Radley Balko reports in an op-ed in the Washington Post:
“Here’s the latest from the Trump administration on civil liberties and criminal justice:
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement appears to be attempting to end public monitoring of immigration detention centers.
In the battle for control of President Trump’s drug policy, it’s shaping up to be good cop New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (treatment) against bad cop Attorney General Jeff Sessions (enforcement).
When he isn’t brokering Middle East peace, ending opioid addiction and streamlining the federal bureaucracy, Jared Kushner will apparently be handling criminal justice reform.
Democrats in some states are pushing back against Trump’s immigration crackdown by trying to prevent local law enforcement from sharing immigration information with federal officials.
More “bad hombres” — a single dad brought here at age 8 who has raised his daughter by himself for the last 14 years has just been deported over a 17-year-old marijuana possession charge.
Jeff Sessions gave a speech in St. Louis Friday. He said Ferguson has become the “emblem of the tense relationship between law enforcement and the communities we serve.” He also said that cops are “unfairly maligned,” and blamed “viral videos.” He made no mention of the area’s aggressive fines and predatory municipal courts that are such a huge part of the problem.
Other recent ICE and immigration actions: Five Massachusetts immigrants, at least three of whom were there for green card interviews, were arrested when they showed up for appointments at a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office this week. In Portland, Ore., three ‘dreamers’ have been arrested. In Chicago, ICE agents broke into a home and shot someone who may have been the father of the man they were looking for. And in Indiana, a Trump voter feels betrayed after her husband is taken into custody and scheduled for deportation.
The Trump administration boycotted the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights conference earlier this month. It’s the first time in at least 20 years that the U.S. government not shown up to the event.
Finally, the man Trump just appointed assistant secretary for health technology at the Department of Health and Human Services has some interesting opinions. Among them, “Not all Goths are drug addicts, but a high percentage experiment with all types of drugs, including hallucinogens,” and “when kids cross the line into pot use, they are crossing the line, figuratively and literally, toward a life of illegal drug use and probable addiction.” He also thinks women who view pornography at a young age may suffer from “a phobia to male genitalia,” and thinks there’s a strong links between drug addicts and people who get tattoos.
Trump again floats the idea of changing libel laws, this time so that truth is no longer a defense in lawsuits against public figures. But he also doesn’t appear to understand how libel laws actually work.”
Go to the original article at the above link to get links to more in depth reporting on each of these reported incidents.
Trying to block monitoring of immigration detention centers is a particularly nice touch. Given some of the grim reports about conditions, particularly in much-criticized privately-run detention centers which appear to be near and dear to Sessions, I can see why DHS and DOJ don’t want anyone to know what’s really going on. But, I wouldn’t be surprised if by the end of the Trump Administration the entire immigration detention system will be under some sort of court-appointed monitor.
Sadly, some more folks are probably going to have to die in immigration detention before we get to that point.