Saturday, March 25, 2017

Deportation Nation, Con't

I understand that "trying to understand and empathize with disappointed Midwestern Trump voters" is all the rage these days, but I just don't have it in me anymore.  Especially when people keep proving time and time again that voting for Trump was always about punishing those people and never thinking even once that electing Trump would have negative consequences for themselves.

When Helen Beristain told her husband she was voting for Donald Trump last year, he warned her that the Republican nominee planned to “get rid of the Mexicans.”

Defending her vote, Helen quoted Trump directly, noting that the tough-talking Republican said he would only kick the “bad hombres” out of the country, according to the South Bend Tribune.

Months later, Roberto Beristain — a successful businessman, respected member of his Indiana town and father of three American-born children — languishes in a detention facility with hardened criminals as he awaits his deportation back to Mexico, the country he left in 1998 when he entered the United States illegally.

I wish I didn’t vote at all,” Helen Beristain told the Tribune. “I did it for the economy. We needed a change.”

Critics on the left have blasted Beristain for not taking the president’s rhetoric seriously and allowing his administration to plunge the country into what they consider a chaotic and inhumane immigration debacle. Critics on the right have inundated the family with racist threats and attacked Beristain for giving refuge to the love of her life, a man they consider a foreign interloper.

Caught in the middle of the fiery political clash are people like Roberto Beristain — people who have built a successful life inside the confines of the fuzzy legal limbo in which they exist. Supporters say the 43-year-old has never broken the law and doesn’t have so much as a parking ticket on his record. The mayor of South Bend, Ind., the conservative community that the Beristains call home, called him “one of its model residents.”

But Roberto Beristain’s clean record didn’t stop Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials from arresting him when he showed up for his annual meeting with the agency Feb. 6.

Beristain — who has a Social Security card, a work permit and a driver’s license — was expecting to return home to his family and business. Instead, he was taken into custody, setting off a last-ditch effort by family members and lawyers to free him. Thus far, those efforts have failed. Family members told the Tribune that ICE officials had informed them that Beristain would be deported Friday.

It continues to amaze me that tens of millions of voters absolutely did take Trump's rhetoric seriously and chose instead to vote for Hillary Clinton, and now have to live in our current nightmare scenario anyway.  Where's the empathy and the Washington Post profiles for the Clinton voters who have family members who face deportation like Roberto Beristain?

Seems to be in much shorter supply these days.  I wonder why that is.  Helen here says she wish she hadn't voted at all, not that she had voted for Hillary.  That thought never crossed her mind.  And she's still wondering why her husband was picked up by ICE and taken from her and her children.

Some people only learn when the lesson is applied by a 20-pound sledgehammer to the crotch.

Nobody's Business But The Turks

Remember our good friend Mike Flynn?  The guy who lasted all of a couple of weeks as National Security Adviser when he was basically working for Putin?  

Well, if you recall two weeks ago he finally admitted that he was working for the Turkish government as a consultant while being on the Trump campaign, and yeah, turns out Flynn didn't have any issues against helping Turkey shape US foreign policy either, let alone the Russians.  Flynn also admitted that his "lobbyist" position may have benefited the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, super spiffy strongman.

Now the other half of that pair of shoes has dropped, and in fact, the Erdogan government did have something of a favor to ask Flynn and he was ready to deliver, and by "favor" I mean "kidnapping and shipping Erdogan's top political enemy out of the States and back to Ankara".

Retired Army Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, while serving as an adviser to the Trump campaign, met with top Turkish government ministers and discussed removing a Muslim cleric from the U.S. and taking him to Turkey, according to former Central Intelligence Agency Director James Woolsey, who attended, and others who were briefed on the meeting.

The discussion late last summer involved ideas about how to get Fethullah Gulen, a cleric whom Turkey has accused of orchestrating last summer’s failed military coup, to Turkey without going through the U.S. extradition legal process, according to Mr. Woolsey and those who were briefed.

Mr. Woolsey told The Wall Street Journal he arrived at the meeting in New York on Sept. 19 in the middle of the discussion and found the topic startling and the actions being discussed possibly illegal.

The Turkish ministers were interested in open-ended thinking on the subject, and the ideas were raised hypothetically, said the people who were briefed. The ministers in attendance included the son-in-law of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the country’s foreign minister, foreign-lobbying disclosure documents show.

Mr. Woolsey said the idea was “a covert step in the dead of night to whisk this guy away.” The discussion, he said, didn’t include actual tactics for removing Mr. Gulen from his U.S. home. If specific plans had been discussed, Mr. Woolsey said, he would have spoken up and questioned their legality.

It isn’t known who raised the idea or what Mr. Flynn concluded about it.

Price Floyd, a spokesman for Mr. Flynn, who was advising the Trump campaign on national security at the time of the meeting, disputed the account, saying “at no time did Gen. Flynn discuss any illegal actions, nonjudicial physical removal or any other such activities.”

Yeah, so that nasty "reverse coup" that Erdogan and his buddies threw down in Turkey in July?  How the Turks continue even now to arrest and purge tens of thousands of civil servants from the government as they might be supporters of Gulen?  This directly ties the Trump campaign to the mess in Ankara.

This just keeps getting better, doesn't it?
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