Well, I woke up early this morning, intending to get to work. Then I saw the national headlines.
No, not the impeachment trial in the Senate. Most of us continue to hope against hope there, while expecting the worst.
My attention was grabbed this morning by two historic and horrific attacks by the Trump administration. While we are watching the impeachment, the wannabe dictator and his buds are quietly changing the world. Sigh…. I can’t wait until November!
Today’s Xenophobia: US to Restrict Visas for Pregnant Women Entering the CountryThe Mary Sue, By Jessica Mason, Jan 23rd, 2020
In case you thought the Trump administration was only using the impeachment proceedings to barf all over the Constitution, think again. The target now: Trump’s old nemesis, Birthright citizenship. They don’t want the “wrong” people getting it.
On Thursday the Associated Press reports that the Trump administration is imposing new rules aimed at targetting “birth tourism,” the supposed practice of foreign nationals traveling to the US to have children who will be US Citizens due to birthright citizenship.
Birthright citizenship is the constitutional provision that stipulates anyone born in the US is a citizen. It is born of the 14th Amendment to the Bill of Rights, which was ratified after the civil war and is the basis for most civil rights constitutional cases. It reads in the relevant part: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”
Donald Trump, who does not understand the constitution, law or executive orders has long wanted to end this because it, of course, provides a way for people he doesn’t like – the children of immigrants – to become citizens and also then extend that citizenship to their parents. “Birth Tourism” may well be an issue, but the real point of these regulations is xenophobia and a desire to keep people out of America. [MORE…]
Trump creates new hurdles for pregnant women seeking U.S. tourist visasWashington Post, by Abigail Hauslohner and Maria Sacchetti, Jan. 23, 2020
The Trump administration says it is cracking down on what it calls “birth tourism” and will instruct consular officers to assess whether women requesting visas to visit the United States are hoping to give birth here to obtain U.S. citizenship for the child.
Starting Friday, the State Department will no longer issue temporary visitor visas to women hoping to travel to the United States for the purposes of having a child, White House officials said in a statement Thursday. The visas — known as B-1/B-2 visas — provide for temporary travel to the United States for tourism, business or medical care.
The State Department said Thursday that consular officers cannot require pregnancy tests to make the determination but would not rule out that a woman’s physical appearance could be taken into consideration. [MORE…]
This Will Be the Biggest Loss of Clean Water Protection the Country Has Ever SeenEcoWatch, by Olivia Rosane, Jan. 23, 2020
Today, the Trump administration will finalize its replacement for the Obama-era Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule in a move that will strip protections from more than half of the nation’s wetlands and allow landowners to dump pesticides into waterways, or build over wetlands, for the first time in decades.
President Donald Trump has been working to undo the 2015 rule since he took office, but his replacement goes even further, The New York Times explained. In addition to rolling back protections for some wetlands and streams that run intermittently or temporarily underground, it will also get rid of a requirement that landowners seek permits from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which had considered permits on a case-by-case basis before 2015.
“This will be the biggest loss of clean water protection the country has ever seen,” Southern Environmental Law Center lawyer Blan Holman told The New York Times. “This puts drinking water for millions of Americans at risk of contamination from unregulated pollution. This is not just undoing the Obama rule. This is stripping away protections that were put in place in the ’70s and ’80s that Americans have relied on for their health.” [MORE…]
Trump Administration Cuts Back Federal Protections For Streams And WetlandsNPR, by Scott Neuman and Colini Dwyer, January 23, 2020
The Environmental Protection Agency is dramatically reducing the amount of U.S. waterways that get federal protection under the Clean Water Act — a move that is welcomed by many farmers, builders and mining companies but is opposed even by the agency’s own science advisers. [MORE…]