It's not a final ruling, but the Supreme Court has lifted yet another stay letting yet another fascist Trump immigration policy go into effect. USA! USA! USA!
It's a day that ends in "y," so the Trump regime is screwing over immigrants again.
As of Monday, US immigration officers around the world will be using a person's wealth to determine whether they should be granted a visa or green card.
This was yet another fun indication from the Supreme Court that it has no problems with the racist-in-chief's penchant for fascism and destroying the lives of would-be immigrants.
We're going to need a Truth Commission when this is all over.
In an attempt to prevent immigrant kids from getting asylum, the government is going through notes taken in counseling sessions and picking out items that can be used against the kids, even though the counselors assured the kids the sessions would be confidential. What's worse, the practice may be technically legal, although obviously it's unethical as fuck. The government insists it's absolutely necessary to protect America, because when some kids discuss the traumas that led them to seek asylum in the US, they also say things that can be used to suggest they're dangerous thugs who might kill us all.
In the Washington Post, Hannah Dreier focuses on the ordeal of one young Honduran asylum-seeker, Kevin Euceda, who lived through hell and escaped an MS-13 group that wanted him to kill someone to prove his loyalty to the gang. In 2017, he crossed the Rio Grande with his older sister; she was 18, so was quickly deported. But Kevin, then 17, was placed in a youth shelter that contracted with the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is responsible for housing minor immigrants until they're placed with sponsors (or, increasingly, until they're old enough to deport). By law, all detained kids are required to see a counselor within 72 hours of coming into the ORR system, under the 1997 settlement meant to protect detained kids. Haha, joke's on you, Kevin: Under Trump, those sessions were no longer confidential, although the counselor — a recent graduate doing work toward her professional license — didn't know her notes would be turned over to ICE, either.
Oh don't we have fun in 2020 America.
Trump's Department of Homeland Security has a new top lawyer and yes, he's exactly the type of person you think he is.
Chad Mizelle, the new (acting) general counsel for DHS, graduated law school the same year I did: 2013. With a grand total of 6.5 years of experience as a lawyer, he will now supervise 2,500 lawyers and make the final legal determinations for the department that oversees immigration, national security, and border control for the United States government.
First, the bureaucratic roadblocks. Next, the transformation into giant insects.
As we have noted several times, there's a certain horrifying brilliance to the endless schemes Stephen Miller has contrived to limit immigration — not just by those terrible murderers and rapists Donald Trump scares Fox viewers with, but anyone trying to use the legal means of immigration the Right is always screaming about. It's very much like the infinitely creative ways the white power structure in the Jim Crow South came up with to humiliate black people and make their lives miserable. Someone should do a study on the psychology of all that, how it's tied to authoritarian thinking. Miller and his minions have managed to weaponize virtually every part of federal law to keep people out.
That zero tolerance of immigration extends even — or especially — to those the law is supposed to help. Like for instance victims of crimes. Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell explores the administration's latest twist of the bureaucratic knife, in which an undocumented woman she calls "Yolanda" went to the police to report she'd been violently raped, then left trapped in a basement for hours. Congress passed a law allowing crime victims who cooperate with police to apply for what's called a "U Visa," because fighting violent crime is a good thing. But not as important to this administration as blocking all immigrants.
Yolanda's application was denied because the administration decided last fall it will now reject visa applications that include any blank spaces, even when there's no earthly reason to fill in the blank. Yolanda's son has no middle name, so she wrote nothing for that item. Sorry, your application has been rejected because it's incomplete.
Collins and Murkowski to raise eyebrow alert levels to 'red.'
Did we not just get done impeaching the motherfucker? Yes, we did, and impeachment is forever. But now that lunatic is out there on Twitter trying to extort the state of New York, demanding personal favors in exchange for federal government action. It's quid pro quo all over again, only this time you don't have to spend ten minutes READING THE TDJ@4QRPPPPPPPP5T, thanks to Twitter's 280-character limit.
He just ... he just tweeted it out. In preparation for a meeting with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo about suspending the state's residents from the Trusted Traveler Programs, which allow speedy entry at most highly-traveled northern border points, Donald Trump just demanded that the state stop suing him.
Don't worry, we haven't forgotten about the other DOJ news.
Welp, Donald Trump and Bill Barr are going after immigrants and the state and local governments that try to help them again.
In a trio of lawsuits filed Monday, the Department of Justice went after New Jersey, California, and King County, Washington, for laws and policies that seek to protect immigrants from the Nazis at the Department of Homeland Security.
Barr bragged about his xenophobic new lawsuits in remarks to the National Sheriffs' Association, making references to "criminal aliens" and claiming detaining immigrant families is "a vital part of how we keep our country safe."
A most cunning plan.
Tuesday night, Donald Trump gave his torchlit State of the Union address in which he warned that scary sanctuary cities are stockpiling criminal illegals to come rape and kill you all. Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security sent a nastygram to New York state officials, informing them that effective immediately, no New York residents would be able to use most of DHS's popular programs that let travelers get through airports more easily. Because national security, you see, and also good old revenge against any state that doesn't buy into Trump's Deport Everyone agenda. The letter, first reported by Fox News, insists that since the state won't let DHS paw through driver's-license databases in search of undocumented immigrants, then it's just not safe to let anyone from New York use the expedited-travel programs. You know how it is, with those MS-13 guys putting their machetes in their checked baggage and then flying executive class to do crimes.
Wingnuts: You mean OBAMA'S camps, hurr hurr!
At a campaign rally in Keene, New Hampshire, Tuesday, Elizabeth Warren took a question from a little girl about immigration policy. It was a pretty good question!
Girl: My name is Elizabeth [last name inaudible, thankfully for her family]
Warren: Oh wow! Double Elizabeth. I feel the power.
Girl: I'm seven years old.
Warren: I'm not.
Girl: [purest loudest girly giggle you'll hear on video all week]
It's Travel Ban 2: The Blackening.
On Friday, while the country was focused on the sham impeachment "trial" taking place in the Senate, Trump quietly extended his trademark Muslim Ban to also be an African Ban, adding seven new countries to his shit(hole) list.
Nigeria, Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Tanzania, and Sudan were added to the list of countries whose citizens are barred from starting new lives here, increasing the total number of countries included in Trump's travel ban to 13.
Now there are some 500 million people, mostly people of color and people from countries with a large number of Muslims, banned from immigrating to the United States based on their country of origin. This list now includes the Rohingya people fleeing genocide in Myanmar, in addition to refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war and violence from groups like ISIS.
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
Unless, of course, our racist and xenophobic president decides he doesn't like your country. Then your people are SOL.
But kids with severe medical issues shouldn't need a congressional delegation to get help.
In the bleak hellscape of Donald Trump's immigration policy, we occasionally get glimpses of hope and moments of good news, like this story of how several members of Congress managed to get help for a 6-year-old girl with Down syndrome and a heart condition. The girl and her family -- her mother and an eight-year-old brother -- fled Central America, and had passed an initial screening in their asylum case. But under the Trump administration's latest strategy to restrict asylum, they were still forced to stay for three months in an unsafe camp in Matamoros, Mexico. Earlier this month, a congressional delegation managed to arrange entry to the US for the girl and her family, a day after US Customs and Border Protection had refused to let her into the country.
Why yes, the USA is happy to let kids face death, at least until somebody with connections steps in on their behalf.
Give me your Norwegians, your ... nah, just Norwegians, OK?
The Supreme Court yesterday allowed Stephen Miller's new fuck-the-poor immigration rule to go into effect, giving the administration the go-ahead to start denying green cards and visas to legal immigrants who have used federal anti-poverty programs. The Court didn't actually decide whether the changes to the "public charge" rule are constitutional, but lifted lower courts' injunctions so the administration can get busy enforcing the rule, even as it's being challenged in lower courts. So now Team Trump will at least be able to get to fucking over less well-off immigrants right away, at least until the rule is maybe found unconstitutional or thrown out altogether by a different president. And with Trump and Republicans bent on remaking the courts as rapidly as possible, who knows whether another executive will be allowed to rescind the horrible rules put in place under Trump?
We're feeling very cheerful about the courts, you bet.
It's not like tying kids to chairs and putting bags over their heads makes us the baddies. Does it?
In Part Nine Million of our series "the cruelty is the point" (credit Adam Serwer), we bring you this story from Mother Jones about the treatment of migrant kids at a juvenile detention center in Virginia, one of just two juvie lockups where the government stores "unaccompanied minors who are deemed threatening." The story, by Samantha Michaels, traces the ongoing legal case against the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center, which started with a lawsuit in 2017 accusing the facility of using harsh disciplinary methods against migrant teens who haven't committed any crimes but are locked up because of their immigration status. (Not that harsh discipline is healthy for any kids in lockup, regardless of their rap sheets!) This week, the case is getting new attention because a crowd of nationally recognized prosecutors and even a few state attorneys general have filed an amicus brief as the case moves forward on appeal. We'll get to those details in a moment.
The suit argued that instead of getting the kids necessary mental health care for PTSD and other disorders stemming from their experiences as migrants, staff at the facility instead subjected them to punishments like being routinely tied to chairs for misbehavior, sometimes with a bag over their heads so they could get the full Gitmo Jr. experience.
There are always those people.
The people who revel in being the exception to the rule. The women who want everyone to know that they're "not like other girls" and in fact think male chauvinism is super great. The Republicans who hate Trump. Black people who don't believe racism exists. Former liberals who think "something" has just gone "too far."
If you're thirsting for a ton of positive attention, if you want to feel truly valued and special, it's certainly one way to go. If I were to suddenly become a Republican, accept Jesus Christ as my personal savior, declare feminism a societal evil, or oppose abortion, not only would I be endlessly showered with praise, but everything I said would be considered to be extra valid and extra validating to those praising me. I could be used as a weapon against those I used to agree with. People love that shit almost as much as they love unlikely animal friendships.
Yesterday, The New York Times ran an op-ed titled "I'm a Liberal Who Thinks Immigration Must Be Restricted," by one Jerry Kammer, a senior research fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies. It was not good.
A federal judge in Maryland ruled Wednesday that Donald Trump's executive order giving state and local officials the power to reject refugee resettlement is "unlawful" and doesn't "appear to serve the overall public interest." The executive order, issued in September when the Stephen Miller administration announced the US would slash refugee admissions to the lowest level in modern history, had required that before any refugees can be resettled, state governors or local officials would have to give their express written consent.
In his ruling, US District Judge Peter J. Messitte wrote that
Giving states and local governments the power to consent to the resettlement of refugees — which is to say veto power to determine whether refugees will be received in their midst — flies in the face of clear Congressional intent.
If you're a nerd who enjoys reading court decisions, check it out. It's very clearly argued, and you get the sense Judge Messitte found the government's arguments insultingly bad.
Knock yourself out, dude.
It's just possible that the national GOP hates Kris Kobach more than Kris Kobach hates immigrants. Which is high bar to clear! From the moment he declared for the Kansas's US Senate race by misspelling his own name on the registration form, the National Republican Senate Committee accused him of "simultaneously put[ting] President Trump's presidency and Senate Majority at risk." But Chris -- sorry, Kris -- Kobach brushed off the DC insiders' gripes with the dogged confidence of a guy who plans to grift a billion dollars to erect a home-brew border wall.
While Mike Pompeo was Hamlet-ing all over Foggy Bottom, the NRSC could keep Kansas on the back burner. But now that Pompeo says he's foregoing the Senate race to take advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fuck shit up in the Middle East, the GOP is panicking. The Wall Street Journal reports that internal Republican polling has Kobach almost 20 points ahead of his closest primary challenger, Rep. Roger Marshall (KS-1), and weak against a strong Democrat in the general. And Republicans remember that 18 months ago, that racist nutbag Kobach managed to lose the Kansas gubernatorial election by five percent in a state Trump took by 20 points. So they're not risking a narrow GOP majority in the Senate on that incompetent buffoon, at least not if they can help it.
Don't answer that if you're a weird bigot.
Over the weekend, more than 60 people of Iranian descent were detained by Customs and Border Protection at the Peace Arch Border Crossing in Blaine, Washington. The people detained were American citizens and green card holders, and included some very dangerous children and families.
Most of the people who were stopped were let into the country after being detained and questioned, though civil rights organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said that others were denied entry entirely.
On Monday, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal held a press conference where six of the people who were detained over the weekend detailed their experiences.
"We were anxious": Iranian-American woman says family was held at U.S.-Canada border for 5 hours www.youtube.com
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