Daily Dispatch 8/30/18

A series in which we (will aspire to) offer a sampling of today’s headlines on immigration, race, and related stories.

August 30, 2018

Top Story:

At the border, US government is confiscating American passports, asking US citizens to prove the circumstances of their birth or face detention and deportation. Even those applying for/renewing passports have been detained and entered into the deportation process.

In some cases, passport applicants with official U.S. birth certificates are being jailed in immigration detention centers and entered into deportation proceedings. In others, they are stuck in Mexico, their passports suddenly revoked when they tried to reenter the United States. As the Trump administration attempts to reduce both legal and illegal immigration, the government’s treatment of passport applicants in South Texas shows how U.S. citizens are increasingly being swept up by immigration enforcement agencies…

… Attorneys say these cases, where the government’s doubts about an official birth certificate lead to immigration detention, are increasingly common. “I’ve had probably 20 people who have been sent to the detention center — U.S. citizens,” said Jaime Diez, an attorney in Brownsville. Diez represents dozens of U.S. citizens who were denied their passports or had their passports suddenly revoked. Among them are soldiers and Border Patrol agents. In some cases, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have arrived at his clients’ homes without notice and taken passports away. WaPo

Another terrifying profile of Stephen Miller. What stood out to me was the apparent hostility toward even tourists from ____ countries (fill in the blank with your own descriptor):

One meeting last year demonstrated Miller’s savvy, according to a senior immigration security official briefed on what happened.

Then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Kelly, who was the homeland security secretary at the time, were waiting to see Trump. Miller arrived with the president, who was holding a document and seething. The document, apparently given to him by Miller, showed that thousands of Iraqis had visited the United States in the previous year.

The president was furious: Why were they let in?

Kelly and Tillerson pointed out that these were not technically immigrants — merely tourists and other types of short-term visitors. Relatively few overstayed their visas. But Trump was angry anyway, and Miller had scored a psychological victory over the Cabinet officials. Politico

The Asks:

Bipartisan letter asks Trump to reconsider terminating TPS program for Nicaragua.

ACLU asks that deported parents be given the option of returning to start the asylum process over again, citing coercion by US government.

Texas contractors’ association releases survey showing need for immigrant workforce.

The World:

Italy threatens to veto EU budget unless bloc countries agree to take in more rescued migrants.

Spain stakes hard position on African migration after other Mediterranean nations refuse to admit refugees.

France’s Macron vows to hamper anti-immigration efforts of far-right European leaders: “I will yield nothing to nationalists.”

German Neo-Nazi protesters use images of American domestic abuse victims (along with images taken from special effects makeup sites) on banners, claiming they are Germans assaulted by immigrants.

The Racists:

On college campuses, Trump support emerges as independent predictor of prejudice against international students.

In the Trump era, the propriety of racial slurs has become a partisan issue.

D.C. resident/former Marine threatens crossing guard, saying he shouldn’t be allowed to work around white children and warning “I used to shoot people like you at the border.”

Steve King (R-IA) says words like racism and xenophobia no longer have “legitimate meaning” (and don’t accuse him – after all, he once boasted of being “pretty proud” of the “different-looking Americans that are still Americans”) and warns that Western civilization (which was built entirely by white Christians) will “devolve” if we let immigration policy be guided emotion (while defending a tweet that used the Tibbetts murder to stoke emotion on immigration policy).

In completely-unrelated-and-not-at-all-racist news: Trump thinks his administration has done “a fantastic job” in Puerto Rico and reaffirms that its slow recovery is due to the fact that it is “an island surrounded by water, big water, ocean water” and big water makes it “much harder to get things onto the island.” This comes despite Tuesday’s announcement that Governor Rosselló has updated the official death count from the initial 64 to 2,975.

(Last week’s suspicions that the president was becoming self-aware have proven unwarranted)

You’ve probably heard about the controversial comments made by Florida’s Ron DeSantis about his not-white opponent, but dictionary.com wants to help you make sense of them.

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