Progressive Breakfast for June 15

Morning Message George Goehl

Why I’m Going to the Border for Father’s Day

As more reports surface of children seeking asylum at our borders being separated from their parents, there has been much consideration of the impact and effect on children. As Father’s Day approaches, I can’t help but wonder how I would cope if my daughter was taken away from me. The thought of her feeling unprotected and abandoned is hard to fathom. That’s why I’ll be spending this Father’s Day at our southwest border, together with people who are as outraged as I am by Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions’ campaign to terrorize children who look to the United States, seeking nothing more than refuge. I believe we all hope to live in a world where delivering on a child’s expectation that their parents can make them safe is within reach for every child, and every family.

Protests Against Family Separations Spread Nationwide

Marches Across the U.S. Protest Separation of Migrant Families. NYT: “Demonstrators in Los Angeles were joined by activists in dozens of other cities across the country on Thursday evening to protest the separation of migrant families under President Trump’s zero-tolerance crackdown on illegal immigration, enacted in May. Organizers said more than 5,000 people had signed up to join the Families Belong Together rallies, aimed at halting one of the most widely debated new fronts in the Trump administration’s campaign to slow the flow of migrants across the southwest border from Mexico and Central America. ‘Our goal is to shine a light on the family separation happening at the border and other points of entry into the United States and about the trauma that family separation inflicts on these children and their families and how wrong and, frankly un-American that is,’ said Shannon McClain, a marketing specialist from New York who has helped coordinate the campaign. Ms. McClain said she began planning for the rallies after learning about the campaign on Twitter. Interest in the event grew exponentially, she said, as volunteers, many of them outraged mothers, jumped in to help.”

Faith Communities Denounce New Asylum Rules

How the clergy are turning on Trump. Ozy: “Workers worried about the impact of immigrants on the economy and just plain racists were a big part of Trump’s winning hand in 2016, but so too was the Christian right. Many of these religious voters were unnerved by Trump’s personal morality but pleased with his commitment to cultural conservatism on abortion and other issues. When the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, with its heavily Latino congregants, called the new asylum rules ‘immoral,’ it was noteworthy, albeit not surprising. But when the Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution this week calling for immigration reform that includes a pathway to legal status — even as Vice President Mike Pence addressed the group’s annual meeting — it was striking. ‘God commands His people to treat immigrants with the same respect and dignity as those native born,’ the resolution read. Will this religious revival put pressure on Trump to change course?”

NY AG Sues Trump Foundation For “Persistent Illegal Conduct”

New York files civil suit against President Trump, alleging his charity engaged in ‘illegal conduct’. WaPo: “New York’s attorney general filed suit against President Trump and his three eldest children Thursday, alleging “persistently illegal conduct” at the president’s personal charity and saying that Trump had repeatedly misused the nonprofit organization to pay off his businesses’ creditors, to decorate one of his golf clubs and to stage a multimillion-dollar giveaway at 2016 campaign events. In the suit, Attorney General Barbara Underwood asked a state judge to dissolve the Donald J. Trump Foundation. She asked that its remaining $1 million in assets be distributed to other charities and that Trump be forced to pay at least $2.8 million in restitution and penalties. Underwood also asked that Trump be banned from leading any other New York nonprofit organization for 10 years — seeking to apply a penalty usually reserved for the operators of small-time charity frauds to the president of the United States.”

Trump OKs $50b China Tariffs, Wants More

Trump announces tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods. CNN: “The United States will impose a 25% tariff on $50 billion of Chinese exports, the president said early Friday. The penalty is designed to punish China for stealing American technology and trade secrets. It will apply to roughly 1,100 exports and will target the Chinese aerospace, robotics, manufacturing and auto industries. Trade between the two countries ‘has been very unfair, for a very long time,’ Trump said. ‘This situation is no longer sustainable.’ US customs agents will begin collecting the duties on July 6, the administration said. The president gave the green light after a meeting Thursday with top economic officials, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. The move represents a serious escalation of trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies — just as Trump has also picked fights with allies Canada, Mexico and the European Union over steel and aluminum. Beijing previously promised to respond to this tariff with retaliatory tariffs of its own on $50 billion of US products such as cars, planes and soybeans.”

No State In Country Where Minimum Wage Is Enough

There’s not a single US state where a minimum wage worker can afford a 2-bedroom rental. CNN: “There’s not a single state, county or metropolitan area in the entire United States where a full-time worker earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour can afford a modest 2-bedroom apartment. And if those workers wanted to? They’d have to work 122 hours a week. Every week. All year. This is according to a new report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, or NLIHC, which calls attention to the gap between low-income wages and the high cost of rent throughout much of the United States. The NLIHC found US workers need to earn $22.10 an hour to afford a “modest” two-bedroom rental. That’s about three times the federal minimum wage.”

More from OurFuture.org:

Congress Hosts Charter Schools Roadshow, Ignores Black Parent. Jeff Bryant: “One of the more disturbing aspects of the push to create more charter schools was on full display during a Congressional hearing this week when charter proponents stacked the agenda with biased testimony and completely ignored the lone witness who could attest firsthand to the real impact these schools have on communities of color. The lone dissenting voice in the battery of speakers lined up to give glowing praise to these privately operated but publicly funded schools was Jonathon Phillip Clark, an Iraq War veteran and Black Detroit parent with seven children in the public-school system. Clark described his community as an ‘education desert’ ravaged by Michigan’s policy of school choice, where charter schools open and close seemingly at random, and public schools are shuttered because of the uncertainties created by charter school competition.”

Wage Theft: To Fight the Crime, Address the Motive. Sam Pizzigati: “The American economy rests ultimately on trust, a mutual understanding between employers and employees that each side, in the end, will behave honorably. A fair day’s wage, as the classic formulation puts it, for a fair day’s work. This covenant gets broken, of course, on a regular basis. The most damaging betrayals? They come when employees put in that fair day’s work and don’t get paid a full fair day’s pay. Labor market analysts today have come to call these betrayals ‘wage theft,’ and this thievery is thriving. Corporate execs have had, for nearly five decades now, a powerful incentive to cheat their workers. Let’s end it.”