The Trump White House is planning a “Salute to the Heroes of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs [and] Border Protection” on Monday, August 20 in the East Room. The ceremony is a politically motivated stunt to provoke ire from opponents of Trump’s zero tolerance family separation policy.
Naturally, Arizona’s Governor Doug Ducey intends to participate in this middle-finger to Americans opposed to the political party of kidnapping and child abuse and making orphans out of innocent children. Way to make us proud, Trump troll.
As hundreds of separated migrant children continue to remain under U.S. custody and at ongoing risk of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, Donald Trump plans to honor the border agents who kidnapped them from their parents’ arms and locked them up in cages in the first place.
Politico reports the White House has planned a “Salute to the Heroes of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs [and] Border Protection” event for next Monday, coming a few days after Trump claimed that immigration agents “have been absolutely abused.”
All right, if he wants to talk abuse, let’s talk about abuse.
Despite a federal judge’s court order, the Trump administration continues to hold more than 560 kids under U.S. custody, including two dozen kids aged five years old and under. [Contempt of court.] Not only is the administration blatantly violating a court order, it’s continuing to keep kids locked up in facilities where migrant children have already been molested, and are only there because of Trump’s family separation policy.
Earlier this month, a 32-year-old Arizona worker at a Southwest Keys facility—contracted by the government to detain migrant kids—was arrested and charged with molesting a 14-year-old girl, “accused of slipping into the girl’s room late at night and forcibly kissing and inappropriately touching her, according to court documents,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported. This taxpayer-funded abuse is horrendous—and it’s widespread.
Internal documents going all the way back to 2009 have revealed that border agents themselves have assaulted migrant children “with their feet, fists, flashlights, and Tasers. In one case, an agent ran over a 17 year old with a patrol vehicle and then got out and punched the child in the head and body.” Other agents have molested children, while some have blocked families fleeing violence from asking for asylum at the border, in violation of U.S. law.
These out-of-control immigration agents are also deadly. Border officials initially claimed Claudia Patricia Gómez González, an unarmed migrant woman who crossed illegally into Texas, was shot and killed because she attacked an agent. They lied. A follow-up statement removed any references to the “blunt objects” she allegedly had in her hand—their claim had been disputed by an eyewitness— and a planned press conference was cancelled.
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Meanwhile, 14 months’ worth of ICE data reveal that the arrests of immigrants with no criminal record at all have more than tripled under Trump, “and may still be accelerating,” NBC News reports. “Bad hombres?” Bullshit. It’s hardworking moms and dads who are getting swept up by ICE. It’s families that are getting decimated by ICE and Border Patrol’s cruel tactics. This is what Trump is “honoring” at the White House next week.
“Instead of using ICE and Border Patrol agents as a backdrop for a midterm political rally,” America’s Voice’s Frank Sharry said, Trump officials “should hold an emergency meeting with ICE and CBP to discuss how to immediately comply with the family reunification court order whose deadline passed three weeks ago.” Tom Jawetz of the Center for American Progress: “Only this White House would give medals for taking thousands of immigrant children from their parents, and continuing to detain hundreds of orphaned kids in defiance of a court order.”
Good points that Arizona’s political reporters should be making to governor Doug Ducey who intends to participate in this farce. Ducey to speak at White House event honoring ICE, border agents:
Gov. Doug Ducey on Monday will visit the White House to tout the work of his Border Strike Force at a function honoring immigration and border officials, his office said Friday.
The “Salute to the Heroes of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs (and) Border Protection” will examine border-security and community-safety issues, including the idea of a southwestern border wall, according to Ducey spokesman Daniel Ruiz.
Ducey was invited to discuss his multi-agency Strike Force, created to fight drug and human trafficking, during a panel exploring “the unique role that states play as it relates to border security,” Ruiz said.
The White House “salute” comes as nearly 600 migrant children wait to be returned to their parents after being separated at the border under the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy.
The removal of more than 2,000 kids from their families has triggered widespread outrage among humanitarian groups, spurring some migrant-rights advocates to call for the abolishment of ICE.
Asked about the recent separations, Ruiz said the governor was not participating in Monday’s event as “a statement on any position that has been taken by ICE or CBP.”
“This is more an event to honor the men and women on the front lines who secure and protect our border,” he said.
No, it’s not. It’s Trump trolling the two-thirds of Americans opposed to his family separation policy and his xenophobic anti-immigrant white nationalist policies. And there is Gov. Ducey wrapping his arms around him and embracing it.
Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels, a vocal Strike Force supporter, will also attend the White House event, Ruiz said.
The Border Strike Force, established in 2015, has become a linchpin of Ducey’s campaign for re-election this year. Though the Governor’s Office has cited dramatic arrest and drug-seizure totals, the Department of Public Safety has not provided a more detailed breakdown of Strike Force operations.
So yet more anti-immigrant bashing as the centerpiece of GOP campaign strategy, from Russell Pearce and his acolytes John Kavanagh and Steve Smith and Joe Arpaio, to Governor Jan Brewer and John Huppenthal and Tom Horne, to Governor Doug Ducey and … well, all of them — more than 15 years of demonizing Latinos as the only campaign strategy the GOP has to rile up white Republican voters in Arizona.
When are people going to finally wise up to these evil GOP bastards?