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Progressives Endorse Candidates in NY, CA

Progressive groups endorse Dems in two key House races. The Hill: “Two major national progressive groups have unveiled endorsements for Democratic challengers running in key House races in New York and California. Democracy for America (DFA) and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) are backing Democrat Dana Balter, who’s running to challenge Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.), and Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar, who’s looking to unseat Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.). Both races are seen as top opportunities to flips seats and bring Democrats closer to taking back the House. Hillary Clinton won Katko’s district by more than 3 points in 2016. But President Trump won Hunter’s district by a comfortable double-digit margin. ‘Let’s elect game-changing progressives in the blue wave that’s coming — progressives are going to compete everywhere and they’re going to win,” said PCCC co-founder Stephanie Taylor. ‘The Republican Party’s attacks on working families have opened up opportunities for Democrats to win in places they haven’t won in decades, and it’ll be essential for Democrats to embrace a bold, economic populist message in these districts.’ But first, both endorsed Democrats must navigate competitive primaries.”

Normal, IL Votes To Become “Welcoming City”

Normal, IL passes Welcoming City ordinance. Bloomington Pantagraph: “Normal is now officially a ‘welcoming city.’ Despite some opposition, the Normal City Council approved a welcoming-city ordinance Monday, offering residents assurances Normal police officers will carefully consider their interactions with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and tell residents why officers are requesting their citizenship information. Officials said they hoped those steps would encourage all residents to work with police to improve public safety, increase public awareness of police procedures and reduce fear among immigrants who could face deportation. ‘There’s an issue in this country on immigration… What we’re saying here today is, if you’re in our community and you need our services and you’re buying our services, you can have them,’ said Mayor Chris Koos. “Taking this step will go a long way to allay some fears.'” Koos helped negotiate the ordinance with local activist groups who allied as the Keep Families Together Coalition and attended Monday’s meeting in force, rallying beforehand on Uptown Circle and filling the City Council chamber in the nearby Uptown Station.

Trump Wants To “Shut” Borders

Trump unloads on Homeland Security secretary in lengthy immigration tirade. WaPo: “President Trump berated Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in a dispiriting Cabinet meeting on immigration Wednesday, according to three administration officials, but her colleagues denied reports that she has threatened to quit. Trump lashed out at his Cabinet, and Nielsen in particular, when told that the number of people arrested for illegally crossing the Mexico border topped 50,000 for the second consecutive month. The blowup lasted more than 30 minutes, according to a person with knowledge of what transpired, as Trump’s face reddened and he raised his voice, saying Nielsen needed to ‘close down’ the border. ‘Why don’t you have solutions? How is this still happening?’ he said, adding later, ‘We need to shut it down. We’re closed.'”

DeVos May Shut Down English Language Learners

DeVos may scrap the Federal office for English-Language Learners. EdWeek: “Education and immigration advocates are pushing back against a Trump administration plan that would consolidate the federal office that helps guide education for millions of English-language-learner and immigrant students. Under the proposal, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos would fold her department’s office of English-language acquisition into the broader office for elementary and secondary education, according to advocacy groups briefed this week on the department’s potential plan. The proposal also calls for eliminating the director’s position for the English-language acquisition office, a job currently held by José Viana. Education Department officials told advocacy groups that the latest plan to restructure would allow the department to merge English-learner support with services provided to other disadvantaged student groups—a decision that ELL advocates say would actually work against the best interests of the students. The move is part of a broader effort by DeVos and her deputies to revamp the agency.”

New Military Force Authorization Would Allow Indefinite Detentions

Will Congress Authorize Indefinite Detention of Americans?. Truthout: “Under the guise of exercising supervisory power over the president’s ability to use military force, Congress is considering writing Donald Trump a blank check to indefinitely detain US citizens with no criminal charges. Alarmingly, this legislation could permit the president to lock up Americans who dissent against US military policy. The bill that risks conveying this power to the president is the broad new Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), S.J.Res.59, that is pending in Congress. Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) and Democratic committee member Tim Kaine (Virginia) introduced the bipartisan bill on April 16, and it has four additional co-sponsors. This proposed 2018 AUMF would replace the 2001 AUMF that Congress gave George W. Bush after the September 11 attacks. Although the 2001 AUMF authorized the president to use “all necessary and appropriate force” only against individuals and groups responsible for the 9/11 attacks, three presidents have relied on it to justify at least 37 military operations in 14 countries, many of them unrelated to 9/11.”

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