Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Last Call For Deportation Nation, Con't

The Trump regime is officially throwing out the Flores settlement rules on detaining migrants, asylum-seekers, and undocumented who cross the border and now says anyone who does enter the country without documentation can be held indefinitely.

The Trump administration unveiled a regulation on Wednesday that would allow it to detain indefinitely migrant families who cross the border illegally, replacing a decades-old court agreement that imposed a limit on how long the government could hold migrant children in custody and specified the level of care they must receive.

The White House has for more than a year pressed the Department of Homeland Security to replace the agreement, known as the Flores settlement, a shift that the administration says is crucial to halt immigration across the southwestern border.

The new regulation, which requires approval from a federal judge before it can go into effect and was expected to be immediately challenged in court, would establish standards for conditions in detention centers and specifically abolish a 20-day limit on detaining families in immigration jails, a cap that has prompted President Trump to repeatedly complain about the “catch and release” of families from Central America and elsewhere into the United States.

“This rule allows the federal government to enforce immigration laws as passed by Congress,” Kevin K. McAleenan, the acting secretary of homeland security, said in a statement. He called it a “critical rule” that would allow the government to detain families and maintain the “integrity of the immigration system.”

The administration proposed the rule last fall, allowing the public to comment on the potential regulation. It is scheduled to be published this week in the Federal Register and would take effect 60 days later, though administration officials concede that the expected court challenge will probably delay it.

Under the new rule, the administration would be free to send families who are caught crossing the border illegally to a family residential center to be held for as long as it takes for their immigration cases to be decided. Officials said families cases could be resolved within three months, though many could drag on much longer.

Trump administration officials — who briefed reporters on Tuesday night on the condition of anonymity to discuss the plans — said that many of the families would be detained until they were either released after being awarded asylum or they were deported to their home countries. Some families might be awarded parole to leave the facilities while the courts decide their fate.

The 20-day limit has been in place since 2015, a legal outgrowth of a 1997 court-ordered consent decree after a federal class-action lawsuit alleged physical and emotional harm done to immigrant children held for extended periods of time in the detention facilities.

Previous administrations tried to change the rules for detaining children in efforts to reduce surges of migrants crossing the border. Mr. Trump’s homeland security officials have repeatedly said that limiting the detentions of entire migrant families has driven the surge of Central American families who crossed the border this year.

The officials said on Tuesday that enacting the new regulation would send a powerful message that bringing children to the United States was not “a passport” to being released from detention.

They predicted that the rule would cause a significant decrease in the number of families trying to cross into the United States illegally, reducing the need for more family residential centers.

Withdrawing from the consent decree has also been a personal objective for Stephen Miller, the architect of Mr. Trump’s immigration policy. Delays in finishing the new regulation had prompted Mr. Miller to lash out at senior homeland security officials, who were ousted from the department.

This is all according to plan.  Stephen Miller and his ghoul squad know full well that with the Trump regime doing everything they can to make immigration courts as awful as possible, under these new rules families will be detained in cages for as long as necessary to deport them, all while private prison companies get paid handsomely to house them like animals in the pound.

The results will be overcrowded and filthy concentration camps, broadcast to the world to let everyone know what awaits them under America's new management.

Meanwhile, ICE will continue raids to find undocumented bodies to fill these facilities and keep the deportation machinery packed until Congress relents and gives Trump the power he wants for mass deportations, and Trump made that clear this afternoon.

President Trump said he’s looking into ending birthright citizenship for the children of non-citizens.

Speaking outside the White House Wednesday, Trump told reportershe plans to do away with the constitutional right, which he called “frankly ridiculous,” through an executive order. This isn’t the first time he’s made that claim: In 2018, he told Axios he had plans to issue an executive order preventing automatic citizenship for the children of non-citizens, including undocumented immigrants, but nothing came of it.

“We’re looking at that very seriously, birthright citizenship, where you have a baby on our land. You walk over the border, have a baby — congratulations, the baby is now a U.S. citizen.”

It’s unclear whether an executive order is currently in the works, but it’s likely that any attempts to end birthright citizenship would be challenged in the courts, since the 14th Amendment to the Constitution grants the right to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States.”

Trump has repeatedly railed against so-called “anchor babies,” a derogatory term for the U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants. The president has also claimed that migrants come to the U.S. specifically so they can give birth to natural-born citizens. In the 2018 Axios interview, Trump said he had discussed ending birthright citizenship with his legal team.

More likely, Trump will seize that power anyway for mass revocations of citizenship for "undesirables" leading to huge ICE roundups, and indefinite detentions.  All he needs is the Roberts Court to sign off.

We call that "ethnic cleansing".

This is his 2020 reelection strategy.

Reality Has A Well-Known Bias

The right wing loudmouths are furious over the report from former Republican Sen. Jon Kyl on Facebook's "anti-conservative bias" and now everyone is involved in a healthy outing of goalpost-moving.

"Freedom of expression undergirds the First Amendment," Kyl writes in his conclusion, as well as being considered a basic human right by the United Nations. But for all the complaints identified by participants in the research, the report does not actually identify any specific or consistent bias.

"Facebook's policies and their application have the potential to restrict free expression," Kyl notes. "Given the platform's popularity and ubiquity, this is a danger that must be taken seriously." The platform has made some baby steps toward transparency that help, he concludes, but "[t]here is still significant work to be done to satisfy the concerns we heard from conservatives."

"While we err on the side of free speech, there are critical exceptions: we don't allow content that might encourage offline harm or is intended to intimidate, exclude, or silence people," Facebook communications VP Nick Clegg wrote in a company blog post. "And we work to slow and reduce the spread of content like debunked hoaxes and clickbait by downranking it in News Feed. We know we need to listen more as we work to strike the right balance with these policies."

As Facebook is going to learn at its own peril. once you give in to the bullies, there's no stopping them from demanding more and more from you.

Facebook might have hoped having a staunch conservative oversee the audit and write the report would mitigate criticism by Republicans. It did not. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) said in a statement that the report wasn't a genuine audit. Instead, he called it "a smokescreen disguised as a solution."

"Facebook should conduct an actual audit by giving a trusted third-party access to its algorithm, its key documents, and its content-moderation protocols," Hawley added. "Then Facebook should release the results to the public."

The Media Research Center, a conservative organization, criticized the report, saying it "stunningly fails to admit fault or wrongdoing," and that any changes made by Facebook to date toward addressing the complaints levied by conservatives are "empty and insulting."

So now Facebook is going to have to reveal its family secrets to a "trusted" third-party, one that of course Donald Trump's coming executive order will pick for them and control. 

The practical upshot is of course that unfortunately, the Trump regime will need to have this independent agency control Facebook's policies, along with that of all other social media companies in order to ensure the First Amendment rights of citizens.

Once again, the only real question is how much the Roberts Court will let Trump get away with before the 2020 elections.

Trump Goes Straight To The Loyalty Test

Donald Trump compounded his racist, Islamophobic attacks on Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib on Tuesday with a gigantic helping of anti-Semitic vitriol, saying that Jewish voters who support Democrats are "disloyal" or worse.

President Trump on Tuesday said that any Jewish people who vote for Democrats are showing “either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty,” prompting an outcry from critics who said the president’s remarks were promoting anti-Semitic stereotypes. 
Trump made the comment in an exchange with reporters in the Oval Office ahead of a meeting with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis. 
Trump began by lashing out at Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), questioning the sincerity of her tears at a news conference where she talked about her decision not to travel to Israel to see her elderly grandmother, who lives in the occupied West Bank. 
“Yesterday, I noticed for the first time, Tlaib with the tears,” Trump said. “All of the sudden, she starts with tears, tears. . . . I don’t buy it for a second, because I’ve seen her in a very vicious mood at campaign rallies, my campaign rallies, before she was a congresswoman. I said, ‘Who is that?’ And I saw a woman that was violent and vicious and out of control.” 
He then went on to attack Democrats more generally over the views of Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar (Minn.). Both women have long been fierce critics of Israel and its treatment of Palestinians. They support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, a global protest of Israel. 
“Where has the Democratic Party gone?” Trump asked. “Where have they gone, where they’re defending these two people over the state of Israel? And I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.”

Needless to say, the condemnations were swift and forceful.

Jewish Democrats rushed to condemn Trump’s statement. Halie Soifer, executive director of Jewish Democratic Council of America, said in a statement, “This is yet another example of Donald Trump continuing to weaponize and politicize anti-Semitism.” The president’s “appalling” statement reveals that “his professed support for Israel is based on personal political calculation, not principled commitment,” the Democratic Majority for Israel said on Twitter. Aaron Keyak, former National Jewish Democratic Council head, told JI, “Just because President Trump is deeply unpopular in our community is no reason to slander us with echoes of some of the most insidious attacks against our people.” 
The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) defended the president. “It shows a great deal of disloyalty to oneself to defend a party that protects/emboldens people that hate you for your religion,” the RJC tweeted.

According to Pew Research Center, 79% of Jewish voters supported Democratic candidates in the 2018 midterm elections.

“Actual LOL,” Ambassador Daniel Shapiro tells JI. “There are lots of uncertainties in American politics. How the Jewish vote will break in the next presidential election is not one of them. Faced with a Democratic candidate who reflects their values and supports a strong, secure, Jewish, democratic Israel and a two-state solution with Palestinians versus Donald Trump’s cruel, divisive politics… and his approach that threatens to help lead Israel into becoming a binational state, you can mark 75 percent as the floor for the Jewish vote for Democrats in 2020. Eighty percent is not out of the question.” 
Ann Lewis, who served as White House director of communications for President Bill Clinton and as a senior adviser to Hillary Clinton, said in an email to JI that Trump “has now attacked the more than 70 percent of American Jews who dare to disagree with him politically by using one of the most dangerous, deadly accusations Jews have faced over the years.” 
“False charges of disloyalty over the centuries have led to Jews being murdered, jailed and tortured,” Lewis explained. “This is the kind of cruel, careless rhetoric that inflames anti-Jewish passions and leads to violence.”

Matt Brooks, RJC’s executive director, tells JI: “Of course the president was not trafficking in dual loyalty and antisemitism. The reality is that what the president gave voice to is a question that I get all the time in all of my speeches, in large part from folks who aren’t Jewish and want to understand how people in the Jewish community — given the issues that are important to them — can support the policies of individuals like Omar and Tlaib. You know, it’s a question that has a lot of people scratching their heads.”

The American Jewish Committee condemned the president’s comments. AJC CEO David Harris said the president’s comments are “shockingly divisive and unbecoming of the occupant of the highest elected office. American Jews – like all Americans – have a range of political views and policy priorities. His assessment of their knowledge or ‘loyalty,’ based on their party preference, is inappropriate, unwelcome, and downright dangerous.” 
Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted, “It’s unclear who POTUS is claiming Jews would be ‘disloyal’ to, but charges of disloyalty have long been used to attack Jews. As we’ve said before, it’s possible to engage in the democratic process without these claims. It’s long overdue to stop using Jews as a political football.”

No matter how you feel about Omar and Tlaib, or the fact that they are black Muslim women who were elected to Congress as proud Democrats, Donald Trump's screaming, blatant anti-Semitism is now America's problem, and it's one we have to fix quickly.

Sadly, it'll take the rest of my lifetime to repair the damage Trump has already wrought.  The reason why is simple, watching Jewish Republicans try to defend Trump rather than themselves is both sad and depressing.

There's historical precedent for that and it always ends badly.
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