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Immigration: issues and policy


:mega: Brilliant protest! These creative and powerful messages will keep coming between now and November.

(David Bythewood) #286

THIS is why I post about everything. This article only tells one portion of an ongoing effort by the Trump regime to erase the history of its atrocities. In the end, every article, every document, every clue will count when we work to undo what Trump has wrought.

Why You May Never Learn the Truth About ICE

The National Archives is letting millions of documents, including many related to immigrants’ rights, be destroyed or deleted.

Last month the National Archives found itself in the middle of a firestorm after it put a doctored photograph of the Women’s March on Washington on display. Even if the photo was not part of the National Archives’ own collection, the exhibit distorted history, and David S. Ferriero, the archivist of the United States, soon apologized.

This was only the latest example — and hardly the most important — of a great and growing threat to our nation’s capacity to protect and learn from history. The press and the public have focused on the immediate, obvious problems, like this president’s exaggerated claims of executive privilege and national security to conceal information. But less appreciated is the fact that vital information is actually being deleted or destroyed, so that no one — neither the press and government watchdogs today, nor historians tomorrow — will have a chance to see it.

President Trump has long made it a practice to tear up his papers and throw them away. It is a clear violation of the Presidential Records Act, which is supposed to prevent another Watergate-style cover-up. When the National Archives sent staff members to tape these records together, the White House fired them.

In 2017, a normally routine document released by the archives, a records retention schedule, revealed that archivists had agreed that officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement could delete or destroy documents detailing the sexual abuse and death of undocumented immigrants. Tens of thousands of people posted critical comments, and dozens of senators and representatives objected. The National Archives made some changes to the plan, but last month it announced that ICE could go ahead and start destroying records from Mr. Trump’s first year, including detainees’ complaints about civil rights violations and shoddy medical care.

It’s not just ICE. The Department of the Interior and the National Archives have decided to delete files on endangered species, offshore drilling inspections and the safety of drinking water. The department even claimed that papers from a case where it mismanaged Native American land and assets — resulting in a multibillion-dollar legal settlement — would be of no interest to future historians (or anyone else).

Virtually all the papers of the under secretary of state for under secretary for economic growth, energy and environment are also being designated as “temporary,” despite the incredibly broad responsibilities of that office — from international aviation safety to foreign takeovers of American firms.

It is hard to know why the government is not even holding on to records about antidumping efforts, or the protection of intellectual property, which fall under the new temporary status. It is perhaps easier to understand why the Trump administration wants to delete other records from the under secretary’s office, including documents regarding the enforcement (or non-enforcement) of “health, safety and environmental laws and regulations.” All this is good news for anyone interested in evading economic sanctions, buying American strategic assets, selling us shoddy goods, stealing our intellectual property or violating aviation safety regulations. Now, even the court of history will be closed.

All this is happening without so much as a congressional hearing — Congress has not called Mr. Ferriero to appear for almost five years, when he spoke about why the National Archives has been rated as one of “The Worst Places to Work in the Federal Government.”

Archivists have a tough job even when they are adequately supported. They somehow have to predict what records future historians will judge to be truly significant. But now the State Department is cutting archivists completely out of the process: Instead, it will start using machine learning algorithms to separate the “historic” from the “temporary.” Going forward, it is not even planning to turn these records over to the National Archives — a clear violation of the Federal Records Act. And so far there has been no public acknowledgment or discussion of this plan. When a group of concerned historians met with Archives senior staff members, they did not even seem to be aware of it.

In fairness, the National Archives’ own inspector general has repeatedly warned that its information-technology systems are antiquated and unreliable. Mr. Ferriero himself announced that in two years the Archives will no longer accept paper records — it simply doesn’t have any more room for them. Everything must be digital, or the departments and agencies must use their own resources to scan them.

The C.I.A. alone had an estimated 160 million pages of paper records as of the late 1990s, and since then it has released less than 10 percent — fewer and fewer every year. It has not even reviewed the vast majority of the holdings of the clandestine branch for public release, claiming they are exempt from normal declassification review. The agency has a long history of destroying records related to the overthrow of democratically elected governments, mind control experiments and torture. Once the National Archives closes the door, does anyone know what will become of all the other secret documents hidden in locked file cabinets at the Pentagon, the F.B.I. and the National Security Agency?

What is driving this mad rush to delete or destroy the historical record, rather than preserve it for future generations? It is not just the Trump administration. For more than a decade Congress has simply been unwilling to pay for such preservation. Since 1985, the volume of archived paper records has more than tripled. The number of data records has gone from fewer than 13 million to more than 21 billion. But the National Archives has fewer employees now than it did then. Adjusted for inflation, it has a smaller budget than it did a decade ago, and Congress has cut that budget every year for the last three years.

Is it any wonder that, according to a new policy announced last year, the National Archives does not plan to maintain any more presidential libraries? At the George W. Bush Library, the last of its kind, approximately 158 million pages of records await review. With the current staff, it is estimated it will take nearly 250 years.

When Franklin D. Roosevelt established the first presidential library almost 80 years ago — his own, in Hyde Park, N.Y. — he called it “an act of faith.”

He wrote: “To bring together the records of the past and to house them in buildings where they will be preserved for the use of men and women in the future, a Nation must believe in three things: It must believe in the past. It must believe in the future. It must, above all, believe in the capacity of its own people so to learn from the past that they can gain in judgement in creating their own future.”

So what are we supposed to believe, when we no longer seem to have the capacity even to preserve a record of the past, much less learn anything from it? One thing is clear: When politicians, caught committing malfeasance, claim that they will let future historians judge, you can’t possibly believe them.

(David Bythewood) #287

Developing story:

32-year-old U.S. citizen dies in border patrol custody in Texas

CBP alleges he was held for “an alien smuggling incident” but refuses to release his name, alleged symptoms, illness, or cause or death, circumstances of his arrest, or exact allegations.

A US Citizen Died While Being Detained By Border Patrol Agents Over A “Smuggling Incident”

Officials said the 32-year-old man “began exhibiting signs of distress” while being processed.

(David Bythewood) #288

By doing this, CBP makes it so that they can further obscure their actions from FOIA. This desgination of “security agency” is normally reserved for agencies like the Secret Service and FBI.

Customs and Border Protection Gains an Extra Layer of Secrecy

This policy change now protects all CBP employee names from subsequent responses to Freedom of Information Act requests or other public disclosures for CBP employee data.

This means in situations like below, or when CBP agents commit crimes against immigrants and other detainees, the CBP will have an easier time hiding their crimes.

Lawmakers say CBP admits breaching protocol targeting Iranian Americans


:-1: :zipper_mouth_face:

(David Bythewood) #290

Within hours of being told he can do anything he wants, Trump has suspended Global Entry and other Trusted Travelers Programs for New York City, the largest city in the country, because as a sanctuary city it refuses to help the Trump regime target minorities.

Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf said Wednesday on Fox News that, effective immediately, all New Yorkers would be barred from enrolling or re-enrolling in the programs, which are meant to expedite entry into the United States for low-risk travelers. The programs, including Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI and FAST, have millions of members nationwide and are often touted at airports as a means to bypass long customs and border protection lines.
And of course this was announced ON Fox News.


@Windthin Thanks for this alert.

Outrageous! – Trump is turning into a true bull in a china shop.

This is a bad government policy for so many reasons, but separate from that it’s a bad political move on Trump’s part. It’s going to anger many New York state residents. Trump thinks that’s just fine and dandy since New York is already solidly blue and its “winner-take-all” electoral votes will never go to him anyway. He believes there won’t be any additional repercussions for further ticking off New York residents – but he’s wrong and here’s why…

Global Entry is a “must have” for many business travelers – that demographic carries some real financial and political clout. They have the bucks to make significant donations to the DNC and to Super PACs that are campaigning throughout the entire country to oust Trump. They will also be donating to Flip the Senate or to specific Senate campaigns challenging vulnerable Republican incumbents. Donating out of state is the new thing – people never used to do that, but now it’s commonplace.

Trump will regret hitting this hornets nest – it will cost him votes in ways he didn’t imagine and it will help him lose his enabling majority in the Senate. Don’t mess with New York!

(David Bythewood) #292

It seems this is only one of his revenge plots. He’s also threatening to withhold funding for clean energy and veto aid for Puerto Rico.

And yes, it’s very foolish. A lot of his big financial pals live there, and many more pass through there. This will gravely affect business travelers and further sway them against him. He never thinks these things through.

It occurs to me: How long before we hear about CERTAIN of them paying extra to keep their status or get it re-instated?

(David Bythewood) #293

Good news for a change.

Judge Reverses Convictions of Activists Who Left Water for Migrants

A federal judge found that four volunteers with the group “No More Deaths” were acting on their religious beliefs when they left food and water for migrants in the desert.

Also, a situation I am following:

(David Bythewood) #294

So, there are articles out now about that incident I’ve been following thanks to Meryl. And it’s even worse. Meryl herself is quoted a few times in this article. There was some initial confusion that Gaspar was the one shot and not Eric.

ICE officers shot a man in the face as he tried to intervene in an arrest

The strangers trying to arrest his mom’s boyfriend weren’t wearing uniforms or badges, and they didn’t have a warrant. So 26-year-old Eric Diaz did the only thing he could think of: Outside his front door, on the otherwise quiet Brooklyn street, he confronted the plainclothes officers.

Then, one of them shot him in the face — just below his right eye.

“He literally points the gun at my brother and didn’t even hesitate,” Kevin Yañez Cruz, who witnessed the scene on Thursday morning, told WABC. “Just pulled the trigger.”

Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed that agents discharged “at least one firearm” in the altercation, which landed two officers and two others in the hospital, agency officials said in statements to local news outlets. Diaz and the man they were targeting are now in their custody in the hospital, activists say.

The episode spurred day-long protests and swift backlash in New York, which has been locked in an especially tense battle this week with federal immigration officials on enforcement.

During his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Trump singled out New York for “deadly practices” that he said allow unauthorized immigrants to avoid deportation.

Gaspar Avendano-Hernandez, the longtime boyfriend of Diaz’s mother, had been deported back to Mexico twice, ICE officials said.

On Monday, he was stopped by New York police for allegedly driving with a forged Connecticut license plate, a felony criminal charge, WABC reported.

Upon the man’s arrest, immigration officials issued a detainer request, asking that Avendano-Hernandez be held in jail past his release date so that they could take him into custody. New York, like other “sanctuary cities,” does not comply with these orders, which many courts have said violate due process.

“This forced ICE officers to locate him on the streets of New York rather than in the safe confines of a jail,” ICE spokeswoman Rachael Yong Yow said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal.

A team of officers tracked him down to a residential street in Gravesend, an ethnically diverse neighborhood in south Brooklyn, arriving around 8 a.m. Thursday to try to arrest him.

He would not budge.

“He resisted because they didn’t show him no papers, like, ‘Oh, I’m the police,’ no badge, no nothing, no warrant, no nothing,” Yañez Cruz told WABC.

They Tasered him. At that point, two sons of his live-in girlfriend, including Diaz, stepped outside, unarmed, to check on what was happening. The officers didn’t say anything at all, Yañez Cruz told the station.

According to ICE, that’s when the two agents were “physically attacked.” The ICE spokeswoman did not identify Diaz or say whether he was among the attackers.

Meryl Ranzer, an activist with the group New Sanctuary Coalition, told The Washington Post that officers pepper-sprayed Diaz. Then they shot him, she said. He fell to the ground, unable to talk, the New York Daily News reported.

“We didn’t know what to do. We just laid on the floor with him,” Yañez Cruz told the Journal.

Avendano-Hernandez sprinted back into the house before surrendering, according to the Daily News.

ICE officials said that the incident was being investigated by its Office of Professional Responsibility.

Following the altercation, agents took Avendano-Hernandez to a hospital further north in Brooklyn, where they continued to watch over him as he was treated for injuries while in serious conditions, Ranzer said. At least seven ICE cars arrived on the scene, and protests involving approximately 200 people continued throughout the day.

“Whatever the case is, hospitals are supposed to be safe spaces,” said Ravi Ragbir, director of the New Sanctuary Coalition. “And for ICE to come in here and mistreat our community is wrong,” he said.

ICE has said that hospitals and other health-care facilities are “sensitive locations” in which it generally must not carry out enforcement activity.

Activists said that Diaz had also been taken to the hospital, where he was in serious but not life-threatening condition and appeared to be under ICE custody. According to Yañez Cruz, Diaz was visiting family from Mexico on a tourist visa and had arrived last month.

Local officials in New York said that ICE was wrongfully trying to point the finger at police for not honoring the detainer.

“If people are coming out, not even identifying themselves, jumping out and trying to jump on people, there is a problem,” Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams told the crowd outside the hospital.

Reps. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-N.Y.) and Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), meanwhile, sent a letter to ICE saying they were “concerned by the initial use of force” and calling for a “review of practices and protocol employed by ICE agents in the field.”

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D), a vocal critic of ICE, said that the federal agency was unfairly directing blame elsewhere.

“An ICE official shot someone,” city hall spokeswoman Freddi Goldstein told the Associated Press, “and minutes later they attempted to point the finger at the NYPD.”


By vetting travelers in advance, the Global Entry program frees up TSA agents to focus their efforts on vetting travelers that may present a higher risk to our country. A vet-once approach if far more efficient than spending time revetting a safe traveler on every entry. TSA agents are already overtaxed and now they will be wasting time vetting travelers that don’t need to be vetted.

New York is not taking this lying down:

(David Bythewood) #296

This child, whose real name can’t even be released, is suffering from a skull fracture and subdural hematoma.

ICE refuses to release him for vital medical treatment despite serious danger to his health and a worsening condition.

He is FIVE.

Apparently only today they tried to deport this poor kid.

Our government was about to deport a 5-year-old with a traumatic skull fracture on a plane in a move that would have caused irreparable harm. A Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling barely prevented this.

(David Bythewood) #297

A mother of 2 young children (5mo and 2yrs ) who was legally in the asylum process has been arrested by ICE agents in Knoxville, TN.

ICE claims “the humanitarian factor that led to her release no longer exists.”


Keep it up!

(David Bythewood) #299

More on this:

(David Bythewood) #300

In late January, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Lao foreign minister Saleumxay Kommasith. In a recently surfaced letter dated Feb. 3, U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum said the administration “is negotiating with (Laos) to allow for the deportation of longtime Hmong and Lao residents of the United States back to the country of their birth.”

McCollum, a Minnesota Democrat, blasted the policy as “a direct attack on my constituents and their family members” and called the proposal “unconscionable.”

The proposal could reportedly affect more than 4,500 Hmong and Lao U.S. residents who are not citizens and who have committed crimes or have deportation orders against them. These individuals have mostly been safe from deportation because of a long history of human rights violations against the Hmong by the Communist government of Laos.

(David Bythewood) #301

Looks like Trump is rolling out the Gestapo.

Border Patrol Will Deploy Elite Tactical Agents to Sanctuary Cities

Agents from a special tactical team that normally confronts smugglers on the border are being sent to sanctuary cities across the country.


More tactics to get over the wall…and Border Patrol is trying to stop them. More apprehensions this year than last.

US Border Patrol has seen a rise in camouflage “hook-and-ladders” within the far south-west region of Texas since May last year, according to The El Paso Times .

El Paso’s urban stretch of border is said to be littered with the ladders, which are engineered out of rebar and match the rust brown colours of the wall.

The redbar ladders began appearing in large numbers once construction of a replacement wall in El Paso was finished last May. According to Border Patrol, illegal crossings have increased ever since.

We’re starting to see a lot of evading activity,” said Agent Ramiro Cordero. “We’re starting to see the criminal organisations working hand-to-hand on either side to avoid detection. More and more we are seeing ‘failure to yields’ — they are utilising ladders to go over the fence and diversionary tactics.

Border Patrol apprehensions of single adults — those most likely to use the ladder method — have nearly doubled in the El Paso sector.

From October 2019 through January 2020, Border Patrol apprehended 10,030 adults, compared with 5,150 in the same period a year ago.


:headphones: Listen: Six Years Separated

An asylum-seeking migrant girl is separated from her family at the border and enters U.S. custody at 10 years old. Now, she’s 17 and still in a shelter, even though her family is ready to take her in. They just can’t find her. They turn to reporter Aura Bogado for help.

(David Bythewood) #304

I fear we will see this story told hundreds of times more with what this regime is doing now.

Here is another tale I fear we will see played out again in the future.

The children of fathers who aided in the torture & murder of thousands during the dictatorship that ruled Argentina from1976 to1983 are rebelling against their families.

Will this be us in a generation?

The Disobedient Children of Monsters