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Resettling Titan refugees was, all agreed, a bad idea


In the middle of all the Hurricane Harvey news Sunday morning, Donald Trump remembered that Texas is right near Mexico, and if only we had that wall built already, we wouldn't have to shut down the government, which may get in the way of hurricane relief but we gotta, because it's a matter of principle. But that thing occurred to him, so he decided the hurricane was a good time to bash Mexico, because that's how his very presidential mind works:

Mexico, not surprisingly, was not all that impressed, and the whole country took a moment from all the murdering and raping so its foreign ministry could issue a statement reminding Trump, "Dude, we ALREADY TOLD YOU":

As the government of Mexico has always maintained, our country will not pay, under any circumstances, for a wall or physical barrier built on US territory along the Mexican border [...] This determination is not part of a Mexican negotiating strategy, but a principle of national sovereignty and dignity.

Get real, Señor Pendejo. We've been over this. You know it's not going to happen any more than Trump Tower taco bowls are going to become the next big food truck trend. Give it up, Piñata boy. But we'll tell you what we will do: Even though the only thing you're good at is calling people names, we know that when a neighbor needs help, you help them, even if your neighbor has that one asshole uncle who screams like a madman at you, because on the whole, your neighbors are good people. And so the foreign ministry's statement continued:

The government of Mexico takes this opportunity to express its full solidarity with the people and government of the United States for the damages caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and reports that we have offered the US government all the help and cooperation that can be provided by the different Mexican governmental agencies to deal with the impacts of this natural disaster, as good neighbors should always do in times of difficulty.

You know, just like a bunch of criminal thugs would say. Mexico would be the same good neighbor that, in 2005, thuggishly sent aid to New Orleans to help clean up after Katrina, when another Republican administration found itself with a natural (and man-made) disaster that had overwhelmed an American city:

Our president at the time had the sense to be grateful for a neighbor's help, because while he didn't know how to pick a FEMA director, he knew what real help looked like:

Yep, in 2005, Mexico sent 35 of its Army trucks across the border, with "two mobile kitchens that can feed 7,000 people a day, three flatbed trucks carrying mobile water-treatment plants and 15 trailers of bottled water, blankets and applesauce," along with 195 military personnel, including engineers, doctors, and nurses. You might even say Mexico was sending their best.

Not that we'd accept help now. People are in need, but Donald Trump's on top of things, and he has far higher priorities than letting a bunch of Mexicans help Americans rebuild their lives. What we really need is a wall, because boo, Mexico.

In fact, why aren't we deporting Mexicans as soon as they're rescued from the floodwaters? Possibly because Houston's mayor, Sylvster Turner, says HELL NO:

“There is absolutely no reason why anyone should not call [for help]. And I and others will be the first ones to stand up with you,” Turner, an attorney, said to reporters. “If someone comes and they require help and then for some reason [someone] tries to deport them, I will represent them myself.”

Turner was replying to a reporter's question about SB 4, the state's brand new ban on "sanctuary cities," which was signed by Gov. Greg Abbott in May, but will only go into effect September 1, this Friday. Turner said at a news conference Monday that as far as he's concerned, the right thing to do is to put that "law on the shelf" until the rescue operation is over:

“I don’t care who you are, I don’t care what your status is. I do not want you to run the risk of losing your life or [that of] a family member because you’re concerned about SB 4 or anything else,” he said.

It's not clear whether the state government is on board with that, but Shannon Edmonds of the Texas District and County Attorneys Association said that even if SB 4 takes effect while rescues are ongoing, the law is only meant to allow law enforcement to check immigration status during arrests, so it wouldn't apply to people receiving emergency services.

“Technically the law is directed at detentions related to the commission of a crime,” he said. “The problem is the inference that people in those communities may draw: that it won’t be limited to those kinds of circumstances. And that’s always been one of the objections to it."

Whether law enforcement officers can be trusted not to go Full Arpaio and start demanding "Papers, please" during rescues is another matter. They probably aren't supposed to, but it's the sort of thing the governor or attorney general might give some useful guidance on, though they probably fear being called soft on illegals. At least FEMA has issued a statement on the "Rumor Control" section of its website to clarify that

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has stated that it is not conducting immigration enforcement at relief sites such as shelters or food banks. In the rare instance where local law enforcement informs ICE of a serious criminal alien at a relief site that presents a public safety threat, ICE will make a determination on a case-by-case basis about the appropriate enforcement actions.

Not sure how reassuring that really is, however, given that lately, a "criminal alien" who poses a "public safety threat" is anyone whose papers aren't in order. Couldn't hurt to have the number of an immigration lawyer handy when folks head to a shelter. The New Cruelty may not take a break for some mere natural disaster.

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[BuzzFeed / Mic / Texas Tribune]

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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