Donald Trump

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

New Orleans Palestinian Solidarity Committee calls on City Hall to adopt human rights resolution

Posted By on Tue, Dec 12, 2017 at 2:31 PM

Members of the New Orleans Palestinian Solidarity Committee propose City Hall end doing business with companies engaged in human rights abuses. - PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • Members of the New Orleans Palestinian Solidarity Committee propose City Hall end doing business with companies engaged in human rights abuses.

Eleven months after demanding City Hall's commitment to a human rights platform in the wake of President Donald Trump's sweeping executive orders on immigration, and getting some initial positive response from city officials, the New Orleans Palestinian Solidarity Committee (NOPSC) has drafted its own resolution calling on the city to end business with companies that "may be culpable or complicit" in human rights abuses and war crimes.

The resolution is a renewed effort to get the ideas on the New Orleans City Council's radar following Trump's recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, jeopardizing decades of diplomacy and further threatening Palestinians' creation of a Palestinian state. NOPSC also plans to protest the decision at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15 at Canal and Decatur streets.

The group criticized a lack of momentum among city leaders following the January travel ban, "so we decided to go ahead and write that ordinance," said NOPSC organizer Tabitha Mustafa. On Dec. 12, the group marched into the City Council's office to deliver copies to staff in the hopes of councilmembers introducing the measure.

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Landrieu meets with Jeff Sessions, Sen. Kennedy to discuss 'sanctuary' policies

Posted By on Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 5:56 PM

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. - PHOTOS BY GAGE SKIDMORE/NICK PRETE / CREATIVE COMMONS
  • PHOTOS BY GAGE SKIDMORE/NICK PRETE / CREATIVE COMMONS
  • U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

The dispute between Mayor Mitch Landrieu and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions over New Orleans' compliance with federal immigration authorities has seemingly hit another wall.

It's been a caustic back and forth, following hardline immigration policies and rhetoric from President Donald Trump, lawsuits over cities and "sanctuary" policies, and aggressive Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) action.

Landrieu says the city and New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) do communicate with ICE, and nothing in NOPD policy prohibits the department from sharing information with the feds. Sessions says the city harbors people living in the country illegally through NOPD policy that effectively gives them "sanctuary." Landrieu says NOPD arrests people regardless of status and that "New Orleans is not a sanctuary city." Sessions says NOPD policy doesn't go far enough to open communication between the city and the feds when an undocumented person is in custody.

On Nov. 16, Landrieu, City Attorney Rebecca Dietz and NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison met with Sessions and U.S. Sen. John Neely Kennedy. Landrieu said the meeting went well — once again assuring that the feds agree with Landrieu that the city does not have "sanctuary" policies.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Mid-City church offers sanctuary to Salvadoran man threatened with deportation

Posted By on Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 2:45 PM

Jose Torres addresses a crowd outside First Grace United Methodist Church, which has offered him sanctuary following attempts from immigration authorities to deport him. - PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • Jose Torres addresses a crowd outside First Grace United Methodist Church, which has offered him sanctuary following attempts from immigration authorities to deport him.

When he was 18 years old, Jose Torres fled violence in El Salvador and later arrived in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures. On Nov. 15, he was scheduled to appear for a check-in appointment at the New Orleans office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), where immigrant advocates say agents planned to hand him a ticket out of the country to “self-deport.”

But on Nov. 15, Torres — standing among immigrant advocates and local faith leaders, along with his two U.S.-born daughters, ages 2 and 8 — announced First Grace United Methodist Church would provide Torres sanctuary.

“I’m tired of being punished over and over, for one reason: for being an immigrant,” Torres said through tears. “It’s time for our immigrant community to rise up, to lift up our voices, and demand respect from this country.”

First Grace — which also provides meeting space for the immigrant advocacy group Congress of Day Laborers and offers shelter to women and children through Hagar’s House — will provide Torres “a safe place to be in our community and have some degree of safety,” Pastor Shawn Anglim told Gambit.

“You remember that you were once in that place, you were once treated as a foreigner, as strange, as a stranger. Being a human being means providing a space for people who once felt that way,” he said. “The word ‘sanctuary’ is to harbor, to protect, and that’s what we’re doing here for Jose.”

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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

New Orleans, home of the largest oil and gas lease sale

Posted By on Tue, Oct 24, 2017 at 6:40 PM

COURTESY BUREAU OF SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENFORCEMENT
  • COURTESY BUREAU OF SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENFORCEMENT

In 2018, nearly 77 million acres of the Gulf of Mexico will be up for grabs in what's likely to be the largest-ever oil and gas lease sale in the U.S.

The sale opens to offshore-drilling oil companies water off the coasts of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas and Florida, as well as previously unleased areas in the Gulf's Outer Continental Shelf, encompassing an area the size of New Mexico, according to the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The sale is scheduled for March 2018 in New Orleans.

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Friday, October 13, 2017

WATCH: Sarah Silverman visits Trump supporters in Chalmette on I Love You, America

Posted By on Fri, Oct 13, 2017 at 4:31 PM

On the premiere of her new Hulu talk show I Love You, America, Sarah Silverman visited the Standers family of Chalmette to have dinner and talk politics.
  • On the premiere of her new Hulu talk show I Love You, America, Sarah Silverman visited the Standers family of Chalmette to have dinner and talk politics.

Last night, on Sarah Silverman's new Hulu series I Love You, America, the famously liberal comedian tried something different in the late-night talk show field: she visited a family of Trump voters in Chalmette and had dinner with them.

The Standers are an extended family of crab fishermen — gun owners and conservatives who voted for change in the 2016 election. Their beliefs were varied; Brandi, the 26-year-old "matriarch," wasn't convinced that former President Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, yet she was firmly in support of gay marriage and chided her father, who said LGBT people should have equal rights but stopped short of supporting the right to marry. Most of the Standers thought the Obama administration "gave away" too many things to the undeserving, yet several of them received insurance under the expansion of the Affordable Care Act. Silverman made her points known, but there was no serious arguing (and no changing of minds, either). Everyone involved seemed to enjoy the experience; they parted as friends.

It was a big change from the usual Stephen Colbert/John Oliver/Trevor Noah approach of ALL TRUMP IS BAD — and still not everyone liked it.

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

DOJ gives New Orleans "last chance" on NOPD immigration policy

Posted By on Thu, Oct 12, 2017 at 5:33 PM

New Orleans demonstrators rallied to support DACA and immigrant communities in September. - PHOTO BY KAT STROMQUIST
  • PHOTO BY KAT STROMQUIST
  • New Orleans demonstrators rallied to support DACA and immigrant communities in September.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is not convinced the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) complies with federal immigration rules, despite Mayor Mitch Landrieu's repeated assurance that policies limiting officers' involvement in immigration issues are well within bounds.

In a letter to Landrieu, Acting Assistant U.S. Attorney General Alan Hanson said NOPD policies — which include preventing officers from inquiring about immigration status — "may violate" a section of federal law involving local authorities communicating with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). unless it can prove that the policy does not "restrict New Orleans officers and employees from requesting information regarding immigration status from federal immigration officers."

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Thursday, September 7, 2017

New Orleans rally to defend DACA calls on candidates, city leaders to stand with immigrants

Posted By on Thu, Sep 7, 2017 at 12:30 AM

Demonstrators in New Orleans marched against Trump's decision to end the DACA program. - PHOTO BY KAT STROMQUIST
  • PHOTO BY KAT STROMQUIST
  • Demonstrators in New Orleans marched against Trump's decision to end the DACA program.

Karla Rosas didn't grow up thinking of herself as "undocumented."

She came to the U.S. from Mexico as a child, grew up in Louisiana, did well in school and served on her homecoming court. "It wasn't until I turned 16 that things were a a little different for me," she told a crowd outside City Hall Sept. 6. "I couldn't get a driver's license, my mom got nervous around cops, words people called me started to sting more."

Rosas is among more than 2,000 young people in Louisiana whose futures are uncertain following President Donald Trump's decision to end the Deferred Action against Childhood Arrivals program, which has granted U.S. entry to more than 800,000 "dreamers" who came to the country as minors.

"DACA, for me, when that decision came out, the clouds lifted over my head," Rosas said. "It wasn't surprising — I don't think anyone with DACA didn't know this was coming — but it still hurts, it's still sad. I felt like everything was pulled out from under me."

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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Photos from the Sept. 6 rally and march supporting DACA [slideshow]

Posted By on Wed, Sep 6, 2017 at 10:49 PM


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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

New Orleans groups, officials condemn Trump's decision to end DACA program

Posted By on Tue, Sep 5, 2017 at 5:35 PM

Protesters outside City Hall following Trump's January immigration order. - PHOTO BY KAT STROMQUIST
  • PHOTO BY KAT STROMQUIST
  • Protesters outside City Hall following Trump's January immigration order.

Protests across the country erupted following President Donald Trump's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which has granted U.S. entry to thousands of immigrants who came to the country as minors. The fates of roughly 800,000 young people in the program — which includes 2,000 people in Louisiana — will be left to Congress to decide, as Trump's administration begins to phase out the program in 2018.

New Orleans advocates for immigrants rights plan a protest at Duncan Plaza outside City Hall Sept. 6 beginning at 4:30 p.m. The demonstration is organized by Spanish-speaking parent advocacy group Nuestra Voz NOLA.

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Report: Cassidy-Graham health care plan could cost Louisiana $2.3 billion in health care funding; Cassidy's office responds [updated]

Posted By on Thu, Aug 24, 2017 at 1:45 PM

Bill Cassidy. - PHOTO BY GAGE SKIDMORE/CREATIVE COMMONS
  • PHOTO BY GAGE SKIDMORE/CREATIVE COMMONS
  • Bill Cassidy.

It's been almost a month since a dramatic, wee-hours vote July 28 felled so-called "skinny repeal," the Senate's most recent bill intended to roll back the Affordable Care Act (ACA) . The Senate officially returns from summer recess Sept. 5; though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has suggested tax reform will be his top priority for fall, Sen. Bill Cassidy met with Health & Human Services Secretary Tom Price July 31 to continue advocating for his health care ideas.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, released a new analysis this morning evaluating the effects of the Cassidy-Graham amendment attached to the Senate's most recent health care plan. Should Cassidy-Graham form the basis of a new ACA repeal effort, as some have speculated it might, the report warns it may share many problems with earlier Senate plans. According to the analysis, under a Cassidy-Graham plan, Louisiana could lose $2.3 billion in health care funding by 2026.

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