Category Archives: immigration

Stop Attacking Refugees

[UPDATE] : 2

German security believes the passport found at the scene of one of the Paris attacks was a plant to turn Westerners away from refugees:

PARIS (AP) — Germany’s top security official says a Syrian passport found with one of the Paris attackers may have been false flag intended to make Europeans fearful of refugees.

Germany’s interior minister, Thomas de Maiziere, told reporters in Berlin that it was “unusual that such a person was faithfully registered in Greece, Serbia and Croatia, even though we’re usually pressing for registration to take place and lament that it isn’t always done properly.”

He said the multiple registrations by a person using the passport were “evidence that this was a trail that was intentionally laid, but it can’t be ruled out at the moment that this was an IS terrorist who came to France…via Germany as a refugee.”

I suspected this all along. Too weird that a passport would be found at the scene, too neat and convenient.

[UPDATE]:

Republicans, useful idiots all, are playing into the hands of ISIS DAESH:

 

Building new barriers to keep them out with the absurd argument that Muslims are inherently dangerous could provide propaganda benefits to the Islamic State. The group, also known as ISIS, has drawn recruits around the globe by offering a cause and a home to Muslims who feel marginalized and scorned.

I just thought that stated the argument really well.  Meanwhile, did you hear about the crazy lady in Michigan who said we should fuck up Dearborn to teach ISIS a lesson? She’s really sorry, you guys.

I’m sure she’s not representative of white Christian ladies or any other group. Right?

———————————————-

Who were the Paris attackers?

While Republicans argue about nonsenscial semantics, authorities are starting to identify those who planned and orchestrated the attacks. And, welp, looks like it was mostly French and Belgian citizens. One of the attackers was born right there in Paris.

So naturally Republican governors have vowed to reject Syrian refugees. Yes that makes about as much sense as invading Iraq after America was attacked by Al Qaeda.

Slow clap, Republicans. Always wrong. Never change!

President Obama, as always, remains the voice of reason:

He said people must “remember that many of these refugees are the victims of terrorism themselves.”

“That’s what they’re fleeing,” he continued during a press conference in Turkey.

“Slamming the door in their faces would be a betrayal of our values. Our nations can welcome refugees who are desperately seeking safety and ensure our own security. We can and must do both.”

Saying no to refugees is exactly what ISIS wants. Reject the refugees so they can be exterminated at home! But hey, it’s not like Republicans care about human life or anything.

I must say, there’s an eerie familiarity to all of this “close the borders” handwringing and fearmongering. It reminds me a lot of last year’s ebola crisis (remember that?) Back then, Republicans attacked Obama for not instituting a travel ban, Boehner was going to bring the House back into session to address the Ebola crisis, and even Marco Rubio jumped into the game, in an effort to look like a problem-solver and “presidential”:

Mr. McConnell, said a spokesman, Don Stewart, was “using shorthand” last week when he said, “It would be a good idea to discontinue flights into the United States from that part of the world.” He, too, supports a temporary suspension of visas, a position put into legislative language on Monday by Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, who vowed to press visa-suspension legislation when Congress returned in November.

Snort. Got that, everyone? Mitch McConnell “was using shorthand” by saying he wanted to “discontinue flights into the United States from that part of the world,” instead of the much longer and more cumbersome, “suspend visas.”

/sarcasm

Because these idiots didn’t know before they opened their fat yaps that there are no direct flights to the United States “from the part of the world.” So there are no flights to suspend.

That was then, this is now. But while the cast of characters has changed, the play remains the same:

In reality, Republicans are not planning a legislative response, at least for now, Republican leadership aides said Monday. They merely want their voices heard.

God, they never fucking shut up! They have their own news network and they still never shut up, but “they want their voices heard.” No, they don’t! They want to spread fear and grandstand and point fingers at “the other.” Ebola, terrorism, refugees, it doesn’t matter. They want to close our borders by hook or by crook.

These Republican governors can’t refuse Syrian refugees. They have no authority to do so. You can’t say, “bring me the blond-haired, blue-eyed refugees from Sweden not the swarthy bearded guys from Syria.” That’s not how it works, and they are powerless so they’re gonna resort to type and just tamp their feet and say scary things.

They never change. They’re always wrong. They’re still wrong.

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Filed under Current Events, immigration

I’m Not Sure A Wall Would Work Here

Funny to hear Scott Walker talking about building a wall on the Canadian border when I’m up here traveling through a place where it seems nearly impossible to build a wall. That’s British Columbia in the background, folks. Good luck walling this mother off:

kayaks

And just to show you how glorious it is up here:

Lighthouse

A couple of years ago we traveled through the Canadian Rockies, which also seems nearly impossible to wall off. Republicans are so fucking stupid.

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Filed under 2016 Presidential Election, immigration, travel

Sickos & Sociopaths For Trump

Brilliant ideas from the Donald Trump For President crowd:

Still, others said they had plenty of advice for the man they regularly identified in conversation as “Mr. Trump.”

“Hopefully, he’s going to sit there and say, ‘When I become elected president, what we’re going to do is we’re going to make the border a vacation spot, it’s going to cost you $25 for a permit, and then you get $50 for every confirmed kill,’ ” said Jim Sherota, 53, who works for a landscaping company. “That’d be one nice thing.”

Jesus fucking Christ what is wrong with these people? Also, New York Times? You buried the goddamn lede.

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Filed under 2016 Presidential Election, immigration

Dumbass Overzealous Wingnut Militia FAIL

A group of ATV-riding, camo-wearing, gun-brandishing DIY law and order types from Colorado decided they’d travel to the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona and, by God, do the job that our useless gummint has refused to do! And boy did they think they hit the jackpot when they thought they’d found smugglers or illegal immigrants in the Arizona desert one night, too!

Sadly for them they’d uncovered a group of wildlife biologists conducting a bat population survey. Hilarity did not ensue:

Estrada says one of the militiamen apologized to the group of conservationists, who apparently did not want to hear it.

“Of course, they weren’t very receptive about the apology. They actually told them that’s something you should not be doing. There’s danger out there. There’s other groups of people in campsites,” Estrada says.

Sheriff Estrada says Santa Cruz County does not welcome border militia groups.

“These people that are completely out of their environment. They really don’t know the area. They don’t know the terrain. They have little knowledge of the dynamics of the border. So it can be a real problem,” Estrada says. “We really don’t want them here.”

Dumbasses. I just love these idiot wingnuts who live in their information-bubble fantasyland, where they’re just so convinced that they’re the only ones who can save America from whatever issue is dominating the far reaches of the AM dial that month. And then they sail in like Captain fucking America and find out that a) the problem isn’t nearly as bad as the mouth-breathers have said it is and 2) they’re actually not helping things.

This all goes back to the psychological problem at the root of the conservative extreme: the idea that they’ve lost cultural relevance. Poor dears, trying so hard to be important somehow, to have an impact. Making fools of themselves every step of the way.

Take a pill, get some therapy and for God’s sake, stop listening to nativist right-wing hate radio.

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Filed under immigration

A Losing Message

Here’s a picture of a campaign sign in front of a polling place near my house:

We Said No To Saying No

We Said No To Saying No

This is an anti-immigrant, bigoted message. And it is the message that lost, big-time, state-wide on Thursday. It’s the same message that was rejected by Tennesseans four years ago when they said no to Ron Ramsey for governor. This is the same message that lost, big-time, in Nashville five years ago when Eric Crafton’s English Only effort went down in flames. It’s a message that begins with racist whackjob John Tanton and filters down into his various front groups like NumbersUSA and the Center For Immigration Studies and FAIR.

I wonder when far-right Republicans will give up on this message? Probably never. Because the constant drumbeat of immigrant-bashing on Fox News and Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity has given the far-right fringe the mistaken idea that this idea works. They think, “People agree with this message. This is the message I need to repeat. This needs to be my position.”

What they forget is that the Rush Limbaugh Show, Sean Hannity and Fox News are trying to win a ratings game, not an election. It is in their interests to be outrageous, inflammatory, even controversial. What we learned this week, what we learn every election, is that politicians playing to the Rush/Fox crowd by aping their messaging are going to lose. Even in Tennessee.

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Filed under immigration, Republican Party, Tea Party, Tennessee

Clueless Bill Haslam Demands Answers About Routine Event In Tennessee

Apparently Gov. Haslam has no clue what is going on in the state of Tennessee.

In a pathetic attempt to appear tough on the Muslim-Usurper-Blackety-Black-Man-In-The-White-House and exploit a national news story, Gov. Haslam has sent what local media are calling an “angry” letter to President Obama demanding answers about 760 immigrant and refugee kids who were sent to families here in Tennessee.

In so doing, he has made an absolute fool out of himself:

The unaccompanied minors have been placed into Tennessee households with approved “sponsors” — typically their own families and relatives — as has been happening for years, said immigrant and refugee advocates.

“They’ve got somewhere to go,” said Eben Cathey, spokesman for the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition. “They’re not getting dropped off. They’re getting placed with their mom, dad, aunt or uncle.”

Haslam’s letter demanded to know such things as how the sponsors were selected, what criteria were used to determine sponsors’ suitability, etc. The Haslam administration is “still waiting” for answers, too. Which I find hilarious. Haslam is demanding to know answers about something which has been going on routinely in this state for over a decade! Perhaps there’s someone right here in Tennessee he can ask? The Tennessee Office of Refugees, perhaps?

It’s hard not to see this for the political maneuvering it so obviously is. I guess Bill Haslam is still harboring dreams of a presidential run some day down the road. Hilarious. No one is fooled, though:

Dan Kesselbrener, National Immigration Project executive director, said the process for minors has been the same since 2002 and has never included a mandate to inform states about placements.

“The only thing that’s new is the volume,” he said. “To me, the only way to make sense of the letter is that he cares now because it’s a bigger deal. It appears to be consistent with someone who is trying to score points against the administration.”

Bingo! Thank you for playing!

You know what else I just love, love, love? Right-wingers are always all like, “let the churches deal with x, y, z problem, let charities handle it.” Catholic Charities does, in fact, carry a tremendous amount of the load when it comes to immigrants and refugees, not just here in Tennessee but everywhere. But they have an especially strong presence here in Tennessee, providing sponsors, placements, English classes, and all sorts of other programs. Tennessee in general is blessed to have a lot of churches and charities which serve the refugee community — we’re the Volunteer State, fer crying out loud. It’s why we’re a go-to place for refugee resettlement, because of the support from the church sector. It’s why we have the largest Kurdish population in the nation. It’s why we have so many refugees from Somalia and Sudan living here. It’s why Nashville is seeing a large number of refugees from Myanmar. So we are, in fact, doing what right-wingers want: churches and charities shouldering the load, embracing refugees from war-torn parts of the world, assimilating immigrants into America, rah rah.

And Bill Haslam wants some answers from the White House about what we’ve been doing for years? Puh-leeze.

Here’s a thought for Gov. Haslam: why don’t you just high-tail it on down to NICE, Catholic Charities, the TIRRC, Conexion Americas, or, heck, just take a little tour down Nolensville Road and talk to some shop owners to get yourself up to speed on immigrants in Nashville. Hell, you can sit in on my ESL class today. We won’t mind. Just keep your yap shut since so much stupid keeps falling out.

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Filed under Gov. Bill Haslam, immigration, Tennessee, Tennessee politics

Today In Cheap Labor: Prison Edition

This is pretty sickening:

Using Jailed Migrants as a Pool of Cheap Labor

[…]

As the federal government cracks down on immigrants in the country illegally and forbids businesses to hire them, it is relying on tens of thousands of those immigrants each year to provide essential labor — usually for $1 a day or less — at the detention centers where they are held when caught by the authorities.

This work program is facing increasing resistance from detainees and criticism from immigrant advocates. In April, a lawsuit accused immigration authorities in Tacoma, Wash., of putting detainees in solitary confinement after they staged a work stoppage and hunger strike. In Houston, guards pressed other immigrants to cover shifts left vacant by detainees who refused to work in the kitchen, according to immigrants interviewed here.

The federal authorities say the program is voluntary, legal and a cost-saver for taxpayers. But immigrant advocates question whether it is truly voluntary or lawful, and argue that the government and the private prison companies that run many of the detention centers are bending the rules to convert a captive population into a self-contained labor force.

This hits the trifecta of immoral policies: our immigration policy, which splits up families; our privatized prison policy, which turns incarceration into a profit center; and our addiction to cheap labor, which continues to devalue the “human resource.” Funny how these three roads have met. This will not end well.

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Filed under Cheap Labor, immigration, privatization

First They Came For The Immigrants

Delaware’s governor says if Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signs her state’s law legalizing gay discrimination, the NFL should move next year’s Super Bowl elsewhere. The 2015 Super Bowl is supposed to be held in Glendale, AZ.

To this I say, yes, a thousand times yes. There need to be some big repercussions for those who legislate hate. For that matter, concert tours should bypass the state and big conventions should stay away, too.

But let me point out, I’ve been saying this since Arizona first legalized discrimination with its heinous “papers, please” law. And while a few artists decided to boycott Arizona then, not enough cared or paid attention. I said we needed to “nip this crap in the bud” four years ago, and did you people listen? No, you didn’t. And look where we are today.

We let Arizona come for the immigrants and now they’ve come for the gays. You think these people are going to stop legislating their cultural beliefs? How do you people think the Taliban got started? That’s where this is headed. First it was the immigrants and hey, they’re an easy target. Then it was the gays, under the guise of “religious freedom.” Who’s next: women? Muslims? Atheists?

Until the state of Arizona feels some actual repercussions for its actions, it will keep legislating hate.

You gonna endorse that, Miley Cyrus? Cher? Billy Joel? James Taylor?

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Filed under boycotts, GLBT, immigration, marriage

Leaving Arizona … again

Remember these guys? The family which had to escape “Christian persecution,” abortion and gays, and got lost on their way to climate change-ravaged Kiribati and had to get rescued?

Yeah, they’re leaving again. Apparently completely lacking in irony, Sean Gastonguay, patriarch of the hopeful emigrants, fearmongered about immigration reform.

Classic.

Good riddance.

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Filed under Christian Right, immigration

Heartless

Gosh, I’m so old, I remember when Republicans were selling their brand as “compassionate conservatism.” Looks like Tennessee Rep. Scott DesJarlais forgot about the “compassion” part here, though. Watch him tell this little girl “sucks to be you,” as a Tea Party crowd cheers along:

The description of the video reads:

When Tennessee Rep. Scott Desjarlais announced he would hold a town hall on immigration, Josie decided to attend to seek his support even though it was at a tea party event of more than 200. Since her father was placed in deportation proceedings, she’s been going to therapy to deal with the anxiety.

Josie rose and took the mic, and in a trembling voice, said “Mr. Desjarlais, I have papers but my daddy doesn’t, what can you do to make sure he can stay?” Rep. Desjarlais rebuked her request to a round of applause from the audience, but Josie and her family will keep on fighting to stop his deportation.

DesJarlais, of course, is the “pro-life,” “family values” Tennessee conservative who became a national laughingstock after it was revealed he had pressured his mistress to have an abortion (I wrote about it here.) That hypocrisy so thoroughly humiliated the TNGOP that DesJarlais has a serious primary contender for 2014, so of course he’s going to toe the Tea Party line. But I never thought I’d see him be so cruel to a little girl right to her face.

This is “family values”? Riiight.

Adding … this is conservatism in a nutshell. A hypocritical serial creep who thinks repeating the bumper sticker slogan is the same thing as solving an issue faced by real families.

16 Comments

Filed under immigration, Tennessee, TNGOP