Archives for May 2016

Trump Promises Deportation, But Obama Already Delivering It

 

Advocates say immigration raids are making it more difficult to contact potential Latino voters. | AP

Advocates say immigration raids are making it more difficult to contact potential Latino voters. | AP

While Donald J. Trump has outraged immigration advocates by saying he intended to deport massive numbers of undocumented residents, the Obama administration is outraging many of the same people by actually deporting families here to seek asylum from dangerous countries. Politico is reporting that “… the administration has so far declined to confirm specifics about the latest round of raids, which were disclosed in a Reuters report this month. According to a document obtained by the news agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have told agents across the country to prepare for a 30-day ‘surge’ of arrests targeting mothers and children who have recently arrived in the country illegally but have been told to return to their home countries.

One part of the political fallout is simply that immigrant families that might worry about their status just don’t come to the door when political organizers visit. Politico is all over the story here:

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/05/immigration-raids-latinos-sanders-clinton-223671#ixzz4AFkexpwS

Atlanta Is Worst For Avoiding Deportation

STEVE EBERHARDT FOR THE HUFFINGTON POST Kimberly Pineda Chavez and her mother, Lourdes, came to the U.S. from Honduras.

STEVE EBERHARDT FOR THE HUFFINGTON POST
Kimberly Pineda Chavez and her mother, Lourdes, came to the U.S. from Honduras.

Elise Foley, the Huffington Post’s immigration reporter, has a devastating story about Atlanta being the “worst” for immigrants hoping to avoid deportation. She notes that “… more than a third of the people detained under what the government calls Operation Border Guardian were from the Atlanta area, more than any other ICE jurisdiction.

There’s a reason for this. Immigration law doesn’t vary from state to state or court to court. But immigrants’ odds do, and by the numbers, Atlanta is one of the worst places in the country to be an undocumented immigrant hoping to avoid deportation. Justice Department-appointed judges in that court denied asylum 98 percent of the time in the 2015 fiscal year, the highest rate of any immigration court that heard more than five cases. Eighty-eight percent of cases that went before Atlanta immigration courts ended with a removal order. That’s way over the national average: In the country as a whole, immigration judges denied about 52 percent of asylum claims, and 69 percent of cases resulted in a deportation order.”

She also backgrounds that “…Atlanta immigration judges have been accused of bullying children, badgering domestic violence victims and setting standards for relief and asylum that lawyers say are next to impossible to meet. Given Atlanta immigration judges’ reluctance to grant asylum, some immigrants who fear returning to their native countries don’t even pursue it.”

Read the story here: Here’s Why Atlanta Is One Of The Worst Places To Be An Undocumented Immigrant

Lubbock, Texas Leads Nation to Higher LC1027 CSST Gas Tubing Standard

News Analysis

 

In a landmark vote that likely sets a national precedent, the Lubbock, Texas, city council recently elevated its performance requirements for the flexible gas piping which distributes fuel gas in millions of homes across the United States. It is believed this was the first U.S. community to adopt the higher standard.

 

In moving to raise the bar for safety and better protect against lightning initiated house fires, Lubbock adopted what engineers call the “ICC-ES LC1027” performance standard, which requires more stringent testing for lightning performance of flexible gas piping systems called CSST, or “corrugated stainless steel tubing.” In effect, the council banned the sale and installation of conventional yellow CSST in new construction while requiring existing systems to be properly bonded and grounded if any permitted upgrades are done.

 

For years now, the earlier-generation “yellow” CSST has come under significant scrutiny across the country.  That’s certainly true in Lubbock, where officials became concerned after they learned of the tragic death of Brennen Teel in 2012.  Teel died after a lightning strike to a home, and subsequent fire, where yellow CSST was allegedly compromised.

 

This tragic event sparked a two-year comprehensive review of the testing standards for CSST and lightning risks by a special Lubbock Special Fuel Gas Committee, which unanimously recommended the city adopt the higher CSST performance standard due to its findings.

 

It is anticipated that the Lubbock adoption of the LC 1027 standard will embolden building code officials around the country who want to adopt stronger safety standards for flexible gas piping as well. And the higher safety standard has also been endorsed by the National Association of State Fire Marshals and the American Public Gas Association. With national safety organizations in support of the standard, momentum should build with other states’ fire and building codes officials.

 

Lubbock’s move did not come without its fair share of opposition and debate from some CSST manufacturers, but many officials close to the issue obviously believe this was a necessary step to improve public safety. The National Courts Monitor expects the higher standard for flexible gas piping safety will be adopted across the U.S., continuing the reform movement being initiated by the Teel family and a number of attorneys.

Fracking Brings Lawsuit Over National Forest Access

elk-nps2Five environmental groups are suing the federal government in hopes of stopping leasing some 20,000 acres of the Santa Fe National Forest for fracking, the process of extracting natural gas by applying pressure via water injection. The injections shatter rock formations and free the gas. In the new lawsuit, the Courthouse News website backgrounds that “… the U.S. Bureau of Land Management created 13 new mineral leases in the national forest in October 2014, without required environmental impact studies and without considering the harmful effects of fracking… in doing so, the BLM, the Forest Service, and the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture violated the National Environmental Policy Act and the Administrative Procedure Act, the groups say.”

The groups bringing the lawsuit are the WildEarth Guardians, Amigos Bravos, Diné Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment, and the Sierra Club. Read more here:
CNS – Greens Fight Fracking in National Forest

Silver Gets More Time Before Serving Federal Jail Sentence

Former Democratic New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver exits Manhattan Federal District Court after being sentenced to 12 years on corruption related charges, Tuesday, May 3, 2016. Photo Credit: Bryan R. Smith / Bryan R. Smith

Former Democratic New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver exits Manhattan Federal District Court after being sentenced to 12 years on corruption related charges, Tuesday, May 3, 2016. Photo Credit: Bryan R. Smith / Bryan R. Smith

The federal judge who sentenced former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to 12 years in prison has granted the 72-year-old two more months of freedom before he begin to serve time. The delay comes because the U.S. Supreme Court is taking up the case of a convicted Virginia governor and one of the issues is what constitutes an “official act.”

The judge also set up a five-week briefing schedule after the Supreme Court rules in former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s challenge to his corruption conviction. That time will allow her to decide if Silver is entitled to bail pending appeal because a reversal is likely.

Read the story via NY Newsday here:
Silver’s prison surrender delayed by 2 months