Manuel Madrid

Manuel Madrid is a writing fellow at The American Prospect

Recent Articles

Jeff Sessions and the Conservative Nostalgia for Harsh Sentencing

A new Republican bill would slap nonviolent criminals with 15-year mandatory minimum sentences. White-collar crimes, property crimes, and drug-related offenses would all count toward being considered a “career armed criminal.”

(AP Photo/John Amis)
(AP Photo/John Amis) Attorney General Jeff Sessions waits to take the stage to deliver remarks on efforts to combat violent crime in America during an appearance at the United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Georgia on August 9, 2018, in Macon, Georgia. A ttorney General Jeff Sessions’s full-court press for more tough-on-crime policies has found a home in Congress. Speaking before a crowd of law enforcement officials and prosecutors on August 8 in Little Rock, Arkansas, Sessions called for legislation to reinstate an aggressive Reagan-era sentencing law that targets repeat offenders. “I was a United States Attorney before the Armed Career Criminal Act—and I was United States Attorney afterward,” Sessions said. “I’ve seen its importance firsthand as we worked to reduce crime in America. ... We need Congress to fix the law so that we can keep violent career criminals off of our streets.” About an hour before the speech, Republican Senators Orrin Hatch of Utah, Tom...

For Missouri Unions, the Battle Is Far from Over

Voters rejected “right to work,” but other new laws could curtail workers’ power.

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) On August 7, 2018, Missouri voters rejected the state's "right to work" law by a margin of 2 to 1. trickle-downers.jpg M issouri unions will have little time to catch their breath after their decisive victory at the ballot box on Tuesday. By a 2-to-1 margin, voters in the Show Me State rejected a “right to work” law that would have allowed both public- and private-sector workers in unionized workplaces to opt out of paying dues to the unions that would still be required to bargain contracts for them and represent them in disputes with management. Similar “right to work” legislation has led to significant drops in union revenues and rolls in states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana. Missouri Republicans had for decades pushed for the law, and finally got their chance after the 2016 election of former Governor Eric Greitens, who was forced to resign in June amid a months-long scandal and felony charges. The ballot initiative would have made Missouri the...

Republicans’ ‘Tax Reform 2.0’ Would Be (Another) Giveaway to the Rich

By expanding the scope of 529 savings accounts, the GOP gives the wealthy another way to cut their taxes.

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) House Speaker Paul Ryan closes the door before speaking at a news conference after a Republican caucus meeting on July 24, 2018. trickle-downers.jpg W ith midterm elections quickly approaching, House Republicans have bet on tax cuts as their ticket to remaining in power in November. Now, they’re doubling down on that bet. On Tuesday, GOP members of the House Ways and Means Committee released a two-page policy outline for a second round of tax cuts to build on and draw attention to what they believe to be the still unnoticed virtues of their landmark tax act passed in December, which has lost popularity with voters in the past few months. The "tax reform 2.0" would make permanent various (mostly regressive) individual tax breaks included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that were set to expire in 2025 as well as offer a variety of retirement and family saving incentives. The value of one such incentive, the 529 College Savings Accounts, depends entirely on the...

“Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing”: How ICE and Other Agencies Vilify Immigrant Youth

An interview with Immigration Law Professor Laila Hlass

(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson) Immigrant children walk in line outside the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children in Homestead, Florida, on June 20, 2018. “ Violent animals.” “Menace.” “Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing.” This is the language that President Donald Trump and members of his administration have used to describe immigrants both entering and already in the country. It’s a two-step process: First, intentionally employ imprecise speech to condemn undocumented youth as a whole and then, quietly, qualify the comments. It wasn’t all undocumented youth that they meant, you see—just the MS-13 gang members, just the bad guys. But this policy of ambiguity is far from harmless. Even before Trump, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other sub-agencies of the Department of Homeland Security tasked with the internal enforcement of immigration law had been known to use even the most baseless rumor of gang affiliation as a cudgel against immigrant youth, often resulting in...

D.C. Council Members Join Congressional Republicans to Override Voters’ Decision to Raise Tipped Workers’ Wages

District voters passed Initiative 77, but “Freedom Caucus” House leaders and Democrats on the council say the vote shouldn’t count.

Prarinya/Shutterstock trickle-downers_54.jpg T he fight over increasing the tipped minimum wage in Washington, D.C., is making for strange bedfellows. Having long bemoaned congressional Republicans’ habit of meddling in District affairs, a majority of the D.C. Council now find themselves in the uncomfortable position of joining in common cause with two members of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus. The Republican representatives—Mark Meadows of North Carolina, who chairs the Freedom Caucus, and Gary Palmer of Alabama—moved Wednesday to block Initiative 77, a voter-approved ballot measure that would increase the minimum wage for tipped workers in the District. The measure passed with 55 percent of the vote in the June primary elections after a vicious (and expensive) messaging campaign to defeat it. The Freedom Caucus push arrived the day after seven of the council’s 13 members co-introduced legislation to overturn Initiative 77, aligning local Democrats and congressional...

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