1. 1-21 of 21
    1. Trump Reportedly Wants to Restrict Visa Programs for Skilled Workers

      Trump Reportedly Wants to Restrict Visa Programs for Skilled Workers

      President Donald Trump has said he wants to halt immigration while Americans face staggeringly high unemployment levels as a result of the coronavirus pandemic — including temporary visas for skilled foreign workers and for foreign students who went to college in the US.

      More than 85,000 immigrants get H-1B visas for skilled workers annually, including more than 1,000 apiece for workers at tech giants such as Google and Amazon. The demand for these visas consistently outstrips the supply. 

      But the New York Times reported Trump is considering barring the issuance of new visas in certain employment-based categories, including H-1B visas, as well as ending the Optional Practical Training program, or OPT, which allows foreigners on student visas to work ...

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
    2. The Trump Administration is Using the Pandemic To Target Immigrants and Asylum Seekers

      The Trump Administration is Using the Pandemic To Target Immigrants and Asylum Seekers

      A basic tenet of immunology is that we are all safer if we are all safe. That should be a basic tenet for politics as well. And yet, our empathy too often runs up against border walls and dies out.

      Migrants are decidedly not to blame for the pandemic. To blame are international travel, the interconnectedness of global capital, grossly ill-equipped national health systems, and leisure tourism. As the United States continues its immigration detention and deportation programs, we can now add anti-immigration policies to that list. 

      Foisting culpability for disease and contagion on migrants and asylum seekers remains a common cliché, one that has a long and vile history. Covid-19 has been a boon to the anti-immigrant agenda that ...

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    3. Trump Demands Obama be Made to Testify in the Senate

      Trump Demands Obama be Made to Testify in the Senate

      For the past few days, President Trump has been talking nonstop about something he has termed “OBAMAGATE” — a largely incoherent conspiracy theory that positions former President Obama as the mastermind behind a conspiracy to use federal law enforcement to undermine Trump’s campaign and presidency. 

      It is, in effect, the new birtherism: an unfounded campaign against the legitimacy of America’s first black president that Trump is trying to exploit to rally the political faithful.

      This morning, Trump seriously escalated his campaign against Obama, tweeting at one of his most reliable supporters in the Senate, Lindsey Graham, to force Obama to testify before Congress about this allegedly dastardly plot.

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    4. Trump Continues Deportations During Pandemic Causing Coronavirus to Spread

      Trump Continues Deportations During Pandemic Causing Coronavirus to Spread

      The US has put most of its immigration process on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic and has for weeks been turning away all asylum seekers at the southern border. It closed its consulates abroad as well as most immigration courts and has temporarily stopped issuing green cards. But authorities have continued to charter deportation flights.

      President Donald Trump declared the spread of the coronavirus a national emergency on March 12. An independent analysis from the Center for Economic and Policy Research found that between March 15 and April 24, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sent 21 flights to Guatemala, 18 to Honduras, 12 to El Salvador, three to Haiti and the Dominican Republican, and one to Jamaica. Flights have ...

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
    5. Private Debt Collectors Can Seize Coronavirus Stimulus Checks

      Private Debt Collectors Can Seize Coronavirus Stimulus Checks

      Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed an executive order on Friday that prohibits debt collectors from seizing federal stimulus checks meant to help Americans endure the economic shock caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

      Brown’s order is the latest state-level effort to protect the relief measure from being taken by debt collectors under a process known as garnishment — something creditors can legally do given neither Congress nor the Treasury Department took steps to ensure the checks are exempt from seizure.

      “Many Oregonians, through no fault of their own, are struggling to pay their bills, their rent, or even buy essentials like groceries and prescription drugs,” said Brown in a statement. “These recovery checks were meant to provide relief, not reward debt ...

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
    6. How Congress Can Still Function if Members Are Quarantined

      How Congress Can Still Function if Members Are Quarantined

      Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) announced that he has tested positive for Covid-19, the coronavirus disease, and that he is being quarantined. A day later, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) announced that her husband, John Bessler, also tested positive. At least two other senators, Utah Republicans Mitt Romney and Mike Lee, are self-quarantining because they were recently in close proximity to Paul. And at least two members of the House, Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and Ben McAdams (D-UT), have tested positive for the disease.

      For the moment, this small number of infections is manageable. But what happens if so many lawmakers are locked into a quarantine that they are unable to cast votes? What if a critical mass of lawmakers become so ...

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
    7. Bernie Sanders’s Plan to Fix the Supreme Court

      Bernie Sanders’s Plan to Fix the Supreme Court

      Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) came out against court-packing as a way to end Republican dominance of the Supreme Court on Saturday. But he then suggested an alternative that is no less radical — neutralizing the Court’s Republican majority by demoting some of its members.

      Some of Sanders’s rivals have embraced or, at least, expressed openness toward court-packing, adding additional seats to the Supreme Court to dilute its Republican members’ votes. Sanders, at a forum focused on how Democratic presidential candidates would approach an increasingly conservative judiciary, said he emphatically rejects such an idea.

      “We add two more judges. The next guy comes in — maybe a Republican — somebody comes in, you have two more,” and before you know it, he ...

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    8. The Senate Rejected Witnesses in Trump’s Impeachment Trial

      The Senate Rejected Witnesses in Trump’s Impeachment Trial

      The Senate just guaranteed that President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial will be the first in US history that won’t have witnesses. 

      In a 51-49 vote, senators voted Friday against considering more witnesses and documents as part of the impeachment proceedings, effectively clearing the path for the president’s acquittal. Republican Sens. Mitt Romney (UT) and Susan Collins (ME) joined with the 47-member Democratic caucus to support additional testimony, while other closely watched swing senators Lamar Alexander (TN) and Lisa Murkowski (AK) stuck with the Republican conference. 

      Alexander offered a striking rationale for his vote: In a statement he shared on Thursday, he emphasized that he believed the charge that the president demanded a quid pro quo of Ukraine ...

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    9. The cure to the opioid epidemic is unaffordable

      The cure to the opioid epidemic is unaffordable

      While methadone has been proven to help people escape opioid addiction, many cannot afford it. 

      Methadone clinics provide medication to help keep off cravings. However, no matter the success rate, the price exceeds what the average middle class American can pay.

      Methadone clinic prices range from $300-$500 a month when health insurance policies do not help cover the costs which is often the case. 

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    10. Medicaid expansion linked to 6% decrease in opioid mortality rates

      Medicaid expansion linked to 6% decrease in opioid mortality rates

      A new study by JAMA shows that medicaid expansion which gave millions of low-income adults access to health insurance was linked to a 6 percent reduction in opioid overdose death rates. 

      This new study disputes claims by Republican lawmakers that the medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act made the opioid crisis worse by expanding access to painkillers. 

      This result was mostly dye to lower rates of death of heroin and synthetic opioids with the care plan. 

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    11. House Democrats have passed hundreds of bills. Trump and Republicans are ignoring them

      House Democrats have passed hundreds of bills. Trump and Republicans are ignoring them

      For months, President Donald Trump has fired off tweet missives accusing House Democrats of “getting nothing done in Congress,” and being consumed with impeachment.

      Trump may want to look to the Republican-controlled Senate instead. Democrats in the House have been passing bills at a rapid clip; as of November 15, the House has passed nearly 400 bills, not including resolutions. But the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee estimates 80 percent of those bill have hit a snag in the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is prioritizing confirming judges over passing bills.

      Congress has passed just 70 bills into law this year. Granted, it still has one more year in its term, but the number pales in comparison to ...

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    12. Obamacare had a good day at the Supreme Court

      Obamacare had a good day at the Supreme Court

      A trio of Supreme Court cases consolidated under the name Maine Community Health Options v. United States may fairly be described as the first “normal” Obamacare case to reach the Supreme Court.

      They do not involve an existential attack on the Affordable Care Act, and they did not arrive on the justices’ doorstep after months of political turmoil over how the courts should resolve these cases. And during arguments Tuesday, a majority of the justices appeared to treat Maine Community as what it is — a difficult dispute about how the government makes promises and whether it is required to keep them, rather than as an opportunity to retreat into partisan camps.

      A bipartisan mix of justices, including Chief Justice John ...

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    13. Supreme Court considers a $12B plan to sabotage Obamacare

      Supreme Court considers a $12B plan to sabotage Obamacare

      In the past, when the Supreme Court’s heard a case involving the Affordable Care Act, the Court’s decision was the climax of a political circus that dominated front pages and cable news for months or even years. At least two past Obamacare cases were existential threats to the law itself.

      A trio of consolidated cases the Supreme Court will hear on Tuesday are, well, not that. Whatever the Court decides in Maine Community Health Options v. United StatesModa Health Plan v. United States, and Land of Lincoln Mutual Health v. United Statesthe Affordable Care Act will still be here the next day.

      And yet Maine Community and its companion cases are, by any objective measure, huge ...

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    14. White House claims opioid crisis cost 2.5 trillion over just 4 years

      White House claims opioid crisis cost 2.5 trillion over just 4 years

      Looking at the full value of all the activities people could contribute to if they didn't die prematurely, experts claim the cost in the trillions.

      The experts arrived at this figure by looking at the potential of economic benefits, true dollar values over someone's lifetime. 

      The White House looked at total societal welfare loss including implicit value of life more than simply an economic value.

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    15. Roger Stone trial testimony casts doubt on Trump’s answers to Mueller

      Roger Stone trial testimony casts doubt on Trump’s answers to Mueller

      Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates testified in court Tuesday that Donald Trump did in fact discuss WikiLeaks with his longtime political adviser, Roger Stone, during the 2016 campaign.

      That’s a big deal because in sworn written answers to special counsel Robert Mueller, Trump claimed he couldn’t recall doing any such thing. “I do not recall discussing WikiLeaks with him,” Trump wrote. “Nor do I recall being aware of Mr. Stone having discussed WikiLeaks with individuals associated with my campaign.”

      Yet Gates, a longtime associate of Paul Manafort who struck a plea deal with Mueller’s team last year, told a very different story in court Tuesday.

      Going back as far as April 2016, Gates said, Stone told ...

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    16. DOJ argues that religion is a license to discriminate

      DOJ argues that religion is a license to discriminate

      The Trump administration filed an unusual brief in a dispute between a gay teacher and the Catholic Church on Friday. Should the administration’s position be adopted by courts, it could expand the universe of employers who are allowed to defy laws banning discrimination in the workplace.

      Joshua Payne-Elliott, who taught Catholic school in Indianapolis, brought a claim alleging that the archdiocese is “unlawfully interfering with his employment and contract with” the school.

      But the archdiocese raises another, potentially very consequential argument against Payne-Elliott’s suit, and the Trump administration endorses this defense in its brief. According to the Trump administration, allowing this suit to proceed would violate the archdiocese's right to “expressive association” — a First Amendment claim that ...

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    17. FAIR Act: House passes a bill to ban mandatory arbitration

      FAIR Act: House passes a bill to ban mandatory arbitration

      The House just passed a groundbreaking bill that would restore legal rights to millions of American workers and consumers. Lawmakers voted 225-186 to pass the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act, a far-reaching bill that bans companies from requiring workers and consumers to resolve legal disputes in private arbitration — a quasi-legal forum with no judge, no jury, and practically no government oversight. These clauses, which are common in employment and consumer contracts, have made it impossible for workers to sue their bosses in court for sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage theft, and nearly anything else. Workers are less likely to win their cases in private arbitration, and when they do win, they tend to get much less money than they ...

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    18. New York AG Discovers Sackler Family's Undisclosed $1 Billion

      New York AG Discovers Sackler Family's Undisclosed $1 Billion

      New York Attorney General Letitia James stated that the family behind Purdue Pharma may have attempted to hide at least $1 billion in assets. 

      Some legal experts believe this new discovery could lead to the family facing criminal charges.

      The return of one of James' subpoenas regarding the state opioid lawsuit led to this discovery of the money which was previously undisclosed. James argues this transfer means that the family could have far more riches than previously believed.

      Purdue continues to face lawsuits in more than 50 states and territories, all arguing that the company must help fund recovery efforts for the opioid epidemic which they Purdue helped to create.

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    19. Sotomayor warns SCOTUS is doing “extraordinary” favors for Trump

      Sotomayor warns SCOTUS is doing “extraordinary” favors for Trump

      Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote a brief but pointed dissent from a Supreme Court order that effectively locked nearly all Central American migrants out of the asylum process.

      The sharpest part of Sotomayor’s opinion may be its final paragraph, which accuses a majority of her colleagues of bypassing the Court’s ordinary procedures in order to bail out the Trump administration.

      [G]ranting a stay pending appeal should be an “extraordinary” act. Unfortunately, it appears the Government has treated this exceptional mechanism as a new normal. Historically, the Government has made this kind of request rarely; now it does so reflexively. See, e.g., Vladeck, The Solicitor General and the Shadow Docket, 133 Harv. L. Rev. (forthcoming Nov. 2019). Not ...

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    20. Gig workers’California win is victory for workers everywhere

      Gig workers’California win is victory for workers everywhere

      AB 5’s passage — which Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to sign — could easily be seen as just another progressive victory in California. But it is more than that. It is a historic moment for the US labor movement too.

      By making it hard for employers to misclassify employees as independent contractors, potentially millions of California workers who’ve been kept off payrolls will get basic labor rights for the first time, like overtime pay and unemployment benefits. This includes janitors, construction workers, security guards, and hotel housekeepers — and yes, this group also includes Uber and Lyft drivers.

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    21. Trump is looking for a new way to cut Medicaid — without Congress

      Trump is looking for a new way to cut Medicaid — without Congress

      President Donald Trump and CMS Administrator Seema Verma, who oversees Medicaid. Alex Wong/Getty Images Two years in, senior Trump administration officials are still hunting for new ways to cut Medicaid. Seema Verma, who runs the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for President Trump, has been exploring whether the agency could implement Medicaid block grants, Politico reported last week .

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