Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Last Call For Deportation Nation

Meanwhile, the Trump regime is expanding ICE's "expedited removal" authority to include all of the United States, meaning make sure you carry ID with you everywhere, or you now risk deportation.

The Trump administration announced on Monday it is expanding fast-track deportation regulations to include the removal of undocumented immigrants who cannot prove they have been in the U.S. continuously for two years or more.

The change dramatically expands the ability of the Department of Homeland Security to quickly deport certain immigrants without any of the due-process protections granted to most other people, including the right to an attorney and to a hearing before a judge. It is set to go into effect Tuesday and is the latest escalation of the Trump administration's immigration crackdown.
"The effect of that change will be to enhance national security and public safety — while reducing government costs — by facilitating prompt immigration determinations," DHS said in a notice.

Additionally, DHS stated part of the purpose for the policy revision is to "harmonize" existing regulations to apply equally to undocumented immigrants who arrive by land and sea.

Currently, undocumented immigrants who cross into the U.S. by land can be deported without an immigration hearing if they are arrested within 100 miles of the border during the first 14 days after their arrival. Those who arrive by sea can be deported without legal proceedings if they are unable to prove they have been living in the U.S. for two years or more.

But under the latest proposal, all geographical limitations would be lifted and rapid removal proceedings would be applied to all undocumented immigrants who have been in the country for less than two years. 
The move is also designed to mitigate a massive court backlog of immigration cases "and will reduce the significant costs to the government associated with full removal proceedings before an immigration judge." DHS said that as of June there were 909,034 pending immigration cases. It estimates the average removal proceeding for an undocumented immigrant not being held in detention "has been pending for more than two years before an immigration judge."

In early 2017, days after taking office, President Trump issued an executive orderdirecting DHS to expand the use of expedited removal. The order designated recent unauthorized arrivals as a top priority for deportation.

"We plan on challenging the change ... speedily," Anand Balakrishnan, Senior Staff Attorney for the ACLU's Immigrant Rights Project told NPR.

Balakrishnan called the policy shift "extremely sweeping," and said it authorizes any Customs and Border Protection officer to determine whether a person has been in the U.S. the requisite amount of time to trigger legal proceedings.

"The only way out of that is for the person to affirmatively prove that they've been here for two years or more. To have that evidence on them at all times," he said. "It puts the burden on every noncitizen to prove their continuous presence."

He noted, deportations could happen within hours of a person's arrest.

"From what we know about the way expedited removals have been administered in the past, it's been rife with errors," Balakrishnan said. "U.S. citizens have been ordered deported" and in other cases, people who have lived in the country for more than a decade have also been ejected, he said

Let that sink in.

"US citizens have been ordered deported" already and could now be "deported within hours of a person's arrest", and an "extremely sweeping" policy shift that "authorizes any Customs and Border Protection officer to determine" citizenship status.  We already know that ICE is arresting US citizens.

An 18-year-old Dallas-born U.S. citizen has been in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement for more than three weeks, his attorney says.

Now his family fears he may be deported. 
Francisco Erwin Galicia was detained at a CBP checkpoint in Falfurrias on June 27, said Claudia Galan, his attorney. 
Galicia was traveling with his 17-year-old brother Marlon Galicia and a group of friends from Edinburg where they live to Ranger College in North Texas for a soccer scouting event when they came upon a CBP checkpoint, said Sanjuana Galicia, his mother.

It was about 8 p.m. Marlon, who was born in Mexico and lacked legal status, had only been through a border checkpoint on school trips and had never been pressed to provide travel documents.

But this time was different, Marlon said. He had only a school ID. His brother was carrying only his Texas ID, which can only be obtained with a Social Security number. 
“We were confident that we’d be able to pass. We were going to do something good for our futures,” he said. “I didn’t imagine this could happen and now I’m so sad that I’m not with my family,” Marlon said by phone from Reynosa, Mexico, where he is staying with his grandmother. 
After two days in detention, Marlon signed a voluntary deportation form. 
“I signed because I wanted to talk with my mom. Now, we just have to wait and see and hope that they release my brother,” Marlon said.

That's why the Trump regime wants a deal with Guatemala for asylum-seekers so badly.  ICE picks you up, you don't have ID on you...or you do, and ICE just doesn't like you, you get disappeared to Central America and nobody knows you're gone. 

You think a regime that separates kids from families and shrugs its shoulders when people point out thousands of these kids have no paper trail to get back to their families is somehow above "expedited deportation" of political enemies who are US citizens right out of the country and saying "Oh well, guess they're somebody else's problem"?

Needless to say, know your rights.

Suger Coats-ing The Problem, Con't

Over the weekend I noted that Donald Trump was moving to get rid of Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats for the crime of protecting America's voting systems from Russian hackers:

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats has installed a new czar to oversee election security efforts across the spy world, he announced on Friday. 
A veteran agency leader, Shelby Pierson, has been appointed to serve as the first election threats executive within the intelligence community, or IC, Coats said.

"Election security is an enduring challenge and a top priority for the IC," said Coats.

"In order to build on our successful approach to the 2018 elections, the IC must properly align its resources to bring the strongest level of support to this critical issue. There is no one more qualified to serve as the very first election threats executive than Shelby Pierson, whose knowledge and experience make her the right person to lead this critical mission."

That was apparently too much for Trump as he's now actively looking for Coats's replacement.

President Donald Trump recently spoke to top House Intelligence Republican Devin Nunes about replacements for the country’s intelligence chief — the latest sign that Dan Coats’ tenure may be short-lived.

Nunes, who grabbed national attention with his controversial allegations of Obama administration surveillance abuses, met with Trump and other senior White House officials last week to discuss who could take over for Coats at the Office of Director of National Intelligence, according to three people familiar with the get-together.

Coats has run ODNI since early in the Trump administration, but his job security is the subject of constant speculation, especially after he gave public testimony on North Korea, Iran and Syria that divergedfrom Trump’s prior comments on the issues. The ODNI chief oversees the government’s intelligence agencies, coordinates the country’s global information-gathering operation and frequently briefs the president on threats each morning.

The meeting between Trump and Nunes has only fueled more chatter about Coats’ departure. The pace of Trump’s discussions with allies about potential replacements has ramped up in recent weeks, the people said.

Fred Fleitz, a former CIA analyst who served as national security adviser John Bolton’s chief of staff, has been discussed as a possible ODNI replacement. Fleitz left his White House post in October 2018 to serve as president and CEO of the Center for Security Policy, a far-right think tank that has been sharply critical of “radical Islam.”

Some within the intelligence community have also promoted the ODNI’s current No. 2, Sue Gordon, as be a logical replacement for Coats. Gordon is a career intelligence official who is generally well-liked within the organization.

Fleitz is one of Bolton's anti-Muslim warmongers who would almost certainly get us into war with Iran, and Gordon has made it clear she believes Silicon Valley should be collecting data for the US government.  But the real danger may be Nunes himself getting the job.

Trump and Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, are closely aligned on intelligence issues. Both have pushed accusations that career officials — particularly under the Obama administration — have been misusing their power to target political enemies and manipulating intelligence findings for political purposes.

Because of these similar views, some on Capitol Hill and in the intelligence community think Nunes himself could be in the mix for an intelligence post, even if it’s not at ODNI.

“The president would certainly consider Devin Nunes for the director’s position and I eventually see him serving in some capacity in this administration,” said one member of Congress who speaks to Trump frequently. He noted, however, that he sees “all of Devin’s efforts being directed towards a reelection effort in Congress.”

Such speculation has provoked some anxiety at the top of ODNI, according to one person with direct knowledge.

Nunes, who served on Trump’s presidential transition team, made national headlines within the intelligence community in early 2017 when serving as the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Nunes made a much-discussed “midnight run” to the White House in March 2017 to obtain what he described as classified information. He later said that information bolstered accusations that the Obama administration had improperly “unmasked” the names of Trump associates whose conversations were vacuumed up by intelligence agencies monitoring foreign agents’ communications in 2016. Normally, the names of U.S. citizens who show up in intelligence reports are kept secret unless there is an overwhelming national security need to expose them.

Let's not forget Nunes has already helped Trump obstruct justice.  Now he may end up as America's top spymaster as a reward.

Regardless, if Coats is replaced, and it seems more a matter of when and not if, expect the new DNI's first act to be rolling back that election threats czar.

We can't have anybody dedicated to stopping Russia's manipulation of Trump's re-election, can we?

The Sad, Sad State Of Statehood

The vast majority of Americans remain against DC statehood in a new Gallup poll with 64% against and only 29% for, even the majority of Democrats are against it, as are self-described liberals, voting rights and representation for the District's mostly black residents be damned.

The latest results are based on a June 19-30, 2019, Gallup poll, conducted in advance of congressional hearings on a bill to make Washington, D.C., a state. Although the Constitution does afford Washington, D.C., electoral votes in presidential elections, the district does not have a voting member in the House or Senate. Moreover, Congress has the ability to review and to block any policies passed by the Washington, D.C., mayor and city council.

A 1978 proposed constitutional amendment to grant Washington, D.C., voting representation in Congress failed, and in 1993 the U.S. House of Representatives voted against legislation to make the nation's capital a state. In 2016, D.C. residents approved an advisory referendum supporting statehood. Earlier this year, the House included a nonbinding endorsement of statehood for D.C. among various good-governance proposals. A separate bill proposed by Washington Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton to grant the district statehood will be taken up by a House committee later this year. Even if successful in the House, the bill has little chance of being considered by the Republican-led Senate.

No major subgroups of Americans voice support for D.C. statehood. However, support is higher among left-leaning political groups than right-leaning ones. Self-described liberals (40%) and Democrats (39%) are among the groups showing higher support. Republicans (15%) and conservatives (14%) are among the subgroups least supportive. Thirty percent of independents approve of making D.C. a separate state.

Given Washington's strong Democratic leanings, making it the 51st state would almost certainly add one voting Democrat to the House and two to the Senate, and that likelihood may underpin Republicans' reluctance to make it a state.

There were modest party differences in 1992, when 24% of Democrats and 16% of Republicans favored making Washington a state, according to the Yankelovich survey.

DC statehood has never been popular for a number of reasons, but there's no conceivable way Republicans would ever allow it anyway. Besides, the DC statehood hearing in the House this week was postponed to clear the decks for the Mueller testimony on Wednesday.

I figure it'll probably be postponed indefinitely.  It's a political loser in an era where all the House Democratic leadership can produce is political losers that don't get Senate votes.

Not even Democrats want to fight for it.


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