Back in March, the Washington Post reported that “Federal judges have ruled against the Trump administration at least 63 times over the past two years, an extraordinary record of legal defeat that has stymied large parts of the president’s agenda on the environment, immigration and other matters.” The federal courts have continued to add to that extraordinary record of defeat since then.
U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg in San Francisco enjoined the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) policy days after outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen pledged to expand the program. The policy began in January at the San Ysidro port of entry in California but has been extended to the Calexico, Calif., entry and to the entry in El Paso, and Seeborg wrote that the approach would have been further extended if the court had not stepped in.
In his 27-page ruling, Seeborg said the legal question before him was not “whether the MPP is a wise, intelligent, or humane policy, or whether it is the best approach for addressing the circumstances the executive branch contends constitute a crisis.” Rather, he wrote, the program probably violates the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Administrative Procedures Act and other legal protections to ensure that immigrants “are not returned to unduly dangerous circumstances.”
This provoked our authoritarian white nationalist racist-in-chief wannabe tinpot dictator to assert to reporters on April 9, that “the U.S. has the ‘worst laws of any country anywhere in the world,'” something he has frequently stated at his Nuremberg-style campaign rallies. Last Friday our authoritarian racist-in-chief wannabe tinpot dictator urged Congress to “get rid of judges,” specifically, immigration judges: “Congress has to act,” Trump said. “They have to get rid of catch and release, chain migration, visa lottery, they have to get rid of the whole asylum system because it doesn’t work, and frankly, we should get rid of judges. You can’t have a court case every time somebody steps foot on our ground.” Trump made two remarkably authoritarian remarks in one day.
Trump’s comments marked the second time this week he has urged Congress “to get rid of judges” — a proposal that, thankfully, for those of us who value checks and balances, has little chance of gaining traction now that Democrats control the House.
The president, however, is not even trying to hide the fact he’d like to have the power to summarily deport migrants and asylum seekers, and has already demonstrated a willingness to try and seize emergency powers toward that end.
The reason Trump keeps losing in court is because his policies are in violation of law and are unconstituional. And as the Washington Post explains, The real reason the Trump administration is constantly losing in court:
In case after case, judges have rebuked Trump officials for failing to follow the most basic rules of governance for shifting policy, including providing legitimate explanations supported by facts and, where required, public input.
[T]he rulings so far paint a remarkable portrait of a government rushing to implement far-reaching changes in policy without regard for long-standing rules against arbitrary and capricious behavior.
“What they have consistently been doing is short-circuiting the process,” said Georgetown Law School’s William W. Buzbee, an expert on administrative law who has studied Trump’s record. In the regulatory cases, Buzbee said, “they don’t even come close” to explaining their actions, “making it very easy for the courts to reject them because they’re not doing their homework.”
In other words, Trump wants to act on his mercurial whims by executive fiat, and he doesn’t believe in the rule of law, or separation of powers, or checks and balances in a constitutional democracy. Our authoritarian white nationalist racist-in-chief wants to be a tinpot dictator. He is assaulting the judiciary and the rule of law as a means to an end.
Enter Governor Doug Ducey, the ice cream man hired by Koch Industries to run their Southwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Arizona. As Michael Bryan says, Ducey is “Trump’s Chump.”
Ducey is parroting Trump’s claim that “the U.S. has the ‘worst laws of any country anywhere in the world.'” The Arizona Capitol Times reports, Ducey: Federal laws to blame for crisis at border:
Gov. Doug Ducey is blaming the crisis on the border on federal laws he says are providing incentives for people to seek asylum.
Not the incompetent authoritarian white nationalist racist-in-chief wannabe tinpot dictator in the White House.
The governor said today that people who try to get across the border often are “coached by individuals to say things that allow them to come in the country.” Those laws, Ducey said, need to be changed.
This is also parroting a Trump line from his Nuremberg-style campaign rallies.
“The system is at a breaking point,” he said after a visit to a Laveen-area elementary school. “That’s why there’s a crisis, that’s why you see the pictures” of crowds of people at the border.
The governor’s comments come on the heels of the apparently forced resignation of Kristjen Nielsen as head of the Department of Homeland Security. That move follows the decision by President Trump to withdraw the nomination of Ronald D. Vitiello to head Immigration and Customs Enforcement, saying his administration is “going in a tougher direction” in dealing with illegal immigration and specifically the flood of people presenting themselves as the border seeking asylum.
Ducey was philosophical about the changes in Washington, including Nielsen who was sworn in in December 2017.
“All of the Cabinet secretaries serve at the pleasure of the president,” he said, calling her “a model public servant.”
No sane person with a soul could ever say that Kristjen Nielsen is “a model public servant.” She should never hold a position of public trust, ever again. As Michelle Goldberg writes, Cancel Kirstjen Nielsen: Her role in terrorizing children should make her a permanent pariah.
“I’ve said that I don’t want to see families separated,” Ducey said. “But I also want to see Congress act.”
And that goes to the question of what he said are shortfalls.
“We actually have laws that I believe right now are incenting the crisis that’s happening on the border,” Ducey said. “We should be more direct as to what the situation is.”
He offered no “direct” solutions of his own. He never does.
So does that mean requiring asylum seekers to remain in their home country?
“That wouldn’t be my solution,” the governor responded, saying there are others, though he provided no specifics.
“People that are in need of asylum and go through the process are finding the protection of it that is intended,” Ducey said. “But others are using the law to their advantage, and not in good faith.”
Ducey said there also needs to be a recognition that not everyone gathered at the border is seeking asylum.
“We also have human trafficking and drug cartels,” the governor said.
Ducey is parroting Trump in June 2015:
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best.”
“They’re sending people that have a lot of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
E.J. Montini of The Republic lets “Trump’s Chump” have it. Donald Trump is still feasting on Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (chicken, waffles):
President Donald Trump made a meal of Gov. Doug Ducey last week, and now Ducey is offering himself up for seconds.
Last week, while even some of Trump’s most ardent Republican political supporters in Texas were challenging the president’s threat to close the border, Gov. Doug Ducey emerged from the Oval Office like a wayward schoolboy leaving the principal’s office and said of the shutdown: ‘We would be supportive of it.”
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who regularly knuckles under to the president, stood against him, saying, “Millions of jobs, in Texas and across the country, depend upon trade with Mexico, and the federal government shouldn’t do anything to jeopardize those jobs.”
The most ardent of Trump supporters, Texas’ Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick chimed in, saying, “I’m not for shutting the entire border.”
Some stood tough and others …
Or simply chickened out.
The governor then remained quiet this week when the Trump administration was floating the notion of bringing back child separations at the border.
Trump has backed off a little. But after dumping homeland security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and others, and promising to get tougher in immigration, you’d think that, maybe, Ducey would have come out strongly against cruelty as a national policy.
Instead, he says former Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen is “a model public servant.”
Particularly considering the abuses that some of the separated children endured in our state.
Bad things happened here
There was mistreatment, including sexual abuse.
There were instances in which some of the older children, in their teens, harmed themselves and developed suicidal tendencies.
It didn’t solve our problem. It only created more.
Only instead of saying these things, Ducey … waffled.
Or did he chicken out?
The things Ducey doesn’t say
First, the governor mimicked Trump’s claim that asylum seekers are tutored phonies (though at least Ducey didn’t call them UFC fighters with tattooed faces, as Trump did.) Then the governor told Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services, “I’ve said that I don’t want to see families separated. But I also want to see Congress act.”
Soooo, what does that mean, exactly?
“We actually have laws that I believe are incenting the crisis that’s happening on the border. We should be more direct as to what the situation is,” Ducey said.
Actually, it would be nice if perhaps Ducey himself were “more direct.”
Like instead of demonizing asylum seekers he could point out that about a third of the individuals to whom the Department of Homeland Security granted asylum in 2017 were children, nearly 50 percent were women and two-thirds were married.
That ‘new’ wall that wasn’t
And then perhaps the governor might note the fact that the “new” wall Trump went to the border to celebrate over the weekend is actually a long-planned replacement for an existing wall. (See, Trump’s Calexico trip is based on one big falsehood.)
And perhaps point out as well that when Trump says it was a “law” under President Obama that had children separated at the border, that there isn’t such a law. Under Obama, separations occurred when the parents were caught doing something like smuggling drugs. Under Trump’s “no tolerance” policy, the separations became routine. Until an injunction by a judge stopped them. (See, Fact-Checking Trump’s Family Separation Claim about Obama’s Policy, and Trump digs in on false claim that he stopped Obama’s family separation policy).
The value of speaking truth to power
Why point out such things?
Well, if you are the governor of a border state you might want to challenge misconceptions or lies by a president whose policy decisions could have a significant impact on your constituents. After all, there are elected officials in California (Democrats), New Mexico (Democrats) and Texas (Republicans) who’ve done that.
But not here.
President Trump doesn’t simply eat Ducey’s lunch.
Ducey IS lunch.