Saturday, February 4, 2017

Last Call For Anti-Immigration Nation, Con't

Meanwhile the LA Times runs the numbers on Trump's mass deportation scheme and finds out we're going to have to stuff more than 8 million people in those deportation facilities they want to build.

Far from targeting only “bad hombres,” as Trump has said repeatedly, his new order allows immigration agents to detain nearly anyone they come in contact with who has crossed the border illegally. People could be booked into custody for using food stamps or if their child receives free school lunches.

The deportation targets are a much larger group than those swept up in the travel bans that sowed chaos at airports and seized public attention over the past week. Fewer than 1 million people came to the U.S. over the past decade from the seven countries from which most visitors are temporarily blocked.

Deportations of this scale, which has not been publicly totaled before, could have widely felt consequences: Families would be separated. Businesses catering to immigrant customers may be shuttered. Crops could be left to rot, unpicked, as agricultural and other industries that rely on immigrant workforces face labor shortages. U.S. relations could be strained with countries that stand to receive an influx of deported people, particularly in Latin America. Even the Social Security system, which many immigrants working illegally pay into under fake identification numbers, would take a hit.

The new instructions represent a wide expansion of President Obama’s focus on deporting only recent arrivals, repeat immigration violators and people with multiple criminal violations. Under the Obama administration, only about 1.4 million people were considered priorities for removal.

“We are going back to enforcement chaos — they are going to give lip service to going after criminals, but they really are going to round up everybody they can get their hands on,” said David Leopold, a former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Assn. and an immigration lawyer for more than two decades.

And the 8 million number is a floor, not a ceiling.  As I pointed out yesterday, these orders are ridiculously broad.

Trump's orders instruct officers to deport not only those convicted of crimes, but also those who aren’t charged but are believed to have committed "acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense."

That category applies to the 6 million people believed to have entered the U.S. without passing through an official border crossing. The rest of the 11.1 million people in the country illegally, according to a study by the Pew Research Center, are believed to have entered on a valid visa and stayed past its expiration date.

Also among those 11.1 million are about 8 million jobholders, Pew found. The vast majority have worked in violation of the law by stating on federal employment forms that they were legally allowed to work. Trump’s order calls for targeting anyone who lied on the forms.

Trump’s deportation priorities also include smaller groups whose totals remain elusive: people in the country illegally who are charged with crimes that have not yet been adjudicated and those who receive an improper welfare benefit, used a fake identity card, were found driving without a license or received federal food assistance.

An additional executive order under consideration would block entry to anyone the U.S. believes may use benefit programs such as Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program, according two Trump administration officials who have seen the draft order.

Combined, we're talking about tossing, three, maybe four percent of the country in jail and ejecting them from America.  And if Republicans get rid of birthright citizenship as they seem to want to do, that number could be far, far higher.

How I Started Worrying And Hated The Ban

The Trumpies continue to be bad at this whole "pretending to be a legitimate administration" thing and just two weeks in, they already have dropped the "pretending" part.

Hours after a federal judge ordered customs officers to provide lawyers to travelers detained at Dulles airport last Saturday, senior Trump administration officials instructed the guards to give the travelers phone numbers of legal services organizations, ignoring a mass of lawyers who had gathered at the airport.

Most of the legal services offices were closed for the weekend, effectively preventing travelers with green cards from obtaining legal advice.

The move was part of what lawyers contend was a series of foot-dragging actions by the administration that appeared to violate court orders against the Trump’s controversial travel ban.

The contempt the Trump regime has for rule of law is staggering, but what do you expect when the place is run by people who have sworn to destroy America's political, legal, and social norms in order to reshape the country?

A little over 24 hours after Trump ordered the ban, federal judges in New York, Massachusetts and Virginia issued emergency rulings blocking parts of it. But at Dulles and other airports, customs officers refused to change their procedures until their superiors conveyed instructions from agency lawyers reviewing the court decisions, according to three lawyers familiar with the situation and a congressional staff member investigating the matter.

In the early hours of Sunday morning, at least four hours after the first of the court orders came down, Todd Owen, Customs and Border Protection's executive assistant commissioner, convened a conference call for field operations to deliver new guidance, according to a person briefed on the call.

But rather than allow the detained travelers to contact lawyers waiting to serve them, Owen’s team advised CBP officers at Dulles to give the travelers phone numbers for legal-services organizations.

“This is a runaround they’re trying to do on these orders,” said Sirine Shebaya, a civil rights lawyer who was on the scene. “This is an unchecked executive that thinks it’s above the judiciary.” 

Of course they hate it.

President Donald Trump lashed out on Saturday at "this so-called judge" who put a nationwide hold on the implementation of his travel ban denying entrance to the U.S. to refugees and people from seven majority-Muslim countries.

Meanwhile, federal agencies were already halting the implementation of the controversial order that appears certain to spark another weekend of protests as well as confusion for travelers and government officials.

Confronting the most serious setback of his young administration, Trump took to Twitter to complain about at the Seattle judge who halted his controversial executive order before heading to Trump International Golf Resort in West Palm Beach to hit the links.

"The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!" Trump tweeted, after writing several other tweets defending his immigration stance. He later added, "What is our country coming to when a judge can halt a Homeland Security travel ban and anyone, even with bad intentions, can come into U.S.?"

Trump already attacking judges.  It's not even Valentine's Day, and we're already deep into the authoritarian playbook.

The End Of Nerd Prom

If these early indicators are true of the media as a whole, then the yearly White House Correspondents' Dinner may not survive the Trump regime at all.

The White House Correspondents Dinner has gone from a hoary ritual to the apex of Washington’s social calendar, replete with Hollywood A-listers, tuxedoed television stars and live coverage on the major news networks. 
But like many Washington traditions, things are changing now that President Trump is in town. 
The New Yorker is canceling the kickoff party that it usually holds at the W Hotel, according to a spokeswoman for the magazine, Natalie Raabe. Vanity Fair is pulling out of co-sponsoring the dinner’s most exclusive after-party, a celebrity-studded affair most recently hosted at the French ambassador’s residence that is considered the capital’s hottest ticket of the year. 
Vanity Fair’s co-sponsor, Bloomberg L.P., is proceeding with its plans for the party, but no final decision has been made on the event, a spokesman said on Thursday. (Bloomberg has previously sponsored the after-party on its own.) 
“We’ve taken a break from the dinner in the past,” Graydon Carter, the editor of Vanity Fair, wrote in an email, adding that he planned to spend the weekend fishing in Connecticut instead. 
Mr. Carter, who has feuded with Mr. Trump for decades, was asked whether he had a particular reason for canceling this year’s festivities. “Trump,” Mr. Carter replied, “and the fish.”

Considering the Trump regime sees the Washington media as a enemy that needs to be completely exterminated off the face of the planet, I can't imagine the dinner will happen at all.

Compare that to any of Obama's WHCD proceedings, or even that of his predecessor.  (The Bush ones were tasteless, but they weren't "Off with his head!" affairs either.)  Who would want to perform at that as the host, other than dull, unfunny right wing comics who'll spend the entire night trashing Obama, black people, Latinx folks and anybody darker than a paper bag?

Even if the dinner happens, I sure as hell won't watch.

I don't think many other folks will either.

At least until Trump makes it mandatory next year.

Repeal, Delay, Destroy, Ignore

The GOP plan for repealing and "replacing" Obamacare remains in semi-permanent limbo, and it doesn't look like Republicans are going to move on getting rid of it anytime soon, despite heated rhetoric from the Trump regime.  Why?  Because several red states would be wiped out of the individual insurance market completely.  Greg Sargent explains:

For weeks now, Republicans have employed a range of tortured talking points designed to push one idea: The GOP repeal-and-delay plan will not leave anyone without health coverage, and is merely designed as a transition that will ultimately move us seamlessly to the new, improved health care system Republicans envision, with the details to be worked out later. 
But here’s the problem. If Republicans repeal the Affordable Care Act and delay the date that repeal takes effect, to give themselves time to develop their alternative, it could still create massive disruptions in the interim, even if you presume that the GOP replacement may materialize. 
For instance, many insurers might exit the market, even if repeal hasn’t yet taken hold, simply because there is no guarantee that this GOP replacement will ever come to pass. 
A new analysis suggests that some of the impact of these disruptions might end up concentrated in Republican areas. 
The Congressional Budget Office recently examined a version of the GOP repeal-and-delay bill — one passed by Republicans in 2015 and vetoed by President Obama — and concluded that, because of insurers exiting the market, some 10 percent of Americans might be left living in an area that had no insurers participating in the individual market at all. 
It turns out that 10 percent of the population might end up being concentrated in Republican areas. 
Jeanne Lambrew, who was a key Obama administration official involved in implementation of the ACA, conducted a new analysis designed to try to determine where that 10 percent reside. Using data furnished by the Kaiser Family Foundation, Lambrew singled out counties that fill two criteria: First, that they have low populations; and second, that they currently only have one insurer serving customers on the individual market.

And guess where the bulk of those counties that would have NO individual insurance market at all are?

...many of the counties in red are in states like Alaska, Utah, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, Kentucky, and West Virginia. (Some counties are in swing or blue states like North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Illinois.) The study was conducted by Lambrew for the Century Foundation
Larry Levitt, a senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation, tells me that this analysis broadly tracks with what Kaiser believes is a reasonable projection of the outcome under repeal-and-delay. He emails that if the GOP repeals the ACA on a delay, it could very well leave large swaths of the country with no insurers in the individual market, and that this could strand a lot of people in those areas with no insurance — even those who continue to get subsidies in the interim before repeal takes hold

A dozen red states would have their insurance markets wiped out, and major swing states like NC, Ohio and Pennsylvania would be affected too.   But it's bad enough that entire states would be nuked, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Arizona, South Carolina and Alabama's individual markets would be eliminated totally.

In other words, it would be a guaranteed bloodbath for Republicans in the House and Senate in 2018.

And they know it.

It's looking more and more like Republicans are going to let Obamacare stay, because if they repeal it, they're done.  And if they don't repeal it, well...

Democrats can use this to take advantage here if they're willing to do it.  That question remains up in the air however.  We'll see.
Related Posts with Thumbnails