Today’s news is pretty much the same as yesterday’s news: shutdown gridlock – no end in sight.
In an opinion piece for the Chicago Tribune, Rex Huppke has an idea: “End the shutdown; give Trump his wall. We need a monument to American stupidity.”
“This is all objectively stupid. So much so that this moment in our nation’s history deserves a monument, so we may never forget.
“And that’s what Donald Trump’s border wall should be: A poorly conceived, partially built memorial to mental mediocrity…
“Democrats in Congress refuse to fund the wall because they know it’s a waste of money and because it’s a lunkheaded symbol of isolationism and hate.
“So rebrand the concept. Consider it an investment in a national monument to the perils of willful ignorance and gamble that whatever fragment of a wall actually gets built will become a profitable tourist attraction, a must-visit national park that delivers a lesson in not believing everything you’re told…
“If Democrats let Trump proceed with the wall, it will become a testament to Trumpian incompetence and grift. And that will make for enlightening reading at the nearby Trump Border Wall Museum of American Stupidity, which will also feature a gift shop selling pieces of steel slats that were never used because construction was halted after the administration was busted for using Russian-made steel…
Insist that each brick (or slat) in the wall be inscribed with one of the more than 6,000 false or misleading statements, documented by the Washington Post fact-checker, that Trump has made since taking office. …
“It’s the year 2019 and our government is shut down and hundreds of thousands of Americans are suffering because one man who conned millions is obsessed over building a giant wall.
“That’s stupid. Dangerously stupid. And it’s worthy of a monument that will serve as a reminder of this dumb era, lest Americans ever forget the cost of stupidity run amok.”
Here is our artistic rendering of Huppke’s concept:
Pew has released a new report on border wall: “A new Pew Research Center survey finds that majority of Americans (58%) continue to oppose substantially expanding the border wall, while 40% favor the proposal. Overall opinion on the wall is little changed from last year, but these views have never been more sharply divided along partisan lines: Republican support for the wall is at record high, while Democratic support has reached a new low. And both sides appear to be dug in.” Full report here. Topline here.
The Texas Tribune offers an overview of the shutdown’s effects at the border.
House Judiciary Committee Republicans release details of the “Fix the Immigration Loopholes Act,” which would end Flores protections.
Meanwhile, Rep. Jayapal (D-WA) reintroduces her budget amendment that would prevent transfer of funds from FEMA and other sub-agencies to pay for ICE detention.
More on the Shut Show:
Bloomberg Opinion: “Pelosi Knows How to Play Chicken. Trump Doesn’t.”
Politico: “Border agency officials push wall amid shutdown standoff”
USA Today: “5 reasons Trump may want a shutdown that have nothing to do with a wall”
Los Angeles Times: “Trump doesn’t seem to understand anything about illegal immigration”
Detroit Free Press: “Detroit judge orders ICE to return Iraqi immigrant mistakenly deported”
NBC News: “ICE almost deported a U.S.-born Marine veteran, says ACLU”
The Charlotte Observer: “ICE agents ‘dragged’ man out of Mecklenburg courthouse Wednesday, witnesses say”
WaPo: “Top HUD official’s departure follows disagreements over housing policy and Puerto Rico disaster funds”
Freedom for Immigrants:
Rep. Jayapal Reintroduces Federal Budget Amendment To Prevent Transfer Of Funds To ICE
Washington, D.C. — Today, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) re-introduced a federal budget amendment that would halt the growth of U.S. immigration detention by prohibiting the government from transferring funds to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for the purpose of building or expanding immigration detention facilities.
“The federal budget amendment would prevent more taxpayer dollars from being directed toward President Trump’s aggressive and unnecessary plans to expand U.S. immigration detention,” said Christina Fialho, co-founder/executive director of Freedom for Immigrants, a non-profit that provides support to detained individuals. “We urge Congressional Democrats to take action and vote for this small but powerful amendment.”
This amendment was last heard on the House floor in August 2017, and 180 Democrats voted in favor. Only 5 Democrats opposed. Since then, we have seen this administration implement a draconian policy at the border, which separated 8,000 parents and children, and in the interior of the country. We have seen the Trump administration, without any Congressional approval, transfer nearly $10 million <https://www.washingtonpost.co
In fact, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) diverted over $200 million <https://www.nbcnews.com/polit
Freedom for Immigrants worked with Rep. Jayapal to draft this amendment, which takes a cue from California’s Dignity Not Detention Act. The Dignity Not Detention Act, which went into effect January 2018, in conjunction with an amendment to California’s budget bill, AB 103, prevents California municipalities from entering into new, or modifying existing, contracts with ICE for private and public immigration detention facilities, thereby halting the growth of immigrant prisons and jails in the state.
Director of Visitation & Independent Monitoring
Freedom for Immigrants
1322 Webster Street, Suite 300
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone/Text: (510) 806-1330 / Fax: (510) 422-5198
State of the Union is … a Shut Show:
The State of the Union address does not just happen. Each year, the Constitution requires the Speaker of the House to invite the President, in writing, to the Capitol to deliver the speech. This year, current Speaker Pelosi, issued a non-invitation invitation: open the government or no speech. We know how much Trump loves the spotlight, so denying him his primetime slot might be a motivator…
Excerpt from Pelosi’s letter:
“Sadly, given the security concerns and unless government re-opens this week, I suggest we work together to determine another suitable date after government has re-opened for this address or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing to the Congress on January 29.”
Meanwhile, a bipartisan “gang” of Senators is hoping to persuade Trump to reopen the government, meeting with him at the White House this morning. But according to Politico: “A bipartisan group of senators is trying to set up a gang to end the government shutdown. But Senate leaders might as well be an anti-gang task force.”
And 22 House and Senate members from Texas join the Texas Governor in a letter asking Trump not to use Hurricane Harvey money to fund his border wall.
Barr Room Brawl:
Highlights from former-and-aspiring AG William Barr’s confirmation hearing yesterday:
Cory Booker got Barr to commit to studying racial disparities in the justice system.
Barr backs border wall, government shutdown, and crackdown on “sanctuary cities”:
WOW – Barr backs Trump on shutdown, says “I would like to see a deal reached whereby Congress recognizes that it’s imperative to have border security, & that part of that border security is a barriers.”@amyklobuchar pushes back, points out that Dems do support border security pic.twitter.com/5bd8G8tUBA— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 15, 2019
BARR backs Trump’s wall: “I feel it is a critical part of border security that we need to have barriers on the border. We need a barrier system on the border to get control… part of that is illegal immigration but a big part of it is preventing the influx of drugs.” pic.twitter.com/1vJ950hfXM— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 15, 2019
From the Daily Beast: “Attorney General Nominee William Barr on Gitmo ‘HIV Prison Camp’: We Were in a ‘Catch-22’”
More on Barr’s immigration legacy during his first go-round as AG.
Here’s all 7 hours of yesterday’s testimony:
As GOP leadership removes Steve King from committees, Politico asks, why now? “While the King drama played out over the past few days, some Republicans seized on the incident to reorient the party’s position — and maybe more importantly, its language — on race. Yet with President Donald Trump regularly stoking racial division from the Oval Office, it’s not clear the action against King will amount to anything meaningful for the GOP.”
From the Des Moines Register’s Editorial Board: “Steve King should resign for the good of Iowa”
From the Sioux City Journal’s Editorial Board: “Steven King should resign”
From The Daily Show: “Is Rep. Steve King Racist?”
From WaPo: “Beto O’Rourke’s immigration plan: No wall, few specifics”
From The Atlantic: “Why Did the Border Patrol Union Switch Its Position on the Wall?”
From CityLab: “Why America’s Largest Migrant Youth Detention Center Closed”