Obama Nominates Possible First Muslim-American Judge to Federal Court
Does this really surprise anyone?
Muslim-American groups are applauding President Barack Obama's nomination of a Washington lawyer to serve in U.S. District Court — a move that could make him the first ever Muslim-American federal judge, according to advocates.
If confirmed, Abid Riaz Qureshi would sit on the District of Columbia's federal bench, the White House announced Tuesday. Qureshi, who graduated Harvard Law School in 1997, is a partner in the D.C. office of Latham & Watkins LLP, specializing in healthcare fraud, securities violations, and cases involving the False Claims Act, according to a White House statement.
"I am confident he will serve the American people with integrity and a steadfast commitment to justice," Obama said.
Muslim-American organizations hailed the historic announcement.
"The nomination of Abid Qureshi to fill a seat on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia sends a message of inclusion that is welcomed by the American Muslim community and by all Americans who value diversity and mutual respect at a time when some seek division and discord," Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights group, said in a statement.
While Muslim Americans have filled roles as state judges, none have served at the federal trial or appellate levels, according to Muslim Advocates, a national legal advocacy organization.
"A judiciary that reflects the rich diversity of our nation helps ensure the fair and just administration of the law, and it is vital for American Muslims to be included," Farhana Khera, former counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and executive director of Muslim Advocates, said in a statement. "Mr. Qureshi's profound commitment to the rule of law and justice for people of all backgrounds makes him an exceptional nominee."
News of Qureshi's nomination comes amid a heated presidential race in which Muslims have found themselves the subject of much debate, including GOP nominee Donald Trump's proposal of a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country.
With a few months left before Obama's term ends, it remains unclear whether Qureshi's nomination will make it out of Congress.
Jamie C. Glick, a spokesperson for Latham & Watkins, told NBC News in an email that Qureshi was unavailable for comment. Bill Voge, chair and managing partner of Latham & Watkins, congratulated Qureshi on his nomination and in a statement called him an exceptional litigator.
"He practices with the highest level of integrity and has made significant contributions to our firm, particularly with respect to Latham's pro bono program which he has led as global chair since 2012," Voge said.
Worse Than the Depression: 1 in 6 Working Age Males Has No Job Under ObamaThe numbers are in and after seven years of Obamanomics the economic climate in America is “worse than the depression.”
One in six working age males in America has no job.
** Barack Obama is also the first president on record to not see a single year of 3% GDP growth.Millions of men in their prime working years have dropped out of the workforce.https://t.co/MpBg2N2e8X pic.twitter.com/NhcrssK1Y2— NPR (@NPR) September 7, 2016
The latest quarterly GDP rate was 1.1 percent.
At 4.9 percent, the nation’s unemployment rate is half of what it was at the height of the Great Recession. But that number hides a big problem: Millions of men in their prime working years have dropped out of the workforce — meaning they aren’t working or even looking for a job.
It’s a trend that’s held true for decades and has economists puzzled.
In the 1960s, nearly 100 percent of men between the ages of 25 and 54 worked. That’s fallen over the decades.
In a recent report, President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers said 83 percent of men in the prime working ages of 25-54 who were not in the labor force had not worked in the previous year. So, essentially, 10 million men are missing from the workforce.
“One in six prime-age guys has no job; it’s kind of worse than it was in the depression in 1940,” says Nicholas Eberstadt, an economic and demographic researcher at American Enterprise Institute who wrote the book Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis. He says these men aren’t even counted among the jobless, because they aren’t seeking work.
Eberstadt says little is known about the missing men. But there are factors that make men less likely to be in the labor force — a lack of college degree, being single, or being black…
…Indeed, economists say technology and overseas competition are displacing many jobs.
Months after the Obama administration spent $19 million to register new immigrant voters that will likely support Democrats in November, it’s dedicating an additional $10 million in a final push as the presidential election approaches. The money is distributed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Homeland Security agency that oversees lawful immigration, to organizations that help enhance pathways to naturalization by offering immigrants free citizenship instruction, English, U.S. history and civics courses. Officially, they’re known as “citizenship integration grants.”
Since 2009 USCIS has doled out $63 million in these grants to prepare more than 156,000 resident immigrants in dozens of states for U.S. citizenship, according to the agency’s figures. Besides the free classes, Uncle Sam also offers immigrants free “naturalization legal services,” the latest USCIS grant announcement states. “Recipient organizations serve both traditional immigrant destinations and new immigrant getaway cities in 21 states,” the USCIS document reads. The latest $10 million investment will prepare approximately 25,000 residents from more than 50 countries, according to the agency. More than a dozen states—including California, New York, Florida, Washington and Ohio—with large resident immigrant populations are being targeted as well as cities with huge immigrant populations such as Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington D.C.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been aggressive in promoting its citizen integration grant program this year, offering large sums to recruit new groups that can offer immigrants the services they need to become citizens. Clearly, the ultimate goal is qualifying as many immigrants as possible to vote since they tend to cast ballots for Democrats. “We intend to award about $1 million to first-time recipients in the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program for fiscal year 2016,” the agency’s grant announcement states. “If you represent one of these organizations, or know of an interested organization, we strongly encourage that organization to consider applying. Additionally, another $9 million will fund programs that provide both citizenship instruction and instruction and naturalization application services.” Some might consider this a cash giveaway.
This is part of a broader, government-wide initiative launched by the president to “strengthen federal immigrant and refugee integration infrastructure.” The mission is to facilitate life in the U.S. for immigrants and refugees by enhancing pathways to naturalization, building welcoming communities and providing “mobile immigration services in underserved communities.” To carry out this important mission Obama created a special Task Force on New Americans chaired by his Domestic Policy Director, Cecilia Muñoz, the former vice president of the powerful open borders group National Council of La Raza (NCLR). Millions of taxpayer dollars have funded the task force’s various enterprises, including multilingual media campaigns promoting immigrant rights. The goal is to “strengthen civic, economic and linguistic integration and to build strong and welcoming communities,” according to a report issued by the task force. In the end communities will be strengthened by welcoming all residents, the administration assures.
Practically every federal agency is participating in the effort by contributing resources and creating programs to help immigrants. For example the Department of Labor (DOL) is implementing “new workforce programs” for the “new Americans” and the Department of Education is promoting “funding opportunities” to assure that the immigrants “are provided the tools they need to succeed.” The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is collaborating with other agencies to release a career and credentialing toolkit on “immigrant-focused career-pathways programs.” The Department of Justice (DOJ) and USCIS are making sure the new Americans have worker rights and protections and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is launching a two-year pilot to assure that non English speakers have “meaningful access to housing programs” subsidized by American taxpayers.