States Strike Back on Trump Immigration and Refugee Ban

Attorneys General from 15 states and the District of Columbia have issued a joint statement vowing to fight the Trump administration’s executive order barring Muslims from 7 countries from entering the country as well as his permanent ban on refugees from Syria. The group is considering their own court challenge, which would raise the stakes considerably against the White House because, to date, only individual cases have been brought. Court orders came down late Saturday and early Sunday from four separate federal districts in New York, Massachusetts, Washington and Virginia, each affecting the order in some way.

The statement from these attorneys general against the administration minced no words.

“As the chief legal officers for over 130 million Americans and foreign residents of our states, we condemn President Trump's unconstitutional, un-American and unlawful Executive Order and will work together to ensure the federal government obeys the Constitution, respects our history as a nation of immigrants, and does not unlawfully target anyone because of their national origin or faith," they wrote. "Religious liberty has been, and always will be, a bedrock principle of our country and no president can change that truth.”

The states joining in the statement include the populous blue states of New York, Pennsylvania, and Illinois, as well as Washington, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Oregon, Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island, Maryland and the District of Columbia but also includes “swing" states of New Mexico and Maine and Iowa.

The statement noted that on Sunday morning, federal courts issued a stay of the “dangerous Executive Order,” a development applauded by the attorneys general. The statement further pledged that they intend to "use all of the tools of our offices to fight this unconstitutional order and preserve our nation’s national security and core values.” Their goals are to have “as few people as possible suffer from the chaotic situation” that the order has created.

President Donald Trump displays the executive order. (Credit: Source.)

On Sunday, spontaneous protests sprang up across the nation's airports as protesters sought to prevent the detention and deportation of a number of persons. Crowds at New York’s JFK, California’s LAX and SFO, Washington’s Seattle’s Tacoma and Illinois’ Chicago-O’Hare were large and boisterous. Protests also sprang up in more conservative areas, including in Atlanta, Georgia, Dallas, Texas and even Boise, Idaho. Meanwhile, large crowds gathered also in public spaces in Boston, New York and Washington, D.C. among many others.

Already, there is significant legal confusion over the scope and legality of the executive order, and perhaps more ominously, there were initial indications from the Trump administration that it might not abide by the judges’ orders. Even after the orders came down, for example, persons being held in detention were not permitted by the Customs and Border Patrol to see their lawyers and were not immediately released. Some were placed on planes to be sent back to their home countries, only to be pulled off again. It is unclear whether all those detained were released into the U.S. or whether any were sent back to their home countries.

Further, the Department of Homeland Security issued a statement that seemed to defy the courts outright: "President Trump's Executive Orders remain in place — prohibited travel will remain prohibited, and the U.S. government retains its right to revoke visas at any time if required for national security or public safety.” It added that the department would "continue to enforce all of President Trump's Executive Orders in a manner that ensures the safety and security of the American people.”

Since then, the Department of Homeland Security issued a follow-up statement indicating that it "will comply with judicial orders; faithfully enforce our immigration laws, and implement the president's Executive Orders to ensure that those entering the United States do not pose a threat to our country or the American people.” It remains unclear what parts of the Executive Orders the latter portion of the statement is referring to, but the compliance portion at least appears to avoid a constitutional crisis, where the Executive would be openly flouting the judiciary.

Blaze TV

Continuing a steady slide to the right since her tenure as President Donald Trump's United Nations ambassador, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is under heat for recent comments regarding the Confederate flag.

The comments came during an interview with far-Right Blaze TV host Glenn Beck.

Keep reading... Show less
Fox News

Former Vice President and current 2020 Presidential candidate Joe Biden erupted at a man during an Iowa town hall who accused him of actively working to get his son Hunter a board position on the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings. Biden called the man a "damn liar" before challenging him to pushups.

Republicans seized on the moment as an opportunity to discredit Biden as a candidate, but Fox and Friends cohost Ainsley Earhardt's reaction may be the most deluded yet.

Keep reading... Show less
Bryan Woolston/Getty Images // @parscale/Twitter

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has repeatedly made clear that, after President Donald Trump solicited Ukrainian leaders to announce investigations that personally benefitted him, the decision to launch impeachment proceedings wasn't a political maneuver, but a constitutional mandate.

The move came after years of Trump's supporters, as well as some critics, insisted that impeachment would be political suicide for the Democrats.

Since shortly after the inquiry's announcement in September, support for impeachment outweighed its oppositon as more revelations surfaced of Trump's dealings with Ukraine, but his 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale attempted to show that Pelosi's move to impeach would lose Democrats their House majority.

Keep reading... Show less

Shortly after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced that representatives would begin drafting articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy took the podium to defend the President and the Republican party as a whole.

It could've gone better.

Keep reading... Show less
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images // MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

One day after the House Judiciary Committee's hearing on impeachment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) held a press conference announcing that the House would begin drafting articles of impeachment, with a possible floor vote as soon as Christmas.

The press conference signaled the beginning of the end of the impeachment inquiry in the House.

Keep reading... Show less
Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee, in its public impeachment hearing against President Donald Trump on Wednesday, consulted four constitutional scholars for greater insight to the legal implications of the President's Ukraine scandal—and whether they merit impeachment.

Three witnesses, called by Democrats, each made compelling arguments for the articles of impeachment with which Trump could be charged.

George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley—invited by Republicans—was the lone dissenter.

Keep reading... Show less