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Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor (Void Where Prohibited, Restrictions May Apply)


Donald Trump has taken the "shackles" off Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), the nation's immigration enforcers, and by golly, they are just going to town, ramping up to deport or harass all the illegal immigrants, not to mention anyone who might look like an illegal immigrant, or have a Muslim-y name, or any foreign travelers who just plain come across as too foreign. Let's see what new joys the New Cruelty has for us lately!

'Due Process' Is For Losers

Part of last week's Department of Homeland Security orders on implementing the New Cruelty involved the expansion of "expedited removal," a beautiful loophole in immigration enforcement allowing people to be deported immediately, without so much as a phone call or an appearance before a judge. Rights, after all, aren't really for just anyone, you know. Under the Obama administration, the get-out-of-America-immediately policy was only applied to undocumented immigrants who'd been in the Land of the Free for under 14 days, and who were caught within 100 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. Last week's orders loosened that up a whole bunch: Now, the policy applies nationwide, and can be used against anyone who can't document they've been in the USA continuously for two years or more with some kind of utility receipts, phone records, or ID. No documentation, and the person can be deported within 24 hours.

According to Jennifer Chang Newell of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project (as if immigrants had rights), the Obama version of the policy was bad enough, resulting in widespread abuse and violation of due process:

In effect, Newell said, "the police officer who arrests you and interrogates you also convicts you." While this obviously is a concern for the tens of thousands of immigrants estimated to have illegally crossed the border since 2015, Alyson Sincavage, a legislative associate at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), argues that it could affect all undocumented immigrants who can't immediately make their case to immigration officials—even those who've been here for years.

Why the big hurry? Well, Trump made a promise to get rid of all the "bad hombres," which now includes everyone here without papers, but thanks to the stupid courts and stupid liberals who think the 14th Amendment's due process clause applies to everyone, there's already a huge backlog -- over half a million cases -- in immigration courts. Expand expedited removal, and ICE can boot just about anyone who doesn't have proof of at least a plausible claim to stay, whether they might qualify for a delay in deportation or not. No hearing, no phone call, just get 'em out, because after all, they're all rapists and murderers, maybe. As for asylum seekers, there were already problems with CBP agents failing to screen border crossers for "credible fear" of danger if they're deported, and now, the deportations will be widened and sped up. Mind you, the administration told CBP officers they should "elicit all relevant information from the alien as is necessary to make a legally sufficient determination," so we're sure there won't be any hasty or incomplete interviews before people get deported.

Hey, ICE Would Never Go Overboard And Violate People's Rights, Would It?

So if you take the shackles off a law enforcement agency, there's no chance they might maybe get a tad overzealous about scooping up everyone they possibly can, would they? Nothing to worry about, says Sandra Hernandez, who reported on immigration from 2006 through 2010, and only lists a mere bunch of stories about ICE overreach, like green card holders being deported for minor infractions decades earlier, or for paperwork lost or bungled by the government. She notes that ICE loved to hold press conferences crowing about the dangerous fugitives they'd deported, but that plenty of those actually deported turned out to merely be "street vendors, construction workers, janitors and small business owners, albeit without papers." (This is where all the Trumpers shout in unison, "What part of ILLEGAL don't you understand?" then get back to jaywalking, cheating on their taxes, and speeding.) A couple of Hernandez's fun examples!

  • An American citizen deported to Mexico after a drug possession conviction. His family had brought in his birth certificate, but the immigration judge decided it must be fake, and added a charge of "impersonating a U.S. citizen." Once the story made the papers, the guy was eventually allowed to return.
  • A Senegalese man who had a federal court stay allowing him to stay in the U.S. while his case was decided. ICE ignored the order and, "under a covert program that forcibly drugged immigrants with powerful psychotropics so they wouldn’t resist," drugged him up and dragged him off to LAX to fly him back to Senegal. The airline refused to put him on the plane, he eventually won his court case, and he is now a permanent resident. Unless, you know, his paperwork gets messed up when he travels.
  • Green card holders with mental illnesses who were deported despite a law requiring they be given free legal help. One man was deported to Mexico despite the voices in his head that left him unable to handle his affairs; his mother called Hernandez, sobbing, because there was no one in Mexico to take care of him.
  • A green card holder deported to Haiti after an immigration court illegally treated a minor drug charge as an aggravated felony. Despite a federal appeals court ruling that the man's conviction was indeed only a misdemeanor, it took him ten years and a pro-bono lawyer to get readmitted to the U.S.

Would TSA Detain A Famous Historian, The Son Of A National Icon, Or A Beloved Children's Author For Crappy Reasons?

Yes. Yes they would. In Houston last week, Henry Rousso, a French historian who focuses on the Holocaust, was held for 10 hours and nearly deported because an "inexperienced" TSA agent thought Rousso was trying to work illegally in the USA (he was on his way to deliver a lecture at Texas A&M, but the TSA agent decided Rousso was trying to sneak in on the wrong visa. He wasn't). The TSA dude was wrong, but it took emergency intervention by a law professor at the university to keep Rousso from being put on the first plane back to Paris. Rousso, whose family was expelled from Egypt in 1956 because they were Jewish, was able to deliver his lecture on French collaborators with the Nazis.

Fellow historians took to social media after news of Rousso's experience, many pointing out what they considered the uncomfortable irony of the arbitrary detention of a Holocaust historian.

Ever the scholar, Rousso politely downplayed the comparison:

In the French edition of the Huffington Post, Rousso wrote an essay saying that "It is now necessary to deal with the utmost arbitrariness and incompetence on the other side of the Atlantic," adding, “What I know, in loving this country forever, is that the United States is no longer quite the United States.” Yep. We noticed.

And then there was Muhammad Ali Jr., who despite being a U.S. citizen, was detained for two hours of questioning February 7, after flying back from Jamaica, where he'd given a speech on black history, it being that month and all. His U.S. passport was somehow not convincing enough for immigration officials at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (hey! the very place where Trump held his latest Nuremberg rally a couple weeks later!). Ali's attorney, Chris Mancini, said Ali was traveling with his mother, Khalilah Camacho-Ali, who was allowed to go through Customs after showing a picture of herself with her late husband the national sports icon. But Ali didn't think he needed anything more than a U.S. passport to prove who he was, so he got a friendly interrogation, during which he was asked twice about his religion, not that there's a Muslim ban or anything.

Wouldn't you know it, though, CBP says such a thing was simply UNPOSSIBLE, and issued a press release saying the agency's "officers adhere to the highest standards of professionalism" and that they never, ever "discriminate based on religion, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation." CBP insisted "We treat all travelers with respect and sensitivity. Integrity is our cornerstone. We are guided by the highest ethical and moral principles," but unfortunately, the agency couldn't address Ali's allegations, because Privacy. Oh, well, then. Guess Ali must be fibbing, then. You know how those Muslims are.

Oh, and also Australian author Mem Fox, who writes such pro-Islam propaganda as Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, which promotes Arabic numerals. She was detained at LAX for an hour and 40 minutes and given the third degree over her visa status, and says she may simply not bother coming back to the USA. She doesn't seem to understand we're at war with Radical Islam and elderly Australian ladies at all:

“I have never in my life been spoken to with such insolence, treated with such disdain, with so many insults and with so much gratuitous impoliteness,” Fox said.

“I felt like I had been physically assaulted which is why, when I got to my hotel room, I completely collapsed and sobbed like a baby, and I’m 70 years old.”

The author attributed the aggressive questioning to border police who had been “turbocharged” by Donald Trump’s proposed travel ban.

Fox said she was questioned over her visa, despite having travelled to America 116 times before without incident. She was eventually granted access to the country.

Turns out her visa was just fine, but she was accused of having a problem, and do you want us to just take people's word for having the right visa? After complaining to both the U.S. embassy in Canberra and the Australian embassy in Washington, Fox did at least receive an apology, so we don't see why she's so touchy. Sheesh, artists. Just because she wrote the best-selling children's book in Australian publishing history, Possum Magic (sounds occult!), she wants us to drop our guard? Obviously a really bad dude.

Just imagine how many difficulties the insignificant people without connections must be having.

As Long As Illegals Are Terrified, It's All Good

The Washington Post ran a fine piece Sunday about the climate of fear among undocumented migrant workers in Florida. Hooray! They're keeping their kids home from school, and afraid to travel or even go to the store. Read the whole thing, but here's a paragraph to let you know what kind of country we are now:

Staff at the Head Start center in nearby Dover began stacking cabbages and bananas on flatbeds outside so the farmworkers had food to take home when they picked up their children, since many of their parents were afraid to go to the grocery store.

Don't read the comments.

How About Randomly Demanding 'Papers, Please' On A Domestic Flight?

Last Wednesday, travelers on a Delta flight from San Francisco to JFK International in New York were allegedly not allowed to get off the plane until they showed their "papers" to CBP officers who were searching for someone who had been ordered to be deported, and who was thought to be on the plane. As passengers left the plane, CBP officers examined their IDs in the jetway, which is really not something normal for domestic flights, though we have a feeling that may become more routine in TrumpMerica. Passenger Anne Garrett caught the special moment of New Cruelty in a Tweet:

Delta flight attendants reportedly told passengers they'd have to "show your papers to agents waiting outside the door"; one passenger said the flight attendant "seemed weirded out by it."

Asked for an explanation by Rolling Stone, a CBP spokesperson initially sent a copy of a document outlining CPB's authority to inspect documents of international travelers, which didn't explain jacksquat about demanding papers from domestic travelers. Rolling Stone's Tim Dickinson noticed that, and was all inquisitive, like you might expect from an Enemy of the People:

Asked to clarify CBP's authority over domestic passengers, the spokesman replied that "at this time this is all I have."

Ah, but by Friday, CBP had a much gooder explanation! It wasn't a demand to see papers, it was a request for "consensual assistance" from the passengers!

In this situation, CBP was assisting ICE in locating an individual possibly aboard the flight that was ordered removed from the United States pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act. To assist ICE, CBP requested consensual assistance from passengers aboard the flight to determine whether the removable individual in question was in fact aboard the flight. In the course of seeking this assistance, CBP did not compel any of these domestic passengers to show identification. With much-appreciated cooperation from these passengers, CBP was able to resolve the issue with minimal delay to the traveling public.

Dickinson asked for clarification on the clarification: was it really only a "request" that people were free to refuse? Heh, don't get all uppity about that sort of thing!

The spokesman again could not clarify CBP's legal authority, warning only, "It is always best to cooperate with law enforcement, so as to expedite your exiting the airport in a timely manner."

So yes, it's consensual assistance. If you choose not to cooperate, you're free to spend a few hours being questioned. What are you hiding, anyway? Maybe you need a cavity search, too, to expedite your timely exit from the airport. Phone call? Why would you want a phone call? Can you prove you belong here? You aren't very cooperative, are you? Don't you want America to be great again?

We bet tourism and international conferences are going to really thrive in Canada for the next few years.

You know what would be great proof you belong in the USA? A donation to Wonkette, to help keep us ad-free. Just show ICE your bank records!

[Mother Jones / LAT / WaPo / WaPo / Guardian / Rolling Stone]

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Roger Stone, you got some 'splainin' to do, Mister! Remember all those times Stone swore on his Nixon tattoo that he never had any contact with Russians, wasn't a campaign surrogate, and wasn't tipped off to stolen DNC emails in advance? Like that time he told the Washington Post:

"I've never been to Russia. I didn't talk to anybody who was identifiably Russian during the two-year run-up to this campaign," he said. "I very definitely can't think of anybody who might have been a Russian without my knowledge. It's a canard."

Stone told the House Intelligence Committee the same thing last September, but, LOL FUNNY STORY! Seems that Stone just plum forgot about that time in May, 2016 when Trump communications advisor Michael Caputo asked him to meet with Henry Greenberg, "a man with a Make America Great Again hat and a viscous Russian accent." The Washington Post reports, Greenberg was offering sexxxxy Russian dirts on Hillary Clinton, which Stone and Caputo were only too happy to grab by the pussy. But they just couldn't get there!

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Congressman Beto O'Rourke, who hopes to replace Ted Cruz in the US Senate this fall, is one of several Texas and El Paso leaders participating in a march to the just-opened tent city at the US/Mexico border in Tornillo, Texas, where children have already been imprisoned "placed."

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