U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services chief spoke at event hosted by anti-immigration think tank
The Center for Immigration Studies has been called a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and on Wednesday, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Lee Francis Cissna spoke at the organization's annual Immigration Newsmakers event.
CIS is a think tank founded by white nationalist John Tanton, The Daily Beast reports, and it's known for publishing false information on immigration. The group wants to see not only an increase in the detention and deportation of undocumented immigrants, but also a reduction in legal immigration. CIS policy director Jessica Vaughan asked Cissna about the Trump administration's hardline approach. "For whatever reason, our authority on enforcement has not been fully exercised in the past," Cissna said. "Well, now it will be. Everything we [do] at the agency should be guided by the law, not any other thing. That's our Bible."
Cissna is the son of a Peruvian immigrant, The Daily Beast reports, and became head of the federal agency in October. He shared why he decided to remove the words "We are a nation of immigrants" from the USCIS mission statement, saying he wanted to "redefine, clarify, what the purpose of the agency is. I looked at the old mission statement and I concluded it didn't really do that. So I started from scratch."
This isn't the first time a Trump administration official has appeared at the event: Before Cissna, Thomas Homan, former director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and James McHenry, director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review, both attended. Catherine Garcia
Federal Emergency Management Agency officials say that the agency's former personnel chief is being investigated following accusations of rampant sexual harassment, The Washington Post reports.
A female employee told FEMA Administrator William "Brock" Long she was harassed in 2015 by Corey Coleman, and Long forwarded her allegation to the general counsel's office, triggereing a seven-month internal investigation. During the inquiry it was discovered that Coleman hired men who were friends and fraternity brothers, the Post reports, and women he met at bars and while online-dating. Coleman allegedly promoted the women without going through the proper channels, and transferred others to different departments so his friends could try to initiate sexual relationships with them.
Coleman led the the agency's personnel department from 2011 to June 18, resigning right before his interview with investigators, FEMA officials told the Post. Long said the HR department is "toxic," and the investigation is "not going to stop" with Coleman. Due to Coleman's "unacceptable leadership style," many good employees left the agency, Long said, and there are now several unqualified people on staff that he hired. For more on the investigation and Coleman's relationships with women he hired, visit The Washington Post. Catherine Garcia
During a forum on gun control last week in Tucson, a Republican candidate for Arizona's Legislative District 2 stood up and said that he is proof of the importance of, in case of an attack, having a "good guy there with a gun."
Bobby Wilson said that when he was a teenager, he shot and killed a person who came into his room and wanted him dead, The Arizona Republic reports. "You can pass all the laws you want to in this world, and when you've got somebody out there that wants to harm somebody, they're going to do it if you don't stop them," he said.
The person he killed wasn't a burglar or a stranger, but rather his mother, Lavonne. Wilson was 18 and living in Hugo, Oklahoma, when the incident occurred. He said he woke up one morning "to find a rifle in my face," and he ended up having to dodge six bullets. He reached for the gun he kept under his bed, and used that to shoot his mom. The story doesn't end there, though. His younger sister, Judy, was also killed; Wilson said his mother swung her gun and accidentally hit her in the back of the head, killing the 17-year-old.
Wilson told The Arizona Republic there were glass containers in his room filled with gasoline, and when the bullets started to fly, several shattered. When he went to turn on the light, a spark landed on the ground and the house went up in flames. He said it wasn't until he became a lawyer years later that he remembered all this, because he had amnesia after the shooting.
Newspaper reports from the time say Wilson confessed to shooting his mother, and when his sister ran at him, he crushed her skull with the rifle. He placed their bodies on a bed, then set the house on fire. He was tried on homicide charges, but after a jury agreed he had amnesia, the judge halted the trial until he could remember what happened. After seven years, Wilson asked for the charges to be dismissed, and a judge agreed. Read more about this bizarre tale at The Arizona Republic. Catherine Garcia
'Disgraceful,' 'shameful,' 'damn near traitorous': Conservatives rail on Trump's disastrous Putin summit
The conservatives aren't alright. After President Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and held a joint press conference with the Russian leader Monday, conservatives took to Twitter to voice their displeasure.
First up to bat was Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), who quickly condemned Trump's "bizarre" equivalence of the U.S. and Russia's roles in destroying their relationship. "When the president plays these moral equivalence games," Sasse said in a statement, "he gives Putin a propaganda win he desperately needs." Sasse's fellow Republican, Sen. Jeff Flake (Ariz.), wrote that he thought Trump's performance was "shameful."
I never thought I would see the day when our American President would stand on the stage with the Russian President and place blame on the United States for Russian aggression. This is shameful.
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) July 16, 2018
Still, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) had perhaps the most savage take of them all:
.@SenJohnMcCain: "Today’s press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory. The damage inflicted by President Trump’s naiveté, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate." pic.twitter.com/JWMdvAaSXg
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) July 16, 2018
Away from Capitol Hill, Republican strategist Mike Murphy blasted Trump's "damn near traitorous" remarks, calling the press conference "the most depressing, disgusting, toadying, weak, moronic, [and] lie-stuffed" appearance in the "long history of the American presidency." Former Republican congressman Joe Walsh called the event "the final straw," saying he would "never support Trump again." CNN host S.E. Cupp, meanwhile, rounded things off with a solid dose of sarcasm, which you can see below. Kathryn Krawczyk
Good lord, Trump plays a great Russian agent on TV.
— S.E. Cupp (@secupp) July 16, 2018
This barely treatable pathogen is popping up all over the world — and scientists don't know how to stop it
Scientists have only known about the Candida auris pathogen since 2009, but it's already rocking the medical world.
This deadly yeast is resistant to antibiotics. It's more infectious than Ebola. And it's popping up everywhere.
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are a common story, Wired notes in an article detailing C. auris' rise. But this is a yeast — something so common and relatively harmless in humans that there isn't much research on how to treat them. There are hundreds of antibiotics out there to try on new bacteria, but only a handful of antifungal drugs — none of which treated C. auris when it first appeared as an ear infection in 2009.
Doctors only had one option to treat that initial infection: a set of toxic, IV-only antifungals that leave patients with intense fevers and chills, Wired says. And then two more C. auris infections occurred, in two separate countries, and both in patients' bloodstreams. This time, the infection didn't respond to the toxic treatment, and its 1-year-old and 74-year-old victims died.
Researchers quickly realized how devastating a C. auris outbreak could be. The CDC warned of its global rise in June 2016, but that didn't stop at least 340 cases from popping up in the U.S. as of May 30. All the American outbreaks stem from different sources: a South Asian strain in Oklahoma and Connecticut; a South American strain in Massachusetts and Florida. Up to 60 percent of those infected around the world have died, per Wired.
Without an effective treatment, doctors resort to old-school methods of isolating patients and disinfecting hospital rooms with bleach. C. auris' spread was only stopped in extremely hygienic facilities, per the CDC. It recommends washing your hands to avoid this superbug, which you can read more about at Wired. Kathryn Krawczyk
President Trump's personal driver of 25 years is suing Trump for failing to pay him overtime, Bloomberg reports. Driver Noel Cintron says he was skimped some 3,300 hours of overtime pay in the past six years — the maximum he can sue for because of the statute of limitations.
It is hardly the first time Trump has been accused of failing to pay his employees what they are owed. In 2016, Trump faced at least 60 lawsuits from people accusing him of "failing to pay them for their work," USA Today found, as well as more than 200 mechanics liens filed by contractors and employees alleging Trump owed them money. At the time, his companies also faced 24 citations since 2005 for violating the Fair Labor Standards act by "failing to pay overtime or minimum wage."
Trump's driver was expected to start work at 7 a.m. and end whenever the Trump family or their business associates no longer needed him, resulting in the occasional 55-hour work week. Cintron was paid a fixed salary of $75,000 starting in 2010, although that raise from $68,000 came with his health insurance being axed. He is seeking some $200,000 in damages.
Cintron, 59, is a registered Republican who has worked for the Trump Organization in total for over 30 years. He stopped working as Trump's driver when Trump became president and the Secret Service took over. Jeva Lange
Justice Clarence Thomas' wife dismisses wrestlers who say they were sexually assaulted under Jim Jordan's watch
The wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas defended Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) on Monday, claiming Jordan is "under attack" because he "threatens the elite." Jordan has come under criticism over his repeated denials of knowing anything about allegations of rampant sexual abuse by Ohio State University's team doctor when Jordan was serving as an assistant wrestling coach at the school.
Wow: Ginni Thomas—wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas—goes to bat for Jim Jordan, claiming that sexual assault victims are bringing "false accusations" that he knew of their abuse "because he threatens the elite." https://t.co/GYR5sTOIqf pic.twitter.com/egXrkak7pQ
— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) July 9, 2018
President Trump has told reporters that he doesn't believe the wrestlers, who say they told Jordan about the abuse and that it was an open secret at the school. In a legal filing, one wrester claims the doctor sexually assaulted or raped "a minimum of 1,500/2,000 athletes at OSU from 1978 through 1998."
While many have observed that the wife of a Supreme Court justice is perhaps not the best positioned individual to be bashing "the elite," her husband also notably faced a sexual harassment scandal of his own during his confirmation hearings in 1991. Jeva Lange
Bill Shine's wife had a shockingly racist Twitter feed until her husband joined the Trump administration
When former Fox News executive Bill Shine officially joined the White House communications team on Thursday, his wife's Twitter account was deleted.
But before that happened, Mediaite nabbed screenshots of some of Darla Shine's most unsavory posts, sharing them with the public on Friday. Over the years, Shine traversed a diverse range of hot-button issues, airing her grievances on everything from vaccines to Stormy Daniels. Shine also tweeted a number of racist and Islamophobic opinions, the screenshots show.
Darla Shine deleted her Twitter account as soon as Bill Shine officially joined the Trump administration, but I saved all her tweets — here's a sampling of her hot takes https://t.co/BUs9RQ1i7A pic.twitter.com/TGTNVbROX2
— Caleb Ecarma (@calebecarma) July 6, 2018
Shine, who ran a blog and podcast about being a "happy housewife," complained repeatedly about not being to use the n-word, demanding that "blacks stop using the N word!" in the interest of fairness. She also defended University of Oklahoma students who sang a racist song about "never" allowing black students into their fraternity, and said that "Big Pharma" was to blame for Charleston shooter Dylann Roof's actions. The Confederate flag fan additionally wanted to ban "the Muslim face veil" worn by American Muslim women, and claimed that "1 out of 10 black boys has autism!"
Neither Darla nor Bill Shine responded to Mediaite's requests for comment. Darla's many, many unfounded and offensive claims have been scrubbed from the web, but more of them are available for viewing at Mediaite. Summer Meza