Tuesday, September 05, 2017

There's Going To Be Trump-Incited Violence In New York Today


There's going to be violence in New York today when DREAMers and their allies in New York stage an aggressive protest at Trump Tower and the police try to stop them. Tragic! There were some GOP congressmen who are demanding that Paul Ryan, as Speaker, stop playing politics with this issue and allow a vote to enshrine DACA in law. But that's exactly what other Republicans fear. The leader of the racist faction of the House Republicans, Iowa xenophobe Steve King tweeted yesterday that it would be "Republican suicide" if Trump followed through on a report that he was planning to end DACA with a six-month delay, insisting that the program instead needed to be ended immediately. "Ending DACA now gives chance [to] restore Rule of Law. Delaying so [Republican] Leadership can push Amnesty is Republican suicide." Most congressional Republicans with King's perspective are keeping the ugliness to themselves, but it is likely the majority of House Republicans. What the Steve Kings of Congress fear, however, is that the Republicans who disagree with that perspective will make common cause with the Democrats and push through a solution favored by most Americans, namely to "legalize" the DACA kids.

Wisconsin congressman Mark Pocan's response to Trump's announcement that he's ending the DACA program was exactly what every sane member of Congress should be saying: "Trump is once again disregarding the core values that guide our country by dismissing DREAMers’ contributions to our nation." Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) added something else all members of Congress should be saying: "We will resist with everything we have." And Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) reminded her Republican colleagues that "The onslaught of injustice continues. It's time for leaders in Congress to do what is right and defend." Mark Takano (D-CA) added that "If the president is unwilling or unable to provide this country with moral leadership then Congress must do it for him."

10 Republican congressmembers mustered the courage to publicly agree, sending Ryan a letter demanding congressional action that would circumvent Trump:
Dear Mr. Speaker,

As you are aware, due to potential legal action being led by Texas State Attorney General Ken Paxton and attorneys general from nine other states, President Trump is currently facing a September 5 deadline to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Created in 2012 by President Barack Obama, the DACA program provides prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against people who entered the United States illegally as children.

Since its inception, the federal government has approved approximately 795,000 initial DACA applications and 924,000 renewals. DACA recipients have contributed both to the U.S. economy and our society. Since being approved for DACA status, an overwhelming majority of these individuals have enrolled in school or found employment. Most have also increased their average earnings and many have served in the military, opened businesses or purchased homes.

We did not support the way that President Obama established this program and usurped Congressional law making authority. However, these individuals have come forward and provided the federal government with their personal information and biometrics.  It would be wrong to go back on our word and subject these individuals to deportation.

In February, President Trump stated that DACA recipients are “incredible kids” and that he was going to “deal with DACA with heart.” We are encouraged by previous statements made by the White House. Regardless, these individuals’ status in the United States should not be left to the political winds of different administrations that come to power. Congress has a responsibility and a duty to address this problem legislatively and was robbed of the opportunity to do so when President Obama issued his June 2012 memorandum. We are willing and ready to find a solution no matter what action is taken by President Trump in the coming days and encourage you to work with us as soon as possible to do so.

The only Republicans willing to sign it were:
Martha McSally (AZ)
Dan Newhouse (WA)
Don Bacon (NE)
Carlos Curbelo (FL)
Mario Diaz-Balart (FL)
John Faso (NY)
Dave Reichert (WA)
Scott Taylor (VA)
David Valadao (CA)
Jeff Denham (CA)
Just two in California? Where were Darrell Issa, Mimi Walters, Ed Royce, Steve Knight, Kevin McCarthy, Devin Nunes, Paul Cook, Dana Rohrabacher, Paul Cook, Duncan Hunter and the other Republicans with big DACA populations in their districts? Hiding under their beds, cowering? Or rooting for Steve King? Ted Lieu is a member of the House Judiciary Committee, an assistant Democratic whip, and the vice-chairman of the DCCC for the West Coast. His statement didn't hide his anger: "I am outraged by the President’s foolish decision to end DACA. This decision will cost our economy $460 billion over the next decade. More importantly, it ignores our nation’s rich immigrant heritage. Our nation can never be great without embracing immigrants. Ending DACA is an unconscionable assault on thousands of young Americans who know no other home than the United States. I will stand firmly with my Democratic colleagues to fight this action and do whatever we can to protect DREAMers."

I don't doubt that Lieu will pass on the opportunity to talk with the Democratic House candidates about how Trump's crazy posture towards DACA-- and the GOP inability to respond coherently-- can play in the 2018 midterms. Below are the Latino populations in some of the most heavily contested California districts:
CA-10 (Denham)- 40.0%
CA-21 (Valadao)- 72.1%
CA-22 (Nunes)- 45.9%
CA-23 (McCarthy)- 5.4%
CA-25 (Knight)- 37.9%
CA-39 (Royce)- 34.6% (28.1% Asian)
CA-45 (Walters)- 18.7% (20.9% Asian)
CA-48 (Rohrabcaher)- 20.2% (17.8% Asian)
CA-49 (Issa)- 25.7%
CA-50 (Hunter)- 29.7%
Notice that the fewer Hispanics they have in their districts, the less likely are Republicans ready to standup to Trump. In an interview with BuzzFeed, former top Republican strategist Sally Bradshaw said that "Trump is anti-woman, anti-Hispanic, anti-black, anti-anything that would bring the country together. The only thing he is for is himself. Those in Republican leadership who have enabled his behavior by standing silent or making excuses for him deserve the reckoning that will eventually come for the GOP. It makes me terrifically sad to be honest-- sad for the party of ideas that I supported for over 30 years-- even more sad for the country and the fact that we can no longer have a credible and important debate about issues that will lead to problem solving. I am a conservative. But I can’t and won’t be a Republican as long as Donald Trump is the leader of the Republican Party."

Trump rubber stamp Devin Nunes has been losing a great deal of support in his Central valley district-- Fresno, Clovis, Visalia, Tulare-- and 53% non-white-- because of his on-goiing efforts to sabotage a congressional investigation of Putin-Gate. But his refusal to stand up for the DREAMers. May turn out to be far more consequential for his ability to be reelected. A progressive Democrat running for the seat, Ricardo Franco, told us that "Nunes has been silent thus far on the issue. This is yet another example of how out-of-touch he is with his constituents and even his own immigrant history. My great-grandparents settled in this area over 100 years ago. My own parents were born in poverty, but made something of themselves. I grew up solidly middle-class, but I never forgot where I came from nor whom I came from. Mr Nunes, apparently, has. I fully support DACA, but what we need is comprehensive immigration reform. The economic numbers are clear: immigrants, documented and undocumented are a net-positive effect for our country, period. Our laws must be reformed to account for this while still keeping our borders safe. Ending DACA would signal a step in the opposite direction towards xenophobia. Trump and I went to the same school, the University of Pennsylvania, which was founded by Benjamin Franklin. The university motto is, "Leges sine moribus vanae," which means "laws without morals are useless." The president (and Nunes) would do well to remember this and work towards reforming our immigration laws to reflect our morals and values of welcoming hard-working human beings to this country. As a member of Congress I would not only support such reforms, but actively lead the effort to gain more support for bipartisan legislation to reform our immigration system as a representative who is responsible to his community. Nunes, on the other hand, will continue to ignore working-class people from the Central Valley."

A bit south, Katie Hill, is running for the Antelope Valley, Santa Clarita, Simi Valley seat held by Steve Knight, who has a virulently racist and homophobic voting record going back to his days in the state legislature. Now that Democratic registration had surpassed Republican registration in his district, he's being a little more careful about stating his ugly racist agenda publicly. This is what he posted on his Facebook page:
Many of the children impacted by the DACA program were brought to the United States and have known no other country. Their status deserves a thorough and thoughtful review. While the program may be ending, it should still receive attention by Congress. I encourage my colleagues to take the opportunity to now review this policy closely to see the impact this decision will have on the affected children.
Confused by what the hell that non-statement even means? So is Katie Hill. She told us that it "acknowledges the fact that those affected by DACA have never known another home besides the United States. Since he can agree on that basic fact, and since our district is more than 30 percent Latino, it seems like it should be easy for him to take a leadership role and call for real, permanent protections for Dreamers. Instead, he passively calls for 'a thorough and thoughtful review' and says the program should 'receive attention from Congress.' What on earth does that mean?"
The fundamental disconnect between Representative Knight and myself on DACA is that for me, there is no 'review' needed to determine that it's wrong to deport people who have no memory of any country other than the US, and who are Americans in all but name. This is a basic, clear, moral issue and Representative Knight either does not agree or does not care. He votes to support the radical agenda of Donald Trump almost 100 percent of the time. I sincerely hope that he will break this pattern by doing the right thing and not only voting for but leading the way with legislation that will protect those whose lives will be thrown into turmoil with the repeal of DACA.
Harley Rouda is one of the Democrats taking on Dana Rohrabacher, who doesn't like any immigrants exception Russian ones. Rouda sent me the statement he posted on his Facebook page:
Heartless, vindictive, hateful, and cruel. Trump and Rohrabacher are like two peas in a pod. Both have an inhumane view of what makes America so great-- our diversity which stems from the fact that immigrants around the world come here in search of a better life. Today's DACA decision is abhorrent and goes against everything that we stand for in this great country. Many of these Dreamers have been here since they were small children. This is their country, these are their schools, they pledge allegiance to the American Flag, they are Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and serve in the Armed Services.They are every bit American as you and I.
Kia Hamadanchy is running for the CA-45 Orange County district that Trump-Ryan rubber stamp Mimi Walters doesn't live in but claims to represent. Walters is trying to skate by without taking any form stand on DACA. Kia told us that "DACA protects thousands of individuals who may not have been born here but who are as American as it comes and whose undocumented status is through no fault of their own. I condemn Trump's efforts to end the current DACA protections and I hope Rep Mimi Walters will stand up to him. Unfortunately, I know she won't and her silence helps hurts countless number of people in this country. I am committed to fighting for the rights of DREAMers and all other undocumented immigrants under attack by the Trump Administration."

Ed Royce used to be an outspoken xenophobe who publicly catered to racists. Now that CA-39 is no longer an all-white bastion, he seems to have toned it down. We asked his progressive opponent, Sam Jammal, if people in CA-39, can make heads or tails about Royce's stand.
We have two Ed Royce's here in the 39th. There is "Reasonable Royce" who says nice things and seems approachable the 10-12 times a year he is in the district. He showed up a few days ago and denounced the Trump pardon of Arpaio. And then there is "Extreme Ed." This is the guy who voted against DACA in the past, is a consistent "no" vote on comprehensive immigration reform and has time to give hates speeches and photo ops with white supremacists.

Recently, Ed is all about trying to sound reasonable. He still denies climate change, but joined a "Climate Solutions Caucus" aimed at saying nice things while doing nothing. He still doesn't support comprehensive immigration reform, but we can expect him to try to moderate his rhetoric and hope no one back home pays attention to what he does in DC. As someone who has fought for immigration reform for over a decade, it's always nice to see someone change their mind on the issue, but this wreaks of political expedience. We'll see where Ed stands if DACA receives a vote or if Ed will speak up for a vote and risk upsetting his base.

DACA is common sense for our economy here in California. There are 188,000 works with DACA in our state. Our state's economy would lose $11.3 billion annually if DACA is eliminated. But beyond making economic sense, DACA is the right thing to do. You can't leave young people-- who are here through no fault of their own-- in limbo because Washington remains broken when it comes to solving big issues like immigration reform. It shows a complete inability to govern, but beyond that, it doesn't reflect the values we have as a nation. America is a welcoming country. We don't slam our doors on the next generation.
Goal ThermometerBut it's not just California where Trump's DACA announcement is roiling the political climate. We asked some of the Texas candidates as well. Jason Westin is still helping at the hospital he works at in Houston, post-Hurricane Harvey but he told us that his opponent, "John Culberson signed a letter in 2014 demanding that President Obama suspend efforts to 'weaken enforcement of our immigration laws,' like DACA. As per his usual practice, Culberson has refused to release a public comment on how he would deal with the 800,000 DREAMers. When I replace Culberson in Congress, I will defend DACA and stand up for the DREAMers who have never known any home other than the US. Our nation is better because they are here and sending them home accomplishes nothing other than filling empty and mean campaign promises."

Southwest of Westin's Houston district, Derrick Crowe is running for the Austin-San Antonio corridor seat occupied by old style racist Lamar Smith. Derrick told us that "Smith has consistently been the face of the ugliest anti-immigrant strain of Republican politics. He has openly attacked DACA for years. But the Anne Frank Center has it right: the Trump/Smith attack on DACA is child abuse. These children are Americans. Many of them have no memory and no roots in any other home. Well, if they want to deport the DACA recipients in our communities, they are going to have to arrest me first, because I will stand between Trump and these kids-- who are right where they belong."

All of the Blue America candidates are standing in solidarity with what Pramila Jayapal has been saying on TV over the long weekend, namely that "DREAMers are doctors and lawyers. They're paramedics rescuing people from the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. They're our coworkers and our friends, our neighbors and our fellow Americans. DREAMers are just as American as you or me. They make us proud with their resilience, their passion and their work to build bright futures-- that's really what makes America great." She went on:
We worked hard to get the DACA program enacted some years ago when Congress refused to pass a legislative fix. As part of that program, we told these amazing young people that they should come forward and apply, giving us all their information, and that we would protect them if they qualified. They did just that-- and today, Trump is threatening not only to end the DACA program but to use the information they shared to go after DREAMers and deport them.

That's just wrong. It's un-American. It's cruel and outrageous.

I can't begin to understand the pain that DREAMers are feeling. But as an immigrant myself, who came to the United States from India when I was 16 years old, I know that we immigrants know a lot about resilience, and about giving back to the country we are now in. I was able to create my own American dream because others helped me along the way. That's exactly what hundreds of thousands of DREAMers have done.

As an immigrant, activist and now a member of Congress, I stand proudly in solidarity and resistance alongside DREAMers. Join me. We must resist with everything we have.

I urge Donald Trump to stop threatening DACA and work with Congress to pass legislation that allows DREAMers to stay, and to get to work on real comprehensive, bipartisan immigration reform.

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At 6:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

quit 'urging' that fucker to not do something racist, misogynist or stupid. he's going to do them faster the more you urge him not to.

this is our America. voters got exactly what they wanted.


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