Category Archives: Immigration

Suffer the Children: Day of Reckoning for DACA

While the actual details have not yet been announced, the news media has been consistently reporting the White House position leaked to POLITICO over the Labor Day weekend that President Donald Trump has decided to punt the DACA issue to the Tea-Publican Congress. Trump has decided to end DACA, with 6-month delay:

President Donald Trump has decided to end the Obama-era program that grants work permits to undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country as children, according to two sources familiar with his thinking. Senior White House aides huddled Sunday afternoon to discuss the rollout of a decision likely to ignite a political firestorm — and fulfill one of the president’s core campaign promises.

Trump has wrestled for months with whether to do away with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA. But conversations with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who argued that Congress — rather than the executive branch — is responsible for writing immigration law, helped persuade the president to terminate the program and kick the issue to Congress, the two sources said.

In a nod to reservations held by many lawmakers, the White House plans to delay the enforcement of the president’s decision for six months, giving Congress a window to act, according to one White House official.

Riiight. A Democratic majority Congress could not pass the DREAM Act in 2010 because of a GOP Senate filibuster, joined by five “moderate” Democratic senators (Sens. Baucaus, Hagan, Nelson, Pryor and Tester) on a vote of 55-41 (four senators not voting). Of the three GOP senators who voted for the DREAM Act, Sens. Bennet, Lugar and Murkowski, only Murkowski is still in the Senate. The DREAM Act was passed by the Democratic controlled House.

Since that time, the GOP has become even more anti-immigrant, and in 2016 was taken over by the white nationalist Trump supporters of the alt-right, exemplified by former chief stategist to the Trump campaign, Stephen Bannon.

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Phoenix Anti-Hate Rally Draws 1000s: Video the News Didn’t Show You (video)

Reps. Sally Ann Gonzales and Pamela Powers Hannley

Rep. Sally Ann Gonzales and I were interviewed by NBC News out of Los Angeles at the downtown Phoenix rally outside of President Trump’s speech.

On August 11, a white supremacist protest against removal of a Confederate monument in Charlottesville, Virginia turned violent, and a young woman, who was a counter-protester, was killed. This sparked anti-hate/anti-fascism/anti-Nazi marches across the country, including an estimated 1500 people who marched through downtown Tucson.

President Trump’s claim that there was “violence on both sides” in Charlottesville ran counter to what many Americans saw in the news and on social media.

Presidential comments that appeared supportive of white supremacists, the rumor that Trump would soon pardon former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (which did happened), Trump’s threat to shut down the government if Congress doesn’t fund the border wall, and the potential end of the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)– all made Trump’s August 22 campaign rally in Phoenix a potential powder keg.

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DACA program ‘Dreamers’ are threatened by GOP anti-immigrant politics

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program granted permission to stay and work to about 800,000 immigrants who were brought illegally into the United States as children by their parents or other adults. (Another 200,000 young people have sought DACA status since Trump became president in January.)

Because of their young age, these children have no legal culpability for illegal immigration. Many of them have been raised as U.S. citizens, this is the only country they have known, and they have no memories of nor connections to their place of origin.

Since attacking DACA on the campaign trail, Donald Trump has pledged to keep the DACA program alive, calling recipients, also known as Dreamers, “absolutely incredible kids” who deserve compassion. In late April, he told the Associated Press that young people covered by the program could “rest easy” because his priority was deporting criminals. “This is a case of heart,” he said.

That was then, this is now. DACA children can’t vote, so now they are expendable to GOP anti-immigration politics.

NBC News reports that President Donald Trump appears likely to pull the plug on DACA. Trump Likely to End DACA Immigrant Program:

Administration officials said Friday that the Homeland Security secretary, Elaine Duke, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions discussed the program with senior officials Thursday during a meeting at the White House. Sessions has been a consistent opponent of the program.

Trump is said to be weighing whether to let DACA gradually expire or end it immediately, but the officials said it is not yet clear which option Trump may choose.

The program “continues to be under review,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, told reporters Friday.

Civil rights groups warned that canceling DACA would play into the hands of white supremacists.

“It would be a grave moral and legal error,” said Vanita Gupta, director of the Leadership Conference on Human Rights and former head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division under President Barack Obama.

“Killing the DACA program as the Trump administration’s first post-Charlottesville move would be absolutely shameful,” Gupta added. “We must not allow the hate violence that we saw on the streets of Charlottesville to become the guiding force for policy making.”

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Collaborators in Trumpism, the new American Fascism

A must-read column today from the New York Times‘ Paul Krugman on Fascism, American Style:

As sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz., Joe Arpaio engaged in blatant racial discrimination. His officers systematically targeted Latinos, often arresting them on spurious charges and at least sometimes beating them up when they questioned those charges. Read the report from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and prepare to be horrified.

Once Latinos were arrested, bad things happened to them. Many were sent to Tent City, which Arpaio himself proudly called a “concentration camp,” where they lived under brutal conditions, with temperatures inside the tents sometimes rising to 145 degrees.

And when he received court orders to stop these practices, he simply ignored them, which led to his eventual conviction — after decades in office — for contempt of court. But he had friends in high places, indeed in the highest of places. We now know that Donald Trump tried to get the Justice Department to drop the case against Arpaio, Trump Asked Top Aides Months Ago if Arpaio Case Could Be Dropped, Officials Say, a clear case of attempted obstruction of justice. And when that ploy failed, Trump, who had already suggested that Arpaio was “convicted for doing his job,” pardoned him.

By the way, about “doing his job,” it turns out that Arpaio’s officers were too busy rounding up brown-skinned people and investigating President Barack Obama’s birth certificate to do other things, like investigate cases of sexually abused children. Priorities!

Let’s call things by their proper names here. Arpaio is, of course, a white supremacist. But he’s more than that. There’s a word for political regimes that round up members of minority groups and send them to concentration camps, while rejecting the rule of law: What Arpaio brought to Maricopa, and what the president of the United States has just endorsed, was fascism, American style.

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Trump pardons his partner in crime, crazy Uncle Joe Arpaio (Updated)

The Trump administration has made prodigious use of the “Friday night news dump” since taking office. And with much of the nation distracted by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and the potential natural disaster of catastrophic flooding to occur over the next several days,  the Trump administration announced, among other moves, the first presidential pardon issued by President Trump to former Maricopa County Sheriff crazy Uncle Joe Arpaio. President Donald Trump pardons former Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

It was not a pardon issued in the “regular order” of how pardons are issued by the Department of Justice, Standards for Consideration of Clemecy Petitioners, but rather was a patently political pardon issued by the president to a political supporter and friend — Trump announced his intentions at his Phoenix campaign rally — a dispensation if you will, to Trump’s partner in crime in the racist Obama “birther” movement and his anti-immigrant nationalism movement.

Arpaio was found by the court to have singled out people based on their race for disproportionate law enforcement scrutiny with his immigration sweeps, which violated their constitutional civil rights and the fundamental principle of equal justice under the law.

Arpaio was ordered by the Court to cease and desist, and his office agreed to a consent agreement with the Department of Justice to monitor his compliance. Arpaio defiantly violated the court’s order and that agreement. Arpaio had a legal duty to obey the court’s order while appealing it. Arpaio was properly found guilty of criminal contempt of the court’s order.

Trump’s pardon of Arpaio sends the message that some people are above the law if they have friends in high places in the White House.

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Saturday’s so-called ‘Boston Free Speech’ rally

There are more alt-right white supremacy rallies planned for this weekend around the nation, but the one that the media is focusing on is Saturday’s so-called  “Boston Free Speech” rally on Boston Common.

For those of you old enough to remember, the Boston Busing Riots over school desegregation in the 1970s demonstrated that violent white racism was not limited to the South, but was shared by white northerners in the supposedly “liberal” state of Massachusetts, a center of the abolitionist movement.

The Boston Globe reports Boston Common will be ground zero for rallies today:

The city plans to dispatch more than 500 police officers to patrol Saturday’s “Boston Free Speech” rally on Boston Common Saturday, and city officials vowed to shut it down if it turns violent, as they prepared for what is one of the first big demonstrations since the violence in Charlottesville, Va., last week.

Authorities fear white supremacists will attend, and two of the rally’s keynote speakers have ties to extremist elements — including one who attended the Charlottesville rally.

Rally organizers have maintained the event is open to all political views and not a forum for hate groups, and the permit issued by the city is for only 100 people. But tens of thousands of counterprotesters are expected to show up to denounce racism and anti-Semitism.

Boston officials said Friday that they will shut down the Saturday event if there are signs of violence.

Wonder Woman may be on hand  to protest Nazis in America.

WonderWomanStephen Lam/Reuters