Thursday, July 11, 2019

Last Call For Deportation Nation, Con't

The national ICE raids delayed from a couple weeks ago are now back on in full force and set for this weekend.

Nationwide raids to arrest thousands of members of undocumented families have been scheduled to begin Sunday, according to two current and one former homeland security officials, moving forward with a rapidly changing operation, the final details of which remain in flux. The operation, backed by President Trump, had been postponed, partly because of resistance among officials at his own immigration agency.

The raids, which will be conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement over multiple days, will include “collateral” deportations, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the preliminary stage of the operation. In those deportations, the authorities might detain immigrants who happened to be on the scene, even though they were not targets of the raids

When possible, family members who are arrested together will be held in family detention centers in Texas and Pennsylvania. But because of space limitations, some might end up staying in hotel rooms until their travel documents can be prepared. ICE’s goal is to deport the families as quickly as possible.

The officials said ICE agents were targeting at least 2,000 immigrants who have been ordered deported — some as a result of their failure to appear in court — but who remain in the country illegally. The operation is expected to take place in at least 10 major cities.

The families being targeted crossed the border recently: The Trump administration expedited their immigration proceedings last fall. In February, many of those immigrants were given notice to report to an ICE office and leave the United States, the homeland security officials said.

Matthew Bourke, an ICE spokesman, said in a statement on Wednesday that the agency would not comment on specific details related to enforcement operations, to ensure the safety and security of agency personnel.

The threat of deportation has rattled immigrant communities across the country, prompted backlash from local politicians and police officials and stoked division inside the Department of Homeland Security — the agency that is charged with carrying out the deportations. The Trump administration’s goal is to use the operation as a show of force to deter families from approaching the southwestern border, the officials said.

Agents have expressed apprehensions about arresting babies and young children, officials have said. The agents have also noted that the operation might have limited success because word has already spread among immigrant communities about how to avoid arrest — namely, by refusing to open the door when an agent approaches one’s home. ICE agents are not legally allowed to forcibly enter a home.

Immigration defense lawyers are likely to file motions to reopen the families’ immigration cases, which would significantly delay, if not stop altogether, their removal from the United States.

Let's get this straight, these are trial runs of the logistics of much larger raids that will be constantly run around the country.  These raids are a weapon of fear and terror being conducted in our name.  People are going to be hurt and/or killed during these.

In other words, we're taking a major move towards Step 8 of the ten stages of genocide: Persecution.

Victims are identified and separated out because of their ethnic or religious identity. Death lists are drawn up. In state sponsored genocide, members of victim groups may be forced to wear identifying symbols. Their property is often expropriated. Sometimes they are even segregated into ghettoes, deported into concentration camps, or confined to a famine-struck region and starved. They are deliberately deprived of resources such as water or food in order to slowly destroy them. Programs are implemented to prevent procreation through forced sterilization or abortions. Children are forcibly taken from their parents. The victim group’s basic human rights become systematically abused through extrajudicial killings, torture and forced displacement. Genocidal massacres begin. They are acts of genocide because they intentionally destroy part of a group. The perpetrators watch for whether such massacres meet any international reaction. If not, they realize that that the international community will again be bystanders and permit another genocide.

At this stage, a Genocide Emergency must be declared. If the political will of the great powers, regional alliances, or U.N. Security Council or the U.N. General Assembly can be mobilized, armed international intervention should be prepared, or heavy assistance provided to the victim group to prepare for its self-defense. Humanitarian assistance should be organized by the U.N. and private relief groups for the inevitable tide of refugees to come.

And yes, people are dying in these camps.  People will die in these raids.  People will continue to die.

This is happening here, now.

The Twitter Twit Army

Donald Trump today gathered his most influential social media sycophants for a White House "summit" that involved rewarding the people who spread hateful, racist, and sexist memes across the planet, and made a point not to invite Twitter or Facebook themselves to his little digital hate rally.

The White House has kept quiet about the guest list. But it seems to consist of the Trump Twitterverse, conservative social media personalities who orbit around Trump's Twitter star.

And yet, Trump has attacked those same social media platforms that have been so key to his success.

"You look at Google, Facebook, Twitter and other social media giants, and I've made it clear that we as a country cannot tolerate political censorship, blacklisting and rigged search results," the president said last year.

In May, Facebook banned several high-profile social media personalities who they say violated their policies against hate speech that engages in violence, including right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones; extremists Milo Yiannopoulos, Laura Loomer and Joseph Watson, who works for Jones' Infowars; and white supremacist Paul Nehlen, who unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2016 and 2018. The platform also banned Infowars, as well as Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
Twitter had already banned several of these personalities.

Google, Facebook and Twitter all deny that they censor conservatives on their platforms, but a lot of conservatives don't believe that.

Conservative talk show host Bill Mitchell is one of them. He blames Twitter's algorithm for some of his followers not being able to see his tweets. He'll be attending Thursday's social media summit, and he hopes they talk about how social media has become the modern public square and the responsibilities that come with that.

"If you become the public square, you really need to offer First Amendment protections to people," Mitchell said to NPR. "Where everybody can have free and open speech. Let's have the debate. And may the best man win."

What the Trumpies here mean by free speech is "a government takeover of all social media so that America has to see our photoshopped images of various Democrats going into gas chambers"  and I expect it will happen by executive fiat.

At the very least, Trump is telling these digital meme soldiers that if they get blocked to contact the White House for backup.  Gotta have that propaganda flow freely, after all.

It's Time To Ditch Mitch, Con't

Amy McGrath is running for Mitch McConnell's Senate seat, but in a state where Donald Trump won by 30 points, she found out in less than 24 hours that threading the "Trump good/Mitch bad" needle is next to impossible in her first major interview with the Louisville Courier-Journal.

CJ: One of the centerpieces for Sen. McConnell's reelection appears to be his work in reshaping the U.S. judiciary. If you had been a senator, would you have voted for Brett Kavanaugh to be on the Supreme Court — why or why not?

McGrath: Well, that's a good question. I didn't listen to all of the hearings. I don't think there was anything, and I'm not a lawyer or a senator on the Judiciary Committee, so I don't know the criteria. But I was very concerned about Judge Kavanaugh, what I felt like were the far-right stances that he had. However, there was nothing in his record that I think would disqualify him in any way. And the fact is when you have the president and the Senate, this is our system and so I don't think there was anything that would have disqualified him in my mind.

CJ: Did the Democrats treat him unfairly with the accusations that were against him waiting until the last minute, as some said, to try and delay the hearings?

McGrath: The Supreme Court nominees are a lifetime appointment, and I think there needs to be a lot scrutiny for lifetime appointments. I don't fault anyone for bringing up things that could give folks pause about the character of someone getting a lifetime appointment.

CJ: Did you think Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's accusation was credible?

McGrath: Yeah, I think it's credible. I think this is — I think many Republicans thought it was credible. And —

CJ: That wasn't disqualifying then?

McGrath: Well, I mean I think again, I think it's credible but given the amount of time that lapsed in between and from a judicial standpoint, I don't think it would really disqualify him.

CJ: So you would have voted for him to be on the Supreme Court?

McGrath: You know, I think that with Judge Kavanaugh, yeah, I probably would have voted for him.

(Around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, McGrath tweeted that upon further reflection, she would not have voted to confirm Kavanaugh.


Seriously, as a Democrat, Mitch engineering the theft of not one, but two Supreme Court seats should be an ironclad reason as to why McConnell cannot be allowed to continue to represent the state, and if McGrath can't take a solid side on that, then...Trump or no Trump, it's gonna be a terrible time for her.

It's gonna be a long 15 months.


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