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What part of 'Deport 'em all' doesn't California understand?


Your conservative Republicans sure do love them some States' Rights, except of course when states decide maybe they don't want to go along with the New Cruelty. That's why Attorney General Jeff Sessions (vomit!) has filed a federal lawsuit to block implementation of three new California laws intended to limit the state's cooperation with federal Deport Everyone policies. The laws were among several passed by California last year in reaction to Trump administration efforts to round up and deport every undocumented immigrant ICE can get its hands on; the Justice Department lawsuit claims that the state laws violate the constitutional principle of federal supremacy. We're pretty sure that's not the only supremacy Sessions is hot to enforce.

In the kind of twist that irony fans can appreciate, the new lawsuit is loosely based on the Obama administration's 2010 lawsuit against Arizona, which argued the state's "Your Papers Please" law, SB 1070, usurped the federal government's duty to set and enforce immigration law.

The three California laws went into effect January 1, and we'll let Politico do the summarizing for you:

One California law, SB 54, prohibits state and local officials from sharing information with immigration authorities under certain circumstances and also bars transfers of certain immigrants to federal custody. The suit argues that this law is not only unconstitutional, but also violates a specific federal statute on such information sharing.

Another of the state’s measures, AB 450, forbids private employers from cooperating with federal immigration enforcement at the workplace.

The third law, AB 103, seeks to regulate contract detention facilities used to hold federal immigration prisoners.

California has argued that its laws don't seek to override federal law, but to ensure that the state complies with federal law enforcement only to the minimal degree necessary under federal authority. If ICE wants to scoop people up in immigration raids, that's their business, says California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, but that doesn't give DOJ the power to enlist California law enforcement agencies or private California businesses in helping them. He also notes that, as a law enforcement matter, undocumented immigrants are far more likely to report crimes and cooperate with investigations if they're not terrified of being scooped up and deported for coming forward (a problem that has impeded law enforcement efforts against MS-13 elsewhere in the country, not incidentally).

While Becerra told reporters yesterday he hadn't examined the federal lawsuit in detail, he rejected the suit's central assertion that California is trying to block the enforcement of federal law:

"We’re following the Constitution and federal law," the state attorney general said in a conference call with reporters. "We’re doing nothing to intrude in the work of the federal government to do immigration enforcement. We recognize and respect that the federal government has authority over immigration enforcement."

State Senate leader Kevin de León, who's clearly been following reports of ICE separating parents and children in immigration detention and deporting parents whose spouses and children are citizens, said he wasn't about to let ICE "rip children from the arms of their mothers":

“If U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is suing California because we refuse to help the Trump administration tear apart honest, hard-working families, I say, ‘Bring it on,’” he told POLITICO. “Based on the U.S. Department of Justice’s track record, I like our odds.”

Sessions, incredibly enough, tried to use language from the Civil Rights Movement to frame the DOJ's efforts to force states to use their own law enforcement resources to enforce the Trump administration's agenda. In a speech to law enforcement officials in Sacramento, Sessions compared his lawsuit against California to the Civil War's defeat of secession and the federal government's intervention against Southern states that refused to enforce federal civil rights and voting laws in the '60s:

"There is no nullification. There is no secession," Sessions told the local law enforcement officers. "Federal law is the supreme law of the land. I would invite any doubters to Gettysburg, and to the graves of John C. Calhoun and Abraham Lincoln."

Huh! We'd be inclined to think California is acting a lot more like Northerners who refused to go along with the Fugitive Slave Act -- but, as everyone knows, liberals have no respect for the tender mercies of federal agents who simply want to tear a few million families apart for the sake of Enforcing The Law. Before you know it, Ol' Jefferson Beauregard will be comparing himself to Rosa Parks. He may have a little difficulty pulling that off, though, since he's the one deploying the helmeted troopers and the police dogs.

We tend to be suspicious of helmeted troopers and police dogs for some reason.

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[Politico / US vs California lawsuit/ Image via US Immigration and Customs Enforcement]

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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I'd mentioned this week that there's definitely probably a tape out there of Donald Trump referring to a black person as a "nigger," because Trump is a racist and that's sort of what they do. Sarah Huckabee Sanders won't even affirmatively deny such a tape exists, and she's from the "two plus two equals five" school of communications management. I also speculated that once the tape was released, Republican supporters of the president would flock to defend his vile words: "Hey, if you rearrange the letters in "nigger," you get "ginger" and who doesn't like redheads and the occasional Dark 'n' Stormy?"

The shameful display has already started and the supposed recording isn't even available for pre-order on iTunes. George State Senator Michael Williams stated in appearance on CNN's "New Day Saturday" that if Trump -- who's the president, by the way -- did say "nigger," it would certainly concern him as an "individual" but "not necessarily as a person that is running our country." So, uh, what the hell is that? This has been a standard argument from Republicans ever since Trump crawled his way out of the sewers of birtherism and onto a major political stage: "We think Trump is a terrible human being -- seriously, we have to shower immediately after meeting with him -- but we still think he's a suitable steward of the most powerful nation on the planet."

Normally, you'd think this would work the other way. You know, your brother-in-law is a nice enough guy. Your sister certainly could've done worse. You don't mind the slightly rambling sports-ball discussions with him at family gatherings. He's good for looking after the kids (as long as your sister is present or reachable by cell), but you'd never invest your hard-earned money into whatever half-assed business venture he's trying to get off the ground nor would you back his run for any serious political office.

I've long had issues with the "brilliant asshole" archetype in TV and movies. It's almost always a white male (because women and minorities must be perfect) whose emotional immaturity and overall jerkass behavior we're told to overlook because they're so goshdarned awesome. Do you want some PC "cuck" or do you want Dr. House to figure out that the MS symptoms you're suffering are really just because you ate a stale doughnut? Sherlock Holmes doesn't have time for your feelings or social niceties -- not while he's solving mysteries and being dreamy.

Trump, however, isn't "brilliant." He's just a guy who says "nigger." They're hardly a scarcity in the market. You don't even have to venture out to a klan rally to find one. You can order online -- same day social media delivery.

Williams argues that Trump didn't use the word "nigger" when he was in the "office of the president." It was just some youthful indiscretion when he was almost 60. I don't even know where he's going with this. Does he think Trump has changed? He routinely insults and belittles black people. He also calls black NFL players who peacefully protest "sons of bitches." Was that his way of weaning off calling us "niggers"? Has he been wearing a "nigger" patch on his arm to control his cravings for the racial epithet?

"He used the word in his personal life," Williams said. (It was actually in a workplace context -- SER) "Now if he were president and were to go on TV and use the n-word, I'd have a major problem with that."

media.giphy.com

It's heartening repulsive to see that Williams draws the line at Trump holding an official "nigger" press conference. I think once we reach that point, Trump will probably also reveal that his buddies on the Supreme Court discovered a typo in the Thirteenth Amendment and black folks' work-life balance will start to really suffer.

"I will always say using the n-word is wrong, and it's bad, and should never be accepted in our society. But just because (Trump) might have done it years ago, not as our president, doesn't mean we need to continue to berate him because he used it," GOP state Sen. Michael Williams, who is white, told CNN's Victor Blackwell on "New Day Saturday."

Blackwell, who is black, had to sit there and listen to this crap from a white elected official who is just 45 years old. You know, the word "nigger" doesn't even appear in the Dred Scott decision, for example, but that's not necessary for reasonable people to understand that it was racist as hell. We all know Trump is racist, but now Republicans can't even repudiate the worst demonstrations of his racial animus. The first black president hasn't even been out of office for two full years and already "nigger" is being redefined. What would once end a campaign in its tracks when Blackwell and I were growing up is now just an "oops, my bad."

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Conservatives want to be oppressed. Or, rather, for everyone to think they are being oppressed and to then give them what they see as the impunity and moral upper hand that comes along with being an oppressed group of people. They want it very, very badly and think it is very unfair that all the people they have oppressed have this privilege and they do not. This morning, Trump took to Twitter to vow to protect them from the worst kind of oppression of all -- imaginary social media censorship!

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