Things That Matter

Trump Terrifies Immigrant Community As He Demands To Keep Secret Why He Wants A Citizenship Question On The 2020 Census

For the second time in his presidency, Trump has used executive privilege to shield his administration from congressional oversight.

And this time, the implications could be huge for already underrepresented communities – specifically the Latino community.

In a brazen move, Trump has taken an extraordinary step to reject Congressional subpoenas regarding his administration’s controversial addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

On Wednesday, Trump announced he’d be blocking Democrats from getting the documents the needed.

Credit: @nytimes / Twitter

In asserting executive privilege, the president is shielding documents related to a controversial decision by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. The issue is currently before the Supreme Court.

Democrats, civil rights groups, and other opponents argue that including the question would scare off noncitizens and immigrant communities from completing the form and was intended to suppress their representation in Congress and in the federal budget-making process.

The administration contends it would help the Justice Department enforce voting rights, and that there is value in knowing the size of the population of US citizens.

House Democrats were investigating the origins of the citizenship question.

The committee launched an investigation earlier this year into the origins of the citizenship question, with Democrats claiming that it was added to the census in order to boost Republicans in future elections.

Last month, leaked emails from a deceased Republican operative showed evidence of a masterplan to use the 2020 Census to undermine the Democratic vote.

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Democrats have accused Republicans of lying about how the citizenship question was added to the census. In particular, after new evidence emerged recently that highlighted the role of a now-deceased Republican gerrymandering expert who argued that adding such a question to the census would cause congressional districts to be redrawn in ways that help Republicans.

“I want to know why this question was magically added after we have seen that a political operative knew and detailed an intent to intimidate racial and immigrant communities for a partisan purpose,” said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

And according to reports from the Washington Post, it was Attorney General Barr – who was facing potential contempt charges – who asked Trump to declare executive privilege.

Credit: @kylegriffin1 / Twitter

The notice of Trump’s assertion of executive privilege came just as the House Oversight Committee prepared to vote Wednesday on a resolution to hold the Commerce Secretary and Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt for failing to comply with its subpoenas.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is set to rule by the end of the month whether to allow the citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

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The Constitution requires a count every 10 years but doesn’t specify that it includes only citizens; the main census survey last asked about citizenship in 1950.

All of this dramatic news provoked intense reactions across Twitter.

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One Twitter user pointed out what many are already thinking – that Trump is trying to hide his administration’s real motives behind the census questions: racism.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) added her two cents, saying that every person in the US deserves to be counted.

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And that the president’s use of executive privilege is an obvious abuse of power meant to shield his administration from legal oversight of its potentially illegal actions.

And this Supreme Court lawyer laid out his worries about the power-hungry president.

Credit: @neal_katyal / Twitter

Many of us already feared that a President Trump would do all he could do to protect himself from any kind of oversight or legal challenge. And now we have just another case of obvious proof.

While a former federal prosecutor laid out Trump’s very clear motives.

Credit: @JoyceWhiteVance / Twitter

The threat to the Latino community – and immigrant communities of all backgrounds – is existential if the 2020 Census citizenship question is included. It would decimate our already low representation at the federal level and would limit access to much-needed services.

But aside from it’s dangerous and immediate impacts, the 2020 Census will allow lawmakers to remake voting districts in their favor – to perpetuate an already broken system but even more in their favor.

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This Migrant Mother Spent Three Years In Church Sanctuary But Now She’s Free

Things That Matter

This Migrant Mother Spent Three Years In Church Sanctuary But Now She’s Free

Lawyers are working hard to get a deportation order removed against a woman who just left a church sanctuary after three years in the refuge. Although she was previously denied asylum in the U.S., advocates are hoping that under new direction from the Biden administration, her case will be reviewed and she’ll be able to stay with her family in Ohio – where she’s lived for more than twenty years.

A mother of three is back with her family after living three years inside a church.

A mother of three who sought refugee inside an Ohio church from immigration authorities has finally been able to leave three years later. Edith Espinal, who herself is an immigrant rights advocate, had been living at the Columbus Mennonite Church since October 2017 to avoid being deported to Mexico. She’s now out of the church and back with her family following a meeting with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials, who have agreed that she’s not an immediate priority for deportation.

“Finally, I can go home,” Espinal told reporters after meeting with the officials. With tears of relief, she celebrated the small victory in the presence of dozens of supporters who accompanied her to the ICE building.

“But it is not the end of her case. We’re still going to have to fight,” her attorney Lizbeth Mateo said.

ICE has agreed to hold off on her deportation proceedings pending her asylum request.

Espinal was released under an order of supervision, meaning that while she’s not considered an immediate priority for deportation, she must periodically check in with ICE officials to inform them about her whereabouts.

She has lived in Columbus for more than two decades and had previously applied for asylum, citing rising violence in her home state of Michoacán. But she eventually was ordered to leave the country, which is when she sought refuge inside the Columbus, Ohio church.

“We’re going to continue pressing the Biden administration to do the right thing, and try to get rid of that order of deportation against Edith, so she can walk freely like everyone else does without fear,” Mateo said during the press conference.

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The Rio Grande Claims Life Of An 8-Year-Old Boy As Migrants Risk Arctic Conditions To Cross Into U.S.

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The Rio Grande Claims Life Of An 8-Year-Old Boy As Migrants Risk Arctic Conditions To Cross Into U.S.

Texas is seeing an unprecedented weather crisis as much of the state is plunged into bitterly cold conditions. But that hasn’t stopped many migrants and refugees from attempting to cross into the U.S. for protection.

Many migrants cross the Rio Grande (or Río Bravo en Mexico) between Texas and the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. Crossing the Rio Grande is always a dangerous undertaking but now, thanks to the freezing weather, it’s an especially perilous journey and it’s claimed the life of another child.

An 8-year-old boy has drowned while crossing the river with his family.

Authorities have reported that an 8-year-old Honduran boy has become the latest victim in a string of drownings at the Rio Grande, between the the U.S. and Mexico. Despite the unprecedented weather, migrants continue to attempt to cross the dangerous river to reach the U.S.

The child was with his family attempting to cross the river when he drowned on Wednesday, just as Texas was gripped by Arctic conditions which have killed more than 30 people and left millions in Mexico and Texas without power, water and food. The boy’s parents and sister apparently made it to the U.S., but were returned to Mexico by U.S. Border Patrol.

According to Mexican immigration officials, the boy “couldn’t withstand the pounding water, which covered him and kept him submerged for several meters”. His body was recovered but attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.

The Rio Grande is notoriously dangerous for people attempting to cross the border.

The journey across the Rio Grande has always been a perilous one, with hundreds of people, many of whom could not swim, having drowned over the years after being caught by the deceptively deep waters and strong current.

Add in the current winter storm currently blanketing the entire state of Texas, has produced significant snow and prolonged freezing temperatures, has made the crossing even more dangerous.

In fact, earlier in the week, the river had claimed another victim. A woman from Venezuela died trying to cross the river in the same area after getting trapped in below-freezing currents. Three others suffered hypothermia: one was treated by the Red Cross in Mexico, while the other two made it the US border.

Drownings are just one of the dangers migrants face.

Apart from the potential for drownings, migrants face a wide range of dangerous while attempting to cross from Mexico into the U.S. In late January, 19 bodies were found shot and burned in a vehicle near the town of Camargo, also across the border from Texas.

There’s also the threat of violence from drug cartels and smugglers, corrupt officials, and other extreme elements, such as heat during the summer.

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