Archive for the ‘Immigration’ Category

Trump Nominates Folks From the Swamp

Monday, February 6th, 2017

15350456_1053079861470881_3683700321946841556_n - CopyPresident-elect Donald Trump does not have the traditional nominees of Washington insiders and donors to build out his Cabinet, but his transition team has spent the past several months quietly building a short list of millionaires and billionaires who could comprise one of the more eclectic controversial presidential Cabinets in history.

Here’s is President-elect Trump’s White House nominees to date:

Trump Chief Strategist

Bannon, 63, is perhaps Trump’s most controversial but unsurprising pick considering his counsel during the campaign. Bannon is a racists who took over the ultraconservative news site Breitbart. He’s a contentious pick for both Republicans and Democrats because of his anti-Semitic history and propagation of white supremacist beliefs. In the Summer of 2016, Bannon boasted to Mother Jones that he had transformed Breitbart into “a platform for the alt-right.” Bannon was also charged with domestic violence after reportedly attacking his now-ex-wife in 1996. He also takes pride in attracting the Christian Right to the alt-right movement.

Secretary of State

Bio: Rex W Tillerson is the Chairman and CEO of US oil and gas corporation ExxonMobil, having taken the company over in 2006. Tillerson, a native of Texas, has been with the company since 1975. The 64-year-old veteran oil executive has no government or diplomatic experience but he does have close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Despite his lack of official government experience, Mr. Tillerson does have experience dealing with foreign governments, as Exxon Mobil operates in dozens of countries.

Attorney General

Bio: Jefferson B “Jeff” Sessions III currently serves as U.S. Senator from Alabama. Prior to his career in the U.S. Senate, Sessions was the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, having been appointed by then-President Ronald Reagen. Sessions was elected Attorney General of Alabama in 1994 before being elected to the United States Senate in 1996. Thirty years ago a Republican Senate rejected his nomination as a federal judge because of allegations of racists history.

Secretary of Defense

Bio: General James Mattis is a 44-year veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Mattis brings with him a wealth of experience having served as commander of United States Central Command from August of 2010 to March of 2013, replacing General David Petraeus.

Mattis is beloved by the men who served under him, and earned the nickname “Warrior Monk” for a ferocious yet intellectual approach to leadership.

Secretary of Homeland Security

Bio: General Kelly is a distinguished military commander who is a widely respected by both his troops and Washington insiders.

With decades of experience leading U.S. Armed Forces, Kelly is a veteran of both Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The retired general served as commander of United States Southern Command from November of 2012 until January of 2016.

Secretary of Treasury

Bio: Steven “Steve” Mnuchin is a successful banker. Prior to being tapped to lead the U.S. Treasury, Mnuchin was chief executive of Dune Capital Management, a privately owned hedge fund, and was a partner at Goldman-Sachs for 17-years. The 52-year-old former Goldman Sachs trader has spent most of his career on Wall Street. He supported Trump because he strongly supports gutting regulations on Wall Street.

Mnuchin served as the Trump campaign finance chairman.

Secretary of Labor

Bio: Andy Puzder is the chief executive of CKE Restaurants, which include the Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s chains.

Prior to his career as CEO, Puzder was a commercial trial lawyer in St. Louis. From 1978 through 1983, he was an associate at the law offices of St. Louis attorney Morris Shenker who he represented in various matters. In 1984 he moved to The Stolar Partnership in St. Louis and worked with Charles A Seigel, another St. Louis area trial attorney. Puzder has served as president and CEO of CKE since September 2000.

Hired an illegal immigrant in his home. Accused of spousal abuse. Does not support a working minimum wage.

Secretary of Commerce

Bio: Wilbur Ross is a successful American investor and business man. Ross is known as a “turnaround artist” who has acquired failing businesses and made them profitable. Known for buying ailing companies in manufacturing and coal to turn around (often through layoffs), Ross is the one of the country’s richest executives. He has been a Trump ally for decades.

Although a registered Democrat, Ross an early supporter of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

Secretary of Energy

Bio: Rick Perry is the longest serving Governor in Texas history, having served as the state’s chief executive from 2000-2015.

Prior to serving as Governor, Perry was a member of the Texas House of Representatives, a capacity in which he served until 1991 when he was elected Texas agriculture commissioner. In 1999, Perry became Lt. Governor of Texas under George W. Bush, whom he succeeded when Bush was elected president.

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

Bio: Dr. Ben Carson is a retired neurosurgeon and GOP former presidential candidate.

At 33, Carson became the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital and earned fame for his groundbreaking work separating conjoined twins. In 2000, the Library of Congress selected Dr. Carson as one of its “Living Legends.” The following year, CNN and Time magazine named Dr. Carson as one of the nation’s 20 foremost physicians and scientists. He has no government or experience that would justify the position he was nominated for but he is a Trump supporter.

Secretary of Education

Bio: Betsy DeVos is the chairwoman of American Federation for Children which, according to the organization’s website seeks “to improve our nation’s K-12 education by advancing systemic and sustainable public policy that empowers parents, particularly those in low-income families, to choose the education they determine is best for their children.”

She has never held a public office or served in government. DeVos, 58, earned a name for herself in Michigan as an activist against public schooling. Critics contend that Trump picked DeVos because her family members, billionaire heirs to the scandalized Amway corporation, are long-time donors (200 million) to the Republican party. DeVos has also championed a push for voucher programs that funnel tax dollars away from public school into private schools or schools with religious foundations.

Secretary of Health and Human Services

Bio:Congressman Tom Price has represented Georgia’s 6th congressional district since 2005.

Before serving in the House of Representatives, Price was an orthopedic surgeon. Price has been instrumental in crafting legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), and implementing such legislation would likely be amongst his first tasks as Secretary of Health and Human Services. He was chosen solely to dismantle ObamaCare.

Secretary of Transportation
Bio: Before being chosen to serve as Donald Trump’s Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao served as Secretary of Labor under President George W. Bush from 2001 through 2009, the first Asian-American woman to serve in a Cabinet position.

Chao has been married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell since 1993.

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La comunidad latina

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

o-DREAMER-FILM-facebookEl Partido Demócrata del Condado de Unicoi le invita a involucrarse políticamente en nuestra comunidad. La comunidad latina es una parte vibrante de nuestro condado de Unicoi, y nos gustaría saber de usted y hablar de los temas más importantes a nosotros. Reunámonos para hablar de la educación, la inmigración, la economía, y los servicios médicos en nuestra comunidad. También le suplicamos que se registre y vote. Venga a la próxima reunión en el Ayuntamiento de Erwin.

Para más información, póngase en contacto con Mike K. Hampton a 743-7696. También puede encontrarnos en Facebook en https://www.facebook.com/UnicoiCountyDemocraticParty

o visite nuestro sitio Web en http://unicoi.tndcca.org/ “.

The Rise of Fascism in the GOP

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

art-gop-fascism-posterIt is a sad day when many Americans are unaware of a growing trend that currently drives the Republican Party to an extreme fascist realm. Fascism is when corporations own, operate, and control all facets of a nation’s government without any input from the people. Fascist is an apt description of Republican tactics and policies and an ideology that their mislead base ardently supports and falls victim to. But now a new force is driving Republican Fascist tendencies to new scary extreme.

Last week, Conservatives and Republicans starting calling Donald Trump a fascist. Today, GOP Presidential candidate, John Kasich’s Super Pac unveiled a new commercial calling Trump a fascist. Saturday, Trump supports beat up an African American protestor and Trump said he deserved it. Today Trump called upon Americans to monitor and report fellow Americans they suspect of [terrorists] wrong behaviors. This caps off months of immigrant bashing by the Trump machine. In the midst of this growing Trump fascist wave, Republicans are racing to wage a massive campaign against Donald Trump. Yesterday, the Trump campaign warned, “if they treat us unfairly, Trump will tear up the promise not to run as an Independent.

Regardless of what any American thinks of Donald Trump, he has performed a public service to America highlighting the fascist inclination that drives the Republican Party’s policies, practices, and allegiance to the rich and corporations. Trump is unafraid to publicly practice fascist tactics and he is having success with this message to the GOP base because of the past six years of Republicans’ conditioning their base to embrace extremism.

It is no accident that the fascist zeal of today’s Republican Party and its racist, religious extremist base is precisely the same as the rampant fascism of the early and mid-20th century; and Mr. Trump has exposed the GOP as a fascist movement. Republicans have embraced voter suppression, immigrant deportation of 11 million people, targeting Muslims, and restricting women’s rights.

It’s true – Trump is not saying anything Republicans and their base do not strongly believe and support; he is saying it loudly and it explains his growing popularity among conservative and the Republican base. Trump is the superhero that conservatives believe and desperately want. He has tapped into GOP core beliefs and conservative resentment to class, race, religion, sex, and economics.

When many people think of Fascism – they think of Nazis and the Gestapo and concentration camps. That concept is not the only perspective on Fascism. In current politics a popular trend of fascism is growing and caution should be used at this resumption of an early-stage of what is a New Fascism, (Neo-Fascism,) far more subtle and with a propaganda arm that moves over our culture like a slow, dark cloud.

The purpose of Neo-Fascist is long-term control and oppression of a society. Only if the People are fooled, lied to, made to think that there is some great danger lurking around every corner will they submit to total domination by a ruling authority.

Our society must come to terms with the real idea and definition of totalitarianism – we falsely believe that totalitarian rule cannot happen to use because we have free and open selection, but we fail to address the threat of voter suppression resulting in rigged elections that are not the will of the People.
We the people

GOP Trumped!

Friday, July 17th, 2015

Donald Trump is taking heat from Republicans officials for his comments—but the controversy has only made him more defiant and pushed him to the top of national field among Republican primary voters, according to new polls released this week. Trump is surging in the polls and this has a lot of Republicans worried.

Trump comes in as the first choice of likely GOP primary voters in the latest national poll, conducted by USA Today and Suffolk University.

Donald Trump – 17%
Jeb Bush 3.0 – 14%
Scott Walker – 8%
Ted Cruz – 6%
Marco Rubio – 5%
Ben Carson – 4%
Rand Paul – 4%
Mike Huckabee – 4%
Chris Christie – 3%

The rest of the large GOP candidate field received less than 2 percent support each.

Trump also leads two other polls including the Fox News poll.

In all scenarios national Democrats can rejoice as a Trump-Clinton general election, with Hillary Clinton coming out far ahead. In a theoretical matchup, the GOP business tycoon trails Clinton by 17 points, 51 percent to 34 percent. She also leads all GOP presidential candidates by large margins.

While GOP party leaders are concerned about the consequences of the large size of the field of contenders and the surging popularity/power of Donald Trump – Republican voters are happy with Donald Trump and the large field of candidates.

The party insiders remember the long 2012 fight and the rotating flavor of the month as a host of all presidential hopefuls held the number 1 seat for at least a month during the battle for the GOP #1 position.

Then there is the matter of the number 1 GOP problem: Donald Trump. His remarks are toxic among Mexican-Americans, highly damaging and inflammatory among other Latinos, and unpopular among other minorities and white moderates. Overt racism or racial intolerance toward members of a group tend to inflame all minority groups; resulting with a profound negative impact.

Is there any good news for Republicans? Many Republican’s pray that Trump’s numbers will collapse and the novelty will wear off, and GOP voters, who hate Hillary Clinton, will come to their senses and vote for a more electable candidate. But, it is the mean spirited words of Trump that has fueled his growing popularity among Republicans. He is saying what they believe and that is scary.

Even more alarming is that Trump is receiving all the attention and sucking all the air out of the GOP room. It does not advance the GOP cause with the general election more than 15 months away. Many in the GOP field may be wiped out before they even get a chance to be heard if Trump does well in early primaries. There is also the hellish GOP possibility that Trump will run as an independent candidate and become the ultimate spoiler. His celebrity status is the asset that has become like oxygen for him while removing oxygen for the remaining GOP field. As Trump gains support and climbs in the polls, other candidates are not being heard and face defeat before the race even begins.

Even if the Trump nonsense ends, how will the Republican nomination race sort out? What damage will Trump reap on the GOP before his nonsense ends? The GOP civil war continues: 60% are conventional mainstream Republicans, while the other 40 percent are of a somewhat more wing-nut fringe. The wing-nut fringe group consists of three subgroups: tea-party activists, secular, and anti-establishment and these groups fuel the Trump bubble and will have an even stronger impact on the selection of the GOP presidential candidate.

DREAMers:

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

There are an estimated 11 million dreamers in the United States. After a lifetime of fearing deportation, being banned from working legally and fighting to stay in the country they grew up in, thousands and thousands of young, undocumented immigrants continue to fight for a national Dream Act.
The DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) is an American legislative proposal first introduced in the Senate on August 1, 2001, S. 1291 by Dick Durbin and Orrin Hatch.

[This bill would provide conditional permanent residency to certain immigrants of good moral character who graduate from U.S. high schools, arrived in the United States as minors, and lived in the country continuously for at least five years prior to the bill’s enactment. If they were to complete two years in the military or two years at a four-year institution of higher learning, they would obtain temporary residency for a six-year period. Within the six-year period, they may qualify for permanent residency if they have “acquired a degree from an institution of higher education in the United States or [have] completed at least 2 years, in good standing, in a program for a bachelor’s degree or higher degree in the United States” or have “served in the armed services for at least 2 years and, if discharged, [have] received an honorable discharge”. Military enlistment contracts require an eight-year commitment, with active duty commitments typically between four and six years, but as low as two years. However, the military does not allow undocumented immigrants to enlist, and those that have enlisted have done so under a false identity, or used fraudulent documents. “Any alien whose permanent resident status is terminated… shall return to the immigration status the alien had immediately prior to receiving conditional permanent resident status under this Act.” This bill would have included undocumented aliens as old as 35 years of age. As of November 2013, 15 states have their own versions of the DREAM Act, which deal with tuition prices and financial aid for state universities. These states are Texas, California, Illinois, Utah, Nebraska, Kansas, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, Washington, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, and Oregon. The Maryland DREAM Act was approved by state-wide ballot, winning 59% of the vote on November 6, 2012.]

Supporters argue that the Dream Act would not create an “amnesty program” and would produce a variety of social and economic benefits, while critics contend that it would reward illegal immigration and encourage more of it, inviting fraud and shielding gang members from deportation.

The war has waged on for years over Dreamers and immigration Reform. On June 15, 2012, President Obama signed a memo calling for deferred action for certain undocumented young people who came to the U.S. as children and have pursued education or military service here. Applications under the program which is called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) begin on August 15, 2012. Two years ago the Obama Administration gave permits to thousands of young illegal immigrants.

o-DREAMER-FILM-facebookImmigrants who were younger than 31 and were brought to the U.S. before their 16th birthdays were eligible for the permits, which will allow them to stay and work here legally for two years. Although 1.76 million people were eligible for the permits — There was an estimated total of 11 million dreamers.

To receive the deferred action permit, immigrants had to either be currently enrolled in school or have a high school diploma or GED. Honorably discharged veterans were also eligible to apply for the permits. Felons and people with more than three misdemeanors were not eligible for a permit.
Since the permits were granted in 2012, the fight for Immigration Reform, the Dream Act and other variations of immigration have waged on. The Majority of Americans, even a majority of Republicans support Immigration Reform.

But obstructionists [the Republican “Teabagger” controlled congress] led by house speaker John Boehner have refused to bring Immigration Reform to a vote, even though it would easily pass with a majority of congress. Boehner refuses to bring the bill to a vote because a majority of his wing-nut majority will not support the reform — under any condition — and he wants to remain speaker of the house.

The influx of immigrant children from South America briefly heated up the debate over immigration reform. The initial outcry erupted by anti-immigrant forces but recently pro-immigrant forces have took a stand — with counter protests –on behalf of the children caught in the middle of the immigration battle.

It appears obvious that the Republican logic is Morally Bankrupt and Politically Senseless: Use the humanitarian crisis as an excuse to target young undocumented residents, and use them as political scapegoats to rile up conservatives — while fixing absolutely nothing.

Wing-nut Options: Lawsuit vs Impeachment

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Speaker John Boehner continues to suggest that the House should sue President Obama for delaying implementation of the employer mandate — a provision that of the Affordable Care Act that Republicans in the House don’t want to implement anyway but when it comes to the wing-nut controlled congress… logic is not part of the equation.

It is interesting to note that the House actually passed a bill (that died in the Senate) to stop the implementation of the provision. If President Obama enforces the mandate, the House will pass another bill to stop its implementation.

None of these facts are deterring the lawsuit’s supporters who are more interested in making a broad statement — rein in presidential power — than they are about the employer mandate.

President Obama did not start the trend toward a dominant American presidency but –in the face of a do nothing congress– he certainly has accelerated that trend.

Some believe that the executive branch has assumed so much power, a lawsuit is necessary to re-establish the balance of power between the three branches of government.

During a recent speech in Washington, President Obama mocked Republican leaders who say they’ll go to court if the president acts alone on immigration. It appears the President is sick of the congressional games and the refusal of congress to do something to help solve problems.

There are currently no better lawsuit targets. Obama also arguably exceeded his authority when he established a process for those brought to this country illegally as children to obtain renewable work permits. But the GOP has enough trouble with the Latino vote without suing to put an end to this program.

Many Republicans believe that Obama is exceeding his authority with his climate change regulatory actions. But so far, the courts are generally upholding them. So, while this might be a less politically dicey lawsuit, it has less chance of succeeding. And there are already plenty of private parties mounting such legal challenges.

[Impeachment] While Boehner calls for a lawsuit – Sarah Palin calls for President Barack Obama’s impeachment. She slammed House Speaker John Boehner’s plan to sue the president and is demanding tougher action against the “imperial president.”

She railed, “You don’t bring a lawsuit to a gunfight, and there’s no room for lawyers on our front lines.”

Palin is demanding Obama’s removal from office for what she says are 25 impeachable offenses that include actions taken on Obamacare and immigration.

She called for a great awakening in this country by wing-nuts and proclaimed the message will be sent to the imperial president and his lawlessness will not be accepted by the American people.

Palin, the former Alaska governor and GOP vice presidential nominee, accused Obama of deliberately leaving the border open and allowing undocumented immigrants to come in at will, ignoring American laws, and driving the country deeper into debt.

She also noted that Americans are frustrated that Congress because it is not exercising its constitutional power to impeach. “Washington is broken,” Palin squawked. “If people care about the future of this country and defense of our republic, they will join this cause of articles of impeachment against Obama because enough is enough.”

When asked whether he agreed with Palin that Obama should face impeachment, House Speaker John Boehner told reporters on the Hill “I disagree.” Some believe his lawsuit is simply a ploy to derail Sarah suicidal path for the GOP. Boehner obviously remembers the damage that rained down on the GOP over the unfounded impeachment of Bill Clinton. While, on the other hand, [wing-nut] Palin has lost all rationale and longs to be in the public eye and at any cost.

Immigration Reform: ls doing nothing an option?

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

Conservative Republicans think the [Republican do nothing response] immigration issue has turned to their benefit, removing reasons for any action this year.

A vocal minority of Republicans accuse the Obama administration of creating a crisis with the recent surge of children who have come across the southwestern border from Central America. It’s the latest [excuse] rationale of a determined bloc of House Republicans for killing a Senate-passed immigration overhaul bill which provided a pathway to citizenship for most undocumented immigrants.

The longer-term situation [if unchanged] will only get worse. The ramifications and uncertainty over a broken immigration system will damage American businesses and take a negative toll on the economy. Politically, this will strengthen the Democrats’ hold on the fast-growing Hispanic and Asian-American populations which will soon make up the majority of the US population.

Opponents are Republicans. There are about 250 votes in the House to pass the Senate bill now, but most of those are Democrats, and Speaker Boehner won’t consider a measure opposed by the majority of his [wing-nut] caucus.

For much of the year, Republicans have attempted to escape blame for failure to act on the measure with false claims that it would be impossible because of the Obama administration’s lax border policies. In reality, in fact, the budget for border security has increased more than 50 percent over the past five years, under President Obama and there are almost 4,000 more agents.

These critics rushed to use the recent surge of unaccompanied children, mainly from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala as lame excused to not act on immigration. Republicans attributed the influx to President Obama’s decision two years ago to provide work permits to the so-called Dreamers: immigrants who had come as children with their families before 2012 and had been living in the United States for at least five years, were enrolled in school and hadn’t had any criminal violations.

In reality, the surge is the response to growing violence is South America and weakening economies in those countries. Many smugglers falsely tell these children they can get work permits in the United States, but it’s the poor conditions in their countries of origin that provide the incentive for these kids to make the journey and not the two-year-old administrative action.

The main objective of anti-immigration forces is to keep President Obama from taking other executive actions to ease prosecutorial discretion in immigration cases and modestly expanding the Dreamers program.

Right-wing Republicans fail to heed to the warnings of John McCain and the United States Chamber of Commerce that the party will forfeit the 2016 presidential race if it continues to stop immigration reform.

This is what it looks like when an immigration system is broken: Tens of thousands of women and children from Central America flooding the US border.

In Phoenix, a steady stream of buses, each filled to capacity with women and children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. They crossed the border in Texas, but immigration officials sent them to Phoenix because the Texas facilities were overcrowded.

Since Memorial Day weekend, near 1,000 women and children have been flown to Tucson from Texas, then driven by bus to Phoenix and dumped weary and hungry. When they arrive in the US, they are handed a bottle of water, an apple and bag of chips.

These scenes are not only enraging local groups but also causing alarm among Border Patrol officials, who worry that American policy toward these migrants is a direct cause of their increased numbers. White House officials have said that criminal violence and ailing economies in Central America, not American border security, are the primary factors driving the wave.

The unanticipated surge in migrants in recent weeks has created a political, practical and humanitarian crisis for the United States. Conservative critics argue that the administration’s soft enforcement of immigration law has sent encouraging signals to those who come to the US. But the facts do not support that claim with Obama deporting over 2 million immigrants during his administration, the most of any president ever.

Homeland Security officials are scrambling to find new detention facilities and to break up bottlenecks that have slowed deportations. Among border officials, concern is mounting that migrants, including unaccompanied minors, who have been released are spreading the word back to Central America and encouraging more to come.

But his aborted journey helps explain why there has been a rush of migration of unaccompanied minors so severe that the United Nations declared it a humanitarian crisis akin to refugees’ fleeing war.

Since early fall last year, a record (approaching 50,000) unaccompanied children have been detected and detained at the southwest United States border, most traveling from Central America, part of a larger wave that includes some youngsters accompanied by their parents and some traveling alone.

The Obama administration says the primary cause of the influx of children is rising crime and ailing economies in Central America, not policy changes in the United States.

The Obama administration has moved aggressively to deport adults but it has in fact expelled far fewer children than in the past. Largely because of a 2008 federal law aimed at protecting trafficked children, the administration in 2013 deported one-fifth the number of Central American children as were expelled in 2008, according to federal government statistics.

The problem is that the immigration system is broken and if it is not fixed… It’s going to continue to implode.