Photo by Fibonacci Blue, Creative Commons license

In at least a temporary win for 300,000 immigrants legally allowed to be in the USA because of terrible conditions in their home countries, a federal judge in California has granted an injunction preventing the Trump administration from sending them back to countries that are still too fucked up to handle a huge influx of returnees. The decision temporarily blocks deportations of immigrants granted "Temporary Protected Status" (TPS) because of violence and natural disasters in Sudan, Haiti, Nicaragua and El Salvador. This decision won't end the Trump drive to Make America White Again, but it will at least prevent deportations until the case is finally settled by higher federal courts. Like maybe a SCOTUS with Brett "The Preznit can Do Anything and He Loves Me" Kavanaugh on it. Still, we'll take any nice time we can find, thanks!

Immigrants from all four countries have been allowed to stay in the USA, many for decades, because of wars or natural disasters. That status has been routinely extended by every president going back to George HW Bush since Congress established TPS in 1990, even though the immediate conditions that had led to the granting of TPS had passed.

The law explicitly states -- in two places -- that the Attorney General should consider whether those home countries are "unable, temporarily, to handle adequately the return to the state of aliens who are nationals of the state," and whether "there exist extraordinary and temporary conditions in the foreign state that prevent aliens who are nationals of the state from returning to the state in safety[.]"

The Trump administration has argued for a far narrower interpretation of the law that pretends current conditions can't be considered. Those earthquakes, hurricanes, and civil wars were a long time ago, so immigrants just HAVE to be ejected regardless of current conditions in those countries, because America First. Tough luck for you, time to go back to your shithole countries, OK?

US District Judge Edward M. Chen wasn't buying the government's claim that immigrants protected by TPS for years must suddenly be uprooted, most starting next year, as the Washington Post explains:

[Chen] found substantial evidence that the administration lacked "any explanation or justification" to end the "temporary protected status" designations for immigrants from those countries.

At the same time, he said there were "serious questions as to whether a discriminatory purpose was a motivating factor" in the administration's decision, which would violate the Constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law.

He cited statements by President Trump denigrating Mexicans, Muslims, Haitians and Africans, including his January remark about "people from shithole countries" and his June 2017 comments stating that 15,000 recent immigrants from Haiti "all have AIDS."

Chen's order in the case, Ramos v. Nielsen, also held the administration had imposed the new interpretation of the law arbitrarily, in violation of federal laws governing changes in rule-making, and that the overall damage to those protected by TPS far outweighed the "damage" -- if any -- the USA would supposedly suffer by allowing them to stay until the case is finally adjudicated.

Translation: This would be terrible for people who have established lives here and who have children who are citizens, and you can't just scream "America First" and wave the word "Temporary" around to insist a sudden reversal of decades of policy is justified.

Judge Chen -- get ready for Trump to start calling him the Chinese Judge on Twitter -- cited not only Trump's public anti-immigrant statements, but numerous internal Trump Administration emails that frame ending TPS as a political decision, like a message from former acting DHS secretary Elaine Duke that read,

The TPS program must end for these countries soon [...] This conclusion is the result of an America first view of the TPS decision.

Chen cites another excerpt from Duke's justification emphasizing TPS had to end because of politics:

These decisions along with the public statements will send a clear signal that TPS in general is coming to a close. I believe it is consistent with the President's position on immigration [...]

So what the hell IS an "America First view' on TPS? Chen notes the plaintiffs argue it's little more than

a code word for removal of immigrants who are non-white and/or non-European. When the Court asked the government's counsel at the hearing what "an America first view of the TPS decision" meant, counsel was unable to provide a clear and direct response.

Oh, and also, the government lawyers mumbled Duke was talking about "migration and . . . drug enforcement issues and a general kind of perspective," which really clears things up, huh? For what it's worth, there's nothing in the TPS statute about drug enforcement. Oh, but that sure speaks to the potentially discriminatory motivation in the administration's decision to ignore current conditions that immigrants might have to face if they go back. Chen notes the administration threw out the usual rule-making process in deciding whether to extend TPS, and that the decision was motivated by racist stereotypes:

Also, funny thing: The State Department has travel advisories telling Americans conditions in all four countries -- five, now, since South Sudan is a new country) are so bad that tourists should avoid them:

El Salvador: (Level 3) "Reconsider travel to El Salvador due to crime."

Nicaragua: (Level 3) "Reconsider travel to Nicaragua due to crime, civil unrest and limited healthcare availability."

Haiti: (Level 3) "Reconsider travel to Haiti due to crime and civil unrest.

Sudan: (Level 3) Reconsider travel to Sudan due to terrorism and civil unrest. Some areas have increased risk. Please read the entire Travel Advisory.

South Sudan: (Level 4) "Do not travel to South Sudan due to crime and armed conflict."

But hey, we'll send immigrants back to places that are too dangerous for Americans. They might be OK, and anyway, not our problem. The only exception is South Sudan -- TPS for people from there has been extended to May 2, 2019.

So the good news is that for now, 300,000 people from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti, and Sudan can remain safely in the USA, even though the administration is seriously keen to deport them -- and also their kids. That's 193,000 American Citizens who might either have to go with a deported parent, or find a way to stay by themselves in the USA.

See this Washington Post story on a Salvadoran family who until yesterday had been making plans for their 14-year-old daughter to stay in the US. Perhaps when she turns 21, she can apply to have her parents and brother come join her -- but only if they comply with all laws. At least until this mess makes its way through the courts, they can put off that Sophie's Choice a while longer.

And finally, a reminder to any trolls who might drop by: EVERYONE covered by TPS is by definition a legal immigrant, as if that matters to the Deport Everyone crowd. Go take your whining elsewhere.

[WaPo / Ramos v. Nielsen at / WaPo]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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Once upon a time... about ten years ago, a group of entirely ridiculous men burst onto the scene wearing stupid hats and telling men that wearing stupid hats and telling men that walking up to women in bars and insulting ("negging") them would get them laid. This did not last long, as women also had televisions and computers and were completely aware of these tricks as well, so when some ass came up to us in a bar and said "Hey, nice nails, are they real?" we would laugh and laugh and loudly announce "Oh my god, this guy just tried to neg me! Can you believe that shit? HEY EVERYONE, THIS GUY JUST TRIED TO NEG ME!" and then refer to him as "Mystery" the whole night.

Most of the men who tried that shit only did so a few times before realizing that it wasn't going to work, and thus moved on to other things. Perhaps things that did not involve furry hats and coming off as a huge creep. We may never know, because I would assume that those who tried it are now extremely embarrassed and would never, ever admit to this to us.

Still, there were a few men willing to eat that shit up, as well as some grifters willing to take advantage of that. Said grifters tended to be extremely misogynistic and seemed more like they were teaching men how to be as despised by women as they were than teaching them how to actually be liked by women.

Some of them, like Roosh V, a creepy weirdo who actually does live in his mom's basement, actively encouraged men to rape women who were intoxicated to the point of being obviously unable to consent.

However, even that branch of the PUA tree is wilting away. Many "self-help" style PUA forums like Nextasf and RSDnation are shutting down or have already shut down. In March, Chateau Heartiste, a batshit crazy PUA turned White Nationalist/Alt-Right blog was shut down by Wordpress. This week, rape advocate Roosh V (whom you may recall once called yours truly a "Wonkette typist/clown face, would not bang") announced that he was renouncing his PUA ways and devoting himself to Jesus. He explained to the forum he manages that he would no longer be allowing anyone to discuss premarital "fornication."

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'Baby Geniuses' star Jon Voight took to Twitter early this morning to proclaim his undying love for Donald Trump, probably because there is no one left in his life who will listen to him talk about this, or anything else, in person. In this video rant, Voight encouraged members of the Republican Party, whom he apparently thinks are the only real citizens of the United States, to stand by Donald Trump and "acknowledge the truth" that he is the best President since Abraham Lincoln.

Part ONE:

People of the Republican Party, I know you will agree with me when I say our president has our utmost respect and our love. This job is not easy. For he's battling the left and their absurd words of destruction. I've said this once and I'll say this again. That our nation has been built on the solid ground from our forefathers, and there is a moral code of duty that has been passed on from President Lincoln. I'm here today to acknowledge the truth, and I'm here today to tell you my fellow Americans that our country…

Oh no, not our absurd words of destruction!

Part DEUX:

is stronger, safer, and with more jobs because our President has made his every move correct. Don't be fooled by the political left, because we are the people of this nation that is witnessing triumph. So let us stand with our president. Let us stand up for this truth, that President Trump is the greatest president since President Lincoln.

Does Jon Voight not know there have been... other presidents? Can he name them? Because really, it does not sound like it. Does he also not know that a very big chunk of the Republican Party actually does not care very much for Abraham Lincoln? Namely those defenders of Confederate statues that Trump called "very fine people?" Also, did he intentionally diss their beloved Ronald Reagan?

Who can know? Who can even tell what he is trying to say or why he is trying to say it. He doesn't appear to have tweeted much since 2016, so I'm guessing whoever's job it was to keep him from tanking his career quit. Either that... or after filming the seventh season of Ray Donovan, he found out it's going to be canceled or his character is getting killed off or something and he is now free to be a jackass? I don't know, I haven't watched the show, although my parents are very into it and mad that I haven't watched it. Literally all I know about it is that it has something to do with Boston, because they keep mentioning that to me like it's a selling point.

It seems useless at this point to note that the people who scream their faces off about how bad it is for Hollywood celebs to support liberal causes, and how they should keep their politics to themselves, etc. etc. make a way bigger deal than normal people do whenever a Big Time Hollywood Celebrity like Jon Voight or, uh, Scott Baio, supports their cause. Mostly because they're the only ones who have elected a reality TV star and the star of Bedtime for Bonzo (who by the way, also once practically ruined a perfectly good Bette Davis movie with his bad acting. Which is not to say that Dark Victory is not fantastic and probably the best thing to watch if you want to sob your face off, but he was very bad in it.) to run the country.

But we might as well do that anyway, because it actually never stops being funny.

[Jon Voight Twitter]

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