Victory! Federal court blocks Trump's asylum ban
A federal judge Wednesday blocked the Trump administration’s asylum ban from being applied to thousands of asylum seekers who were unlawfully prevented from accessing the U.S. asylum process before the ban was implemented.
The case is Al Otro Lado v. Wolf, a class action lawsuit brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Center for Constitutional Rights, and the American Immigration Council on behalf of individual asylum seekers and the legal services organization Al Otro Lado (AOL).
“Today’s order will protect the lives of asylum seekers who were forced to endure extreme hardship while waiting in dangerous border cities for months for their chance to seek asylum in the United States,” said Erika Pinheiro, AOL director of litigation and policy. “These asylum seekers have a deep commitment to following our laws in seeking protection, and we are relieved to see that their decision to follow our government's instructions to wait in Mexico will not prejudice their chances for relief.”
Indigenous Bolivians urge the court to reinstate judgment against former Bolivian president and defense minister
On Tuesday, Indigenous Bolivian families urged the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals to reinstate a judgement against Bolivia’s former president, Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, and former defense minister, Carlos Sánchez Berzaín, for the massacre of unarmed Indigenous civilians in 2003 (Mamani, et al. v. Sánchez de Lozada / Mamani, et al. v. Sánchez Berzaín).
A U.S. jury found the two former officials liable under the Torture Victim Protection Act in April 2018 and awarded the victims’ families $10 million in damages. The unanimous verdict came after a month-long trial that included six days of deliberations. The judge later set aside the jury verdict and entered his own ruling holding the defendants not liable.
“I was proud, during the trial, to be able to hold these two men to account in their adopted country,” said Teófilo Baltazar Cerro, a plaintiff in whose pregnant wife Teodosia was shot and killed while praying inside her sister’s home. “We have faith that the Court of Appeals will see what the Bolivian people and the American jury also saw: that Goni and Sánchez Berzaín are responsible for these killings, and that justice must be done.”
Bloomberg's stop-and-frisk apology is too little, too late
After three terms as mayor, when Bloomberg used his power to champion a policy that encouraged police to unconstitutionally stop Black and Latinx people at an alarmingly high rate, his apology is way too little and far too late.
In 2011, the NYPD, under Bloomberg, reported a record 685,724 stops. Eighty-four percent of those stopped were Black or Latinx, and 88 percent of the people stopped were neither arrested nor received summonses.
Almost two decades after the policy began and six years after a federal ruling that found the NYPD’s stop and frisk unconstitutional and racially biased, Bloomberg’s discriminatory legacy is still felt by Black and Latinx communities.
The Trump administration's shift on Israeli settlements violates norms established at Nuremberg
Like its radical decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, the latest Trump administration decision reflects its total alignment with the Israeli government’s long-standing and racist aspirations to steal Palestinian land in service of Israeli profit and nativist ideology. This is a naked violation of basic international human rights and humanitarian law. The military theft and occupation of Palestinian land is a war crime — as measured by norms established in Nuremberg to prevent again the horrors of German occupation of other European states — as well as a crime against humanity; it is part of a systematic project to erase Palestinians, legally and physically. Two days after pardoning war criminals, Donald Trump again demonstrates that he, himself, as well as his obsequious Secretary of State, Pompeo, and his closest ally Netanyahu, are themselves war criminals.
We stand in solidarity with our Palestinian partners and the global human rights community in condemning this latest act of lawlessness.