exclusively on hardened criminals and those with terrorist ties. “The surge of immigration at the southern border has overwhelmed federal agencies and resources and has created a significant national security vulnerability to the United States,” Kelly stated in the guidelines. He cited a surge of 10,000 to 15,000 additional apprehensions per month at the southern U.S. border between 2015 and 2016. In a series of executive actions in January, President Donald Trump announced plans to make good on his campaign promises to build a wall on the border with Mexico and to ramp up enforcement actions against the nation’s estimated 11 million unauthorized immigrants. Kelly’s memos, which have not been released publicly, are intended as an implementation blueprint for DHS to pursue Trump’s goals…His memos are copied to officials at Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. A Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman declined to comment on the documents but did not dispute their authenticity. A White House official said the memos were drafts and that they are under review by the White House Counsel’s Office, which is seeking some changes…The memos do not include measures to activate National Guard troops to help apprehend immigrants in 11 states that had been included in a draft document leaked to reporters on Friday. DHS officials said Kelly, whose signature did not appear on the draft document, had never approved such plans. Immigrant rights advocates said the two memos signed by Kelly mark a major shift in U.S. immigration policies by dramatically expanding the scope of enforcement operations. The new procedures would allow authorities to seek expedited deportation proceedings, currently limited to undocumented immigrants who have been in the country for two weeks or less, to anyone who has been in the country for up to two years….”

Please support DataRescue and other open access archive efforts

“DataRescue events create trustworthy copies of federal climate and environmental data, while the Internet Archive, datarefuge.org, and a consortium of major research libraries holds these copies. See our sister project at www.librariesnetwork.org. See also: “Orientation to DataLumos – ICPSR’s archive to preserve valuable government data. Join us for a webinar on Feb 17, 2017 at 12:00… Continue Reading

Animal welfare data deleted by government restored to public by Russ Kick

Follow up to previous posting – Animal welfare information wiped from USDA website – news via TIME on the freedom of information evangelist Russ Kick – “An Arizona man who has published thousands of animal welfare documents on his website since the government purged the once-public information is pledging to keep digging up data until… Continue Reading

AALL joins 60 advocacy groups calling for open access info on government websites

Via AALL: On February 14, 2017 “the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) partnered with OpenTheGovernment.org and more than 60 other public interest groups and associations on a letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), asking OMB to issue guidance reminding agencies that they are required under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C.… Continue Reading

Libraries Are For Everyone

Via GOOD – “Shortly after President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries, assistant library director Rebecca McCorkindale created a sign to let immigrants and longtime residents alike know “Libraries Are For Everyone.” It was a simple message, but it quickly gained global momentum. After publishing a blog post about… Continue Reading

The Essential Neil Gorsuch Reader: What Judge Gorsuch Cases Should You Read?

Via FAS – The Essential Neil Gorsuch Reader: What Judge Gorsuch Cases Should You Read?, CRS Legal Sidebar, February 13, 2017. “Judge Gorsuch has a voluminous judicial record, having served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit for more than a decade. According to Judge Gorsuch’s recent submissions to the Senate Judiciary… Continue Reading

Yale, Harvard Law School Deans rise up against attacks on judiciary

Law.com: “The deans of Yale Law School and Harvard Law School have joined the growing chorus of lawyers publicly condemning President Donald Trump’s attacks on the judiciary. In a blistering op-ed in The Boston Globe on Friday, Harvard’s Martha Minow and Yale’s Robert Post wrote that Trump’s Twitter-delivered insults against the federal judges who stayed… Continue Reading

AP – Judge grants injunction against Trump travel ban in Virginia

Follow up to previous related postings – news via AP –  “[On February 14, 2017] A federal judge Monday granted a preliminary injunction barring the Trump administration from implementing its travel ban in Virginia, adding another judicial ruling to those already in place challenging the ban’s constitutionality. The ruling is significant from a legal standpoint… Continue Reading

ICE Immigration Raids: A Primer

“There are widespread reports that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) fugitive operations teams conducted immigration roundups in a number of communities across the country last week. This report breaks down the numbers on ICE apprehensions in recent years to provide a better picture of the role of ICE fugitive operations as compared with other components… Continue Reading

Murray, Cantwell Seek Answers After Resource Website for Federal Law Protecting Students with Disabilities is Taken Down

“Washington state Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell today called on new Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to provide an immediate and detailed explanation for why the resource website for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has disappeared. “The Department’s failure to keep this critical resource operational makes it harder for parents, educators, and… Continue Reading

Durbin Demands Trump Administration Restore Animal Cruelty, Puppy Mill Records On USDA Website

“U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) [February 13, 2017]  joined a group of 18 Democratic Senators in calling on the Trump Administration to immediately restore animal cruelty information recently purged from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) website.  APHIS makes inspection reports for all regulated entities and annual… Continue Reading

Extreme Protest Tactics Reduce Popular Support for Social Movements

Feinberg, Matthew and Willer, Robb and Kovacheff, Chloe, Extreme Protest Tactics Reduce Popular Support for Social Movements (February 3, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2911177 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2911177 “Social movements are critical agents of change that vary greatly in both tactics and popular support. Prior work shows that extreme protest tactics – actions that are highly counter-normative,… Continue Reading