The Deeply Flawed Watch Listing Process and "No Fly, No Buy" Debate

Posted by Leila Elaqad on August 31, 2016 in Blog

Following the June 2016 shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, a new debate over gun control measures was sparked in Congress. The Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen, had previously been under FBI investigation on two separate occasions, and at one point had been placed on a government terrorist watch list. In light of this, many Democrats called for what they nicknamed, a “No Fly, No Buy” gun control bill, suggesting this measure would have prevented Mateen from purchasing the weapon he used to kill 49 innocent people in Orlando. “No Fly, No Buy” proponents advocated...

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Due Process, Gun Control, Watch Lists & the Senate

Posted by Kristin Mccarthy on June 16, 2016 in Blog

There are multiple pieces of gun control legislation that have been pieced together in response to the horrific mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando. All four Senate proposals (and the potential compromise bill) are seeking to “keep guns out of the hands of terrorists,” which is hardly a disagreeable goal; terrorists should not have guns, terrorists should be in jail. The Senate is expected to vote on them this Monday. However agreeable the goal of these bills are, the legal method by which the bills will deny constitutionally protected rights...

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For Cuomo, Free Speech Is Negotiable

Posted by Nadia Aziz on June 10, 2016 in Blog

On Sunday, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York signed an Executive Order that would prevent New York state funds from going to institutions or companies that support the global nonviolent “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” (BDS) movement. 

By signing an Executive Order preventing state funds from being allocated to institutions that support BDS, New York is suppressing freedom of speech, expression, and association. On Sunday, Governor Cuomo prioritized the economic interests of a foreign ally over our Constitution’s First Amendment.

Numerous perspectives have been offered on this form of nonviolent advocacy — stirring a national conversation and debate on the merits,...

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Ted Cruz Again: Because We Didn’t Talk About Refugees

Posted by Kevin Hack on March 29, 2016 in Blog

Wouldn’t it be the greatest stroke of irony if the United States Refugee Resettlement Program was shut down by the child of a refugee that resettled in the United States? Senator Cruz doesn’t think so. Or maybe he does and just believes that the universe is guided by ironic twists of fate.

Last week, after calling for the policing and surveillance of all Muslim communities, a statement which out-controversy-ed even Donald Trump, Senator Cruz issued a letter to the Departments of State and Health and Human Services (HHS) insinuating poor performance on the part of the Refugee Resettlement Program...

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Call on Your Member to Oppose Anti-BDS Legislation, H.R.4514

Posted on March 16, 2016 in Action Alerts

There is a lot at stake for Palestinian rights and for our rights as American citizens when AIPAC hosts its annual advocacy conference in Washington, D.C. next week.

We’ve partnered with our allies at the Jewish Voice for Peace to take on AIPAC’s #1 agenda item, the so-called “anti-BDS” bill. The bill is an attempt to redefine Israel’s borders and suppress the non-violent Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Hidden in the language are backdoors that could reverse decades of U.S. policy towards Israeli settlements. AIPAC is pitching this bill to your Representative as a way make BDS illegal. And if...

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Ask your Representative to Co-Sponsor the Hate Crimes Prevention Act

Posted by Nadia Aziz on February 22, 2016 in Blog
Contact your Representative and urge them to become a co-sponsor of the “Hate Crimes Prevention Act” to prevent individuals who have been convicted of a misdemeanor hate crime from buying or possessing firearms.
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Sanders is Right: Iraq is Important

Posted on February 15, 2016 in Washington Watch
Bernie Sanders has been unfairly criticized for being a "Johnny One Note" on foreign policy because he continually reminds voters of his early opposition to the Iraq War. To explain why he continues to emphasize the importance of his decision to oppose that war, Sanders has pointed to the speech he gave back in October 2002 in which he laid out five important reasons why he feared the Bush Administration's march to war.
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When Boycotting Leads to Blacklisting: Anti-BDS Legislation in the U.S.

Posted by Shadi Matar on February 12, 2016 in Blog

Since its founding in 2005, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement has become one of the leading tactics for Palestine human rights advocates in the United States. The movement, a non-violent response to Israel’s policies towards Palestinians, has grown so quickly over the past decade that organizations and legislators are trying to pass laws to suppress BDS and brand its supporters as anti-Semites. These efforts have been fought against by civil liberties groups, legal organizations, and Palestine solidarity activists who rightly assert that this type of legislation a suppression of the right to free...

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The Visa Waiver Program: What it is, What's Happening, and Why You Should Care

Posted by Kevin Hack on January 28, 2016 in Blog
The Visa Waiver Program is maintained by the DHS to offer ease of access into the United States for passport holders from certain countries. As the name suggests, passport holders from VWP participating countries can access the United States for 90 days without applying for a visa.
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Making Sense of Congress' Legislative Reaction to the Paris Attacks

Posted by Eddie Bejarano on December 07, 2015 in Blog

In the aftermath of the tragic terrorist attacks in Paris, France, Congress has introduced, and in some cases voted on, several important bills regarding Syrian refugees, the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and U.S. national security. The most significant bills are H.R.4038, the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act of 2015, H.R.158, Visa Waiver Program Improvement Act of 2015, S.2300, the American Security against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act of 2015, a bill identical to H.R.4038, and S. 2337, the Visa Waiver Program Security Enhancement Act. These 4 bills...

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