Cuba constitutional referendum debates kick off

Cuban citizens on Monday began discussion of a draft new Constitution in the referendum, which runs until November 15, reported Excélsior.

During this period, close to 10 million Cubans have the right to offer their suggestions and observations with respect to the draft of the country’s basic law.

And for the first time, Cuban immigrants living abroad also can express their respective views via the internet.

calixtenos debate proyecto constitucion1

  • Published in Cuba

United States: Monument to Shame

Peter Fonda is another of the North American artists who rejects the migratory politics carried out by the commanding leader of the United States.

The son of the famous actor Henry Fonda and the brother of the actress Jane Fonda has spoken in several tweets against such behavior.

Thus informed this week the TMZ website.

In one of the tweets, already erased, Fonda wrote: We should separate Barron Trump of Melania and to put him in a cage with pedophiles."

After making a pass on Melania, he did the same with the secretary of the National Security Department, Kristjen Nielsen, saying: She should be put in a cage, ridiculed in Lafayette Square, naked and whipped by pedestrians while filmed for posterity."

The text was equally deleted.

Peter Fonda is one more in the legion of North American artists opposed to the "zero tolerance” politics.

On the other hand, the Europe Press agency in these days revealed that even Melania contradicts, in everyone’s view, the politics of separating immigrant children from their parents.

The First Lady’s spokesman, Stephanie Grisham, in declarations to the press pointed out:

“Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families and expects that both parts can unite to achieve a successful immigration reformation."

And she added: "She believes we should be a country that abides all laws, but also a country that is governed with the heart."

On the topic, the political website The Hill asserted that Melania Trump’s position contradicts the current migratory politics that separates children from their parents.

At times of the recently announced "zero tolerance" by the Government, where adults who attempt to cross illegally the south border of the United States are sanctioned with jail time.

As it’s known, such a politics has been very criticized by democrats and activists of immigrants’ rights.

The digital website added that the North American Academy of Pediatrics criticized this new approach recently because it could cause an "permanent damage” to the children.

Still developing one of the saddest and shameful episodes in the history of the United States.

Cubasí Translation Staff / Amilkal Labañino Valdés

VP Pence to Central Americans: Don't Come To The US

US Vice President Mike Pence tells Central Americans without documents, don't come to the US. He'll meet with Guatemalan and Honduran leaders this week.

Just as the conservative U.S. Supreme Court upholds the administration’s anti-Muslim travel ban, Vice President Mike Pence announced from Brazil’s capital that if Central Americans "can't come (to the United States) legally, don't come at all."

RELATED: Trump Dumps US Rule of Law: No Court Case, Just Send Them Back

"To the people of Central America, I have a message for you. Don't risk your lives or the lives of your children by trying to come to the United States on a road run by drug smugglers and human traffickers. If you can't come legally, don't come at all" trumpeted Pence.

The vice president is on a several day tour of Central and South America hoping to drum up support for the U.S. government’s anti-Venezuela agenda. On Tuesday, he and Brazilian president Michel Temer discussed the migration of Venezuelans into Brazil, and trade and business between their two countries.

During the meeting, Temer even offered to help with transportation costs back to Brazil for the roughly 50 Brazilian families separated by U.S. authorities at its southern border under President Donald Trump’s "zero tolerance" mandate. The policy, which seeks to criminalize all those entering the country without documents, has separated some 2,300 children from their parents, 2,000 of whom have yet to be reunited.

Pence is scheduled to leave for Ecuador on Wednesday where the governments both recently agreed to invite the U.S. military to intervene in mounting violence at Ecuador’s northern border.

By Thursday the vice president will head to Guatemala to be joined by the U.S. director of the Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen in order to meet with the presidents of Guatemala and Honduras, and El Salvador’s vice president. Top on their agenda is U.S. immigration.

The vast majority of the families separated over the past six weeks at the U.S.-Mexico border are asylum seekers who hailing from these Central American countries that have some of the highest murder and rates of inequality in Latin America.

Though signed an executive order last Wednesday to not separate families but would keep a strict "zero tolerance" policy in place, it did not address how to legally keep families intact for an extended period of time, where to house them and assess their legal status.

On Sunday the president tweeted that anyone who has entered without documents they should "immediately" be sent "back from where they came ... with no Judges or Court Cases."

The administration is now being sued by 17 states for its questionably legal separation practice.

  • Published in World

US immigrant kids: Held in Tents Cities

Around 10,000 immigrant kids arrived alone in the U.S. and were held in tents. According to some media based in Washington, the Trump administration projects to build tents in different military posts with the purpose of locking them up in Texas.

Officers from the Department of Health and Human Service will visit soon the US army bases in Fort Bliss aiming for getting 5,000 of these kids there while the rest are supposed to be left in the other two military bases of the state.

According to journalist Franco Ordonez —El Nuevo Herald—, it occurs at the same time that shelters for children separated from their parents on the border with Mexico are 95% full.

The number of children in this situation increased in 20%. The US secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and the Attorney General Jeff Sessions placed a zero tolerance policy that separates children from their parents.

Trump’s government justifies itself by claiming that the Congress allows federal authorities to free illegal immigrants who wait for their hearings.

The Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in a round table with the Head of State rallied against those measures that hinder the immediate deportation of those children.

He noted that “it can take months or even yearsonce they get into the federal immigration court system.

Rosenstein added “In fact, approximately 6,000 unaccompanied children each year fail to appear when they’ve been summoned.”

As we know, tens of thousands of families and children that came alone were arrested since 2014, when Central American mothers arrived in Valle del Rio Grande in Texas, fleeing from violence and extreme poverty.

Leon Fresco, Deputy Attorney General under Barack Obama, said “dividing families is not only controversial, but excessively expensive.”

There were people who accused the government of Donald Trump of using children as pawns to score some political points.

Clara Long, American researcher of the Human Rights Watch, highlighted that “arresting children by immigration purposes is never positive for them and the possibility of having those children living on tent cities is horrible.”

When Washington criticizes the human right subject in the world, they do not mention issues like this one.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz/CubaSi Translation Staff

Trump-Immigrants: Choosing the fox to guard the henhouse

Ronald W. Mortensen was nominated by Donald Trump as Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.

The nomination took place on May 24th.

Thus reported last Sunday, Los Angeles Times journalist Tracy Wilkinson.

Mortensen was a former U.S. Foreign Service officer and member of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS).

He has been characterized by his tough opposition to the entry of immigrants into United States.

Both Democrats and immigration advocates objected the nomination.

Moreover, Republicans, who have a majority in the Senate, should pronounce themselves about his nomination.

There, Mortensen could face troubles for his writings and statements attacking both immigrants and Republican senators, including John McCain, and even Marco Rubio.

In 2015, Ronald Mortensen, originally from Utah, told Marco Rubio: “You are either gullible or just plain dishonest on immigration issues.”

After Donald Trump took office in February 2017, Mortensen praised him for stepping up deportations of immigrants and banning some illegal entries.

In his blog, he referred to the success of the president “in destroying the myth of the noble, law-abiding illegal alien.”

The Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies, where he worked, has been listed as a hate group.

The theoretical aim of the aforementioned center is “to provide protection, ease suffering and resolve the plight of persecuted and uprooted people all over the world”.

However, in a post on March 10, 2017, Mortensen argued: “DACA grants amnesty to illegal aliens who are criminals and most of its recipients have committed multiple felonies to get jobs”.

According to Los Angeles Times, the number of DACA (Deffered Action for Childhood Arrivals) beneficiaries, known as Dreamers, who have been convicted of crimes is very low; all have been vetted to get their two-year permits to live in the United States.

According to official data, the crime rate among immigrants is lower than for the overall population of the northern country.

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-NY) said that “Mortensen’s racist, vile and dismissive comments against immigrants disqualified him for the post.”

Jennifer Quigley, an immigration advocate on Human Rights, termed Mortensen’s statements “extremist.”

She also added: “At a moment when the world is facing the worst displacement crisis since WWII, it is astounding President Trump would nominate an individual with a hostile attitude toward immigrants.”

Finally, she pointed out: “Mortensen’s nomination is like choosing the fox to guard the henhouse.”

CubaSi Translation Staff / Jorge Mesa Benjamin

US Appeals Court Rules Trump's Immigration Order Violates Rights of Muslims

President Donald Trump’s executive order-based travel ban against people from six Muslim majority countries violates the US Constitution by discriminating against people on the basis of religion, Virginia's 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals said in a ruling on Thursday.

In a 9-4 decision, judges from the Richmond, Virginia-based 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals said that its examination of the executive order, along with official statements by the president and other officials were "unconstitutionally tainted with animus toward Islam."

The ruling was the second by a federal appeals court to challenge the travel ban, signed by President Trump last fall.

The US Supreme Court agreed to allow the executive order's restrictions to go into effect amid ongoing litigation, but is expected to hear arguments on its legality starting in April. The court is expected to rule on the matter in late June.

Presidential Proclamation 9645, signed by Trump in September, restricts entry into the US for persons from eight countries, including Chad, Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia, as well as North Korea and Venezuela.

In December 2017, the San Francisco-based US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that President Trump's third immigration order exceeded the scope of his authority. According to the court, the president's interpretation of Article 8 of the Immigration and Nationality Act deviated from legislative history and prior executive practice, and the president did not have the constitutional powers to adopt the order.

  • Published in World

The Trump Effect: ICE Immigrant Arrests Rose by 30% in 2017

ICE carried out more than 140,000 arrests that year after Trump authorized federal agents to target all immigrants regardless of criminal record.

Arrests of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. rose by 30 percent in 2017 compared to a year earlier under the administration of Donald Trump who has expanded the authority of immigration agents and ramped up anti-immigration policies in the United States, an analysis by the Pew Research Center showed Thursday.

RELATED: ICE Continues Targeting Prominent Immigration Activists

Data from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE, shows that it made 143,470 arrests over the course of 2017 and that the biggest percentage increases of arrests were in Florida, northern Texas and Oklahoma.

Meanwhile from Jan. 20, when Trump was inaugurated, to the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30 ICE made 110,568 arrests, 42 percent more than over the same time period in 2016, according to the research center.

“Recent immigration arrest patterns demonstrate a growing emphasis by federal authorities on interior enforcement efforts,” the center said meaning that ICE federal agents are targeting undocumented immigrants who live in cities around the U.S. rather than those around border areas with Mexico or Canada.

The rise in arrests stems from a Trump executive order signed shortly after he came to office expanding ICE enforcement to include all undocumented immigrants instead of the limits that had been placed on the agency by his predecessor Barack Obama to focus on those who committed serious crimes.

RELATED: Trump Goes For Anti-immigration Traction Through New Rules

However, the research center points out that the number of arrests made in 2017 is far less than those made in Obama’s first year in office. ICE arrested almost 300,000 undocumented immigrants in 2009, which had prompted pro-immigration activists to call Obama “deporter-in-chief”.

Also the 2017 record of arrests is only the highest over the past three years, meaning that arrests during Obama’s presidency were still higher the first few years of his eight-year tenure before declining towards the end of his presidency.

Official data shows that between 2009 and 2015 his administration deported more than 2.5 million people through immigration orders.

However, Trump might manage to beat Obama’s record as he has signed several orders in recent months that could see the the deportation of hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and other countries.

RELATED: Immigration Activist Ravi Ragbir Facing Deportation After ICE Arrest

Some of the ICE arrests in recent months generated large backlash in the U.S. as they targeted immigration activists and immigrants who have been living in the country for decades with families and jobs and had not committed any crimes.

Jorge Garcia made international headlines last month when pictures of him hugging his family at the airport as he was being deported by ICE agents despite having lived in the U.S. for 30 years, paying taxes and having children in the country with no criminal record. The 39-year-old came to the U.S. when he was 10-years-old from Mexico and had sought legal status for years without luck.

Also last month, Jean Montrevil, Haitian immigrant rights activist and co-founder of the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City, was deported back to his country less than two weeks after he was arrested by ICE, agents, despite having lived in the U.S. for more than 30 years and having no criminal record.

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  • Published in World

Hawaii becomes the first state to file a lawsuit against Trump’s new travel ban

On Monday, President Trump signed a new executive order banning immigrants hailing from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for 90 days; refugees will not be permitted to enter for 120 days. On Tuesday evening, attorneys for the state of Hawaii responded with a 40-page request for a temporary restraining order against the new ban, saying, in part, that “the Executive Order means that thousands of individuals across the United States and in Hawai‘i who have immediate family members living in the affected countries will now be unable to receive visits from those persons or to be reunited with them in the United States.”

In terms of its language and execution, this new attempt to expel immigrants is somewhat more temperate than the one before it, no doubt as part of an attempt to dissuade naysayers. Trump’s first ban caused national chaos when introduced on January 27, and the order was eventually shot down by the judiciary system. Regardless, activist groups have already vowed to retaliate: Immediately after the new ban was released, the International Rescue Committee commented that the new ban “heartlessly targets the most vulnerable, harming refugees and helping extremists.”

In addition to its agenda of forced exclusion, the administration’s efforts against immigration and proposed border wall require that the budget of the Coast Guard be cut by 14 percent, while the TSA and FSA budgets will each be reduced by 11 percent, which, ironically, leaves the country even more vulnerable.

According to The Guardian, Trump’s new order is scheduled to go into effect on March 16. The Hawaiia lawsuit proposes that a hearing regarding the order take place on March 15. Other states have yet to follow Hawaii’s lead.

  • Published in Now
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