This Week’s Intelligence
American Citizen Held by Immigration Enforcement for Over 3 Years Without Lawyer
“I am an American citizen,” Davino Watson pleaded with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents, judges, and jailers. But to no avail; he was held in detention for over 3 years as a deportable illegal immigrant.
What did his court appointed lawyer have to say ? Nothing, because he was never assigned one. After all, illegal immigrants are not afforded the same rights of the accused and due process guaranteed to American citizens. The only problem: Davino Watson was in fact an American citizen.
Eventually, Watson was released and managed to get a meager court settlement of $82,500. But he would never see the money. Two weeks ago, an appeals court ruled that Watson is not entitled to the compensation. Turns out the statute of limitations expired–while he was still in ICE custody!
What this means:
What kind of monster working for the U.S. government appealed the decision to compensate this man $82,500 for the nightmare he was put through? Clearly, if the U.S. government falsely imprisons someone, all they need to do is keep them falsely imprisoned until the clock runs out on the two-year statute of limitations. The rights of the accused should apply to anyone on U.S. soil. And there should be no statute of limitations for “petition[ing] the government for a redress of grievances,” as the First Amendment guarantees.
Anyone detained on U.S. soil should be provided a lawyer. This would have prevented Davino from ever being wrongfully imprisoned by immigration officers. Due process should be applied anyway, because it is the right thing to do. But beyond that, as this nightmarish case shows, authorities can be wrong. Why should an agent be able to unilaterally make the call that someone is an illegal immigrant?
The man was basically assumed guilty of being an illegal immigrant without the state having to prove anything.
Let’s hope this goes on to the Supreme Court, so that no other American citizens have to endure such abuse.
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IRS Cashes in on Bitcoin Boom
Have you made money on Bitcoin? Did you give the IRS their cut? Here is another reason to hold Bitcoin long term, instead of treating it as a speculation. If you sold your Bitcoin high, and made some cash, the IRS considers that capital gains. And they most likely know who you are.
The IRS is now actively seeking those who made money on Bitcoin and did not report the gains to the IRS. They used a “John Doe summons” to collect all records from the Bitcoin trading website Coinbase.
In the past, the IRS used the same methods to bully Swiss banks into revealing American account holders.
What this means:
How is this type of summons legal? Isn’t the government supposed to abide by the Fourth Amendment, and describe particular things to be searched and seized? This is broad dragnet investigation into personal documents or “papers.” Since the 16th amendment created the income tax, Americans have put up with yearly investigations into their finances that completely trample the Fourth Amendment.
Just because the government says it is legal to tax income, suddenly the right to be secure in your person, houses, papers, and effects goes out the window.
Jail Time for Reproduction in Cambodia
Her body her choice? Not according to the Cambodian government. A Cambodian court has sentenced an Australian woman to prison time. No, she wasn’t running an abortion clinic. She was running a surrogacy clinic, for women who need another woman to carry their baby to term.
Cambodia outlawed surrogacy last year. The government claimed Cambodian women were being taken advantage of by foreigners looking for a surrogate. But two Cambodian women who were paid $12,000 each for their surrogacy testified that they were not coerced into carrying the babies.
What this means:
In Cambodia, abortion is legal for the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. So it is a woman’s choice to get rid of her baby, but not to carry another woman’s baby. In trying to protect women from exploitation, Cambodia has destroyed a unique business. The business provided opportunity for the right women to make good money. It also provided a much needed service for women who cannot carry their babies to term.
But the government didn’t care. They simply outlawed the practice. They didn’t bother asking the women who depend on the income from surrogacy. And now a woman will spend a year and a half in prison because she facilitated a beneficial trade between two consenting adults.
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Federal Obamacare Money a State’s Right?
Funny how the House voted to repeal Obamacare six times while they knew Obama was there to veto it. There were also about 50 attempts to repeal or defund select pieces of Obamacare. Now that the President would actually sign the repeal, Congress can’t seem to drum up the votes.
In response, Trump could begin dismantling Obamacare by stopping cost sharing reduction payments. These funds go to states to support their health insurance exchanges. Trump has dubbed these payments insurance company bailouts.
But the courts just made it that much harder to actually dismantle the law.
States will be able to sue the federal government to continue collecting Obamacare funds. The ruling claims cost sharing reduction payments are crucial to the state run insurance exchanges. Because of the court ruling, if Trump cuts the payments, it would open the federal government to lawsuits.
What this means:
Tax dollars have quickly become a right, according to the courts. This shows how once a person–or a state–is on the dole, it isn’t so easy to get them off of it. The original case this ruling was based on actually stemmed from the Obama administration funding state exchanges without Congress approving the funds. But now, it may be illegal for Trump to remove this illegal funding. Obamacare made the government more powerful. Power is a drug. This is the government on drugs.
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