Plus: Listings of ways you can help in San Diego
I laughed when late-night host Steven Colbert said the President folded like an origami Trump Casino on the child separation issue. The joke, however, is on us. The immigration policies of the administration remain fundamentally unchanged. And it has nothing to do with comprehensive reforms or building the great wall of Donald.
The motivation for those policies, exploiting a fear of the “other” manifested as racism remains. Donald Trump has overruled GOP strategists who thought campaigning on the strength of the economy and tax cuts was the ticket to victory (defined as not losing too many seats) in November 2018.
The specter of immigrant “gangsters, drug deals, rapists and welfare cheats” ‘infecting’ America will be the core GOP strategy this fall, whether the (few) remaining rational people in the party like it or not.
The ‘but it’s the law” apologists should just quit while they can. The Trump administration has little to no respect for laws contrary to their main mission. And the President’s men can read polls with the best of them.
You can see this with their willingness to circumvent civil rights, suppress voting rights, arrest immigration rights activists, and employ the so-called zero tolerance strategy at the borders. These things energize the ‘base.’
The scandals and abuses of public trust with with Scott Pruitt, Ben Carson, Kelly Ann Conway, Ryan Zinke, Stormy Daniels Payoff, Tom Price, Trump hotels, Steve Mnuchin, Jared Kushner, Michael Flynn, and the special favors built into the so-called tax cut legislation will do for for starters, if you insist on evidence about their lack of respect for laws.
The ACLU’s statement on the President’s latest ‘executive order’ reveals just how hollow the administration’s promises are:
“President Trump has been brought to his knees because of the lawsuit we filed on February 26 and the ensuing public outcry. Kids should not have been separated from their parents in the first place and they still don’t belong in jail. His alleged solution to a crisis of his own making is many months too late. It is a crisis that should not have happened to begin with. He has caused irreparable damage to thousands of immigrant families.
“The devil is in the details. This crisis will not abate until each and every single child is reunited with his or her parent. An eleventh-hour executive order doesn’t fix the calamitous harm done to thousands of children and their parents. This executive order would replace one crisis for another. Children don’t belong in jail at all, even with their parents, under any set of circumstances. If the president thinks placing families in jail indefinitely is what people have been asking for, he is grossly mistaken.”
And the fact is, the President simply signed a piece of paper so the press (and the doubters in his party) would believe he’s doing “something.” What Trump is really doing is paving the way for what he thinks will be a GOP win in the fall.
An article in the Los Angeles Times provides insight into how the mid-term elections are shaping up.
Midterm elections often act as a referendum on whoever occupies the White House, but in most election years, many voters don’t view their ballot that way. This year, they do: Some 60% say they view their midterm vote as a ballot essentially against (34%) or for (26%) Trump, according to a newly released survey from the nonpartisan Pew Research Center. That makes Trump a bigger factor in the midterm than any president since Pew first asked the question during President Reagan’s first term.
The new survey highlights how much the national, partisan contest now outweighs local issues in voters’ choice for Congress: Nearly three-quarters of voters on both sides of the partisan divide said they cared which party will end up controlling Congress — a significantly larger share than in previous elections.
The poll also pointed to a key group for Democratic hopes: younger women. Nearly 7 in 10 women younger than 35 said they favored a Democrat for Congress, and 4 in 10 said they saw their vote as one against Trump. Only about 1 in 10 said they thought of their vote as a ballot for Trump.
The Times story goes on to point out that the ‘enthusiasm gap’ between voters of both parties gives the Democrats a 5% advantage at this point.
I can see how Trump’s brain trust believes scaring certain (read: white) voters is needed to close that gap. It’s also important to remember the advantages Republican have built into the election process through gerrymandering and voter suppression. Some strategists believe Democrats will need an 8% margin of victory to actually flip the House of Representatives.
Acknowledging the reality of the GOP’s gameplan creates possibilities for countering their efforts inside and outside the electoral process.
It’s important for Democratic candidates at every level to incorporate moral disapproval if not outrage at the administration’s immigration tactics and strategy.
Senator Kamala Harris’ visit to Otay Mesa on Friday (11am, 7488 Calzada De La Fuente), along with her terrific speech on the Senate floor are examples what must be done. Local Democratic office seekers need to make the effort to be visible at these sorts of events.
Outside the electoral arena, protests and supportive actions, large and small, need to continue.
While it’s easy to gravitate towards the bigger protests, like the Keep Families Together events in San Diego this weekend and next, smaller acts of rebellion, defiance, and disapproval have a vitally important role to play.
The issue of the administration’s basic inhumanity must be part of every day’s news, conversation, and consciousness.
It’s the little things that can make a big difference.
Like the upcoming “Keep Families Together” Nurse-In on Friday (June 22, 3pm, Federal Building, 880 Front Street)
The Overpass Light Brigade’s display on Tuesday evening:
The small, spontaneous protests on Wednesday at the San Diego County Building (calling out Walmart for it’s role in enabling detention facilities) and the Southwest Key facility in El Cajon, as described in the Union-Tribune:
April Tygard, a retired teacher from Redondo Beach, drove down with a friend to protest outside the facility called Casa San Diego.
“I taught children like this. I know what their sorrows were,” Tygard said. “They only wanted a home and to be safe.”
She and her friend were excited when a fellow protester told them that Trump had signed an order to end family separation. They decided to continue protesting outside the facility because the order didn’t include anything about reuniting the families who are already split apart.
Thanks to some timely consciousness raising by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA and other sharp-eyed travelers, five airlines (Frontier, United, American, Southwestern, and Alaska) asked the government not to use their planes to transport detained immigrant children.
People in New York forced ICE-booked flights to re-route to New Jersey rather than face protestors.
Scene at Terminal B Arrivals at LGA as NYers prepare to welcome any additional immigrant children who may arrive at this airport tonight. #FreedomForImmigrants #FamiliesBelongTogether Incredibly rapid response from @jewishaction @UNITEDWEDREAM @MaketheRoadNY pic.twitter.com/fMVCcqmAwV
— Daniel Altschuler (@altochulo) June 21, 2018
People have been donating to various organizations assisting the human beings caught up in the crisis.
Donations have also been pouring in at the American Civil Liberties Union, which has focused on defending immigrant families, said Mark Wier, the ACLU’s chief development officer.
The ACLU has raised $2.5 million online from more than 40,000 people since June 14, when celebrity couple Chrissy Teigen and John Legend donated $72,000 each to the organization in honor of Trump’s 72nd birthday.
“We’ve also seen people launch more than 200 peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns on the ACLU’s website alone,” he said.
More Ways to Help
Via Anna’s Daniels most excellent article right here at SDFP:
Our local Indivisible chapters suggest other ways to help by donating to non-profits that will help fund their pro bono lawyers who are working to make sure asylum seekers get adequate care and are also doing the legal work for asylum requests. These families also badly need people to put money into their phone accounts so that they can stay in touch with their lawyers, support organizations, and families.
Non-profit, pro bono Lawyers:
Detainee Phone account donations:
Organization working with the detainees here on the ground & the organizers of the yearly Asylum Seeker caravan for the most vulnerable: http://www.pueblosinfronteras.org/
As a faith-based organization, the KBI strives to respond to the most critical needs by respecting the God-given dignity of the human person and by fostering bi-national solidarity through humanitarian assistance, education and research/advocacy.
ACLU who filed lawsuit on behalf of asylum seekers:
Upcoming Actions in San Diego
FRIDAY JUNE 22
Keep Families Together With Senator Kamala Harris
Otay Mesa Detention Facility, 7488 Calzada De La Fuente
This Friday, US Senator Kamala Harris will be visiting the Otay Mesa Detention Facility to see firsthand what is happening at our border. Join the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties and Senator Harris this Friday in kicking off a series of local actions to speak up against this inhumane practice and demand that Trump stop separating families. Senator Harris has been an outspoken advocate against family separation but she needs our help in pushing against this atrocious practice.
3:00 – 4:30 PM
“Keep Families Together” Nurse-In
880 Front Street San Diego 92101
Hosted by Independent Indivisible and Together We Will, nursing mothers and their infants will gather with families and other supporters in opposition to the Trump policy of removing migrant children from parents seeking asylum in the United States. Speakers include a nursing mother, a pediatrician and a faith leader. Family friendly event will engage children in song. Event inspired by the reported removal by US border agents of a Honduran infant from her mother while nursing in a detention room in Texas.
Interfaith Service and Call to Action
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church 2020 Alaquinas Drive, San Ysidro 92173
San Diego Organizing Group, an affiliate of Faith In Action, kicks off a weekend of action with prayers for migrant families and for the soul of our nation.
SATURDAY JUNE 23
10 AM – 12:30 PM
Let Our Children Go!
Interfaith Training and Orientation for Day of Action
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church 2020 Alaquinas Drive, San Ysidro 92173
San Diego Organizing Group, an affiliate of Faith In Action, will prepare activists to protest.
10 AM – 12 PM
Families Belong Together March
San Diego Civic Center 202 C Street San Diego 92101
San Diego Indivisible hosts a rally against the Trump Administration’s family separation policies. Protesters will march 3 blocks from the civic center to the local headquarters of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at the federal building. This event is endorsed by San Diego ACLU, California Teachers Association, local border organizations, Democratic clubs and local unions. Indigenous dancers will do a cleansing ceremony.
10 – 11 AM
North County Families Belong Together Rally
Westfield North County Mall, Overpass at Via Rancho Parkway
272 E Via Rancho Parkway Escondido 92025
Indivisible groups in North County host a rally in support of migrant families and in opposition to the Trump policy of family separation and warehousing of immigrant children.
Let Our Children Go!
Interfaith Vigil at Family Separation Zone
San Diego Organizing Group, an affiliate of Faith In Action, will hold a vigil at the border.
- End the inhumane practice of tearing families apart
- Stop incarcerating children across the country
- Show compassion for our neighbors seeking refuge as they escape violence
- Implement more oversight and care for the reunification of immigrant families
SATURDAY JUNE 30
11 AM – 2 PM
Families Belong Together Rally
Waterfront Park 1600 Pacific Highway San Diego
Possible rally in support of a national day of action to oppose Trump’s immigration policies that separate children from parents at our border, deny security to DACA recipients and use ICE to intimidate immigrants. The national march in Washington DC is hosted by Move On, ACLU and other partners. (Local host and details are unclear at this time.)
Families Belong Together Rally
Swami’s 1298 S Coast Highway 101 Encinitas 92024
Local activists host a North County rally in support of the national day of action. (Local host and details are unclear at this time.)
Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to “The Starting Line” and get an email every time a new article in this series is posted!
I read the Daily Fishwrap(s) so you don’t have to… Catch “the Starting Line” Monday thru Friday right here at San Diego Free Press (dot) org. Send your hate mail and ideas to DougPorter@SanDiegoFreePress.Org Check us out on Facebook and Twitter.