When Bullies Come to Power

As the nation focuses on former Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen’s fall from favor, Stephen Miller is steadily climbing the rungs of success and influence.

Miller came into the spotlight after it was revealed that he was the mastermind behind the president’s cruel family separation policy at the U.S.-Mexico border and when his uncle, Dr. David Glosser, wrote a piece for Politico titled, “Stephen Miller Is an Immigration Hypocrite. I Know Because I’m His Uncle.”

Now, the president has put Miller in charge of the administration’s immigration policy following the forced resignation of Nielsen, who the president considered to be too lax in her policies.

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Government Temporarily Reopens

President Trump announced his endorsement of a spending bill to temporarily reopen the government this afternoon.

He made the announcement after the Senate failed to pass a spending bill to end the shutdown yesterday.

The agreement does not, however, resolve the issue of border wall funding, meaning it will only reopen the government for three weeks if a permanent solution can not be reached.

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Supreme Court Gearing Up

The Supreme Court has made a series of impactful decisions recently, both agreeing to hear certain cases as well as declining to hear others.

From declining to rule on the legality of Trump’s ban on transgender soldiers serving in the military to allowing the rule to be enforced without a decision, the Supreme Court has been making a lot of interesting decisions lately.

Keep reading for a breakdown of each of these landmark decisions.

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Humanitarian Activists Convicted

Four female humanitarian activists are facing jail time for leaving food and water in the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge for migrants.

The four women left gallons of water and cans of beans scattered throughout the refuge for immigrants making the oftentimes deadly crossing into the United States.

All four activists have been convicted of entering the refuge without a permit, and one activist, Ms. Hoffman, was also convicted of operating a vehicle inside the refuge; all face up to six months in prison and a $500 fine.

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More Family Separation

The inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services reports that thousands more families were separated by the administration than previously thought.

In a report released Thursday, the HHS inspector general concluded that the Trump administration not only separated thousands more children than previously thought, but that there is no effective system in place for tracking those children.

The inspector general’s findings come months after a federal judge ordered the administration to reunite all immigrant children with their families or guardians and shows that the administration may have never known exactly how many families it separated.

The Mortgage is Due

First Nations and indigenous peoples are being disproportionately affected by the shutdown due to their dependence on a host of government agencies and services which have been compromised.

From federally funded medical programs to food delivery services, Native communities are facing a dire lack of resources and support as we edge nearer to a full month of partially-functioning government.

In addition to critical services and products such as healthcare and food, streets in certain communities have gone unplowed for weeks, leaving people to try and dig themselves out or face the risk of being snowed in at home.

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McConnell Keeps the Shutdown Going

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has once again blocked a vote to end the government shutdown, citing the lack of border wall funding and presidential approval.

For the second time, McConnell shot down a House-approved bill to reopen the federal government in the Senate; he had previously vowed not to approve any resolution that didn’t have the president’s explicit approval.

This comes as Trump attempted to stage a mini coup by inviting Democratic lawmakers to the White House without House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi to negotiate the wall over a “working lunch.” None attended.

Tornillo Tent Camp Shut Down

The Tornillo tent camp which up until recently held thousands of immigrant children has been shut down.

The tent camp that has been the target of sustained direct action on the part of immigrant rights activists has finally been shut down.

The “Christmas at Tornillo” protesters had blocked entrances to the detention center and staged ongoing demonstrations to voice their oppposition towards the policy of immigrant detention and family separation.

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Changing the Story

As the ongoing shutdown edges closer and closer to becoming the longest in U.S. history, the president has walked back his claim that Mexico would pay for the wall.

As he prepared to leave for a trip to the southern border, Trump told reporters that he “never meant they’re [Mexico] gonna write out a check,” and repeated his claim that new trade deals will “indirectly” force Mexico to foot the bill.

However, those trade deals have not been approved by Congress and show little indication of providing any substantial payment from Mexico — indirect or otherwise — for a border wall.

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Trump Shutdown: Day 20

The president literally walked out of a meeting with legislators discussing the shutdown, his favorite agency is suing him, and no one is making sure our food is safe anymore.

The consequences of the prolonged government shutdown are beginning to impact even the president, who is being sued by his favorite agency for forcing them to work without pay.

Trump walked out of a meeting with Democratic lawmakers who held firm against providing additional funding for the border wall, saying it was a “waste of time,” thereby prolonging the shutdown even further.

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