On this episode of The Critical Hour, Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by Oscar Chacon, co‐founder and executive director of Alianza Americas, dedicated to improving the quality of life of Latino immigrant communities in the US, as well as of peoples throughout the Americas.
Last week, US President Donald Trump directed US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to conduct a mass roundup of migrant families that had received deportation orders. It was expected to begin with predawn raids this past Sunday targeting up to 2,000 families in as many as 10 US cities, including Houston, Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles. It is now being reported that immigration officials carried out small-scale raids over the weekend. For example, ICE agents attempted raids in at least two neighborhoods in New York City on Saturday. What happened or did not happen, and why?
On Sunday, Trump tweeted, “So interesting to see 'Progressive' Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run … Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came … Then come back and show us how it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!” The congresswomen to whom he was referring are Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Talib (D-MI), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), all of whom were born in the United States, and Ilhan Omar (D-MI), whose family fled Somalia when she was a child and who is a US citizen. What’s the basis of his rant?
The United States has an agreement that requires it to issue visas expeditiously to all foreign diplomats traveling to New York for UN events. Sanctioning Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister and top diplomat, would further complicate any attempts to restart negotiations with Iran on the nuclear deal that Trump abandoned a year ago, after which he started a maximum pressure campaign of sanctions that have brought Iran’s economy to the brink of collapse. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo clarified Sunday that Zarif would be granted a visa to enter the US, but that his movements in Manhattan would be restricted. Pompeo said he would accept any offer to go on Iranian television, as Zarif has appeared on US television. He also said he would tell Iranians that “we care deeply about them, that we’re supportive of the Iranian people, that we understand that the revolutionary theocracy is not acting in a way that is in their best interest.” Pompeo declined to comment when asked whether he or anyone else in the US government would try to speak with Zarif at the United Nations this week or at the UN General Assembly in September.
Russia and India have devised a new mechanism which will allow payments for multi-billion dollar defense deals to be made using their own national currencies, Bloomberg has reported. The two countries have already signed several arms contracts worth the equivalent of billions of dollars using rubles and rupees, and have sought other ways to increase trade in national currencies amid concerns in Delhi that Washington could slap sanctions on India for buying Russian-made defense equipment. Settlements in rubles and rupees are designed specifically to allow Moscow and Delhi to skirt the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), a 2017 US law designed to slap severe restrictions on Russia's ability to sell arms abroad.
Federal prosecutors in New York asked a judge to hold wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein behind bars Monday as he awaits trial on allegations of sex trafficking. US District Judge Richard Berman said he will issue a decision Thursday on whether to grant bail for Epstein. How likely is bail to be granted?
Oscar Chacon — Co‐founder and executive director of Alianza Americas, dedicated to improving the quality of life of Latino immigrant communities in the US, as well as of peoples throughout the Americas. Teresa M. Lundy — Government affairs and public relations specialist and principal of TML Communications, LLC.
David Rosen — Author of "Sex, Sin & Subversion: The Transformation of 1950s New York’s Forbidden into America’s New Normal." He can be found at www.DavidRosenWrites.com.
Daniel Lazare — Journalist and author of three books: "The Frozen Republic," "The Velvet Coup" and "America's Undeclared War."
Mark Sleboda — International affairs and security analyst.
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