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US rescinds Obama’s DAPA program for some undocumented parents and youth

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U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly signed a memorandum on Thursday rescinding an Obama-era plan to spare some illegal immigrant parents of children who are lawful permanent residents from being deported, the department said in a statement.

The program, which was announced by President Barack Obama in 2014, never took effect because it was blocked in federal court.

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Obama had hoped that overhauling the U.S. immigration system and resolving the fate of the estimated 11 million people in the country illegally would be part of his presidential legacy. However, President Donald Trump has vowed to crack down on illegal immigration.

The plan unveiled by Obama intended to let roughly 4 million people – those who have lived illegally in the United States at least since 2010, have no criminal record and have children who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents – get into a program that shields them from deportation and supplies work permits.

However, it was quickly challenged in court by Republican-governed Texas and 25 other states that argued Obama had overstepped the powers granted to him by the U.S. Constitution by infringing upon the authority of Congress.

A federal appeals court blocked the program, and the U.S. Supreme Court let that ruling stand in a 4-4 split decision last year.

Kelly said in a statement on Thursday he was rescinding the initiative, known as DAPA, because “there is no credible path forward to litigate the currently enjoined policy.”

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An earlier program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), offers some 750,000 immigrants brought to the country illegally as children the chance to attend school and to work.

Trump has previously said his administration was devising a policy on how to deal with individuals covered by DACA, but no formal changes have been announced.

“They shouldn’t be very worried,” Trump said of DACA recipients in a January ABC News interview. “I do have a big heart.”

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(Reporting by Eric Beech and Dan Levine; Editing by Toni Reinhold and Paul Tait)


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New Zealand epidemiologist: ‘We look at Trump’s behavior and we’re horrified’

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To learn how New Zealand has largely eliminated COVID-19, we continue our extended interview with Michael Baker, an epidemiologist who is a member of the New Zealand Ministry of Health’s Technical Advisory Group and advising the government on its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He describes how the country’s response compares to the government actions in the United States and worldwide.

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The Quarantine Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González, as we bring you Part 2 of our discussion of New Zealand.

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Trump White House hammered for covering up their own economic projections as jobs vanish

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The Trump White House has decided against releasing midyear economic projections this summer, breaking precedent at a time when unemployment is expected to top 20 percent.

The Washington Post reports that the administration is not releasing updated economic projections that "would almost certainly codify an administration assessment that the coronavirus pandemic has led to a severe economic downturn" with massive job losses that have topped 36 million in just two months.

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Joe Scarborough can sue for defamation — and ‘it could require Mr. Trump to pay substantial punitive damages’: Legal expert

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MSNBC's Joe Scarborough may have a defamation case against President Donald Trump, according to one legal expert.

Peter Schuck, an emeritus professor of law at Yale and visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley, laid out the case against the president in a new column for the New York Times.

"Trump’s wantonly cruel tweets about the tragic death in 2001 of Lori Klausutis are distinctive," Schuck writes. "They may constitute intentional torts for which a civil jury could award punitive damages against him."

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