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Going for Broke: After a Week of Dismal Failures, Trump Administration and Cohorts Try to Change Subject By Lashing Out At Immigrants

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The Trump Administration and its hardline anti-immigrant allies are taking their assault against immigrants to disturbing new heights. As we noted yesterday, we are in dangerous times, as a presidency under siege is lashing out against immigrants with new venom. From new details of the Administration’s immigration enforcement agenda to the renewed push to end DACA to House Republican complicity in advancing the idiotic border wall, this week’s immigration developments should not be overlooked.

According to Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director of America’s Voice Education Fund:

After a week of dismal failures, the Trump Administration is going for broke and ramping up its attacks on immigrant communities and the idea of a welcoming America to dangerous new levels. This is a President and administration under siege, intent on gaining momentum on the backs of immigrants. The congressional health care crash, the disastrous Boy Scouts speech, dismay from the Pentagon on gender policy are just a few of the bad news stories this Administration is weathering this week alone. To try to change the subject, Trump and friends are using the cloak of ‘law and order’ to propel a radical approach that seeks to dehumanize immigrants and sweep up millions of people who are already deeply embedded in American families and communities. Of course we should go after murderers who are members of MS-13. But we should not use the bogeyman of criminality to justify indiscriminate sweeps of moms and dads or sit silently and watch as the Administration goes for broke on a deportation policy agenda supported by only a radical sliver of the American public.

Among the developments:

President Trump: In Long Island speech, expect apocalyptic anti-immigrant language to justify sweeping new anti-immigrant agenda. President Trump heads to Long Island today, where we expect him to deliver another dark speech falsely linking immigrants and criminals to justify a wholesale anti-immigrant policy agenda. As The Hill reported last night, “the administration will ask for 10,000 more Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers, a ‘substantial amount’ of immigration judges, legislation to expedite removal of undocumented Central Americans, passage of the so-called Kate’s Law and a bill against sanctuary cities, and construction of Trump’s proposed border wall.” These are the ingredients of a mass deportation strategy, not the components of a targeted crackdown against a gang.  As Rodman Serrano, a member of Make the Road New York put it: “On Long Island, Trump can expect to hear our voices loud and clear: our communities demand respect and dignity. We reject his visit, and we stand united against his hateful politics.”  See this Facebook event for more on the local response.

Coordinated effort to end DACA and subject 800,000 Dreamers to deportation kicking into higher gear: In a new op-ed in USA Today, Texas AG Ken Paxton outlines his plans to end the popular and successful DACA program for Dreamers. Paxton is the leader in the coordinated assault on DACA from state AGs – an effort that has the support of embattled U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other hardliners in the Trump Administration. Unless DACA is kept on the books or a permanent legislative solution for Dreamers is signed into law, the Trump Administration will put the lives and futures of nearly 800,000 DACA recipients at risk of deportation.”

ICE Director Homan: ICE under Trump has gone from “zero to 100” and “no population is off the table.”  Yesterday, Acting ICE Director Tom Homan briefed the White House press corps on the administration’s immigration approach, underscoring that they are targeting all undocumented immigrants for removal; nonsensically blaming prosecutorial discretion policies for the recent migrant death tragedy in San Antonio; and threatening to retaliate against sanctuary cities. Homan said: “under [the] prior administration, non-criminals were not a priority. So when you go from zero to 100, of course you’re going to see that … no population is off the table … for the people that say that we concentrate too much on those that are not criminals … That message drives what happened in San Antonio … there is no safe haven here and if you’re in sanctuary cities, that’s where we send additional resources to look for you at home and place of employment.”

House sneaks $1.6 billion in border wall funding into “minibus”: Despite the efforts of Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and the stated opposition from every Member of Congress who actually represents the border region, the House yesterday advanced $1.6 billion in funding for the idiotic border wall. In order to avoid a full floor vote on the topic – a vote that likely would not muster majority support – House Republicans attached border fund funding for Trump’s idiotic border wall into the ‘minibus’ spending package. Of note, the Motion to Recommit vote was the clarifying vote, because it stripped the wall language from the rest of the minibus.

Disastrous deportation decisions have disastrous effects. Take the case of Lourdes Salazar-Bautista, a 20-year Ann Arbor, Michigan resident with no criminal record and three American children. Her case is eerily reminiscent of that of Jesus Lara Lopez, a church-going and tax-paying Willard, Ohio resident who was torn away from his wife and four children last week. Both Salazar-Bautista and Lara Lopez’s deportations wereordered by Rebecca Adducci and have sparked outcries and coverage across the nation. The community of Painesville, Ohio is also facing thedisastrous effects of Trump’s deportation force. Francisco Narcisco, while recovering from head injuries suffered in a car accident, was deported to a Mexican border town where he was kidnapped by a Mexican crime cartel and is being held for ransom, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.  Beatriz Morelos Casillas, a Painesville mother of four was pulled over and cited for driving without a license. She is scheduled to be deported Tuesday. These cases reveal the collateral damage coming from an “unshackled” ICE are both emotional and physical, and are leaving indelible marks on communities and families.