Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Trump’s vision for America

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Radley Balko has a terrifying summary:

  • Fear bears down on immigrant communities as President Trump’s immigration crackdown looms. The New York Times reports that the administration’s new immigration policies aim to “publicize crimes by undocumented immigrants; strip such immigrants of privacy protections; enlist local police officers as enforcers; erect new detention facilities; discourage asylum seekers; and, ultimately, speed up deportations.” The Homeland Security Department plans to hire 15,000 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Border Patrol agents to implement what Secretary John Kelly called a “surge” — the same term used to describe the U.S. stepped-up military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Intercept reports that the administration appears to be looking to deport undocumented people en masse without ever going to court, a policy that immigration lawyers described to the publication as “horrifying,” “stunning” and “inhumane.” The administration also plans to deport immigrants who came to the United States through Mexico back to Mexico, regardless of where they emigrated from.
  • In Mississippi, ICE agents detained 50 people after a series of raids on Asian restaurants. In New York, federal agents demanded to see the “papers” of travelers on a domestic flight, apparently in search of a specific undocumented immigrant. Meanwhile, ICE agents are posing as local police officers to get undocumented immigrants to give themselves up. The strategy is likely to make them even less likely to cooperate with local law enforcement during criminal investigations.
  • CNN reports that the White House is pressuring intelligence agencies to produce data about threats to national security that will build public and judicial support for the travel ban, a process the network describes as “a conclusion in search of evidence.”
  • The president appears to be getting much of his news — or at least some of his talking points — from fringe conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. In the past, Trump has appeared on Jones’s radio show, and Jones himself claims to have spoken to Trump on the phone more than once since the president took office.
  • In a tweet last week, Trump declared the press to be the “enemy of the American People.” I asked Trump supporters on Twitter whether they thought that journalists who Trump believes have published “fake news” or “lies” should be jailed. The responses were not encouraging. The vilification of the media continued yesterday in remarks at the Conservative Political Action Conference by senior White House officials Reince Priebus and Stephen K. Bannon.
  • In an angry phone call this week, White House terrorism adviser Sebastian Gorka threatened to sic White House lawyers on someone who had criticized him on Twitter.
  • At his rally in Florida last weekend, Trump referred to a terrorist incident in Sweden that never happened. He later clarified that he was referring to a report on Fox News about an alleged crime wave in Sweden allegedly caused by refugees and immigrants. The Swedish police officers interviewed in that report have since denounced it and said their comments were selectively edited. Meanwhile, there’s zero evidence of a crime wave sweeping Sweden, by immigrants or by anyone else.
  • Jeff Sessions has reversed the Obama administration’s plan to curtail the use of private prisons in the federal criminal-justice system. In his own memo, Sessions stressed that the extra beds provided by private prisons will be necessary to meet the “future needs of the federal correctional system.” [presumably those who dissent and speak up = LG] Seems like a good indication that at least at the federal level, the era of criminal-justice reform is over. Meanwhile, a private prison company has just hired two of Sessions’s former aides as lobbyists.
  • At yesterday’s press briefing, White House press secretary Sean Spicer conflated marijuana legalization with the rise in heroin addiction and suggested that we can soon expect Sessions’s Justice Department to take action against states that have legalized recreational marijuana. Just what that will look like remains to be seen. But so much for “states’ rights.”
  • Scenes from last weekend’s Trump rally in Florida: “I don’t care what he does. I’m behind him 100 percent. Put it this way: If he became a dictator, and they said, ‘We want him in forever,’ he’s my man. He’s in. I’ll never vote against him … I love his power … It’s the power that does something to me.”

This is actually happening now, and we seem so far helpless to stop it. Things are headed in a very dark direction.

Written by LeisureGuy

24 February 2017 at 11:59 am

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