Newest Version Blocks Entry by Extended Family Members; Hawaii Goes to Court
No Muslim grandparents allowed. Attorneys and observers went to airports across the United States Thursday night as Trump used the Supreme Court preliminary ruling on his travel ban to try to split Muslim families. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins of people already in the United States wouldn’t be able to enter our country under State Department guidelines. The State Department initially also said fiancés of people already in the United States also couldn’t enter but then reversed that directive. The ban applies to people from Iran, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. “They’re taking the Supreme Court decision and twisting it for their own political purposes,” said attorney Camille Mackler. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in the case later this year. A Hawaii Imam and attorneys for the state went to court to challenge keeping Muslim grandparents and other relatives out of our country.
Children as bait. Trump is targeting immigrant parents who pay to have their children illegally smuggled into the United States. Agents from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection are sharing information with immigration agents about relatives in the U.S. of unaccompanied children. The information is being used to track down the parents, according to lawyers and government case workers familiar with the practice.
Trump-Putin. Trump is scheduled to meet next week with Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit in Germany. The White House won’t say whether Trump plans to talk with Putin about Russian meddling in the election which is the focus of multiple investigations. “There’s no specific agenda—it’s really going to be whatever the president wants to talk about,” said H. R. McMaster, the president’s national security adviser.
Voter snooping. Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State tapped by Trump to investigate bogus accusations of voter fraud, is asking for information about potentially every voter in our country, including names, addresses, birth dates and voting histories. Voting rights advocates fear Kobach may use the information to suppress votes. California, Virginia and Kentucky said they would refuse to comply with the request.Connecticut’s secretary of state, Denise Merrill, said she would “share publicly-available information with the Kobach Commission while ensuring that the privacy of voters is honored by withholding protected data.” She added, however, that Kobach “has a lengthy record of illegally disenfranchising eligible voters in Kansas” and that “given Secretary Kobach’s history we find it very difficult to have confidence in the work of this Commission.” Kobach was fined $1,000 by a federal judge for presenting misleading arguments in a voting-related lawsuit. Earlier this month, Kobach formally announced that he’s running for governor of Kansas.
Torture attorney. Steven Bradbury, the man who wrote some of the legal memos that allowed the CIA to torture people, is Trump’s choice to be the general counsel for the Transportation Department. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), a veteran of the Iraq War, put a hold on Bradbury’s nomination because of his actions under former President George W. Bush. “Mr. Bradbury lacked moral conviction in the Bush White House, and I don’t think he can be trusted to stand up for the values I fought to defend, especially not in a Trump presidency,” Duckworth said. The hold can be broken by a majority vote in the Senate. Trump has made clear he has no moral objection to torture.