Congresson Department of Homeland Security problem
Thecurrent standoff in congress between Republicans and Democrats hasplaced the Department of Homeland Security at great risk of shuttingdown completely. Republicans want to pass a legislation that assignsfunds to the department but at the same time blocks the move byPresident Obama to delay deportation of millions of undocumentedimmigrants. The department can only sustain itself until end ofFebruary and at the beginning of March it will shut down (Ehrenfreund2015). The department is being used as leverage by Republicans who inDecember passed the budget that would fund government operations tillthe end of the year except for the department which is served withthe mandate of fulfilling President Obama’s plans. Democrats areinsisting on a clean Security Homeland Security Bill that as noclause on the issues of delayed immigrant deportation.
Createdafter September 11 attacks, the primary role of the department is toprotect the US from terrors attacks and control movement in and outof America. The department is also responsible for many otheractivities in the nation that Republicans hope that Democrats are notwilling to forego. Both sides are thus waiting to see who will blinkfirst and ascend to the others demands. In the process, they continueto put the country as risk of terror attack as they flex theirpolitical muscles. It is very interesting to note that each side isblaming the other for putting the country at risk. During aDemocrats’ conference, Rep. Loretta Sanchez is on record remindingRepublicans of the recent Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris and thepotential impact of the delays and stalemate (Brown 2015). However,according to Ehrenfreund (2015) the debate and the game being playedin Congress is pointless as only about 14% of the department’sworkforce would be affected as other positions are considered tooimportant and risky to be furloughed.
SupremeCourt Looks At Abercrombie & Fitch`s Hijab Discrimination Case
Clothesretailer, Abercrombie & Fitch is currently embroiled in a casebattle at the Supreme Court over religious discrimination accusationby a potential employee. The US Equal Employment OpportunityCommission (EEOC) is pressing the charges on hebalf fo the allegedvictim, Samantha Elauf. Elauf claims that seven years ago, she wasdenied employment at the firm due to her religious headscarf. Theyoung woman is said to have reported to the interview while wearing ablack headscarf know n as hijab. According to the prosecution, theassistant store manager who interviewed her apparently gave herone-out-of-three rating for "appearance and sense of style"which automatically disqualified her. Again, the hijab apparentlyviolated the firm’s “look policy” which prohibits any form ofheadwear or black clothing. The case has attracted considerableattention from religious bodies and organizations across the country(Sky News Team 2015).
Courtproceedings have revealed interesting legal arguments. Just becausethe interviewer did not ask Elauf any questions regarding the hijabmeans that he made assumptions about her religion and faith which ledto discrimination. The interviewer correctly assumed that Elauf was aMuslim and that the headscarf was worn for religious reasons. Toclaim innocence of the firm, the interviewer should have soughtclarification on the headscarf to understand whether Elauf waswearing it as fashion or for other reasons. Therefore, the interviewassumed that Elauf would be wearing the hijab to work every day forreligious reasons. American laws on discrimination are very clearthat employers should seek to make accommodations where applicable tosuch employees. However, the law is not clear whether employers mustoffer religious accommodation automatically or it should berequested. Elauf never requested accommodation despite being awareprior to the interview about the firm policy on headgear and blackclothing (Wolf 2015). The case is yet to be settled and the decisionof the court will affect many other similar cases.
Brown,Alex, DemocratsFlip the Script on Security,National Journal, Feb 4 2015. Web. 26th
Ehrenfreund,Max, TheDebate Over the Department of Homeland Security is LiterallyPointless.
TheWashington Post. February18 2015.Web. 26thFeb 2015<http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/02/18/the-debate-over-the-department-of-homeland-security-is-literally-pointless/>
SkyNews Team, Abercrombie& Fitch Hijab Row Goes To Court25thFeb 2015. Web. 26thFeb
Wolf,Richard, Muslim`scase takes `look` at Abercrombie & Fitch policy,25thFeb 2015. Web.