Trump Offers Cold Comfort To Immigrants
Trump's speech makes a callous bid for Latino voters. OurFuture: "While Trump didn’t follow his dictatorial instincts in his State of the Union speech to declare an 'emergency' on the U.S.-Mexico border – yet – we know what the real emergency is: the thousands of children who have been ripped from their families. There are so many, in fact that the administration now says it may be impossible to ever reunite them, because they’ve lost track. Even worse, Republican lawmakers cheered Trump on as he doubled down on cruel and illegal immigration rhetoric and policies that hurt children, mothers and families. It was striking that a full quarter of his guests had to do with immigration, including a Latino immigrant who is now an ICE agent. Trump and the GOP know he will never win a majority of the Latino vote – but they still want to get a large enough portion of that electorate to win."
Abrams Calls For Voting Rights
Stacey Abrams, in Democrats’ response, calls for ballot fairness. NYT: "Stacey Abrams, who narrowly lost her race in November to be Georgia’s governor, delivered the Democrats’ official response to President Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night by outlining the party’s vision for lower health care costs and a more inclusive immigration policy, and pressing her case that access to the voting booth should be easier, not harder. 'Let’s be clear: Voter suppression is real,' Ms. Abrams said, speaking from Atlanta and surrounded by supporters. 'From making it harder to register and stay on the rolls to moving and closing polling places to rejecting lawful ballots, we can no longer ignore these threats to democracy.'"
Judge Blocks Discrimination Against Puerto Ricans
Judge blocks discrimination against Puerto Ricans, says Federal government is engaging in “Citizenship Apartheid”. Slate: "Trump’s approach to the Puerto Rico catastrophe was unprecedented in its malice. But it is only the latest chapter in the federal government’s long-standing discrimination against the island, abuse that enabled the White House to ignore its suffering without fear of political consequence. Because Puerto Rico is a territory rather than a state, federal law treats its residents as second-class citizens, depriving them of full voting rights and representation in Washington, as well as equal access to health care and disability benefits. This arrangement is enabled by century-old precedents that permitted mistreatment of territories like Puerto Rico because they are 'inhabited by alien races.' On Monday, however, U.S. District Judge Gustavo Gelpí—a George W. Bush appointee—issued a shot across the bow that throws the legality of this federal abuse into question. In a fiery ruling, Gelpí accused the federal government of unconstitutionally discriminating against Puerto Ricans, violating their equal protection rights by withholding disability benefits owed to mainland residents who are from the island. Gelpí concluded that the Supreme Court’s recent marriage equality decision eroded the old, racist precedents, guaranteeing Puerto Ricans the full privileges of citizenship. His decision could mark the beginning of an earthquake in federal law—one that could finally limit the federal government’s ability to abuse the territories."
Boy Trump Sleeps Through SOTU
Boy named Trump who fell asleep during State of the Union hailed a hero. The Guardian: "An 11-year-old boy called Joshua Trump who was invited by his presidential namesake to his State of the Union speech fell asleep and has been hailed as a hero of the anti-Trump resistance. Joshua Trump, a middle-school student from Delaware, was invited to the delayed event by Melania Trump. He dropped out of school after being bullied because of his last name. As cameras panned to the audience, the boy could be seen napping while Donald Trump renewed his promise to build a US-Mexico border and declared illegal immigration 'an urgent national crisis.' One Twitter user, who posted a screenshot of the younger Trump asleep, wrote: “JOSHUA TRUMP RULES.' 'Joshua Trump, welcome to the resistance,' said another."