Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Muslin Ban Is Only The Beginning... As The GOP Falls Down A Xenophobic Rabbit Hole


In a 5-4 ruling, a very right-wing Supreme Court reversed a series of lower court decisions to OK Turmpanzee's Muslim travel ban, claiming the ban is "squarely within the scope of Presidential authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act." Justice Sotomayor: "A reasonable observer would conclude that the proclamation was motivated by anti-Muslim animus... What began as a policy explicitly 'calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States' has since morphed into a 'proclamation' putatively based on national-security concerns. But this new window dressing cannot conceal an unassailable fact: the words of the president and his advisers create the strong perception that the proclamation is contaminated by impermissible discriminatory animus against Islam and its followers."

I wonder how long into the future that apology will come? Republicans may be a minority of the country, but between an incompetent Democratic Party and a devious and determined GOP, they somehow manage to control all 3 branches of government. And, as Ron Brownstein reported yesterday, Republican voters increasingly oppose even legal immigration. Xenophobia reigns supreme as the Republican base goes all Know Nothing.
The firestorm over the separation of children from their undocumented parents at the border has almost completely overshadowed another milestone in the long-running national immigration debate: Opposition to legal, as well as illegal, migration is hardening into a bedrock principle of the Republican Party.

With last week's vote in the House of Representatives on hardline immigration legislation from GOP Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, about three-fourths of Republicans in both the House and Senate have voted this year to cut legal immigration by about 40%. That would represent, by far, the largest reduction in legal immigration since Congress voted in 1924 to virtually shut off immigration for the next four decades.

And while each of the bills this year to slash legal immigration ultimately fell short of passage, their preponderant support among Republicans marked a telling shift in the GOP's center of gravity: The last time Congress seriously considered cuts in legal immigration during the 1990s, about three-fourths of Senate Republicans, and about one-third of House Republicans, opposed it.

"It tells me that the party is more interested in reducing the number of foreigners in the United States than in reducing illegal immigration," says David Bier, an immigration policy analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute. "One reason to allow people to immigrate legally is to reduce the incentives to come illegally, and so this entire portion of that immigration bill is working at cross-purposes to the goal of securing the border and reducing illegal immigration."

For years, many Republicans have claimed that even as they demanded a crackdown on undocumented, or illegal, immigration, they supported a robust system of legal immigration. Even President Donald Trump nodded to that tradition in a tweet on Sunday when he insisted that illegal immigration "is very unfair to all of those people who have gone through the system legally and are waiting on line for years!"

But, in fact, the vast majority of congressional Republicans this year have now voted for Trump-backed legislation that would not only crack down on undocumented immigration but also severely constrict legal entry into the country, including for millions of those who, as Trump put it, have been "waiting on line for years" to enter legally. "It really looks like the entire debate about illegality is not the main issue anymore for Republicans in both chambers of Congress," notes Bier. "The main goal seems to be to reduce the number of foreigners in the United States to the greatest extent possible." The result is that Republicans are now engaged in a two-front war against both legal and undocumented immigration. Trump has clearly signaled he intends to emphasize illegal immigration as a primary wedge issue for the November elections: Even amid the chaos over separations at the border, he's turned to more overtly nativist and racist language, charging that undocumented immigrants "infest" and "invade" the US and urging an end to due process protections for them.

Congressional Republicans, in turn, have backed away from earlier promises to legally protect the so-called "Dreamers," young people brought to the country illegally as children. After Trump rescinded former President Obama's policy sheltering those young people from deportation, House Speaker Paul Ryan, among other leading Republicans, promised Congress would provide a lasting solution. But every Senate proposal to protect them failed, with the vast majority of Republicans voting no.

...That vote stands as a milestone in hardening GOP attitudes against migration because the Goodlatte bill represented a wish list for the party's most anti-immigration forces. By the calculations of Bier and Stuart Anderson, executive director of the National Foundation for American Policy, a pro-immigration group, it would have reduced legal immigration over the coming decades by fully 40% (far more than the 25%, already a historic decline, that the sponsors claimed.) It would have severely limited the opportunity for migrants to seek political asylum in the US. And despite Trump's gesture toward those "waiting in line," the bill, after a short transition through 2019, would have canceled pending immigration applications from about 3 million married adult children and siblings of US citizens who have waited in line for, in many cases, decades, as Biers and Anderson wrote recently.

The strong House Republican vote for the Goodlatte bill came after the GOP caucus voted even more overwhelmingly last year for legislation to punish so-called "sanctuary" cities that fail to fully cooperate with federal immigration law. In that June 2017 vote, House Republicans voted 225-7 to cut off a wide array of federal grants to states or cities that limit immigration cooperation and to allow private citizens to sue such jurisdictions if they claim that they or family members were later harmed by undocumented immigrants released through their policies. (Ryan's immigration bill revives that provision.)

Generally, the Senate Republican immigration bills haven't tilted quite as far toward the party's nativist element. But even so, 36 of the 50 voting Republican senators last February voted for Trump-supported legislation sponsored by Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley of Iowa that would have cut legal immigration by about as much as the Goodlatte bill (though it would not have erased the applications of millions of potential migrants waiting in line). And all 50 voting Senate Republicans last February backed legislation from GOP Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania to slash federal funding for states and cities that fail to fully cooperate with federal immigration enforcement.

Partly, the hard Republican turn against not only undocumented but also legal immigration can be explained by the party's shifting geographic center. In the House, the Senate and the Electoral College alike, Republicans now depend predominantly on the parts of America that have been the least touched by the steady growth in the immigrant population over the past 50 years.

In the House, about 85% of Republicans represent districts where the foreign-born share of the population was lower than the national average of 13.5% in 2016. Similarly, 42 of the 51 Republican senators represent the 30 states where immigrants compose the smallest share of the population, mostly in the South, the Midwest and the Mountain West. Republicans hold only nine of the 40 Senate seats in the 20 states where immigrants constitute the largest share of the population, most of them along the coasts. In 2016, Trump's pattern of support followed those tracks too: He won 26 of the 30 states with the smallest share of immigrants, but lost 16 of the 20 with the highest.

In both the House and Senate, several Republicans from high-immigration jurisdictions opposed the legislation constricting legal migration. Those opposing the Goodlatte bill last week included Steve Knight, Jeff Denham, David Valadao and Dana Rohrabacher of California, Carlos Curbelo of Florida, Leonard Lance of New Jersey and Barbara Comstock of Virginia. All of them hold swing seats where immigrants make up at least one-fifth of the population. Senate Republican opponents of the Grassley bill included Ted Cruz of Texas and Jeff Flake of Arizona, two high-immigration states.

But a noteworthy number of Republicans from high-immigration jurisdictions in both chambers supported the legislation severely reducing legal immigration. In the Senate, they included Marco Rubio of Florida, John Cornyn of Texas, Cory Gardner of Colorado and David Perdue and Johnny Isakson of Georgia. Those supporting the cuts in the House included John Culberson and Pete Sessions of Texas, Karen Handel and Rob Woodall of Georgia, Dan Donovan in New York City and Mimi Walters in California. All of those House Republicans represent potentially competitive seats where at least one-fifth of the residents were born abroad.

And of course all Republican senators and virtually all GOP House members, no matter how large the immigrant presence in their constituencies, voted to punish "sanctuary" cities.

Those votes are a reminder that in all parts of the country, the Republican coalition now revolves around the elements of American society most uneasy about immigration in particular and demographic change in general: older, blue-collar, evangelical and non-urban whites. In recent polling by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, Republicans living in urban, suburban and rural communities, for instance, were all far less likely than Democrats in the same places to say that immigrants had improved the quality of life in their neighborhoods.

In its most recent national poll, Quinnipiac University found that among all adults, only about one-sixth wanted to reduce legal immigration, while nearly three-fifths opposed building Trump's wall across the Mexican border, three-fourths supported legal status for all of the undocumented and almost four-fifths backed allowing the "Dreamers" to remain in the US and apply for citizenship. Two-thirds opposed the recently suspended Trump practice of separating undocumented children from their parents at the border.
As the GOP's geographic tilts even more toward the places least affected by immigration, the party's nativist elements will gain more power inside the party at a time when Trump is already using them to prop up his catastrophic regime. "And that means," concludes Brownstein, "even as America inexorably grows more diverse, the party is likely to hurtle further away from the support for legal immigration championed by Republican presidents from Ronald Reagan through George W. Bush." Xenphobia will be a major GOP plank for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, this number keeps growing: A decade ago over half of Americans (56%) self-identified as someone with at least one great-grandparent born outside the U.S.

Alan Grayson (D-FL) has a perfectly logical explanation of why the Trumpists are going full-bore racist now, which, he said, "represents a fundamental misperception of the concerns of voters. The actual 'racist vote' is very small. The reason why Trump was able to muster votes in places like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, apart from Russian interference, is that many voters there thought that there would be economic benefits to them if he were elected, or that he would 'drain the swamp' in DC. Of course, after delivering benefits only to himself and other One-Percenters, and after immersing himself in the swamp, all that is left for Trump is to play the racist card."

Hawaii's Kaniela Saito Ing, probably the most cutting edge candidate running for Congress anywhere, told us "the Muslim Ban is just one piece of Trump’s hateful, dehumanizing, and immoral immigration agenda and larger strategy. The entire administration implements a coordinated strategy to divide working people by stoking hate and fear, thus distracting and tiring us from fighting against the wealthy elite. But we are greater than our fears. As we’ve done before, we can choose to fight for the people we love and the future we believe in. All of us have a choice. We can sit on the sidelines and watch the nation slip into authoritarianism, or we can fight for aloha... We know it’s not the courts that will carry our Resistance forward, but our solidarity and willpower. Five old, conservative men do not speak for our nation. I have hope that Americans will elect a new Congress to reverse today’s shameful ruling."

Goal ThermometerRashida Tlaib's Michigan primary is coming up August 7. Plenty of time to give her a hand. Yesterday right after the Supreme Court's mistaken decision, she told her supporters that Trump’s Muslim Ban hits close to her home and her family.
As a Muslim American, I’ve taught my boys that in our America anyone who works hard enough and is guided by compassion can overcome hateful bullies. That even in the face of President Trump’s hateful rhetoric and actions, a young Muslim mother can make history and be elected to represent close to a million people in the U.S. Congress.

If those who seek to spread hate celebrate today, let them. This is their twilight. We-- people who live our lives with empathy and acceptance-- outnumber them, we are louder than them, and we are coming to take our government back from them!

 Just Sunday I was at a church in my district when Rev. Dr. Steve Bland Jr. said it best: “We are not people who are divided, we are disconnected.” Trump’s mission is to create a divided America by having us turn inward, away from our neighbors, but he’s going to get a wake up call. He just pushed us more together, united across communities, to fight back.

Whether it’s banning Muslims from the United States, ripping families apart at the border, or dehumanizing immigrants and people of color on a daily basis-- we must stand together to protect our families from Trump’s hate. The next stage of the fight against the Muslim Ban moves to Congress, and I want to go to Washington to help lead the resistance.

Muslim Americans have heard Trump’s message, but it isn’t working like he hoped. We aren’t running away, we’re running for office, and there’s no Muslim Ban that can keep me out of Congress.

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At 11:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ted Lieu will be as remembered as California Representatives John C Burch and Charles L Scott (look them up) long before Congress will apologize for SCOTUS (read: Gorsuch).

At 2:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The dumbfucktard racist pussy grabber and pr hound in the wh is leading the overt Nazi coup.

But the sc, worse on balance than the dumbfucktard because they all should know better, has validated their coup.

We are truly a Nazi society, nation and, soon, a dictatorship. A sane society dedicated to the altruism and ideals of our constitution, would be in the streets burning shit and demanding resignations and impeachments of the 5 Nazi "justices", and right the fuck now.

But we didn't do that when the 5 fascists justices staged, literally, a coup in 2000 invalidating the election and ratfucking voters in FL and OH.

And American blacks, who OUGHT TO KNOW BETTER, shoved their thumbs up their butts when the 5 Nazis on the court overruled much of the Voting Rights that so many of their predecessors died and suffered to get.

With a populace as indifferent to totalitarianism and hate as ours, it's kind of hard to get upset about the next inevitable giant leap into naziism, is it?

It makes the declaration of martial law that much closer.

At 6:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The supreme court has been affirming selective instances of institutional hate for years.

They struck down the Voting Rights consent decree just a few years ago, enabling the suppression of minority voters, again, in many southern states... and opening the door for that hate everywhere.
They affirmed the right of commerce to express their hate and prejucices.
And now they affirmed the religious hatred aimed at muslims, but the language indicates that ANY hate is just as valid.

The war is lost. Your democraps failed, at EVERY SINGLE ENGAGEMENT, to fight any battles.

The sound of crickets from the obamanation admin when the SC struck down Voting Rights was particularly deafening. If anything should have caught your attention, that should have been it.


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