Tuesday 22nd of May 2018

Updated 3pm Wednesday. 5/22/18 notes from visiting WA’s senators’ staffers. No rally. Deep dive questions
5/15 notes & rally vid: 35.47. FAQs & Archive. Online info about our senators.
By Holly Brewer and Loren Bast. FB event for next week.

11.45am no rally: we met together and discussed our activism in front of the Federal Building.
12.20pm we went to the rally about Maru Mora Villalpando’s deportation hearing.
  Maru spoke around 12.30 at the Immigration Court. Her hearing has been deferred until June.
2pm we met with Kate (Sen. Murray’s staffer).
  More about Maru’s hearing and rally: this FB event & Seattle PI.com.

Met with


Kate Baumgartner, Sen. Murray’s Seattle Director ~ Main P: (202) 224-2621 / (866) 481-9186 ~ F: (202) 224-0238
Not available today: Tommy Bauer, Sen. Cantwell’s Seattle Outreach Director ~ Main P: (202) 224-3441 ~ F: (202) 228-0514

Tuesday’s Rally


Maru at this week’s hearing.

Maru Mora-Villalpando

Mora-Villalpando outstayed her 6 month visitors’ visa and has a daughter born here who is an American citizen. Tuesday was her second deportation hearing. They deferred it. Her first hearing was in March, and they delayed the decision: SeattleTimes.com. Her next hearing will be in June. Look for the date here: Facebook. She insists that this is an attack on her first amendment rights.

See if you can renew your DACA: UnitedWeDream.org.

Sen. Cantwell’s Interest
The ICE I 213 form declares part of the reason her case is being addressed: because she ‘has extensive involvement with anti-ICE protests’. That is why Senator Cantwell took notice of her case. In late January, Mora-Villalpando went to the State of the Union as Sen. Cantwell’s guest. A video about it: KomoNews.com. 2 min.

About Mora-Villalpando & Other Activists Globally
Maru runs the NWDCResistance.org. Their next day of action at the NW Detention Center in Tacoma is on June 9th. Other ways to get involved: http://www.nwdcresistance.org/get-involved/. Across the country, around 20 activists have been targeted by ICE: NPR.org. Her case has received international attention because it will set a precedent. The UN: OHCHR.org & Xinhuanet.com

The rally on Tuesday

ICE

Immigration and Customs Enforcement got Mora-Villalpando’s information from the Department of Licensing. They were giving out people’s personal information (which is gathered statewide) to ICE, a Federal agency 20 to 30 times a day. More about DoL’s actions below. We are in a welcoming state, sanctuary county and city.

Judges & ICE Pressured to Expedite

ICE agents are doing “expedited removal” without needing a judgement: TheHill.com. “The Department of Justice has announced it will evaluate immigration judges on how many cases they close and how fast they hear cases”: CNN.com. Judges are protesting about the new policy: LATimes.com. The expedited process means that people waiting for their Green Card or citizenship to be processed could be left out.

The Youth Jail

The No New Youth Jail Coalition protest about the building of a youth jail in Seattle. News about their actions: Facebook & King5.com. They have protested monthly since January, and they will continue to.

The NW Detention Center is For-profit

It is run by the GEO Group, Inc.. Under Trump, their stock is surging: NBCNews.com.
“Since at least 2005, GEO has paid thousands of detainee workers $1 per day or, in some instances, snacks and extra food for labor that is necessary to keep NWDC operational”: ATG.WA.gov. They are being sued by our AG. In addition, a guard beat Jesus Chavez Flores for going on hunger strike in February along with more than 120 others: SeattleTimes.com. “Since Feb. 10, Chavez has spent 23 hours a day in an isolation cell and is permitted to shower only three times a week.”: ACLU-WA.org. The ACLU is suing.

ICE Wants to Destroy Government Records

ICE has asked the National Archives and Records Administration to destroy government records such as those relating to incidents of sexual abuse, physical assault and death of individuals in immigration detention: Legistar.Council.NYC.gov.

The DoL

The Department of Licensing gave ICE people’s personal information.
Many groups demanded that Kohler (the WA head of the DoL) step down. On Tuesday 4/17/18, there were protests across Washington at 205 Spring St in Seattle; and in Everett, Lacey, White Center, Moses Lake, Yakima, Spokane, Vancouver and Bellingham. Articles about the protests: King5.com & KREM.com.

4/17/18 – Our Protest in Seattle:


May 10th, Pat Kohler, the Director of the DoL resigned: Governor.WA.gov.

What Happened
In January, the Seattle Times reported: “Washington state regularly gives drivers’ info to immigration authorities”: SeattleTimes.com. This is directly against Gov. Inslee’s Executive Order 17-01.

Soon after, the Deputy Director of the Department of Licensing resigned: SeattleTimes.com. They will no longer hand over information unless required by law. The Department of Licensing now has a web page that discloses information that they have shared; and they are toured the state answering people’s concerns: DOL.WA.gov.

1,475 Missing Migrant Children

There are 1, 475 missing migrant children: NYTimes.com. The problem will get worse: “The Trump administration has decided to refer every person caught crossing the border illegally for federal prosecution, a policy that could result in the separation of far more parents from their children at the border. The move would also mean that even if immigrants caught at the border illegally have valid asylum claims, they could still end up with federal criminal convictions on their record regardless of whether a judge eventually finds they have a right to live and stay in the US.”: CNN.com.

Who is in Charge? Where Do They Go?

When families are separated it is managed by the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Their program for handing unaccompanied minors: ACF.HHS.gov. FAQs about the treatment of unaccompanied minors: ACF.HHS.gov. They try to find the best place for the children. First, they try to place them with their immediate family in the US. If not, with an extended family or family friend. They sometimes have to pass the children to other organizations for care. More about the problems and solutions: NYTimes.com. Do we really want more federal oversight that could potentially cause more deportations?

Where Immigrant Children Can Be Held

The Trump administration might hold children caught crossing border on military bases: CNN.com. Another option is the foster care system, which is already overstretched: “About 520,000 … end up in foster care each year — double the number 25 years ago.”: ABCNews.Go.com.

Scott Lloyd’s Abuse of Power

Scott Lloyd is the Federal Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement.
3/1/18: “The Trump administration’s policy of halting abortions among undocumented minors was established by email through an ad hoc process without formal legal vetting,”: Politico.com. The ACLU has challenged and publicized this. Sen. Murray’s statement on this: Murray.Senate.gov.

3/14/18: Sen. Murray joins multiple Democrats in calling for his resignation / firing: HELP.Senate.gov.

Sen. Murray’s Health Care Op-Ed in USA Today

“Republicans tried again and again over the past year to pass bills that would raise health care costs, leave millions fewer covered, and gut protections for women, seniors, and people with pre-existing conditions. They raised 2018 premiums by injecting uncertainty into health care markets and by intentionally making it harder for people to learn about coverage options and enroll.”: USAToday.com.

Title X Funding

The Trump administration is proposing significant policy and funding changes for the Title X program. Also known as the Federal Family Planning Program, Title X was instituted in 1970 to provide comprehensive family planning and related preventative health services. Soon after Trump took office in 2017, he blocked US federal funding from going to international organizations that provide abortion counseling, referrals or services. Now he’s looking to implement that for domestic organizations; his proposal is being compared to a “gag rule” by various family planning organizations. Washington State Governor Inslee, along with Attorney General Bob Ferguson, are exploring legal and political options to counter these proposals. One such option is to use the Congressional Review Act (enacted in 1996) to overrule legislation within 60 legislative days of the legislation’s passing; this tactic is currently being used in an attempt to overturn the FCC’s Net Neutrality repeal.

More: CNN.com & WaPo.com & Governor.WA.gov & What is a CRA? Wikipedia.org.

Please sign Sen. Murray’s petition about the gag order: Act.PattyMurray.com.

Sen. Murray Addresses Work Harassment

“strengthening our health care workforce means addressing harassment and sexual assault in the workplace too—our health practitioners need safe workplaces to do their jobs.”: HELP.Senate.gov. The Senator on the issues: YouTube.com: 8 min.

Supreme Court Pro-employers Decision

The ruling is: “allowing employers to keep employees from joining together in wage and hour disputes”: TheHill.com.

Gorsuch

Neil Gorsuch provided the deciding vote against worker rights and unions by ruling that the Federal Arbitration Act trumps the National Labor Relations Act, essentially disallowing employees to band together in class action status against federal employer violations if their employment contracts force arbitration. Justice Ginsburg, arguing for the dissenters, called the majority opinion “egregiously wrong” and called on Congress to reverse the court’s decision. NPR.org.

Sen. Murray’s tweet about this on Tuesday:

Mental Health Treatment

There is a great need across the country for mental health treatment. A HELP Committee hearing about this Dec. 2017: HELP.Senate.gov. One in three counties in the US have no psychiatrist: NewAmericanEconomy.org. There are multiple bi-partisan bills to solve this: Sen. Ernst & Sen. Cassidy & Sen. Smith & Sen. Heitkamp.

12/17: Sen. Murray responding to Health Care Needs: HELP.Senate.gov.

4/18: Sen. Murray: we need work force training to get more trained psychiatrists: Murray.Senate.gov.

Teachers’ Pay

Video of Sen. Murray and many others who are key in providing better conditions for teachers: YouTube.com.

Veterans Affairs

Late last week, Trump nominated Robert Wilkie to head the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to Trump’s public announcement, Wilkie wasn’t formally informed he was going to be nominated; however, he has been acting as the interim head of the Department since Trump fired former VA Secretary David Shulkin two months ago. Senator Murray’s statement to this administration:


Murray.Senate.gov.

Tester’s Bill

In related VA news, Senator John Tester (D-MT), along with Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia, have passed a bill in the Senate to streamline community care options for veterans. Though it hints at privatizing certain aspects of VA care, Tester has come out firmly against overall privatization of the VA.
KTVQ.com & Legion.org.

Student Loan Debt

Sen. Murray wants more financial literacy and she is supporting groups doing it.
From her web site: Murray.Senate.gov.
Murray is Working with Devos, and there is a letter going out soon asking for an easier discharge of student loans. 2013:

Sen. Murray: Veterans with disabilities will get student loan relief: 2/2016: SeattleTimes.com & 4/2018: Murray.Senate.gov.

College affordability – share your story: Murray.Senate.gov.

Letters to Cabinet Members

Many times cabinet members respond to our senators. If they do not, our senators can publicly complain about not getting a response. We can ask our senators to write letters: and we can also write letters as individuals or groups; and comment in comment periods on regulations.gov. A good comment period to weigh in on now is about bump stocks: Regulations.gov.

Senators also write letters like the letter written about the Equifax issue: Murray.Senate.gov.

Attacks on the Environment

Environmental issues mainly fall to Senator Cantwell.

Senator Murray deals with Washington State environmental issues, like drilling off our coasts.
Sen. Murray on drilling off WA: 1/11/18
& a letter with 21 other senators: 1/12/18
& her social media push taking in photos of the WA coastline: 2/4/18.

There will likely not be drilling off WA coasts now: WaPo.com. Sen. Cantwell’s staffers were not available to comment.


An airplane flies over caribou from the Porcupine Caribou Herd on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Alaska. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via AP)

The Opening of Alaskan Public Lands to Animal ‘Harvesting’

“The practices are: Taking any black bear, including cubs and sows with cubs, with artificial light at den sites; harvesting brown bears over bait; taking wolves and coyotes (including pups) during the denning season (between May 1 and August 9); taking swimming caribou; taking caribou from motorboats under power; taking black bears over bait; and using dogs to hunt black bears.” According to the Federal Register.
Please comment: Regulations.gov.

Affordable Housing

People call us freattle. Is that fair? Homelessness.Seattle.gov.

Sen. Murray has no role in the head tax in Seattle because she is a Federal representative, not state.

In Seattle, builders pay the city to build low income tax properties away from their building. Locally, they have to have some units in each building. The low income housing is being built in Auburn and Tacoma. Vouchers have to be in Seattle, section A voucher. You have to live in Seattle for a year then you can use them living elsewhere.

Low Income Housing Tax Credit

Sen. Cantwell secured significant funding in the recent omnibus bill to help to solve our housing crisis.
“Since the federal tax credit program’s creation in 1986, developers in Washington state have built more than 1,000 properties funded by the program, creating more than 78,000 units for more than 158,000 people.
Cantwell’s effort to expand the program, part of the spending bill that was signed by President Trump last month, will fund three additional products in the state, bumping up the total from 15 to 18 projects.”: SpokesmanReview.com

“From 2000 to 2013, the total number of Americans facing extreme housing unaffordability has ballooned from 7 million to 11.2 million”: Cantwell.Senate.gov.

Mass Killings in Israel

We want a strong statement from our senators. This administration can do whatever they want – and our senators say nothing. We give the Israelis billions for their military. More: Explorer.USAid.gov. AIPAC is a powerful lobby. Their lobbying money: OpenSecrets.org.

Rep. Jayapal spoke out about the Gaza massacre: