Donald TrumpDozens of immigrants in legal limbo-including a young teacher named America-had front row seats for President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday, getting a close-up look at US history despite their own precarious status.Trump delivered his primetime address in the hallowed House of Representatives chamber, where immigrants from Chile, Guatemala, Mexico and South Korea joined US lawmakers, top administration and military officials, Supreme Court justices and foreign ambassadors.The speech, which touched on the divisive issue of immigration, came as some 700,000 immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children, the so-called “Dreamers,” risk losing their protected status while the White House and Congress square off over their fate.For those supporting the Dreamers, the goal of their presence was simple: “Make sure the president is seeing the faces of young people who are contributing to our community every day,” said congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham.For America Moreno Jimenez, who immigrated from Mexico at age two with her parents and is now a public school teacher in North Carolina, it would be a very personal moment.“My name itself is a devotion to how much my family loves this country, and it’s sad to see that nothing has been done yet,” 24-year-old America told AFP, as congressman David Price, who invited her to the speech, stood nearby.“I want to hear a decisive statement, one way or the other,” she said of Trump’s speech.Trump was decisive, but not in the way she might have hoped, vowing to pursue immigration policies that focus on the “best interests of American workers and American families.”“Americans are dreamers too,” Trump said.Thousands of Dreamers like America will be under threat of deportation if Congress does not legislate a fix to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which Trump scrapped last September and which expires on March 5.In a pointed message to the Republican president to break the immigration stalemate, more than two dozen Democratic lawmakers invited Dreamers to his speech.They “make America more American,” top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi told Dreamers in the US Capitol. “You are the pride of America (and) you are here to stay.”Not everyone agreed.A Republican congressman from Arizona, Paul Gosar, contacted US Capitol Police urging them to check identifications at the speech and arrest “any illegal aliens”-a move that infuriated Democratic lawmakers.“I would say to the congressman, you try it,” boomed Texas congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee.‘Set aside our differences’ -Despite the tension, Dreamer Denea Joseph, a 23-year-old UCLA graduate who immigrated from Belize at age seven, hoped Trump would soothe the concerns of so many immigrants who were watching.A proposal recently outlined by Trump would put about 1.8 million of the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in the country on a pathway to citizenship, provided they “meet education and work requirements and show good moral character.”It would also provide funding for his border wall and severely curtail legal immigration.“I call upon all of us tonight to set aside our differences,” Trump said as he discussed the sensitive issue.Several Dreamers wore yellow butterfly stickers, a nod to the insect’s cross-border migratory patterns.Most have DACA permits, distributed under Barack Obama’s administration, that provide legal residency and work authorization.But for many, the clock is ticking. Bolivian-born high schooler Nicolle Uria said she feels just as American as anyone else, but her DACA status lasts only through September.“Dreamers like me wake up every morning knowing we have an expiration date on our futures,” she said. read more
Members of various panels brought out a procession on the campus demanding re-election. Vice chancellor Md AkhtaruzzamanThe Dhaka University Central Students’ Union (DUCSU) election was peaceful despite some stray incidents, said vice-chancellor professor Md Akhtaruzzaman on Monday, reports UNB.”I’m happy and I express my gratitude to all involved in the election process,” he told reporters in front of his office.”The democratic exercise through the DUCSU polls will continue in future,” he said.Meanwhile, all panels, except the ruling Awami League student front Bangladesh Chhatra League, boycotted DUCSU polls alleging vote fraud.
A suspected suicide bomber carries a backpack on a street in Negombo, Sri Lanka 21 April 2019 in this still image taken from a CCTV handout footage of Easter Sunday attacks released on 23 April 2019. CCTV/Siyatha News via ReutersOne of the nine bombers that detonated explosives in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday was a woman, deputy defence minister Ruwan Wijewardene told reporters on Wednesday.The blasts at hotels and churches have so far killed at least 359 people, the deadliest such event in south Asia’s history.
The wife of an Islamic State militant sits in a wheelchair with her son on her lap at al-Hol displacement camp in Hasaka governorate. The children ran along the narrow enclosure, screaming, fighting and crying for the attention of the prison worker distributing sweets and balloons. Bug-bitten toddlers, too small to walk, clung to the sides of the chain link fence, staring blankly.Through the fence of their makeshift playground, the older children held out dirt-covered hands for the balloons; two of them said they were the only toys they have at the Rusafa women’s prison in central Baghdad.”Please, I want to go home, please help us. This is not a good place for us,” one Azeri girl said through the chain link fence, surrounded by about 100 other children.The visit by Reuters was one of very few times the prison has allowed media access. The jail is at the heart of the issue of what do with captured women and children of Islamic State.The ultra-hardline group carried out mass killings, torture, sexual enslavement and indoctrination in areas it captured in Syria and Iraq in 2014 and staged attacks around the world, meaning captives pose a security risk and are also vulnerable to reprisals.”At first, trust was very difficult for us and them,” said the prison director, requesting that her name not be used. “Many even tried to kill themselves and their children.”The prison holds 1,241 foreign women and children of suspected IS fighters from more than a dozen countries, 774 of them aged from nine months and 15 years old, the director said.Brought here in November 2017, two months after being captured while fleeing Tal Afar in northern Iraq, most of the children who qualified for possible prosecution in Iraq have been moved to a juvenile detention facility.A handful have been prosecuted for carrying out attacks but most are tried for crossing the border illegally, including some as young as nine. In either case it is not clear how much say they would have had.The other children stay in Rusafa with their mothers, who are either already serving long jail terms or awaiting trial.Having held them for two years with limited resources, Baghdad is keen for those who cannot be prosecuted to be sent home, but the issue is legally complicated and politically toxic, and many nations have so far refused to take them.Hungry, Bored and SickDynamics at the prison, located within the interior ministry’s heavily-guarded compound, have improved since the early days, the prison director said during the April 11 visit.No access was granted to the cells in which groups of women and children spend close to 20 hours a day and no photography was allowed. This reporter was accompanied by at least three government officials for most of the time, but spoke briefly to four of the children in the enclosure unsupervised.”Did you bring us clothes or medicine?” the Azeri girl, wearing a blue hijab, asked. “We really need medicine.”She was among a group identified by the prison director as having mothers sentenced to life in prison, serving at least 20 years for their membership of IS and illegally entering Iraq, a common fate for the women held at the jail.The girl is too young to be prosecuted under Iraqi law. It is unclear how long she will remain behind bars.Azerbaijan is one of the countries with the highest number of citizens imprisoned in Iraq, along with Russia and Turkey. Others come from Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Jordan, Syria, France, Germany, Sweden and Trinidad and Tobago.The Azeri Foreign Ministry did not respond to requests for comment on its policy on repatriating children linked to IS.The children are allowed into the enclosure for about two hours a day, but otherwise spend their days in cramped cells or watching cartoons on television. They sleep on thin mattresses, bored, hungry and often sick, with little medical attention, according to some 20 sources familiar with the prison and their cases who were interviewed by Reuters before the visit.Half a dozen of the sources said poor conditions had led to the deaths of at least seven children. Diplomatic and intelligence sources also said several women had died.The director, interviewed with four other officials in the room, declined to comment beyond saying that inmates were well looked after under her care. Iraqi government officials declined to comment.Three female detainees selected by the prison director said they had consented to be interviewed. They spoke in front of five officials – from the prison, the interior ministry, the justice ministry and national security service.”For me, prison is prison, whether in Tajikistan or Iraq,” said a 28-year-old Tajik woman who was sentenced to life in prison for belonging to IS and has her two children in jail with her.”But I want my kids to go home and live with my mother.”Reuters did not use the women’s names because of the risk of reprisals.Tajikistan recently said it would begin repatriating some children, and Russia, Turkey and France are among a handful of countries to have already taken some, but the process is slow.”Security and accountability must be balanced with providing these children the opportunity to rebuild their lives back home,” said Katharina Ritz, Iraq’s head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, which visits the detainees, provides assistance and helps restore contact with families.”Why have they just left us here?”The problem goes beyond Rusafa jail.Across the border in Syria, thousands more foreign women and children have been lingering in detention camps – their numbers swollen since last month’s recapture of IS’s last enclave in Baghouz.”Why have they just left us here?” said an Uzbek boy held in the Rusafa prison. “I just want to go home. I could live with my grandparents.”Uzbekistan’s foreign ministry did not respond to requests for comment on its policy towards detained children.Some 225 children were born at the Baghdad prison, its director said, as many of the women arrived pregnant.Three sources familiar with the matter have said some of the women were subjected to sexual abuse, both after their chaotic capture and detention by various forces in northern Iraq and in Rusafa. Asked about the allegations, the prison director said that the detainees had always been treated well under her care.For some women, legal about-turns have compounded their suffering.A 29-year-old Swedish woman, who had been living with her three children in prison, was acquitted of all terrorism charges during her trial in October, but sentenced to six months in prison for entering Iraq illegally.With the help of the Swedish government, she sent her children to live with relatives, afraid of their possible radicalisation in prison while she served her time.Days before completing her sentence, she was told the judiciary had overturned her acquittal and was reopening her case with a view to prosecuting her on the same charges.The Swedish government said it was aware and monitoring her situation but would not comment further on an individual case.”I thought I would only be apart from my kids for six months,” the woman said, choking back tears. “And now … I don’t know what’s going to happen to us.” read more
Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email News Jack Jenkins Jack Jenkins is a national reporter for RNS based in Washington, covering U.S. Catholics and the intersection of religion and politics.,Add Comment Click here to post a comment Jack Jenkins jackmjenkins Pete Buttigieg: Religious left is ‘stirring’ August 29, 2019 Tags2020 election Charleston church shooting homepage featured Mother Emanuel racism religious left Top Story,You may also like Anti-extremism program won’t stop white hate, say Muslims who’ve seen its … August 30, 2019 By: Jack Jenkins jackmjenkins Buttigieg walks fine line in courting religious left August 29, 2019 Share This! By: Jack Jenkins jackmjenkins By: Jack Jenkins jackmjenkins News Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Ravaged by age, shrunk by immigration, India’s remaining Jews hang on Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,CHARLESTON, S.C. (RNS) — Invoking God and Christian love, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker railed against gun violence and racism in a speech on Wednesday (Aug. 7) at the site of a 2015 church shooting that left nine African American worshippers dead.“We’re here this morning in the wake of yet another act of hatred in America,” Booker said as he began his address at Emanuel AME Church in downtown Charleston. “But I come here today because of love. The kind of love I learned about in church growing up.”Booker’s address, framed as response to two recent mass shootings, focused primarily on the murders in El Paso, Texas, where the suspected perpetrator killed at least 22 people and is believed to have a direct connection to white supremacist ideology.White nationalism was at the heart of the 2015 shooting at Emanuel, where the shooter invoked white supremacy as his reason for killing black churchgoers during a Bible study. Booker argued the issue of racism has plagued the United States since the beginning.“Bigotry was written into our founding documents. Native Americans in our Declaration of Independence were referred to as ‘savages’ and in our Constitution, black people are fractions of human beings,” said the New Jersey senator. “White supremacy has always been a problem in our American story — if not always at the surface, then lurking not so far beneath it.”Attendees listen to Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker at Mother Emanuel AME church in Charleston, S.C., on Aug. 7, 2019. RNS photo by Jack JenkinsBooker quoted Galatians 6:7 from the New Testament — “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap” — arguing that recent upticks in racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and anti-Muslim sentiment are the product of hatred sowed by many.He included President Trump among those who have sowed hatred, alluding to Trump’s 2017 remarks regarding deadly demonstrations by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va., and this month’s widely condemned tweets about Baltimore.“(Hatred) was sowed by those who draw equivalence between neo-Nazis and those who protest them,” Booker said. “It was sowed from the highest office in our land, where we see in tweets and rhetoric hateful words that ultimately endanger the lives of people in our country. People of color, immigrants, of us all.”Calling for concrete steps to end gun violence, Booker advocated for federal licensing of guns as well as an assault weapons ban, but he added: “We’ve got to go further. We must require that the Department of Justice, Homeland Security and the FBI conduct assessments of the domestic terrorism threats that are posed by white supremacists.” He also urged the FBI to work with local law enforcement to identify and report hate crimes.Booker went on to craft a hopeful message, lifting up the members of Emanuel, some of whom famously forgave the man who murdered their fellow congregants, as a prime example of love and civic grace.“This is the story of this sanctuary, this church of faith and fellowship. Of the Bible verse that speaks to our civic gospel — that is said here in churches like this all across the country — that whenever two or three are gathered together, he is in the midst,” said Booker, who has a long history of speaking about faith.Democratic presidential cadidate Sen. Cory Booker delivers a speech on gun violence and racism at Mother Emanuel AME church in Charleston, S.C., on Aug. 7, 2019. RNS photo by Jack JenkinsHe added: “When your sanctuary was burned down by white supremacists, the community rebuilt here on this hallowed soil, with faith in God, and in one another. When black churches were outlawed, this community, this church met in secret for decades, with faith in God, and in one another. And when evil showed itself in this church basement four years ago, this church again showed that faith. You showed what faith in action looks like.”Melvin Graham, whose sister, Cynthia Graham Hurd, was among those killed during the 2015 church shooting, called Booker’s speech “sincere, heartfelt and right on target,” and said he resonated with the senator’s action-oriented approach to faith.“Politicians have stopped saying ‘thoughts and prayers,’ because people are saying, ‘We don’t want thoughts and prayers anymore. We want action,’” he said. “God is good. God is great. God can do all things. But God gave you the power to do some things on your own.”Graham choked back tears as he described the experience of watching news coverage surrounding recent mass shootings.“It hurts to have to relive this,” he said, his voice wavering. “I cry every time I see somebody on TV who says, ‘I can’t find my mom. Where’s my mom?’ I know from having lived through that, if she hasn’t found her mom by now, mom’s gone.”Wanda Boyd, who also attends Emanuel, said she appreciated that Booker had already visited the church months before his speech to discuss racism and violence, and she “absolutely” responded positively to his appeals to faith as a vehicle for social change.“Hearing it from a presidential candidate — you’re like, OK, I can relate to that,” she said.Boyd noted that the church’s pastor, the Rev. Eric S.C. Manning, referred to Emanuel as a place of “forgiveness” while introducing Booker. She took it as a nod to when some families of victims publicly offered forgiveness to the white supremacist shooter just days after he killed their loved ones.“Some people forgave — it was hard to forgive in the beginning,” she said. “You realize that forgiving isn’t about so much about the other person, it’s about you. It’s about you releasing that pain so you don’t walk around with it every single day.”Booker insisted in his speech that he was not there to “ask for your vote,” but he may have won over some anyway.Boyd said that she hadn’t decided on a candidate yet but that Booker was “at the top of the list.”Graham, on the other hand, said he was still leaning toward supporting Joe Biden, partly because the former vice president called him shortly after the Charleston shooting.“We spoke as two grieving men,” Graham said, noting that at the time Biden had just lost his own son to brain cancer. “I told him, ‘Mr. Vice President, we are going to rise from this.’ It’s just like Maya Angelou says: ‘And we will rise.’” Share This! News Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.,These Catholics broke into a nuclear base. Now they’re asking a judge to drop th … Share This! Share This! Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts read more
Allison ShelleyLara Chelian, center, and her mother Renee Chilean, both abortion providers from Michigan, hold signs in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. as Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt is argued inside, Mar. 2, 2016.Editor’s note: This story has been updated throughout.Ruling that Texas’ 2013 abortion restrictions place an undue burden on a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed Texas abortion providers a major victory by overturning the regulations.On a 5-3 vote, the high court overturned restrictions passed as part of House Bill 2 in 2013 that required all Texas facilities that perform abortions to meet hospital-like standards — which include minimum sizes for rooms and doorways, pipelines for anesthesia and other infrastructure. The court also struck down a separate provision, which had already gone into effect, that requires doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of an abortion clinic.This means Texas’ 19 remaining clinics — of the more than 40 that were open before HB 2 passed — will continue to provide abortions. Had the court upheld the hospital-like standard requirement, Texas would have been left Texas with as few as 10 abortion clinics — all in major metropolitan areas — to serve 5.4 million women of reproductive age.In the majority opinion for Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt authored by Justice Stephen Breyer, the court indicated that the facility requirement on abortion clinics does not “benefit patients and is not necessary.” In knocking down the admitting privileges requirement, the court said “sufficient evidence” existed to prove that requirement “led to the closure of half of Texas’ clinics, or thereabouts.”“We have found nothing in Texas’ record evidence that shows that, compared to prior law (which required a “working arrangement” with a doctor with admitting privileges), the new law advanced Texas’ legitimate interest in protecting women’s health,” Breyer wrote.During oral arguments in March, the high court appeared to be divided on the constitutionality of the restrictions with the four liberal justices in the court displaying hostility to the abortion law. Conservatives on the court meanwhile questioned whether abortion providers suing the state had submitted sufficient evidence to prove the restrictions led to the closure of about half of the state’s clinics and whether the remaining clinics had the capacity to continue offering the procedure at the same rate if the state is left with fewer clinics.While Texas has not released details on abortions performed in the state in 2014, state health officials in March noted a 14.2 percent drop in the number of abortions performed in Texas compared to the year before. Early estimates by state health officials show 54,191 abortions were performed in Texas in 2014 — the first full year since the admitting privileges requirement took effect. That’s down from 63,168 in 2013. The state estimates do not include abortions Texas women obtained at facilities outside the state — a number abortion providers say likely increased as Texas tightened its restrictions.At the time, Justice Anthony Kennedy, the swing vote in the case, offered little indication on his views of the law, but at one point questioned whether the case should be sent back to a lower court to collect more evidence on the law’s impact. On Monday, Kennedy sided with the liberal justices to strike down the restrictions.Attorneys for the state had argued that the regulations were passed by the Texas Legislature to ensure women’s safety, and insisted that abortion providers had been unable to provide sufficient evidence that they create an undue burden for the majority of Texas women seeking abortions.“We have found nothing in Texas’ record evidence that shows that, compared to prior law (which required a “working arrangement” with a doctor with admitting privileges), the new law advanced Texas’ legitimate interest in protecting women’s health,.”— U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen BreyerBut the high court sided with the abortion providers in finding that the two requirements provide “few, if any, health benefits for women.” The majority ruled the requirements pose a “substantial obstacle to women seeking abortions” and place an “‘undue burden’ on their constitutional right to do so.”Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in a statement called the ruling “disappointing” and insisted the decision was passed “to improve patient safety and raise the standard of care for women at abortion facilities.”“HB 2 was an effort to improve minimum safety standards and ensure capable care for Texas women,” Paxton said. “It’s exceedingly unfortunate that the court has taken the ability to protect women’s health out of the hands of Texas citizens and their duly-elected representatives.”Texas abortion providers and representatives with the Center for Reproductive Rights, which brought the lawsuit on their behalf, hailed the decision as a vindication.“Every day Whole Woman’s Health treats our patients with compassion, respect and dignity—and today the Supreme Court did the same,” said Amy Hagstrom Miller, founder and CEO of Whole Woman’s Health and the lead plaintiff in the case. “We’re thrilled that today justice was served and our clinics stay open.”The high court’s decision was a massive win for the reproductive rights community in and out of Texas. The court’s decision is expected to help overturn similar requirements in other states fighting similar legal challenges.Two questions were at the heart of the biggest abortion case the nation’s highest court has taken up in almost a decade: Do the new Texas restrictions place so much burden on women seeking the procedure that they’re effectively denied a constitutional right? And are the courts allowed to question the motives of the GOP-controlled Legislature that passed the laws?The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals — which had upheld the Texas abortion restrictions with an exception for Whole Woman’s Health in McAllen — rejected the notion that legal precedent requires courts to scrutinize the facts state legislatures use to justify health-related abortion restrictions.In its decision, the Supreme Court ruled that approach was incorrect. Planned Parenthood v. Casey — the 1992 U.S. Supreme Court case reaffirmed a woman’s right to an abortion but gave states more power to restrict the procedure to “further the health or safety of a woman” — requires courts to “consider the burdens a law imposes on abortion access together with the benefits those laws confer.” Share read more
Dave FehlingPetrobras’s Pasadena Refining System plant is near the Washburn Tunnel on the Houston Ship Channel(Updated 3:55 P.M.)Environmental groups today filed a federal lawsuit against an oil refinery in Pasadena, Texas, alleging it has repeatedly violated federal air pollution limits over the past five years. The Pasadena Refining System (PRSI) is owned by Brazil’s state-controlled oil company Petrobras. The Sierra Club and Environment Texas allege the facility has violated the federal Clean Air Act “thousands” of times, releasing sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions in levels that violate hourly and yearly limits. This is the latest issue for the refinery, which has seen a number of problems in recent years.In March 2016, a fire and explosion injured a worker. Also, as Houston Public Media has previously reported, it’s been cited before by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for “unauthorized” releases of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions – the same ones mentioned in the lawsuit. The groups have been planning to sue since late 2016. Outside the federal courthouse in Houston, Environment Texas Director Luke Metzger said he believes the state isn’t doing enough to crack down on polluters.“We have, unfortunately, a state agency which really is a classic captive regulator that is more interested in helping the polluters, than making sure that they comply with the law and protect public health,” he said.In a separate emailed statement, Metzger said the groups suing “greatly appreciate” the refinery’s willingness to meet and discuss ways to address the issue, as they have done before. But, he said the groups feel the company “needs to make a major new commitment to environmental compliance.”Metzger said the environmental groups would be open to a settlement if the refinery agreed to an emissions reduction program, but that they’re also willing to take the case to trial.In an emailed statement, Pasadena Refining System, Inc. said it is aware of the lawsuit and is currently reviewing the filing.“We are committed to complying with all local, state and federal regulations and keeping our team’s focus on safe and reliable operations,” the company said. X Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /01:10 Share read more
00:00 /01:12 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Share Listen Al OrtizDoctor Mustapha Debboun, director of the Mosquito and Vector Control division of Harris County Public Health, shows some of the mosquito traps health officials are using in the Houston region.Summer is getting closer and that signals the beginning of mosquito season in the Houston region.Mosquitoes can transmit serious illnesses like the West Nile and Zika viruses, as well as Dengue and Chikungunya.So far this year, only one mosquito sample in Harris County has tested positive for West Nile and public health officials haven’t detected the presence of Zika or other diseases in the local population yet.However, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett wants to remind the public Houston’s warm weather and humidity are perfect factors for mosquito breeding.“They’re gonna be here. I have not found any redeeming qualities for mosquitoes, so we have to protect ourselves,” Emmett said during a press conference held at TranStar.Doctor Mustapha Debboun, who is in charge of Harris County’s Mosquito Control division within the county’s Public Health department, explained it is easy for these insects to breed in our homes because “they can breed in a, in a bottle cap, in a tire, in a container, in a gutter and they’re breeding in little buckets.”Because of that, public health officials recommend removing and emptying containers that can hold water.Doctor Umair Shah, executive director of Harris County Public Health, urged the public to remain vigilant “especially, when it comes to Zika.”“We are very mindful and very concerned about pregnant women and wanting to make sure that pregnant women are seeing their OBGYNs, their doctors, and doing everything they can to let them know of any symptoms they may have during pregnancy,” noted Shah during the press conference.Locally acquired cases of Zika were detected in Brownsville in 2016.However, so far, all Zika cases in Harris County have been acquired through travel. X read more
Stephanie TacyFirst English Lutheran Church holds an interfaith vigil for refugees after President Trump issued an executive order temporarily barring them from entering the country in February.The number of refugees resettled in Texas has dramatically decreased since Donald Trump became president, according to new findings from the Pew Research Center.In October 2016, 1,096 refugees resettled in the state, compared with just 353 last April. California, Arizona, Michigan and New York also saw big drops. Share Pew Research Center Overall, the number of refugees entering the country fell from 9,945 in October to 3,316 in April. Pew found a decline in 46 states. President Trump has tried to temporarily bar refugees from entering the country, including a moratorium in his latest travel ban. On Thursday, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s decision that put the ban on hold. The chief judge said it “drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination.” The ban is ultimately expected to go to the U.S. Supreme Court. Last fall, Gov. Greg Abbott announced that the state was withdrawing from the federal Refugee Resettlement Program, citing security concerns. In February, nonprofits across the state formally took over processing and resettling families. read more
A top Texas elections official says Russian hackers attempted to access voter registration rolls in Dallas County before November’s presidential election.County elections administrator Toni Pippins-Poole says the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in October alerted elections offices about some 600 IP addresses linked to Russian hackers.She told The Dallas Morning News that Dallas County scanned county servers for those IP addresses — numeric designations that identify a location on the internet — and found 17 matches for hackers who tried to gain access.Federal authorities have confirmed some of those attempts came from Russian IP addresses.Pippins-Poole says the hacking attempts failed.Homeland Security officials said in September that hackers believed to be Russian agents had targeted voter registration systems in more than 20 states. Share read more