Sen Cassidy Says SCOTUS Decision Gutting Voting Rights Act Justifies Restrictive State Election Laws

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Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) appeared on CNN’s State of The Union show (01/16/22) to put forward the Republican position on the push for a federal voting rights legislation(John Lewis Voting Rights Act), and also discuss the related question as to whether the U.S. Senate should change its filibuster rules to allow for the passage of the said voting rights law via a simple majority vote. When asked by host Jake Tapper why Republicans are now opposed to keeping key provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act(VRA) intact, when as recently as a decade ago they were all for it, Sen Cassidy gave a strange response which appeared to suggest that because the Roberts Supreme Court gutted key provisions of the VRA in Shelby County v Holder(2013), there is no need to be concerned about discriminatory state election laws–that this is not 1965 anymore, things have changed.

Yours Truly, and I suspect a lot of other viewers too, found Senator Cassidy’s Response quite strange because while liberals agree that this is not 1965, and that progress has been made on the civil rights front, we need to restore key aspects of the 1965 Voting Rights Act because Trump’s GOP is taking us back to 1965. In other words, Senator Cassidy, and by extension the Roberts Supreme Court, are totally wrong in their assessment that simply because this is not 1965, Republican states are no longer capable of crafting discriminatory election laws. The facts on the ground clearly show that after the 2020 election, relying on former President Trump’s “big lie“, many Republican-controlled states have hurriedly enacted election laws that reasonable people agree, disenfranchise voters of color.

Senator Cassidy specifically said on CNNSOTU(video @ 2:20 onwards): “The Supreme Court decided[paused for effect], the Supreme Court decided that the conditions in 1965 are different than the conditions now. Imagine that. We’ve had an African-American elected President of the United States, we’ve had an African-American elected to the Vice Presidency, an African-American elected to the[U.S.]Senate in South Carolina. Now, if anyone can’t see that circumstances have changed, they’re just not believing their lying eye…There’s more to do, absolutely, we need safeguards, but to argue we are still the same as we were in 1965 is to deny facts that are clearly before us.”

There’s no other way any reasonable person presented with Senator Cassidy’s response(including his pause for effect), would arrive at any other conclusion other than, because the Roberts Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013 citing changed conditions, the voter suppression laws currently popping up in red states are justified. Think about that, the new Republican rationale for voter suppression, as articulated by Senator Cassidy, is that it’s not a big deal because if it was, the Roberts Supreme Court would never have gutted key provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act–a sad state of affairs indeed.

Bottom line folks, Dems must use every tool at their disposal to get holdout Senators Kyrsten Sinema(D-AZ) and Joe Manchin(D-WV) to agree to a filibuster carveout for a federal voting rights legislation before the 2022 midterms because if they don’t, all the gains we’ve witnessed thus far as a result of the 1965 Voting Rights Act will be lost, and the Roberts Supreme Court will not lift a finger to assist. Simply put, it’s now or never for a federal voting rights law that restores key provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

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Is Lt Gov Winsome Sears The New Feel-Good Republican Of Color?

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The Republican Party has for decades fought accusations of racism from Democrats and others who do not identify with the party. As a result, Republicans have always latched onto some highly impressive African-American in their midst, as the “feel-good” Republican of color, who the party then holds out as proof that it is not a racist party.

Some of the prominent and most recent “feel-good” Republicans of color include the late General Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, both of whom served as U.S. Secretary of State, former Oklahoma Congressman JC Watts who was a star quarterback for the Sooners, and even current Senator Tim Scott(R-SC)

Well, it appears, given the reaction to her stellar performance on CNN’s State of The Union, that we have a newly-minted feel-good Republican of color—one Winsome Sears from Virginia.

Here are just some of the reactions from Republicans, super excited about Winsome Sears’ performance on CNN’s State of The Union.

It will be interesting to see how the feel-good Republican of color status shapes Winsome Sears’ political career going forward. Will she run for President in 2024? Hmm. As Trump famously says, “We’ll see what happens.”

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New Jersey Concession Speech Heard Around The World

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Jack Ciattarelli, The Republican candidate for New Jersey Governor, recently delivered a highly commendable concession speech that was seen by many as a total rebuke of Trumpism. Ever since former President Trump lost the 2020 election to Democrat Joe Biden, Trump has promoted without any evidence, the “big lie”, that the election was somehow rigged in Biden’s favor. After initial push back from some prominent establishment Republicans at the beginning of the year, the GOP now appears to have wholeheartedly embraced Trump’s big lie. It is for this reason that Ciattarelli’s concession speech expressing his total faith in our election system, is especially noteworthy and commendable.

Ciattarelli said in his speech: “For those whose faith in our election system is shaken, for those who are angry that I’m not asking for a recount today, let me say this. I’ve worked every day and night for 22 months to become New Jersey’s Governor. If you think I’d be standing here today conceding if I thought I won this election, you couldn’t be more wrong. I hate to lose…but I’m also someone who believes strongly in our republic, and our democratic processes. Enough votes have been counted. There does not appear to be a path to victory or the basis for a recount, nor do we know of any systemic or widespread fraud. So no, I see no proof that this election was stolen.”

Ciattarelli’s eye brow raising concession speech comes on the heels of a similar speech by former New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie, urging the GOP to move away from Trump’s big lie. You’ll also remember a few months ago(May), yet another former New Jersey Republican Governor, Christine Todd-Whitman, openly floated the idea of breaking away from Trump’s GOP and forming a true conservative party. Given former Governor Todd-Whitman’s public statements about breaking away from Trump’s GOP, and the recent statements by Christie and Ciatarelli, one cannot help but wonder whether the Garden State is the Ground Zero for the much anticipated GOP split.

Bottom line folks, as Yours Truly has repeatedly stated, the GOP cannot survive Trumpism, and it’s only a matter of time before the party splits as we approach the 2024 presidential election cycle. The party may remain intact if Trump exits the stage before 2024, but that prospect doesn’t appear likely. Have Garden State Republicans Christine Todd-Whitman, Chris Christie, Jack Ciattarelli, et al, already initiated the split process as we approach 2024? All in all, the 2024 GOP presidential contest will be a sight to behold, with candidates who want the party to remain loyal to former president Trump duking it out against Chris Christie, Rep Liz Cheney, et al, who want to move on. As for you, just remember to remind the mainstream media types when they drop “bombshell pieces” about the split, that Yours Truly saw it from a mile away.

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Sunday Dem Newsmakers

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A listing of the Democratic movers and shakers who appear on the various Sunday political shows to discuss the Dem agenda. Your one-stop shop for keeping up with the weekly goings-on within the Democratic Party.

Senator Amy Klobuchar(D-MN), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, appeared on NBC’s Meet The Press(12/5/21) to discuss Mississippi’s abortion law currently in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont(D-CT) appeared on CBS’ Face The Nation(12/5/21) to discuss the new Omicron case in his state, and the rising delta variant cases

Senator Chris Murphy(D-CT) appeared on CNNSOTU(12/5/21) to discuss gun reform following the recent high school shooting in Michigan, Russia’s moves on Ukraine, and other Dem agenda issues

Rep Ilhan Omar(D-MN) appeared on CNNSOTU(12/5/21) to discuss the racist/bigoted attacks against her by childish Republican Rep Lauren Boebert(CO)

Senator Amy Klobuchar(D-MN) appeared on ABC’s This Week(11/28/21) to discuss the path forward for the Build Back Better Act in the Senate, the new Omicron variant, and other Dem agenda items

Rep Adam Schiff(D-CA) appeared on CNNSOTU(11/28/21) to discuss the progress being made by the January 6th Committee

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand(D-NY) appeared on CBS’ Face The Nation(11/21/21) to discuss the path forward for the build back better act in the Senate and other Dem agenda issues, including a topic near and dear to her–military sexual assaults

Brian Deese, Director of National Economic Council and one of President Biden’s top economic advisers, appeared on Fox News Sunday to discuss inflation, build back better and other economic issues confronting the Biden admin

Beto O’Rourke appeared on CNNSOTU(11/21/21) to discuss his decision to run for Governor of Texas and other issues confronting the Lone Star State.

House Intel Chair Adam Schiff(D-CA) appeared on NBC’s Meet The Press(11/14/21) to discuss the developments in the January 6th Committee’s investigation, including Bannon’s indictment and the possible future indictments for other Trumpers

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen sat down for an interview with Face The Nation’s Margaret Brennan(aired 11/14/21) to discuss the current buzzword–inflation–, supply chain issues, and other economic issues confronting the Biden administration

Rep Karen Bass(D-CA) appeared on CNNSOTU(11/14/21) to discuss the ridiculously high gas prices in Los Angeles–inflation–, Biden’s build back better plan, racial justice and a host of other Dem agenda issues. Rep Bass is apparently interested in becoming Mayor of Los Angeles

President Biden’s top economic adviser Brian Deese appeared on CNNSOTU(11/14/21) to discuss the new buzzword–inflation–and what effect, if any, it will have on the passage of Biden’s Build Back Better plan

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm appeared on CNNSOTU (11/7/21) to discuss the recently passed infrastructure bill and what lies ahead for the passage of President Biden’s Build Back Better plan

President Biden’s Senior Adviser Cedric Richmond appeared on Fox News Sunday (11/7/21) to discuss the recently passed infrastructure bill, build back better, and other issues facing the Biden admin

Centrist/Moderate Democrat Josh Gottheimer(NJ) appeared on CNNSOTU (11/7/21) to give the Centrist/Moderate Dem view of Biden’s Build Back Better plan. Rep Gottheimer and other Centrist Dems are insisting on a CBO score before passing Biden’s build back better plan

Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), who’s also a former VA Governor, appeared on CNNSOTU (11/7/21) to dissect the recent hotly contested VA Governor race, where Democrat Terry McAuliffe lost to Republican Glenn Youngkin

The Mayor-Elect of New York City, Eric Adams, appeared on CNNSOTU (11/7/21) to discuss his interesting win, and the direction he intends to take New York City

Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) appeared on CBS’ Face The Nation (11/7/21) to discuss the recent hotly contested VA Governor race where Democrat Terry McAuliffe lost to Republican Glenn Youngkin

White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain appeared on NBC’s Meet The Press (11/7/21) to discuss the recently passed infrastructure bill, build back better, and other issues confronting Biden’s White House

Newly reelected New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy(D) appeared on NBC’s Meet The Press (11/7/21) to discuss his hard-fought win over Republican Jack Ciattarelli

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken appeared on CNNSOTU (10/31/21) to discuss President Biden’s overseas trip to the G20 Summit, COP26 Summit, Afghanistan and other foreign affairs issues

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders(I-VT) appeared on CNNSOTU (10/31/21) to discuss the ongoing budget negotiations, build back better….

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg appeared on Fox News Sunday to discuss Build Back Better and some of it’s provisions including Paid Family Leave and other transport issues

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm appeared on NBC’s Meet The Press (10/31/21) to discuss Build Back Better and other energy-related issues

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo appeared on CBS’ Face The Nation(10/31/21) to discuss Build Back Better, Inflation and other issues pertinent to her commerce portfolio

Progressive Democrat Ro Khana(CA) appeared on CBS’ Face The Nation(10/31/21) to discuss the ongoing budget negotiations, Build Back Better, and other issues near and dear to Progressives

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) appeared on CNNSOTU (10/24/21) to talk about Build Back Better, Voting Rights, and a whole host of other Dem agenda issues

Rep Bennie Thompson(D-MS) appeared on CBS’ Face The Nation(10/24/21) to discuss the progress being made by the January 6th Committee in finding out what led to the DC insurrection

Rep Ro Khanna(D-CA) appeared on Fox News Sunday(10/24/21) to discuss Build Back Better and other Progressive Dem agenda issues

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen appeared on CNNSOTU(10/24/21) to discuss inflation, supply chain disruptions, and a host of other issues affecting the U.S. economy

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky appeared on Fox News Sunday(10/24/21) to discuss booster shots and all other issues covid

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AOC Says States Have Only Doled Out $3B Of The $46B Congress Provided For Eviction Relief

Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez(D-NY) appeared on CNN’s State Of The Union(SOTU) show (08/01/2021), where she discussed among other things, the failure by her fellow House Democrats to extend the federal eviction moratorium before leaving Washington for the August recess. Rep Ocasio-Cortez made a startling revelation at the interview, saying that out of the $46 billion Congress allocated to the states for eviction relief, only $3 billion has actually been doled out to assist struggling renters, adding that some Governors, presumably Republican, are “slow-walking” the process. The full CNN interview is available here, but the relevant clip is below.

Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez told host Jake Tapper:“This money was handed over by Congress and federal government to states and local municipalities to dole out. What that means then, is that each individual Governor is responsible for establishing these programs. I think that in some states, Governors and state administrations might be slow-walking this process to get it out, in other states it’s the administrative burden of setting it up, but there are states and municipalities that have been getting it right…but we cannot kick people out of their homes when our end of the bargain has not been fulfilled. Out of the $46 billion that has been allocated, only $3 billion has gone out to help renters and small mom and pop landlords.”

Think about that. As it currently stands, more than 90% of the funds Congress allocated to the states to assist families with their housing needs, are just laying around unused, as the intended recipients remain stressed out over eviction. This is either the height of cruelty, or incompetence by the state governments, or both.

Bottom line folks, there is zero excuse for a Governor, Democrat or Republican, to sit on federal eviction relief funds, knowing full well that we are staring at a potential mass eviction crisis, the likes of which we have never seen before. Even more troubling is the fact that the very same Rep Ocasio-Cortez, was way back in October 2020, sounding the very same mass eviction alarm. Simply put, any Governor needlessly sitting on the much-needed federal eviction dollars while struggling renters suffer, needs to be called out to the fullest.

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Trump-Tied Dark Money Group Brags About Drafting Voter Suppression Laws

Heritage Action’s Executive Director Jessica Anderson addressing a group meeting

A leaked video obtained by Mother Jones, shows the shocking extent to which a Trump-tied dark money group, Heritage Action For America, is secretly engineering the recent spate of voter suppression laws in Republican-led states. This bombshell revelation, even though not quite surprising, should be a call to action for voting rights activists nationwide, and a reminder to Congressional Democrats, of the dire need for passage of HR1-For The People Act.

In the leaked video, Jessica Anderson, a former Trump administration official and now Executive Director of Heritage Action For America, can be heard talking to a group of donors in Tucson Arizona in late April, and admitting to conduct that leaves absolutely no doubt to any reasonable person, that her group is engineering the voter suppression laws currently springing up in Republican states across the country. She is essentially bragging to the donors about how Heritage Action is drafting voter suppression laws currently being enacted by Republican-led state legislatures.

She can be heard telling the donors, “Iowa is the first state we[Heritage Action] got to work in, and we did it quickly, and we did it quietly. Honestly, nobody noticed.”(see video at 1:05). No reasonable person presented with Jessica Anderson’s “nobody noticed” remarks, can ever conclude that Heritage Action went into Iowa with a mission other than sneaking through a voter suppression law.

Other alarming statements by Jessica Anderson to the GOP donors include;

“At the end of the day, the bill that Governor[Brian] Kemp signed, and the Georgia legislature marshalled through had eight key provisions that Heritage recommended.” (see video at 1:11)

“We are working with these state legislators to make sure they have all of the information they need to draft the bills. In some cases we actually draft them for them, or we have a sentinel on our behalf, give them the model legislation so it has that grassroots, from the bottom up, type of vibe.” (see video at 1:32). This is by far, the most damning part of Jessica Anderson’s presentation. She basically admits that Heritage Action is writing voter suppression laws for the states, and faking their grassroots appeal.

It also bears pointing out that this same Trump-tied dark money group, is also in the forefront of lobbying Congressional Republicans into blocking the HR1-For The People Act, currently being pushed by Congressional Democrats, which among other things, seeks to vastly expand voting rights for all Americans.

Bottom line folks, it appears Heritage Action is the vehicle Trump Republicans are using to push their voter suppression laws targeting minority voters. Voting rights activists in Texas and other emerging purple states, where the voting rights battle is already red hot, must come up with effective strategies to confront Heritage Action and other such right wing anti-democracy groups. Yours Truly is not an attorney, but is reasonable enough to know that some of the statements Jessica Anderson made to the GOP donors, can be very useful in federal lawsuits against these Republican voter suppression laws.

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Backtracking Ted Cruz Now Claims Trump’s Election Rhetoric “Went Way Too Far Over The Line”

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) On A Jan 25, 2021 Interview With “The Verdict” Podcast

In the clearest sign yet that U.S. Senator Ted Cruz finally realizes the existential threat the January 6th DC insurrection poses to his political career, the usually defiant Senator from Texas is now distancing himself from former President Trump’s post-election rhetoric, saying on a January 25th podcast that Trump’s rhetoric “went way too far over the line.” This is a dramatic departure for Senator Cruz, who even after nationwide calls for his resignation following the DC riots, has dismissed critics saying people need to “move on”, adding that there was nothing wrong with Trump’s election challenges, or the fact that he(Sen Cruz) supported the said challenges.

In a January 25, 2021 interview on a podcast called “The Verdict”, Senator Ted Cruz told the host, “President Trump’s rhetoric, I think went way too far over the line. I think it was both reckless and irresponsible because he said repeatedly that he won by a landslide, there was massive fraud, it was all stolen everywhere…”

As CNN host Brianna Keilar correctly points out, prior to the DC riots and subsequent calls for his resignation, Senator Ted Cruz was very happy to defend Trump, even as he repeated his bogus election fraud claims. You’ll remember Senator Ted Cruz even offered to argue Trump’s election fraud claims before the U.S. Supreme Court. Why would a sitting U.S. Senator risk his reputation defending “reckless and irresponsible” election fraud claims before the U.S. Supreme Court? The answer is simple folks. Senator Ted Cruz is simply trying to, as Brianna Keilar put it, “cleanse himself from the stain” of DC insurrection.

Bottom line folks, Senator Ted Cruz’s actions should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed his political career over the years. His entire political career is built upon ginning up political wedge issues, especially cultural issues, and then raising money from the division. Where, as here, his divisiveness over bogus election fraud claims has not only led to people losing their lives, but also threatened the lives of many members of Congress, the only way for Senator Ted Cruz to cleanse himself, is by resignation from the U.S. Senate.

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Why Are You Still Running?Bernie Asked

In case you missed it Sen Bernie Sanders appeared on ABC’s popular daytime show The View where one of the co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg confronted him about the rationale for his still active presidential campaign.

Whoopi Goldberg was simply echoing the sentiment by many Democrats that as the race currently stands, Sen Sanders has an extremely narrow path to victory and his campaign at this juncture is only hurting the eventual Dem nominee (presumably Biden) in much the same way it hurt Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Whoopi Goldberg dove right into it :“I have to ask you this question now because I’ve been watching to see what you’re going to do and I’m told that you intend to stay in this race for president because you believe there’s a path to victory. I want to know what that path is because this feels a little bit like it did when you didn’t come out when Hillary Clinton was clearly the person folks were going for.”

Sen Sanders pushed back on Whoopi’s characterization, pointing out that he worked for Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016 to which Whoopi interjected, “Bernie just so we’re clear, you worked for Hillary but it took you a very very long time to hop in and your people also, it took a very long time for them to hop in.”

Sen Sanders then addressed the question as to why he’s still in the presidential race saying, “Last I heard, people in a democracy have a right to vote and they have a right to vote for the agenda that they think can work for America especially in this very very difficult moment [coronavirus]. We are assessing our campaign as a matter of fact, whether we want to go forward. But people in a democracy do have a right to vote.”

Sen Sanders then appeared to suggest that questions brought about by the current coronavirus pandemic justified his presidential campaign–that voters needed to decide which candidate provided the best solutions to the current crisis. Whoopi Goldberg correctly shot down this argument saying Sen Sanders can still work on coronavirus solutions in the senate even if he ended his presidential campaign.

It cannot also be left unsaid that Sen Sanders campaign is unnecessarily burdening beloved Democrats Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) and Sen Elizabeth Warren, who have clearly seen the writing on the wall but are reluctant to urge Bernie to step aside. Sen Sanders should do both AOC and Sen Warren a favor by ending his campaign thereby freeing them to throw their weight behind Biden without being villified by progressives.

Bottom line Democrats, we have to be careful not to repeat in 2020 our “sin” in 2016 and that is, engaging in an unnecessarily protracted presidential primary that ultimately helps only one person–Trump. The results of the recent presidential primary elections show very clearly that Dems have settled on Biden and that Bernie has an extremely narrow path to victory. There is absolutely no valid reason why Bernie should still be prolonging the Democratic presidential primary, especially now that the coronavirus pandemic is complicating efforts by the states to conduct primaries.

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Immigrant Basher Tomi Lahren Called Out On Her Family’s Immigration History

In case you missed it, conservative firebrand Tomi Lahren, best known for her hateful attacks on immigrants on social media and on her favorite hate outlet Fox News, was recently called out about her own family’s immigration history on the popular daytime TV show The View. Specifically, Lahren was called out about the hypocrisy in her insistence that immigration to the United States should be based on academic merit and that once admitted, immigrants must learn to speak english so as to assimilate to American culture.

Turns out the hosts of CBS’ The View got their hands on a report by a researcher who dug into Lahren’s family history and found out that Lahren’s great grandmother came to the U.S. from Germany and that after 40 years of living here, she still spoke german. This means by Lahren’s own standards, her great grandmother was a bad immigrant who failed to assimilate to the U.S., and deserved to be sent back to her native Germany.

Lahren was asked on Fox and Friends to address the immigration hypocrisy charge. To her credit, she correctly stated what she is being called out for. Lahren said, “What she [the researcher] was hoping to do was trying to call me a hypocrite for believing in merit-based immigration. Again she failed miserably….” However after correctly laying out the accusation against her, Lahren wentoff on a tangent, deliberately sidestepping the central charge–that by her own standards, her great grandma , who never learnt english, is no different than the non english speaking immigrants she now greatly despises. True to form, Lahren’s Fox News buddies never pressed her on the central charge, instead allowing her to wiggle her way out of it.

It would be interesting if the same researcher who dug into Lahren’s family history would go back and also look into whether the said german-speaking great grandma or other Lahren’s ancestors were ever beneficiaries of federal government programs she now wants Trump to use as a basis of denying people green cards. My guess is more Tomi Lahren immigration hypocrisy will come to light .

Bottomline folks, immigration has always been a complex issue in America because we are a country of immigrants. Tomi Lahren is the latest but certainly won’t be the last of Republicans who continue to advocate harsh immigration policies that punish and malign the current crop of immigrants for things their own ancestors did when they first arrived here. Surely Tomi Lahren, if it was okay for your great grandma to speak german after living here for 40 years, a reasonable argument can be made that she wasn’t a merit-based immigrant and that maybe you should not be advocating for policies that pin assimilation to the ability to speak/learn english.

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