DACA Under Siege by Trump and AG Jeff Sessions

Last week, Trump pardoned Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a notorious national symbol of racism who refused court orders to stop his racial profiling in his zealous multi-year campaign of persecution against Latino communities. Now, one week later, Trump is throwing MORE red meat to his anti-immigrant and white supremacist supporters by going after immigrant kids, once again undermining American values in order to feed the bigotry of his extreme base. 

This morning, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced to the world that we, as a nation, can no longer be trusted to keep its word, that our word is no longer our bond. You see, in a stunning act of cruelty even for Trump, he had Attorney General Jeff Sessions announce termination of key parts of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program effective six months from now, upending the lives of 800,000+ young people. That 

DACA recipients – often referred to as DREAMers — were brought to the US as children and for many of them this is the only country they’ve ever really known. Under the DACA program, they registered with the government and passed background checks in exchange for being able to work, pay taxes, and feel secure in their homes without the fear of deportation.

Many on the anti-immigrant Right who have been fighting against DACA since Day One have focused their criticism on the way in which it was done – with an executive order by President Obama. They have claimed that the real problem was just that Congress didn’t pass the law – so now it’s up to Congress to call their bluff and pass the DREAM Act.

Congress needs to act now to protect our investment in their education and assimilation before Trump releases his hordes of ICE thugs to begin deportation of DREAMers as their 2-yr authorizations come up for  renewals. And we even have a head start, because the bill already has bipartisan support!

Congress can undo this outrage by passing the DREAM Act of 2017, which would provide a path to citizenship for DACA recipients and other young undocumented immigrants who graduate from US high schools and attend college, enter the workforce, or enlist in a military program.

In the Senate, the DREAM Act is sponsored by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) … we need to demand that the Senate make this bipartisan bill a priority, to get relief to the DREAMers who need it.

Petition:  << Tell Congress to PASS the DREAM Act of 2017 without delay! >>

Or, better yet, take a moment from your day and call or write your members of Congress and ask them to expedite bringing the Dream Act of 2017 [ House bill#:  H.R.3440 / Senate bill#: S.1615 ] to the floor for a vote AND to vote for its passage:

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Indivisible’s Response to Immigration Raids and Attacks Against Immigrants and Refugees

Read and download more resources at https://www.indivisibleguide.com/

 
A priority for the Trump administration is to wage a concerted attack against immigrants and refugees. We’ve already seen what this looks like: Muslim and Refugee bans, ramped-up internal immigration enforcement, racial profiling, harassment, and privacy violations at the US border. This is only the beginning. Trump is gearing up to unleash a wave of raids that will be unprecedented in both number and intensity.

It is no exaggeration to say that ICE agents are now terrorizing our communities, our neighbors, and our families. Immigrants fearful of being detained and separated from their families are being pushed deeper into the shadows. This is not who we are, and this is not what the majority of Americans voted for.

WE STAND INDIVISIBLE WITH IMMIGRANTS

Trump won’t stop terrorizing immigrants on his own—it is up to all of us to stop him. Fighting back on these attacks remains a top priority for Indivisible. We strongly believe that all of Trump’s anti-immigrant policies can be stopped by Congress. Indivisible will continue to pressure MoCs to do their job, to protect families from being torn apart, and to protect democracy from this aspiring tyrant. But protecting our communities will require an even greater commitment. To this end, we will support local efforts intended to shield immigrants and other vulnerable communities from the terror brought upon them by this administration.

WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO?

While Indivisible’s mission is to empower groups to realize their constituent power through congressional advocacy, we also want to recognize how important this issue is for all of us. Below are some suggested local activities to help protect immigrants and to fight back these anti-immigrant attacks.

  1. Connect and support local immigrant rights organizations. Local immigration groups will be on the front lines protecting families against Trump’s deportation force—and they need your help! We recommend connecting with these groups in your area. Invite them to your meetings, share their resources, sign up for their alerts. You may need to do a little bit of research to find out what groups operate near you, but here is one directory to get you started.
  2. Help spread “Know Your Rights” materials in your community. You and your neighbors may have lots of questions about what legal rights and protections immigrants have. Being informed can be the key difference between a parent being able to come home to their kids or finding themselves in ICE custody. We encourage you to read up on what those rights are and help disseminate them with your friends and family. You can find resources here and here.
  3. Make sure local officials aren’t facilitating immigration raids. In some cases, local officials, including police departments, are assisting ICE officers in their immigration raids. This should not be their job. Turning police officers into immigration officers does more harm than good and undermines the community’s trust of police officers. Talk to your local officials and let them know that you don’t want them acting as immigration officers. For talking points see here.
  4. Push your local government and other institutions to adopt “sanctuary” policies. Cities, local and state governments, colleges and universities, hospitals and clinics, and places of worship are adopting policies to help protect immigrants from immigration enforcement. A sanctuary policy is not a refusal to follow the law – it is a commitment to refuse to unnecessarily cooperate with immigration officers. For more information about sanctuary policies, see here.

Border Agents Using ‘Sledgehammer’ Tactics as New Travel Ban Nears

Agents are reportedly detaining and threatening to deport travelers on little basis, a worrying trend as Trump readies ‘Muslim Ban 2.0’
—by Nadia Prupis, staff writer at Common Dreams

The White House has said the new order will be “tailored” to survive a court battle, unlike Trump’s previous memorandum. (Photo: AP

Civil rights groups are criticizing border agents’ “sledgehammer approach” to vetting international travelers at airports around the country, a troubling trend as President Donald Trump prepares to sign his new ban on immigrants and refugees.

Agents are reportedly detaining and threatening to deport travelers, questioning them about their religions, and demanding access to their phones and social media platforms, often targeting those with non-Western names or in certain professions—including Muhammad Ali’s American-born son and a French Holocaust historian.

“Customs and Border Patrol [CBP] agents are feeling more emboldened by the signal being sent from the White House,” Jay Holland, a civil rights attorney, told The Hill. “We are seeing a real difference here in terms of the aggressiveness and in terms of the implementation of enforcement efforts, no doubt about it.”

“It’s basically a sledgehammer approach,” he said.

The issue is particularly worrying as the White House is expected to unveil a new executive order on immigration that the administration has promised will be “tailored” to survive a court battle, unlike Trump’s previous memorandum, which was suspended just days after its implementation in January.

Insiders say the new order lifts the freeze on allowing travelers from Iraq, one of the countries included on the list of seven majority-Muslim nations from the first memo. It is also only likely to target new visa applicants, while the original affected existing visa-holders as well.

The new order was expected to come as early as Wednesday, but White House officials reportedly scrapped the signage amid positive reviews of Trump’s first address to a joint session of Congress. Still, that speech included the announcement of a new federal office to support “American victims” of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, giving little reassurance that the president’s stance on immigration had softened.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said in an email to supporters that it was ready to take on what they called the “Muslim Ban 2.0.”

“No matter how he seeks to disguise the true intent of the new order,” wrote the group’s executive director Anthony D. Romero, “we are prepared to come to the immediate defense of any people whose rights it puts in jeopardy. ”

Kihuen Statement on Hardy Immigration Workshop

Ruben J. KihuenFor Immediate Release
January 25th, 2016
Contact: Dave Chase, (702) 350-2744

Las Vegas, NV — Today Congressman Cresent Hardy held a 2 hour U.S. Citizenship Workshop. As of 11 AM, exactly 1 person, a Hardy staffer, had RSVP’d to Hardy’s Facebook invite for the event.

State Senator Ruben Kihuen, candidate for U.S. Congress in Nevada’s 4th Congressional District, released the following statement on the workshop:
“Congressman Hardy hosted a workshop this morning he says was to explain, ‘how to become a citizen and how to avoid scams against immigrants.’ The irony is clearly not apparent to the Congressman. It’s outrageous and disingenuous to hold immigration workshops while opposing any effort to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Congressman Hardy is the real scam against immigrants.”

Hardy’s previous statements on immigrants:

Hardy: Immigrants Are Taking Jobs That People Could Utilize. In September 2014, Cresent Hardy said on Blog Talk Radio, “We’re having a lot of the same issues but it is the illegal population that is out there taking all these jobs that people could utilize.” [BlogTalkRadio, Hardy Interview, 9/15/14]

Hardy: We Need Immigrants Who Are Not “Drains On Society.” During his headquarters opening in August 2014, Cresent Hardy said, “I’ll just give you one issue that happens up in Yerington, Nevada. They have to bring almost 3,000 immigrants here because nobody wants to do that kind of menial work in our society anymore; which, I come from that I’d still go back to do that today, I don’t care if I have to. But, nobody wants to do it, so we have to bring immigrants here just to harvest things in. But the process takes longer to go, from year-to-year, to get them back here. They only stay for three months then they’re gone. These are the type of people we want. They come, they do their job and they leave.  They want to go back they don’t want to be citizens. They don’t want to be any type of drain on society; they just want to be able to take care of their families.” [Headquarters Opening, 8/28/14; Washoe Dems, 8/28/14; NV State Democratic Party, accessed 3/30/15]

State Senator Ruben Kihuen is running as a Democrat in Nevada’s 4th Congressional District. Ruben has a proven record of real results for working families. Born in Mexico, Ruben and his family immigrated to the United States in search of a better life. He worked his way through college and after graduation was inspired to “pay it forward” by working with other students at College of Southern Nevada. In the legislature, Ruben helped craft landmark bi-partisan bills increasing funding for our schools and making college more affordable, and he beat back a reckless Republican agenda attempting to dismantle worker’s rights, restrict women’s health care and repeal LGBTQ protections. Ruben is running for Congress to ensure everyone has a fair shot at the American Dream.

To Learn more about Ruben Kihuen and his campaign for Congress, visit www.rubenforcongress.com or follow Ruben on Facebook or .

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Border Boondoggle

The GOP’s “just build a wall” simpletons don’t know what they’re talking about.

Jim HightowerGood fences, wrote Robert Frost, make good neighbors.

But an 18-foot high, 2,000-mile wall? That’s another story. It just antagonizes your neighbor — and shows your own fear and weakness.

Yet this is what self-described conservatives running for president propose to build to stop migrants from coming across our country’s southern border. Simple, right? Just fence ’em out!

Haven’t we already tried this?

In 2006, Congress mandated the construction of a wall along the 1,954 miles of our border with Mexico. A decade later, guess how many miles have been completed? About 650. It turns out that erecting a monstrous wall isn’t so simple after all.

U.S.-US-Mexico-border-crossing-fence-wall

Tony Webster / Flickr

First, it’s ridiculously expensive — about $10 billion just for the materials to build from the tip of Texas to the Pacific, not counting labor costs and maintenance.

Second, there’s the prickly problem of land acquisition: To erect the first 650 miles of fence, the federal government had to sue hundreds of property owners to take their land. Odd, isn’t it, that right-wing politicos who loudly rail against government overreach now favor using government muscle to grab private property?

Third, it’s impossible to fence the whole border. Hundreds of miles of it lie along the Rio Grande’s flood plain, and more miles cross the steep mountainous terrain of southern Arizona.

Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and the other “just build a wall” simpletons either don’t know what they’re talking about or are deliberately trying to dupe voters.

Before you buy a 2,000-mile wall from them, take a peek at the small part already built. Because of the poor terrain and legal prohibitions, it’s not one long fence, but a fragment here and another there, with miles of gaps. Anyone wanting to cross into the United States can just go to one of the gaps and walk through.

But when they’re just trying to stir up fear of foreigners, what’s honesty have to do with it?


OtherWords columnist Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. He’s also the editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower LowdownOtherWords.org