The Administration Rushed on a Sweeping Immigration Policy. We Found Substantive, Sloppy Mistakes.

by Dara Lind and Yeganeh Torbati This month, the Trump White House unveiled a new policy it had aggressively pushed through the regulatory process that makes it much harder for low-income immigrants, especially those who had used public benefits, to come to or remain in the United States. The proposal — known as the “public charge” rule, since it creates a complicated test to determine whether an immigrant is “likely to be a public charge” — has the potential to dramatically restrict who’s allowed to settle in the country. And many people who work with immigrants, including social service providers and local and state governments, are worried that it will scare them away from using benefits they and their families need to thrive. To soften the blow, the rule contains a few exceptions — groups of immigrants who are allowed … Continue reading

Some of the Country’s Worst Prisons Have Escaped Justice Department Action

by Jerry Mitchell, Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting Mississippi has saved a lot of money on its prisons over the past several years. But as the experiences of next-door neighbor Alabama show, rampant violence and understaffing can eventually draw scrutiny from the U.S. Justice Department, with potentially costly consequences. In April, the Justice Department concluded that “there is reasonable cause to believe that the men’s prisons [in Alabama] fail to protect prisoners from prisoner-on-prisoner violence and prisoner-on-prisoner sexual abuse, and fail to provide prisoners with safe conditions.” It demanded that the state fix the problems or face possible litigation. Alabama’s prisons are so bad, they violate the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees against cruel and unusual punishment, the Justice Department has said. Mississippi’s prisons may be as bad, or even worse, the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting and ProPublica reported. The ratio … Continue reading

Sen. Elizabeth Warren Asks Why The Justice Department Went Easy on Big Banks

by Kevin Wack, American Banker, and Jesse Eisinger, ProPublica Sen. Elizabeth Warren is demanding information from the Justice Department about actions that Trump administration officials took last year to reduce the penalties against two large banks that sold faulty mortgages to investors in the run-up to the financial crisis. “These weak settlements send a clear message to financial institutions and white-collar criminals that they can evade accountability as long as they are wealthy and well connected,” wrote Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, in a letter Monday to Attorney General William Barr. “It is unconscionable that the Administration is refusing to hold corporate criminals fully accountable for their role in the financial crisis.” Political appointees at the DOJ’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., overruled the judgments of staff prosecutors who wanted Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland to pay substantially higher penalties … Continue reading

The Car Seat Industry Helped Delay a Child Safety Regulation — Again

by Daniela Porat A long-awaited federal safety standard to test child car seats for their effectiveness in side-impact car crashes has been delayed to March 2020 — more than six years since the regulation was first proposed and nearly two decades since Congress urged the Department of Transportation to address the issue. Attempts to improve car seat safety have bogged down because of a lack of good data on accidents involving children, antiquated technology and industry lobbying. The car seat industry has sought to delay the side-impact rule, arguing that the government should not act without also updating its other safety standards for car seats. Joseph Colella, the director of child passenger safety for the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, said that having to test multiple types of child car seats under varying crash scenarios with different testing tools would impose … Continue reading