A mere 24 hours after President Trump’s speech on Afghanistan—and a little over a week after Charlottesville—Trump will hold a rally in Phoenix, Arizona, alongside his Vice President, Mike Pence. The rally will focus on immigration, similar to Trump’s campaign rally in Phoenix last year, which drew wide condemnation. There are also rumors that Trump will issue his first presidential pardon to the infamous former sheriff Joe Arpaio, who built his career on racially profiling and cruelty towards prisoners in his jails. He also may try to use the 800,000 DREAMers in this country as a “bargaining chip” to get funding for the border wall and dramatically slash future legal immigration.
Trump’s record on immigration has been consistently awful, including threatening to end DACA and oppose the DREAM Act, build and unnecessary and costly border wall, and pursue a strategy of mass deportation. FWD.us has been collecting some of the human consequences of the Trump administration’s approach to immigration, and it’s clear that the policies are dangerous and inhumane. Huge protests are expected today, and two Arizona representatives—Grijalva and Gallego—will be hosting a press conference condemning Trump’s immigration policies. Phoenix’s mayor, Greg Stanton, asked Trump to cancel the rally, especially in light of the Charlottesville attacks. But the President ignored his pleas, promoting his rally on Twitter instead.
ACTION OF THE DAY
Arizona. While Trump readies for his rally in Phoenix tonight, it’s crucial that we speak out against racism and white supremacy. Join the conversation of Twitter by using the hashtags #DignityLooksLike and #NoPardon, and follow @PuenteAZ and @MiFamiliaVota. Also, be sure to tune into the press conference with Reps. Grijalva and Gallego at 5pm ET here.
No Substance. Trump gave his primetime speech about Afghanistan last night, but he failed to answer any of the five main questions he needed to address. His speech was short on substance, simply saying, “From now on, victory will have a clear definition. Attacking our enemies, obliterating ISIS, crushing Al Qaeda, preventing the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan and stopping mass terror attacks against America before they emerge.” He refused to say how many more troops he was deploying to Afghanistan, but the number is expected to be near 4,000 additional troops. The big takeaway from the speech? We need more answers.
#RootOutRacism. The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) has launched a new campaign aimed at rooting out racism within the White House. They are particularly looking at attacking specific Trump policies, such as “voter suppression, ending an Obama-era order to stop the use of private prisons, and a travel ban on six Muslim countries.”
NFL. A week ago, Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett called for his white teammates to join him in protesting hate and bigotry during national anthem protests. Last night, Cleveland Browns tight end Seth DeValve became the first white NFL player to kneel alongside teammates while the national anthem played. DeValve, whose wife is black, told reporters, “I myself will be raising children that don’t look like me, and I want to do my part as well to do everything I can to raise them in a better environment than we have right now.”
Ryan Town Hall. House Speaker Paul Ryan hosted his first town hall in nearly two years on CNN last night. He was pressed about Trump’s Charlottesville response, but he refused to hold the President accountable, simply saying Trump “messed up.” When asked if he would support the Congressional bill to censure Trump, he replied, “I will not support that. That would be so counterproductive.” Throughout the town hall, Ryan continued to lift up failed policy proposals from the House, such as the repeal and replace of the Affordable Care Act.
UNDER THE RADAR
At Risk. Trump’s Interior Department has stopped a study intended to discover the negative health effects associated with living near surface coal mining worksites. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, who was conducting the study in the Appalachian Mountains, released a statement saying that the Interior Department said the cessation of the project was due to the “changing budget situation.” It is suspected that mountaintop removal can cause “cancer, birth defects, cardiovascular illnesses, and more health concerns.”