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In the first blow to Biden’s immigration program, a federal judge is blocking a 100-day break on deportations.

In the first court challenge to the Biden administration’s immigration program, a Texas federal judge temporarily blocked a 100-day break on deportations.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on Tuesday issued a 14-day nationwide temporary restraining order sought by the state attorney general that would prevent the policy from being enforced, which was issued by Department of Homeland Security within hours of President Biden’s inauguration. The order will remain in effect until the judge has considered a broader motion for a preliminary injunction.

Judge Drew B. Tipton, who was appointed by former President Donald J. Trump, said in his ruling that the stay of deportations would violate an immigration status provision as well as another law that required agencies to provide a rational explanation for their political decisions.

Immigration law states that people who have received a final deportation order from the United States must be deported within 90 days. The court concluded that the 100-day break violated this requirement and that the mandatory language of immigration law should not be “neutralized by the broad discretion of the federal government.”

The court also ruled that the agency’s memorandum violated a separate law that required agencies to provide a logical and rational reason for their policy changes. The judge ruled that the Homeland Security Department violated the Administrative Procedure Act because it failed to provide adequate justification for the temporary suspension of the evictions.

Immediately after taking office, Mr. Biden began to dismantle some of his predecessor’s initiatives aimed at curbing legal and illegal immigration to the United States. The president issued a series of decrees, including one to repeal a travel ban that targeted Muslim-majority countries.

Immigration advocates have challenged many of Mr. Trump’s policies in Federal Court, and Judge Tipton’s ruling on Tuesday indicated that immigration hawks could also take legal action to thwart Mr. Biden’s initiatives.

“The court order shows President Biden’s uphill battle in trying to reverse the previous administration’s immigration restrictions,” said Stephen Yale-Loehr, immigration lawyer and professor at the Cornell Law School. “A single judge can halt a federal agency’s efforts to review and re-prioritize its immigration law enforcement policies.”

After Tuesday’s ruling, Attorney General Ken Paxton of Texas said on twitter that it was a victory against the left.

“Texas is the FIRST state in the country to take legal action against Administrator Biden. AND WE WON, ”wrote Mr. Paxton, a Republican, who is under federal investigation on charges of corruption and abuse of power raised by former collaborators.

“Within 6 days of Biden’s inauguration, Texas STOPPED its freeze on illegal evictions,” Paxton wrote. “It was a seditious left-wing insurrection. And my team and I stopped it.

In one letter Last week to David Pekoske, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Paxton called the plan “a complete abdication of the Homeland Security Department’s obligation to enforce federal immigration law” which “Would cause serious and irreparable harm to the State of Texas and its citizens. . “

Thousands of immigrants in detention centers have deportation orders that can be executed after they exhaust their legal remedies. Thousands more who live inside the country could be arrested because they have pending deportation orders.

The Biden administration said the break was meant to allow time for an internal review. The moratorium would cover most immigrants who were at risk of deportation, unless they arrived in the United States after November 1, 2020, believed to have committed acts of terrorism or espionage , or that they pose a threat to national security.

“We are confident that as the case progresses it will be clear that this measure was entirely appropriate to order a temporary hiatus to allow the agency to carefully review its policies, procedures and enforcement priorities – while allowing a greater focus on threats to public safety and national security, ”a White House spokesperson said Tuesday. “President Biden remains committed to taking immediate action to reform our immigration system to ensure it upholds American values ​​while ensuring the safety of our communities.

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A blow to America’s troubled democratic image

PARIS – The choreography was unusual: French President Emmanuel Macron, standing in front of the Stars and Stripes, declared in English: “We believe in the strength of our democracies. We believe in the strength of American democracy.

And so Donald Trump’s presidency ends with a French leader forced to declare his faith in the resilience of American democracy, a remarkable development. Mr Macron’s larger point was pretty clear: The throng of Trump loyalists in Washington trying to disrupt America’s peaceful transition of power was a threat to all democracies as well.

The reputation of the United States may be tarnished, but its identification with the global defense of democracy remains singular. So when an angry horde, instigated by President Trump himself, was seen seizing control of the Capitol, sullying its sacred chambers with staunch contempt as lawmakers gathered to certify the victory of President-elect Joseph R Biden Jr., the fragility of freedom was felt. palpable in Paris and around the world.

“A universal idea – that of ‘one person, one voice’ – is being undermined,” Macron said in a speech that began in French and ended in English. It was the “temple of American democracy” that had been attacked.

The institutions of democracy prevailed in the early hours of the next morning, but the images of the mob rule in Washington struck a particular nerve in fractured Western societies. They were confronted with the emergence of an illiberal authoritarian model in Hungary and Poland, and the rise of right-wing political forces from Italy to Germany. They have also been confronted with the earthiness of leaders like Russian President Vladimir V. Putin, who declared liberalism “obsolete,” or Xi Jinping, China’s top leader, who offered the world the model of surveillance state. of his country as he crushed the democratic demonstration. in Hong Kong.

“For European societies, these are deeply moving images,” said Jacques Rupnik, political scientist. “Even though America was no longer the beacon on a hill, it was still the pillar that supported European democracy and extended it east after the Cold War.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was “furious and saddened”. She unequivocally blamed Mr. Trump for the storming of Capitol Hill that left a woman dead. “The doubts about the outcome of the elections were fueled and created the atmosphere that made last night’s events possible,” she said.

The Germans, for whom the United States was the savior, protector, and post-war liberal democratic model, watched Mr. Trump’s attempts to overthrow the democratic process and the rule of law with particular dismay.

Their anxiety has grown in recent years because the unraveling of democracy through polarization, violence, social collapse and economic hardship has not been confined to the United States. The coronavirus pandemic has heightened anxieties and mistrust of the government. In this context, the crowds passing through the Capitol seems to reflect the disruptive forces lurking in many parts of the Western world.

If it could happen at the heart of democracy, it could happen anywhere.

Last year, as battles for racial justice raged in several American cities, German weekly magazine Der Spiegel portrayed Mr. Trump in the Oval Office with a lit match and called him “Der Feuerteufel” or literally “The Fire Devil”.

The message was clear: the US president was playing with fire. This could only wake up German memories of the Reichstag fire of 1933 which allowed Hitler and the Nazis to destroy the fragile Weimar democracy that brought them to power.

The painful memory was not limited to Germany. Across much of Europe – a continent where totalitarian rule is not a distant specter, but something people living today have experienced – Mr Trump’s attacks on an independent judiciary, a press free and the sanctity of the ballot have long been regarded as disturbing.

Ms Merkel herself began her life in Communist East Germany. She saw the post-1989 euphoria evaporate over the inevitability of a free democratic world, deflated by the rise of authoritarian governments. Mr. Trump, attacking the foundations of this world like NATO or the European Union, often seemed to want to tip the world in the same illiberal direction.

He was defeated. American institutions have resisted the chaos. Mr. Biden’s victory was duly certified by Congress once order was restored.

Vice President Mike Pence, whom Mr. Trump had tried to mobilize in his efforts to overturn the November election result, claimed Mr. Biden was the winner. Mr. Trump issued a statement saying, for the first time, that there will be “an orderly transition on January 20”. Two Senate race wins in Georgia put Democrats in control of the Senate, a final scathing rebuke to Mr Trump that sets the stage for the new president to continue his agenda.

So, is everything okay after all? Not really. The American idea and American values ​​- democracy, rule of law, defense of human rights – have come under sustained assault during Mr. Trump’s presidency. Mr Rupnik suggested that it would be “very difficult” for Mr Biden to project America as “the organizer of a community of democracies,” an idea the new administration has circulated to signal a return to basic principles. from America.

For a while, the rest of the world will view the United States with skepticism as it seeks to promote democratic values. The images of the invaded Capitol will be there, for those who want to use them, to argue that America had better avoid teaching lessons in exercising freedom. Dictators of the hard and soft variety have new and powerful ammunition.

“Fractured Democracy” was the headline of the French daily Le Figaro, above a photograph of the besieged Capitol. An editorial suggested that Mr. Trump could have left office with “a contested but not insignificant record.” Instead, “his narcissism having conquered all dignity, he has manhandled institutions, trampled democracy, divided his own camp and ended his presidency in a ditch.”

There were signs that Mr. Trump’s magnetism was already waning. Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, a supporter of Mr Trump, quickly changed his Twitter profile picture to one showing him wearing a red MAGA-style baseball cap with the words ‘Silné Česko’ (Strong Czech Republic) , to one which shows him wearing a mask with the Czech flag.

The turmoil in Washington has finally shown that the United States is bigger than one man, which Mr Macron seemed to want to argue. He alluded to the joint American and French support for freedom and democracy since the 18th century. He spoke of Alexis de Tocqueville’s praise for American democracy. He spoke of the American defense of French freedom during two world wars.

Mr Macron’s message seemed clear. The America of “We the People,” the America which made it clear when it was created that “all men are created equal,” was still needed, and urgently, for “our common struggle for to ensure that our democracies emerge from this moment that we all live even stronger.

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Senate overturns Trump’s veto on defense bill, dealing severe blow to legislation

WASHINGTON – The Senate voted by an overwhelming majority on Friday to overturn President Trump’s veto on the annual military policy bill, garnering bipartisan support to enact the legislation over the president’s objections and delivering the first legislative rebuke of this type of his presidency.

The 81-to-13 vote, the last expected vote in this Congress, is the first time lawmakers have overturned one of Mr. Trump’s vetoes. This reflected the great popularity of a measure that allows a pay rise for the country’s military and amounted to an extraordinary reprimand addressed to Mr. Trump in the final weeks of his presidency.

The margin has exceeded the two-thirds majority needed to force passage of the bill over Mr. Trump’s objections. The House passed the bill on Monday, also achieving the required two-thirds majority.

Mr Trump, following a series of month-long threats, vetoed bipartisan legislation last week, citing a changing list of reasons, including his objection to a provision directing the military to withdraw the names of the Confederate leaders of the bases. He also demanded that the bill include the repeal of a legal shield for the social media companies he has meddled with, a significant legislative change that Republicans and Democrats say is irrelevant. for legislation that dictates military policy.

These objections infuriated lawmakers, who had worked for months to craft a bipartisan bill. They were proud to have passed the military bill every year for 60 years, and lawmakers in Mr. Trump’s own party finally decided to silence his concerns and push the legislation forward.

The last time Congress rescinded a presidential veto was in 2016, the last year of Barack Obama’s presidency, after vetoing legislation allowing the families of the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks to sue. Saudi government.

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4 stabbed and one blow as Trump supporters and opponents clash

Kim Carter, who said God told her to come to the Atlanta rally from Jacksonville, Fla., Said she was sure Mr. Trump would be re-elected. She asked a member of Mr. Hill’s group if he could send armed operatives to Florida to protect her and her neighbors from Antifa activists after the election is permanently canceled, as she believes.

“Another four years, because God is the one in control of it,” Ms. Carter said.

Pro-Trump rallies have been held in a number of other communities across the country. More than 100 people gathered at a rally in St. Paul, Minnesota to display Trump’s flags and call on the state’s Democratic governor to ease coronavirus restrictions in the state. In Spanish Fort, Ala., A suburb of Mobile, about 100 people demonstrated, according to images released by WKRG-TV. “We want to be part of the national ‘Stop the Steal’ movement,” said one speaker. “That’s why we’re here.”

The gunfire in Olympia, Wash. Came after supporters of Mr. Trump and counter-protesters gathered near the State Capitol on Saturday afternoon. The groups had clashed before the shooting, with some people throwing objects and punches. The air in the street was clouded with smoke grenades and a sledgehammer, and police in riot gear later arrived at the scene.

The two groups of protesters dispersed later in the afternoon, and a large area on the edge of the Capitol campus was surrounded with a crime scene tape while a police officer and other officials assessed the situation. . Several vehicles, including one with a Trump sticker, remained in a parking lot at the scene, with a scattering of stones and broken glass.

Clashes also erupted between opposing groups in Washington, DC, where videos showed people dressed in Proud Boys gear hitting and kicking counter-protectors who were wearing helmets. The police intervened and sprayed a sledgehammer on some of the men involved in the fighting. Another video showed anti-police protesters bickering with police officers and throwing at them what appeared to be a wooden stick.

Overnight, four people were stabbed near 11th Street and F Street Northwest, according to Douglas Buchanan, a spokesman for the city’s fire department. The mayor’s office said the four men were in critical condition, adding that two police officers were also injured and taken to hospitals. The authorities did not provide any further details, including which groups of protesters the injured belonged to.

Throughout the day, police arrested at least 23 people, including six accused of assaulting a police officer, the mayor’s office said.

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4 stabbed and one blow as Trump supporters and opponents clash

Kim Carter, who said God told her to come to the Atlanta rally from Jacksonville, Fla., Said she was sure Mr. Trump would be re-elected. She asked a member of Mr. Hill’s group if he could send armed operatives to Florida to protect her and her neighbors from Antifa activists after the election is permanently canceled, as she believes.

“Another four years, because God is the one in control of it,” Ms. Carter said.

Pro-Trump rallies have been held in a number of other communities across the country. More than 100 people gathered at a rally in St. Paul, Minnesota to display Trump’s flags and call on the state’s Democratic governor to ease coronavirus restrictions in the state. In Spanish Fort, Ala., A suburb of Mobile, about 100 people demonstrated, according to images released by WKRG-TV. “We want to be part of the national ‘Stop the Steal’ movement,” said one speaker. “That’s why we’re here.”

The gunfire in Olympia, Wash. Came after supporters of Mr. Trump and counter-protesters gathered near the State Capitol on Saturday afternoon. The groups had clashed before the shooting, with some people throwing objects and punches. The air in the street was clouded with smoke grenades and a sledgehammer, and police in riot gear later arrived at the scene.

The two groups of protesters dispersed later in the afternoon, and a large area on the edge of the Capitol campus was surrounded with a crime scene tape while a police officer and other officials assessed the situation. . Several vehicles, including one with a Trump sticker, remained in a parking lot at the scene, with a scattering of stones and broken glass.

Olympia police say there were four arrests and four officers were injured, CBS affiliate says KIRO.

Clashes also erupted between opposing groups in Washington, DC, where videos showed people dressed in Proud Boys gear hitting and kicking counter-protectors who were wearing helmets. The police intervened and sprayed a sledgehammer on some of the men involved in the fighting. Another video showed anti-police protesters bickering with police officers and throwing at them what appeared to be a wooden stick.

Overnight, four people were stabbed near 11th Street and F Street Northwest, according to Douglas Buchanan, a spokesman for the city’s fire department. The mayor’s office said the four men were in critical condition, adding that two police officers were also injured and taken to hospitals. The authorities did not provide any further details, including which groups of protesters the injured belonged to.

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Republicans blow up social media CEOs as Democrats mock audience

WASHINGTON – Lawmakers hammered CEOs of Twitter, Facebook, Google and each other during a Senate hearing on Wednesday, with Republicans saying companies suppressed conservative views while Democrats accused their colleagues of holding a hearing “Fictitious” for political purposes.

For nearly four hours, members of the Trade Committee tweeted Jack Dorsey, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, and Google’s Sundar Pichai with over 120 questions about social media talk and the damage done by their platforms, often framing their attacks through the lens of next week’s elections. .

But unlike previous technical hearings, this one highlighted the partisan divide. Republicans attacked Twitter and Facebook for what they said was censorship of posts by conservative politicians and for downplaying a recent New York Post article about Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic presidential candidate Joseph R. Biden Jr.

“Mr. Dorsey, who elected you and made you responsible for what the media is allowed to report and what the American people are allowed to hear?” Asked Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.

Democrats countered that Republicans concocted the hearing to pressure companies to be easy on them before election day.

“This is a sham,” said Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota said Republicans are politicizing “what shouldn’t be a partisan topic.” And Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois said they “put the selfish interests of Donald Trump before the health of our democracy.”

The drama, which has often evolved into scream, made the subject of the audience – the future of a legal shield for online platforms – barely debated. The event was billed as a discussion of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a law that protects social media companies from liability for what their users post and is considered sacrosanct by platforms.

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Washington’s efforts to tackle big tech companies in recent months have been largely bipartisan. Democrats and Republicans last week applauded a Justice Department lawsuit that accused Google of violating antitrust law while protecting a monopoly on its Internet search service. And lawmakers on both sides have pushed for new regulations to be applied to tech companies.

But the barbed wire exchanges from the audience showed just how divided the online discourse debate has become, with companies caught in the middle. Of the 81 questions asked by Republicans, 69 were about censorship and the political ideologies of tech workers tasked with moderating content, according to a New York Times tally. Democrats have asked 48 questions, mostly about regulating the spread of election-related disinformation and the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m not sure what changes could be made to satisfy everyone,” said Jeff Kosseff, assistant professor of cybersecurity law at the United States Naval Academy. “You see two very, very different worldviews.”

Wednesday’s hearing came after months of protests by President Trump and Republican lawmakers over actions by tech companies to label, remove and limit the scope of posts. Twitter began labeling Mr. Trump’s posts in May for their inaccuracy and glorification of violence. Mr Trump hit back that month with an executive order to deprive social media companies of the legal shield of Section 230.

His allies in Congress have since piled up, with Republican leaders on the Senate Commerce Committee threatening to subpoena Mr. Dorsey, Mr. Zuckerberg and Mr. Pichai to discuss Section 230. Democrats, who have been in anger at companies for allowing hate speech and disinformation to spread, the hearing also agreed.

The claims of online censorship conservatives are largely based on anecdotal examples of right-wing commentators or lawmakers whose content has been moderated by social media platforms. But many conservative figures have built huge audiences on the platforms, and lawmakers have failed to provide evidence that systemic bias is embedded in corporate products.

For tech executives, appearing on Capitol Hill has become routine. Wednesday’s hearing was the fifth time Mr. Zuckerberg has testified before Congress since April 2018; it was the third time for Mr. Pichai and Mr. Dorsey. All three testified by video due to the pandemic, with Mr. Zuckerberg briefly experiencing a technical issue at the start of the event.

Mr Dorsey has borne the brunt of the questions, Republicans have asked him nearly four dozen times about the so-called “censorship” of conservative politicians and the media. He was asked 58 questions in total, more than 49 for Mr. Zuckerberg and 22 for Mr. Pichai, according to the Times tally.

“Mr. Dorsey, your platform allows foreign dictators to publish propaganda, usually without restriction,” Trade Committee Chairman Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi said. “Yet you generally limit the President of the United States. . “

Mr Dorsey responded that Twitter had taken action against leaders around the world, including Mr Trump. “When we think about law enforcement, we consider the severity of the potential harm offline, and we act as quickly as possible,” he said.

Democrats asked Zuckerberg how Facebook is protecting itself from election interference. He said the company has spent billions of dollars on election security and pledged to fight foreign disinformation targeting the political process. He was also faced with questions about how the service was combating extremism online.

Mr. Pichai came out largely unharmed. Ms Klobuchar, who proposed changes to the antitrust law, questioned him that Google was too dominant.

“We are seeing strong competition in many categories of information,” said Pichai.

The attacks left little time for substantive discussions of the Section 230 review. With one exception, Senator Deb Fischer, a Republican from Nebraska, asked Mr. Zuckerberg what changes he would like to see in the article 230 on content moderation. He said he wanted more transparency on how the content was moderated, in order to build trust between users.

Senator Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican from West Virginia, also asked tech leaders about a clause in the law that protects companies from liability for restricting access to content they deem “obscene. , obscene, lascivious, dirty, excessively violent, harassing or other objectionable. “She asks if they would support a redefinition of the term” otherwise objectionable. “

All the directors general said they were in favor of keeping the sentence. Mr Pichai said it was important because it gave companies the flexibility to take action in situations that had never been addressed when the 1996 law was drafted, such as when children started. eating laundry detergent pods as part of a challenge to others.

Despite the bickering during the hearing, Republicans and Democrats are expected to continue drumming for changes to Section 230 at the next Congress.

Before that, Mr. Zuckerberg and Mr. Dorsey will likely appear before Congress again. The two agreed to testify at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing next month on how their companies handled election content.

Reporting was provided by Daisuke Wakabayashi, Kate Conger, Mike Isaac and Kellen Browning of San Francisco.