Grassley didn’t ask DHS to prove claim about migrants ‘renting babies’ but helped spread it anyway


This post is by Mark Sumner from Daily Kos


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Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley reportedly “expressed alarm” at a claim from Department of Homeland Security officials that migrants are supposedly “renting babies” in order to ease their crossing into the U.S., so naturally, as one of the top Republicans in the Senate, he asked for evidence and perhaps more information about the well-being and whereabouts of these children, right? Nah.

“I can’t believe that this actually happened, that the people down there in Central America or Mexico are renting babies to get across the border, then sending the babies back and renting them again to come back across the border,” Grassley told Politico, parroting DHS officials’ claim, and then repeating it in the second half of his sentence for good measure just in case we didn’t get it the first time. 

“Grassley,” Politico continued, “said DHS officials made the claim at the GOP’s weekly Steering Committee lunch. He said he did not request

Continue reading “Grassley didn’t ask DHS to prove claim about migrants ‘renting babies’ but helped spread it anyway”

Grassley didn’t ask DHS to prove claim about migrants ‘renting babies’ but helped spread it anyway


This post is by Mark Sumner from Daily Kos


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley reportedly “expressed alarm” at a claim from Department of Homeland Security officials that migrants are supposedly “renting babies” in order to ease their crossing into the U.S., so naturally, as one of the top Republicans in the Senate, he asked for evidence and perhaps more information about the well-being and whereabouts of these children, right? Nah.

“I can’t believe that this actually happened, that the people down there in Central America or Mexico are renting babies to get across the border, then sending the babies back and renting them again to come back across the border,” Grassley told Politico, parroting DHS officials’ claim, and then repeating it in the second half of his sentence for good measure just in case we didn’t get it the first time. 

“Grassley,” Politico continued, “said DHS officials made the claim at the GOP’s weekly Steering Committee lunch. He said he did not request

Continue reading “Grassley didn’t ask DHS to prove claim about migrants ‘renting babies’ but helped spread it anyway”

ICE has no idea exactly how many veterans it has deported, watchdog report finds


This post is by Mark Sumner from Daily Kos


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How many veterans has Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested and deported after they put their lives on the line in service of their country? The agency has no clue. No, seriously, it has no idea exactly how many have been deported over the past five years because it hasn’t kept track of it.

“Because ICE does not maintain complete electronic data on potentially removable veterans it encounters, ICE does not know exactly how many veterans have been placed in removal proceedings or removed,” the Government Accountability Office said in a new report. ICE has policies in place that it’s supposed to follow when it decides to take the oh-so-patriotic action to arrest a military veteran, but the GAO found these were not being followed either. 

“When ICE agents and officers learn they have encountered a potentially removable veteran, ICE policies require them to take additional steps to proceed with the case,”

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Trump picks extremist who compared immigrants to rats to lead immigration agency


This post is by Mark Sumner from Daily Kos


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In 2012, anti-immigrant extremist and failed Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli compared immigrants to rats. Now he’ll be heading an agency that process and oversees immigrants’ naturalization documents. Donald Trump has named Cuccinelli the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, historically a paper-pushing agency that is being radically transformed under the racist policies of this administration.

Under former head Lee Francis Cissna, USCIS removed “a nation of immigrants” from the agency’s mission statement and began shutting down international offices under supposed fiscal responsibility claims. But even that wasn’t enough to spare Cissna from White House aide and white supremacist Stephen Miller’s purge of top administration officials, including former Department of Homeland Security Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen, and Cissna was effectively fired late last month.

Cuccinelli was reportedly in the running to become the new immigration czar, but will now instead become the latest Trump official to serve in an acting capacity,

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Trump declares victory on Mexico tariff crisis he created, but how will the details pan out?


This post is by Mark Sumner from Daily Kos


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Donald Trump declared victory in his tariff threat to Mexico over the weekend, saying that Mexico would “take strong measures” to stop the flow of migrants from Central America to the United States in order to avoid the threatened 5% tariffs that could have tanked both nations’ economies. Mexico will divert national guard troops from their work fighting crime, instead stationing them in southern Mexico to deter migrants, and will expand a program under which asylum seekers stay in Mexico rather than enter the U.S. to pursue their asylum cases.

The question, as always, is how the Trump administration’s first claims about a deal match up with the details we will later learn. As The New York Times reported over the weekend, Mexico had already agreed to both national guard deployments and the Migrant Protection Protocols months ago, and the latter is under legal challenge already. The Trump administration is

Continue reading “Trump declares victory on Mexico tariff crisis he created, but how will the details pan out?”

The ongoing human rights crimes at our border have grown critical


This post is by Mark Sumner from Daily Kos


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I’ve written before that Trump’s immigration plans are all about pain, fear, cowardice, and bigotry;  that what’s happening at our borders is an inhumane crime in progress, and that it is all essentially a modern-day holocaust. But it’s now become even worse.

Instead of being a giant deterrent to immigrants streaming out of the death zone that is the Central American Northern Triangle, in this last month the number of people who were stopped while entering through our southern border reached a 13-year high.

The number of people caught illegally crossing the southwest border rose again in May to a 13-year high with increased apprehensions in every sector of Border Patrol except San Diego.

Agents took 132,887 people into custody last month along the U.S.-Mexico border, a 34 percent increase from April and a 229 percent increase from May of last year, according to Customs and Border

Continue reading “The ongoing human rights crimes at our border have grown critical”

The ongoing human rights crimes at our border have grown critical


This post is by Mark Sumner from Daily Kos


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




I’ve written before that Trump’s immigration plans are all about pain, fear, cowardice, and bigotry;  that what’s happening at our borders is an inhumane crime in progress, and that it is all essentially a modern-day holocaust. But it’s now become even worse.

Instead of being a giant deterrent to immigrants streaming out of the death zone that is the Central American Northern Triangle, in this last month the number of people who were stopped while entering through our southern border reached a 13-year high.

The number of people caught illegally crossing the southwest border rose again in May to a 13-year high with increased apprehensions in every sector of Border Patrol except San Diego.

Agents took 132,887 people into custody last month along the U.S.-Mexico border, a 34 percent increase from April and a 229 percent increase from May of last year, according to Customs and Border

Continue reading “The ongoing human rights crimes at our border have grown critical”

After pans of Trump’s Mexico deal, Donald again calls press ‘truly The Enemy of the People’


This post is by Mark Sumner from Daily Kos


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




The good news is that Donald Trump’s staff and/or a bevy of critical Republican lawmakers has convinced Donald, for now, to hold off on his latest promised set of tariffs, this set to be leveled against Mexico for allegedly not doing enough to assist Donald J. Trump in blocking refugee and asylum-seeker access to our southern border. It unfolded in the usual fashion: Outlandish claims, hyper-aggressive threats and, eventually, a deal that does not appear to substantially different from the status quo.

The not much different part is the estimation of The New York Times write-up, notably written by reporters who have kept on (cough) generally friendly terms with the administration. Most of the announced deal “consists largely of actions that Mexico had already promised to take in prior discussions,” the Times reports. The most-touted bit, a pledge from Mexico to hold more asylum-seekers in Mexico as the

Continue reading “After pans of Trump’s Mexico deal, Donald again calls press ‘truly The Enemy of the People’”

After pans of Trump’s Mexico deal, Donald again calls press ‘truly The Enemy of the People’


This post is by Mark Sumner from Daily Kos


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




The good news is that Donald Trump’s staff and/or a bevy of critical Republican lawmakers has convinced Donald, for now, to hold off on his latest promised set of tariffs, this set to be leveled against Mexico for allegedly not doing enough to assist Donald J. Trump in blocking refugee and asylum-seeker access to our southern border. It unfolded in the usual fashion: Outlandish claims, hyper-aggressive threats and, eventually, a deal that does not appear to substantially different from the status quo.

The not much different part is the estimation of The New York Times write-up, notably written by reporters who have kept on (cough) generally friendly terms with the administration. Most of the announced deal “consists largely of actions that Mexico had already promised to take in prior discussions,” the Times reports. The most-touted bit, a pledge from Mexico to hold more asylum-seekers in Mexico as the

Continue reading “After pans of Trump’s Mexico deal, Donald again calls press ‘truly The Enemy of the People’”

Americans are more concerned with ‘fake news’ than racism or terrorism, says new study


This post is by Mark Sumner from Daily Kos


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What’s one of the biggest problems Americans believe we’re facing in today’s age? According to a new survey released from the Pew Research Center, a good fraction of Americans believe fake news is a bigger problem than issues like racism (40%), sexism (26%), and terrorism (34%). And while fake news and media literacy are significant issues, these findings are fascinating and complex, in a way that requires some deeper digging.

As a background, this survey included responses from 6,127 adults in the U.S. It was conducted between Feb. 19 and March 4, 2019. 

Almost seven out of ten people surveyed believe that fake news greatly impacts American’s confidence in government institutions. A little more than half believe fake news has an impact on how much we believe one another. Of course, given that our president perpetuates seemingly endless amounts of fake news—from racist immigration hysteria, to his

Continue reading “Americans are more concerned with ‘fake news’ than racism or terrorism, says new study”

Americans are more concerned with ‘fake news’ than racism or terrorism, says new study


This post is by Mark Sumner from Daily Kos


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




What’s one of the biggest problems Americans believe we’re facing in today’s age? According to a new survey released from the Pew Research Center, a good fraction of Americans believe fake news is a bigger problem than issues like racism (40%), sexism (26%), and terrorism (34%). And while fake news and media literacy are significant issues, these findings are fascinating and complex, in a way that requires some deeper digging.

As a background, this survey included responses from 6,127 adults in the U.S. It was conducted between Feb. 19 and March 4, 2019. 

Almost seven out of ten people surveyed believe that fake news greatly impacts American’s confidence in government institutions. A little more than half believe fake news has an impact on how much we believe one another. Of course, given that our president perpetuates seemingly endless amounts of fake news—from racist immigration hysteria, to his

Continue reading “Americans are more concerned with ‘fake news’ than racism or terrorism, says new study”

‘The Devil’s Arithmetic’ and immigration


This post is by Mark Sumner from Daily Kos


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Something called The Devil’s Arithmetic had been popping up as a suggestion on one of the streaming services over and over, so Friday evening I thought I’d give it a try. I didn’t know anything about it, and didn’t know it was based on a YA novel written over 30 years ago to try to teach young people about the realities of the Holocaust. Realities I suppose the author thought young people might not have learned about at the time. Realities I’m sure even fewer people, young and old, actually know about now, three decades later. Or know about, but consider to be old, irrelevant, or even fake news.

The film tells the story of a Jewish American girl, played by Kirsten Dunst, who takes a Wizard of Oz-like voyage from her family’s Passover seder in New York in the film’s present of 1999 to her great-aunt’s home in

Continue reading “‘The Devil’s Arithmetic’ and immigration”

‘The Devil’s Arithmetic’ and immigration


This post is by Mark Sumner from Daily Kos


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Something called The Devil’s Arithmetic had been popping up as a suggestion on one of the streaming services over and over, so Friday evening I thought I’d give it a try. I didn’t know anything about it, and didn’t know it was based on a YA novel written over 30 years ago to try to teach young people about the realities of the Holocaust. Realities I suppose the author thought young people might not have learned about at the time. Realities I’m sure even fewer people, young and old, actually know about now, three decades later. Or know about, but consider to be old, irrelevant, or even fake news.

The film tells the story of a Jewish American girl, played by Kirsten Dunst, who takes a Wizard of Oz-like voyage from her family’s Passover seder in New York in the film’s present of 1999 to her great-aunt’s home in

Continue reading “‘The Devil’s Arithmetic’ and immigration”

What do immigrants do for America? They’re one-fourth of our healthcare workers, for starters


This post is by Mark Sumner from Daily Kos


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Fueled by white nationalist arguments and a need to placate a racist base, Donald Trump and his team have repeatedly pushed for sharp new restrictions on legal immigration to this country.

Add America’s already-strained healthcare systems to the list of potential crises-in-waiting if Trump’s advisers get their way. Because immigrants make up a very significant portion of our healthcare workers.

The study finds more than one-fourth of direct care workers and 30.3 percent of nursing home housekeeping and maintenance workers are immigrants, underscoring their key role as the U.S. population ages. They make up 18.2 percent of the total health-care workforce at more than 3 million people.

What’s the plan to replace those workers? There isn’t one. It’ll just (waving hands) be fine, somehow. Luckily it’s not bloody likely Trump will get his way on harsh limits to legal immigration; when Republicans held the House and Senate

Continue reading “What do immigrants do for America? They’re one-fourth of our healthcare workers, for starters”

Jay Inslee’s new immigration plan tackles climate migration and citizenship for Dreamers


This post is by Mark Sumner from Daily Kos


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Gov. Jay Inslee reached beyond his presidential primary signature issue of climate change, releasing an immigration plan Friday—but he also showed how immigration and climate change are linked.

Inslee’s immigration plan would repeal Donald Trump’s Muslim ban (something his home state of Washington had aggressively taken to court) and cut off funding for Trump’s border wall. He would also institute protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, changing the immigration system “so it is humane, just, and efficient, centered on a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and expedited eligibility for DREAMers.”

Inslee would call for the U.S. to accept a greatly expanded number of refugees, and would restore the foreign aid to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador that Trump has slashed, working with those governments “to address the root causes of family migration, including climate migration from Guatemala and elsewhere.”

It’s no coincidence that ICE agents are ramping up cruelty as Trump prepares their medals


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On Wednesday afternoon, Joel Arrona was driving his wife Maria to a hospital in San Bernadino, CA for a scheduled Cesarean section. The two parents-to-be were nervous, but they were also out of gas, so Joel pulled over at convenience store to fuel up. As CBS Los Angeles reports, they were followed into the parking lot by a pair of SUVs. Men got out of SUVs and identified themselves as ICE agents. A few minutes later, ICE took Joel away.

They left the pregnant Maria standing in a parking lot, crying, hours away from delivery, and alone.

Under questioning by the media, ICE produced a statement, that Joel Arrona was “was taken into custody Wednesday by ICE Fugitive Operations Team officers.” According to ICE, these operations are “on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security.” However, they provided no evidence that Arrona was

Continue reading “It’s no coincidence that ICE agents are ramping up cruelty as Trump prepares their medals”

In Texas, some migrant dads who were reunited with their kids were briefly re-separated, report says


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A group of migrant families who were separated at the U.S./Mexico border and then reunited under Judge Dana Sabraw’s court order were again separated for a short period this week, according to The Texas Tribune, after Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) alleged “disruptive behavior” at the Karnes County Residential Center in Texas and moved about 16 dads to a different facility overnight. However, the dads and their advocates are saying this was retribution from ICE.

According to RAICES, “armed ICE officers”—as many as 60, Express News reported—stormed the facility’s hallways and arrested more than a dozen migrant parents who had only recently been reunited with their children.” ICE essentially claimed the dads had been acting out. “But advocates characterized it as backlash against migrants who had been speaking out about their conditions,” including launching a hunger strike earlier this month.

Other detained dads who were also separated and taken

Continue reading “In Texas, some migrant dads who were reunited with their kids were briefly re-separated, report says”

New GoFundMe partnership to help DACA recipients raise their renewal fees


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Campaign Action

While the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program could rest in the hands of one judge in Texas, the program as is still stands, and advocates have been urging program beneficiaries to renew their protections as soon as possible. Thanks to a new move from crowdfunding site GoFundMe, it’ll become a lot easier.

The site has partnered up with FWD.us to create a hub “for verified crowdfunding campaigns from DACA recipients,” The Daily Dot reports, “where DACA recipients can quickly start a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for their renewal fee. The DACA hub is also being featured on the site’s homepage,” and donors can also choose to instead contribute to a  “Direct Impact Fund,” which spreads money out over existing campaigns.

”Under the partnership, GoFundMe has also created a set of guidelines for campaign creators, such as how to go about

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As hundreds of separated migrant kids remain locked up, White House to honor ICE and CBP ‘heroes’


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Campaign Action

As hundreds of separated migrant children continue to remain under U.S. custody and at ongoing risk of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, Donald Trump plans to honor the border agents who kidnapped them from their parents’ arms and locked them up in cages in the first place.

Politico reports the White House has planned a “Salute to the Heroes of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs [and] Border Protection” event for next Monday, coming a few days after Trump claimed that immigration agents “have been absolutely abused.” All right, if he wants to talk abuse, let’s talk abuse.

Despite a federal judge’s court order, the Trump administration continues to hold more than 560 kids under U.S. custody, including two dozen kids aged five years old and under. Not only is the administration blatantly violating a court order, it’s continuing to keep kids locked up in facilities where migrant children have

Continue reading “As hundreds of separated migrant kids remain locked up, White House to honor ICE and CBP ‘heroes’”

Private prison group sued for forcing immigrant detainees to work for $1 a day or be punished


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Campaign Action

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is suing CoreCivic, a private prison profiteer accused of forcing immigrant detainees jailed under a contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) “to work for as little as $1 a day to clean, cook, and maintain the detention center in a scheme to maximize profits.” The lawsuit lasers in on one facility in Georgia that has essentially been threatening detainees with torture unless they work.

“Detained immigrants at Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia who refuse to work,” SPLC said, “are threatened with solitary confinement and the loss of access to basic necessities, like food, clothing, products for personal hygiene, and phone calls to loved ones, in violation of federal anti-trafficking laws, according to the lawsuit,” and all part of a depraved plan to save the company cash despite $1.7 billion in profits last year.

“The ‘Dollar-a-Day’ program creates a lucrative profit scenario

Continue reading “Private prison group sued for forcing immigrant detainees to work for $1 a day or be punished”