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Child Separation in Context, How You Can Help, The Vote In Congress (Happening RIGHT NOW)

Hey everyone,

As unending as the flow of news is these days, this week was a big one. For the first time, we’ve seen Trump forced to take responsibility for child separation and cave to pressure. But not in a good way.

We also saw major legal decisions in the Supreme Court as well as important changes to the dynamics of the NY Governor’s race with a new entrant and a potential corruption scandal for the incumbent.


The End Of Child Separation, In Context

The biggest story for the past few weeks has been the Trump Administration’s separating of children from parents at the Southern border. After significant outrage from Democrats and Republicans alike, that policy ended. But, as with all things, the situation is not that simple.

Is child separation really over? Is the Executive Order good?

Probably not.

Trump was lying when he said he didn’t have the power to end it. However, he wasn’t lying that IF parents are prosecuted as criminals (for illegally crossing the border), children must be separated. Due to a 1997 court case, Flores v. Reno, children crossing the border must be kept under certain conditions and cannot be held more than 20 days. In the wake of the Flores Settlement, the federal government took to releasing whole families within 20 days instead of separating those families - Trump’s vaunted “catch and release”.

Trump’s Executive Order declares he has the authority to indefinitely immigrants. A scary thought but in theory “indefinitely” means until they receive a speedy trial under due process. In theory. In the meantime, there will be more prisons built to house entire families together where they could be held for up to months or years.

Trump’s Executive Order is also in direct conflict with the Flores settlement which limits child detention to 20 days. Meaning if it’s challenged in court, it will probably fail andTrump will be able to claim he was ORDERED to separate families.

Remember: If and when Trump’s Executive Order is challenged, it is within the President’s discretion to separate families or release them them on their own recognizance (like bail) until their trial date. Trump gets to decide.

What will really end child separation?

An act of Congress must change the law to override the Flores v. Reno settlement. There are currently several bills which range from narrowly dealing with child separation, to including DACA to including DACA plus funding for a $30B wall.

Republicans in the House want the wall. Republicans in the Senate are working on a compromise bill without it.

Predictably, Democrats are opposed to letting the Administration and Republicans dangle children as bait for funding a multi-billion dollar wall. Also predictably, Republicans are having a hard time whipping votes for the worst possible version of a solution. Which, predictably, means they will blame Democrats if the bill fails to pass.

Remember: It cannot be said enough - Donald Trump is President, his policy decision created this crisis. Republicans control both Chambers of Congress and the Supreme Court, their inaction is the reason is persists. Democrats do not have the power to propose a bill, they cannot even block a bill. The filibuster has already been overridden to approve judges, if the Republicans really want to solve a problem their way, they will. If this problem does not get solved, it is because Republicans don’t want to solve it.

Can families be reunited now?

Nobody knows.

This article from the Washington Post tells the story of a Public Defender. It’s heartbreaking but this quote at an immigration hearing sums it up. The person on the stand is a Federal Agent.

“‘I can’t understand this’, the judge said. ‘If someone at the jail takes your wallet, they give you a receipt. They take your kids, and you get nothing? Not even a slip of paper?’”

Remember: We’re looking at permanent dissolution of thousands of families because Donald Trump couldn’t be bothered to pass immigration reform through a Congress his Party controls. It is notable that other Presidents have attempted workarounds for Flores, too. They didn’t go over well and, because they were not cruel tyrants with no regard forpeople other than themselves, they spent their effort working through more humanitarianand democratic channels. Not Trump.

Is there anything I can do to help?


1. Over 200 children who were separated from their parents at the border are being held inNY. The non-profit responsible for sheltering them needs more Spanish speaking foster homes! Call 718-860-1656 if you want to help with that.

2. The largest Facebook fundraiser in history is raising money to reunite families by posting bail for immigrant parents and provide legal representation to children. All the money goes to Raices for that purpose.

3. Volunteer to flip Congress in the midterms. I hate to say it but, this time, voting isn’t enough. If the ideology of the modern Republican Party isn’t rejected at the ballot box, we’ll see more policies like this, more dithering in Congress and more empowerment of Trump’s executive decision making authority.

Election Day is Nov 6. mark out days on your calendar in Sept and Oct when you will commit to volunteer. If you can do a weekend, there will be buses to swing districts. If you only have a few hours, you can phone bank. But start setting aside time TODAY, don’t wait until you’re busy or tired; this country needs you!

SCOTUS Decides on Controversial Gerrymandering Case

As the midterms heat up, the question as to whether districts are fairly drawn has comes under the scope of the Supreme Court. On Monday, the Supreme Court decided to not decide on whether the act of gerrymandering is constitutional or not.

In two separate cases, one involving Maryland, the other Wisconsin the Supreme Court decided to send the cases back to the lower court. The plaintiffs in the Wisconsin case were denied the ability to sue, over a lack of standing. The concurring opinion, which was 7-2, noted that the plaintiffs “didn’t try to prove that their vote had been diluted in their own district.”

In Maryland, the SCOTUS ruled against debating the merits of the case, saying the lower court did not abuse its authority in denying a preliminary injunction. While neither of the cases lead to a definitive ruling on gerrymandering, optimists point out that a potential path for bringing a case before SCOTUS has been laid forth. The next case on gerrymandering which could come before the court next term is from North Carolina.

Trump Executes on Threat to Impose Tariffs on China. China Retaliates.

Some say a trade war is imminent after the Trump administration imposed new tariffs onChina. The Trump administration slapped on new tariffs on China of up to $50 billion ingoods. China immediately responded with their own tariffs on American goods of up to $50 billion that includes beef, poultry, tobacco, and cars.

The resulting trade war can leave harmful ripple effects in the global economy. American companies will be forced to impose higher prices.

NY Congress Members Visit ICE

New York’s Congressional delegation visited an ICE detention center unexpectedly inElizabeth, New Jersey. The mission of the visit was to conduct inspections of the center and to hear stories of migrants who were captured by ICE.

The unannounced visit comes on the heels of images of migrant children being seperated by ICE officials from their families due to Trump administration policies. Nearly 2,000 children have been separated between April 19th and May 31st.


Stephanie Miner Announces Independent Bid for Governor

On Monday, former Mayor of Syracuse, Stephanie Miner announced her bid for Governor. Miner declared she’d run as an independent with the newly formed Serve America Movement party,

and would run at the top of its ticket.

In a press release, Miner declared she’s running to “change the culture of cynicism” she went on to say “Nobody believes Albany has their best interests at heart, everybody knows you have to pay to play, they think the system is rigged and they’re not wrong.”  

Miner’s path to victory is unclear, most progressives, including the WFP, have supported Cynthia Nixon and labor has equally fallen behind Cuomo. However, in a general election with four left-leaning candidates (Dem, WFP,  Green and SAM) a concern is growing that a unified conservative vote could hand Republicans the Governor’s Mansion. Miner is currently consulting with Joe Rose, a former aide to Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, for financial support.

Many have accused SAM of being tied to the Republican Party as much of its board is made up of former Bush administration officials or members of the finance community. Given statement’s from SAM’s leadership, it seems likely the new Party hopes to serve as a home for non-Trump Republicans and centrist or Conservative Democrats put off by the Democratic Party’s slow shift towards the left.

Cuomo Donors Under Investigation

Donors to Governor Andrew Cuomo are under investigation by US Attorneys, according to a new report. Executives at Crystal Run, a healthcare company in the Hudson Valley, have been accused of breaking campaign finance laws by donating more than $400,000 to theGovernor’s campaign in return for more than $25 million in state grants. Crystal Run was eventually awarded the grants in 2016, by the Dept of Health. U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman wants to find out if donations from Crystal Run to Cuomo’s campaign were as a result of an improper granting of State contracts.

The accusations were first raised by a group of doctors when Crystal Run was merging with Montefiore Health System.


As has been mentioned before, it’s petitioning season! So we thought we’d debate WHY we petition and why finding an alternative is so difficult.



Rent Guideline Board Public Testimony

Thursday, June 21

5:00pm – 8:00pm

Eleanor Roosevelt Democratic Club June Member Meeting

Thursday, June 21

7:00pm – 8:00pm

VID Petitioning (West Side)

Saturday, June 23

9:30am – 11:30am

Contacts: Erik Coler - / C. (917) 699 2320; Laurie Hardjowirogo - / C. (917) 968 7801

VID Petitioning (East Side)

Saturday, June 23

11:00am – 1:00pm

Contacts: Jen Hoppe - / C.  (646) 408 0048; David Siffert - / C. (646) 645 5337

March with Senator Brad Hoylman at NYC PRIDE 2018!

Sunday, June 24

10:30am – 3:00pm

Description:I hope you'll join me on Sunday, June 24, to march with me and my family in the 2018 Heritage of Pride March! We will also be joined by RWDSU and the workers of Pleasure Chest who are fighting to negotiate a fair contract with their anti-union employer. March with us as we stand up for equality, dignity, and respect for all!

March with the Resistance Contingent at the NYC Pride Parade

Sunday, June 24

3:00pm – 6:00pm

Description:The Resistance Contingent was first formed in 2017 as a sign of solidarity and resistance in the face of the Trump Administration, with hundreds of activists from 18 community groups marching in Coalition. This year, we need to show NYC and the world that the Pride Resistance Contingence is bigger and better than ever! We want to be the heart and focus of the march, and we need our resistance voices to be louder and clearer in 2018.

Federal Primary Election Day!

Tuesday, June 26

9:00am – 9:00pm

Description: General Election: November 6, 2018 State Primary: September 13, 2018 Federal Primary: June 26, 2018

Rent Guideline Board (Final Vote)

Tuesday, June 26

7:00pm – 8:00pm

74th Assembly District County Committee Information Session

Thursday, June 28

6:30pm – 8:30pm

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