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UPDATED: Judges in Hawaii and Greenbelt ban Trump executive order

  • Published in Local

A federal judge in Hawaii halted the latest executive order temporarily restricting travel from six Muslim majority nations. A federal judge in Greenbelt followed suit on Thursday, also blocking the travel ban.

Judge Derrick K. Watson from the United States District Court of Hawaii wrote Wednesday in his decision that President Donald J. Trump's executive order violated the First Amendment's Establishment Clause and caused irreparable harm to one of the plaintiffs Ismail Elshikh.

After hearing oral arguments Wednesday, United States District Court for the District of Maryland Judge Theodore Chuang also blocked Trump's travel ban Thursday deciding to issue an injunction against the executive order.

“The Maryland district court has issued yet another strong judicial condemnation of President Trump’s unconstitutional Muslim ban," said Omar Jadwat an attorney from the American Civil Liberties Union in a statement Thursday. "If, as promised, he continues to try to defend this indefensible order in the courts — or goes back to the first iteration of the ban — he will just keep losing.”

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Muslim Community Center sponsors symposium on tolerance

  • Published in Local

SILVER SPRING –The staff of the Muslim Community Center invited the public to a panel discussion held on the center grounds Tuesday night on “How to oppose hate in our communities.” The discussion focused on ways to respond to hate crimes, combat negative stereotypes of various groups as well as resistance to troubling policies, such as President Trump’s recently-overturned ban on traveling to seven Muslim majority countries and proposed mass deportations of undocumented immigrants.

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Gaithersburg sides with county on immigrants

  • Published in Local

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GAITHERSBURG – City council member Ryan Spiegel wanted to make one thing clear Tuesday night –the city does not participate in enforcing immigration law.

After a surge in deportations by federal immigration officials across the country, Spiegel along with other members of the Gaithersburg City Council said at Tuesday night’s Council meeting that the city does not assist federal immigration officials in deportations.

“Our city police officers do not make inquires relative to immigration status during routine actions,” Spiegel said.

Spiegel responded to comments made by Gaithersburg resident Doug Hill, who urged the city to declare itself a sanctuary city, a general term for jurisdictions where local officials do not assist in enforcement of immigration law. Spiegel said he does not think it is a good idea for the city to call itself a sanctuary city given there is no universal definition for the term.

“The phrase sanctuary city is a politically-loaded phrase as we all know,” Spiegel said. ”I think that regardless of whether or not that label is applied to a particular municipal or county or state entity, the more important question is what is the culture?”

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Muslim leaders rally for refugees

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WASHINGTON – For seven years running, the self-proclaimed oldest Muslim organization in America has met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

While Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA has made a routine point to meet with representatives to discuss goals in combating extremism both inside and outside of the Islamic community, community members said this year’s meeting on Capitol Hill took on another level of importance after the election of President Donald J. Trump.

This year’s Day on the Hill focused on Trump’s new executive order that placed a indefinite moratorium on refugees from Syria and a 90- day travel ban from seven Muslim majority nations, and the rise in hate crimes.

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Power to the Attorney General

  • Published in State

Democrats look to expand attorney general powers to sue the federal government

 

The General Assembly passed a bill Wednesday that will give the state’s attorney general more power to sue the federal government on the state’s behalf.

After several executive orders from President Donald J. Trump alarmed Democratic leaders in Annapolis, members of the General Assembly, along with Attorney General Brian Frosh, have crafted a bill to expand the attorney general’s powers in the state. The bill passed the House of Delegates Wednesday after passing the Senate last week. The bill does not require the governor’s signature.

“Frankly, the need for this arises from the, I would say, erratic and implosive and you might even say reckless nature of what’s going in the past few weeks,” Frosh said in a committee hearing on the bill. “There’s been blizzard of executive orders, many of which are ill-advised.”

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"Intent To Discriminate"

  • Published in News

ACLU and county residents join in fight against Trump travel ban

 

The American Civil Liberties Union and other plaintiffs, including several county residents, filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Maryland’s Southern Division against President Donald J. Trump and members of his administration, including Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

The suit challenges Trump’s recent travel ban, alleging it is unconstitutional. 

Plaintiffs allege the ban “violates the Constitution - including the First Amendment's prohibition of government establishment of religion and the Fifth Amendment's guarantees of equal treatment under the law - and federal laws,” according to a ACLU news release. 

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“Wait and See”

  • Published in Local

County leaders confused and angry over sanctuary executive order

 

ANNAPOLIS – Local officials say it is unclear whether President Donald Trump’s recent executive order on sanctuary cities will cost the county federal funding over its immigration enforcement policies.

Last week, Trump signed an executive order saying localities that fail to comply with federal immigration law will not receive public funds, sparking outrage among immigration advocates and confusion among public officials.

The executive order specifically mentions “sanctuary jurisdiction,” a vague but widely used term that generally refers to localities that do not assist in enforcing federal immigration law. State and local officials said it is unclear if the executive order would apply to Montgomery County or to the State of Maryland.

“Look, no one has been able to figure out from what he’s (Trump) issued so far and how exactly it plays out,” said County Council member Marc Elrich (D-at large). “We don’t know whether we are inside the rules or outside the rules.”

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Takoma Park to remain a sanctuary city despite Trump's executive order

  • Published in Local

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While the future of Pres. Donald Trump’s executive order to severely limit the number of people from some Muslim-majority countries is played out in the courts and out in the streets filled with protesters, Takoma Park stands strong in its decades-old decision to be a sanctuary city.

“Nothing is changing,” said Mayor Kate Stewart.

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A ban by any other name...

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Donald J. Trump's instituting a ban on individuals from seven Muslim nations entering our country is not the first time a ban has been set in place but it clearly is a ban like none before it. In the aftermath of 9/11, the Bush administration instituted the No-Fly List and the Terrorist Watch List.
The No-Fly List is a list of individuals prohibited from boarding commercial aircraft for travel to or within the United States.
The Terror Watch List, a much longer list of names than the No-Fly List, consists of individuals suspected of some involvement with terrorism and as of June 2016 has some 1,877,133 names on it.
The difference between these lists and the banning of an entire religion from entering the United States as was just done by our new president is the difference between religious freedom and religious persecution.

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Hundreds protest Trump's immigration ban at BWI

  • Published in State

BALTIMORE – More than 800 people headed to Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport Sunday to protest President Donald Trump’s executive order to temporarily ban immigration from select countries and all refugees.

Hundreds of protesters waved signs and shouted about Trump’s executive order and the people who are barred from entering the country for the next three to four months: noncitizens from Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya and Yemen as well as refugees.

Marc and Marybeth Leblanc, residents of Brunswick, attended the protest with their two young children.

“We feel that it is important to speak out,” Marc said.

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