Solidarity with Salvadoran Immigrants

The American Solidarity Party is deeply saddened by the decision to revoke Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nearly 200,000 nationals of El Salvador. That nation has been struck by numerous disasters since the initial 2001 designation. We additionally are alarmed by the humanitarian implications of returning so many people to a country that is still reeling from organized crime, which has endangered its most vulnerable citizens. Further, we note that these criminal organizations – initially based in Los Angeles – continue to drive thousands of Salvadoran asylum seekers to our borders.
 
Law-abiding Salvadoran TPS holders have been living in the United States for nearly 20 years. They have built businesses, pursued educational opportunities, raised families, and put down strong roots in our communities. The loss of these 200,000 individuals and the harm to their families would be deeply felt across the United States. Tragically, many of TPS holders, despite repeated vetting, deep family ties, and impressive contributions to our communities, remain ineligible for legal residency or citizenship. We therefore renew our call for Congress to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act in order to provide a path to citizenship for immigrants residing within our borders.

Tax Code Changes: Reform or Deform?

President Trump has just signed into law the most sweeping changes to the U.S. Tax Code in a generation. While there are some things to praise, the American Solidarity Party is deeply concerned that other changes will damage the common good, and that such far-reaching policy decisions were made without any attempt to reach across the aisle or consult independent analysts to find common ground and common sense solutions.

We applaud the expansion of the child tax credit in particular, but denounce the fact that some immigrant children have been made ineligible, and regret that the refundable portion was not expanded more to benefit poorer and larger families. Some marriage penalties in the Tax Code have been fixed, but some new ones have also been introduced. We appreciate that Section 529 plans will be usable for K-12 private school tuition, but express concern that other changes will make it harder for states and localities to adequately fund public schools and other public services.

Most of the tax cuts are given to business owners, by lowering the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, and giving businesses that don’t have to pay a corporate tax a 20% deduction against their taxable profits. We favor “a fair and progressive tax system that ends subsidies and exemptions which disproportionately benefit the wealthy and favor speculation over work.” Special tax cuts for business owners but not for employees, and especially the benefits for real estate investors that were added at the last minute, go in precisely the opposite direction. We also support worker-owned cooperatives and regret that nothing in these tax changes encourages business owners to grant equity shares to their employees. In fact, raising the estate tax exemption to over $11 million per person encourages wealthy families to sock businesses into trusts for tax-free inheritances, instead of selling the business to their employees when the original owners retire.

H.R. 1 is estimated to add $1.5 trillion to the deficit over the next decade, and could end up being more if the tax cuts scheduled to expire in 2026 are extended. This is already providing an excuse to cut healthcare programs for children, other social benefit programs, and infrastructure investments. We are running up the debt ever faster, and our children will eventually pay the price. We are cutting the programs that help our communities survive and thrive in the name of “fiscal responsibility,” while handing enormous tax cuts to businesses that are already flush with unused cash reserves.

Perhaps worst of all, the law “essentially repeals Obamacare,” as President Trump admitted shortly after it was passed. An estimated 13 million Americans are expected to lose their health insurance because it will drive up the cost of premiums and encourage insurers to quit providing policies to the individual market. The American Solidarity Party is firmly committed to securing universal access to affordable healthcare, and calls on Congress to take immediate action to secure this access for children and adults who are impacted by the tax bill and the expiration of CHIP funding.

The long-term effects of this rushed, partisan tax legislation are yet unknown. What is clear is that we need new leadership in Congress; representatives who are committed to pursuing the common good, on common ground, with common sense. We are actively recruiting candidates to run or endorse in 2018 who are committed to the sanctity of human life, the necessity of social justice, our responsibility for the environment, and the pursuit of peace. If you know of such a candidate or are considering running yourself, please contact us at campaigns@solidarity-party.org.

Humane Politics and the Alabama Election

In Doug Jones’s narrow victory in the Senate race, the people of Alabama did not so much win as the cynical politics of ends justifying the means lost. The testimony of women victimized by Roy Moore was vindicated, and Black voters spoke out loudly despite recent measures taken by the state to suppress their votes. In this sense the election was a victory for justice for all, and for that the American Solidarity Party expresses gratitude.

But not actually justice for all, because Senator-elect Doug Jones does not recognize the right to life and human dignity for preborn persons, even those children near full-term who could certainly live outside the womb. The American Solidarity Party rejects the notion that voters should have to choose between supporting children in the womb and supporting women who have been victimized in any number of ways; that voters should have to choose between supporting healthcare for the preborn and healthcare for poor and working class adults.

We insist on humane politics and justice for all, and call on Senator-elect Jones to represent and work for the common good of ALL Alabamans, born and unborn, men and women, of all races and nationalities. We urge him to reject the bitter partisanship that impedes pursuit of the common good in Congress today, and wish him well for taking on the responsibility of statesmanship.

The American Solidarity Party also notes the incredible surge of write-in voters in the Alabama special election. It heralds a growing trend of voters who refuse to be limited to two unacceptable choices. We invite voters who reject the false choice of the two major parties today to join us in staking out a third way in the American political landscape, one that will not compromise our core principles of the sanctity of life from conception to natural death, the necessity of social justice, care for the environment, and pursuit of peace.

Click here to join us!

Net Neutrality and Equal Access

As a small third party, we know what it’s like to be blocked and throttled by the behemoths in charge. Still, we believe that our ideas make us great—and, we aim to compete in the marketplace based on the content of our ideas. Not our ability to curry favor. Not access to the pipes.

Net neutrality embodies these principles. It is, at essence, a battle over two forms of competition: competition among carriers (the “pipes”) and competition among content providers. Content providers are expressive, representing the diverse perspectives of our community—including small businesses, non-profits, and educational and religious organizations. Competition among content providers cannot be meaningful if there is unequal access to the pipes.

The American Solidarity Party opposes the proposed order on net neutrality released by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. We support a marketplace of ideas.

 

Question: When does a so-called “tax cut” actually “pay for” giveaways to corporate shareholders?

Answer: When it is actually a stealth repeal-but-no-replace of the Affordable Care Act.

The Senate is considering tax law changes that will add at least $1.4 trillion to the national deficit over the next 10 years. While some of the changes would help middle class families, such as fixing certain marriage penalties in the Tax Code and doubling the child tax credit, other changes would cause immediate tax increases for others, especially families in high cost-of-living parts of the country. Further, the tax cuts for families are scheduled to expire in 2025, while tax cuts for corporations are permanent.

The worst feature of the Senate tax bill is that it “pays for” permanent tax cuts by taking away health insurance from 13-15 million low-to-modest income Americans, according to the Congressional Budget Office. It does this by repealing the tax on working-age Americans who do not have health insurance coverage, a.k.a. the individual mandate. Without this tax, many healthier people will opt out of insurance coverage, leaving a sicker and more expensive pool being insured. This will cause health insurance premiums to rise rapidly, and some insurance companies will stop providing coverage for individuals altogether. Millions of lower income Americans who currently qualify for tax credits to help pay for their health insurance would lose coverage, withdrawing $318 billion of public support for affordable healthcare according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.

The American Solidarity Party believes that universal access to affordable health care services is fundamental to securing every person’s right to life and human dignity. While we acknowledge there are flaws in the Affordable Care Act that need to be fixed, we call on Senators to reject any approach that moves away from universal access to affordable essential health services. Taking affordable access to healthcare away from low-income workers to pay for permanent tax cuts for big businesses is the height of injustice.

We call on Members of Congress to first do no harm. The common good and common sense require voting against tax legislation that causes people to lose affordable health care.

If deficit-financed tax cuts are justifiable at all, they should be focused on cutting the costs of marriage and child-raising, supporting the sick and vulnerable, and allowing lower-income workers to keep more of the fruits of their labor. These are the types of tax cuts that have potential to support human flourishing and encourage productive activity for the benefit of all.

 

Pro-Life Politics in a Broken Culture

The current political environment forces us to make impossible, gut-wrenching choices. Over and over again. As if the 2016 presidential election wasn’t bad enough, the nightmare recurs throughout the country.

The U.S Senate race in Alabama is one of the clearer examples. There, voters who believe that a candidate preyed on young girls will vote for him anyway. Why? Because he is Republican. Because he is “pro-life.” We know this is nonsense but—somehow—we keep finding ourselves here. Over and over again, we feel trapped.

We at the American Solidarity Party think the nightmare needs to end. The current events—Moore, Franken, and countless others—show that the culture is broken. It needs to change. The two major parties only make it worse.

Let’s get back to basics: the sanctity of human life, necessity of social justice, conservation of the environment, and promotion of a more peaceful world. Tribalism can’t achieve those things. Solidarity will.

 

The Tragic Loss of Life in Las Vegas

Our hearts, like so many across the country, are broken over the tragic loss of life in Las Vegas, and we stand in Solidarity with all of the dead, the wounded, and their families. It is hard to comprehend how one individual could be both willing and able to harm so many others.

It has not gone unnoticed that the mass shooting set a new record in the shameful and unique American tradition of gun violence. As a party that affirms the sanctity of all human life, from conception to natural death, we recognize that addressing gun violence is a pro-life issue.

Therefore, as advocates for the protection of all human life, we call upon lawmakers to put aside partisan differences and find common ground upon which to develop common sense solutions to the national gun violence epidemic. This is not the first time a horrified American public has demanded action, yet so often proposed solutions fall apart due to partisan quibbling and the tugs of special interest groups that do not represent even a plurality of Americans. While we recognize that there are no easy answers, we call upon leaders at all levels of government to work together in good faith to enact measures consistent with the Constitution to prevent more bloodshed.

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Solidarity with Puerto Rico

A humanitarian crisis is unfolding on the island of Puerto Rico. Our fellow Americans, already reeling from the buffeting winds of numerous hurricanes and tropical storms, are experiencing a truly incredible level of destruction to the infrastructure necessary for a secure and safe existence. Millions of American citizens have been left without access to water, electricity, shelter, communication, and food. The population of Puerto Rico is especially vulnerable to the disintegration of common services as nearly half is below the poverty line and its government is already burdened with crippling debt. There is no feasible means by which the people and government of Puerto Rico can overcome this situation on their own.
The American Solidarity Party, in accordance with the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity, calls upon the federal government of the United States to expand and redouble its efforts to address the needs of its citizens. We stand in solidarity with the suffering of our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico, and particularly with the vulnerable populations whose voicelessness and neglect is often magnified in tragedy. We further call for extensive investment in the infrastructure of Puerto Rico, both to address the current crisis and to shield its people from the same in the future. We acknowledge our responsibility to speak up for the people of Puerto Rico who have no representation in our government and thus cannot speak up for themselves.
To the people of Puerto Rico: Your suffering is our suffering. Your burden is our burden. Your debts are our debts.
We also encourage voluntary charity to address the immediate crisis. Click here for a list of ways you can personally help click here

Another way you can help Puerto Ricans in solidarity is to petition the President to waive the Jones Act for humanitarian purposes, to help aid and supplies from around the world reach the island more quickly. Sign the petition here

Statement on DACA

The American Solidarity Party calls on President Trump and Congress to work diligently and quickly to pass legislation guaranteeing a path to United States citizenship for eligible “Dreamers” – immigrants who were brought to this country illegally as children.

 

Called ‘Dreamers’, these are students, lawyers, non-profit pioneers, human resource directors, police officers, teachers, parents, and firefighters. They are our neighbors and our friends. They arrived as children, pursued an education, pursued careers, bonded with their communities, had relationships, and many had children. These are the more than 790,000 individuals who have sought to remain in the United States through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, commonly referred to as DACA. Now, as President Trump announces that he will repeal DACA, their futures are uncertain and terrifying. Many face job loss and deportation to countries that most cannot remember, countries where they may not speak the language, and countries that are overrun by violence. They face leaving behind their homes, their families, their children, all that they have worked for; the very American dream they learned about side by side with their peers in American public schools. They face punishment for a crime they did not commit, and that they had no control over.

Justice demands that Congress finally take action on House and Senate bills introduced early this year, in order to guarantee a path to citizenship for our neighbors and members of our communities. These bills having been sitting in both houses on Congress with little to no action, despite months of threats to the DACA program.

Human dignity likewise demands that President Trump not endanger nearly a million hard-working and dedicated individuals whose only goals are to become American citizens and to realize their full potential in the country in which they were raised, a country they love. By passing the responsibility to Congress, he fails the very real human beings whose individual stories inspire those around them.

Finally, the American Solidarity Party calls on all citizens to contact their Congressional representatives. Be the voice for your neighbors and friends who cannot speak on their own behalf. Make it clear that this is a dream that can no longer be deferred. The time for action is now. Action from the President, action from Congress, and action from every citizen.

On the Pardon of Sheriff Arpaio

The American Solidarity party stands for the rule of law, the dignity of all, and the use of the legal system to promote and protect that human dignity. This fundamental stance forces us to speak out against the Presidential pardon of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joseph Arpaio. This pardon promotes and protects unlawful discrimination. The pardon also reveals the misapplication of proper pardon powers, using it to excuse law-breaking by the powerful and well-connected, corrupting its original design.

The preamble to the Civil Rights plank of our American Solidarity Party platform states: “We believe in the vigorous enforcement of civil liberties enshrined in the Bill of Rights. We believe that the persistence of unjust discrimination in our society must be acknowledged and addressed. The state has a role to play in protecting marginalized groups from unjust discrimination, and should pay particular attention to the effect that policy proposals will have on vulnerable and marginalized groups.”

The American Solidarity Party also is a strong proponent of holding law enforcement accountable for respecting civil rights. Our platform expressess our support for: “Measures to increase transparency and trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve, including the use of body cameras and civilian review boards, models of community policing, and the diversification of local police forces. “ Fair law enforcement is effective law enforcement.

As Maricopa County Sheriff, Arpaio was found to have unlawfully detained individuals based on their immigration status. These actions were a violation of the law because as a state official Arpaio had no authority to enforce federal immigration laws. Therefore, any detention of individuals based on their federal immigration status by a state official, such as Arpaio, was unlawful.

He was repeatedly ordered by federal courts to discontinue this unlawful practice. When he continued, in repeated defiance of these federal court orders, he was charged with criminal contempt. There is nothing in the public record that indicates this conviction was the least bit unfair or unwarranted or that his six-month jail sentence for his brazen defiance of law was excessive. It appears as a measured response to an abuse of power.

Yet President Trump exercised his constitutional pardon powers to vacate the ruling of a federal judge and relieve Arpaio of the imposed criminal sanctions. Such a pardon is unwarranted in light of Arpaio’s repeated efforts to adopt and enforce discriminatory law enforcement practices and thumb his nose at the judiciary that sought to restrain him. Such a Presidential action can only embolden other foes of civil rights laws.

This application of pardon powers also requires us to speak out on the broader concern of how pardon powers are being applied by the modern Presidency. Unfortunately, this is not the only example among recent Presidents applying this power only to assist the well-off or well -connected.

As a Party of Solidarity, we encourage the selective use of Presidential pardon powers as an instrument of justice. Properly applied, pardon powers can promote justice by mitigating the occasions of excessive harshness by the system of justice or provide a second chance to the deserving and sincerely contrite caught up in the wheels of the criminal justice system. Our system of justice is great but ultimately human and, therefore, imperfect. It needs mitigating tools to soften its edges, such as pardon and clemency. But that application requires equality under the law. All, regardless of wealth, status or fame, or lack thereof, should be subject to equal consideration for the exercise of these mitigating measures.

When Presidents use these powers to pardon their political cronies or favored donors, the pardon powers are corrupted. Trump’s application of powers in this particular instance reflects a contempt for the Constitution. The separation of powers requires the Executive to respect the ability of the Judiciary to apply and interpret the law. Trump, in this case, has usurped the rightful role of the judiciary to ensure that its court orders are enforced. We call for a reexamination across the board of how the Presidential pardon system operates. It must be used to advance justice, not thwart it.

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