As the administration’s war on immigrants and brown people reached new lows, it was announced that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will visit San Diego next week, with a delegation of 15 Democrats organized by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
Things are looking bad, really bad, right now. Just about every part of the government is actively working hard to inflict cruel and unusual punishment on human beings who happen to lack identity papers.
We can only hope Pelosi’s trip to the border region will generate enough awareness to stimulate opposition to government actions that should be seen as violating international law and basic moral conduct.
The group will visit at least one facility housing migrant children who have been separated from their families — the effect of a controversial “zero tolerance” prosecution policy blasted by Democrats and human rights advocates. Under the strategy, Trump’s Department of Homeland Security aims to prosecute all suspected border-crossers, including adults traveling with children.
Democrats also plan to meet with border agents to discuss the impact of changes to asylum policies announced earlier this week. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday released a 31-page decision that blocks access to asylum in the U.S. for most victims of domestic violence and gang violence.
“The Trump Administration’s inhumanity and heartlessness know no bounds,” Pelosi said in reaction to the asylum announcement Monday. “Republicans in the White House have just condemned countless vulnerable, innocent women to a lifetime of violence and even death, just to score political points with their base.”
Here’s what the delegation from DC is up against:
- Women and children from Latin America and elsewhere will be sent back to face their abusers and rapists.
- Naturalized citizens will have their paperwork rechecked and face deportation if errors are found.
- The administration is looking into setting up tent camps to holding children in one of the hottest parts of the United States.
- Naturalized citizens will have their papers examined for any ‘mistakes’ leaving an opening for stripping them of citizenship.
- The 2020 census is going to fashioned in such a manner as to deprive localities with immigrant populations of representation.
- Eight hundred thousand students protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program face deportation as the administration announced it will not oppose a Texas lawsuit challenging its constitutionality.
- Republicans in Congress are about to officially kill any chance of passing legislation relating to extending DACA program.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has rolled out an edict prohibiting victims of domestic and gang violence from being considered for asylum.
From the Los Angeles Times:
The office of the United Nations high commissioner for refugees had urged Sessions against changing the asylum rules. It warned that such action would violate international agreements the U.S. has entered into concerning refugees and would subject victims to being returned to situations in which their lives are in danger.
The American Bar Assn. warned that ending the asylum eligibility for victims of domestic violence “would further victimize those most in need of protection.”
Sessions disregarded that advice, asserting in his 31-page opinion that previous cases had failed to offer compelling legal arguments for why domestic violence survivors in such places as Guatemala and El Salvador should be considered a persecuted social group. He cast doubt on assertions that police in Guatemala often don’t respond to reports of domestic violence and that women trapped in abusive marriages are a distinct group in need of protection by the U.S.
A program once used mostly to deport Nazis and war criminals is being expanded.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director L. Francis Cissna told the Associated Press his agency is creating an office focusing on identifying Americans who are suspected of cheating to get their citizenship and seek to strip them of it.
“It is clearly true that we have entered a new chapter when a much larger number of people could feel vulnerable that their naturalization could be reopened,” Chishti said.
Since 1990, the Department of Justice has filed 305 civil denaturalization cases, according to statistics obtained by an immigration attorney in Kansas who has defended immigrants in these cases.
The attorney, Matthew Hoppock, agrees that deportees who lied to get citizenship should face consequences but worries other immigrants who might have made mistakes on their paperwork could get targeted and might not have the money to fight back in court.
Earlier this year, Cissna announced a new mission statement for USCIS, deleting the phrase “USCIS secures America’s promise as a nation of immigrants.”
Kiddie tent camps sites sought in hell.
They’re literally cooking up an even crueler scheme to handle the children of asylum seekers forcibly stripped from their parents by erecting tented camps in southern Texas.
Three locations are being considered, according to McClatchy News, the Fort Bliss Army base, along with Air Force facilities near Abilene and San Angelo.
Today’s high temperatures for those locations are 100, 95, and 97 degrees.
As Gabe Ortiz at Daily Kos put it:
Even Joe Arpaio, disgraced former sheriff and convicted criminal, called his infamous “tent city” a “concentration camp,” where temperatures skyrocketed to 130 F and melted the shoes of inmates. Human beings don’t deserve to be treated that way, period, but that’s exactly what the federal government may do to kids, according to the report. This is a concentration camp for kids on American soil. How else can you look at it?
A 21st-century version of the ⅗’s census rule…
Sessions’ Justice Department has requested a controversial question about US citizenship to the 2020 census for the first time since 1950, saying it was needed to “fully enforce” the Voting Rights Act.
Riiiight. Are we supposed to believe the Attorney General is interested in rights outside of those claimed by white men? Really?
It was obvious to civil rights groups the question would depress the response rate from immigrants and threaten the accuracy and fairness of the census.
And they’re analysis was proven to be correct, as documents released this week revealed anti-immigration hardliners like Steve Bannon were pushing for the citizenship question.
From Mother Jones:
On Friday, the Justice Department released more than 1,300 pages of documents as part of a lawsuit filed by New York and 16 other states agains the Trump administration. These files showed that prominent anti-immigration forces inside and outside the Trump administration were hoping that census data resulting from the citizenship question would be used to allocate political representation on the basis of the number of citizens in a district or state rather than the total population. In other words, a state’s number of representatives in Congress would be determined by its population of citizens—a radical departure from the current practice of counting every person regardless of citizenship. The change would deny immigrant communities significant representation and shift political power to whiter and more Republican areas.
The initial push for the citizenship question now appears to have come from Bannon, back when he was a top White House adviser. In July 2017, months before the Justice Department proposed the question, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach—at the time the vice chair of President Donald Trump’s now-defunct Election Integrity Commission—wrote to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. He told Ross that he was writing “at the direction of Steve Bannon” and said it was “essential” that the citizenship question be added to the census. Kobach wrote that the absence of a citizenship question “leads to the problem that aliens who do not actually ‘reside’ in the United States are still counted for congressional apportionment purposes.”
Kobach’s correspondence with Ross contradicts the Trump administration’s stated rationale for the question—Kobach never mentioned the VRA in his letter—and lends credence to the view that the question was added to target areas with many immigrants and boost Republicans politically.
No Time for DACA…
Republicans in the House are planning to vote on two bills relating to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Neither bill will pass. This is just a ploy so they can say they tried.
House Speaker Paul Ryan moved to allow the votes as a means of blocking a discharge petition, which would force consideration of four bills, including compromises with an actual chance of passing.
From The Hill:
After a series of last-minute negotiations Tuesday, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) cut an immigration deal with his conservative wing to bring a vote next week on two Republican bills designed to bolster enforcement and provide legal protections to so-called Dreamers.
The strategy effectively extinguished a bid by centrist Republicans to force action on a series of proposals to rescue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, including two bipartisan bills deemed to have the best chance of moving through the lower chamber.
The plan mitigates the potential for a damaging internal fight among Republicans over immigration — an issue that’s divided the party for years — heading into the pivotal midterm elections. But it’s also lowered the chances that a DACA bill will reach President Trump’s desk — or even the Senate — this year.
One measure to be voted on, supported by members of the ultra-conservative Freedom Caucus, will trade limited and temporary protections for Dreamers for the ramped up militarization of the border and tightened immigration restrictions.
The other bill is still being negotiated by so-called moderate Republicans but isn’t expected to be in the range on anything Democrats will support, especially since they have been excluded from negotiations.
The difference between these two “Make America White Again” bills could be compared to deciding whether or not a prisoner condemned to death by firing squad got to wear a blindfold or not.
These are tough times. No single act of protest is going to stop this racist bandwagon. Many acts, by many people, can.
Here’s one place to start:
San Diego’s Families Belong Together Rally & March will be on
Sunday Saturday, June 23. Starting at 10am outside the Civic Center, the rally will be followed by a march to the local ICE offices on Front Street.
Participants are being asked to wear a yellow ribbon to stand in solidarity with the families. Children have been taken from their parents wear identity yellow bracelets while in detention.
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