Tag Archives: coalition

DHS Delays Funding on Obama’s Immigration Plan after TX Judge Grants Injunction

Following a temporary restraining order from a federal judge in Texas on Monday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced on Tuesday that it will not go forward with its original plan to implement President Obama’s executive immigration order on Wednesday.

The New York Times reported that the injunction, which was filed by judge Andrew Hanen of the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Texas, “prohibited the Obama administration from carrying out programs the president announced on Nov. 20 that would offer protection from deportation and work permits to as many as five million undocumented immigrants.”

Texas is not alone in its efforts to halt Obama’s executive order, and is part of a coalition of 26 states that have filed a lawsuit against the federal government to block the order on immigration.

According to the Huffington Post, while the injunction is “not a final ruling on the constitutionality of Obama’s action,” it will “prevent the policies from moving forward as the lawsuit proceeds.

DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said that although he “strongly disagrees” with the injunction, the DHS recognizes that it “must comply” and will suspend the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, along with the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program.

“Accordingly, the Department of Homeland Security will not begin accepting requests for the expansion of DACA tomorrow, February 18, as originally planned,” said Johnson. “Until further notice, we will also suspend the plan to accept requests for DAPA.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, said that Senate Democrats, “especially those who’ve voiced opposition to the president’s executive overreach,” should end their “partisan filibuster” of DHS funding.

Senator Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, said that he felt this ruling was “very unlikely to be upheld.

It’s perfectly appropriate to take this issue to court,” said Schumer. “But it is completely unacceptable for Republicans to hold up funding for the Department of Homeland Security while the case wends its way through the legal system.”

House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, said he will continue to “follow the case as it moves through the legal process.”

The president said 22 times he did not have the authority to take the very action on immigration he eventually did, so it is no surprise that at least one court has agreed,” said Boehner. “Hopefully, Senate Democrats who claim to oppose this executive overreach will now let the Senate begin debate on a bill to fund the Homeland Security department.”

In a video from Reuters, Obama addressed the injunction, saying that he disagrees with Hanen’s ruling and the Justice Department will appeal:

U.S. Encourages Coalition Partners to Intensify Fight Against ISIS… Online?

On Monday, United States officials met with representatives from Britain, France, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Emirates in Kuwait City to discuss the current operation against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The U.S. encouraged its coalition partners to increase the fight against the Islamic State militants’ presence on the Internet, and to further combat the recruitment campaigns and other propaganda spread by the group through social networking sites such as YouTube and Twitter.

According to RT, ISIS has “embraced online media as a place to recruit people and spread their propaganda worldwide,” by releasing videos such as the one titled “There Is No Life Without Jihad,” which “allegedly shows a line-up of militants who came to Syria and later to Iraq from all over the world.”

The coordinator of the operation against ISIS, retired U.S. General John Allen, said that the group is using a “horrendous brand of warfare,” which “recruits and perverts the innocent.

According to Allen, the only way to defeat the group is to “deny the legitimacy of the message it sends to vulnerable young people.”

“I strongly encourage participants to set forth tangible work plans that will directly and rapidly counter ISIL’s propaganda in cyberspace and the press,” said Allen, using an alternative acronym to describe the group.

Yahoo News reported that, “concern is growing over the group’s online influence in attracting foreign fighters and promoting attacks by disaffected Muslims on Western targets.”

The Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Richard Stengel, highlighted the need for an “information battlefield,” to aid the campaign against ISIS.

Whatever we do collectively on the battlefield needs to be amplified on the information battlefield,” said Stengel.

Following the meeting in Kuwait City, the coalition partners released a joint statement saying that they had discussed ways to strengthen the resistance against ISIS, which included “actively opposing the recruitment of foreign fighters and encouraging important religious and social leaders, opinion makers, and the millions of young people who oppose violent extremism to raise their voices through traditional and social media.

Five Americans killed in friendly fire incident

U.S. defense officials are saying five American NATO service members were killed Monday by what is thought to be friendly-fire in southern Afghanistan.

Five servicemen were reported to have been killed by an airstrike they had called in themselves while fighting Taliban insurgents in the Zabul province of Afghanistan.  A helicopter responded to the call and opened fire on the American soldiers the crew had mistaken as the targets.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousof Ahmadi has also claimed when Taliban insurgents engaged with the coalition forces, an assault helicopter had mistaken coalition forces as Taliban members, opening fire on them.

“We had launched a clearance operation in an area with a high security threat,” Zabul police chief, General Ghulam Sakhi, whose security forces have been working with NATO, said.  “When it was over and we were returning to base, the enemy opened fire and [the U.S. troops] asked for air support. The helicopters made a mistake and targeted their own people.”

Attacks from insurgent groups have increased in the country ahead of presidential runoff elections to be held this Saturday.  According to CBS News, officials are worried more violent attacks could be on the way until the elections are over.

The majority of U.S. forces station in Afghanistan are no longer involved in direct conflicts in the country, but when U.S. forces are involved, usually they are Special Operation Forces.  It is not uncommon for these Special Operation Forces to call in air support when under extreme pressure from attackers.

This incident has brought the total number of service members killed in Afghanistan to 36 for this year.