The last time was a head-fake to create a media distraction for the emergency border funding appropriation bill. This time may actually be the real deal, but also to create a media distraction from Robert Mueller’s testimony next week. Better to focus media attention on a scandal that actually inures to the benefit of Trump with his nativist white nationalist MAGA base.
A previously postponed plan to round up and deport thousands of undocumented immigrants is scheduled to begin Sunday, according to The New York Times, Thousands Are Targeted as ICE Prepares to Raid Undocumented Migrant Families:
Nationwide raids to arrest thousands of members of undocumented families have been scheduled to begin Sunday, according to two current and one former homeland security officials, moving forward with a rapidly changing operation, the final details of which remain in flux. The operation, backed by President Trump, had been postponed, partly because of resistance among officials at his own immigration agency.
The raids, which will be conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement over multiple days, will include “collateral” deportations, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the preliminary stage of the operation. In those deportations, the authorities might detain immigrants who happened to be on the scene, even though they were not targets of the raids.
When possible, family members who are arrested together will be held in family detention centers in Texas and Pennsylvania. But because of space limitations, some might end up staying in hotel rooms until their travel documents can be prepared. ICE’s goal is to deport the families as quickly as possible.
The officials said ICE agents were targeting at least 2,000 immigrants who have been ordered deported — some as a result of their failure to appear in court — but who remain in the country illegally. The operation is expected to take place in at least 10 major cities.
The families being targeted crossed the border recently: The Trump administration expedited their immigration proceedings last fall. In February, many of those immigrants were given notice to report to an ICE office and leave the United States, the homeland security officials said.
Matthew Bourke, an ICE spokesman, said in a statement on Wednesday that the agency would not comment on specific details related to enforcement operations, to ensure the safety and security of agency personnel.
The threat of deportation has rattled immigrant communities across the country, prompted backlash from local politicians and police officials and stoked division inside the Department of Homeland Security — the agency that is charged with carrying out the deportations. The Trump administration’s goal is to use the operation as a show of force to deter families from approaching the southwestern border, the officials said.
While rare, such coordinated raids have occurred under previous administrations. Agents have expressed apprehensions about arresting babies and young children, officials have said. The agents have also noted that the operation might have limited success because word has already spread among immigrant communities about how to avoid arrest — namely, by refusing to open the door when an agent approaches one’s home. ICE agents are not legally allowed to forcibly enter a home.
For weeks last month, the ICE director at the time, Mark Morgan, signaled that agents would escalate efforts to round up families. Days before the operation was to begin, Mr. Trump forecast the plan on Twitter, blindsiding ICE agents whose safety officials feared would be compromised as a result.
In early June, the Department of Homeland Security’s acting secretary, Kevin K. McAleenan, told Mr. Morgan to call off the operation. Mr. McAleenan did not support the raids, officials said at the time, in part out of concern that undocumented parents could be separated from any of their children who are American citizens.
Mr. Morgan then directly lobbied Mr. Trump to move forward with the raids. He is now the commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, another arm of the Department of Homeland Security.
In a tense meeting with White House officials on June 21, two days before the raids were scheduled to begin, Mr. McAleenan again outlined the challenges of the operation, including the separation of families and the logistics of housing them until they can be removed. If undocumented parents are found to have children who are United States citizens, for example, ICE agents will need to wait with the children in a hotel room until a relative in the United States can claim them.
Homeland security officials also worried that many of the families that the administration had hoped to detain might have left the addresses known to ICE after Mr. Trump tweeted the agency’s plans.
* * *
Last Friday, Mr. Trump said the raids would begin “fairly soon.”
“I say they came in illegally, and we’re bringing them out legally,” the president told reporters.
This is why Trump does this: The Cruelty Is the Point to his nativist white nationalist MAGA base. Survey says 68% of white evangelicals don’t believe the U.S. has a responsibility to accept refugees:
White people are less likely to say that the United States has a responsibility to accept refugees when compared to black and Hispanic populations, according to the results of a Pew Research Center survey. The survey was conducted in April and May.
Notably, an incredible 68% of white evangelical Protestants say the U.S. does not have a responsibility to accept refugees. Only about one-quarter of Republicans (and Republican-leaning independents) agree that we need to accept refugees. This number has dropped from 35%, compared to the February after Donald Trump took office.
This is not good. Instead of taking a swing away from Trump’s inhumane policy moves, conservatives are leaning in on them.
These fundamentalist white evangelicals who are currently engaging in false idol worship of Donald J. Trump (just check out the crazy shit they post at Donald J. TrumpVerified account @realDonaldTrump) — see the Second and Third Commandments — may want to crack open their Bible to Matthew 25:31-46, the parable about “the sheep and the goats,” before the Son of Man returns to sit in judgment on them:
“But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. Before him all the nations will be gathered, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will tell those on his right hand, ‘Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry, and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me drink. I was a stranger, and you took me in. I was naked, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you visited me. I was in prison, and you came to me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed you; or thirsty, and give you a drink? When did we see you as a stranger, and take you in; or naked, and clothe you? When did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to you?’
“The King will answer them, ‘Most certainly I tell you, because you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Then he will say also to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you didn’t give me food to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink; I was a stranger, and you didn’t take me in; naked, and you didn’t clothe me; sick, and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’
“Then they will also answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and didn’t help you?’
“Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Most certainly I tell you, because you didn’t do it to one of the least of these, you didn’t do it to me.’ These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
And you dare call yourselves “Christians.”
Thankfully, 51% of Americans do agree that the U.S. has a responsibility to accept refugees. Some 74% of Democrats agree with this sentiment, too; 65% of adults with no religious affiliation say we have a responsibility to accept refugees, which is them practicing what others preach.
Not all religious groups line up with the horrifying statistics on evangelicals, though only black Protestants feel strongly in favor of our country’s need to accept refugees. For example, white mainline Protestants are at 50% disagreement, while 63% of black Protestants believe we have a responsibility to accept those seeking refuge. Only 45% of Catholics agree we have an obligation to accept refugees. The responses from Catholics aren’t broken down by race.
And for Pew’s purposes, “white” and “black” are designated as “not Hispanic.” Hispanics, for this survey, may be of any race.
As we all know, Trump is making sure that it’s harder and harder to be accepted as a refugee in the U.S. Only 45,000 refugees were admitted into the U.S. in 2018, which is an astoundingly small number compared to past years. For 2019, the number will be a despicable 30,000. And many religious people—especially white religious people—apparently aren’t too torn up about that. Terrible.