Primary Sources on Current Political Topics
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Primary sources only. If published news source are included, the quotes in question should be fully attributed with actual names -- this collection is intended to help us see the sources behind the news reports rather than the news reports themselves.
TopicType of actionSourceTitleDateBrief summary/explanation/key quotation
ImmigrationBill 158 - Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015Passed House (12/08/2015)Puts additional constraints on the Visa Waver Program (not visas themselves) for people who have traveled in "Iraq, Syria, or other country or area of concern" (section 3). H.R. 158 specifically names the countries of Iraq and Syria and covers Iran and Sudan by incorporating reference to existing government lists that name Iran and Sudan. DHS explicitly named these four countries and added Libya, Somalia, and Yemen in February 2016: Passed the House and was introduced to the senate, but then was rolled into H.R. 2029 and passed into law that way.
ImmigrationLaw USC 1187: Visa waiver program for certain visitors1986The law that the "Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015" ammended - the source of the 7 countries that Trump's EO implicated.
ImmigrationPresidential Proclamation of Entry of Aliens Subject to United Nations Security Council Travel Bans and International Emergency Economic Powers Act Sanctions7/24/2011bars entry for any individual alien affected by the United Nations’ travel ban and any individual alien who meets the criteria of various previous executive orders
ImmigrationPresidential Proclamation of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons Who Participate in Serious Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Violations and Other Abuses08/09/2011Suspends entry into the U.S. by people who have planned or committed acts of terrorism.
ImmigrationPresidential Proclamation of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons Who Participate in Serious Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Violations and Other Abuses8/9/2011Bars “entry into the United States, as immigrant or nonimmigrant” any individual alien who has been involved with terrorism or war crimes.
ImmigrationLaw U.S. Code § 1182 - Inadmissible aliens1952"(f) Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by President Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate."
ImmigrationLaw U.S. Code § 1152 - Aliens and Nationality1965"1) Nondiscrimination
(A) Except as specifically provided in paragraph (2) and in sections 1101(a)(27), 1151(b)(2)(A)(i), and 1153 of this title, no person shall receive any preference or priority or be discriminated against in the issuance of an immigrant visa because of the person's race, sex, nationality, place of birth, or place of residence."
ArtsAnnual Report Annual Report of the NEA2016includes budget numbers, such as $116 milion from the feds -- Related to Trump's proposed cuts and also to this tweet:
Trump Security CostsArticle Lady Melania Trump And Son Barron Might Stay In NYC After All, Reports Say2/1/2017[wish I could find a better recent source] Sources tell CBS2 the city spends $500,000 a day to protect Trump Tower when the president is in town. It would be somewhat less if it’s Melania and Barron, sources say, but still significant “because there are still two people to protect.”

“We know there will be two distinct per day costs. One when President Trump is in New York City, and one when he is not. We are currently determining what those look like,” spokesperson for Mayor de Blasio, Freddi Goldstein, said. (related to this tweet:
ImmigrationCultural Artifact and the wolf chewed up the children and spit out their bones... but those were foreign children and it really didn't matter.1941Dr Seuss did many political cartoons, including this one where the parent's t-shirt says "America first."
CandidatesLaw Restriction of Political Campaign Intervention by Section 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Organizations2016Potential constraints on Non-Profits if Trump is a candidate for a four years of his first term.
CandidatesFEC Filing of Candidacy - Donald Trump1/20/2017Trump filed as a candidate for his second term on the day he took office.
CandidatesFEC Filing of Candidacy - Barak Obama4/4/2011Obama filed as a candidate for his second term during his third year in office.
CandidatesFEC Filing of Candidacy - George W Bush5/15/2003Bush filed as a candidate for his second term during his third year in office.
CandidatesFEC Filing of Candidacy - Bill Clinton4/14/1995Clinton filed as a candidate for his second term during his third year in office.
ImmigrationHearing before the subcommittee on conterterrorism and intelligence of the committee on Homeland Security12/4/2012 In 2011, the Obama administration reexamined 58,000 Iraqi refugees who had already been admitted to the US
ImmigrationArticle, Mr. President: The Obama Administration Did Nothing Similar to Your Immigration Ban1/30/2017Jon Finer, who served as chief of staff to Secretary of State John Kerry and was the director of policy planning at the State Department, wrote: "While the flow of Iraqi refugees slowed significantly during the Obama administration’s review, refugees continued to be admitted to the United States during that time, and there was not a single month in which no Iraqis arrived here. In other words, while there were delays in processing, there was no outright ban."
ImmigrationLawsuit of Washington and State of Minnesota v Donald Trump2/1/2017Suit against the President's Executive Order banning immigration from 7 middleeastern countries. (uploaded by Minnesota Public Radio)
ImmigrationLaw - Consolidated Appropriations Act, 201612/18/2015Consolodated H.R. 158 and others into the year-end spending bill that Obama signed into law.
immigrationExecutive Order the Property and Suspending Entry Into the United States of Certain Persons With Respect to Grave Human Rights Abuses by the Governments of Iran and Syria via Information Technology4/22/2012Blocks individual aliens who have provided goods or services to Iran or Syria that were likely to contribute to those two countries committing human rights violations.
ImmigrationPress Release Announces Further Travel Restrictions for the Visa Waiver Program2/18/2016Department of Homland Security press release includes: "Last month, the United States began implementing changes under the Act. The three additional countries designated today join Iran, Iraq, Sudan and Syria as countries subject to restrictions for Visa Waiver Program travel for certain individuals." And: "The Secretary of Homeland Security has determined that Libya, Somalia, and Yemen be included as countries of concern."
ImmigrationPress Release States Begins Implementation of Changes to the Visa Waiver Program1/21/2016Department of Homeland Security press release lists the original 4 countries that were included in the updates to the Visa Waiver Program: Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria.
ImmigrationInternal Memo[Includes memo provisionally revoking visas, filed as part of the case Louhghalam et al v. Trump]1/27/2017Edward Ramotowski, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fisa Services: "I hereby provisionally revoke all valid nonimmigrant and immigrant visas of nationals of ' Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, subject to the exceptions discussed below."
ImmigrationPress Release By Secretary John Kelly On The Entry Of Lawful Permanent Residents Into The United States1/29/2017"I hereby deem the entry of lawful permanent residents to be in the national interest.

Accordingly, absent the receipt of significant derogatory information indicating a serious threat to public safety and welfare, lawful permanent resident status will be a dispositive factor in our case-by-case determinations."
ImmigrationCourt Documents v Trump docket1/28/2017One of the lawsuits regarding Trump's immigration ban. News reports say that numbers of revoked visas were discussed during a hearing on this case 2/3/2017. (see, for example,
ImmigrationCourt Documents Restraining Order (part of the State of Washinton v Trump case]4/3/2017Orders that the federal government is not allowed to enforce sections 3(c), 5(a), 5(b), 5(c), and 5(e) of the Executive order barring immigration from the 7 countries. The order is nation-wide. Judge Robart says, "The work of the Judiciary, and this court, is limited to ensuring that the actions taken by the other two branches comport with our country's laws, and more importantly, our Constitution."`
ImmigrationOfficial Statement House official statement in response to Washington State ruling of 4/3/20174/3/2017[yes, this really is the official official version, linked to by the white house twitter account, but as of 4/4/2017 not posted to the official White House website] "Statement by the Press Secretary:
At the earliest possible time, the Department of Justice intends to file an emergency stay of this order and defend the executive order of the President, which we believe is lawful and appropriate. The president’s order is intended to protect the homeland and he has the constitutional authority and responsibility to protect the American people.
As the law states, "Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.""
immigrationExecutive Order Certain Transactions With and Suspending Entry Into the United States of Foreign Sanctions Evaders With Respect to Iran and Syria5/1/2012Blocks individual aliens who have violated economic sanctions against Iran and Syria.
ImmigrationPresidential Memo and Streamlining the U.S. Immigrant Visa System for the 21st Century11/26/2014Directs stakeholders (esp Homeland Security) to improve visa systems
ImmigrationPresidential Memo Welcoming Communities and Fully Integrating Immigrants and Refugees11/26/2014creates taskforce to evaluate and improve immigration strategies
ImmigrationExecutive Order the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States1/27/2017Trump suspends visas and entry of immigrants from Syria indefinitely and "from countries referred to in section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12)" for 90 days. "I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants and nonimmigrants, of such persons for 90 days from the date of this order (excluding those foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas)." (See for the DHS' list of the 7 countries referenced in this EO.)
ImmigrationExecutive Order Property of Certain Persons With Respect to South Sudan4/3/2014Blocks individual aliens who have violated sanctions against South Sudan.
immigrationOfficial Statement Statement on Compliance with Recent Court Order2/4/2017"In accordance with the judge's ruling, DHS has suspended any and all actions implementing the affected sections of the Executive Order entitled, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States."

This includes actions to suspend passenger system rules that flag travelers for operational action subject to the Executive Order.

DHS personnel will resume inspection of travelers in accordance with standard policy and procedure.

At the earliest possible time, the Department of Justice intends to file an emergency stay of this order and defend the president's Executive Order, which is lawful and appropriate. The order is intended to protect the homeland and the American people, and the president has no higher duty and responsibility than to do so."
ImmigrationLawsuit v. Trump 3:17-cv-00557 ( N.D. Cal.)2/2/3017Claims that the Executive order, together with the president's tweets, make it a defacto muslim ban.
LibelLawsuit v Buzzfeed2/3/2017Aleksej Gubarev claims that Buzzfeed defamed him when they published the unverified dossier against Trump.
FinanceExecutive Order Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs1/30/2017"Sec. 2. Regulatory Cap for Fiscal Year 2017. (a) Unless prohibited by law, whenever an executive department or agency (agency) publicly proposes for notice and comment or otherwise promulgates a new regulation, it shall identify at least two existing regulations to be repealed."
FinanceLaw[to find][power to reverse regulations within 60 days with a majority vote][1990s][used to roll back some environmental protections during the week of 1/30/2017]
EnvirontmentCongressional resolution - Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the final rule of the National Park Service relating to "General Provisions and Non-Federal Oil and Gas Rights"1/30/2017Seeks to invalidate Federal Register (80 FR 65572) within the 60-day interval required by 5 U.S.C §802
EnvirontmentLaw Review of Agency RulemakingAllows Congress to "disapprove" and therefore block rules/laws within 60 days.
EnvirontmentRule Provisions and Non-Federal Oil and Gas Rights11/4/2016
EnvirontmentReport Federal Financial Interventions and Subsidies in Energy in Fiscal Year 201305/12/2015U.S. Energy Information Administration comprehensive report on energy subsidies, for the House Committee on Energy and Commerce
EnvirontmentReport States Self-Review of Fossil Fuel Subsidies Submitted December 2015 to the G-20 Peer Reviewers12/2015members of the G20 have since engaged in a voluntary process of periodically reporting on their fossil-fuel subsidies
EnvirontmentReport United States’ efforts to phase out and rationalise its inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies9/5/2016China's review of U.S. policies (unfavorable)
Trump FinancesLawsuit Trump v Tarpley & Mail Media Inc9/1/2016Trump sues for defamation. Failed because court decided it didn't have jurisdiction
ElectionsBill - Election Assistance Commission Termination Act
FinancePresidential Memorandum Duty Rule: Memorandum for the Secretary of Labor2/3/2017
ProtestsBill HF 3221/26/2017"(a) A person is civilly liable for public safety response costs if the person is convicted of participating in an unlawful assembly under section 609.705, being present at an unlawful assembly under section 609.715, or committing a public nuisance under section 609.74. "
ProtestsBill HF 3901/23/2017Makes things like blocking roads into a misdemeanor, which would make them subject to lawsuit under MN HF 322.
Trump FinancesLawsuit Trump v Mail Media Inc2/7/2017Melania Trump sues for defamation, claiming libel that will prevent her from making extra money now that she has a "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunity in the public eye.
The Wall[find out about it][DBCFT Tax][Market Place Money episode explores in some detail]
ProtestsLetter[Letters sent by UC Berkeley admin re Yiannopoulos event]Warns of potential that Yiannopoulos would target individual undocumented students.
ProtestsBill SB 944 and HB 6682/9/2017"As introduced, provides civil immunity for the driver of an automobile who injures a protester who is blocking traffic in a public right-of-way if the driver was exercising due care. - Amends TCA Title 19; Title 20; Title 29, Chapter 34; Title 54 and Title 55." Bill info:
ProtestsBill SB 2851/9/2017"Requires a responsible public official to, not later than 15 minutes after the responsible public official learns of a mass traffic obstruction, dispatch all available law enforcement personnel with instructions to clear the roads of persons unlawfully obstructing vehicular traffic. "
ProtestsBill State SB 500912/15/2016"Authorizes the prosecuting attorney to file a special allegation when sufficient evidence exists to show that an accused or accomplice committed an offense to cause an economic disruption."
ProtestsBill HB 46435-26-2015"House Bill 4643 would amend Public Act 176 of 1939, which created the Employment Relations Commission, to modify the penalties for mass picketing. In addition to the current misdemeanor penalties, a civil fine could be levied and injunctive relief would be available."
ProtestsBill Dakota HB 12031/9/2017"a driver of a motor vehicle who negligently causes injury or death to an individual obstructing vehicular traffic on a public road, street, or highway may not be held liable for any damages."
ProtestsBill SB 10551/6/2017"Remaining at place of riot or unlawful assembly after warning to disperse; penalty. Increases from a Class 3 to a Class 1 misdemeanor the penalty for failure to leave the place of any riot or unlawful assembly after having been lawfully warned to disperse."

ProtestsBill increases penalties for environmental protesters who tamper with oil and gas equipment.
ProtestsBill SB 17-0621/13/2017"The bill prohibits public institutions of higher education from restricting a student's constitutional right to speak in any way in a public forum."
ProtestsBill SF 1111/19/2017"An Act prohibiting persons from intentionally blocking the movement of traffic on certain highways, and providing a penalty."
ProtestsBill HB 17912/8/2016Protesting while masked becomes a crime
ProtestsBill HB 8262/2/2017"This bill establishes the offense of unlawful traffic interference."
ProtestsBillpossibly still not introduced? and CarolinaThe proposed legislation would “make it a crime to threaten, intimidate, or retaliate against a present or former North Carolina official in the course of, or on account of, the performance of his or her duties,” Bishop said.

Read more here:
ProtestsConstitutional Amendment Amendment12/15/1791Prohbits Congress from restricting the freedom to peaceful assembly
ProtestsConstitutional Amendment Amendment6/16/1866Prohibits States from bridging rights of citizens, including the right to peaceful assembly
EthicsExecutive Order Commitments by Executive Branch Appointees1/28/2017It seems that original versions of the EO had a typo? and see also
Terrorism[find out] requested. Reported on here
LGBTQ+Court Documents{find]re
LGBTQ+Court Documents
Health CareReport National Health Expendature Data12/6/2016
The National Health Expenditure Accounts (NHEA) are the official estimates of total health care spending in the United States. Dating back to 1960.
Health CareReport National Health Expendature Data2/15/2017
Trump Security CostsReport TRAVEL: Estimated Costs for a Specific Presidential Trip to Illinois and Florida10/11/2016Perhaps the report referenced here "Trump’s three Mar-a-Lago trips since the inauguration have likely cost the federal treasury roughly $10 million, based on figures used in an October government report analyzing White House travel"
Trump Security CostsBudget Congressional Budget Justification vol 2: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Coast Guard 2017Coast Guard helps protect the President and First Family on trips
Trump Security CostsBudget Congressional Budget Justification vol 3: U.S. Secret Service, National Protection and Programs Directorate, Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
2017Secret Service budget justification. Page 8 Obama protective detail 2016. Page 9, "Presidential Protective Division (PPD): This division protects the President of the United States and members of his
immediate family at all times; conducts protective security surveys and performs numerous special projects pertinent to
Presidential and First Family protection. " Pages 13-14 travel costs of protectees (PDF pp 21-22). Page 15 Former President Obama's new detail (PDF 23). Page 18 Enhanced Operational Mission Support (OMS) protects residences (PDF page 26)
FinanceReport REGULATIONS: Agencies' Efforts to Analyze and Coordinate Their Recent Final Rules12/29/2016There's a provision in the statute for the GAO to study these financial services regulations annually. This is the 6th such study.
ImmigrationLegal Documents v Eldred 5:16-cr-000892/17/2017page 3: "Seizure of Eldred's laptop was permitted under the Fourth Amendment based on the plain-view doctrine and the exigent-circumstances doctrine." page 14 quotes "Every federal court to address this issue has held that subscriber informationo provided to an internet provider is not protected by the Fourth Amendment's privacy expectations." page 19: "Based on this definition, a laptop is a "container" for Fourth Amendment purposes" (like a suitcase).
ImmigrationLegal Documents v Proa 3:16-cr-02437-BEN 2/16/2017page 8: "The permissability of a warrantless search of a cell phone belonging to a person entering the United States at an international border was addressed by this Court in a previous case. [citation] The Court found and continues to hold that it is bound by Ninth Circuit authority to the border search doctrine which permits law enforcement at the international border to perform a cursory search of a digital device upon something less than reasonable suspicion without violating the Fourth Amendment."
ImmigrationLaw 41search and seizure
ImmigrationLegal Documents States v. Martinez-Fuerte, 428 U.S. 543 (supreme court)1976International airports are borders
ImmigrationLegal Documents States v. Ramsey
431 U.S. 606 (supreme court)
1977Border Search Exception - doctrine that allows search and seizure at borders without probable cause
immigrationConstitutional Amendment Amendment"The right of the people to be secure in their persons,
houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no Warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
immigrationMemo the President's Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvement Policies2/20/2017implementing the Executive Order entitled "Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements," issued by the President on January 25, 2017, which establishes the President's policy regarding effective border security and immigration enforcement through faithful execution of the laws of the United States.
immigrationMemo of the Immigration Laws to Serve the National Interest2/20/2017implementing the Executive Order entitled "Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States," issued by the President on January 25, 2017. It constitutes guidance for all Department personnel regarding the enforcement of the immigration laws of the United States, and is applicable to the activities of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). As such, it should inform enforcement and removal activities, detention decisions, administrative litigation, budget requests and execution, and strategic planning.
immigrationOfficial Statement From Secretary Kelly On Recent ICE Enforcement Actions2/13/2017"Last week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) launched a series of targeted enforcement operations across the country. These operations targeted public safety threats, such as convicted criminal aliens and gang members, as well as individuals who have violated our nation’s immigration laws, including those who illegally re-entered the country after being removed and immigration fugitives ordered removed by federal immigration judges."
immigrationFact Sheet of Immigration Authority Section 287(g) Immigration and Nationality Act - information pageIncludes a list of states with signed agreements with ICE
immigrationLaw USC § 1357(g) [AKA 287(g) Program]1997law allowing the Attorney General to delegate ICE authorities to state law enforcement
immigrationAnnual Report Year 2016 ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations Report12/30/2016Includes comparative statistics on deportations
ImmigrationExecutive Order Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements1/25/2017DHS now has policies related to this EO:
ImmigrationExecutive Order Public Safety in the Interior of the United States1/25/2017"Sanctuary jurisdictions across the United States willfully violate Federal law in an attempt to shield aliens from removal from the United States. These jurisdictions have caused immeasurable harm to the American people and to the very fabric of our Republic. [...] In furtherance of the policy described in section 2 of this order, I hereby direct agencies to employ all lawful means to ensure the faithful execution of the immigration laws of the United States against all removable aliens." Lists priorities for removal at Will enter into agreements with governors under 287(g) Sanctuary jurisdictions won't receive federal money Privacy policies shouldn't extend to non-citizens DHS now has policies about immigration control related to this EO:
ImmigrationMemo for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants11/20/2014invalidated by EO and DHS policy
ImmigrationMemo Communities11/20/2014
invalidated by EO and DHS policy
ImmigrationLaw and Nationality Act (INA)1965listed in the manner referred to in DHS memos and EOs -- this is also known as chapter 12 of 8 USC
ImmigrationMemo Policy Guidance1/7/2009invalidated by new memo:
LGBTQ+guidelines"Dear Colleague" letter interpreting Title IX regarding transgender people and bathrooms5/13/2016
LGBTQ+guidelines to Emily Prince 1/7/2015[doesn't seem to be available through official channels]
LGBTQ+guidelines"Dear Colleague" letter withdrawing the 2016 and 2015 guidance about transgender bathroom use under Title IX2/22/2017
LGBTQ+Court Documents granted in case 16-273 Gloucester County School Board v G.G.10/28/2016Transgender status under Title IX - hearings scheduled for 3/28/2017