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Unrest In America: Over 300 people charged with federal crimes amid nationwide riots

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The U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday that over 300 individuals in 29 states had been charged with federal crimes in connection to nationwide riots.

The charges range from attempted murder, assaulting a law enforcement officer, arson, burglary of a federally-licensed firearms dealer, damaging federal property, malicious destruction of property using fire or explosives, felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, unlawful possession of a destructive device, inciting a riot, felony civil disorder, among others, according to the Justice Department.

The Justice Department noted that several individuals allegedly caused damage and destruction of local businesses and others where suspects allegedly violently attacked law enforcement. For example, on June 1 a Boston man shot at least 11 rounds towards officers under the guise of a peaceful protest.

The crimes range in possible jail sentences, however, the more violent and destructive crimes, such as assaulting a police officer could carry charges of up to 20 years. There were 35 suspects charged with assaulting a police officer and the like.

Moreover, 30 suspects were charged with crimes classified as “civil disorder,” some of them using social media sites to organize violence and destruction across the country. Additionally, a number of individuals were charged with burglary and carjacking.

The Justice Department’s announcement comes at a time when racial tensions and attacks on law enforcement are all too common. This week was no exception as rioters took to the streets of several major cities to protest the Grand Jury’s decision in the Breonna Taylor case. Amid the unrest, two Louisville, Kentucky police officers were shot and one suspect is in custody. The two officers are expected to survive.

Earlier this month, Attorney General William Barr explained that some of the violence originates from anarchist groups like Antifa and there’s evidence of their tracks in many of these cities facing the worst of the riots.

“I’ve talked to every police chief in every city where there has been major violence and they all have identified antifa as the ramrod for the violence,” Barr said in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “They are flying around the country. We know people who are flying around the country.”

He continued, “We see some of the purchases they are making before the riots of weapons to use in those riots. So, we are following them.”

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Economy

NY Lawmakers want to tax tech giants to get $500M to fund unemployment benefits for illegal migrants

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New York lawmakers are debating over a proposed Democratic initiative that would pave the way for a multibillion-dollar fund designed to provide unemployment benefits for illegal immigrants. Spearheaded by state Senator Jessica Ramos, a Queens Democrat, the proposal has ignited passionate discussions within the Senate Finance Committee, where it currently awaits further deliberation.

The Center Square reports the proposal would utilize a $500 million trust fund earmarked specifically to offer jobless benefits for individuals who find themselves ineligible for traditional unemployment payments and other public assistance programs. To finance this ambitious endeavor, proponents of the plan are advocating for the imposition of a novel tax targeting tech behemoths like Google and Amazon. This tax, aimed at digital advertising revenue, is projected to generate hundreds of millions of dollars to sustain the fund.

Ramos has alluded to her belief that migrants are a fundamental contribution to the state’s economy. Despite their authorization to work, payment of taxes, and active involvement in the labor force, undocumented immigrants face a glaring disparity—they are excluded from accessing vital safety nets like unemployment benefits if they lose their jobs.

In a social media post, Ramos cited the expiration of federal unemployment insurance for freelancers and the depletion of the Excluded Workers Fund. She argues vehemently for a safety net aligned with the evolving dynamics of the labor market, one that extends support to all workers, regardless of their immigration status.

The proposed fund, aptly named the Unemployment Bridge Program, outlines comprehensive eligibility criteria encompassing a spectrum of marginalized workers—from undocumented migrants to freelancers and individuals recently released from incarceration or immigrant detention. By establishing clear guidelines and procedures, the program endeavors to streamline the application process, ensuring equitable access to unemployment benefits for those in need.

The initiative comes in the wake of prolonged deliberations regarding jobless benefits for undocumented immigrants and nontraditional workers in New York. Amid the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state previously allocated $2.1 billion to the Excluded Workers Fund, offering a lifeline to those excluded from conventional unemployment benefits.

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2025 underscores a commitment to supporting asylum seekers, with significant allocations directed towards housing and legal assistance. The proposal has met with opposition from Republicans, who argue for prioritizing legal residents and taxpayers in the allocation of state resources. Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt contends that limited resources should be reserved exclusively for those who have contributed to the state’s tax base.

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