Blogs: Current events

Scale representation judicial justiceOn July 19, 2017, the Supreme Court rejected an attempt by President Donald Trump to include grandparents and other relatives of U.S. residents in his travel ban on people from six countries. But the judges also gave the government the right to enforce a separate ban on refugees, pending a government appeal against a U.S. District Court of Hawaii order.

On July 13, 2017, Judge Derrick K. Watson of the U.S. District Court of Hawaii ruled that grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins of persons in the United States cannot be included in Trump's travel ban, and that assurances from a resettlement agency were adequate to protect people from the refugee ban. See page 26 of the ruling for the order.  It was appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court on July 14.

On June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court partly and temporarily reinstated President Trump's travel and refugee ban. They will consider it in full in October. The Supreme Court said in Monday's decision: "that [the executive order] may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a relationship with a person or entity in the United States. All other foreign nationals are subject to the provisions of [the executive order]." The order is on pages 9-13.

On June 12, 2017, the Ninth Circuit Cort of Appeals upheld the Hawaii court decision blocking Trump's revised travel ban on people from six mainly Muslim nations.

On May 25, 2017, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals left in place the freeze on Trump’s revised travel ban. The majority opinion is on pages 12-79. 

See earlier library blog posts:

Court ruling stops President Trump from withholding funds from sanctuary cities

Court challenges to the second travel ban

Resources for immigrants, refugees and travelers affected by President Trump's first travel ban

Mayor Charlie Hales at National Night Out - City of Portland photo

In early August for the last 30 years, communities and neighborhoods have been getting together to meet, celebrate and have fun at National Night Out celebrations. These events were started to promote safe neighborhoods and crime prevention initiatives by solidifying partnerships between law enforcement and communities. National Night Out events are generally free and family-friendly. 

The official date of National Night Out is the first Tuesday in August, but there are so many parties happening in Multnomah County, they can't all take place on the same day. The City of Portland compiles a list of parties submitted to them for publicizing. In Gresham, call 503.618.2567 to find out where there's a party near you, and in Troutdale call 503.665.6129. Learn more about Fairview's party on its National Night Out page.

Thinking of planning your own party? The Office of Neighborhood Involvement in Portland has a variety of National Night Out party planning resources to help you plan anything from a small potluck picnic with chalk out for the kids to a big bash with a live band that shuts down the street. There is also a brief National Night Out page for Gresham. The message from the experts is to start early — it's not too early to plan for next year! 

A continuing feature of local celebrations is that groups can request to have police officers and firefighters show up at their party. And who knows, your neighborhood could throw a party and maybe even the mayor will show up!

To get you planning your party, meeting your neighbors and thinking about community, we've compiled a list of reading suggestions.

Below are the parties where you can connect with your neighborhood library this summer. We can't hit all the parties (we'd be so tired!), but where you see us, you can guarantee that we'll be talking about great books, services and resources. Come say hi!

North Portland Library
Tuesday, August 1, Peninsula Park, 700 N Roda Parks Ave., Portland
Hillsdale Library
Tuesday, August 1, Dewitt Park, 1805 SW Dewitt St., Portland
Fairview-Columbia Library
Tuesday, August 1, Fairview Community Park, 21600 NE Park Lane, Fairview
Friday, July 21, Wood Village Baptist Church, 23601 NE Arata Rd., Wood Village
Midland Library
Tuesday August 1, Mill Park, SE 117th St. and Stephens Ave., Portland
Holgate Library
Tuesday, August 1, Kern Park, SE 67th Ave. and Center St., Portland
Capitol Hill Library
Tuesday, August 1, Capitol Hill Library, 10723 SW Capitol Hwy., Portland
Kenton Library
Tuesday, August 1, McCoy Park, N Trenton St. & Newman Ave., Portland
Central Library
Friday, August 4, Portland State University Park Blocks, between SW Harrison St. and Montgomery St., Portland
Gresham Library
Friday, August 4, The Rosewood Initiative, 16126 SE Stark St., Portland 


Understanding and mutual respect for people with diverse histories, cultures, and religions is essential to a functioning democracy. If you're curious about Muslim beliefs and the cultural heritage associated with Islamic civilizations. here are some lists and resources to get you started. Many of these resources we put together through a joint project of the American Libraries Association and the National Edowment for the Humanities. 


There are so many court challenges to President Trump's second travel ban that it is hard to keep it all straight.  Which court action did what?  And is the media interpreting each action clearly, without bias? Here are links to the official court dockets and documents, so you can form your own intrepretation.  The dockets list every document submitted regarding a court case, with links to some, but not all of the documents.  We have pulled out key orders, complaints and injunctions.


Primary cases


State of Hawaii v. Trump. On March 15, US District Judge Derrick Watson issued an Order Granting Motion for Temporary Restraining Order that blocked President Trump’s second travel ban, which was scheduled to take effect March 16.  It blocked Section 2 that that suspended for 90 days the entry of nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and YemenIt and also restrained Section 6 that would have suspended all refugee admissions for 120 days.  It was challenged March 8 in a Second Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief.  The United States Courts Archive is often late in filing documents.  Here is a source that is more up to date: Documents in State of Hawaii et al v. Trump—A Challenge to President Trump's March 6, 2017 Travel Ban.  On March 29, 2017 Judge Watson issued the  ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO CONVERT TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER TO A PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION. On April 4 the United States Court of Appeals For The Ninth Circuit scheduled the oral arguments for the appeal for May 15, 2017.


International Refugee Assistance Project, et al., v. Donald J. Trump, et al. Judge Theodore D. Chuang of The United States District Court, District of Maryland on March 15 issued a Preliminary Injuction against Section 2(c) only of President Trump's second travel ban. That is the section that suspended for 90 days the entry of nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.  President Trump appealed the Maryland decision to the United States Court of Appeal for the Fourth Circuit on March 17, 2017.  Order expediting appeal and scheduling oral argument for May 8, 2017, filed March 23, 2017.


Litigation Documents & Resources Related to Trump Executive Order on Immigration is a web site by Lawfare that provides timely links to court documents.


Other ongoing cases


On March 13, State of Washington, et al v. Donald J. Trump, et al challenged the second travel ban in an Emergency Motion to Enforce Preliminary Injunction. Washington was joined by Minnesota, Oregon and Massachusetts in its lawsuit. The Los Angeles Times reported on March 13 that Maryland and New York planned to join.  On March 15, The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in an Order “failed” to vote for en banc reconsideration of their order which previously denied a motion of the government for a stay of a Western District of Washington restraining order on “President Trump’s first Executive Order – the ban on immigrants and visitors from seven Muslim countries.”  On March 16 the Ninth Circuit issued an Order Denying Washington’s Emergency Motion To Enforce The Preliminary Injunction against the first Executive Order, saying that there are substantial differences between the first and second orders.  Further action on this case was suspended pending the outcome of the Hawaii case.

Doe, John v. Trump, Donald et al granted a temporary restraining order on March 10 regarding one individual Syrian family.

Arab American Civil Rights League et al v. Donald Trump et al

International Refugee Assistance Project et al v. Trump et al

Al-Mowafak et al v. Trump et al. Filed by the ACLU of Northern California.

Sarsour et al v. Trump et alAziz et al v. Trump et al


Multnomah County Library’s earlier blog posts

President Trump's second travel ban   

Resources for immigrants, refugees and travelers affected by President Trump's first travel ban     

Exploring the refugee experience


Related actions:

Executive Order: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States, 1/25/17.

Department of Homeland Security Implementation of the Executive Order on Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States



President Trump's second travel ban, signed on March 6, 2017, is a substantial revision of his January 27 Executive Order 13769, Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, which was blocked by several courts.

The March 6 executive order, with an effective date of March 16, 2017, has many provisions that are the same as the January 27 order, such as the limit of 50,000 refugees in fiscal year 2017. But there are substantial changes as well:

  • It excludes Iraq from the list of countries whose citizens cannot travel to the United States for 90 days, because “... the close cooperative relationship between the United States and the democratically elected Iraqi government, the strong United States diplomatic presence in Iraq, the significant presence of United States forces in Iraq, and Iraq's commitment to combat ISIS justify different treatment for Iraq.”

  • It no longer says that citizens from Syria are permanently blocked.  

  • It no longer blocks people with valid visas at the time of the effective date of the order.

  • It does not apply to permanent residents of the United States, nor dual nationals.

  • It does not apply to any foreign national traveling on a diplomatic or diplomatic-type visa for travel to the United Nations.

  • It does not give priority to religious minorities.

  • See Section 3(C) for nine examples of circumstances that warrant case-by-case waivers to the exclusions.

  • Although the entire refugee program will again be suspended for 120 days, the suspension “shall not apply to refugee applicants who, before the effective date of this order, have been formally scheduled for transit by the Department of State.”

Additional provisions include:

  • Collecting and making publicly available data on foreign nationals charged with terrorism offences, and related categories. (Section 11)

  • “Any individual whose visa was marked revoked or marked canceled as a result of Executive Order 13769 shall be entitled to a travel document confirming that the individual is permitted to travel to the United States and seek entry.” (Section 12(D))

Related information:

Eleanor & Park are a couple of misfits that meet on the school bus.  One is trying to fly under the radar, the other, with flaming red hair, Eleanor & Parkcan't be missed.  The only thing they have in common is that neither of them fit in at school.  Gradually, because one is too nice and the other too pushy, they develop a friendship that may, or may not, last.  Sounds pretty innocent, huh?  Not to some parents in Yamhill-Carlton School District.  They convinced the school board to ban the book from an eigth grade reading list without following procedures.  With enough community outcry, the school board reinstated the book while the review procedures are followed.  Read all about it in the article " Oregon School Board Reconsiders Hasty Ban of Eleanor & Park" posted on the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) website.

Many members of our community have questions about how President Trump’s first travel ban, his January 27 Executive Order, #13769, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” will affect them and their loved ones. While the library does not offer legal advice, we can refer community members to a wide variety of resources.  Here is the official Homeland Security/U.S. Customs and Border Protection Questions and Answers about the Executive Order.

This page on local low-cost legal resources for immigrants is a great place to start. Another useful resource for information on this topic is the American Immigration Lawyers Association, which includes up-to-date explanations of policy changes and finding an immigration lawyer. ACLU of Oregon is another good source for legal questions about immigration status and civil rights.  For refugees, the Refugee Center Online offers resources on a variety of legal topics in a wide range of languages, including information on recent executive orders and other policy changes.

Localy, Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) is a key organization in Portland serving recent arrivals. The Muslim Educational Trust is a nonprofit educational organization that addresses issues faced by the Muslim community in the Portland area, including travel and immigration, as well as presenting interfaith events and programs. MultCo Global is a Multnomah County site that seeks to support county staff, as well as nonprofit and government partners, who serve immigrant and refugee communities.

Please seek legal counsel for legal interpretation of these and other court rulings regarding Executive Order 13769.   Here is a brief summary of some of the initial cases:

Immigration is one of many issues that have been in the news lately. We know that it can be hard to keep up with all of the important topics that affect our lives; please think of the library whenever you are looking for more information or trying to find a reputable source. We are here to connect everyone in our community with the information they need. Please contact us.

Banned Books Week is almost here and the 2016 Annual Report from the Oregon Intellectual Freedom Clearinghouse (OIFC) has been published.  A total of nine challenges were made in Oregon, of which three are teen and childrens books.  All of the books were retained in the libraries. See what you think.

The Brimstone Journals by Ron Koertge was challenged for 1) Sexual content unsuited to age and 2) Values (violence)
Written for teens, the poems reflect 15 different high school students in a school where violence is brewing.
Five, Six, Seven, Nate! by Tim Federle was objected to for reasons of Sexual content unsuited to age.  This middle grade novel is a sequel to Federle's Better Nate Than Ever, the story of a 12 year old that wants to be on Broadway.  Now 13 and having won a part in a Broadway show, Nate must learn how to cope with the drama behind the scenes. 
Little Bill series by Bill Cosby was challenged as an inappropriate summer reading prize for children when there are criminal charges against the author.  The Little Bill series was written for beginning readers and promote a variety of values such as friendship and honesty and issues such as death.


Every September, libraries around the country celebrate the freedom to read whatever we choose during Banned Books Week.  This year, Multnomah County Library is hosting the event: Banned Books: Diversity, Inclusion & Respect on Monday, Sep 26 to highlight diverse comics.  Increasingly, books by diverse authors or about diverse communities wind up on the list of most challenged titles. Comic book authors M.K. Reed (Americus), Jonathan Hill (Americus), Anina Bennett (Boilerplate), Tristan Tarwater (Hen & Chick) and editor Hannah Means-Shannon (Dark Horse Comics) will discuss this trend and express a vision for how greater inclusion means a stronger future for intellectual freedom. This panel discussion is presented and moderated by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. This program is made possible by The National Endowment for the Humanities Fund of The Library Foundation.

Outline of the U.S. and image of a camera lens, with the words "CHOOSE PRIVACY" beneath them.May 1st through 7th has been designated by the American Library Association as Choose Privacy Week, and this year it is just as relevant as ever. A recent Pew Internet study shows many American adults who go online do not have a good understanding of cybersecurity. This spring, we also read about a vote to repeal rules requiring ISPs to protect customers’ privacy. 

What does privacy mean to you? Is it a place where no one is watching you or listening to what you say? Thanks to our ever-connected gadgets (our phones, computers, televisions, e-readers) such places are becoming more and more scarce. Every digital breath we take is noted, collected, and recorded for future marketing or security purposes.

Should we care? After all, we get many benefits by giving up our privacy: we receive recognition from others, we can easily share and communicate with groups of friends, we get free email. But a world without privacy is also a world where you are not free to ask questions or seek information without being monitored.

Libraries care about privacy. Why? Because, according to the American Library Association, "the freedom to read and receive ideas anonymously is at the heart of individual liberty in a democracy.” 

The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Privacy webpage is a good place to keep up to date with current privacy issues, especially in the online world. To learn more online privacy, take a look at Portland Community College’s Privacy Online guide: it includes videos and links about the ways that privacy is compromised online, and tips for how you can protect it.

Book cover for Intellectual Privacy by Neil RichardsIf, like me, you’re more of a book person, I’ve made a reading list called “Privacy? What’s privacy?” - it includes current books that will help you start to answer that question. If you’d rather get your dystopia in a make-believe format, another reading list, “Surveillance stories and privacy parables,” includes books and DVDs about the privacy-less society that we just might be headed toward.

Are you taking steps to protect your privacy? Or have you already given up on the notion of privacy? Leave your comments below (and please feel free to do so anonymously).


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