Tuesday, March 19, 2019

BREAKING: Supreme Court sides with Trump on detention of immigrants

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled in favor of the Trump administration by deciding federal officials can detain immigrants at any time for possible deportation after they have served their time in the U.S. for other crimes.

The 5-4 decision reversed the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which said officials have to detain these immigrants immediately or they are exempt from ever being detained.

Justice Samuel Alito delivered the majority opinion for the court, and he was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh.

Justices Steven Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan dissented.

At the center of the case are immigrants Mony Preap and Bassam Yusuf Khoury, who are in the U.S. as lawful permanent residents. Both were convicted of crimes and served their sentences but were not detained by immigration authorities for removal proceedings until years after they were released from criminal custody.

The dispute focused on a federal law that says the Department of Homeland Security can detain immigrants convicted of certain crimes “when the alien is released” from criminal custody.

Lawyers for Preap and Khoury, as well as other immigrants in similar circumstances, argued they are exempt from mandatory detention because of the gap in their custody, as the statute applies only if the immigrant is taken into custody immediately upon release.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed, and in a 2016 ruling, the appeals court said the word “when” in the statute “conveys immediacy,” and immigration detention has to occur promptly after the immigrant is released from criminal custody.

The Trump administration argued that the government has the authority to detain immigrants as they await deportation, even if they are arrested by immigration authorities years after serving their sentences. The Supreme Court agreed.

Reading his dissent from the bench, Breyer warned the "greater importance in the case lies in the power that the majority's interpretation grants to the government."

"It is a power to detain persons who committed a minor crime many years before. And it is a power to hold those persons, perhaps for many months, without any opportunity to obtain bail," he wrote.



CNN Poll: Trump Approval Climbs to 42 Percent

By Jason Devaney  | Newsmax

President Donald Trump's approval rating climbed to its highest since last August in a new CNN survey.

Trump has garnered rising approval ratings in other recent polls as well, with an NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey giving him a 46 percent approval rating earlier this month.

Key numbers in the results of the latest CNN Poll conducted by SSRS:

  • 42 percent of U.S. adults approve of the job Trump is doing, up from 40 percent a month-and-a-half ago. It was as high as 42 percent in the CNN Poll in August 2018.
  • 51 percent approve of Trump's handling of the economy, a 3-point jump from the beginning of February.
  • Trump's approval rating on immigration fell two points and now stands at 39 percent.
  • Trump's approval rating on foreign affairs remains at 40 percent.
  • Regarding Trump's veto last week of a Congressional resolution to overturn his national declaration to secure money to build additional border wall, 55 percent said he should not have issued the veto and 35 percent said he was right to use his veto powers.
According to CNN, Trump's approval number of 42 percent puts him between former Presidents Bill Clinton (44 percent) in 1995 and Ronald Reagan (41 percent) in 1983 at this point in their presidencies.


US Consumer Sentiment Beats Forecasts

By Trading Economics

The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment for the US increased to 97.8 in March of 2019 from 93.8 in February, beating market expectations of 95.3, preliminary estimates showed. It is the highest reading in three months, amid rising income and lower inflation expectations and more positive growth prospects.

Consumer Confidence in the United States averaged 86.49 Index Points from 1952 until 2019, reaching an all-time high of 111.40 Index Points in January of 2000 and a record low of 51.70 Index Points in May of 1980.

Consumer expectations rose to 89.2 from 84.4 and the gauge for current economic conditions increased to 111.2 from 108.5. Inflation expectations for the year ahead edged down to 2.4 percent from 2.6 percent in February while the 5-year outlook increased to 2.5 percent from 2.3 percent.

The early March gain in sentiment was entirely due to households with incomes in the bottom two-thirds of the distribution, whose sentiment rose to 97.4 from 90.0 in February. 

Sentiment fell among households with incomes in the top third to 98.5 in early March from 101.7 in February.

The difference that accounted for the divergence was how households evaluated their personal finances, as lower income households expressed much more positive assessments.

The divergence was due to a monthly jump of one-percentage point in income expectations among middle and lower incomes compared to a change of just one-tenth of a percentage point among those with incomes in the top third.

Rising income expectations were accompanied by lower expected year-ahead inflation rates, resulting in more favorable real income expectations.

Moreover, all income groups voiced more positive prospects for growth in the overall economy during the year ahead. Since households with incomes in the top third account for more than half of all consumer expenditures, cautious observers will conclude that the latest data are another indication that the end of the expansion is on the distant horizon.

While that may well be true, the current level of consumer sentiment at 97.8 hardly indicates an emerging downturn; even among households with incomes in the top third, the Sentiment Index is 98.5, and 97.4 in the bottom two-thirds.

The data indicate that real consumption will grow by 2.6% in 2019 and that the expansion will set a new record length by mid-year.