CRIME/NATIONAL SECURITY/TRUMP: “NO DOUBTER” – ANYONE WHO THINKS THAT VALDI PUTIN DIDN’T HELP ELECT TRUMP IS BADLY MISTAKEN – Just Read Mueller’s Latest Indictment! – I’ve Got It for You!

 

Russian Indictment

 

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So, now you know why:

  • Trump fears the truth;
  • Sessions runs around the country trashing Dreamers, asylum seekers, lawyers, empowering MS-13, and promoting his White Nationalist agenda while not lifting a finger to prevent Russian meddling in our elections;
  • DHS is headed by a lightweight sycophant who is more concerned about deporting gardeners and maids and “kissing up” to Trump’s racist agenda than about protecting our country from the active threat by Russia;
  • We’re standing by and letting Russia run all over us on the world stage;
  • Vladi is just delighted with the performance of his “Puppet President,” “Agent Devon,” and a host of GOP “Fellow Travelers;”
  • Trump and his cohorts are out to destroy the career civil service because career civil servants owe allegiance to our Constitution rather than to Trump and his corrupt minions.

Wake up, folks, and vote the GOP out of office, on all levels, before it’s too late for America!

PWS

02-15-18

HUMAN RIGHTS FIRST – JOIN THE BATTLE – TELL YOUR SENATORS TO ”JUST SAY NO” TO ADMINISTRATION’S SLEAZY WHITE NATIONALIST ATTACK ON HUMAN RIGHTS, DREAMERS, AND HUMAN DECENCY!

Human Rights First - American Ideals. Universal Values.
Paul,

The Dreamers—immigrants brought to the United States as children—have become the quintessential political football. And today, the battle continues.

The Senate will vote on bills today to protect the Dreamers, but many of them include inhumane provisions that would turn our backs on asylum seekers—some of the most vulnerable individuals in the world.

President Trump and his allies are using Dreamers, asylum seekers, and refugees as bargaining chips to pursue extreme immigration restrictions.

Take Action Now

Under the Trump Administration, the United States is turning away migrants at the border, restricting their ability to seek asylum, and increasing criminal prosecutions. And today, the Senate may vote to expand these cruel practices further, punishing refugees fleeing violence and prosecution, and families left in harm’s way.

Join with us and call on your senators to stand firm on protections for refugees, asylum seekers, and families.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Quigley

Advocacy Strategist

On human rights, the United States must be a beacon. America is strongest when our policies and actions match our values.
Human Rights First - American Ideals. Universal Values.
Human Rights First is an independent advocacy and action organization that challenges America to live up to its ideals. We believe American leadership is essential in the struggle for human rights so we press the U.S. government and private companies to respect human rights and the rule of law. When they don’t, we step in to demand reform, accountability and justice. Around the world, we work where we can best harness American influence to secure core freedoms.

Human Rights First
New York: 75 Broad Street, 31st Floor, New York, NY 10004
Washington: 805 15th Street, NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20005
Houston: 1303 San Jacinto Street, 9th Floor, Houston, TX 77002
Los Angeles: 333 South Hope Street, 43rd Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90071
www.humanrightsfirst.org | Click here to unsubscribe | Click here to signup

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Click on “Take Action Now” to stop the White Nationalist assault on American Values and Human Rights.  “Harm to one, is harm to all.” 

“We can diminish ourselves as a Nation, but that won’t stop human migration!”

PWS

02-15-18

“QUEEN OF DISINGENUOUS NONSENSE” SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS WAS AT A LOSS FOR WORDS – WHILE SOME MIGHT WELL VIEW THAT AS A GOOD THING FOR AMERICA, DANA MILBANK @ WASHPOST HELPS HER OUT! — “I used the time waiting in vain for Wednesday’s briefing to compile the following executive summary of l’affaire Porter, in Trump administration officials’ own words . . . .”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/sarah-huckabee-sanders-is-at-a-loss-for-words-on-rob-porter-i-am-here-for-her/2018/02/14/0a019a22-11e2-11e8-9065-e55346f6de81_story.html

Milbank writes:

“Are you having trouble keeping up with the Rob Porter scandal? Apparently Sarah Huckabee Sanders is.

Her daily press briefing Wednesday was scheduled for 1 p.m., then at 2 p.m. was postponed until 4 p.m., then at 4 p.m. was abandoned entirely. The menu of topics — scandals at the EPA and VA, confirmation of a payoff to porn actress Stormy Daniels and, by midafternoon, another horrendous school shooting — was hardly appetizing. And the unpalatable entree was sure to be Porter, the White House staff secretary who resigned last week amid accusations of wife-beating that were ignored by the White House for months.

After eight days of the administration’s shifting and contradictory explanations of its handling of Porter, it’s quite understandable that Sanders would be at a loss for words. But I am here for her. As a public service, I used the time waiting in vain for Wednesday’s briefing to compile the following executive summary of l’affaire Porter, in Trump administration officials’ own words:

White House officials “are all processing the shocking and troubling allegations made against” Porter, which is why they “hope he has a wonderful career and hopefully he will have a great career ahead of him.”

Columnist Ruth Marcus says White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly is as much of a disgrace as the former staff secretary whose spousal abuse Kelly covered up.

Porter “says he’s innocent and I think you have to remember that. He said very strongly yesterday that he’s innocent,” which explains why “it became apparent to us that the allegations were true.”

Porter “is someone of the highest integrity and exemplary character” and is the victim of “a coordinated smear campaign.” As a result, there is “no reason not to believe the women” who accused him, and his “resignation was appropriate.”

Resignation “was a personal decision that Rob made and one that he was not pressured to do, but one that he made on his own.” Furthermore, “we dismissed that person immediately.”

There were “contemporaneous police reports,” “women speaking to the FBI under threat of perjury” and “photographs” corroborating accusations of wife beating. Consequently, “we absolutely wish him well.”

The White House “learned of the extent of the situation involving Rob Porter last Tuesday evening,” as a result of Porter himself telling the White House counsel of the situation in January 2017.

As of Sunday, the White House “had not received a final investigation” of Porter’s background because “the FBI has the ongoing investigations” had “not completed that investigation,” which is only logical given that the FBI gave the White House “a completed background investigation” in July and “closed the file” last month.

Kelly learned the details of Porter’s situation only “40 minutes before he threw him out,” last week, several months after Kelly reportedly was informed that allegations of spousal abuse were holding up Porter’s security clearance.

Once White House officials learned of the Porter allegations, “within 24 hours his resignation had been accepted and announced,” which is why the White House security office informed high-level White House officials about the allegations in November and Porter resigned in February.

The president has “absolute confidence in Gen. Kelly,” who is “an American hero” and also a “big fat liar.”

The “White House personnel security office,” which received the FBI’s background report on Porter, is part of “a process that doesn’t operate within the White House.”

The president is “totally opposed to domestic violence of any kind,” while “people’s lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation.” Domestic violence “is abhorrent and has no place in our society,” and “there is no recovery for someone falsely accused.” The White House takes “matters of domestic violence very seriously,” and “the president is shaped by a lot of false accusations against him” and wonders, “Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?”

When you think about the Porter affair this way, it all begins to make perfect sense. Yes, the matter is “shocking,” and the White House “could have done better.” And at the same time, “what happened this week was completely reasonable and normal.”

In the Trump White House, this juxtaposition of “shocking” and “normal” somehow doesn’t feel like an oxymoron.”

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Trump and his “toady/sycophant/enablers are “normalizing” lies and misinformation.

The Trump Administrator is the biggest threat to our democracy and our national security. Will enough folks wake up to the threat before it’s too late?

PWS

02-15-18

SATURDAY SATIRE WITH ANDY BOROWITZ @ THE NEW YORKER — “Trump Gives Wife Beater Praise He Usually Reserves for Child Molesters and Nazis”

https://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/trump-gives-wife-beater-praise-he-usually-reserves-for-child-molesters-and-nazis?mbid=nl_Borowitz%20021018&CNDID=48297443&spMailingID=12907428&spUserID=MjQ1NjUyMTUwNjY5S0&spJobID=1340850260&spReportId=MTM0MDg1MDI2MAS2

“Trump Gives Wife Beater Praise He Usually Reserves for Child Molesters and Nazis

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—In comments to reporters at the White House on Friday, Donald J. Trump stirred controversy by lavishing an alleged wife beater with praise that he historically has reserved for child molesters and Nazis.

Reporters who heard the President’s comments were taken aback since, in the past, the President had given no indication that he held wife beaters in the same high esteem in which he holds supporters of child abuse and white supremacy.

“We knew that President Trump considered child molesters and Nazis very fine people, but this was the first time he had put wife beaters up there, too,” Tracy Klugian, a member of the White House press corps, said. “We wanted clarification as to whether he considered wife beaters as fine as those other two groups, or finer.”

John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, accused reporters of attempting to drive a wedge between three of the President’s most cherished constituencies.

“Donald Trump has made it very clear that he can be the champion of wife beaters, child molesters, and Nazis at the same time,” Kelly said. “He doesn’t play favorites.”

  • Andy Borowitz is the New York Times best-selling author of “The 50 Funniest American Writers,” and a comedian who has written for The New Yorker since 1998. He writes the Borowitz Report, a satirical column on the news, for newyorker.com.”

    **************************************************

WARNING: THIS IS “FAKE NEWS” BUT COMES WITH MY ABSOLUTE, UNCONDITIONAL, MONEY BACK GUARANTEE THAT IT CONTAINS MORE TRUTH THAN THE AVERAGE TRUMP TWEET OR SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS NEWS BRIEFING, AND ALSO WITH MORE FACTUAL ACCURACY THAN ANY REPORT PREPARED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF “AGENT DEVON!”

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I can can see why misogynists would be attracted to the Wh’s House, headed by a man who successfully campaigned on a platform of misogyny and disrespect for women.

Also, let the record show that I said months ago that by the time General Kelly was done “serving” the Trumpster (and thereby dis-serving our county) his reputation would be “in the gutter.” Nobody close to the “Con-Man-In-Chief” can avoid being “splattered with the slime.”

Miserable as his tenure at the DHS was, Kelly has sunk to new depths in his current position (which the “Trump leak mill” says he might not have for long).

PWS

02-10-18

 

 

NY TIMES COGENTLY EXPLAINS WHY TRUMP GOP NATIVIST IMMIGRATION PROGRAM WOULD BE BAD FOR AMERICA!

“Congress now appears likely to reach a budget deal to keep the government functioning without treating as bargaining chips hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants brought to the United States when they were children. It also appears, though, that President Trump will consider undoing his threat of deportation for these young “Dreamers” only if Congress considers the first deep cuts to legal immigration since the 1920s.
The changes the president is demanding stem from a nativist, zero-sum view that what’s good for immigrants is bad for America. That view runs counter not just to the best of American tradition and principles, but to evidence of what’s best for the country.
The programs targeted by Mr. Trump are designed to make legal immigration more diverse and humane. One is the lottery system that offers the chance for visas to people from countries that are underrepresented as sources of American immigrants; the other is family-based immigration, which offers visas to close relatives of citizens and legal residents.
Mr. Trump, who has regularly smeared immigrants as terrorists and criminals, has lately been focusing his fear-mongering on the diversity visa program. Last month, his Department of Homeland Security released a report that dishonestly claimed that those who entered the country via the lottery were more likely to be tied to terrorist attacks. The Cato Institute found that lottery visa holders actually killed only eight of 3,037 Americans murdered by foreign-born terrorists since 1975. The immigrants chosen in the lottery, moreover, are not chosen “without any regard for skill, merit or the safety of our people,” as Mr. Trump said in his State of the Union address. They must have at least a high school education or two years of experience in skilled work, and they must also undergo criminal, national security and medical checks. The 50,000 recipients of the visas are not guaranteed permanent residence, only a chance at getting through the rest of the immigration process.
Mr. Trump has said that the family reunification program — which he and other immigration opponents prefer to call “chain migration” — opens the floodgates to “virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives.” In fact, relatives other than spouses, parents and minor children are subject to annual caps and country quotas, so that, today, the backlog is almost four million applicants, most of them facing many years of waiting to get a visa. Mr. Trump would allow no new applicants other than immediate family members, and even these would no longer include parents. Imposing these restrictions and ending the diversity visa lottery would cut in half the number of legal immigrants.
It is hard to gauge how much of what Mr. Trump says is meant as a scare tactic and how much he really will demand. The one notion that runs through all he says or tweets about immigration is that it is a door for criminals and terrorists to enter the United States. Yet data studied by the Cato Institute indicates that diversity-visa holders and illegal immigrants, the groups most maligned by Mr. Trump, are far less prone to crime than native-born Americans.
Politicians have wrestled for decades with how to deal with immigrants who are in the United States illegally — now around 11 million people. But immigration in itself has been widely regarded as good for America and for the American dream. The preponderance of evidence shows that immigrants help the economy grow. They are more likely to own businesses or to start businesses than the native-born; of the 87 privately held companies currently valued at more than $1 billion, 51 percent had immigrant founders.
There are questions worth examining and debating about whether the United States ought to admit more skilled immigrants and what criteria it uses to screen applicants. But such a debate can’t unfold in the shadow of Mr. Trump’s threat to imminently expel the Dreamers. So what is Mr. Trump really after?
A Gallup poll last June found 62 percent of Americans support maintaining current levels of immigration or even increasing them. And since the country is at nearly full employment, the timing of these anti-immigrant demands might seem odd. Yet it’s no more odd than the president’s tough-on-crime talk at a time when crime is lower than it’s ever been, or his obsession with Islamist terrorists, even though the Government Accountability Office found that right-wing extremists have committed far more domestic attacks against Americans since 2001. Mr. Trump’s approach seems intended less to rationalize the immigration system than to inflame his core supporters by demonizing nonwhite people, as he did when he disparaged immigrants from nations like Haiti and Mexico while praising Norwegians.
Members of Congress know better, and they are aware that there are sensible measures that would clear the immediate hurdle and produce a bipartisan deal. Senators John McCain, the Arizona Republican, and Chris Coons, Democrat of Delaware, have offered a stopgap bill that would end the threat to the Dreamers while strengthening border security. Nothing about diversity visas or family-based migration, nothing for the wasteful wall.
That makes sense. The way we deal with legal immigration should not be changed without a thorough, honest debate.
Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook and Twitter (@NYTOpinion), and sign up for the Opinion Today newsletter.”

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When policies are driven by White Nationalism, racism, and the need to throw “red meat” to a base that has abandoned inclusiveness, humanity, and “enlightened self interest,” there isn’t much room for rationality, facts, or the common good. Unfortunately, that’s a description of the modern GOP.

PWS

02-08-18

 

CRISTIAN FARIAS @ NEW YORK MAGGIE – THE HISTORY OF PROSECUTORIAL DISCRETION IN IMMIGRATION GOING ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE “BERNSEN MEMO” – WHY, CONTRARY TO SESSIONS & THE RESTRICTIONISTS, IT IS A SOUND LEGAL CONCEPT – AND WHY THE SUPREMES SHOULD STAY OUT OF THE DACA ISSUE IN THE LOWER COURTS! – PLUS BONUS TRIVIA! – “Who REALLY wrote that four decades old memo?

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/02/scotus-would-be-crazy-to-jump-into-the-daca-dispute.html

Cristian writes:

“The earliest, highest-profile critic of granting an executive reprieve to Dreamers was none other than Justice Antonin Scalia. The plight of young immigrants brought to the United States as children was not something the Supreme Court was concerned with in 2012, but the late justice somehow felt the need to protest, in open court, President Obama’s then weeks-old decision to not deport them for humanitarian reasons. “The president has said that the new program is, quote, the right thing to do, close quote, in light of Congress’ failure to pass the administration’s proposed revision of the immigration laws,” he said as he read from a summary of his partial dissent in Arizona v. United States. That case and decision had nothing to do with Dreamers.

Maybe Scalia’s real qualm was with the sitting president and not the recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, better known as DACA. But his broader point, which a Supreme Court majority rejected, was that states should have leeway in enforcing federal immigration laws, since they — and not undocumented immigrants — face the “human realities” of a broken immigration system. The citizens of border states like Arizona “feel themselves under siege by large numbers of illegal immigrants who invade their property, strain their social services, and even place their lives in jeopardy,” Scalia complained. Somewhere, a future President Trump may have been taking notes.

More than five years since that screed, the Supreme Court could soon get a chance to judge the propriety, if not the legality, of Trump’s decision last September to pull the plug on DACA. A federal judge in California in January ordered the reinstatement of the program, reasoning that its rescission rested on a “flawed legal premise” — namely, Jeff Sessions’s paper-thin conclusion that DACA was illegal the moment it was conceived. The judge also rejected as “spin” and “post-hoc rationalization” the Trump administration’s contention that DACA was vulnerable to a legal challenge by Texas and other states, which had threatened Sessions with a lawsuit if he didn’t kill the initiative outright. “The agency action was not in accordance with law because it was based on the flawed legal premise that the agency lacked authority to implement DACA,” wrote the judge, William Alsup, in a ruling that effectively brought DACA back from the dead. Days later, the administration began accepting renewal applications as if the rollback had never happened.

Legal scholars weren’t impressed with the ruling. And Sessions, not one to give up on Trump’s anti-immigrant crusade, then took the “rare step” of appealing Alsup’s decision directly to the Supreme Court — and why not? The Ninth Circuit, Trump’s least favorite appeals court, is unruly, liberal, and anti-Trump, anyway; leapfrogging it seemed the smart thing to do. What’s more, Sessions wanted the justices to act expeditiously — his solicitor general filed an additional request to decide the case before the end of June. Not doing so, he suggested, would be the same as blessing “indefinitely an ongoing violation of federal law being committed by nearly 700,000 aliens.” So much for Trump’s wish to treat Dreamers “with heart.” There was only one problem: The Supreme Court rarely, if ever, lets anyone skip over the regular appeals process. And if Sessions is in such a hurry, why didn’t the administration seek to block Alsup’s ruling rather than comply with it? Last Friday, a coalition that includes the University of California, several states, a local chapter of the SEIU, and a number of Dreamers told the Supreme Court to reject the Trump administration’s request to hear the case. The DACA mess, this alliance broadly contended, is Trump’s and Congress’s to own, and the justices shouldn’t be the ones fixing it, at least not with the urgency Sessions is demanding.

. . . .

The principle of prosecutorial discretion, which is what holds DACA together, was never once discussed by Sessions when he announced the wind-down of DACA. He didn’t even try. Prosecutorial discretion wasn’t some novelty that Napolitano came up with at the time, let alone a quirk of immigration law. In a path-breaking memorandum written some 40 years ago, Sam Bernsen, the general counsel of the now-defunct Immigration and Naturalization Service, advised the agency’s commissioner that the “ultimate source for the exercise of prosecutorial discretion” lies with the inherent powers of the presidency. “Under Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution, the executive power is vested in the President,” Bernsen wrote in what is believed to be the first in a long string of government memos justifying prosecutorial discretion in the immigration realm. “Article II, Section 3, states that the President ‘shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.’” Ironically, conservatives would later seize on this “take care” language to argue breathlessly that Obama’s immigration actions were an affront to the constitutional text, but no judge took that argument seriously.

Far and wide, executive officers enjoy similar discretion to enforce the law. From the president down to a lowly street cop, every law enforcer, state or federal, exercises some form of prosecutorial discretion over the laws they’re entrusted to oversee. It’s the reason you don’t always get ticketed for jaywalking or pulled over for doing 65 on a 55, even in instances where you happen to do those things in full view of the police: The government has ample discretion to not go after you if it feels you’re a low-priority lawbreaker. Maybe the 75-miles-per-hour driver is the bigger fish. Whichever the case, the decision is, by and large, unchallengeable. “Federal officials, as an initial matter, must decide whether it makes sense to pursue removal at all,” wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy in the same immigration ruling that Scalia assailed in 2012. “Discretion in the enforcement of immigration law embraces immediate human concerns,” he added.

Kirstjen Nielsen, the new DHS secretary, and Trump himself have all but conceded the point in recent weeks. In an interview with CBS’s John Dickerson, Nielsen said that it’s “not the policy of DHS” to go after Dreamers who are DACA recipients, even if the current legislative talks fail and the program isn’t renewed. “It’s not going to be a priority of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement to prioritize their removal,” Nielsen clarified, directly contradicting the Department of Justice’s position on DACA before the Supreme Court. (Dreamers and immigration advocates know better than to trust Nielsen’s assurances.) Asked last month if he might extend the arbitrary March 5 end date of the DACA rollback process — which is no longer the end date as a result of Judge Alsup’s ruling — Trump spoke as if he never truly believed, like Sessions did, that deferred action was unlawful: “I certainly have the right to do that if I want.”

In this climate, and with Trump still fielding immigration offers as Congress faces yet another deadline to fund the government, the Supreme Court would be crazy to jump into the DACA controversy. “I think for the Supreme Court to reach down to a district court decision and not allow the normal appellate process to proceed would necessarily, under the circumstances, involve or indicate that the Supreme Court is signaling its involvement in a deeply political matter,” Napolitano told me. Scalia may have felt comfortable criticizing policy choices from the bench, but that doesn’t mean Chief Justice John Roberts and his colleagues have to take the bait. For their own peace of mind and that of Dreamers, the Court is better off staying as far away as possible, and letting Trump take care of the laws that give him broad authority to spare young undocumented immigrants if he really wants to.”

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Read the rest of Cristian’s analysis, including his detailed interview with former DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, now President of the University of California System and a plaintiff in the District Court case, over at New York at the above link.

SPECIAL BONUS:

From the “archives” here’s a copy of the famous “Bernsen Memo” of July 15, 1976:

Bernsen Memo service-exercise-pd

YOUR TOSSUP IMMIGRATION TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE DAY:

Who actually wrote the “Bernsen Memo?”  

(Hint: Look at the bottom of the last page.)

WASHPOST WONKBLOG: THE REAL STAKES IN THE TRUMP GOP RESTRICTIONIST IMMIGRATION PROPOSAL – AN ADDITIONAL 1-5 YEARS OF WHITE SUPREMACY! — “By greatly slashing the number of Hispanic and black African immigrants entering America, this proposal would reshape the future United States. Decades ahead, many fewer of us would be nonwhite or have nonwhite people in our families.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/02/06/trump-immigration-plan-could-keep-whites-in-u-s-majority-for-up-to-five-more-years/?hpid=hp_rhp-top-table-main_wonk-trumpimmigration-1215pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.39256eab8ac1

“President Trump’s proposal to cut legal immigration rates would delay the date that white Americans become a minority of the population by as few as one or as many as five additional years, according to an analysis by The Washington Post.

The plan, released by the White House last month, would scale back a program that allows people residing in the United States to sponsor family members living abroad for green cards, and would eliminate the “diversity visa program” that benefits immigrants in countries with historically low levels of migration to the United States. Together, the changes would disproportionately affect immigrants from Latin America and Africa.

The Census Bureau projects that minority groups will outnumber non-Hispanic whites in the United States in 2044. The Post’s analysis projects that, were Trump’s plan to be carried out, the date would be between 2045 and 2049, depending on how parts of it are implemented.

(The Post’s methodology for estimating the annual impact of Trump’s proposed cuts is explained in more detail at the bottom of this story. Projecting this far into the future entails certain assumptions that could alter the range, but demographic experts said The Post’s approach was reasonable.)

All told, the proposal could cut off entry for more than 20 million legal immigrants over the next four decades. The change could have profound effects on the size of the U.S. population and its composition, altering projections for economic growth and the age of the nation’s workforce, as well as shaping its politics and culture, demographers and immigration experts say.

“By greatly slashing the number of Hispanic and black African immigrants entering America, this proposal would reshape the future United States. Decades ahead, many fewer of us would be nonwhite or have nonwhite people in our families,” said Michael Clemens, an economist at the Center for Global Development, a think tank that has been critical of the proposal. “Selectively blocking immigrant groups changes who America is. This is the biggest attempt in a century to do that.”

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Read the complete article, along with supporting “wonkie” stats, at the above link.

Yup! It is, and probably always has been, about White Nationalism and racism! Trump and his gang have just made it “fashionable” to be overtly racist again.

And, make no mistake about it, the REAL targets here are African American and Latino American citizens —  immigrants are just a subterfuge. After all, if African Americans and Latinos were “good for America” why wouldn’t we want more of them and their families?

No, as Trumpie let on in his White House debacle, it’s all about trying (futilely) to make America “more White like Norway.” “Making America Great Again”  is not so subtile “code language” for “Making America White Again.” Trump and his restrictionist cronies and misguided followers are not good for the future of America, or for the world.

PWS

02-06-18

THE SPLC ANALYZES TRUMP’S CONTORTED AND CONTRIVED MESSAGE OF HATE, INTOLERANCE, & DIVISION!

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FIGHTING HATE // TEACHING TOLERANCE // SEEKING JUSTICE

FEBRUARY 3, 2018

“In his State of the Union address this week, President Trump congratulated his administration for having “taken historic actions to protect religious liberty.”

It certainly was historic in October when Trump became the first sitting president to give the keynote address at an annual summit hosted by an anti-LGBT hate group, the Family Research Council.

And it was historic when his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, issued religious freedom guidance eroding protections for LGBT people after he consulted with another anti-LGBT hate group, the Alliance Defending Freedom.

But it was an anti-immigrant hate group, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), whose talking points laced the State of the Union address this week.

CIS presents itself as an independent think tank, but it began as a project of the anti-immigrant hate group Federation for American Immigration Reform and was founded by white nationalist John Tanton.

CIS frequently manipulates its findings to achieve results that further its anti-immigrant agenda. Last fall, for instance, CIS staffer Jessica Vaughn published a report exaggerating how many people would enter America via a process that CIS calls “chain migration” — the hate group’s preferred phrase to stigmatize the idea of immigrant families reuniting.

The phrase “chain migration” appeared twice in this week’s State of the Union, alongside dangerous and hateful misinformation about immigrants taken directly from CIS talking points.

Given the State of the Union’s author, that should be no surprise.

Senior adviser Stephen Miller, who took the lead writing the speech, served for years as an aide to Jeff Sessions, who has himself endorsed CIS’ work, spoken on a CIS panel, and taken whispered counsel from a former CIS staffer during immigration debates on the Senate floor.

When Sessions hired Miller fresh from Duke University, he did so at the recommendation of anti-Muslim extremist David Horowitz. Now in the White House, Miller has been claimed and praised by extremists for advocating policy on hate group wish lists and pushing anti-immigrant narratives like the one we heard in the State of the Union.

“For decades, open borders have allowed drugs and gangs to pour into our most vulnerable communities. They have allowed millions of low-wage workers to compete for jobs and wages against the poorest Americans,” Trump said Tuesday, reading Miller’s text off a teleprompter.

But studies consistently show that immigrants help — not hurt — the U.S. economy.

“Most tragically, they have caused the loss of many innocent lives,” Trump said Tuesday — despite study after study finding immigrants commit crime at rates lowerthan native-born Americans, not higher.

Hate groups should not have a seat at the table on matters of national policy or influence what talking points to highlight in the State of the Union.

But thanks to Stephen Miller, they have exactly that.

The Editors

P.S. Here are some other pieces we think are valuable this week:

What kids are really learning about slavery by Melinda Anderson for The Atlantic

How the far right has perfected the art of deniable racism by Gary Younge for The Guardian

Indian slavery once thrived in New Mexico. Latinos are finding family ties to it by Simon Romero for The New York Times

The terrifying rise of alt-right fight clubs by Bryan Schatz for Mother Jones

View this email in your browser.”

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Yup. Sadly, Trump and his cohorts Sessions & Miller are out to divide, not unify America (except in the sense that they are unifying all decent Americans against their White Nationalist, racist agenda). For years, the GOP right-wing has “talked around” the racism and White Nationalism inherent in many of their programs and actions, using euphemisms like “reform,” “streamlining,” “right to work,” “combatting voter fraud,” etc. And, while occasionally it earns them a mild “tisk, tisk” from so-called “moderate” or “mainstream” Republicans, for the most part the spineless leadership of the GOP has given racism, White Nationalism, and xenophobia a “free Pass.”

Just look at the “hero of the GOP moderates,” Mitt Romney. “The Mittster” appears poised to reenter politics as the Junior Senator from Utah, replacing the retiring Orrin Hatch.

While carefully steering a moderate line on immigration during his governorship of “Blue State” Massachusetts, once nominated for the Presidency, Romney hired the notorious racist/White Nationalist/vote suppressor Kris Kobach as his “Immigration Advisor.” He then proceeded to largely adopt the White Nationalist line in immigration, including the famous Kobach initiative that sought to make life so miserable for hardworking, law-abiding undocumented residents (known in White Nationalist lingo as “illegals”) that they would “self-deport.”

Who is the real Mitt Romney? Nobody knows. But, my guess is that he’ll stand with the White Nationalists on immigration.

Although he has been sharply critical of Trump at times, it’s likely that when push comes to shove, he’ll line up behind the Trump-far right agenda just like other so-called “critics” such as Sen. “Bobby the Cork” Corker, Sen. Jeff Flake, Sen. John McCain, Sen. Susan Collins, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski when it came to “sticking it to America” with the GOP Tax ripoff. After all, remember how quick Mitt was to “pretzel himself up” and grovel before Trump on the off-chance that he would be allowed to serve the Great Con-Master as Secretary of State!

PWS

02-03-18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EUGENE ROBINSION @ WASHPOST & DAVID BROOKS @ NY TIMES: GOP IMMIGRATION RESTRICTIONISTS’ PROPOSALS TO CUT LEGAL IMMIGRATION LEVELS HAVE NO RATIONAL BASIS! – That’s Going To Be A Big Problem In Trying To Forge A “Compromise!”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-is-trying-to-make-america-white-again/2018/01/29/9afa7afa-053d-11e8-8777-2a059f168dd2_story.html

Robinson writes:

“. . . .

There’s a simple question here: Do you believe in America or not?

Throughout its history, the country has accepted waves of mostly low-skilled immigrants — German, Irish, Italian, Eastern European, now Latino. There are highly skilled immigrants, too; African newcomers, for example, are better-educated than the U.S. population as a whole, and an estimated 63 percent of people holding “computer and mathematical” jobs in Silicon Valley are foreign-born. But most immigrants over the years have arrived bearing not much more than grit, ambition and a dream.

Does an influx of workers with entry-level skills tend to depress wages? That’s the wrong question. Instead, we should be asking why the federal minimum wage is so low as to be almost irrelevant.

And we should recognize that immigration gives the United States a tremendous competitive advantage. In other advanced countries, populations are aging rapidly. Immigration provides a steady stream of younger workers whose brain and brawn keep programs such as Medicare and Social Security viable.

The only coherent — if despicable — arguments for Trump’s plan are racial and cultural. The way they used to put it in the Jim Crow days was succinct: White is right.”

*********************************************

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/29/opinion/east-germany-immigration-usa.html

Meanwhile, over at the NY Times, Brooks writes:

“. . . .

The results are just as clear as in the German case. Between 2014 and 2016 the counties that embrace diversity accounted for 72 percent of the nation’s increased economic output and two-thirds of the new jobs. The approximately 85 percent of counties that support restrictionists like Donald Trump accounted for a measly 28 percent of the growth.

Republicans’ problem is that since George W. Bush left town they’ve become the East Germans of the 21st century. They have embraced a cultural model that produces low growth and low dynamism. No wonder they want to erect a wall.

Progressives say Republicans oppose immigration because of bigotry. But it’s not that simple. It’s more accurate to say restrictionists are stuck in a mono-cultural system that undermines their own values: industry, faithfulness and self-discipline. Of course they react with defensive animosity to the immigrants who out-hustle and out-build them. You’d react negatively, too, if confronted with people who are better versions of what you wish you were yourself.”

**************************************

You can can read the complete versions of both op-eds, which I highly recommend, at the above links.

Yup!
When you’re coming from the same places as Jim Crow and the East Germans, there is no acceptable “rational basis” for the restrictionist agenda. It’s bad for America as well as for immigrants. But, it’s difficult or impossible to make rational arguments against deeply held, factually incorrect, irrational beliefs, particularly those based on racial, economic, cultural, and class bias. That’s probably why rational “immigration reform” has been, and remains, so difficult to achieve.

And, having seen thousands of migrants and their families come before me at the Arlington Immigration Court over the years, gotten to know many of their stories, and having represented immigrants, entrepreneurs, and businesses during my time in private practice, there is no doubt that Brooks is right: they “out-hustle and out-build” many of those “native-born” Americans who despise and look down on them.

And, it’s not just the doctors, professors, and top execs — folks who pound nails, lay foundations, make food, sweep floors, put on roofs , and pick our produce are also performing essential services that keep our country going — and, in many if not all cases, doing it better than the rest of us could or would. Really, how long would YOU last picking lettuce or laying shingles on a 100 degree day? And, how GOOD would you really be at it? There is more “skill” to so-called “unskilled” work than most of us in the “privileged classes” want to admit!

PWS

01-30-18

STUPIDITY & CRUELTY BECOME TRADEMARKS OF TRUMP’S ICE – ONE FEDERAL JUDGE IN NY HAD ENOUGH – BLASTS POLICIES AS UNCONSTITUTIONAL!

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/01/ice-is-out-of-control.html

From right, Rene Bermudez wipes away tears as he holds his 4-year-old daughter Danyca during a protest on behalf of his wife Liliana Cruz Mendez on May 23.
From right, Rene Bermudez wipes away tears as he holds his 4-year-old daughter Danyca during a protest on behalf of his wife Liliana Cruz Mendez on May 23.
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

“Donald Trump hasn’t created the massive “deportation force” he promised as a candidate for president. But he has done the next best thing—boosting, bolstering, and unleashing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, giving it broad authority to act at its own discretion. The result? An empowered and authoritarian agency that operates with impunity, whose chief attribute is unapologetic cruelty.

Under President Obama, who ramped up immigration enforcement even as he sought to protect large categories of unauthorized immigrants from deportation, ICE was a controversial agency whose practices came under heavy scrutiny from activists and some fellow Democrats. But in the year since Trump’s election, ICE has become something far more sinister: a draconian force for harassing and detaining people who pose no threat to the United States or its citizens.

And in keeping with one of President Trump’s first executive orders, which drastically expanded who the federal government considered a priority for deportation, the most striking aspect of ICE under this administration has been its refusal to distinguish between law-abiding immigrants, whose undocumented status obscures their integration into American life, and those with active criminal records—the “bad hombres” of the president’s rhetoric.

Erasing that distinction is how we get the arrest and detention of Lukasz Niec, a Polish immigrant and green card holder who was brought to the United States as a young child. Last week, ICE agents arrested Niec at his home in Michigan, citing two misdemeanor convictions for offenses that were committed when he was a teenager, according to the Washington Post. Although one of the convictions had been scrubbed from his record, it can still be used to remove him from the country. A practicing physician, Niec now sits in a county jail, awaiting possible deportation.

Niec’s standing as an affluent professional makes him an unusual case. More typical is the plight of Jorge Garcia, a 30-year resident of the United States who was recently deported to Mexico after his arrest by ICE. Married with two American-born children, Garcia was brought to the country as a child. He was working to secure legal status when, following Trump’s election, he was ordered to leave the country. In a statement to CBS News, ICE explained that anyone violating immigration laws “may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and … removal from the United States.” Despite its ability to exercise discretion, ICE has opted for an indiscriminate approach to immigration enforcement, arresting and detaining unauthorized residents regardless of whether they pose a threat to the public.

In its drive to remove as many undocumented residents as possible, ICE has begun deporting immigrants who make routine check-ins to their offices, even if those people are simply awaiting visas or green cards that would allow them to stay. Vice News recounts the story of Andre Browne, a Barbados native married to an American citizen. At a recent check-in with ICE agents, he was “arrested and forced to surrender all personal belongings.” He was jailed and now faces deportation. Similarly, in Virginia, a mother of two, Liliana Cruz Mendez, was detained following her regular check-in with immigration officials. Her offense? A traffic misdemeanor.

ICE’s tactics can have life-changing effects, even when its targets are spared deportation. The New Yorker tells of Alejandra Ruiz, brought to the United States as an infant. Last March, she was arrested by ICE agents citing a deportation order issued when she was a toddler. She was shackled and sent to an immigrant-detention facility operated by a private-prison firm. Ruiz was eventually released—she had filed a motion to reopen her childhood case for asylum—but it came at the cost of her livelihood: She lost her job as a senior care worker.

In addition to these activities, ICE is ramping up its mass raids in an effort to spread paranoia and uncertainty in cities with large undocumented populations. The agency is deliberately targeting these “sanctuary cities,” hoping to compel cooperation with their newly aggressive enforcement operations. This is all part of a larger strategy to create an atmosphere of fear and desperation for unauthorized immigrants. It’s behind President Trump’s decision to rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and end deportation protections for immigrants from Haiti and El Salvador. Vox’s Dara Lind describes it as “a combination of policy and messaging to keep the threat of deportation hanging over immigrants’ heads” meant to make sure “they don’t get too comfortable here because they could be taken at any minute.”

Anti-immigration hard-liners describe these incidents in the bloodless language of “immigration enforcement,” but that obscures the violence and trauma of what’s happening on the ground: ICE is whisking people away to jails or private prisons and then exiling them from their homes and communities with little chance of recourse or recompense. And the pace is only increasing. While the overall number of “border removals”—those caught trying to cross the border—dropped last year, as a result of economic trends and Trump’s hard-line policies, the proportion of “interior removals” undertaken by ICE increased. Most deportations still involve immigrants from a handful of Latin American countries, but “[t]he number of deportees from other nations rose 24 percent in Trump’s first year,” reports NPR.

The administration is still hoping to increase those efforts. A proposal released by the White House last week asked Congress to grant additional funds to hire more ICE agents as part of an overall increase in “border security” that would be effectively traded for a path to citizenship for more than 1 million Dreamers.

It will be up to Democrats to block those additional funds and, perhaps, to build a broader case against ICE and its tactics. Some high-profile Democrats, like Sen. Kamala Harris of California, have already publicly condemned the agency. “ICE raids across the country have torn mothers apart from their children. The raids lack transparency, spread fear, and harm public safety,” she said last year in a Facebook post. More recently, following a report that ICE was planning raids in retaliation to a new California law limiting cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities, Harris said that such raids would be “an abhorrent abuse of power.”

Given the extent to which Democrats have helped build the architecture for today’s ICE, Harris’ statements—as well as similar ones by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi—may mark the beginning of a new and needed skepticism toward the agency. And if so, then the logic of their critique doesn’t just point toward reform—it points toward a fundamental rethinking of immigration enforcement and a move away from the authoritarianism of ICE as it exists.

What the country needs, in other words, is an honest discussion about whether ICE can be effectively reformed or if it must be abolished and replaced by an agency that can carry out its mission in a more effective and humane way.”

*****************************************

Meanwhile, over in the Southern District of New York, U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest had enough of ICE’s “Gonzo” tactics following the mindless arrest of immigration activist Ravi Ragbir. She blasted ICE’s actions in ordering Ragbir’s release to say good-bye to his family and wind up his affairs. Judge Forrest characterized ICE’s actions in detaining Ragbir as “unnecessarily cruel.”

Here is a copy of Judge Forrest’s order in Ragbir v Sessions:

Ravi.Order

*******************************************

Useless, counterproductive removals, waste of Government enforcement resources, irrationality, and unnecessary cruelty are, of course, at the heart of the Trump/Sessions/Miller immigration enforcement program. Certainly, the performance of ICE under Trump — not especially good at removing real criminals and threats or any other type of legitimate law enforcement — much better at busting minor offenders and law-abiding community members  and sowing terror in ethnic communities — provides a compelling argument that DHS does not need any additional enforcement agents.

Indeed, I have hypothesized that what Trump, Sessions, Miller, and the White Nationalists are really doing is building the DHS into an internal security police force that will be used against all of those the Administration fears or views as opponents of their “Totalitarian-Wannabe State.”

In the meantime, arbitrary use of force and calculated unnecessary cruelty are likely to remain staples of the DHS under Trump. That’s why ICE is fast becoming American’s most loathed, mistrusted, and unprofessional police force. Bouie might well be right. Assuming that America recovers from the Trump regime, unfortunately not necessarily a given, ICE might well need to be abolished and “replaced by an agency that can carry out its mission in a more effective and humane way.”

PWS

01-30-18

FRED HIATT @ WASHPOST: NOTE TO GOP RESTRICTIONISTS: ANTI-IMMIGRATION = ANTI GROWTH! — “A vote to choke off immigration is a vote for stagnation and decline!” – EXACTLY!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/without-immigration-america-will-stagnate/2018/01/28/e659aa94-02d5-11e8-8acf-ad2991367d9d_story.html

Post Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt writes:

“Message to Republicans: You can be pro-growth. You can be anti-immigration. But, honestly, you can’t be both.

Now, within the immigration debate, there are a lot of questions with no obvious right answers.

What’s the right balance of immigrants admitted for their skills and those allowed in because they have relatives here?

How much effort should be devoted to tracking down the undocumented, and how much to punishing companies that hire them?

What should we do about the millions of immigrants who came here illegally a decade or more ago and have become established members of their communities?

And — what is the right number of legal immigrants every year from now on?

Big, complicated questions — which is why Congress shouldn’t try to solve them all between now and Feb. 8, its self-imposed deadline for resolving the issue of the “dreamers.” In the few days that remain, the best it could do would be to, well, resolve the issue of the dreamers — the undocumented immigrants who were brought here as young children through no fault of their own, who obey the law and who go to school or work or serve in the military.

They are American in all but legal status. Give them a path to citizenship, as President Trump has proposed. Give Trump the money for his wall (until he gets that check from Mexico). Punt on the big, complicated questions, something Congress certainly knows how to do. Everyone declares victory, and the government doesn’t shut down.

Of course, that would leave us still facing the big questions. Ideally, Congress would schedule a serious debate on them for the spring. Ideally, it would be conducted in a constructive spirit — acknowledging, for example, that reasonable people can disagree on skills vs. family.

But ideally, also, it would also be conducted with an understanding that those who favor a drastic, absolute drop in the level of immigration, as many Republicans do, would be making a choice about America’s future.

They would be turning us into Japan.

Now, to be clear, Japan is a wondrous nation, with an ancient, complex culture, welcoming people, innovative industry — a great deal to teach the world.

But Japan also is a country that admits few immigrants — and, as a result, it is an aging, shrinking nation. By 2030, more than half the country will be over age 50. By 2050 there will be more than three times as many old people (65 and over) as children (14 and under). Already, deaths substantially outnumber births. Its population of 127 million is forecast to shrink by a third over the next half-century.

Japan is a pioneer and an extreme version of where much of the First World is headed as longevity increases and fertility declines. The likely consequences are slower economic growth, reduced innovation, labor shortages and huge pressure on pensions. If you think our entitlement politics are fraught, think about this: In Japan in 2050, the old-age dependency ratio — the number of people 65 and over as a percentage of the number who are 15 to 64 — is projected to be 71.2 percent.

The comparable figure for the United States is 36.4 percent, up from 25.7 percent in 2020. Still high, but if it proves manageable, we will have immigration to thank. America still attracts dynamic, hard-working people from around the world, and they and their offspring help keep our population and our economy growing, as recent Pew Research Center and International Monetary Fund papers explain.

The wave of immigration over the past half-century also has changed the face of the nation, reducing the share of the white population from what it would have been and increasing the share of Asians and Hispanics. It’s not surprising that some people find this disorienting.

But as so often with such debates, perceptions lag reality. Nearly half (48 percent) of immigrants these days have college degrees, as a fact sheet from the Migration Policy Institute last year showed. A quarter of technology company start-ups between 2008 and 2012 included at least one foreign-born founder. As incomes and education levels rise around the world, in other words, the skills mix of U.S. immigration is already changing, without any changes in our laws.

Here’s the bottom line: I think we should remain open to immigrants because it’s part of who we are as a nation, because every generation of newcomers — even, or maybe especially, the ones who come with nothing but moxie and a tolerance for risk — has enriched and improved us.

But you don’t have to buy into any of that Statue of Liberty stuff to favor immigration, because naked self-interest leads to the very same conclusion. A vote to choke off immigration is a vote for stagnation and decline.”

***********************************************

Hiatt clearly “gets it!”

But, maybe the GOP restrictionists do too. Their opposition to legal immigration is grounded in racism, White Nationalism, and xenophobia — none of which have anything to do with rationality, facts, the common good, or even “enlightened self-interest.”

Therefore, neither an appeal to “who we are as a nation” nor “naked self-interest” is likely to change their highly emotional, but essentially irrational anti-immigrant views.

PWS

01-29-18

ICEMEN GONE WILD: MINDLESS, COUNTERPRODUCTIVE, CRUEL, WASTEFUL “GONZO” IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT IS THE ORDER OF THE DAY UNDER THE TRUMP/SESSIONS REGIME! — “Have discretion and humanity been dropped from the attributes that Americans can expect of their law enforcement agencies?”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/unshackled-by-the-trump-administration-deportation-agents-discount-basic-decency/2018/01/28/0785a7b2-013d-11e8-bb03-722769454f82_story.html

From the Washington Post Editorial Board:

“IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS Enforcement, the federal agency whose deportation agents have been unshackled by the Trump administration, has intensified its efforts to such a degree that cruelty now seems no impediment to its enforcement decisions, and common sense appears to play a diminishing role.

Recent months have brought news of one senseless detention and deportation after another. From all appearances, the agency seems to have embraced the idea that it is just to sunder established families and separate immigrant parents from their U.S.-born children — even in cases involving garden-variety technical violations of immigration rules.

Yes, the Obama administration also deported some longtime residents who had committed no serious offenses, but its deportation efforts were focused on criminals. By contrast, detentions of immigrants with no criminal records more than doubled in the first year of President Trump’s administration — to 13,600 in 2017 from 5,498 in 2016. Evidently seized by a vainglorious notion of its mission, ICE too often discounts basic decency as a guiding tenet.

How else to explain the detention and imminent deportation of a 27-year-old Ohio man, arrested for driving without a license, who is the only means of financial support, and one of just two trained medical caregivers, for a 6-year-old paraplegic boy (who also happens to be a U.S. citizen)? How else to explain the deportation of a construction worker in Michigan, the father of 10- and 3-year-old U.S.-born boys, who provided critical help to police in Detroit in their investigation of a shooting?

How else to explain the airport arrest and deportation of a 22-year-old female college student from Spain, visiting the United States for a vacation at the invitation of a librarian at Oregon State University, on grounds that she would give Spanish lessons to the librarian’s young son for a few weeks — work for which she lacked the right visa? How else to explain the deportation of a 39-year-old landscaper living in the Detroit suburbs, a father and husband of U.S. citizens, who had lived in the United States since age 10 and whose record was so unblemished that it didn’t even feature a traffic violation? How else to explain the Israeli undergraduate at the University of California at San Diego, a “dreamer” studying legally in the United States, who was detained upon trying to cross back into the United States minutes after his roommate made a wrong turn on the highway, unintentionally driving into Mexico?

In its boilerplate communiques, the agency defends its actions by insisting that it prioritizes bona fide threats to national security and public safety but exempts no category of “removable alien” from enforcement. Which raises a question: Have discretion and humanity been dropped from the attributes that Americans can expect of their law enforcement agencies?”

*************************************

In answer to the Post’s question: YES, thanks exactly what has been happening in America since the very beginning of the Trump regime — starting with the “Muslim Ban” and continuing with a consistent White Supremecist agenda! Many of us have been saying that all along!

We already have the “New American Gulag” — expanded “civil” immigration detention in substandard, potentially even deadly conditions, in obscure “out of sight, out of mind” locations. There, individuals, many deserving legal protection from the US under our laws, are denied fair access to counsel and railroaded out of the country in what essentially are “mock court” hearings conducted by “judges” controlled by notorious White Nationalist Jeff “Gono Apocalypto” Sessions.

Sessions and his minions encourage the judges to view individuals in removal proceedings as “production numbers, possible fraudsters, and potential terrorists,” rather than as vulnerable human beings deserving of fairness, respect, and due process.

To complement the “New American Gulag,” we now have the “New American Gestapo,” headed by Acting Chief ICEMAN Tom Homan. It’s an internal police force that operates without rules, rhyme, reason, or humanity — in other words arbitrary “Gonzo” enforcement intended to terrorize ethnic (primarily Latino) communities.

And, in case you haven’t read about it, ICE now has the capacity to electronically track the whereabouts and driving patterns of every license plate in America —- including YOURS! Of course they say that they will only use it for “legitimate” law Enforcement purposes.

But, for the “New American Gestapo” everything is “legitimate” — boundaries on law enforcement conduct and misconduct went out the widow when the Trumpsters crawled in. Remember, Gonzo essentially told local police forces he really didn’t care what they were doing to the civil rights of African-Americans and other minorities as long as they were enforcing the law and bringing crime rates down!

This is why ICE is well on its way to becoming the most hated, distrusted, and least respected police force in America.

Had enough of the Trump Administation’s trampling on Constitutional rights, civil rights, human rights, and just plain old human decency in America! Join the resistance!

The “New Due Process Army” (“NDPA”) is out there every day fighting for the Due Process and the legal rights of everyone in America and standing up against the excesses of the Trump Administration. Join their effort today!

PWS

01-29-18

 

 

 

 

THE GOP WHITE NATIONALIST “IMMIGRATION AGENDA” IS INTENTIONALLY CRUEL, RACIST, UNAMERICAN AND QUITE LIKELY ILLEGAL!

https://splinternews.com/we-just-got-a-disturbing-look-at-the-inhumanity-of-the-1822383012

Jorge Rivas reports for Splinter:

“Some 70% of Americans support a legislative solution that would allow DACA recipients who entered the U.S. illegally as children to stay in the United States—but the fight to pass that legislation has stalled so much that it led to the shutdown of the federal government. In part, that’s because some Republicans are making divisive and hardline demands about broader reforms to the immigration system in exchange for DACA protections.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen reportedly passed out a four-page memo at a meeting earlier this month that includes a bulleted list of the administration’s 46 “must haves” on immigration negotiations, according to Politico, which published the memo on Wednesday.

The site reports President Donald Trump had not seen the list of demands before the January 9 meeting and reportedly told attendees to ignore the list. But according to Politico, the memo is backed by White House chief of staff John Kelly and xenophobic White House senior adviser Stephen Miller—who has wielded major influence on the administration’s immigration policy—as well as Nielsen. It also echoes bills introduced in both the House and Senate.

The memo—titled “MUST HAVE’S: AUTHORITIES & FUNDING FOR IMMIGRATION DEAL”—includes some some well-known demands, like $18 billion to fund Trump’s wall, but it also lists dozens of lesser known “must haves.”

One is a call for immediate access to federal lands and expedited acquisitions of other properties to “eliminate certain geographical limitations” in order to find space for the border wall. This could mean long legal fights with Native American reservations along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The memo also calls for re-classifying overstaying a visa as a misdemeanor. Currently, that is handled as a civil violation in immigration court proceedings.

The memo’s “must haves” call for even more immigration agents than previously proposed, including 10,000 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, 8,000 new Border Patrol agents, 1,000 new ICE attorneys, and 370 new immigration judges. (Since the Border Patrol can’t even meet minimum staffing levels mandated by Congress, getting 8,000 extra agents seems unlikely.)

The administration also wants to make it tougher for unaccompanied children and asylum seekers to prove they have a legitimate credible fear of returning to the countries they fled. And when they can prove they’re being persecuted, the Trump administration now wants to send them to “safe third countries.”

The memo also includes all the other stuff we’ve heard about, like limiting “sanctuary cities,” ending family reunification programs (what Trump calls “chain migration”) and the elimination of the diversity visa lotteries.

To top it all off, the memo calls for making the legalization process even more expensive for immigrants who are authorized to be here legally, by imposing additional surcharges on visa, immigration, and border crossing fees.”

*******************************************

Sick and tired of racist, “21st Century Know Nothings,” like Steven Miller and Jeff “Gonzo Apocalypto” Sessions running immigration policy, spineless “go along to get along” bureaucrats like Kirstjen Nielson in change of important Government immigration agencies, and restrictionist pols like Sen. Tom Cotton, Sen. David Perdue, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, and Rep. Raul Labrador blocking sensible, humane immigration reform.

That’s why Ballot Boxes were invented! Vote these evil, ignorant, clowns who are ruining America out of office at your earliest opportunity! 

01-25-18

LIGHTWEIGHT SYCOPHANT KIRSTJEN NIELSEN FINDS SHE HAS ABOUT ZERO CREDIBILITY ON THE HILL!

Tal Kopen reports for CNN:

http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/23/politics/dhs-immigration-talks-senators-doubt/index.html

DHS makes the rounds on immigration, but senators frustrated with administration

By: Tal Kopan, CNN

The Homeland Security secretary made the rounds Tuesday on Capitol Hill as she continues to press the agency’s priorities in immigration talks — but she’s facing skepticism from senators about the administration’s reliability on the issue.

The conversations on the Hill come as the Department of Homeland Security is working on a new list of items it wants to see in an immigration deal, according to multiple sources familiar with the discussions in Congress and the administration.

Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, who was one of a handful of red-state Democrats to meet with Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on Tuesday, said she had told Nielsen plainly that without a promise from President Donald Trump, it was impossible to negotiate on immigration with her.

Senate-House divide on immigration in spotlight after shutdown fight

“There’s things she wanted to talk about in terms of the priorities of the department in border security as we work on a bill, and I said, ‘Listen: Here’s the thing. I can’t commit to anything until you tell me you have the support of the President,'” McCaskill said. “Because, you know, I think somebody’s made the analogy of Lucy and the football. We’ve got to know if we’re going to compromise, we’ve got to know that compromise will in fact have the support of the President.”

McCaskill told reporters that Nielsen didn’t commit that she spoke for the President but didn’t say she wasn’t able to, either.

“She didn’t say she couldn’t,” McCaskill said. “She said, ‘I understand what you’re saying.’ ”

In addition to McCaskill, Nielsen met Tuesday with Sens. Jon Tester, D-Montana, Heidi Heitkamp, D-North Dakota, Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, according to an official.

DHS is working off a document that was given to some negotiators in December and was passed out in the room when two dozen lawmakers met with Trump on the issue in a partially televised meeting earlier this month, according to two senior administration officials. However, after the cameras left that meeting, the President told lawmakers he hadn’t signed off on the document and instructed them to disregard it, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, told reporters.

McCaskill wasn’t alone in her frustration with the President’s equivocation. Asked Tuesday about the White House press secretary publicly trashing a bipartisan proposal he had put together, Graham hit back.

“One thing I would say to the White House: You better start telling us what you’re for rather than what you’re against,” the South Carolina senator said. “To my friends at the White House, you’ve been all over the board, you haven’t been a reliable partner and the Senate’s going to move.”

DHS working on new guidance

Based on multiple conversations with members of Congress and their feedback and questions on various pieces of the proposals, one administration official said, the hope with the new written guidance is to clarify further what DHS thinks is necessary in a deal and why. The document is focused on the four areas that the President laid out publicly in that meeting: a solution on the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, border security, curtailing family-based migration and ending the diversity visa lottery.

Within the border security category, Nielsen has spoken publicly about a desire for more than just infrastructure and resources at the border — and that the agency is pursuing legal overhauls to immigration enforcement that would give it greater power to remove undocumented immigrants from the country. Increasing enforcement authority has been a tough sell among Democrats.

DHS is also looking to add more depth on what the administration wants to replace DACA, which protected young undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children but which the administration is ending. The official said that would be the “next big thing” for the administration to work through.

The official also noted DHS was “the only people who’ve put pen to paper so far” and was happy to clarify further but wasn’t interested in “negotiating against ourselves.”

And the official acknowledged lawmakers’ desire for greater clarity, especially from the President.

“We understand that some of these members are going to have to get out there, and we want to give them a bill that they can support and they’re not going to get their legs cut out from under them,” the official said. “We understand that. We’re working to get there.”

McCaskill argued, though, that Trump has put Nielsen in a tough spot.

“It puts her in a very difficult position to lobby for something when she can’t tell me the President supports what she’s lobbying for,” McCaskill said, adding that Nielsen told her the secretary “clearly supported the DACA protections,” but the senator reiterated her concern about where the President stood.

“Then she listed things she wanted to see in the bill,” McCaskill said, “and I said, ‘Some of those things I think I could work with you on. But not until I know the President will stand strong for this and make sure he lobbies the House of Representatives to pass whatever it is we end up with on a bipartisan basis in the Senate.'”

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No real surprise here. Being a sycophant might help you get the job, but it’s not a key to long term success. That’s what happens when folks “sell out” to Trump. In fact, its a pretty good example of what’s happening to the entire GOP.

PWS

01-24-18

 

LA TIMES: TO TRUMP, SESSIONS, & HOMAN: “Don’t Wanna Do Your Dirty Work No More!”

“Don’t Wanna Do Your Dirty Work No More!”

From the song “Dirty Work” by Steely Dan.

Check it out here:

http://www.metrolyrics.com/dirty-work-lyrics-steely-dan.html

From the LA Times Editorial Board:

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=90230fb5-6af6-42da-8b4e-8b07898beeb2

 

“ICE, don’t expect us to do your job

Offended by the ‘sanctuary state’ legislation, Trump administration petulantly looks for payback.

State and local governments in California rightly recognize that it’s up to the federal government to determine which people living in the country illegally ought to be tracked down and deported. It’s no more the responsibility of local cops to run immigrants to ground than it is for them to sniff out people cheating on their federal income taxes.

There is an important public safety reason for keeping local police and sheriff’s deputies out of the deportation business. If people who are living in the country illegally come to view local law enforcement officers as just another set of immigration agents, they will be far less likely to report crimes or cooperate with investigators. Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said last year that fewer Latinos in the city were reporting rapes, spousal abuse and other crimes for fear of being deported under the Trump administration’s policy of stepped-up arrests.

Nevertheless, the Trump administration has made no secret of its disdain for state and local governments that refuse to use their own resources to help Washington enforce federal immigration law. Twice this month, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement director Thomas Homan said they have asked the Justice Department whether local officials who don’t report residents who are in the country illegally can be charged under the federal law against harboring “aliens.”

Homan also has warned that he will “significantly” increase ICE’s presence in California to ramp up arrests in neighborhoods and on streets as payback for the California Values Act (the “sanctuary state” law adopted last year), which denied ICE agents access to jailsunless they have a warrant. “California better hold on tight,” he said in a Fox News interview. “They’re about to see a lot more special agents, a lot more deportation officers in the state of California.”

That’s not enforcing immigration law. That’s coercion by the federal government to try to compel local officials to, in effect, do their jobs for them. It is also the kind of thuggishness we’d expect from someone like Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, not the president of the United States.

Homan also argued that without the cooperation of local law enforcement, “violent criminal aliens” are being released back onto the streets rather than being deported. “If the politicians in California don’t want to protect their communities, then ICE will,” Homan said.

That’s preposterous. ICE has access to databases that reveal who is incarcerated and when they are scheduled for release. If “violent criminal aliens” reenter their communities, it’s because ICE failed to identify them while in custody and pick them up upon release from prison or jail.

Now comes word that ICE may be planning a massive sweep in Northern California targeting as many as 1,500 immigrants, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. That would be little more than showboating. According to the best estimates, California has about 2.35 million immigrants who are living in the state illegally. No matter how hard he tries, Homan is not going to arrest away that problem. Rather, such draconian enforcement actions — and have no doubt, the impetus comes from President Trump — will do little more than disrupt families and communities.

Just last week, the government deportedprosecutorial discretion Jorge Garcia, 39, who was living in the country illegally but was otherwise a productive and law-abiding member of the community. For years, the federal government had exercised not to enforce a deportation order against him. Garcia arrived in the U.S. as a 10-year-old, grew up in the Detroit area and is married to an American citizen with whom he has two American children. What possible good comes from breaking apart that family?

It’s deplorable that the government is pursuing such a heartless and heavy-handed approach to enforcement in service of a system that is hopelessly broken. A wise president would pursue truly dangerous immigrants who are here illegally, find ways to keep new arrivals out (and ensure visa holders leave when they are supposed to) and work with Congress for a humane resolution to the fate of more than 11 million people who have lived in the U.S. for, on average, more than a decade. But wisdom and this president are opposing forces.”

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For the Trumpsters, it’s never been about “smart,” “efficient,” or “effective” law enforcement. No, it’s always been about White Nationalism, pandering to an extremist base, and turning ICE into more or less of an “internal security police” to terrorize primarily Latino, but also other ethnic and minority, communities. That’s why Congress should “Just Say No” to the Administration’s outrageous requests for yet more DHS enforcement agents (when they aren’t even able to fill their existing vacancies with qualified candidates).

PWS

01-23-18