Friday, June 29, 2018

Last Call For Deportation Nation, Con't

As I keep telling folks, the Trump regime's goal is not to end illegal immigration, it's to end legal immigration as well as to revoke citizenship from undesirables.  Trump and his white supremacists want to roll back as much of the 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act as possible.  Part of that goal is to stop as many people as possible from entering the US, and that means ending asylum.

The Department of Justice, under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is drafting a plan that would totally overhaul asylum policy in the United States. 
Under the plan, people would be barred from getting asylum if they came into the US between ports of entry and were prosecuted for illegal entry. It would also add presumptions that would make it extremely difficult for Central Americans to qualify for asylum, and codify — in an even more restrictive form — an opinion written by Sessions in June that attempted to restrict asylum for victims of domestic and gang violence
Vox has confirmed that the regulation is in the process of being evaluated, and has seen a copy of a draft of the regulation. 
When the regulation is ready, it will be published in the Federal Register as a notice of proposed rulemaking, with 90 days for the public to comment before it’s enacted as a final regulation. 
The version Vox saw may change before it’s finalized, or even before the proposal is published in the Federal Register. (The Department of Justice declined to comment.)
But as it exists now, the proposal is a sweeping and thorough revamp of asylum — tightening the screws throughout the asylum process. 
One source familiar with the asylum process but not authorized to speak on the record described the proposed changes as “the most severe restrictions on asylum since at least 1965” — when the law that created the current legal immigration system was passed — and “possibly even further back.” 
The Immigration and Nationality Act gives the attorney general, along with the Department of Homeland Security, discretion over asylum standards — saying that the government “may grant asylum” to an applicant who they determine meets the definition of a refugee. But the proposed regulation would make it nearly impossible for Central Americans, including families, to earn the government’s approval. 
It would eliminate the path that thousands of Central Americans, including families, take every month to seek asylum in the US: entering between ports of entry and presenting themselves to Border Patrol agents. It would make it all but impossible for victims of domestic or gang violence to qualify for asylum — going even further than a June decision from Sessions that sought to limit asylum access for those groups. It would create a presumption against Central Americans who travel through Mexico on their way to the US.

The endgame is to reduce the non-white population of the country.  Keep that goal in mind when you take a look at every immigration move that this regime makes.  All of that serves this overarching purpose: to not just to stop the ethnic diversification of America, but to significantly reverse it.

We have to get these assholes out of power.

The Actual President Weighs In

If we had all remembered "Don't boo, vote" we wouldn't be in this mess in the first place, but Barack Obama is more than happy to 100% rightfully remind us that we messed up.

Former President Barack Obama, re-emerging into the political fray for a Democratic National Committee fundraiser here on Thursday, had a message for troubled Democrats: Do more than just mope. 
Obama peppered his 45-minute appearance with subtle knocks for despondent Democrats, warning that it is not enough to lament Donald Trump's presidency or complain about the impact he is having on the country. Instead, a tie-less and visibly relaxed Obama urged Democrats to back up those concerns with action and avoid the belief that the party is bound to defeat Republicans in November. 
"If what you are doing requires no sacrifice at all, then you can do more," Obama told the tony crowd at a sweeping multi-million-dollar Beverly Hills home. "If you are one of these folks who is watching cable news at your cocktail parties with your friends and you are saying 'civilization is collapsing' and you are nervous and worried, but that is not where you are putting all your time, energy and money, then either you don't actually think civilization is collapsing ... or you are not pushing yourself hard enough and I would push harder." 
At one point, he turned to the crowd and declared, "Enough moping, this is a mope-free zone." 
And the former President even suggested to the roughly 200 donors in attendance, who also enjoyed a performance from Christina Aguilera, that Democrats can't get fixated on the glitz and personality of politics. 
"We shouldn't expect (politics) to be entertaining all the time -- and Christina Aguilera was wonderful -- but you don't need to have an amazing singer at every event," he said. "Sometimes you are just in a church basement making phone calls and eating cold pizza."

In other words, we have a lot of work ahead of us, and the time to get going on the heavy lifting: getting people registered, getting people to the polls, phone banking, turning out for marches and protests, all the way down to local county party meetings and door knocking?  The time for that was 24 months ago.

We have to do that now more than ever.  Don't mope, vote.  Help others to vote.  Double check your registration with your secretary of state's website, hell even Kentucky has that capability.  Double check your precinct voting site.  Don't take anything for granted anymore.

Let's get the work done.

Kennedy's Lagacy Will Be Justice Denied

As Imani Gandy and Jessica Mason Pieklo point out at Rewire News, Justice Anthony Kennedy's decision this week to retire is basically dunking on his own legacy over the last 20-plus years and it's all but assured that Trump's pick will destroy it.

Let’s be fair, shall we? His votes in favor of LGBTQ rights from Lawrence v. Texas to Obergefell v. Hodges undeniably advanced the cause of equality for LGBTQ people. And the way that he writes about LGBTQ people would give the impression that he is deeply concerned about LGBTQ rights. 
For example, this is what he wrote in the majority opinion in Obergefell:

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. 
Lovely, right? Certainly we thought so at the time, lauding Kennedy for recognizing that love is love and that gays, lesbians, and everyone else should be able to marry. Sure, it’s a conservative vision of love, rooted in patriarchal institutions. Still, though: It remains an important decision, and that passage makes us tear up. 
But given his retirement announcement and his abominable performance during this year’s Supreme Court term, those words have proven ultimately toothless. Because by retiring now—before the 2018 midterms—he has ensured that Senate Republicans will try to ram a Trump nominee through the confirmation process before the new congressional session begins in January. Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell has already promised as much. And that nominee is not going to be a friend to the LGBTQ community. It’s more likely than not that open hostility to LGBTQ rights will be an important qualifier for anyone Trump chooses to replace Kennedy. 
By retiring now, Kennedy has almost certainly thwarted Democrats’ chance to wrestle control of the Senate from Republicans and therefore keep them from confirming another right-wing extremist this year. He basically screwed us all. It seems purposeful, not to mention hurtful to the LGBTQ people in the United States who have come to rely on him to advocate for them. 
And yes, the Court is not supposed to be partisan or to concern itself with who is president and who might replace them. But the truth of the matter is that is bullshit: When a Supreme Court justice chooses to retire says a lot about their priorities. Whatever Kennedy’s priorities are, saving his legacy doesn’t seem to be one of them.
If Kennedy truly cared about LGBTQ rights, he would have stayed on long enough to ensure that he would be replaced by someone who shared that (somewhat feckless, let’s be honest) commitment. 
But he didn’t.

Either he doesn't care about his legacy now, or he never cared about it then.  Either way, that legacy will be gone as Obergfell and Lawrence and his many other 5-4 decisions are wrecked within a few short years.

When abortion, same-sex marriage, and even birth control options are unavailable in half the states and only "nearly impossible" to get in the other half, will Kennedy still be around to give a damn?


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