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Archive for the ‘executive orders’ Category

The recent deportation of Jorge Garcia, a man who was brought to this country illegally at the age of 10 thirty years ago, and has since lived here lawfully while raising two children with his wife who is an American citizen, is yet another example of Homeland Security’s cruel and morally indefensible enforcement of immigration policy. This video of Mr. Garcia’s leave-taking shows the human cost of what Trump and his rabid cronies are doing in our name. What national purpose is possibly served — how are we made more safe from terrorism — by breaking apart a family whose American roots formed decades earlier?

More evidence can be found in a New Yorker article entitled “When Deportation Is a Death Sentence.”

If anything sums up the current administration, it is its utter indifference to pain that it causes. An insecure, ignorant, narcissist has been given free reign to indulge his most base inclinations. It’s easy to think that this country is still an advanced democratic society but that’s what Germany was in the late 1920’s. Day by day, executive order by executive order, expletive by expletive, we are being pulled against our better natures to a dark abyss.

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Dear God’s Gift to America,

As the Christmas holiday approaches, and your first year in office comes to a close with a mammoth tax cut for the wealthy and crumbs for the rest of us, I find myself thinking about:

  • young American citizens whose deported mothers or fathers won’t be able to watch them opening presents on Christmas day
  • DREAMERS whose lives are in limbo because you’ve ended their protection
  • victims of mass shootings and other gun violence whose numbers increase daily while you do nothing to address this deadly epidemic
  • women you’ve sexually molested or harassed and now defame as liars
  • the destruction of pristine wilderness areas your administration has opened to fossil fuel extraction
  • victims of hate crimes perpetrated by neo-Nazi’s, white supremacists, and religious extremists emboldened by your words and deeds
  • those who must forego health insurance, or suffer barely affordable premiums, now that you’ve sabotaged Obamacare
  • children who will lose life-saving medical care without CHIP funding
  • your unending assault on truth, scientific knowledge, basic decency, democratic institutions, and American values
  • weakened protections against toxic chemicals, air and water pollution, workplace and food-safety violations, and Wall Street greed
  • refugees fleeing war, oppression, famine, and gang violence who now find the door to America slammed tightly shut
  • adult women and girls in third-world countries deprived of needed health care due to drastic cuts in the US contribution to the United Nations Population Fund
  • human beings and animals everwhere whose lives and habitats are threatened because of climate change you call a hoax
  • a heavily polarized nation you show zero interest in uniting

It therefore seems fitting to wish you, Donald Jr., Eric, Ivanka, and Jared — grifters all — something for Christmas that the five of you have given to so many others: indigestion, gas, heartburn, diarrhea, nausea, heart palpitations, and nightmares.

And if Santa is in a particularly generous mood this year: backed-up toilets at Mar-a-Lago.

Now that would be a wonderful Christmas present for the American people.

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If you’re an un- or under-employed sadist, consider applying for a job with the Department of Homeland Security. You’d be a perfect fit for its workplace culture.

In late October, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested a 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy immediately after emergency gall bladder surgery. Her crime? Being brought to this country illegally as an infant. Perhaps it was an effort to top what a sister agency, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, had done earlier in the month — rejecting dozens, if not more, DACA renewal applications because the post office had somehow managed to delay delivery of them for weeks until after the October 5th deadline. Although the USPS readily acknowledged its colossal failure, and most US agencies and other institutions set the postmark date as a deadline, USCIS has its own set of rules:

According to U.S.C.I.S. regulations, a request is considered received by U.S.C.I.S. as of the actual date of receipt at the location for filing such request,” Steve Blando, a spokesman for the agency, wrote in a statement. He added: “U.S.C.I.S. is not responsible for the mail service an individual chooses, or for delays on the part of mail service providers.”

So — when a government agency makes a mistake that can destroy a young person’s life, it’s more imperative to abide by bureaucratic boilerplate than to exercise some flexibility and accommodation that will prevent irrevocable damage? This is the refuge of the brainless and heartless, Exhibit A for a mean-spirited agency that is out of control in its relentless execution of Trumpian malevolence.

Its website provides contact information for reporting employee “misconduct, corruption, fraud, mismanagement, wasteful activities, and allegations of civil rights or civil liberties abuse.” Accepting the invitation, I called the phone number provided, 800-323-8603, and communicated my disgust to an actual person. I encourage everyone else to do likewise.

[November 15, 2017 update: USCIS will now allow individuals whose DACA renewal applications were originally rejected because of mail delays to resubmit their paperwork. One would like to think that this policy reversal was a harbinger of things to come, i.e., a more humane approach to immigration, but short of a Donald Trump heart transplant, let’s not hold our breath.]

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I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, easily divisible, with liberty and justice for some.

 

Every now and then, InSanity is inspired to create a new American flag that better represents the reality that has overtaken the country. Our most recent entry commemorated the fealty that administration department heads pledged to Donald Trump at a famously laughable cabinet meeting. Eight years ago, we proposed this alternative, little realizing that such a flag would be back in fashion in less than a decade.

Just when we think that things can’t get any worse or lower, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can always be counted on to prove us wrong. For months now, the agency has been deporting mothers and fathers — the parents of children born in this country and therefore United States citizens — whose only crime was to enter this country illegally to escape horrendous violence or unending poverty. The fact that they’ve been leading productive, responsible lives ever since — working, paying taxes, raising families, and contributing to their communities — apparently counts for nothing when it comes to the draconian enforcement of Trump’s January executive order. (See this October 24 account by a Yale senior whose father is now in the process of being deported.)

One has to ask what possible public interest is served by breaking up an intact family that has taken root in America and caused no harm. Whatever happened to the use of prosecutorial discretion, to common decency and compassion, to common sense? Has ICE gotten rid of all “the bad hombres” already and now has nothing better to do with its limited funds and resources than go after the hard-working parents of American children — even kids themselves, sick ones no less?

Reports surfaced this week about the arrest of a 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy who has lived in this country illegally since infancy. Rosamaria Hernandez was taken into custody at a Texas hospital where she underwent emergency gall bladder surgery. Border Patrol agents had stopped the ambulance she was riding in, followed it to the hospital, then waited outside her room until she recovered from surgery. Most patients would usually go home at that point but Rosamaria wasn’t able to: Agents arrested her and brought her to an immigrant detention center 150 miles away from where her parents live. (Update here.)

It’s hard not to conclude that the insensitivity, heartlessness, and cruelty on display in this situation is nothing other than the character of Donald J. Trump manifested as immigration policy. Our hypocritical narcissist of a president rants against athletes who take a knee or sit while the national anthem is played. Do actions like this, though, show any respect for what this country stands for? Or are they a stain on our most cherished values, an affront to all in whose name this is being done? We are a much better country than this, but for now, this latest flag is a symbol of what we’ve become.

If you’d like to voice your concerns, here is the telephone number ICE’s Office of Policy: (202) 732-4292. The White House comment line is at: 202.456.1111.

For an overview of existing or proposed Homeland Security policies governing unaccompanied children entering our country, please see this October 27 NY Times opinion piece.

 

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In his June 23, 2017 column for New York magazine, Andrew Sullivan makes a compelling argument that Trump’s domestic and foreign policy agenda is driven by the need to undo whatever Obama did. Sullivan refrains from offering any reasons for the president’s spite, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it all dates back to the needling that #44 subjected yet-to-be #45 at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2011 (the same night, incidentally, that the Osama bin Laden raid took place). Witnesses report that the Well-Coiffed One sat stiffly throughout Obama’s hilarious monologue, which Ivanka would probably call “vicious” today.

Knowing what we now know about the notoriously thin-skinned, perpetually victimized narcissist who sits in the White House tweeting and watching TV news, it doesn’t sound at all far-fetched. Wonderful, isn’t it, to realize that withdrawing from the Paris Accord on climate change, betting the future on fossil fuels, shredding the safety net, rolling back civil rights protections, ripping families of American citizens apart by deporting one or both immigrant parents, insulting our NATO allies, cozying up to murderous dictators, gifting the 1% with enormous tax cuts, undermining prison, police, and Wall Street reform, gutting environmental, food and workplace safety protections, sabotaging public schools, and withdrawing critical support from world health programs, is because someone couldn’t take a joke.

That would be a joke in itself if the consequences weren’t so grave and it wasn’t the least bit funny.

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From The ActionNetwork.org comes this useful town hall locator that tells you when and where a member of Congress is holding a public meeting for constituents.

And if you’re ever home at night wishing there was a rally or protest you could attend the next day if it weren’t too distant, or some meaningful mass action you could join without leaving your home, be sure to check out the Resistance Calendar, courtesy of Michael Moore.

One month into this presidential nightmare, our voices must not be silenced.

 

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Friday’s newspapers reported that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency had stepped up its “enforcement actions” (otherwise known as raids) in cities across the nation in order to arrest and deport illegal immigrants. Unlike previous dragnets during Obama’s presidency that focused only on violent criminals, these could potentially include anyone who fit the broad criteria outlined in Trump’s executive order of January 25th — basically any undocumented immigrant.

A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security claimed that this week’s activity was a routine targeting of dangerous lawbreakers, and denied reports that checkpoints had been used. The administration’s ambivalent statements on the subject did nothing to assuage the panic and fear gripping at-risk minority communities. From the NY Times:

In Austin, Tex., undocumented women working in a laundromat cowered in the back of the room, petrified after seeing a video and a photograph of apprehensions outside a local grocery store and burger joint.

A day laborer and mechanic in Staten Island told his 17-year-old son where the list of emergency contacts were, including the name of the guardian who would take responsibility for him and his two younger siblings.

In Savannah, Ga., undocumented restaurant workers were asking for rides rather than walking home, afraid they might be stopped and questioned.

(more…)

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