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Westlake Legal Group > Executive Orders and Memorandums

Trump Delays Planned Tariff Increase in ‘Gesture of Good Will’ to China

WASHINGTON — President Trump said Wednesday night that the United States would delay its next planned tariff increase on China by two weeks, as “a gesture of good will” that may help to mend the seriously damaged ties between the world’s two biggest economies.

The United States would delay a planned increase in its 25 percent tariff on $250 billion of Chinese goods from Oct. 1 to Oct. 15, a move that was made “at the request of the Vice Premier of China, Liu He, and due to the fact that the People’s Republic of China will be celebrating their 70th Anniversary on October 1st,” the president said in a tweet.

The move comes as trade talks between the United States and China have stagnated, leading to stock market volatility and consternation among businesses that have paid higher prices to import and export goods. Despite months of talks, negotiators still appear far from a comprehensive trade deal that would resolve the Trump administration’s concerns about Chinese economic practices, including its infringement on American intellectual property.

The president’s announcement will delay tariffs by only two weeks. But it could allow negotiators to meet ahead of the next round of tariffs, raising the potential for that increase to be averted.

The two sides were on the cusp of a trade deal this spring, when Chinese leaders decided that some American demands to change their laws infringed too much on Chinese sovereignty. Since then, Mr. Trump has moved ahead with taxing an additional $112 billion of Chinese products, and he was expected to raise tariffs even further on Oct. 1. China imposed additional tariffs on $75 billion worth of American goods in retaliation.

Tensions between the two sides have eased slightly in recent weeks, with Chinese officials agreeing to travel to the United States in October for the next round of talks. On Wednesday, China published a short list of American products that would be exempt from its new tariffs, and said it would announce more exemptions in coming weeks. The exemptions included cancer drugs and certain chemicals that China does not produce domestically, but it did not include American exports like pork and soybeans, which have been targeted by Beijing as punishment for Mr. Trump’s tariffs.

In remarks in the Oval Office on Wednesday, Mr. Trump greeted the exemptions as a sign that China would soon compromise, saying that the trade war “was only going to get worse” and “they want to make a deal.”

“They took tariffs off, certain types,” he said. “I think it was a gesture. It was a big move. People were shocked. I wasn’t shocked.”

On other fronts, the Trump administration continues to move ahead with more stringent treatment of China. The administration has drafted an executive order that would increase inspections of mailed packages, in an effort to crack down on shipments of counterfeit goods and deadly drugs from foreign nations including China.

The order would empower the United States Postal Service to increase inspections of small packages that arrive in the country by air, according to several people familiar with the draft, who declined to be named because they were not authorized to speak publicly. That would help to close a loophole that has allowed dangerous drugs like the opioid fentanyl and other contraband to pass into the United States unchecked.

The measure is not aimed specifically at China. But Mr. Trump has often accused China of failing to stop shipments of fentanyl from flowing into the United States. Mr. Trump said late last month that he was directing the Postal Service and private American companies like FedEx, Amazon and UPS to search packages from China for fentanyl and refuse delivery. On Sept. 1, Mr. Trump placed more tariffs on Chinese imports as punishment for Beijing’s failure to stop fentanyl shipments and its refusal to buy more agricultural goods from the United States.

“Fentanyl kills 100,000 Americans a year. President Xi said this would stop — it didn’t,” Mr. Trump said in a tweet last month, referring to Xi Jinping, China’s president.

The executive order would apply solely to the Postal Service, not private companies like FedEx or UPS. The order is drafted to apply to all countries, though the effects would fall most heavily on China, a major source of both counterfeit products and fentanyl as well as small packages shipped into the United States.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 11DC-TRADE--1-articleLarge Trump Delays Planned Tariff Increase in ‘Gesture of Good Will’ to China United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Postal Service (US) International Trade and World Market fentanyl Executive Orders and Memorandums Economic Conditions and Trends Counterfeit Merchandise China

The executive order drafted by the Trump administration would increase inspections of packages mailed through the United States Postal Service but would not apply to private companies like FedEx or UPS.CreditChristopher Lee/Bloomberg

Regarding the trade talks, China and the United States appear to still have substantive differences. Chinese officials have emphasized recent changes they have made to laws governing foreign investment and intellectual property, rather than discussing the more significant changes the Trump administration has demanded.

Mr. Trump has ordered American companies out of China and expressed satisfaction at the damage his tariffs are wreaking on its economy.

Business leaders say they are already struggling under the tariffs, and predict lower profits and wage cuts if further levies — more are set for December — go into place. A poll by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai published Wednesday said the trade war was weighing on its members’ projections for revenue growth, optimism about the future and future investment plans. Moody’s Analytics estimates that the trade war has already cost 300,000 American jobs, a toll that could increase to nearly 450,000 by the end of this year and nearly 900,000 jobs by the end of next year, assuming Mr. Trump’s planned tariff increases go into effect.

In recent months, some of the focus has shifted away from the terms of the trade deal itself to whether there can be an interim agreement that would involve Chinese purchases of American agricultural products and smooth over relations between the countries.

Chinese officials and their contacts have floated the idea of restarting agricultural purchases, in return for the United States postponing further tariff increases and offering some relief for Huawei, the Chinese telecom giant that has been blacklisted from buying American products, several people familiar with the matter said.

Mr. Trump has been deeply frustrated by China’s refusal to purchase American agricultural products in recent months. The move would help the president by buoying a constituency that is important for him politically and also increasingly opposed to the trade war.

But such an interim agreement has also proved elusive. The president and his advisers are increasingly aware of the national security risk posed by Huawei, and cognizant that they would face criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike if they relent. Companies have submitted more than 120 applications to the Commerce Department to supply certain nonsensitive products to Huawei, but no applications have yet been approved.

American officials may consider removing some tariffs in return for economic concessions from China, but they are unlikely to do so for agricultural purchases, Mr. Trump’s allies say.

The Chinese, meanwhile, know that agricultural purchases would reduce the political pressure on Mr. Trump and potentially increase his chances of re-election, and they are not likely to trade away this source of leverage easily, people familiar with their thinking said.

At a Senate hearing Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the two countries were discussing soybean purchases, but pushed back on suggestions that the United States would be easily bought off.

“I’ve been accused at times of just wanting to sell soybeans. That’s not what we’re trying to do,” Mr. Mnuchin told lawmakers in the hearing. “We want to make sure that China treats our farmers fairly and doesn’t retaliate against the farmers in an unfair way.”

“As part of any discussion, we are talking about ag purchases,” he told reporters after the hearing. “That’s very important to us, defending our farmers.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump Delays Planned Tariff Increase in ‘Gesture of Goodwill’ to China

WASHINGTON — President Trump said Wednesday night that the United States would delay its next planned tariff increase on China by two weeks, as “a gesture of goodwill” that may help to mend the seriously damaged ties between the world’s two biggest economies.

The United States would delay a planned increase in its 25 percent tariff on $250 billion of Chinese goods from Oct. 1 to Oct. 15, a move that was made “at the request of the Vice Premier of China, Liu He, and due to the fact that the People’s Republic of China will be celebrating their 70th Anniversary on October 1st,” the president said in a tweet.

The move comes as trade talks between the United States and China have stagnated, leading to stock market volatility and consternation among businesses that have paid higher prices to import and export goods. Despite months of talks, negotiators still appear far from a comprehensive trade deal that would resolve the Trump administration’s concerns about Chinese economic practices, including its infringement on American intellectual property.

The president’s announcement will delay talks by only two weeks. But it could allow negotiators to meet ahead of the next round of tariffs, raising the potential for that increase to be averted.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 11DC-TRADE--1-articleLarge Trump Delays Planned Tariff Increase in ‘Gesture of Goodwill’ to China United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Postal Service (US) International Trade and World Market fentanyl Executive Orders and Memorandums Economic Conditions and Trends Counterfeit Merchandise China

The executive order drafted by the Trump administration would increase inspections of packages mailed through the United States Postal Service but would not apply to private companies like FedEx or UPS.CreditChristopher Lee/Bloomberg

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump Delays Planned Tariff Increase in ‘Gesture of Goodwill’ to China

WASHINGTON — President Trump said Wednesday night that the United States would delay its next planned tariff increase on China by two weeks, as “a gesture of goodwill” that may help to mend the seriously damaged ties between the world’s two biggest economies.

The United States would delay a planned increase in its 25 percent tariff on $250 billion of Chinese goods from Oct. 1 to Oct. 15, a move that was made “at the request of the Vice Premier of China, Liu He, and due to the fact that the People’s Republic of China will be celebrating their 70th Anniversary on October 1st,” the president said in a tweet.

The move comes as trade talks between the United States and China have stagnated, leading to stock market volatility and consternation among businesses that have paid higher prices to import and export goods. Despite months of talks, negotiators still appear far from a comprehensive trade deal that would resolve the Trump administration’s concerns about Chinese economic practices, including its infringement on American intellectual property.

The president’s announcement will delay talks by only two weeks. But it could allow negotiators to meet ahead of the next round of tariffs, raising the potential for that increase to be averted.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 11DC-TRADE--1-articleLarge Trump Delays Planned Tariff Increase in ‘Gesture of Goodwill’ to China United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Postal Service (US) International Trade and World Market fentanyl Executive Orders and Memorandums Economic Conditions and Trends Counterfeit Merchandise China

The executive order drafted by the Trump administration would increase inspections of packages mailed through the United States Postal Service but would not apply to private companies like FedEx or UPS.CreditChristopher Lee/Bloomberg

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Trump Eyes Crackdown on Homelessness as Aides Visit California

Westlake Legal Group 10dc-homeless-facebookJumbo Trump Eyes Crackdown on Homelessness as Aides Visit California Urban Areas United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Real Estate and Housing (Residential) Los Angeles (Calif) Homeless Persons Executive Orders and Memorandums California Affordable Housing

WASHINGTON — President Trump is pushing aides to find ways to curtail the growing number of homeless people living on the streets of Los Angeles, part of broader discussions his aides have held for weeks about urban problems in liberal locales, according to his personal lawyer and administration officials.

A team of administration officials is in California on what was described as a “fact-finding” mission as they weigh proposals to address the burgeoning crisis. But it is not clear what steps the administration could legally take on an issue that has traditionally been handled at the local level.

“Like many Americans, the president has taken notice of the homelessness crisis, particularly in cities and states where the liberal policies of overregulation, excessive taxation and poor public service delivery are combining to dramatically increase poverty and public health risks,” said Judd Deere, a White House spokesman. He said that the president signed an executive order to ease affordable housing development in June, and that he had “directed his team to go further and develop a range of policy options for consideration to deal with this tragedy.”

The visit of the administration officials to California was first reported by The Washington Post. The intensified discussions took place as the president, who has frequently criticized how urban areas in Democratic states are managed, prepares for a swing through California next week.

California has the largest homeless population in the country, according to a 2018 report compiled by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, at an estimated 130,000 people.

And the nature of homelessness in California is markedly different than in other parts of the country; the state also has the highest percentage of homeless who are unsheltered, with nearly 70 percent of the homeless — or about 90,000 people — living on the street. That report estimated that nearly half of all people without shelter in the United States were in California in 2018. New York State had the second largest homeless population, nearly 92,000, according to the report. But of those, fewer than 5 percent lacked shelter.

Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer and former mayor of New York, who was known for his aggressive crackdowns on street-bound homelessness, said he had been discussing the issue with administration officials.

“I think they feel that there’s got to be something that creates an incentive, carrot and stick, for cities to do something about it,” Mr. Giuliani said, adding that the discussions had been going on for two months.

Word of the efforts by the administration, which has repeatedly sought to cut housing assistance in its budget requests, alarmed advocates for the homeless and angered city leaders across California.

“Simply cracking down on homelessness without providing the housing that people need is not a real solution and will likely only make the situation worse,” said Mayor London Breed of San Francisco, whose city has been an object of the president’s scorn.

An estimated 59,000 homeless people live in Los Angeles County, according to a count conducted this year by the county, about a 12 percent increase over 2018. Of those, an estimated 44,000, or 75 percent, were unsheltered. Within the city of Los Angeles, which is distinct from the county, there were 36,000 homeless, including 27,000 who were unsheltered, according to that same count.

Los Angeles’s mayor, Eric M. Garcetti, and other political leaders faced intense scrutiny this summer after the release of the results of the 2019 count, which also showed that the number of homeless had increased 16 percent in the city. The surge was especially shocking because the government spent hundreds of millions of dollars in 2018 to address the problem.

Voters approved two high-profile initiatives in recent years to fund homeless services in the region, including a 2016 city bond that earmarked $1.2 billion to build housing for the homeless and a 2017 county quarter-cent sales tax increase to raise about $355 million annually for 10 years. The mayor’s defenders and city officials have pointed out that the city housed nearly 22,000 people in 2018, a record number for the government and an increase of 23 percent from 2017. But even amid those efforts, the high cost of housing in Los Angeles, one of the priciest rental markets in the country, has continued to push more individuals and families out of their homes.

While Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles has often been a focal point for national conversations about homelessness, the high rate of unsheltered people has become a source of friction across the state, in cities including Eureka, Oakland and San Francisco. With nowhere else to go, the homeless often set up encampments on sidewalks and beneath highway overpasses. Increasingly, encampments are nestling against wild lands, raising concerns amid increasingly intense and volatile wildfire seasons.

But while the displeasure of middle-class urban residents often receives attention, the homeless themselves — many of whom have full-time jobs but cannot afford California’s high rents — have the most to be frustrated about. Safety is a huge concern: An analysis published earlier this year by Kaiser Health News found that a record 918 homeless people died last year in Los Angeles County.

The administration has discussed refurbishing homeless facilities or building new ones, The Post reported. An administration official said that while those ideas have been discussed, nothing has been settled.

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Sick Migrants Undergoing Lifesaving Care Can Now Be Deported

LOS ANGELES — Maria Isabel Bueso was 7 years old when she came to the United States from Guatemala at the invitation of doctors who were conducting a clinical trial for the treatment of her rare, disfiguring genetic disease. The trial was short on participants, and thanks to her enrollment, the Federal Drug Administration eventually approved a medication for the condition that has increased survival by more than a decade.

Now 24, Ms. Bueso has participated in several medical studies. She has won awards for her advocacy on behalf of people with rare diseases, appearing before lawmakers in Washington and in Sacramento. Through the years, her parents have paid for the treatment that keeps her alive with private medical insurance.

But last week, Ms. Bueso received a letter from the United States government notifying her that she must leave the country within 33 days or face deportation. Her doctor, lawyer and mother described the order as tantamount to a “death sentence.”

Without notice, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services eliminated a program this month that had allowed immigrants to avoid deportation while they or their relatives were undergoing lifesaving medical treatment. Called “deferred action,” the program had provided a form of humanitarian relief from deportation for at least 1,000 applicants every year, and was renewable every two years.

The Trump administration also recently eliminated a program that allowed immigration judges to end the deportation cases of others with sympathetic circumstances. Taken together, these changes have made it all but impossible for people who were previously considered safe from deportation to defend themselves if they are picked up by federal immigration authorities, some experts said.

“I have been feeling super scared and overwhelmed,” said Ms. Bueso, whose lower body is paralyzed from the disease, an enzyme disorder that inhibits cells from processing sugars. “The treatment that I receive keeps me alive.”

The policy change, which caught immigration officials unawares, is the latest in a series of moves by the Trump administration to revoke or modify procedures that have allowed certain immigrants to remain in the United States. Now thousands — including those with serious medical conditions, crime victims who have helped law enforcement with investigations and caretakers of sick children or relatives — no longer have access to a safety net that has shielded them from deportation.

Over the last two years, major changes to immigration policy have been implemented with little notification given to the federal workers charged with carrying them out, beginning with a travel ban imposed by President Trump in his first weeks in office, and the “zero tolerance” approach that led to family separations last summer.

In explaining the new policy, a spokesman for U.S.C.I.S. said requests for deferred action must now be made to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency responsible for removing people from the country. An ICE official, though, said this week that the department had not been notified of the new position and questioned ICE’s ability to assume the role.

“The decision by U.S.C.I.S. to alter this policy is not something that ICE is prepared to take on,” said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information. “This wasn’t discussed with ICE. It’s not a procedure. We had no idea what they were talking about.”

In letters reviewed by The New York Times, Ms. Bueso, her family and other “deferred action” applicants have been told that the agency will only consider requests from people who are in the military and that the authorities may “commence removal proceedings” against those who do not leave the country.

“I have been told by U.S.C.I.S. there is no appeal, and nobody has told us how to proceed,” said Martin Lawler, Ms. Bueso’s attorney in San Francisco. “She cannot leave the United States. She will die.”

Every week for several years, Ms. Bueso has received intravenous infusions of the replacement enzyme that treats her disease, Mucopolysaccharidosis VI, or MPS-6, which causes dwarfism, clouded vision and spinal cord compression, among other abnormalities.

“Stopping this therapy will dramatically shorten her life span,” said Paul Harmatz, the pediatric gastroenterologist who was involved in the original trial and has been treating Ms. Bueso since 2003 at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland, Calif.

The new policy may prevent an 8-year-old girl with nerve cancer from participating in an experimental treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Her father, who is in the country illegally, is the only parent who can travel with her because her mother, an American, recently had a stroke that impaired her vision and ability to drive, said Tammy Fox-Isicoff, a Miami immigration lawyer who is representing the family.

Without deferred action, the man cannot legally drive or board an airplane from Miami to New York, where the girl must go each month for the treatment.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 29deport-02-articleLarge Sick Migrants Undergoing Lifesaving Care Can Now Be Deported visas United States Trump, Donald J Rare and Orphan Diseases Immigration and Emigration Immigration and Customs Enforcement (US) Illegal Immigration Executive Orders and Memorandums Deportation Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Citizenship and Immigration Services (US)

Ms. Bueso with her mother Karla Bueso at their home in Concord, Calif. Her doctor, lawyer and mother described the order to leave the country as tantamount to a “death sentence.”CreditJim Wilson/The New York Times

Brent Renison, a lawyer, is representing an Indian woman who the government has not permitted to stay in the country, even though she is waiting for a green card, because her husband, the sponsor, died. He said deferred action is “meant to allow for some discretion, to recognize cracks in the law that people fall into, and alleviate humanitarian situations and needless suffering.

“For the administration to take this away means the end of humanitarian relief as we know it,” he said.

In another move unveiled earlier this month by the Trump administration, crime victims who have helped law enforcement authorities with investigations will find it much more difficult to remain in the United States. The special protective visa, known as the U-visa, has a yearslong backlog.

ICE said this week that, unlike under prior administrations, it would no longer heed the advice of visa adjudicators — whose early, preliminary approvals used to qualify immigrants for a temporary “stay,” or pause on their deportation cases, until a final determination could be made. The new policy could affect about 140,000 people currently waiting for U-visas, plus their dependents.

Kenia Martinez of El Salvador, who has been living in the United States since 2004, is among those waiting. She was sent to a detention center in Louisiana this week in preparation for removal from the country, after her application to pause her deportation proceedings was denied. Previously, Ms. Martinez, who has two sons, would have been eligible to halt her removal because of her pending application.

In 2014, when Ms. Martinez first qualified for the visa, she had fresh bruises and cuts that were noted by police officers who had responded to a call about domestic violence, according to paperwork signed by her local police department supporting her application. She “cooperated fully” with the investigation, said the documents.

Cecelia Friedman Levin, senior policy counsel for ASISTA Immigration Assistance, a group that advocates for victims of physical and sexual abuse and human trafficking, said that the change is counter to the intentions of the bipartisan congressional group that created the U-visa nearly 20 years ago.

“It compromises victims’ safety and it creates a chilling effect on survivors to come forward ,” said Ms. Friedman Levin.

In Guatemala, doctors told Ms. Bueso’s parents that their daughter’s life would be short. When Dr. Harmatz learned Ms. Bueso had the rare enzyme disorder, he wanted to include her in the medical trial.

“We could not have done the clinical trials” without her, he said. “We were struggling to find patients.”

The “dramatic breakthrough” that came from the trial has helped people with the disease live longer than 30 years, he said. Before the drug, they rarely survived past 20.

It has been 16 years since Ms. Bueso began receiving weekly four- to six-hour infusions of the drug, Naglazyme, at the hospital. She has built a productive life despite the crippling disease.

Last year, she graduated summa cum laude from California State University, East Bay, where she worked with the school to start a scholarship for students with rare diseases. She has traveled and made presentations to lawmakers on behalf of people with rare diseases.

Her family lives in a tidy house in a middle-class neighborhood in Concord, Calif., which her parents bought and renovated to accommodate their daughter’s wheelchair. They did not expect to leave the country, having won permission to stay every time they reapplied for an extension.

When Mr. Lawler, the family’s lawyer, told them about the government’s decision last week, Ms. Bueso began to shake uncontrollably.

“We were crying with the nurses, doctors, everyone,” said her mother, Karla Bueso. “Without her treatment, it’s like a death sentence. It has been hard to process.”

Neither the drug nor the medical care that she requires is available in Guatemala. Without the drug, her health is expected to quickly deteriorate. Her breathing could become belabored; she could suffer cardiac arrest and become susceptible to infections.

“We have watched her grow up and mature, and become a responsible young adult, a leader advocating nationally,” said Dr. Harmatz. “If you take it away, it will be a rapid return to her previous state. Death would be the outcome.”

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Labor Dept. Moves to Expand Religion Exemption for Hiring and Firing

Westlake Legal Group 15LABOR-facebookJumbo Labor Dept. Moves to Expand Religion Exemption for Hiring and Firing Pizzella, Patrick Labor Department (US) Labor and Jobs Homosexuality and Bisexuality Government Contracts and Procurement Freedom of Religion Executive Orders and Memorandums discrimination Civil Rights and Liberties

The Labor Department has proposed a rule that would allow more federal contractors to base employment decisions on religion, a move that rights advocates said could be used to discriminate against workers for all manner of reasons.

The proposal, announced on Wednesday, seeks “to provide the broadest protection of religious exercise recognized by the Constitution and other laws,” the Labor Department said in a statement. It applies to a wide variety of organizations and companies that claim a religious goal as part of their mission.

Naomi Goldberg, policy research director of the Movement Advancement Project, a think tank focused on equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, said the “proposed rule would permit taxpayer-funded discrimination.”

“Examples of the type of discrimination this action condones include firing unmarried pregnant workers, workers who may not be coreligionists or who can’t sign a statement of faith, unmarried cohabiting workers and L.G.B.T. workers,” Ms. Goldberg said.

In addition to this rule, the Trump administration is challenging other protections for gay and transgender workers. In three cases the Supreme Court will hear this fall, the administration is arguing that federal civil rights law does not prohibit employers from discriminating against such workers. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had previously ruled that such discrimination is illegal.

Religious nonprofit organizations that receive federal contracts are currently exempt from rules covering other contractors that prevent religious discrimination. For example, a social services agency with a Jewish affiliation that receives a federal contract to feed disadvantaged children can insist on hiring a rabbi to oversee preparation of kosher food.

The proposed rule appears to expand the scope of hiring and firing decisions in which contractors can invoke their religious tenets. While it was previously unclear if an agency that receives a federal contract could insist on hiring a Jewish janitor, the proposed rule appears to resolve that question in favor of the employer.

The proposed rule would also extend the ability to discriminate in hiring and firing to all federal contractors, not just nonprofits, that identify their mission as including a religious purpose and practicing religion to advance that purpose.

Under this definition, a privately held, for-profit company like Hobby Lobby, the arts and crafts chain whose owners have said they have sought to organize the company around their Christian beliefs, could refuse to hire a gay manager without risking the loss of a federal contract, which would normally preclude such discrimination.

The public has 30 days to comment on the proposed rule, after which the department can issue a final version. Many advocates said they would expect a variety of legal challenges if it is enacted.

Luke Goodrich, vice president and senior counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which advocates for the rights of people to express their religious faith, said the order was necessary to better align the religious exemption that exists for federal contractors with the broader exemption for religious organizations that exists under federal civil rights law. Under current law, a religious organization that is not a contractor could refuse to hire workers who do not share certain religious beliefs.

Thousands of companies have federal contracts, for food and information technology services, the provision of furniture and military equipment, and much more.

Holly Hollman, general counsel of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Freedom, a group that opposes government-funded religion, said the rule would not override state laws intended to protect certain workers, which typically have primacy over federal rules.

In explaining the purpose of the rule, the Labor Department said some religious organizations had indicated they were hesitant to apply for federal contracts because they were unsure if the existing religious exemption applied to them.

“As people of faith with deeply held religious beliefs are making decisions on whether to participate in federal contracting, they deserve clear understanding of their obligations and protections under the law,” Patrick Pizzella, the acting labor secretary, said in a statement.

But Patricia A. Shiu, who ran the federal office that oversees compliance for federal contractors under President Barack Obama, said no contractors or prospective contractors had expressed such concerns during her more than seven years in the job.

In 2014, Mr. Obama signed an executive order prohibiting contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, which was not forbidden by existing federal civil rights law. Ms. Shiu said she worried that the new rule could help employers evade that rule, but also that it would go much further in eroding civil rights protections.

“My breath is taken away by the scope of this,” she said.

Jennifer C. Pizer, the law and policy director of Lambda Legal, an L.G.B.T. advocacy group, said the law had long held that the government could not deny public benefits to people who may have discriminatory views — such as Christians who assert that their religious beliefs forbid homosexual relationships. But organizations have no similar entitlement to federal contracts.

Historically, Ms. Pizer said, “if you want to work for the public, with public money, you have to be willing to employ the public.”

“This proposed rule erases that distinction,” she added.

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Trump Administration Expands Fast-Tracked Deportations for Undocumented Immigrants

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WASHINGTON — The Trump administration said on Monday that it would speed the deportations of undocumented immigrants who cannot prove they have been in the United States for more than two years, allowing federal agents to arrest and deport more people without a hearing before a judge.

Critics warned that the new rule, set to take effect on Tuesday, could also prevent asylum seekers from applying for refuge in the United States before they are deported. Within hours of its announcement, the American Civil Liberties Union vowed to block it in court.

The shift will expand the use of an immigration law that, until now, was used only to fast-track deportations for migrants who had been in the United States for just a few weeks and were still within 100 miles of the southwestern border. Now, those stopped by federal agents anywhere in the country who cannot prove they have been in the United States for more than two years can be deported without a hearing.

The change was announced a week after Trump administration officials said they would severely restrict asylum at the border.

Kevin K. McAleenan, the acting secretary of homeland security, said the rule would “help to alleviate some of the burden and capacity issues,” including room at detention facilities for immigrants.

The rule will ensure that deportations could be carried out over “weeks — not months or years,” said Theresa Cardinal Brown, the director of immigration and cross-border policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center. Omar Jadwat of the A.C.L.U. said it would deport immigrants who lived in the United States for years “with less due process than people get in traffic court.”

In the 2018 fiscal year, migrants who were deported by the Department of Homeland Security under the expedited process were held for an average of 11 days. It usually takes an average of 51 days to remove migrants from the United States, officials have said.

Taken together, the Trump administration’s recent spate of restrictive immigration policies could bar significant numbers of people from seeking asylum in the United States.

Last week, the administration announced that it would deny protections to immigrants who failed to apply for asylum in at least one country they passed through on their way north. The shift prevents nearly all Central Americans who are seeking asylum from entering the United States, and was challenged in court by a coalition of immigrant advocates the day after it was announced.

“It’s a pile-on,” said Royce Murray, a managing director of the American Immigration Council, a nonprofit advocacy organization that also planned to challenge the program’s expansion in court.

The administration, she said, was “definitely throwing everything they have at asylum seekers in an effort to turn everyone humanly possible away and to deport as many people as possible.”

“There’s no other conclusion to draw,” Ms. Murray added.

The former rules for fast-tracking deportations, as enacted in 1996, made clear that the program could be expanded if faced with a surge of illegal immigration.

Ms. Brown, who worked at the department from 2005 to 2011, said officials then were concerned about how someone stopped by immigration agents could prove they had been in the United States for more than two years.

Immigrant rights advocates, who had been preparing for the announcement since early in President Trump’s term, shared those concerns on Monday.

“This is a national ‘show me your papers’ law,” Ms. Murray said, referring to a now-infamous Arizona immigration statute that required the police to question the legal status of anyone who was suspected of being in the United States illegally.

“The burden is on the individual to prove that expedited removal does not apply to them,” she said. “So if you don’t have the necessary paperwork on you — to show that you have a lease, or that you have status — then you could be taken into custody to try to fight this. And the problem is that this is a fast-tracked process.”

Immigrants who are eligible for asylum and placed into expedited removal proceedings will still be entitled to an interview with an asylum officer if they claim a fear of returning to their country.

Given the administration’s attempt to restrict asylum, Stephen Yale-Loehr, a professor of immigration at Cornell Law School, said some immigrants could be removed in violation of their due process rights.

“Some U.S. citizens may also be erroneously expeditiously removed because they can’t prove their citizenship to the satisfaction of an immigration agent,” Mr. Yale-Loehr said. “This notice is the latest attack in the Trump administration’s war on immigrants.”

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Trump Administration to Expand Fast-Tracked Deportations Across the U.S.

Westlake Legal Group 22dc-dhs-facebookJumbo Trump Administration to Expand Fast-Tracked Deportations Across the U.S. United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Immigration and Emigration Homeland Security Department Executive Orders and Memorandums Deportation

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration said on Monday it would speed the deportations of undocumented immigrants who cannot prove they have been in the United States for more than two years, allowing federal agents to arrest and deport people without a hearing before a judge.

The shift, published in the Federal Register, will more aggressively enforce immigration laws that, until now, generally called for the deportation of migrants who had been in the United States for only a few weeks and remained 100 miles from the southwestern border. It was announced a week after Trump administration officials said they would severely restrict asylum at the border.

Critics warned that the new rule, set to take effect on Tuesday, could also prevent asylum seekers from applying for refuge in the United States before they are deported.

“It’s a pile-on,” said Royce Murray, a managing director of the American Immigration Council, a nonprofit advocacy organization that plans to challenge the program’s expansion in court.

The administration, she said, was “definitely throwing everything they have at asylum seekers in an effort to turn everyone humanly possible away and to deport as many people as possible.”

“There’s no other conclusion to draw,” Ms. Murray added.

Kevin K. McAleenan, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said the expanded rule would “help to alleviate some of the burden and capacity issues,” including freeing beds at detention facilities.

In the 2018 fiscal year, the department expedited deportations for migrants who had been held for an average of 11 days. It usually takes an average of 51 days to remove migrants from the United States, officials have said.

The new rule would ensure that deportations could be carried out over “weeks — not months or years,” said Theresa Cardinal Brown, the director of immigration and cross-border policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Taken together, the Trump administration’s recent spate of restrictive immigration policies could bar significant numbers of people from seeking asylum in the United States.

Last week, the administration announced that it would deny protections to immigrants who fail to apply for asylum in at least one country they pass through on their way north. The shift prevents nearly all Central Americans who are seeking asylum from entering the United States, and was challenged in court by a coalition of immigrant advocates the day after it was announced.

Former homeland security officials and immigration advocates agreed that the policy announced on Monday would also likely be challenged in court.

The former rules for fast-tracking deportations, as enacted in 1996, made clear that the program could be expanded in the future if faced with a surge of illegal immigration.

Ms. Brown, who worked at the department from 2005 to 2011, said officials then were concerned about how someone stopped by immigration agents could prove they had been in the United States for more than two years.

Immigrant-rights advocates, who had been preparing for the announcement since early in President Trump’s term, shared those concerns on Monday.

“This is a national ‘show me your papers’ law,” Ms. Murray said, referring to a now-infamous Arizona immigration statute that required the police to question the legal status of anyone who was suspected of being in the United States illegally.

“The burden is on the individual to prove that expedited removal does not apply to them,” she said. “So if you don’t have the necessary paperwork on you — to show that you have a lease, or that you have status — then you could be taken into custody to try to fight this. And the problem is that this is a fast tracked process.”

Immigrants who are eligible for asylum and placed into expedited removal proceedings will still be entitled to an interview with an asylum officer if they claim a fear of returning to their country.

Given the administration’s attempt to restrict asylum, Stephen Yale-Loehr, a professor of immigration at Cornell Law School, said that some immigrants could be removed in violation of their due process rights.

“Some U.S. citizens may also be erroneously expeditiously removed because they can’t prove their citizenship to the satisfaction of an immigration agent,” Mr. Yale-Loehr said. “This notice is the latest attack in the Trump administration’s war on immigrants.”

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Trump Says He Will Seek Citizenship Information From Existing Federal Records, Not the Census

Westlake Legal Group 12dc-trump-sub-facebookJumbo Trump Says He Will Seek Citizenship Information From Existing Federal Records, Not the Census Trump, Donald J Supreme Court (US) Executive Orders and Memorandums Citizenship and Naturalization Barr, William P

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Thursday abandoned his attempt to place a question about citizenship on the 2020 census, and instructed the government to compile citizenship data instead from existing federal records.

Mr. Trump announced in the Rose Garden that he was giving up on modifying the census two weeks after the Supreme Court rebuked the Trump administration over its effort to do so. Just last week, Mr. Trump had insisted that his administration “must” pursue that goal.

“We are not backing down on our effort to determine the citizenship status of the United States population,” Mr. Trump said. But rather than carry on the fight over the census, he said he was issuing an executive order instructing federal departments and agencies to provide the Census Bureau with citizenship data from their “vast” databases immediately.

Even that order appears merely to accelerate plans the Census Bureau had announced last year, making it less a new policy than a means of covering Mr. Trump’s retreat from the composition of the 2020 census form.

A frustrated-sounding Mr. Trump struck a sharply combative tone at the opening of his remarks, saying that his political opponents were “trying to erase the very existence of a very important word and a very important thing, citizenship.”

“The only people who are not proud to be citizens are the ones who are fighting us all the way about the word ‘citizen,’” he added.

The Trump administration has argued that including the question on census forms is an important part of its efforts to protect the voting rights of the nation’s minority residents, but the Supreme Court rejected that justification as a “contrived” pretext.

[Barr says legal path to census citizenship question exists, but he gives no details.]

Government experts have predicted that asking the question would result in many immigrants refusing to participate in the census, leading to an undercount of about 6.5 million people. That could reduce Democratic representation when congressional districts are allocated in 2021 and affect how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal spending are distributed.

In a statement, a Justice Department spokeswoman said the department would “promptly inform the courts” that the government would not seek to include a citizenship question in the census.

Relying on existing federal data sources could provide a clearer picture of how many people living in the United States are citizens without distorting census participation. But some Democrats complained on Thursday that the public debate itself might have sown fear among immigrants in the country and could taint their view of the census, even if it does not include a citizenship question.

Following Mr. Trump to the Rose Garden podium, his attorney general, William P. Barr, said that any administration move to modify the census would have survived legal review, but only after a lengthy process that would have jeopardized the administration’s ability to conduct the census in a timely manner.

“Put simply, the impediment was a logistical impediment, not a legal one,” Mr. Barr said. “We simply cannot complete the litigation in time to carry out the census.”

Thursday’s announcement was an anticlimactic end to a showdown that Mr. Trump escalated, in seeming defiance of the Supreme Court’s June ruling on the census question, with a July 3 post on Twitter announcing that his administration was “absolutely moving forward, as we must, because of the importance of the answer to this question.”

Even as he waved a white flag on substance, Mr. Trump was still firing angry rhetorical shots.

“As shocking as it may be, far-left Democrats in our country are determined to conceal the number of illegal aliens in our midst,” he said. “They probably know the number is far greater, much higher than anyone would have ever believed before. Maybe that’s why they fight so hard. This is part of a broader left-wing effort to erode the rights of the American citizen and is very unfair to our country.”

But Mr. Trump’s critics relished the moment as an example of punctured hubris. Dale Ho, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Voting Rights Project, said in a statement that Mr. Trump’s “attempt to weaponize the census ends not with a bang but a whimper.”

“He lost in the Supreme Court, which saw through his lie about needing the question for the Voting Rights Act,” said Mr. Ho, who argued the Supreme Court case. “It is clear he simply wanted to sow fear in immigrant communities and turbocharge Republican gerrymandering efforts by diluting the political influence of Latino communities.”

Potentially opening a new front in the battle over citizenship, Mr. Trump also said states could use the data he has ordered to be collected to draw voting districts in a new way. States currently draw districts so that they contain equal numbers of people, whether or not they are eligible to vote. Mr. Trump suggested that states will soon have information to allow them to draw districts based on equal numbers of eligible voters.

“Some states,” he said, “may want to draw state and local legislative districts, based upon the voter eligible population.”

If people who were ineligible to vote were evenly distributed, the difference between counting all people and counting only eligible voters would not matter. But demographic patterns vary widely.

Places with large numbers of residents who cannot vote — including children, immigrants who are here legally but are not citizens, unauthorized immigrants and people disenfranchised after committing felonies — on the whole tend to be urban and to vote Democratic. Districts based on equal numbers of eligible voters would generally move political power away from cities and toward older and more homogeneous rural areas that tend to vote for Republicans.

Whether districts based on equal numbers of eligible voters are permitted by the Constitution is an open question, as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted in her 2016 majority opinion in Evenwel v. Abbott.

“We need not and do not resolve whether, as Texas now argues, states may draw districts to equalize voter-eligible population rather than total population,” Justice Ginsburg wrote.

When the Evenwel case was argued, opponents of counting only eligible voters said there was a significant practical obstacle: There was no reliable data on which to base such districts. Mr. Trump contended on Thursday that his plan would address that issue.

Opponents of the citizenship question swiftly condemned Thursday’s announcement, calling Mr. Trump’s position largely a face saving measure.

“This news conference was total propaganda,” said Vanita Gupta, the former head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division and the chief executive of the Leadership Conference.

“The government already has access to all of this citizenship data through administrative records, and already studies it,” Ms. Gupta said. “Trump just didn’t want to admit defeat.”

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Trump Turns to Executive Action to Press Citizenship Issue

Westlake Legal Group 11dc-TRUMP-facebookJumbo Trump Turns to Executive Action to Press Citizenship Issue Trump, Donald J Supreme Court (US) Executive Orders and Memorandums Citizenship and Naturalization Barr, William P

WASHINGTON — President Trump is planning to take another step in his ongoing battle to place a question about citizenship on the 2020 census by announcing an executive action in the Rose Garden on Thursday, according to a senior administration official familiar with the decision.

Mr. Trump said on Twitter that he would hold an afternoon news conference on the issues of “census and citizenship” days after his attorney general, William P. Barr, suggested he thought there could be a legal path to placing the citizenship question on the census after the Supreme Court blocked its inclusion last month.

Mr. Trump may not issue an executive order on the citizenship question, according to aides briefed on the plan. Executive orders attempt to impose a sweeping unilateral change, as the president has done over 100 times during his presidency, setting up various legal entanglements.

[Barr says legal path to census citizenship question exists, but he gives no details.]

One option, aides said, is a presidential memorandum that is essentially meant to put his administration’s view on the issue into writing. Mr. Trump has written over 40 memorandums since the beginning of his presidency to pursue policy changes on issues ranging from rural broadband internet access to the service of transgender people in the military.

The Trump administration has argued that including the question on census forms is an important part of its efforts to protect the voting rights of the nation’s minority residents, but the Supreme Court rejected that justification as a contrived pretext.

Government experts have predicted that asking the question would cause many immigrants to refuse to participate in the census, leading to an undercount of about 6.5 million people. That could reduce Democratic representation when congressional districts are allocated in 2021 and affect how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal spending are distributed.

Whatever action Mr. Trump takes will be subject to review in the courts. Last week, Justice Department lawyers acknowledged that the administration remained subject to injunctions barring the addition of the citizenship question.

The administration will presumably have to file motions to lift those injunctions based on Mr. Trump’s action.

The new action will, in any event, almost certainly also give rise to direct legal challenges, and courts may be wary of accepting a new rationale for adding the question when the Supreme Court has already rejected the previous justification as contrived.

There is little doubt, in any event, that the case will again reach the Supreme Court. That case, against the backdrop of a chaotic litigation strategy and shifting legal arguments, will again test the limits of the court’s deference to executive power.

[What you need to know about the citizenship question and the census.]

In some cases, presidential memoranda also have encountered immediate legal challenges. Mr. Trump’s presidential memorandum released in August 2017 required all transgender service members to be discharged the following year. That policy encountered a series of legal challenges until January 2019, when the Supreme Court reversed an Obama-era decision that transgender people could serve.

And in 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, or DACA, which sought to create protections for immigrants brought to the United States as children, was announced by President Barack Obama through a presidential memo. The future of that program remains in a legal quagmire.

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