Posts Tagged ‘immigration’

DeSantis Refugee Trafficking Fallout

September 22, 2022

DeSantis Refugee Trafficking Fallout

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the future of the MAGA GOP, is basking in the afterglow of flying 48 Venezuelan refugees from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard to “own the Libs,”spending $615,000 in public funds on two charter jets. That’s a cost of $12,300 for each refugee DeSantis trafficked for his own political purposes.

DeSantis still has almost $11.5 million more in purloined federal COVID relief funds left, so he’s doubling down. There’s been a further payment of $950,000, possibly for flights to Delaware (Joe Biden’s home state) or New Jersey. The charter jet contractor, Vertol Systems, owned by Republican donor James Montgomerie, purchased helicopters from Russian government-controlled companies, and received a PPP loan of $255,583 in 2020, during the Trump Administration. Vertol has been associated with James Odom, who went to prison for laundering campaign funds for Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign. It’s not clear if Vertol got a sole-source contract; they’re certainly not the only charter jet outfit in Florida, so state procurement officials should take a look at that, if they’re not afraid of poltical retribution.

DeSantis and his cronies may be liable for other crimes. They fraudulently lured unsuspecting refugee men, women, and children from Texas to a small, isolated town in Massachusetts, promising non-existant jobs and housing. The refugees are suing for fraud, and a Texas sheriff is looking into the matter.

Is it interstate human trafficking? It may be a gray area but, in any case, it’s certainly cruel. Of course, that’s the point.

Update:

“DeSantis risks voter backlash in Florida with migrant flights,” Max Greenwood and Ann Parnes, The Hill

More:

“Massachusetts seeks human trafficking probe targeting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over migrants,” John Bacon and Rachael Devaney, USA Today

“The smoking gun in Martha’s Vineyard,” Judd Legum, Popular Information 

“Senator Ted Cruz says that transporting migrants is illegal, but commends GOP governors for it anyway,” Alia Shoaib, Insider

“DeSantis actions on migrants is ‘mini-ethnic cleansing’, expert warns,” Stephanie Kirchgaessner, The Guardian

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Image (“DeSantis Immigration Hat”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

DeSantis: Cheap Trafficking In Human Misery

September 19, 2022

Florida MAGA/GOP governor Ron DeSantis is using newly-arrived refugees — many of them women and children — as hostages, political pawns in a cheap stunt, flying them to the rural island of Martha’s Vineyard. Somehow, he couldn’t find enough unauthorized migrants in his own state of Florida, so he imported 48 of them — by two state-funded charter jets — from Texas. DeSantis paid for the migrant flights with federal COVID stimulus money he didn’t spend on the needs of Florida citizens.

Bear in mind that the migrants, refugees from failed petro-socialist Venuzuela, are registered with DHS as Asylum Seekers; they are not the criminals DeSantis implies they are. Martha’s Vineyard has no immigration court or ICE center, so the migrants can’t check-in or recieve adjudication, which could jeopardize their status if they don’t get to a major city soon.

In this cruel Republican game, DeSantis is playing catch-up. MAGA governors Greg Abbot (Texas) and Doug Ducey (Arizona) have been sending migrants to New York, Chicago, and DC by chartered bus, often mis-representing where they are going and falsely promising migrants jobs when they arrive. A similar federal strategy was suggested in 2019 by Trump creature Stephen Miller. He threated to cut ICE funding if the federal agency didn’t send migrants to Democratic jurisdictions (it didn’t happen).

And where did lizard-person Stephen Miller get the idea? From short-lived stunts by the racist White Citizens’ Councils of the 1960s, so-called “Reverse Freedom Rides,” which bused Black Americans from the South to Northern cities. Like today’s people-traffickers DeSantis, Ducey, and Abbot, the racist Councils promised that jobs awaited the travelers at their destinations. One bus went to Hyannis, Massachusetts in 1962, where the Kennedy family had a summer home. This past July 26th, Fox News host Tucker Carlson publicly floated the idea of sending refugees to Martha’s Vineyard, pointing out that the Obama’s own a vacation home there.

In 1962, editors of the New York Times called the racist “Reverse Freedom Rides” a “cheap trafficking in human misery.” That’s certainly true for the stunts of MAGA migrant traffickers DeSantis, Abbot, and Ducey.

More:

“Planeloads of Venezuelan Migrants Arrive at Martha’s Vineyard Airport,” Brooke Kushwaha, Vineyard Gazette

“Migrants stranded in Martha’s Vineyard say they were lied to,”Bianca Padró Ocasio, Tampa Bay Times

“Martha’s Vineyard Migrants Leave Island as Outrage at DeSantis Grows,” Chas Danner, New York Magazine

“DeSantis gave GOP donors a glimpse of plans for migrant flights,” Josh Dawsey, Michael Scherer, and Isaac Arnsdorf, Washington Post

“DeSantis Flying Migrants to Martha’s Vineyard May Have Violated Federal Law, Experts Say,” Nikki McCann Ramirez, Rolling Stone

“Surprise is key part of migrant travel from Florida, Texas,” Rodrique Ngowi, Gisela Salomon, and Claudia Torrens, Associated Press

Related:

“Ron DeSantis Flew Immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard, Echoing a Racist Stunt From Exactly 60 Years Ago,” Kate Storey, Esquire

“JFK Library compares DeSantis migrants move to historic ‘Reverse Freedom Rides,’” Graeme Massie, The Independent, via Yahoo News

“This Isn’t the First Time White Racists Have Sent Migrants North on Buses (Though Using Planes Is New),” Kali Holloway, Daily Beast

“The Cruel Story Behind The ‘Reverse Freedom Rides,'” Gabrielle Emanuel, NPR Code Switch

“Biden officials to discuss ‘litigation options’ over migrant buses,” Stef W. Kight, Axios 

“Why Belarus is using migrants as a political weapon,” Ellen Ioanes, Vox

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Labor Day To-Do List

September 5, 2022

Labor Day To-Do List

Happy Labor Day. Now that September is upon us, remember:

1. The 2022 NFL season starts Thursday, September 8th. Get snacks & beer.

2. Air out woolens.

3. Buy leaf bags.

4. Do not wear white shoes after September 5th. 
Persons in the continental United States wearing white shoes past that date are assumed to be illegal aliens from the Southern Hemisphere, and will be treated accordingly. You have been warned.

More:

“Why Can’t You Wear White After Labor Day?” Kathy Benjamin, Mental Floss

“The Reason(s) Behind the No-White-After-Labor-Day Rule (Blame the One Percent!),” John Surico, Village Voice

Why We Can’t Wear White After Labor Day,” Laura Fitzpatrick, Time

Related:

“When Labor Day Meant Something,” Chad Broughton, The Atlantic

“How Labor Day Was Celebrated When Unions Were on the Rise,” Eliza Berman, TIME

“Early Labor Day parades included cigar-making, beer, and proposed live animal slaughter,” Phil Edwards, Vox

“Americans’ support for labor unions at highest in nearly 60 years,” Erum Salam, The Guardian

“8 facts about American workers,” Sara Kehaulani Goo, Pew Research Center

“US unions are shrinking. These 7 charts show what that means.” Danielle Kurtzleben, Vox

“Why white men hate unions,” Edward McClelland, Salon

“More Workers Are Claiming ‘Wage Theft,’” Steve Greenhouse,New York Times

“No union mines left in Kentucky, where labor wars once raged,” Dylan Lovan, Associated Press

“Workers Organize, but Don’t Unionize, to Get Protection Under Labor Law,” Steven Greenhouse. New York Times

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

 

Why the U.S. has so many undocumented immigrants

December 6, 2021

Until 1996, half of the Mexican immigrants who came to the US without papers would return to Mexico within a year. That was the year the so-called Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) turned that unauthorized north-bound immigration into a one-way street. A vox video.

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Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Labor Day To-Do List

September 6, 2021

Labor Day To-Do List

Happy Labor Day. Now that September is upon us, remember:

1. The 2021 NFL season starts Thursday, September 9th. Get snacks & beer.

2. Air out woolens.

3. Buy leaf bags.

4. Do not wear white shoes after September 6th. 
Persons in the continental United States wearing white shoes past that date are assumed to be illegal aliens from the Southern Hemisphere, and will be treated accordingly. You have been warned.

More:

“Why Can’t You Wear White After Labor Day?” Kathy Benjamin, Mental Floss

“The Reason(s) Behind the No-White-After-Labor-Day Rule (Blame the One Percent!),” John Surico, Village Voice

Why We Can’t Wear White After Labor Day,” Laura Fitzpatrick, Time

Related:

“When Labor Day Meant Something,” Chad Broughton, The Atlantic

“How Labor Day Was Celebrated When Unions Were on the Rise,” Eliza Berman, TIME

“Early Labor Day parades included cigar-making, beer, and proposed live animal slaughter,” Phil Edwards, Vox

“8 facts about American workers,” Sara Kehaulani Goo, Pew Research Center

“US unions are shrinking. These 7 charts show what that means.” Danielle Kurtzleben, Vox

“Why white men hate unions,” Edward McClelland, Salon

“More Workers Are Claiming ‘Wage Theft,’” Steve Greenhouse,New York Times

“No union mines left in Kentucky, where labor wars once raged,” Dylan Lovan, Associated Press

“Workers Organize, but Don’t Unionize, to Get Protection Under Labor Law,” Steven Greenhouse. New York Times

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

America’s Exclusion Act

August 30, 2021

The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 suspended Chinese immigration to the U.S. and blocked Chinese immigrants from citizenship. Robert Chang explains in this TED-Ed video, directed by Mohammad Babakoohi and Yijia Cao.

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Who Clogged the Afghan Refugee Pipeline? Stephen Miller.

August 25, 2021

Who Clogged the Afghan Refugee Pipeline? Stephen Miller.

The airlift of endangered Afghan refugees from Taliban-controlled Kabul is hampered by a lengthy and convoluted visa process, which had a backlog of 20,000 applicants before the fall of the corrupt Karzai government. In 2018 the Pentagon urged the Trump administration to expedite Special Immigrant Visas for Afghan nationals who had assisted US and NATO forces, but this was denied.

Olivia Troye, homeland security and counterterrorism advisor to former Vice President Mike Pence, says all efforts to fast-track Afghan visas were sabotaged by Stephen Miller, racist and Islamophobe-In-Residence at the Trump White House. This was confirmed by Elizabeth Neumann, a former senior DNS official. Matt Zeller, Afghanistan combat veteran and former CIA officer, says Stephen Miller “should be held accountable for war crimes” for his refugee visa obstruction.

More:

“Pence aide blames Stephen Miller for ‘devastating’ visa system for Afghans,” Maureen Groppe, USA Today

“Stephen Miller peddled ‘racist hysteria about Afghanistan’ and gummed up refugee process: Ex-Pence adviser,” Raw Story

(more…)

Trump’s 1,058 Bureaucratic Rule Changes Cut Immigration In Half

February 4, 2021

Trump's 1,058 Bureaucratic Rule Changes Cut Immigration In Half

1,058 rule changes, adjustments to asylum officers’ guidelines, modifications of enforcement norms, and other bureaucratic changes to the immigration system by the Trump administration cut the number of legal immigrants to the U.S. nearly in half, says Lucas Guttentag, who maintains the Immigration Policy Tracking Project.

More:

“The Race to Dismantle Trump’s Immigration Policies,” Sarah Stillman, The New Yorker

“Dismantling and Reconstructing the U.S. Immigration System: A Catalog of Changes under the Trump Presidency,” Sarah Pierce and Jessica Bolter, Migration Policy Institute

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Image (after a 1917 Liberty Bond poster) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

DOJ Report: Trump’s Appalling Family Separation Policy Was Political

January 21, 2021

DOJ Report: Trump's Appalling Family Separation Policy Was Political

“Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions and top Justice Department officials moved forward with a “zero tolerance” immigration policy in 2018 aware that it would forcibly split up families and were unprepared for the impact, according to a new report by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General.

Sessions’ office was a ‘driving force’ in pushing for the Department of Homeland Security to begin referring adults who entered the U.S. illegally with children to be prosecuted by the Justice Department, according to the report. The Trump administration policy, which lasted from April to June 2018, resulted in the separation of more than 5,000 families — with hundreds that still have not been reunited.”

— “Jeff Sessions’ DOJ was ‘driving force’ behind family separation policy, IG report finds,” Sabrina Rodríguez, Politico

More:

“Justice Department Knew 2018 Border Policy Would Separate Children From Families,” Dustin Jones, NPR News

“Senior U.S. Justice officials pushed family separations, watchdog finds,” Mimi Dwyer, Reuters

“Justice officials respond to report on family separation by blaming Trump, expressing regret,” Julia Ainsley and Jacob Soboroff, NBC News

Deportee

January 10, 2021

“Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos),” written by Woodie Guthrie and Martin Hoffman, interpreted by Los Texmaniacs, with Lyle Lovett. Based on a true story.

Los Texmaniacs website

Lyle Lovett website

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Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.