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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Trump, Donald J" (Page 51)

Trump’s Waffling on Gun Control Confuses Legislative Picture

Westlake Legal Group 21dc-hulse-facebookJumbo Trump’s Waffling on Gun Control Confuses Legislative Picture United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party McConnell, Mitch mass shootings Law and Legislation gun control El Paso, Tex, Shooting (2019) Dayton, Ohio, Shooting (2019)

WASHINGTON — After the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Senator Mitch McConnell had a message for his Kentucky constituents as his 2014 re-election fight loomed.

“I want you to know that I will be doing everything in my power as Senate Republican leader, fighting tooth and nail, to protect your Second Amendment rights,” Mr. McConnell, a staunch opponent of limits on gun ownership, said in an automated call. He then helped quash expanded background check legislation backed by President Barack Obama and a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers.

Responding to this month’s mass shootings in El Paso, Tex., and Dayton, Ohio, Mr. McConnell, his re-election fight again just ahead, was more measured. “Senate Republicans are prepared to do our part,” he said. But what exactly that “part” is has become increasingly unclear as the weeks pass.

Immediately after the shootings, President Trump opened the door to expanded background checks and other proposals to keep guns away from unstable people, eliciting Mr. McConnell’s promise to engage in talks about potential legislation. But the president then backed away from his position, saying that sufficient background checks were in place and the focus should instead be on mental health.

The retreat culminated in reports this week that Mr. Trump had told gun rights activists that he would not support universal background checks. Then the president muddled the issue yet again on Wednesday.

“I have an appetite for background checks,” he told reporters. “We’ll be doing background checks. We’re working with Democrats. We’re working with Republicans.”

Senate Republicans seem to have fallen into the morass. Top party members in the Senate have thrown cold water on the idea that Congress would pass even initiatives that enjoy bipartisan support, such as a national “red flag” law that would allow law enforcement and family members to go to court to get weapons removed from people who exhibit signs of being a danger.

Senator Ron Johnson, the Wisconsin Republican who is chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, said on Capitol Hill on Tuesday that he thought “the debate really hasn’t changed much at all” after the most recent shootings. He said he did not expect significant legislation to reach the president.

Yet other Republican senators said they remain engaged in substantive talks among themselves and with White House officials about expanded background checks, mental health provisions and other proposals. No one is backing away despite the president’s waffling, they said.

“I have urged all parties to come together and come up with a responsible gun safety package that can pass the Senate,” said Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine.

Mr. McConnell is famously loath to press forward with any legislation that sparks division among Republicans. He had to be strong-armed into bringing a criminal justice overhaul to the floor despite backing from the president and the vast majority of Senate Republicans because of the objections of a handful of vocal conservatives.

He also often cites an unwillingness to press legislation that Mr. Trump does not wholly support, saying it is a waste of time to send legislation to the president’s desk only to draw a veto. “I want to make a law, not just see this kind of political sparring going on endlessly, which never produces a result,” he said during an interview with a Louisville radio station when discussing gun legislation this month.

So if Mr. McConnell is looking for a way out of taking up gun safety legislation, he can just point to the president’s perceived opposition, throw in some criticism of Democrats and gun control activists for overreaching and try to move on.

Democrats say they do not intend to make it easy for him to do so.

“Senator McConnell has been begging President Trump to let him off the hook when it comes to passing universal background checks legislation to address the gun violence epidemic,” said Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader. “But on behalf of the families of the victims of gun violence and the 90 percent of Americans who support universal background checks, Senate Democrats will keep the pressure up and not let Senator McConnell off the hook.”

A refusal to take action not only would draw the condemnation of Democrats, but it could also further endanger some Republicans facing re-election — and, by extension, the party’s control of the Senate. Despite strong opposition from the gun lobby, expanded background checks and some other gun restrictions draw support from most voters in polls, particularly the women and suburbanites that senators such as Cory Gardner, the embattled Colorado Republican, will need next year to hold on to their seats.

Gun safety advocates say that they employed the issue in 2018 to oust a House Republican from Colorado, and that they intend to keep the heat on Mr. McConnell.

“I think that the question McConnell is going to have to answer is, is he going to send his members home empty-handed after a series of unspeakable tragedies,” said John Feinblatt, the president of the gun control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety.

Yet another gun stalemate in the Senate is likely to amplify one of the new nicknames for Mr. McConnell, “Massacre Mitch,” derived from his blockade of gun legislation, including a House-passed background check bill that Democrats want to be the basis of any final legislation.

Mr. McConnell not only has an extensive personal record in support of gun rights, but has also extended his pro-gun views to his main senatorial passion — judicial confirmations — by pushing the installation of judges and Supreme Court justices with an expansive view of the Second Amendment while opposing those he considers suspect on the issue.

McConnell allies note that he has not opposed all legislation arising out of past shootings and that he supported a plan to bolster school safety programs and to improve the record-keeping used in background checks.

Still, Republican colleagues say they were somewhat surprised by Mr. McConnell’s embrace of negotiations over new gun legislation. At the same time, Democrats viewed Mr. McConnell’s position as barely sufficient to ease the pressure on him. And they believed it helped him justify his refusal to bring the Senate back from recess to act on proposals, an approach that sapped some momentum from the drive for legislation.

The outcome will be impossible to predict before lawmakers, now scattered across the country on their August recess, return to Washington in early September to consult with one another in person. Any legislative progress will ultimately require the endorsement of the president, Democrats’ willingness to accept less than they would have preferred, and a calculation by Mr. McConnell that the political reward for gun legislation exceeds the political risk.

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

Budget Deficit on Path to Surpass $1 Trillion Under Trump

Westlake Legal Group 21DC-DEFICIT-01-facebookJumbo Budget Deficit on Path to Surpass $1 Trillion Under Trump United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J National Debt (US) Federal Taxes (US) Federal Budget (US) Congressional Budget Office

WASHINGTON — The federal budget deficit is growing faster than expected as President Trump’s spending and tax cut policies force the United States to borrow increasing sums of money.

The deficit — the gap between what the government takes in through taxes and other sources of revenue and what it spends — will reach $960 billion for the 2019 fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. That gap will widen to $1 trillion for the 2020 fiscal year, the Congressional Budget Office said in updated forecasts released on Wednesday.

The updated projections show deficits rising — and damage from Mr. Trump’s tariffs mounting — faster than the office had previously predicted. In May, the budget office said it expected a deficit of $896 billion for 2019 and $892 billion for 2020.

That damage would be even higher if not for lower-than-expected interest rates, which are reducing the amount of money the government has to pay to its borrowers. Still, the 2019 deficit is projected to be 25 percent larger than it was in 2018, and the budget office predicts it will continue to rise every year through 2023.

By 2029, the national debt will reach its highest level as a share of the economy since the immediate aftermath of World War II.

The increasing levels of red ink stem from a steep falloff in federal revenue after Mr. Trump’s 2017 tax cuts, which lowered individual and corporate tax rates, resulting in far fewer tax dollars flowing to the Treasury Department. Tax revenues for 2018 and 2019 have fallen more than $430 billion short of what the budget office predicted they would be in June 2017, before the tax law was approved that December.

The need to borrow more money has been aggravated by several bipartisan budget agreements to raise military and nondefense domestic discretionary spending.

And it could increase if the trade war further chills business investment and consumer spending, resulting in slower economic growth and fewer tax dollars flowing to the Treasury Department.

“One likely reason for the lower-than-expected receipts is that some parts of the economy have been weaker than C.B.O. projected in April 2018,” the budget office said. “A number of developments other than the tax act appear to have contributed to that weakness, including increases in tariffs, greater uncertainty about trade policy and slower economic growth in the rest of the world.”

The ballooning defies a historic trend: Typically, the budget deficit shrinks when unemployment is low. But it is increasing despite the longest economic expansion on record and the lowest jobless rate in 50 years.

It also underscores the degree to which Republicans in Washington — who championed fiscal responsibility under President Barack Obama, a Democrat — have largely abandoned that goal. While lawmakers continue to talk about the need to reduce the deficit, it is no longer the kind of animating issue that ushered the Tea Party into power.

Mr. Trump has shown little inclination to prioritize deficit reduction, and has instead considered policies that would add to the debt. The president has mused in recent days about reducing the taxes that investors pay on capital gains, a move that is estimated to add $100 billion to deficits over the next decade. He has also talked about cutting payroll taxes, which could reduce revenues by $75 billion a year for every percentage point cut in payroll tax rates.

Mr. Trump backed away from both ideas in comments to reporters on Wednesday, though it is unclear if the new deficit figures played any role in that reversal.

The president also wants to make permanent many of the temporary individual tax cuts contained in the 2017 law, which are scheduled to expire in 2025. The budget office forecast assumes those cuts expire and tax revenues rise; if they do not, future deficit projections would be even larger.

Mr. Trump’s indifference to deficits has shattered his campaign promise not only to balance the budget, but also to pay off the entire national debt. And it has left his fellow Republicans, who pushed through deficit-reduction measures under Mr. Obama when the economy was still fragile, in a bind. Congressional Republicans have largely gone along with Mr. Trump’s moves to add more debt, even as they insist they will return to shrinking the deficit if Mr. Trump wins a second term in office.

The deficit has now risen four consecutive years, and is on track to rise for the next four. Such a streak would break the record for longest run of deficit increases in recorded American history — five years, from 1939 to 1943 — according to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, an organization that advocates deficit reduction.

Congress could vote in the coming weeks to send Mr. Trump additional deficit-increasing legislation, like the permanent repeal of a health care tax known as the Cadillac tax, which has already cleared the Democratic-controlled House. Members of both chambers are preparing for a potentially bruising debate over how to allocate the money needed to fund the government before Oct. 1.

Conservative groups — which largely supported Mr. Trump’s tax cuts — have pushed Congress to cut future deficits by reducing benefits for federal health care and retirement programs, like Medicare and Social Security. “Something must be done soon,” the conservative advocacy group FreedomWorks said in a news release on Wednesday, “and that means taking a hard look at mandatory spending, the root cause of the United States’ fiscal woes.”

Republicans do not believe Mr. Trump is likely to push for cuts to a pair of popular retirement programs — and risk exposing himself to attacks in a re-election campaign — before a second term. But they acknowledged that efforts to curb the projected growth in so-called mandatory federal spending were warranted.

“We’ve got to fix that,” said Senator John Thune of South Dakota, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate. “It’s going to take presidential leadership to do that, and it’s going to take courage by the Congress to make some hard votes. We can’t keep kicking the can down the road.”

“I hope in a second term, he is interested,” Mr. Thune said of Mr. Trump. “With his leadership, I think we could start dealing with that crisis. And it is a crisis.”

Other Republicans say pushing through any changes to safety-net programs will require a compromise that draws in both political parties.

Reducing the costs of Social Security, Medicare and other contributors to the debt is “usually best done during divided government,” said Senator John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming. “We’ve brought it up with President Trump, who has talked about it being a second-term project.”

Senator David Perdue, Republican of Georgia, said that “it probably takes a second-term president” to prioritize the issue. “It’s politically difficult to say you’re going to save Social Security, because most people think, well that means cutting benefits,” he added.

Other lawmakers in both chambers said that Congress had abandoned all appearance of caring about the national deficit.

“I don’t know, maybe they should be honest with the American people and say that they don’t care about reducing spending,” said Representative Justin Amash of Michigan, a fiscal hawk who recently broke ties with the Republican Party. “There’s no incentive within Congress to keep the debt down. That’s just not something they’re interested in. They believe they can keep spending forever. They never feel they’re going to be held accountable for it.”

Congressional Democrats have walked a line on the deficit, criticizing Republicans for the tax law but providing the bulk of the votes to pass the most recent spending increases, including one that ended the threat of sequestration, the process of sweeping cuts across all government agencies and programs.

“It’s just not financially sustainable at all,” said Senator Jon Tester, Democrat of Montana. “Even though I hated sequestration with a passion, I don’t think that gives you the right to just go out and spend money and put the whole economy on a sugar high. And that’s going on right now.”

Many of the party’s leading candidates for president have proposed large increases in government spending, like Medicare for All, that would need to be financed by tax increases or additional government borrowing. Candidates have proposed rolling back the Trump administration’s tax cuts and imposing new taxes on the wealthy and high earners, while some in the party have pushed their leaders to effectively mimic Mr. Trump’s approach to the deficit — spending more without simultaneously raising taxes.

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

Job Gains Were Weaker Than Reported, by Half a Million

Westlake Legal Group 21jobs-facebookJumbo Job Gains Were Weaker Than Reported, by Half a Million United States Economy Unemployment Trump, Donald J Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (2017) Recession and Depression Labor and Jobs Bureau of Labor Statistics

Employers added a half-million fewer jobs in 2018 and early 2019 than previously reported, the Labor Department said Wednesday.

The revisions, which are preliminary, are part of an annual process in which survey-based estimates are brought into alignment with more definitive data from state unemployment insurance records. Wednesday’s revision covers the period through March; final updates, which will include the rest of 2019, will be released in February.

The revisions don’t change the overall picture of a healthy job market. But they do mean that 2018, which had ranked among the strongest years of job growth in the decade-long recovery, was weaker than previously believed. After the revision, hiring probably averaged under 200,000 jobs per month last year, down from the 223,000 initially reported and only modestly better than the 179,000 monthly jobs added in 2017.

Wednesday’s update is also the latest evidence that the economy got less of a jolt from President Trump’s tax cuts than it initially appeared. Last month, the Commerce Department lowered its estimate of economic growth in 2018.

The revisions hit consumer-oriented industries particularly hard. Retailers cut nearly 150,000 more jobs than initially reported, while hiring in leisure and hospitality — which includes restaurants, hotels and entertainment — was significantly weaker than believed. But the transportation and warehousing sector, which has been booming because of the rise in online shopping, added nearly 80,000 more jobs than previously reported.

Wednesday’s revision was the largest in recent years, but it didn’t come as a total surprise. Many economists had expected job growth to level off in 2018 as the unemployment rate fell and employers struggled to find workers.

“The pace of job growth in 2018 was a significant upside surprise,” said Stephen Stanley, chief economist of Amherst Pierpont Securities, an investment firm. “The revision kind of brings things back into line with what the original thought process had been.”

Investors in recent weeks have become increasingly concerned about the possibility of a recession, and the Federal Reserve last month cut interest rates in an effort to stave off a downturn. Guy Berger, chief economist for the career-focused social network LinkedIn, said the recent revisions were a reminder that official statistics often struggle to pick up turning points in the economy until it is too late.

But Mr. Berger added that the evidence so far suggested that growth was cooling, not grinding to a halt.

“I don’t look at any of these things and say, ‘Wow, we’re on the tip of a recession,’” he said.

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

Job Growth Was Weaker Than Believed, Government Says

Westlake Legal Group 21jobs-facebookJumbo Job Growth Was Weaker Than Believed, Government Says United States Economy Unemployment Trump, Donald J Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (2017) Recession and Depression Labor and Jobs Bureau of Labor Statistics

Employers added a half-million fewer jobs in 2018 and early 2019 than previously reported, the Labor Department said Wednesday.

The revisions, which are preliminary, are part of an annual process in which survey-based estimates are brought into alignment with more definitive data from state unemployment insurance records. Wednesday’s revision covers the period through March; final updates, which will include the rest of 2019, will be released in February.

The revisions don’t change the overall picture of a healthy job market. But they do mean that 2018, which had ranked among the strongest years of job growth in the decade-long recovery, was weaker than previously believed. After the revision, hiring probably averaged under 200,000 jobs per month last year, down from the 223,000 initially reported and only modestly better than the 179,000 monthly jobs added in 2017.

Wednesday’s update is also the latest evidence that the economy got less of a jolt from President Trump’s tax cuts than it initially appeared. Last month, the Commerce Department lowered its estimate of economic growth in 2018.

The revisions hit consumer-oriented industries particularly hard. Retailers cut nearly 150,000 more jobs than initially reported, while hiring in leisure and hospitality — which includes restaurants, hotels and entertainment — was significantly weaker than believed. But the transportation and warehousing sector, which has been booming because of the rise in online shopping, added nearly 80,000 more jobs than previously reported.

Wednesday’s revision was the largest in recent years, but it didn’t come as a total surprise. Many economists had expected job growth to level off in 2018 as the unemployment rate fell and employers struggled to find workers.

“The pace of job growth in 2018 was a significant upside surprise,” said Stephen Stanley, chief economist of Amherst Pierpont Securities, an investment firm. “The revision kind of brings things back into line with what the original thought process had been.”

Investors in recent weeks have become increasingly concerned about the possibility of a recession, and the Federal Reserve last month cut interest rates in an effort to stave off a downturn. Guy Berger, chief economist for the career-focused social network LinkedIn, said the recent revisions were a reminder that official statistics often struggle to pick up turning points in the economy until it is too late.

But Mr. Berger added that the evidence so far suggested that growth was cooling, not grinding to a halt.

“I don’t look at any of these things and say, ‘Wow, we’re on the tip of a recession,’” he said.

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

Trump’s Economic Message: Everything Is Great, but We Need Huge Stimulus Now!

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_159492522_d4e03ec6-0791-45c4-a77c-fa490a3b4f4a-articleLarge Trump’s Economic Message: Everything Is Great, but We Need Huge Stimulus Now! United States Economy Trump, Donald J Recession and Depression Quantitative Easing Federal Reserve System Economic Conditions and Trends

President Trump on Tuesday ahead of a meeting with the president of Romania.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

Every time the economy trembles, the president and White House staff face a quandary.

On one hand, they wish to instill confidence and project optimism. No president wants to talk down the economy, and a pessimistic tone from the highest office of the land could be self-fulfilling.

On the other hand, they need to be ready with the right policy plans in case things do start to sour, to help prevent a mild downturn from becoming a severe recession. The problem is that publicly talking about those contingency plans tends to undermine the goal of projecting optimism.

Rather than try to finesse that tension, the Trump administration has elected to ignore it.

President Trump and his aides are sending two simultaneous, contradictory messages about the economy: That it is booming, and everything is fine. And that it is time for emergency measures to keep this boom going.

Even more curiously, the administration has focused its public comments on actions over which it has no direct control.

Remedies rooted solely in the executive branch might assure investors and business leaders that an economic downturn could be swiftly addressed. In the last few days Mr. Trump has instead mentioned possible actions for which he’d need help that could be hard to get — specifically, new stimulus measures from the Federal Reserve and from Congress.

And while discussing the trade war with China — a key cause of the rising recession risks that Mr. Trump controls directly — he indicated no intention to change direction in the event the economy worsens. On the contrary, he said Tuesday that tariffs on China were essential even if they caused temporary economic pain.

“Whether it’s good for our country or bad for our country, short term, it had to be done,” Mr. Trump said.

The president and senior administration officials spent the weekend pushing against the possibility the economy could be heading toward a downturn. “I don’t think we’re having a recession,” Mr. Trump told reporters in New Jersey on Sunday. “We’re doing tremendously well.”

It is understandable that the White House would want to play down reports of a downturn.

“You can’t expect them to come out and say ‘We’re really worried about the economy right now and think we might be seeing a recession,’” said Tony Fratto, who led the George W. Bush White House’s communications about the economy as the 2008 recession began. “It’s tactically not the right thing to do, would be irresponsible to do, and would make the problem worse” by potentially causing economic decision makers to panic.

But there is a striking juxtaposition between that strategy and the administration’s words and actions since then.

On Monday morning, President Trump tweeted that the Federal Reserve should cut interest rates by a full percentage point and restart its “quantitative easing” program to stimulate the economy by buying bonds. Those are moves that the Fed, which operates independently from the White House, would undertake only if its leaders saw a major downturn on the horizon.

Later Monday, The Washington Post reported that the administration was considering a temporary cut in payroll taxes in the event of a worsening economy. After a denial by White House staff, the president on Tuesday affirmed it was being studied.

“We’re looking at various tax rate deductions, but I’m looking at that all the time,” Mr. Trump told reporters during a White House event. “Payroll tax is something that we think about, and a lot of people would like to see that.”

That was an approach used in the Obama administration to increase peoples’ take-home incomes as a form of fiscal stimulus. But to make it happen, the Trump administration would need to persuade both the Democratic-led House of Representatives and Republican-led Senate to go along.

There is precedent. The Bush administration succeeded in securing a bipartisan fiscal stimulus in early 2008. But there were important differences. The president was not up for re-election that year. Also, this administration has shown little capacity to strike deals with Democrats, even on areas where there could be natural alignment.

Exhibit A is an ill-fated effort to develop a bipartisan infrastructure legislation. The notion of “infrastructure week” has become a running joke, and the last effort to reach some kind of agreement between Congressional Democrats and the White House blew up in spectacular fashion in May. (Had a major infrastructure bill been passed in 2018 or early 2019, its economic dividends might have started to emerge ahead of the 2020 election.)

On Wednesday, Mr. Trump backed off his comments of a day earlier and said he was not considering a payroll tax.

President Trump also said Tuesday that he has the authority to effectively reduce capital gains taxes without going to Congress, by indexing the amount owed to inflation. As a stimulus measure, this has two problems: It would most likely get tied up in court over legal challenges, and would benefit only those taxpayers who have investment gains, and not those who rely on wages for income.

If the economy begins to slump and Mr. Trump seeks some form of fiscal stimulus from the Democratic House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi would probably strike a hard bargain, if she is willing to deal at all.

“Even if consensus emerges on the need for fiscal stimulus, Democrats may not embrace a payroll tax cut exclusively,” wrote Krishna Guha and Ernie Tedeschi, analysts at ISI Evercore, in a research note. “They may insist on other provisions such as a federal minimum wage hike or further infrastructure spending that would be very hard for Senate Republicans to swallow.”

The most plausible narrative for how the 2019 trade tensions turn into a 2020 recession involves a policy response that is inadequate to the task of offsetting weakness from overseas. So far this week, the Trump administration has shown that it is doing at least some contingency planning for that possibility.

The open question is whether it is a type of planning that is likely to instill more confidence, or less.

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

Deficit Will Reach $1 Trillion Next Year, Budget Office Predicts

Westlake Legal Group 21DC-DEFICIT-01-facebookJumbo Deficit Will Reach $1 Trillion Next Year, Budget Office Predicts United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J National Debt (US) Federal Taxes (US) Federal Budget (US) Congressional Budget Office

WASHINGTON — The federal budget deficit is growing faster than expected, even as President Trump openly considers more tax cuts and other ideas that would add to government debt.

The deficit will reach $960 billion for the 2019 fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, and $1 trillion for the 2020 fiscal year, the Congressional Budget Office said in updated forecasts released on Wednesday. Previously, it had projected an $896 billion deficit for 2019 and $892 billion for 2020. Those numbers would be even higher, if not for lower-than-expected interest rates, which are reducing the cost of servicing the national debt.

Rising deficit projections are the result of sluggish growth in federal revenue after Mr. Trump’s 2017 tax cuts went into effect, and several bipartisan agreements to raise military and nondefense domestic discretionary spending, which Mr. Trump signed into law.

Typically, the budget deficit shrinks when unemployment is low. Mr. Trump’s administration has defied that trend.

He has not pushed Congress to enact any of the major cuts to federal spending that he lays out each year in his official budget proposal. His tax cuts have not come close to paying for themselves via faster economic growth, as Republicans promised they would. The budget office said on Wednesday that it expects growth of 2.6 percent this year and 2.1 percent in 2020, well below the more than 3 percent growth the Trump administration has promised for those years.

Mr. Trump’s indifference to deficits has shattered his campaign promise to not only balance the budget, but to pay off the entire national debt. And it has left his fellow Republicans, who won deficit-reduction measures under President Barack Obama at a cost to what was still a fragile economic recovery, in a bind. Congressional Republicans have largely gone along with Mr. Trump’s moves to add more debt, even as they insist they will return to shrinking the deficit if Mr. Trump wins a second term in office.

The president has mused in recent days about moving to unilaterally reduce capital gains taxes, a move that is estimated to add $100 billion to deficits over the next decade, and to cut payroll taxes, which could reduce revenues by $75 billion a year for every percentage point cut in payroll tax rates.

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

The Flores Agreement Protected Migrant Children for Decades. New Regulations Aim to End It.

LOS ANGELES — Nearly 35 years ago, long before the current mass influx of Central American families making their way to America’s southern border, a different and more brutal migrant crisis was unfolding.

In El Salvador, government death squads were stalking suspected insurgents. Farmers, human rights activists and even priests were being caught in the crossfire. The widening civil war would leave more than 75,000 people dead, and send tens of thousands of people fleeing to the United States.

One of them was Alma Yanira Cruz, a 12-year-old girl who made her way north to join her mother in Los Angeles after her grandfather and uncle were killed.

What happened to her after she arrived in 1985 violated nearly every principle of today’s standards for protecting migrant children — an ordeal that even now, she said recently, is “too painful to remember, to discuss.”

And yet it had become shockingly routine.

A barricade of razor wire surrounded an old motel in Pasadena, Calif., north of Los Angeles, where migrants were locked in overcrowded rooms, children and adults jammed in together. For weeks, the girl remained there — offered no schooling, no recreation, no doctors, no visits with relatives.

“Alma suffered too much. She felt unsafe. She was mixed with all kinds of people and was afraid,” said her mother, Anna Aldana, who had come to the United States in 1979 and was working as a housekeeper in Los Angeles. “She told me they didn’t give her enough food. She told me she fell out of a high bunk bed.”

The Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday unveiled a sweeping new set of regulations for detaining migrant children, replacing more than two decades of protections that were put into place as a result of what happened to Alma and her fellow detainees in 1985. The new standards, set to be published later this week, would allow the government to detain children and families indefinitely, revise the minimum standards of care and, if they stand up in court, end the 22-year-old consent decree, known as the Flores agreement, that has protected the nation’s youngest and most vulnerable new arrivals.

[Read about the new rules that would allow migrant families to be held indefinitely.]

A class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of Ms. Cruz, one of the other young Salvadorean girls being held in Pasadena; Jenny Lisette Flores, 15; and two other adolescent girls paved the way for one of the most important changes in immigration policy in half a century. When it was finally settled in 1997, the litigation transformed the way migrant children all across the southwest border were treated after arriving in the United States.

No longer could they be held indefinitely in hard-core detention facilities: They had to be released quickly to a family member or guardian or, if that was not possible, transferred speedily to a licensed care facility that did not operate like a jail. A subsequent interpretation of the agreement limited the time most migrant children could spend in detention, generally to no more than 20 days.

The Obama administration, which battled a new surge in migrant families arriving on the border in 2014, tried and failed to get out from under the strict limits. The Trump administration railed against the “legal loopholes” in the consent decree and tried mightily to upend it. The Flores agreement, the administration argued, helped create the current chaos at the border by providing an incentive for migrant parents to bring their children with them — the equivalent, under the current legal framework, of a get-out-of-jail-free card.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_140006313_72406f61-607b-4d34-b3ac-65f6b3da0496-articleLarge The Flores Agreement Protected Migrant Children for Decades. New Regulations Aim to End It. United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Suits and Litigation (Civil) Immigration Detention Immigration and Emigration Illegal Immigration Gee, Dolly M Children and Childhood

Brothers, ages 4 and 3, from El Salvador at a Border Patrol station in Brownsville, Tex., in 2014.CreditTodd Heisler/The New York Times

Administration officials said that the new regulations maintain the underlying purpose of the Flores agreement, and all children will be “treated with dignity, respect, and special concern for their particular vulnerability as minors.”

But those who spearheaded the long-running litigation disagree.

“These regulations issued under orders from the White House show President Trump’s decision to politicize the detention of migrant children as part of his re-election campaign and his callous indifference to their safety and well-being,” said Peter Schey, who along with his co-counsel, Carlos Holguin, filed the original lawsuit.

When the Trump administration last year tried to get around the Flores agreement by separating children from their parents in order to detain the parents alone, the policy created such an uproar that it was soon rescinded, at least officially. Then, administration lawyers went to court to try to win permission to keep children with their parents in detention-type facilities for longer than 20 days.

Judge Dolly Gee of Federal District Court in Los Angeles, who oversees the agreement, denied the government’s request, blaming more than 20 years of congressional inaction and “ill-considered executive action” for the “current stalemate.” Three months later, in September, the administration published the proposed new Flores regulations for comment in the Federal Register.

After the final rule is published later this week, the plaintiffs’ lawyers will have one week to file a brief with the court if they believe the regulations fail to implement the terms of the settlement. If not rejected by the court, the regulations would take effect 60 days after publication.

The two plaintiffs’ lawyers have returned to court dozens of times to force the administration to abide by the agreement’s provisions and made repeated visits to detention centers to inspect them or interview children. Most recently, the legal observers in the case reported on a border facility in Clint, Tex., where they said migrant children were being held in filthy conditions with inadequate food.

“If someone had told me in 1985 that our work to protect children would continue into 2019,” Mr. Holguin said, “there is no way I would have believed it.”

Mr. Holguin was a 30-year-old lawyer working with Mr. Schey at a public-interest law firm when the two lawyers first got drawn into the case. It started with a phone call from the actor Ed Asner, who had heard about Ms. Cruz’s case and wanted someone to intervene.

Mr. Holguin’s father, the son of a Mexican immigrant, had been a public school teacher in East Los Angeles who had supported the 1968 Latino student walkouts across the city protesting racism and substandard education for Mexican-Americans. After college, Mr. Holguin enrolled in the People’s College of Law, an unaccredited law school in Los Angeles, convinced that the quickest way to a more equitable society was through the courts.

Mr. Schey was the son of a German gentile mother and a communist Jewish father who had escaped on a boat to South Africa during World War II. The family immigrated to United States when Mr. Schey was a teenager.

Grieving for two women killed by guerrillas in El Salvador in 1982. The civil war there left more than 75,000 people dead, and sent tens of thousands of people fleeing to the United States.CreditLuis Romero/Associated Press

By the 1980s, Los Angeles was ground zero in the immigrant-rights movement. “The key national organizations were based in Los Angeles. The most vocal immigrant defenders worked in L.A.,” Mr. Schey said. The two lawyers were working together out of a 1920s-era Craftsman house with bad plumbing and a warped roof when the call about the girls being held in Pasadena came in.

Los Angeles was absorbing thousands of war refugees. “Back then, it was guerrillas, not gangs making people leave,” said Ms. Aldana, sitting recently in her modest one-bedroom apartment in a middle-class Los Angeles neighborhood adorned with photographs of her teenage grandchildren — the twins her daughter would go on to have.

Guerrillas who rampaged through her neighborhood in El Salvador had forced her children to procure and prepare food for them, she recalled. “I had to get them out of there.” After her son, Luis Alberto, crossed the border undetected, she decided Alma should come.

But Alma was apprehended by border agents at San Ysidro, and transferred to the detention facility in Pasadena. Ms. Aldana feared she would be deported if she came forward to claim her daughter, and the authorities would not allow anyone else to take her. So the girl languished in custody.

“I wept and wept. I felt helpless,” recalled Ms. Aldana.

At about the same time, Jenny Lisette Flores, whose mother was also undocumented and living in Los Angeles, had arrived at the border and been sent to the Pasadena motel. Her mother, too, was afraid to pick up her daughter because of her immigration status.

“Children were being indefinitely detained. The government was using them as bait to arrest their parents,” said Mr. Holguin.

With an army of law students and volunteer lawyers, the pair began visiting facilities and documenting what they witnessed.

The most serious thing they found was that immigration agents were doing body cavity searches on migrant children, said John Hagar, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California, a co-counsel in the case. “They would look up a boy’s anus and a girl’s vagina,” he said.

The lawsuit filed on July 11, 1985, argued that the government needed to meet basic child-welfare standards, with education, recreation and medical examinations. It also said the authorities should release children to competent and available adults, rather than indefinitely detaining them until a parent or legal guardian could come forward.

On the day that the suit was filed, Ms. Aldana appeared at a news conference alongside Mr. Schey and the actor, Mr. Asner. To hide her identity, she tied a bandanna around her face, leaving only her forehead and eyes exposed.

Migrants from Guatemala on the Mexican side of the border fence in June.CreditIlana Panich-Linsman for The New York Times

“I was on TV, and I said that I had brought my daughter because I didn’t want her kidnapped by guerrillas,” Ms. Aldana said.

A few weeks later, a judge ordered the girls released to people appointed by their mothers who were American citizens. Ms. Cruz was handed over to a family friend who represented her in the lawsuit; Ms. Flores was released to an uncle.

The lawyers sought a nationwide injunction to apply the same principles to all children in federal custody. The parties began discussing a settlement and reached the now-famous consent decree in 1997.

“At the time, we didn’t realize it would be seminal,” said Doris Meissner, the immigration chief in the Clinton administration who signed off on the settlement. She said she had advised addressing the problems head-on. “If there are real issues surrounding the detention of minors, and the government is being held accountable for poor conditions, why are we litigating in favor of what we are doing wrong? Why don’t we settle the lawsuit?”

Complying with the standards in the settlement, she said, was “the right thing to do for kids.”

Little did the plaintiffs’ lawyers know that holding the government to the consent decree would become their life’s work.

“By and large, there was substantial compliance,” recalled Mr. Schey.

Then, in 2014, Central American families and unaccompanied children began pushing across the border in ever-larger numbers, fleeing horrific gang violence, domestic abuse and entrenched poverty. Most of them were seeking asylum. As the numbers climbed, the Obama administration responded by erecting large detention centers for families.

Mr. Holguin and Mr. Schey sprang into action in early 2015, filing a motion in federal court to enforce the Flores agreement. Judge Gee ruled that the settlement applied even to a child apprehended with a parent — meaning that the de facto 20-day limit on detentions applied not just to children, but to parents who were detained with their children.

The numbers of children in detention began rising again late last year, and Mr. Holguin and Mr. Schey enlisted dozens of lawyers and health professionals to inspect facilities like the one in Clint where they were being kept.

What they found was a constant pattern: One facility would be fixed. Then there would be problems at a different one.

“It’s like we are playing Whac-a-Mole. Done with that, then another violation comes up,” Mr. Holguin said.

Today, both Ms. Cruz and Ms. Flores live in Southern California, with children of their own. Though Ms. Cruz spoke briefly to The New York Times, neither wanted to be interviewed. Mr. Schey, who called the women “the Rosa Parks of the civil rights movement for immigrant children,” said he had not seen them in years.

“I’d love to see them,” he said, “to tell them that their willingness to be lead plaintiffs has provided protections for more than a million immigrant children.”

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Trump Administration Rule Would Allow Immigrant Families to Be Held Indefinitely

Westlake Legal Group 00dc-flores1-facebookJumbo Trump Administration Rule Would Allow Immigrant Families to Be Held Indefinitely United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J McAleenan, Kevin K Immigration and Emigration Immigration and Customs Enforcement (US) Illegal Immigration Homeland Security Department Health and Human Services Department Gee, Dolly M Border Patrol (US)

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration unveiled a regulation on Wednesday that would allow it to detain indefinitely migrant families who cross the border illegally, replacing a decades-old court agreement that imposed a limit on how long the government could hold migrant children in custody and specified the level of care they must receive.

The White House has for more than a year pressed the Department of Homeland Security to replace the agreement, known as the Flores settlement, a shift that the administration says is crucial to halt immigration across the southwestern border.

The new regulation, which requires approval from a federal judge before it could go into effect and was expected to be immediately challenged in court, would establish standards for conditions in detention centers and specifically abolish a 20-day limit on detaining families in immigration jails, a cap that has prompted President Trump to repeatedly complain about the “catch and release” of families from Central America and elsewhere into the United States.

“This rule allows the federal government to enforce immigration laws as passed by Congress,” Kevin K. McAleenan, the acting secretary of homeland security, said in a statement. He called it a “critical rule” that would allow the government to detain families and maintain the “integrity of the immigration system.”

The administration proposed the rule last fall, allowing the public to comment on the potential regulation. It is scheduled to be published this week in the Federal Register and would take effect 60 days later, though administration officials concede that the expected court challenge will probably delay it.

[The Flores agreement protected migrant children for decades.]

Under the new rule, the administration would be free to send families who are caught crossing the border illegally to a family residential center to be held for as long as it takes for their immigration cases to be decided. Officials said families cases could be resolved within three months, though many could drag on much longer.

Trump administration officials — who briefed reporters on Tuesday night on the condition of anonymity to discuss the plans — said that many of the families would be detained until they were either released after being awarded asylum or they were deported to their home countries. Some families might be awarded parole to leave the facilities while the courts decide their fate.

The 20-day limit has been in place since 2015, a legal outgrowth of a 1997 court-ordered consent decree after a federal class-action lawsuit alleged physical and emotional harm done to immigrant children held for extended periods of time in the detention facilities.

Previous administrations tried to change the rules for detaining children in efforts to reduce surges of migrants crossing the border. Mr. Trump’s homeland security officials have repeatedly said that limiting the detentions of entire migrant families has driven the surge of Central American families who crossed the border this year.

The officials said on Tuesday that enacting the new regulation would send a powerful message that bringing children to the United States was not “a passport” to being released from detention.

They predicted that the rule would cause a significant decrease in the number of families trying to cross into the United States illegally, reducing the need for more family residential centers.

Withdrawing from the consent decree has also been a personal objective for Stephen Miller, the architect of Mr. Trump’s immigration policy. Delays in finishing the new regulation had prompted Mr. Miller to lash out at senior homeland security officials, who were ousted from the department.

The New York Times reported in April that Mr. Miller berated the former acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Ronald D. Vitiello, for not finishing the new rule. Mr. Vitiello later had his nomination withdrawn by Mr. Trump, who said he was not tough enough for the job.

The Flores settlement has also been at the root of partisan debates on immigration. Democrats have said the rules, are imperative to ensuring the well-being of detained children, especially after reports of children being kept in overcrowded cells and sometimes going without showers, toothpaste or hot meals.

Mr. McAleenan told the House Homeland Security Committee in May that the Flores settlement had incentivized migration to the United States, saying that “if an adult arrives with a child, they have a likelihood of staying in the United States.”

Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi and the chairman of the committee, reminded Mr. McAleenan of the original purpose of the court-ordered regulations.

“It was about prolonged detention of children had proven to be harmful to their health,” Mr. Thompson said. “I think the court looked at it from that perspective rather than a punitive decision on the department.”

The Trump administration’s regulation, which is several hundred pages long, eliminates a requirement that federal detention centers for immigrant families be licensed by states, most of which had no such licenses.

Instead, under the regulation, the three centers built to house hundreds of immigrant families — in Dilley and Karnes City, Tex., and Leesport, Pa. — would have to meet standards set only by ICE, which runs them.

The administration officials insisted Tuesday that the facilities were, and would continue to be, maintained at high standards for the immigrants who were detained there. They said the facilities provided health care, education and “top notch” food.

But critics of the administration have long argued that the facilities were unsuitable for children to be held for long periods of time. And the recent examples of horrible conditions at overcrowded Border Patrol detention centers have underscored their concerns about the residential centers.

“We don’t disagree with detaining children when it’s necessary — namely, if they’re a flight risk or they’re a danger to themselves or others, we agree,” said Peter Schey, a lawyer who filed the original case and has continued to defend the settlement terms in court since. “It’s the unnecessary detention of child that this settlement sought to end. So these regulations really reflect a flagrant disregard on the part of President Trump and his administration for the safety and the well-being of children in the care of the federal government.”

Last summer, the Trump administration began separating children from their parents as a way to get around the Flores agreement. The children were sent to the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services while the adults were imprisoned while awaiting trial on their violation of immigration laws.

A fierce political backlash forced Mr. Trump to publicly abandon the separation policy, though immigration advocates said some families continued to be separated after that announcement.

Administration officials said Tuesday that the effort to allow families to be detained indefinitely was an attempt to avoid having to either separate families or release them while they waited for their cases to be heard.

Even before the final rule was announced on Wednesday, immigration advocates said it amounted to a cruel effort to imprison families — some with infants or young children — many of whom are fleeing violence and corruption in their home countries.

Under the terms of the 1997 consent decree, the regulation must be approved by the judge in the original case, Judge Dolly M. Gee of United States District Court for the Central District of California. The government will have seven days to file a brief in her court seeking her approval of the regulation.

If she refuses, the administration is expected to appeal her decision in a case that could drag on for months or even years, legal experts said.

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

Migrant Families Would Face Indefinite Detention Under New Trump Rule

Westlake Legal Group 00dc-flores1-facebookJumbo Migrant Families Would Face Indefinite Detention Under New Trump Rule United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J McAleenan, Kevin K Immigration Detention Immigration and Emigration Immigration and Customs Enforcement (US) Illegal Immigration Homeland Security Department Health and Human Services Department Gee, Dolly M Border Patrol (US)

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration unveiled a regulation on Wednesday that would allow it to detain indefinitely migrant families who cross the border illegally, replacing a decades-old court agreement that imposed a limit on how long the government could hold migrant children in custody and specified the level of care they must receive.

The White House has for more than a year pressed the Department of Homeland Security to replace the agreement, known as the Flores settlement, a shift that the administration says is crucial to halt immigration across the southwestern border.

The new regulation, which requires approval from a federal judge before it could go into effect and was expected to be immediately challenged in court, would establish standards for conditions in detention centers and specifically abolish a 20-day limit on detaining families in immigration jails, a cap that has prompted President Trump to repeatedly complain about the “catch and release” of families from Central America and elsewhere into the United States.

“This rule allows the federal government to enforce immigration laws as passed by Congress,” Kevin K. McAleenan, the acting secretary of homeland security, said in a statement. He called it a “critical rule” that would allow the government to detain families and maintain the “integrity of the immigration system.”

The administration proposed the rule last fall, allowing the public to comment on the potential regulation. It is scheduled to be published this week in the Federal Register and would take effect 60 days later, though administration officials concede that the expected court challenge will probably delay it.

[The Flores agreement protected migrant children for decades.]

Under the new rule, the administration would be free to send families who are caught crossing the border illegally to a family residential center to be held for as long as it takes for their immigration cases to be decided. Officials said families cases could be resolved within three months, though many could drag on much longer.

Trump administration officials — who briefed reporters on Tuesday night on the condition of anonymity to discuss the plans — said that many of the families would be detained until they were either released after being awarded asylum or they were deported to their home countries. Some families might be awarded parole to leave the facilities while the courts decide their fate.

The 20-day limit has been in place since 2015, a legal outgrowth of a 1997 court-ordered consent decree after a federal class-action lawsuit alleged physical and emotional harm done to immigrant children held for extended periods of time in the detention facilities.

Previous administrations tried to change the rules for detaining children in efforts to reduce surges of migrants crossing the border. Mr. Trump’s homeland security officials have repeatedly said that limiting the detentions of entire migrant families has driven the surge of Central American families who crossed the border this year.

The officials said on Tuesday that enacting the new regulation would send a powerful message that bringing children to the United States was not “a passport” to being released from detention.

They predicted that the rule would cause a significant decrease in the number of families trying to cross into the United States illegally, reducing the need for more family residential centers.

Withdrawing from the consent decree has also been a personal objective for Stephen Miller, the architect of Mr. Trump’s immigration policy. Delays in finishing the new regulation had prompted Mr. Miller to lash out at senior homeland security officials, who were ousted from the department.

The New York Times reported in April that Mr. Miller berated the former acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Ronald D. Vitiello, for not finishing the new rule. Mr. Vitiello later had his nomination withdrawn by Mr. Trump, who said he was not tough enough for the job.

The Flores settlement has also been at the root of partisan debates on immigration. Democrats have said the rules, are imperative to ensuring the well-being of detained children, especially after reports of children being kept in overcrowded cells and sometimes going without showers, toothpaste or hot meals.

Mr. McAleenan told the House Homeland Security Committee in May that the Flores settlement had incentivized migration to the United States, saying that “if an adult arrives with a child, they have a likelihood of staying in the United States.”

Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi and the chairman of the committee, reminded Mr. McAleenan of the original purpose of the court-ordered regulations.

“It was about prolonged detention of children had proven to be harmful to their health,” Mr. Thompson said. “I think the court looked at it from that perspective rather than a punitive decision on the department.”

The Trump administration’s regulation, which is several hundred pages long, eliminates a requirement that federal detention centers for immigrant families be licensed by states, most of which had no such licenses.

Instead, under the regulation, the three centers built to house hundreds of immigrant families — in Dilley and Karnes City, Tex., and Leesport, Pa. — would have to meet standards set only by ICE, which runs them.

The administration officials insisted Tuesday that the facilities were, and would continue to be, maintained at high standards for the immigrants who were detained there. They said the facilities provided health care, education and “top notch” food.

But critics of the administration have long argued that the facilities were unsuitable for children to be held for long periods of time. And the recent examples of horrible conditions at overcrowded Border Patrol detention centers have underscored their concerns about the residential centers.

“We don’t disagree with detaining children when it’s necessary — namely, if they’re a flight risk or they’re a danger to themselves or others, we agree,” said Peter Schey, a lawyer who filed the original case and has continued to defend the settlement terms in court since. “It’s the unnecessary detention of child that this settlement sought to end. So these regulations really reflect a flagrant disregard on the part of President Trump and his administration for the safety and the well-being of children in the care of the federal government.”

Last summer, the Trump administration began separating children from their parents as a way to get around the Flores agreement. The children were sent to the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services while the adults were imprisoned while awaiting trial on their violation of immigration laws.

A fierce political backlash forced Mr. Trump to publicly abandon the separation policy, though immigration advocates said some families continued to be separated after that announcement.

Administration officials said Tuesday that the effort to allow families to be detained indefinitely was an attempt to avoid having to either separate families or release them while they waited for their cases to be heard.

Even before the final rule was announced on Wednesday, immigration advocates said it amounted to a cruel effort to imprison families — some with infants or young children — many of whom are fleeing violence and corruption in their home countries.

Under the terms of the 1997 consent decree, the regulation must be approved by the judge in the original case, Judge Dolly M. Gee of United States District Court for the Central District of California. The government will have seven days to file a brief in her court seeking her approval of the regulation.

If she refuses, the administration is expected to appeal her decision in a case that could drag on for months or even years, legal experts said.

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

In Denmark, Bewilderment and Anger Over Trump’s Canceled Visit

ODENSE, Denmark — The astonishment in Denmark over President Trump’s apparent desire to buy Greenland turned to bewilderment and anger on Wednesday after the American leader abruptly scrapped a state visit because the Danes have no desire to sell.

The cancellation was a rare snub of Denmark’s head of state, Queen Margrethe II, who had extended the invitation to the president and would have hosted him and the first lady.

News that Mr. Trump is not coming “came as a surprise,” the Royal House’s communications director told the state broadcaster, adding, “That’s all we have to say about that.”

Others, however, had more to say. “Is this some sort of joke?” Helle Thorning-Schmidt, a former prime minister, wrote on Twitter. “Deeply insulting to the people of Greenland and Denmark.”

It was not a joke. A day earlier, Mr. Trump said on Twitter that Denmark was “a very special country with incredible people” but added that he was abandoning plans to visit because of the country’s refusal to sell Greenland, a semiautonomous part of the kingdom of Denmark.

The idea, which came to light last week, had been immediately and flatly rejected by leaders in Greenland and Denmark, who found themselves in the odd position at the time of having to publicly state that “Greenland is not for sale.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_159500397_9055a542-992d-4d5e-a22d-1bb68f6e2fd6-articleLarge In Denmark, Bewilderment and Anger Over Trump’s Canceled Visit United States International Relations United States Trump, Donald J Margrethe II, Queen of Denmark Jensen, Kristian (1971- ) Greenland Frederiksen, Mette Denmark

Greenland is a semiautonomous part of the kingdom of Denmark. Its government handles everything except foreign policy and defense.CreditLucas Jackson/Reuters

On Wednesday, disbelief and condemnation echoed through the political landscape, as it began to sink in that Mr. Trump wasn’t kidding.

“Please stop,” Martin Lidegaard, head of the foreign affairs committee in Parliament, wrote on Twitter, before citing several other areas of discussion that he said should be of interest to both countries: the Arctic, climate change and the Middle East.

“Total chaos,” the former finance minister Kristian Jensen wrote. “This has gone from a great opportunity for a strengthened dialogue between allies to a diplomatic crisis.”

Adding to the already considerable awkwardness, Mr. Trump’s announcement came not long after the American ambassador, Carla Sands, had written on Twitter that Denmark was excited about the president’s visit.

A headline in Berlingske, a conservative daily, read “The U.S. and Denmark’s relationship has never been this ice-cold. It will have wide-ranging consequences.” A headline on the website of the state broadcaster read, “Trump sends Denmark and the U.S.’s relationship to the freezing point.”

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has said she had no interest in discussing the sale of Greenland. “Greenland is not Danish. Greenland belongs to Greenland,” Ms. Frederiksen told a Danish newspaper this week. “I strongly hope that this is not meant seriously.”

Ole Spiermann, a former professor of international law and legal adviser to the government of Greenland, said that from the perspective of international law, “the Danish state has the sovereign right to sell or trade Greenland if it wishes.”

The cancellation was a rare snub for Denmark’s head of state, Queen Margrethe II, who extended an invitation to Mr. Trump.CreditJohn Randeris/EPA, via Shutterstock

But Greenland’s right to self-determination under international law and also the Danish Constitution demand that “Greenland’s status cannot be changed without acceptance from the Greenlandic people.”

Any offer from Mr. Trump should be addressed to both Denmark and Greenland, Mr. Spiermann said.

Should the people of Greenland want an association with the United States against the will of the Danish government, he added, they would first have to become independent from Denmark and then join the United States.

Greenland’s government is in charge of most aspects of its affairs except foreign policy and defense. Local governments have not managed to develop a sustainable economy and receive more than 50 percent of the island’s budget in direct subsidies topped with additional Danish spending on defense and enforcement of sovereignty. The total bill amounts to $740 million annually.

“For no reason Trump assumes that (an autonomous) part of our country is for sale,” Rasmus Jarlov, a former minister of business, wrote on Twitter. “Then insultingly cancels visit that everybody was preparing for. Are parts of the U.S. for sale? Alaska? Please show more respect.”

Many Danes had seen Mr. Trump’s visit as a recognition of a special relationship with the United States built on decades of friendly relations, mutual interests in the Arctic, and Danish responsiveness to American calls to action.

Danish troops took part in American-led missions in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, where 43 Danish troops were killed, a staggering number for a nation of 5.5 million not used to war.

Pernille Skipper, the speaker of Parliament’s leftist red-green alliance, said on Twitter that Mr. Trump “lives on another planet. Smug and disrespectful.”

Noting that the president’s tweet said the visit had been postponed, rather than abandoned, Soren Espersen, who speaks for the populist Danish People’s Party on foreign affairs, suggested there was little point in Mr. Trump coming. “Why not just cancel?” he said. “We are so busy here with other things.”

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