Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray Fight Against Trump's Muslim Ban: The two Washington senators co-sponsored two bills introduced by Senators Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) on Monday to block Trump's ban on visitors, refugees and immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The order "flies in the face of our core American values," Cantwell said in a statement.
“These bills will ensure Trump’s executive orders do not go into effect. America must continue to be a leader on human rights and we must do our part to help Syrian refugees and all fleeing persecution,” [she said].
“What unfolded at Sea-Tac International Airport and in airports around the U.S. this weekend is nothing short of appalling and un-American. I met with the family of somebody who was turned away from our country this weekend, and I saw first-hand the grief and confusion this executive order has caused. We cannot stand for this—and I applaud the many peaceful demonstrators and lawyers who rushed to our airports to defend our democracy and help the people who have come to our country seeking refuge,” said Senator Murray.
What Would the Bills Do? Feinstein's bill would overturn Trump's executive order, but Senate Republicans refused to vote on the bill on Monday. Murphy's bill would prevent any federal funding from being used to carry out the order and clarifies that it is illegal under the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act.
Some of the Detainees Were Eventually Released: Seattle Times reporters David Gutman and Nina Shapiro and photojournalist Erika Schultz tell the stories of the Khadem family's wait for their mother, Wafaa Fakhri, and the fight ACLU and Northwest Immigrants Rights Project attorneys brought to Sea-Tac to allow two men to enter the country. (Do you really need more reason to support good journalism?)
‘We didn’t sleep, we didn’t eat’: Families separated by Trump’s immigration ban wait and hope at @SeaTacAirport: https://t.co/pVS39GPDyT pic.twitter.com/3VEaD85Qgj
— Erika Schultz (@ErikaJSchultz) January 31, 2017
Behind the Scenes of Two WA Representatives' Fight Against the Xenophobic Executive Order at Sea-Tac Airport: Reps. Pramila Jayapal and Suzan DelBene both stood outside of the airport's Customs and Border Patrol office for hours, waiting for more information on a group of travelers who had been detained in compliance with Trump's executive order. It was nothing short of a clusterfuck, Heidi Groover reports.
Swoon-worthy WA Attorney General Sues Trump Over the Muslim Ban: Fuck yeah, Bob Ferguson.
Amazon Honcho Jeff Bezos Supports the Fight Against Trump's Order: The Associated Press reports that Bezos sent out an e-mail to employees, saying his "Seattle-based company is prepared to support a lawsuit being brought by Washington state's attorney general."
Ed Murray Calls for Review on Youth Jail Design: In his letter to King County Executive Dow Constantine and county superior court Judge Laura Inveen, Murray said he was making his request because "new evidence, the continued decline of incarcerated youth in our community, and the need for considering public concerns all point toward reexamining aspects of this facility."
King County Executive Dow Constantine Also Chimed in About the Youth Jail: In his statement, Constantine said he would meet with advocates for the new jail and organizers protesting against it in "Peacemaking Circles" with the goal of "developing more housing options for youth charged with non-violent crimes, emphasizing therapeutic care, creating more robust community reviews of the detention population, devising new alternatives to detention, and helping youth take responsibility for their actions, among other strategies." Stay tuned to Slog for more on this.
Vote By Mail Could Mean Millions of New Voters: Oregon Senator Ron Wyden's National Vote By Mail Act seeks to "cut through bogus obstacles to voting" by automatically registering residents to vote and allowing them to fill out election ballots from home. Reporter Josh Cohen writes for Yes! Magazine that, if passed, the bill could be a game-changer for places "like North Carolina and Wisconsin, where voter suppression laws have proliferated since Shelby County v. Holder, when the Supreme Court weakened the Voting Rights Act. If passed, Wyden’s law could bring millions of disenfranchised people—mostly people of color and poor people—back into the system."
U.S. Attorney General Rejects Trump's Muslim Ban, Gets Fired: You can't make this shit up. According to Trump and his cabinet of deplorables, acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates "betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States," The Washington Post reports.
The move came just hours after Yates ordered the Justice Department not to defend Trump’s immigration order, declaring in a memo that she was not convinced the order is lawful. Yates wrote that, as the leader of the Justice Department, she must ensure that the department’s position is “legally defensible” and “consistent with this institution’s solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right.”
“At present, I am not convinced that the defense of the Executive Order is consistent with these responsibilities nor am I convinced that the Executive Order is lawful,” Yates wrote. She wrote that “for as long as I am the Acting Attorney General, the Department of Justice will not present arguments in defense of the Executive Order, unless and until I become convinced that it is appropriate to do so.”
You can read Dan Savage's take on this here.
In Trump's First Airstrikes Overseas, At Least 10 Women and Children Were Killed in Yemen: One of the people killed was Nour al-Awlaki, the eight-year-old daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki, a US-born Yemeni imam and alleged senior recruiter for al-Qaeda, Aljazeera reports.
The US military said it killed 14 members of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Sunday's dawn raid in the southern province of al-Bayda that involved missiles and helicopter machine guns.
In a statement, the Pentagon did not refer to any civilian casualties, although a US military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they could not be ruled out.
The official also said that one US commando died, three others were wounded and that military forces did not take any prisoners from the site.