Michele Bachmann Proposes 100% Tax On Money Sent Home By Immigrants To Stop 'War That Is Being Waged Against Us'
In a conference call with the anti-immigrant group Numbers USA last week, Rep. Michele Bachmann called illegal immigration a “war against the American people” and suggested that the U.S. levy a 100 percent tax on money that immigrants send back to Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala in order to put pressure on those countries’ governments.
The Minnesota Republican spoke just before House Republican leadership handed its immigration policy over to her and Rep. Steve King .
“When are we going to get serious and really deport and deport right on the border?” Bachmann asked.
“Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, those countries are laughing at us because they’re making money with their corrupt governments in conjunction with these international criminal cartels, they’re all making money and kickbacks,” she said. “What I believe we should do is have a 100 percent tax on remittances, the money that illegal aliens send back to these countries.”
“What we have to recognize is this truly is a war against the American people,” she added.
Bachmann made the same suggestion to CNS News last week. Of course, many legal immigrants also rely on sending money to family members in their home countries, something that would be made virtually impossible by a 100 percent tax.
Bachmann later complained that Obama is a “terrible president” who “doesn’t care about veterans and doesn’t care about the American people,” insisting that he only cares about “having you and me paying for his voter registration drive so that his party will be a permanent party in every presidential election in the future and in midterms.”
Later in the call, Bachmann went back to the “war” theme, saying, “What we need to do is get serious and recognize that there is a war that is being waged against us.”
“We’re rolling around looking at each other, but all the while our pockets are being picked and innocent people are being killed by illegal aliens and hurt and robbed and beaten and raped by criminal foreign nationals that are in our country,” she said.
“We are doing everything we can to hold on to this magnificent country as we see it literally fall like sand between our fingers.”
h/t: Miranda Blue at RWW
Most Americans believe that children arriving from Central America should be treated as refugees—not illegal immigrants—and offered shelter while authorities determine if they are allowed to stay or are to be deported, according to a poll released Tuesday by the Public Religion Research Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization.
While 69 percent of those surveyed believe the children should be allowed to stay in the United States if authorities determine that it is unsafe for them to return to their home countries, 27 percent said the children should be deported to their home countries. Forty-two percent of Americans believe that immigrants are a burden on the country because they take jobs, housing and health care belonging to them, up from 35 percent in the week ending July 6, according to the survey.
“They are in tension but not inconsistent with one another,” said Robert P. Jones, chief executive officer of the institute, explaining that, while Americans believe the right thing to do is to treat children fleeing violence as refugees, an increasing number of them also harbor concerns that doing so will be a burden to the country.
Since October 1, 2013, more than 57,000 unaccompanied minors have been detained crossing the border, fleeing widespread violence and buoyed by rumors of an amnesty. Warehouses and military bases were quickly transformed into immigration shelters, which struggled to cope with the surge. President Barack Obama referred to these events as an urgent humanitarian situation and enlisted the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate the government response.
Earlier this month, Obama asked Congress for $3.7 billion in emergency funds. With a deeply divided Congress, it is unclear if the funds will be released. President Obama said he would take executive action on immigration legislation in June if Congress hadn’t acted. On Friday, Obama met with the presidents of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, where the majority of children hail from, to discuss the crisis and hear the Central American leaders’ demands.
Nearly half of Americans have heard a lot about the Central American children arriving in the U.S., according to the poll. Of those surveyed, 43 percent said the situation is a serious problem but not a crisis, while 36 percent said the influx of Central American minors is a crisis.
Of those surveyed, 71 percent said children from Central America awaiting for their cases to be processed should be released to the care of relatives or churches.
More than half of Republicans polled said these children should be treated as refugees, though 42 percent said the children should be treated as illegal immigrants. Again, a majority of Republicans favored offering support to unaccompanied children while their cases were reviewed, but 39 percent said these children should be deported immediately.
Majorities in major religious groups, including white evangelical Protestants and Catholics, said the government should provide unaccompanied minors shelter and support while their cases were processed.
“It’s unusual to find in the country today an issue where…both Republicans and Democrats [are] on the same side of an issue, and all major religious groups [are] on the same side of the issue, and this is one of them,” said Jones.
The poll, which had a margin of error plus or minus three percentage points, included bilingual telephone interviews with 1,026 adults between July 23 and July 27. Jones said the institute, which focuses research on the role of religious values in public life, would continue conducting immigration-related surveys regularly through the end of the year.
Source: Karla Zabludovsky for Newsweek
Such a large-scale move on immigration could scramble election-year politics and lead some conservative Republicans to push for impeachment proceedings against President Barack Obama, a prospect White House officials have openly discussed.
Yet there’s little sign that the urgent humanitarian situation in South Texas, where unaccompanied minors have been showing up by the tens of thousands from Central America, has impeded Obama from making plans to address some portion of the 11.5 million immigrants now in this country illegally. Obama announced late last month that congressional efforts to remake the nation’s dysfunctional immigration system were dead and he would proceed on his own authority to fix the system where he could.
Since then he’s asked Congress for $3.7 billion to deal with the crisis of unaccompanied youths, a request that’s gone unmet even as the House and the Senate scramble to see if they can vote on some solution to the crisis this week before adjourning for their annual August recess.
Meanwhile, White House officials led by Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Munoz and White House Counsel Neil Eggleston, along with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, have been working to chart a plan on executive actions Obama could take, hosting frequent meetings with interest groups and listening to recommendations from immigration advocates, law enforcement officials, religious leaders, Hispanic lawmakers and others.
Advocates and lawmakers who were in separate meetings Friday said that administration officials are weighing a range of options including reforms to the deportation system and ways to grant relief from deportation to targeted populations in the country, likely by expanding Obama’s two-year-old directive that granted work permits to certain immigrants brought here illegally as youths. That program, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, has been extended to more than 500,000 immigrants so far.
Advocates would like to see deferred action made available to anyone who would have been eligible for eventual citizenship under a comprehensive immigration bill the Senate passed last year, which would be around 9 million people. But Obama told them in a meeting a month ago to “right-size” expectations, even as he pledged to be aggressive in steps he does take.
That’s led advocates to focus on other populations Obama might address, including parents or legal guardians of U.S. citizen children (around 3.8 million people as of 2009, according to an analysis by Pew Research’s Hispanic Trends Project) and parents or legal guardians of DACA recipients (perhaps 500,000 to 1 million people, according to the Fair Immigration Reform Movement).
"Our parents deserve to live without the fear of deportation," Maria Praeli, a 21-year-old from New Haven who came to the United States from Peru 16 years ago, said at a protest outside the White House on Monday. "It is time for the president to go big and to go bold."
Another focus could be the potentially hundreds of thousands of people who might be eligible for green cards today if current law didn’t require them to leave the country for 10 years before applying for one.
At the same time, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says it is actively working to determine whether there are steps Obama could take by executive action that could help the business community.
For Obama, the political repercussions of broad executive action on immigration could be unpredictable, and extreme.
Republicans are warning he could provoke a constitutional crisis.
"It would be an affront to the people of this country which they will never forgive, it would be a permanent stain on your presidency," Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said on the Senate floor Monday, while urging language to block such executive action be made part of any legislation to address the border crisis.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., announced plans to use an oversight hearing on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency Tuesday to raise questions about Obama’s plans, which he warned could “worsen the border crisis and encourage many more to come.”
On the other side, some Democrats have debated the best timing for Obama to take executive action, raising questions as to whether acting before the midterms could hurt vulnerable Senate Democrats in close races while boosting turnout among the GOP base.
But liberal advocates noted that Obama’s move on deferred action two years ago gave him a boost heading into his re-election and could help this year with Latino voters discouraged over the failure of immigration reform legislation and record-high deportations on Obama’s watch. Republicans would be in a position of deciding whether to come out in favor of deporting sympathetic groups, such as parents, and many liberals say impeachment talk would only shore up Democratic base voters.
"Most Democrats will be thrilled" if Obama acts boldly on immigration, said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, a leading advocacy group. "And Republicans will keep lurching to the right and cementing their reputation as the anti-immigrant party."
h/t: Erica Werner at TPM
ORACLE, Ariz. (AP) — Protesters waved “Return to Sender” signs, shoved a group of mariachi musicians and waited for a bus of immigrant children that the local sheriff told them would arrive. At one point, they briefly halted a bus before realizing it was carrying children from a YMCA.
The bus of Central American children never arrived, ending a day of protest in a small Arizona town that drew more than 100 people on both sides of the immigration debate.
Sheriff Paul Babeu is credited with stirring up the anti-immigrant protesters through social media postings and a press release and by leaking information about the migrants’ arrival to a local activist. The Sycamore Canyon Academy acknowledged that it had an agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services to take in a “small number” of immigrant children from Central America, but it did not specify how many and when they would arrive.
"All this was done in secrecy, and that’s where a lot of people are upset," Babeu said Tuesday. "My concern (is) where’s the federal government? Why are they not here? Why did they not hold a town hall to answer some of these questions?"
He addressed both sides of the protesters, asking them to remain civil, abide by the law and keep the roads cleared. Immigrant rights activists questioned Babeu about agitating protesters when he should be bringing order as the county’s top lawman.
Babeu said he was simply informing the public and was at the site to make sure the protests on both sides were peaceful.
The protests came as the government released new numbers that show how many immigrant families and children have been pouring into the country in recent months. The Border Patrol says 55,420 family members have been caught at the border from October through the end of June, a nearly 500 percent increase from the same period in the previous year. The number includes adults apprehended with their young children, and most of them were caught in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. In addition, the Border Patrol says 57,525 unaccompanied children have been apprehended through the end of June.
The dueling groups in Oracle had a combined 130 people at the peak of the protests, including about 80 rallying against the shuttling of immigrants and 50 in favor. Pro-immigrant supporters held welcome signs with drawings of hearts.
Emily Duwel of Oracle said she did not want her town to be misrepresented by what she said was a minority of people who were against the children being housed here.
"I’m just concerned about these children who have had to escape worlds of incredible violence," Duwel said.
A spokesman for the federal Department of Health and Human Services said the agency would not identify the locations of shelters for migrants to protect their identities and safety.
Babeu has generated controversy in the past over his immigration rhetoric. When five bodies were found in a burned-out SUV in his county in 2012, Babeu quickly declared that the killings appeared to be the work of a drug cartel. A few days later, it was learned that it was a murder-suicide of a suburban Phoenix family and not drug-related.
A massive surge in unaccompanied children crossing the border illegally began more than a month ago, turning the issue into a major political debate in Washington and in cities across the U.S. In a state known for its strict immigration laws, including SB1070, which many call the “show me your papers” law, attitudes are just as contentious.
"We are not going to tolerate illegals forced upon us," protester Loren Woods said.
The fallout began in late May when reports surfaced that immigration officials were dropping off hundreds of women and children at Phoenix and Tucson Greyhound bus stations after they had been caught crossing the border illegally. Within a week, immigration authorities were flying hundreds of children who had crossed the border into Texas alone to be processed at various immigration facilities.
Shame on CNN, who has now fully morphed into Fox Lite. This pathetic effort to undermine Martin O’Malley’s vocal stand for the children at the border is really irresponsible.
Here’s what CNN reports:
Thousands of young undocumented migrants back to Central America, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley asked a top White House official that the children not be sent to a site that was under consideration in his home state, sources familiar with the conversation said.
"He privately said ‘please don’t send these kids to Western Maryland,’" a Democratic source told CNN. The heated discussion between O’Malley and White House domestic policy adviser Cecilia Munoz occurred during a phone call late Friday evening, sources familiar with the conversation added.
O’Malley doesn’t deny he had a conversation, nor does he deny asking that they not be sent to one location in Maryland. But they might have worked a little harder to discover why he said that.
Start with this paragraph buried deep beneath the misleading lede:
"Governor O’Malley and his administration are working cooperatively with federal officials to find suitable locations in Maryland for unaccompanied minors fleeing violence in Central America," said O’Malley press secretary Nina Smith. "As he has said repeatedly, he believes the priority should be placing children with family members and–if that’s not possible–locating housing that is safe, humane, and non-restrictive," she added.
Martin O’Malley is the truth teller, not Fixed Noise-lite CNN.
The protests will mirror those in Murrieta, California, which gained national attention this month when the city’s mayor and residents blocked buses carrying immigrant children who were going to be processed there.
In Oracle, anger has been spreading since Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu warned residents last week that immigrant children from Central America caught crossing the border illegally into the U.S. would be placed at the Sycamore Canyon Academy in Oracle. The academy houses troubled youth, many of whom have been through the criminal justice system.
Calls to the academy were not returned. A spokesman for the federal Department of Health and Human Services said the agency could not identify the locations of shelters for migrants in order to protect their identities and security.
"We don’t know who they are. We don’t know their health conditions. We don’t know a doggone thing because the federal government isn’t telling us anything," protest organizer Robert Skiba said.
Anger has been spreading since a massive surge in unaccompanied children crossing the border illegally began more than a month ago. Though largely considered a humanitarian crisis, the influx of immigrants has also become political fodder.
In a state known for its strict immigration laws, including SB1070, which many call the “show me your papers” law, attitudes are just as contentious.
The fallout began in late May when reports surfaced that immigration officials were dropping off hundreds of women and children at Phoenix and Tucson Greyhound bus stations after they had been caught crossing the border illegally.
Within a week, immigration authorities were flying hundreds of children who had crossed the border into Texas alone to be housed at the Border Patrol facility in Nogales. Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, sharply criticized the move and demanded it stop. Republican candidates for governor have also chimed in. Some are expected to attend the rally on Tuesday.
But the children, if they arrive as expected, will not only be met by angry faces. Immigrant-rights groups are also planning to attend and counter-protest.
"They are using fear and hatred in hopes of generating demonstrations similar to recent events in Murrieta, California," said the Latino civil rights group Somos America. The group added that it "condemns those actions and seeks to provide a peaceful alternative to the fear-based panic which is being caused by the recklessness of tea party agitators and Sheriff Paul Babeu."
Conservative Racists Cruelly Propose Using Land Mines To Prevent Immigrant Children From Crossing The Border [TW: Racism, Explicit Hate Speech, Xenophobia, Anti-Immigrant Extremism, Death Threats Against Minors]
The unfolding crisis affecting immigrant children at the border continues to grow as federal officials try to figure out how to handle the situation. Meanwhile, conservatives have only made things worse by attacking these kids with hate speech and threats. The disturbing display of racist anger near Murrieta, California has embarrassed the nation in the eyes of the world and right-wing militia groups are trying to set up positions on the border and threatening desperate children with death if they should attempt to cross into America. But the cruelty is reaching a brand new low.
During a meeting in Vassar, Michigan on July 9th, a group of racist bigots spoke out against the possibility that the town may have to play host to over 100 refugee children from south of the border. The kids would be housed in a youth facility. That didn’t sit well with these rabid conservatives.
I’m not here because I am some redneck rube from a small town in the Michigan Thumb,” one man said in an effort to mask his contempt for the brown-skinned children. “I’m not here because I’m a racist. I’m not here because I’m an old white guy. I’m here because I’m concerned about the federal government, and I’m concerned for my grandchildren and their future.”
Then the rhetoric at the meeting really reached fever pitch after Republican state legislative candidate Tom Wassa accused President Obama of being a “domestic terrorist” who is bringing immigrant children here on purpose to stoke fear and terrorism in the United States. This led to other racists to make even more ridiculous claims. One claimed that the children were being infected with diseases and sent here to spread them to us. Yet another claimed that America was under attack and that these kids were just the first phase of a military invasion. Unfortunately, these weren’t the worst things said at the gathering. It got even uglier.
A former Marine then stepped up to speak and proposed an idea so cruel, so violent, and so heartless that it’s a mystery why he was allowed to serve in the US military in the first place. In general, our soldiers have a special spot in their hearts for children in war zones. For decades now, American soldiers have carried Hershey bars into foreign countries. And for decades, the children in those countries have been given those chocolate bars as a sign of good will and compassion. After all, children are innocent and shouldn’t be treated as enemy combatants. As a result, many children grow up in those places with a more positive view of American servicemen and women. But Terry Mocny has no such compassion for children, even when they are seeking asylum in America to escape violence and crime. He suggested that a minefield be established along the border to keep these children out.
“I support a minefield along the border,” he said. Then he said the children should also be imprisoned. I’m assuming he means if there are any children left to put in jail after they blow up upon stepping on a land mine.
Here’s the disgusting video via Liberal America.
Land mines are a major problem in worn torn areas around the world. Even land mines that are decades old can still be armed and ready to explode at the slightest disturbance. Far too often, the victim is a woman or a child. Most victims weren’t even born when the mines were set during whatever conflict was raging at the time. But even after the fighting has stopped, land mines are still buried waiting to add more casualties to a war that ended long ago. According to UNICEF,
“Since 1975, land-mines have exploded under more than 1 million people and are currently thought to be killing 800 people a month. There seems little prospect of any end to the carnage. In 64 countries around the world, there are an estimated 110 million land-mines still lodged in the ground—waiting…
Adults caught in the blast of an anti-personnel mine often survive with treatment, though they usually lose a limb. Children are less likely to survive because their bodies are so vulnerable. Those who do live will be seriously injured. A child may lose one or both legs or arms and sustain serious injuries to the genitals and abdomen. Shrapnel may also cause blindness and disfigurement.”
That’s why political celebrities such as former President Bill Clinton, the late Princess Diana, and others have made the removal of land mines an important priority.
Just the thought of a human being suggesting such a cruel method of keeping immigrant children from crossing the border makes me want to vomit. And the truly frightening part is that more conservatives may actually begin echoing this very dangerous and horrible idea. Of course, this is the same party that supports using torture and has called for assassinations and bloody coups, so it probably isn’t much of a surprise.
But these are innocent children we’re talking about, and the GOP is always bragging about how they they’re pro-life and pro-children, not to mention Christian. So, how is it “pro-life” and “Christian” to lay land mines at a border so that children will be maimed or killed as they try desperately to escape violence in their own countries by fleeing to ours? It’s unconstitutional, it’s un-American and it makes no sense at all. Republicans across the country should be put on the spot about this immediately so they have a chance to condemn and reject this sick proposal before it spreads so much among the extreme right that it becomes a plank in the GOP platform.
We are not a country that should send children away and send them back to certain death. I believe that we should be guided by the greatest power we have as a people, and that is the power of our principles. Through all of our great world religions, we are told that hospitality to strangers is an essential human dignity.
He’d be a good progressive alternative to Hillary in 2016.
The Central American kids arriving in Texas are likely to be better-vaccinated than children in Texas.
With thousands of children from Central America arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, an old plague is once again sweeping the country—the fear of the diseased immigrant.
“Our schools cannot handle this influx, we don’t even know what all diseases they have,” U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) said recently. “Our health care systems can’t withstand this influx.”
Fox News commentator Cal Thomas asks, for example, if “the unaccompanied minors pouring over the border…have brought with them proof of vaccination?” Thomas accuses the border-crossers of harboring vaccine-preventable diseases such as “mumps, measles, rubella, polio, tetanus and diphtheria.”
Before demonizing undocumented children, we should look at the facts: The vast majority of Central Americans are vaccinated against all these diseases. Governments concerned about health, and good parents investing in their kids, have made Central American kids better-vaccinated than Texan kids. We fear them not because they are actually sick, but because of powerful anti-immigration narratives that link foreigners to disease.
Consider, for example, Guatemala. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Guatemalan kids are more likely than Texans to be immunized for most infectious diseases. Guatemala has universal health care. Vaccines are 100 percent funded by the government.
By comparison, one in six kids in Texas is uninsured, and even insured families often must pay for vaccination. That means that many Texas kids fall behind on vaccinations, or miss them altogether when their family can’t afford a doctor’s visit. Other families refuse vaccination.
Dr. Elizabeth Lee Vliet, a Fox News commentator and former director of the ultra-conservative political group Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, writes in the McAllen Monitor that measles is among the “diseases the United States had controlled or virtually eradicated” that are “carried across the border by this tsunami of illegals.”
Fact check: UNICEF reports that 93 percent of kids in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are vaccinated against measles. That’s better than American kids (92 percent).
Furthermore, it’s absurd to claim that the U.S. has eradicated measles while Central America has not. In fact, measles outbreaks have resurged in some American cities. By contrast, according to the World Health Organization, neither Guatemala nor Honduras has had a reported case of measles since 1990.
Slate physician-writer (and Fox News contributor) Marc Siegel writes that unaccompanied minors “are a likely source” of the mosquito-borne dengue fever spreading to Texas. Siegel ignores two key public health points: First, legal immigrants and travelers are a much larger group than undocumented folks, and just as likely to carry dengue. (I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve never been screened for dengue fever at the Texas-Mexico border.) Second, mosquitoes can fly.
Interestingly, Siegel is the author of three books—Swine Flu: The New Pandemic, Bird Flu: Everything you Need to Know about the Next Pandemic and False Alarm: Profiting from the Epidemic of Fear. That last title must be a memoir.
The narrative that foreigners bring disease has long been used to stir up anti-immigrant sentiment. In the early 1900s, the immigrant cook Mary Mallon—better known as Typhoid Mary—was imprisoned for life for infecting her wealthy patrons with Salmonella typhii.
In his book The Cholera Years, historian Charles Rosenberg describes how Irish immigrants to New York in the 1830s suffered disproportionately from cholera because they lived in poor and crowded neighborhoods. Instead of working to help them, the medical profession blamed the disease on immigrants being “exceedingly dirty.” Irish people were refused medical care, and many “wandered starved and half naked across the Canadian border.”
When Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005, the Latino men who came to work rebuilding the city were accused of spreading infectious diseases such as chlamydia and HIV.
The targeting of vulnerable outsiders whenever disease breaks out is even older than this country. Historian Barbara Tuchman has described how outbreaks of plague in Europe would lead to pogroms. The lynchings of Jews, she writes “began in 1348 on the heels of the first plague deaths.” When we blame immigrants for infectious disease, we participate in a nasty—and deadly—old tradition.
Some diseases do flourish because of unsanitary conditions in the immigrant detention centers. For example, Fox News reports that the Border Patrol union is complaining that an agent “already has contracted the mite-borne skin infection” scabies. Like lice, scabies is annoying but eminently treatable. It spreads anywhere people are in close quarters: summer camps, homeless shelters, college dorms.
While outbreaks of scabies are a decent indicator that conditions in the detention centers are unsanitary, scabies is not the kind of disease that should dictate immigration policy. To get rid of it, you treat the kid and wash his or her bedding.
Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the diseases most calculated to frighten Texans. On the right-wing blog Breitbart Texas, Vliet claims that immigrants with TB “are putting others’ lives at risk,” and that multi-drug-resistant TB is the “most common form” of TB in Latin America.
The latter is simply false: Fewer than 1 percent of TB cases in the Americas are multi-drug-resistant, according to the WHO. Most of those cases are still treatable. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), no cases of the more difficult extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) were reported here in 2012.
More than 90 percent of Central Americans are vaccinated against TB, according to the WHO. The vaccine, called the BCG, is imperfect. It’s used in countries where TB is still common, but some cases will break through the vaccine’s coverage.
Americans are not routinely vaccinated. According to the state health department, the 1,233 cases of TB that occurred in Texas in 2012 were mostly along the border and in prisons. The disease has stayed crouched in those centers of poverty because it flourishes where people live in close quarters and suffer from diseases like alcoholism and HIV, which knock down their immune defenses. Eradicate poverty, and TB fades away.
Fear of disease is motivating people to move against immigrants. In League City, the City Council voted this week to prohibit the housing or processing of undocumented immigrants. The resolution cited the “threat of communicable diseases reported to be prevalent” among immigrants as a justification for the use of police power to protect “citizens” from these children.
And in Murrieta, California, protesters blocked buses carrying migrant children after it was revealed that some of them had been hospitalized for fevers.
Fear turns sick kids into a threat. But the threat of tuberculosis is overblown. The state health department is screeningunaccompanied minors for the disease. Some small percentage of them—like a tiny percentage of Texan kids overall—probably have TB. It can be controlled and treated before it spreads.
Even if these unaccompanied minors did pose a huge tuberculosis threat—which they do not—Texas is equipped to deal with it. We have clinics, first-line antibiotics and even a tuberculosis sanitarium to house folks who can’t keep up with the daily antibiotics on their own.
There are legitimate health concerns associated with human migration. But the narrative that immigrants such as these children are particularly diseased has more to do with fear than it does with science.
The effort to block busses of Central American refugees travelling through Murietta, California, over the July 4th weekend drew any number of fringe right-wing extremists, including radio host Pete Santilli, who offered a 24/7 live webcast of his stay.
In one webcast posted on July 4, Santilli approached a number of local police officers demanded that they bring him the county sheriff. He also told them that he had called 911 but that that had also failed to summon the sheriff. (Many militia groups maintain that the sheriff is the only legitimate law enforcement officer).
“I almost died at Bundy ranch because the sheriff didn’t show up,” Santilli told one officer, referring to his time at the Bundy ranch in Nevada, where he spent time harassing a Mexican-American reporter.
Santilli told one Murietta police officer that he was “here for a peaceful protest” but that by failing to put him in contact with the sheriff “what you guys are creating is a violent one.”
“Are you guys domestic terrorists now?” he yelled after the officer walked away. “You guys are terrorizing the public.”
“They’re going to deliver a bus here with a bunch of anarchists and create a volatile situation on the 4th of July. That’s an incitement,” he yelled.
At one point, Santilli got his hands on a bullhorn and earned a cheer from the crowd when he told the officers, “You want to send a bus to us right in front of the media so Obama can publicly display what happens to people who stop busses with infected immigrants. Obama wants to send a message and you’re helping to facilitate it.”
h/t: Miranda Blue at RWW
Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham has a plan to deal with undocumented immigrants that is so radical that even Fox News host Bill O’Reilly called it “draconian.”
On Wednesday’s edition of The O’Reilly Factor, Ingraham explained how she would reform the immigration system in the United States.
“First thing you do is starting deporting people, not by the hundreds, not by the dozens, by the thousands,” she said. “And that means entire families, not just a father or a mother. But we keep families unified by deporting all people who are here illegally.”
Ingraham proposed that federal, state and local law enforcement would work together to find all of the “illegal aliens.”
Next, she said that the United States should block all visas to countries who would not repatriate their citizens.
“Number three, I think there has to be an end to this thing called birthright citizenship, some people call it anchor babies,” she continued.
In addition to punishing companies that hire undocumented workers and building a wall along the southern border, Ingraham also proposed making it impossible for immigrants to get housing or use banks. And she would deny any government services like welfare to people who have an undocumented immigrant living in their home.
“Why are you allowed to enter into a rental agreement to live in this country?” she asked. “That should not be allowed. So, there are a lot of common-sense steps that we can take.”
O’Reilly pointed out that “mass deportations” and effectively forcing all immigrants to be homeless would meant that “the Republican Party would become obsolete.”
“You do that kind of a draconian action, mass deportations would be draconian,” he argued. “I think that there is a better way to do it without destroying the Republican Party, which absolutely I believe would happen.”
Watch the video below from Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, broadcast July 3, 2014.
Dear Laura, you know you’ve gone way overboard when even Billo The Clown (who’s been very critical of undocumented immigrants) thinks your proposals to deal with the immigration problem are draconian.
Telemundo anchor José Díaz-Balart pushed back on Wednesday against the protesters who derailed a convoy full of immigrant women and children, as well as radio host Rush Limbaugh, for what he described as dehumanizing treatment toward people fleeing traumatic violence.
“I know a lot of people don’t have kids, and it’s easy when you don’t have a kid to call people like those dogs being dumped,” Díaz-Balart told MSNBC host Al Sharpton. “But you know something? There but for the grace of God go I in many opportunities. And what would you do? What would you do if your child was being raped, or being destroyed by gangs. What would you be willing to do for your children?”
On Tuesday, the buses, carrying about 140 undocumented Central American immigrants were blocked from entering a Border Patrol processing facility in Murrieta, California by the demonstrators, many of whom chanted “U-S-A” and “nobody wants you.” They were instead rerouted to another facility in San Ysidro, almost 70 miles away. More than 50,000 “unaccompanied minors” have come to the U.S. from Central America since late last year.
Limbaugh defended the demonstrators’ actions on his show on Wednesday, saying, “You can’t dump your dog on the street in most of America, but you can dump 50,000 kids from Central America” and then insisting he was not comparing the immigrants to dogs.
Díaz-Balart, who was recently hired to host his own show on MSNBC, told Sharpton that many of them are faced with rape, torture or other threats not only during their journey through Mexico, but at home. One 17-year-old Honduran girl, he said, told him that a local gang killed her younger brother after he refused to be recruited into its ranks.
“She said, ‘What could I do?’” Díaz-Balart said. “‘Do I stay here and be killed or become property — sexual property — of gang members that run amok in places like Honduras? Or do I take my chances and come here?’”
From the 07.02.2014 edition of MSNBC’s PoliticsNation With Al Sharpton:
The number of unaccompanied children apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border has spiked 90 percent since last year. Republicans are responding to the humanitarian situation by making it the latest excuse to halt efforts on immigration reform. While some Republicans are lining their campaign wallets using the crisis, others are trying to blame the President Obama for not enforcing current immigration laws.
House Republicans will hold a House Judiciary Committee hearing next week titled, “An Administration Made Disaster: The South Texas Border Surge of Unaccompanied Alien Minors” to drive home that point. In an op-ed published Thursday, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) said that Obama’s “broader refusal to uphold our immigration laws [has] created a powerful incentive for children to cross into the United States illegally.”
In early June, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) also argued in a press release that the President was “personally responsible” for “incentivizing” unaccompanied children with the promise of “citizenship for anyone in the world who arrives illegally in the country by a certain age.” As a result, Sessions said, “President Obama is responsible for this calamity.”
Most children are fleeing extreme violence and a fear of individual safety in Mexico and Central America’s northern triangle of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. And there has been an uptick of these child refugees since 2009, long before either the Senate comprehensive immigration bill or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program (a presidential initiative which grants temporary legal presence to some undocumented immigrants) came into public existence.
After the Obama administration announced a cross-governmental agencies plan to deal with the situation, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) released a press release stating that the surge was “an administration-made crisis” due to Obama’s supposed lax border enforcement policies. Goodlatte said in early June, “Many of the Obama Administration’s policies… have led to a surge of minors arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border.”
Even House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) criticized the President’s “lax enforcement at Mexico’s borders,” in a strongly worded letter to Obama Friday, claiming Obama was giving a “free pass” to immigrants heading into the United States. He requested for the President to send the National Guard and asked the State Department to begin repatriation talks. But Boehner also insisted that, “once [unaccompanied children] reach U.S. soil, they will be able to stay here indefinitely.”
In fact, the current process of dealing with unaccompanied children from countries other than Mexico was set by the Bush administration, according to Dara Lind at Vox. Under the law, the Border Patrol agency is required to take in these children, screen and vaccinate them, then turn them over to the Department of Health of Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). The ORR assigns children to shelters until the agency can identify sponsors and once children are placed with sponsors, their cases work their way through the immigration court. Earlier this month, Jonathan Ryan, an attorney with the immigration advocacy group RAICES, told ThinkProgress that the Bush administration “changed the treatment of how kids go through immigration court.” Ryan added that the law was a “recognition of the need to protect these kids and at the time, the need was the war that’s pushing kids out of Central America.”
These lawmakers may be drawing from a Border Patrol “survey” leaked to conservative media outlets and congressional members, which found that about 230 children and women from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador came to the United States for immigration reform. Yet the survey findings, which ThinkProgress also obtained, has massive gaps in its methodology and data results. The memo acknowledged that Border Patrol agents threw out any responses that did not fit with their “general consensus” for the main reasons to leave their countries. In many cases, children and women gave multiple reasons for entering the U.S., including an increase in gang-related violence in Central America. Other missing gaps include: Border Patrol agents are not trained to conduct surveys of people that they have just apprehended; the data set includes only answers given on one day, May 28th; and it’s unclear how many children were interviewed.
Other researchers have determined that immigration reform, or any U.S. legislation, is not behind the emigration. In a survey conducted by the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees, only one out of 104 El Salvadoran children mentioned immigration reform as a primary motivator for leaving. Another survey by Elizabeth Kennedy, a doctoral candidate at San Diego State University found that “in only one of 400-plus interviews did a child migrant ask about the DREAM Act and immigration reform. …Fifteen had heard that the U.S. system treated children differently than adults and wanted to know how. In all 15 cases, the child had received a threat to join the gang or be killed, and some had then been beat or raped when they refused to join.”
After children are placed with the ORR, they are put into immigration proceedings as the White House and DHS Sec. Johnson have long emphasized. The New York Times reported that the Obama administration has been responding to the crisis by accelerating the immigration adjudication process and deporting children as quickly as possible. The New York Times also found that the DHS has “expand[ed] the use of monitoring devices, such as electronic ankle bracelets, to keep track of migrants after they are released.” Even Hillary Clinton recently said to CNN that the children “should be sent back” to their home countries. Clinton added, “Just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean the child gets to stay. … We don’t want to send a message that is contrary to our laws, or we’ll encourage more children to make that dangerous journey.”
Although the data is not limited to only children, the Department of Justice found that only 18 percent of non-detained immigrants fail to appear for their removal hearings.
Meanwhile, on Friday, the White House announced steps “to improve enforcement and partnering with our Central American counterparts in three key areas: combating gang violence and strengthening citizen security, spurring economic development, and improving capacity to receive and reintegrate returned families and children.” It will also provide $9.6 million for Central American governments to help repatriated citizens, establish a $40-million U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) program over 5 years to improve citizen security in Guatemala, launch a $25-million Crime and Violence Prevention USAID program in El Salvador, and provide $18.5 million to support community policing and law enforcement efforts in Honduras. The White House press release also stated that it will collaborate on “campaigns to help potential migrants understand the significant danger of relying on human smuggling networks and to reinforce that recently arriving children and individuals are not eligible for programs like Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, commonly called DACA, and earned citizenship provisions in comprehensive immigration reform currently under consideration in the Congress.”
Republicans has long justified inaction on immigration reform based on a revolving list of excuses, including citing the President ignoring the law in order to secure the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, because HealthCare.gov was broken, that the Boston Marathon bomber was an immigrant, and Obama’s refusal to negotiate during the shutdown made it unrealistic to pass immigration reform.
Sarah Palin, Asshole of the Day for June 16, 2014
It’s not often you see Sarah Palin criticize Republicans and Democrats alike for the same thing, which is really no surprise really when Mitch McConnell and others conspired in 2009 to make sure that Republicans never, ever voted for anything with Obama. In 5 years they’ve pretty much been the Grand Old not-Obama Party.
But with the growing crisis in detention centers along the border, St. Sarah of the North gives Republicans an equal share of blame for doing nothing. Both parties, she says, must do something.
And then, before anyone can think about giving her a primary challenge from the right for being bipartisan and soft on immigration like Eric Cantor, she launches into a diatribe about how Obama caused it, even though of course she expects both parties to fix it:
So, GOP and Democrats alike, where are you on this humanitarian issue of child abuse?
Hang on to your hat, because here’s the issue: Barack Obama has orchestrated this newest “crisis” in order to overload the system with the intention of “fixing” the problems his own policies create – by fiat, and that infamous phone and pen; screw the rule of law. He’s warned you by proudly claiming his executive orders can bypass the peoples’ representatives and obviously ignore the will of the people.
This exploitation of foreigners’ children is an inhumane ploy to entice families to break laws by literally shoving kids across one of Obama’s infamous and irrelevant lines, with assurance that parents, aunties, step-uncles and third cousins twice removed will get to cut in line too – that sacred line that previously led law abiding, hardworking immigrants to build this great nation. Barack Obama will keep phoning in and penning the message that he will NOT secure borders, so, hey, extended undocumented relatives, you’re free to join the kids being used and abused to snag that golden ticket. Obama surely knows a nation is not a nation without borders, while we must surely know this is the “fundamental transformation of America” that he promised and some of us warned about.
Congress and American voters, how long will you let Team Obama get away with this? The recent avalanche of devastating crises caused by a president believing he is above the law has set the most dangerous precedent a once-free people can imagine. To encourage and reward lawlessness by refusing to enforce the will of the people as proven by laws passed by our political representatives is the signature of a tyrant. In this case, Obama’s refusal to enforce immigration laws and his blatant suggestion that his chosen illegal activity will be rewarded are proof of his tyrannical tactics. The recent numerous manipulated “crises” have the media pinging and ponging trying to keep up with what is the scandal of the day, which one overshadows another, and how will they distract next, and who’s on first?! Purposeful decisions causing these crises are meant to overload the system, justify abuse of executive power to “fix” it all, and ultimately tighten control of the people.
And she ends by saying she wants the major expenditure to be jet fuel to send all these children home. How exactly they get matched back to their parents or even how border agents will know which country they go to is not of interest to her. It’s not even a stretch to suggest that were it up to her to execute, they’d all be dumped in the wrong country where they would face a new humanitarian crisis, but not here, so she would no longer be interested.
Of course an unsecured border and the prospect of more generous welfare benefits might be enough to get someone to cross and take advantage. She’s right about that— because she tells a story about how her family crossed into Canada to take advantage of free Canadian healthcare when she was young.
But still, the accusation that Obama created a humanitarian crisis with foreign children is laying it on a little thick, even by Palin standards. It’s up there with her lie about “Death Panels”, which were actually to pay doctors to discuss what types of life saving measures (if any) patients wanted instead of leaving it to their families to decide.
So, for saying Obama enticed people to send their children illegally to the US so they can become anchors to pull in all the rest of their clan, Sarah Palin is the Asshole of the Day.
It is Sarah Palin's seventh time time as Asshole of the Day. Previous wins include:
- saying that by becoming a grandmother Hillary will adopt conservative views
- making a huge “scandal” out of a president having someone hold an umbrella
- saying black people don’t understand her definition of slavery
- defending Phil Robertson’s homophobic, racist interview without even reading it
- saying Putin invaded Crimea because Obama wears “mom jeans”
- saying if she were in charge “waterboarding is how we’d baptize terrorists”
- criticizing Obama for bringing home Bowe Bergdahl after she had publicly prayed for Bergdahl’s return
Full story: Sarah Palin Facebook page
Of the Americans who trust Fox News to give them the most accurate information about politics and current events, just 12 percent correctly believe that deportations have increased under the Obama administration, said the study, which measured cultural attitudes toward immigration in 2014. Overall, 25 percent of Americans correctly said deportations have risen.
Among Republicans, there were notable differences in attitudes toward immigrants between those who most trust Fox and those who prefer other news outlets.
Sixty percent of Republicans who most trust Fox say immigrants are a burden, while just 38 percent of Republicans whose most trusted news source is something else say immigrants are a burden.
Republicans who most trust Fox News are also less likely to support a path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants (42 percent) than Republicans who trust other news sources (60 percent).
The study concluded that “trust in Fox News as an accurate news source is the most powerful independent predictor of opposition to a path to citizenship. Identifying as Republican and being a born-again Christian are also significant predictors of opposition to immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship.”
By contrast, the most significant predictors of support for immigration reform were “[h]olding a four-year college degree, being female, identifying with the Democratic Party, and most trusting MSNBC as an accurate news source.”
h/t: Sahil Kapur at TPM