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Chicago Files Lawsuit Against DOJ Over Efforts to Deny Funding to Sanctuary Cities

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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Announces Lawsuit Against US Justice Department. (Photo Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images North America).

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has taken on the Trump administration’s immigration policies by filing a lawsuit on Monday.  Setting a new precedent, Chicago is the first city to file a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice over efforts to block funding to sanctuary cities.

The lawsuit comprised of 46 pages—was filed in the U.S. District Court in Chicago, just one day after the mayor announced the litigation during a news conference at City Hall.

Emanuel said in an interview with CNN on Monday morning, that the DOJ’s new stipulations against so-called sanctuary cities, “undermines our actual safety agenda.”

Accompanied by the mayor were legal advisor and head of the City’s Legal Department Ed Siskel, and the Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, who spoke about the importance of federal resources in combatting the city’s violence.

The first order of business—since the filing of the lawsuit, will be in asking a judge to place a freeze on the policy until the civil case plays out, according to Siskel.  The request for a preliminary injunction could be made within days.

On August 3—the Justice Department released its application for the 2017 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG), a program Chicago has used in the past for various public safety initiatives, including the purchase of police vehicles, SWAT equipment, radios, and Tasers according to Mayor Emanuel. Chicago has received grant funds since 2005, including $2.3 million in Byrne JAG funding last year.

The often blunt and outspoken mayor said in a released statement:  “Chicago will not be blackmailed into changing our values, and we are and will remain a welcoming city.”

“The federal government should be working with cities to provide necessary resources to improve public safety, not concocting new schemes to reduce our crime fighting resources,” he continued. “The City of Chicago will continue to stand up to President Trump and his Justice Department to ensure that their misguided policies do not threaten the safety of our residents.”

The application for 2017, includes provisions requiring local governments, which grants the U.S. Department of Homeland Security the right to access any detention facility to inquire about the citizenship of anyone believed to be undocumented.  The provision also grants federal authorities 48 hours advance notice before releasing anyone in violation of immigration laws, as conditions to receive funding.

The city of Chicago will defend its lawsuit by arguing that the Justice Department is not authorized to make grants contingent upon their stipulations because they would “effectively federalize local detention facilities” and violate the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by requiring detainees to be held beyond the timeframe in which they would otherwise be eligible for release.

The Justice department’s approach in requirements is part of the Trump administration’s efforts to clamp down on sanctuary cities—a term used for non-compliant jurisdictions with federal requests to detain undocumented immigrants.

Of concern—the immigrants have been arrested on charges unrelated to their immigration status, but the jurisdictions are not turning the immigrants over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for possible deportation.

In January 2017, Trump signed an executive order to block federal grants to sanctuary cities, an action that a judge blocked in April, ruling that the president could not set new conditions on spending approved by Congress—an argument included in the City of Chicago’s lawsuit.

The judge, William H. Orrick of United States District Court, wrote that President Trump had overstepped his powers with his January executive order on immigration by tying billions of dollars in federal funding to immigration enforcement. Judge Orrick said only Congress could place such conditions on spending.

Despite the January ruling, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been intent on clamping down on immigration policies, most recently sending letters to four cities informing them they would be ineligible to receive resources under a new crime-fighting program unless their police departments show proof of compliance with the DOJ’s new rules.

In March, Sessions said sanctuary cities’ policies are “designed to frustrate the enforcement of our immigration laws” – a claim that Emanuel has refuted, repeatedly defending Chicago’s “Welcoming City” ordinance.

“Chicago’s Welcoming City ordinance promotes public safety by ensuring that no city resident, regardless of their status, is afraid to cooperate with law enforcement, report criminal activity to the police, serve as a witness in court, or seek help as a victim of crime,” a spokesman for Emanuel said in a statement.

“I’ve always seen Chicago as a welcoming city,” Emanuel said in response to Sessions’ comments in March.

“It welcomed my grandfather 100 years ago, we continue to welcome entrepreneurs, immigrants, and I would just say think of it this way: Half the new businesses in Chicago and the state of Illinois come from immigrants, nearly half,” he added. “Half the patents at the University of Illinois come from immigrants, and so we want to continue to welcome people, welcome their ideas, welcome their families to the city of Chicago, who want to build the American dream for their children and their grandchildren.”

“Chicago was built on the back of immigrants, and our future is hitched to the wagon of immigrants who come to the city,” Emanuel continued. “I would say that the approach of penalizing cities, cities that are driving the economy, driving the energy of the United States – and they do it because we bring people of all different backgrounds to work together – that’s just the wrong approach.”

Chicago has been a sanctuary city since the 1980s, beefing up its policies in the past decade, particularly since Trump took office. The city is not alone in its immigration policies, as more than 200 jurisdictions nationwide have declared sanctuary status, including Los Angeles, New York City, and more, with some expected to follow Chicago filing lawsuits.

By LeNora Millen        08-07-17

 

 

 

 

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Lifestyle

Simple Solutions to Combat Winter Skin Sensitivity

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The winter season is here, and it’s important to get in the habit of taking care of your skin. Cold weather brings low humidity levels and dry air, which can suck the moisture from your skin, and without proper care, skin can become dry, cracked and irritated, causing discomfort.

This winter, focus on a regimen that helps protect and hydrate skin so you can spend time enjoying the benefits of winter like family game night, snow days and snuggling by the fire.

Prepare your family for cold weather with these simple tips that can be easily incorporated into your family’s daily routine, keeping skin feeling soft and healthy all winter long.

Hydrate Inside and Out. Staying hydrated during the hot, summer months is a given, but it is also important to remember that cold winter air can leave your skin parched. Use a humidifier to keep skin hydrated during the dry months and be sure to lather on moisturizer. Natural moisturizers like coconut oil and shea butter can act as protective barriers against harsh elements, sealing in moisture. In addition to hydrating on the outside, it is just as important to stay hydrated on the inside. By drinking water throughout the day, your skin can stay healthy and moisturized.

Switch to a Mild Laundry Detergent. Many common detergents can be abrasive to sensitive skin, especially when it is more vulnerable to irritation during the harsh winter months. Wash bed linens, towels and clothes with a mild detergent like all Free Clear year-round, especially during the winter months. As the No. 1 recommended detergent brand by dermatologists, allergists and pediatricians for sensitive skin, all Free Clear includes no dyes, fragrances or irritating residues. Using the power of stainlifters to fight tough stains, it is also safe for the whole family to use, keeping laundry clean while being gentle on skin.

Avoid Toxins, Specifically Allergens, and Irritants. Products that contain toxins, allergens and irritants should be avoided during months when skin is most sensitive. Choose moisturizers and skin care products that don’t contain common irritants, and opt for mild cleansers and moisturizers that are specifically labeled for sensitive skin. Castor oil is another moisturizer alternative that is natural and can be used on both the face and body.

Layer Up. Lock in moisture and protect your skin from wind, rain, and snow by wearing layers whenever you venture outside. The skin on your neck, face and hands is thinner than other areas of the body and therefore more sensitive to the effects of winter weather. Thermals, scarves and gloves can keep you warm and protect your skin from the cold, dry air. For those with sensitive skin, avoid synthetic fabrics and itchy materials like wool, and wash clothes with a dermatologist-recommended detergent like all Free Clear.

By implementing these best practices for skin sensitivity, you can minimize redness, dryness and discomfort to help skin stay healthy and glowing throughout the winter season. Visit all-laundry.com to learn more.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Source: All

@LeNoraMillen  01-21-18

 

 

 

 

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Lifestyle

Tire Safety Tips for Winter When Temperatures Drop

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The same temperature you can begin to see your breath at 45 F—is also when the all-season tires on your car can start to lose traction and grip.

As temperatures drop, drivers should remember that if you can see your breath, you should think about winter tires. Whether you’re planning a cross-country trek or simply driving to and from work daily, exposing your vehicle’s tires to colder weather could lead to potential trouble on the road.

Snow and ice may be fun to play in, but they make for dangerous driving conditions. Winter tires are built for cold-weather conditions and deliver improved starting, stopping and steering control in temperatures 45 F and below. The difference is the tread compound of winter tires, which stays soft and pliable in colder temperatures for superior traction. Add the tread design of winter tires with thousands of extra gripping edges and you get as much as a 25-50 percent increase in traction over all-season tires.

To help stay safe on the road this winter, the experts on tires and winter driving recommend following these four tire safety tips:

  • Get ready now. It is important to replace all four of your vehicle’s all-season tires with winter tires if you regularly drive in temperatures 45 F or below, snow or no snow. Winter tires are made of a softer rubber that allows the tires to stay pliable and maintain better contact with the road through winter weather conditions.
  • Don’t forget the wheels. Having a set of wheels specifically for your winter tires can save you money in the long run. Pairing a separate set of wheels with your winter tires can eliminate certain changeover costs and save your everyday wheels from the wear and tear brought on by ice, slush, snow, and salt during the winter months.
  • Know your numbers. Check your tire pressure at least once a month to make sure tires are at the appropriate inflation level. Temperature changes affect tire pressure – for every 10 degrees of temperature change, tire air pressure changes 1 pound per square inch. Low tire pressure can lead to decreased steering and braking control, poor gas mileage, excessive tire wear and the possibility of tire failure. Also, don’t forget to check your spare tire.
  • Rotate, rotate, rotate. To help increase tread life and smooth out your ride, rotate your tires every 6,000 miles or sooner if irregular or uneven wear develops.

Your safety is important, that’s why drivers should make it a point to beat the rush by getting winter ready before the first snowstorm or cold streak of the season hits.

Photo: Getty Images

Source: Discount Tire

 

@LeNoraMillen        01-19-18

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Health Care

Medicare Takes Aim at Medical Identity Theft: Protecting Seniors From Fraud

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Criminals are increasingly targeting people age 65 or older for personal identity theft. In 2014 alone, there were 2.6 million such incidents among seniors, according to the Department of Justice.

A growing offshoot of identity theft is healthcare fraud, which can result when someone unlawfully uses another person’s Medicare number. Medical identity theft can lead to inaccuracies in medical records, which in turn can result in delayed care, denied services and costly false claims.

That’s why Medicare works with the Department of Justice, taking aim squarely at would-be thieves. In the largest law enforcement action against criminals fraudulently targeting the Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare programs, 412 people around the country, including 115 doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals, were charged in 2017 with bilking U.S. taxpayers out of $1.3 billion.

New Medicare Card for 2018. (Video Courtesy of YouTube)

The next big fraud-fighting push is well underway — and its focus is protecting the personal information of senior citizens by removing their Social Security numbers from Medicare cards.

People with Medicare don’t need to take any action to get a new Medicare card. Beginning in April 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will mail out newly designed Medicare cards to the 58 million Americans with Medicare. The cards will have a new number that will be unique for each card recipient. This will help protect personal identity and prevent fraud because identity thieves can’t bill Medicare without a valid Medicare number. To help with a seamless transition to the new cards, providers will be able to use secure lookup tools that will support quick access to the new card numbers when needed.

Healthcare fraud drives up costs for everyone, but healthcare consumers can be an effective first line of defense against fraud. Follow these tips to help protect yourself:

Do

  • Treat your Medicare number like a credit card.
  • When the new card comes in the mail next year, destroy your old card and make sure you bring your new one to your doctors’ appointments.
  • Be suspicious of anyone offering early bird discounts, limited time offers or encouraging you to act now for the best deal. That’s an indicator of potential fraud because Medicare plans are forbidden from offering incentives.
  • Be skeptical of free gifts, free medical services, discount packages or any offer that sounds too good to be true.
  • Only give your Medicare number to doctors, insurers acting on your behalf or trusted people in the community who work with Medicare, like your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).
  • Report suspected instances of fraud.
  • Check your Medicare statements to make sure the charges are accurate.

Don’t

  • Don’t share your Medicare number or other personal information with anyone who contacts you by telephone, email or approaches you in person, unless you’ve given them permission in advance. Medicare will never contact you uninvited and request your Medicare number or other personal information.
  • Don’t let anyone borrow or pay to use your Medicare number.
  • Don’t allow anyone, except your doctor or other Medicare providers, to review your medical records or recommend services.
  • Don’t let anyone persuade you to see a doctor for care or services you don’t need.
  • Don’t accept medical supplies from a door-to-door salesman.

Learn more about how you can fight Medicare fraud at Medicare.gov/fraud, or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). You can also visit a local SHIP counselor, who can provide free, one-on-one, non-biased Medicare assistance.

With a common sense approach to protecting health information, senior citizens can be effective partners in fighting Medicare fraud.

 

Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

@LeNoraMillen       01-19-18

 

 

 

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