Re: ICE

1

This seems right.
https://twitter.com/AoDespair/status/1000200328065835009


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-27-18 8:20 PM
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From what I can tell, this happened under Obama as well. I'll keep saying, we've only scratched the surface of what a lot of Americans would condone, let alone tolerate.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-27-18 8:41 PM
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I also read that the lost kids are mostly not being lost to trafficking so much as living with a relative and being hid when the actual fucking jackboot gestapo shows up to verify/terrify that the kid is there.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-27-18 8:49 PM
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The conditions thing is this weird bipartisan punitiveness towards asylum seekers, i mean it would almost certainly be cheaper to just put the kids in hotels.


Posted by: Asteele | Link to this comment | 05-27-18 9:01 PM
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3 is right. And "this" in 2 refers to the caging, not the separating, which is new and manifestly terrorism.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-27-18 9:10 PM
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It's manifestly abusive. Calling it terrorism stretches that term so far as to lose any usefulness. (Which has kind of happened anyway. But our standards don't have to be as low as the whole internet's.)


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-27-18 9:33 PM
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It's a deliberate campaign to control a population's behavior through high-profile actions that shock the conscience and inspire fear. That's terrorism.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-27-18 9:36 PM
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7 is exactly what I mean by stretching to uselessness. Under your definition virtually all police work is terrorism. Making a child go and stand in a corner is terrorism.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-27-18 9:44 PM
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What's your definition of terrorism, then?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-27-18 9:56 PM
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Asylum seekers are not criminals, it's punishing people for excersisng their legal rights in an attempt to get less people to use them, terrorism works for me.


Posted by: Asteele | Link to this comment | 05-27-18 10:09 PM
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Tweet from Sen. Schatz: They are going to use the suffering of children as political leverage for the wall, and we must refuse to participate, because if this kind of hostage taking is ever successful it will never stop.

In sum, 1 is right.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-27-18 10:16 PM
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Fax your congress critters, volunteer to get out the vote this fall, protest outside detention centers, especially when and where the buses will pass by?


Posted by: FB | Link to this comment | 05-27-18 11:14 PM
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Don't know what to conclude about the 1,500 missing kids story, although the idea that it's better that they're not traceable (since the relevant authorities are abusive) is troubling in itself.

But there's this:

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/05/23/613907893/aclu-report-detained-immigrant-children-subjected-to-widespread-abuse-by-officia

Nothing altogether special to the US, I'd guess. The low rent branches of law enforcement attract horrible people. They are pre-positioned, just in case you get an Orban or a Trump. People have said there's no Rubicon for Trump to cross but issuing a policy that's inherently abusive to minors might be it.


Posted by: Charlie W | Link to this comment | 05-27-18 11:43 PM
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Here's Hungarian border control in action:

https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/07/13/hungary-migrants-abused-border

The part about it being unclear about which uniforms, insignia etc. were being worn by the abusers stands out.

In terms of what to do, practically: collecting and disseminating accurate even-handed evidence seems like a good thing to do.


Posted by: Charlie W | Link to this comment | 05-27-18 11:57 PM
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What can you do? Here are some things:

1. Call or fax your city council people, state legislators, mayor, school board, etc saying that you do not want them to collaborate with ICE and that you, a voter, support the provision of services to undocumented people. I expect some kind of "Blue Lives Matter"-esque legal push in favor of immigration agents, and it's important to create a background sense in our legislators that we will not stand for it.

2. Google "immigrants' rights [your city or region]" and you will almost certainly find some law firms and orgs that work on these issues. You can sign up for their mailing lists and donate. When people have lawyers in immigration court, the majority win their cases. The immigration courts rely on the fact that most people won't have a lawyer and the fact that many will not have strong English skills. Getting every person a lawyer, in fact, would break the whole fucking system,

3. Seek out immigrants' rights activists on Twitter and make phone calls and/or donations to help out specific people caught in the deportation machine - there will absolutely be posts about particular people and families.

4. Post a sign in your window that says "Abolish ICE" or whatever slogan is appropriate for your region. This is a trivial thing, but IME we need to have some visibility in the physical world. This is a moment when I think popular understanding of immigration can move left, and it's important to push that wherever possible.

I think it's important to push as much as possible for the abolition of all these absurd immigration controls rather than the "reform" of ICE. There's neither practical purpose nor moral justification in punishing people who cross the border illegally - it's performative racism that we've been conned into thinking is necessary.

I don't want to give ICE more power to snoop into migrants' lives; I want exactly the opposite.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 2:09 AM
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3 is my understanding - further, that the ~1500 number is the result of a pretty casual attempt at follow-up by an agency that wasn't generally in the business of keeping track of the kids after they'd been placed. Think of a prison researching former inmates (not parolees, who they are supposed to keep track of).

Separating children from parents is an abomination, and seems to be a different, intentional, awful policy.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 5:50 AM
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Bah. 16 is me.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 5:51 AM
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Call or fax your city council people, state legislators, mayor, school board, etc saying that you do not want them to collaborate with ICE

The activists should consider the consequences of this. Just what do you think happens when you talk all the local jails into non cooperation with ICE? Jails are a great way to tie up ICE guys on people who've committed a crime and there's no kids involved and 0 opportunity for collateral arrests. Every time you get a city or county jail to stop working with ICE you drive enforcement into the community.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 6:07 AM
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18: gswift - can you shoot me an e-mail?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 6:23 AM
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Jails are a great way to tie up ICE guys on people who've committed a crime

For example, driving without a license.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 6:25 AM
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9: The proposed UN definition looks ok for a legal start:

Any person commits an offence within the meaning of this Convention if that person, by any means, unlawfully and intentionally, causes:
(a) Death or serious bodily injury [...] when the purpose of the conduct, by its nature or context, is to intimidate a population, or to compel a Government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act."
Emphasis added. I part with the bolded definition in that "intimidating a population" is uselessly general. That would include as terrorists criminals killing an informant, or strikers beating a scab, or gang members beating rival members crossing their territory*. I think the key characteristic is the second part, "to compel a Government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act". Terrorism is unlawful violence intended to promote a change in policy by the enemy. ICE actions** are not intended to promote policy anywhere; they are themselves the policy. The actions do not promote the policy among American supporters, nor do they promote acquiescence by American opponents. They do not promote the policy among their victims, who by definition can't vote in America anyway. They do not promote policy changes by foreign governments; AFAIK Mexico for instance co-operates extensively with US immigration policy already, and actually does the bulk of the work WRT Central American migrants.
I think there's also a crucial distinction between state and non-state violence. Proposed amendments to UN definition bring that out:
3. The activities undertaken by the military forces of a State in the exercise of their official duties, inasmuch as they are governed by other rules of international law, are not governed by this Convention.
Emphasis added. ICE isn't military, but it is state and it is exercising its official duties.
I think terrorism is also necessarily small scale, using means not remotely large enough to compel acceptance of the desired policy by sheer force (which sets it apart from warfare, and from state police action). If you want to condemn ICE policy as inhumane or barbaric,*** by all means, and I'll agree with you. Calling it terrorism just muddies the water.
*And I assume most people here would be, correctly, opposed to the prosecution of such crimes under terrorism laws.
**AFAIK; I'm not following.
***And if you want to do something about that, how about ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 6:26 AM
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The problem with restricting the word "terrorism" away from this kind of situation, or the systematic lynchings/rapings/etc of the Jim Crow era, or whatever, is that we don't have another compelling word for saying "This isn't genocide, but it's on the same spectrum of mass cruelty targeted at a specific group." You suggested "abuse" above, but "abuse" is usually what a single rogue officer does, not what an entirely contaminated organization of coordinated abuse does.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 6:43 AM
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Actually I'm suggesting "barbaric". That isn't a perfect word, but it'll do for me.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 6:45 AM
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And who is going to be compelled by this use of "terrorism"? With Republicans it would shut down any possible conversation immediately. Democrats don't need much convincing, and I imagine "abuse" would actually be a lot more triggering.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 7:00 AM
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I don't know if it's terrorism, but it's important to understand is that CBP (not ICE actually here, but more importantly: the US Government) is separating children from their families precisely in order to intimidate a population. I haven't seen many clear accounts of what they are doing and why. What they are doing is this: they tell families who come over the border illegally that the parents will be prosecuted for (what is actually a misdemeanor violation) and that their children will be separated from them. The misdemeanor violation is stupid to prosecute and lasts like 48 hours, but when that is done CBP tells the parents that they can't have the kids back during processing for asylum. Then they say (to the parents) that they can get their kids back of they give up the asylum process and leave -- basically, the deal on offer is "give up your legal rights and you can have your kids back." Obviously that's unbelievably inhumane, and the government won't directly admit that's what it's doing, but that's what is happening. And it's happening with infants and children under 4. It's of a piece with a range of other pressure tactics they've tried to get, at all costs, immigrants to agree to waive their rights so that they can be thrownnout of the system and the country more easily. Eg one group I work with says that the governmenr no longer provides any public listing of who is in detention facilities nor does it provide names in advance of deportation hearings. You can't get a lawyer (or visitor) into the detention facility without a name. The immigrant is then brought before CBP and told, in a situation with no lawyer, no advoce, and no idea what's going on, that he needs to "voluntarily" depart, which ends the possibility of asylum. That's not as bad as the "we hold your kids hostage" strategy but it's still basically totalitarian.

All of this has basically nothing to do with the 1,500 "missing" kids, who were unaccompanied minors released into custody in private homes in the USA, overwhelmingly to family members, and then only "lost" in the sense that the federal government (a different agency -- Office of Refugee Resettlement) wasn't able to find them by dialing the most recently-left phone call. That's bad bureaucratic practice but given the current government you probably on net want these kids to be "lost" to the immigration authorities.

In terms of what to do about the kids problem, yell at Congress and help pay the (actually very very few -- even most immigration rights groups do not don this work and the detention facilities are deliberately kept in the middle of the isolated desert so that lawyers aren't nearby) lawyers who do this work. The group that actually identified the problem is below -- look at the size of their staff and then realize that they are almost the only folks doing this kind of work across a big chunk of the border and you get a sense of the size of the problem. There's also a local organization that I raise money for but am too embarrassed to have linked to the Robert Halford persona.

https://firrp.org/who/staff/


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 7:02 AM
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Pretend that had spelling, we all know about phones.


Posted by: RH | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 7:04 AM
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Has everyone seen the White House press release on this blaming the Democrats?

Any definition of terrorism that doesn't include state terrorism like say, bombing refugee camps or the like isn't worth the paper it's printed on.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 7:41 AM
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27.1 - yes, and it's such unadulterated bullshit. As is the nonsense from assholes going around saying "Obama did this." No, Obama's immigration policy sucked, but this is in any sense that matters new.

25 was pretty unclear. Here is what's happening. Apologies if everyone knows this already but I am getting really frustrated with a lot of vague handwaving about what is going on.

1) It is (and has been) a misdemeanor federal criminal offense to enter the US without permission. The offense carries a maximum six month term. Until recently, it was routinely not prosecuted. And when it is prosecuted the usual sentence for the crime is about 48 hours. You can be prosecuted for this crime even if you're an asylum seeker.

2) The Trump administration said that it would prosecute the misdemeanor entry crime *100%* of the time, which had never happened, at all, before. This is solely as a punitive measure and also lets them do (3).

3) In step (3), if a family illegally crosses the border, they prosecute the parents for the crime in step (2) and remove the children. Then the government says "hey we are just keeping these kids while the parents go to serve jail time! Governments do this all the time." Of course, this ignores that the problem is entirely one of the government's creation, plus

4) Even when the 48-hour detention period is over, the government isn't giving the kids back, but holding them for processing. It then tells the immigrant family that they can get their kids back if they abandon seeking asylum in the United States and leave the country. Most accept.

So there are two separate steps -- ludicrous law enforcement designed to separate kids from families and punish immigrants, and then an unofficial but actual policy of not allowing family reunification as part of a general, system-wide push to deny immigrants any process rights in order to get them to "voluntarily" agree to not pursue their legal right to asylum or their other legal remedies. It's very deliberately causing children trauma as a way of pressuring immigrants not to exercise their rights. It's an abomination.

And this is all totally separate from (5), the issue of the "missing" kids for whom the federal government no longer has a working phone number. Those were unaccompanied minors whom the Office of Refugee Resettlement already placed within the United States, yet people on social media or whatever are blanket confusing the issues.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 7:55 AM
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18: Police non-cooperation with ICE is what actual undocumented activists around here have been calling for since at least ~2008. I would assume that by this point they are familiar with its effects on policing in the community.

Nothing I suggest is stuff I've just made up out of my own ignorant leftist head - it's stuff that has been suggested by undocumented activists locally since the 2008 Postville raid.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 7:57 AM
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27.2: Those are called war crimes. Suppressing war crimes is a matter of creating and enforcing norms among sovereigns. Suppressing terrorism is predominantly a matter of arresting individual people. The problems could hardly be more different, and I don't see that conflating them has any value at all. Throwing epithets isn't going convince anyone that hasn't been convinced already, it just feeds more outrage into your own echo chamber.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 8:10 AM
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Mossy, "barbaric" doesn't work for me. It doesn't convey the large-scale, coordinated nature of these things.

It also shows up with the NRA-mass shootings connection: maybe it's not terrorism according to whatever technical reasoning, but "barbaric" and "abuse" doesn't convey the large scale campaign over time.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 8:36 AM
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I don't use the term myself to describe what's going on now with separating immigrant parents from their children but I have a hard time seeing how it's any different in effect.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 8:37 AM
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31: Do you have any positive arguments against any points raised in 21, 24, or 30? Or do you advocate sloppy thinking and sloppy talking for no gain at all?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 9:13 AM
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And actually the best word I can I think of to describe this policy is "fascist". An American president being called fascist should be a big deal, like a bomb going off, because that is the gravity of fascism. But it isn't, because the term has been inflated to meaninglessness by decades' worth of people using it to insult anything they don't like, with no regard for definitions.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 9:17 AM
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I definitely and very strongly believe that sloppy thinking from the anti-Trump side, including in language use, is a big problem in the age of Trump*, but I also feel like the word "terrorism" has been so abused for so long and already has such a capacious meaning that I'm not sure that's the hill to die on.

*a lot of people make the opposite argument, which isn't crazy -- the other side are morons who could care less about being precise so fuck if we are going to waste time on niceties. That's not a terrible argument at all, but I think it's short-term less effective than people think and a long-term disaster


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 9:35 AM
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couldn't! God damn it.


Posted by: RH | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 9:40 AM
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The caging is from 2014 https://www.azcentral.com/picture-gallery/news/politics/immigration/2014/06/18/first-glimpse-of-immigrant-children-at-holding-facility/10808687/ ICE needs to be abolished. This is by no means what mainstream democrats want though. Obama ramped up deportations


Posted by: Lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 10:15 AM
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Yes, the caging was from 2014 because there were unaccompanied minors arriving at the borders. You may have read about it. Those unaccompanied children needed to be processed, and their immigration into this country was part of an ongoing human rights disaster, hence inadequate facilities for children. That is fundamentally different than what is going on now which is deliberately separating children who ARE accompanied from their families to pressure immigrants to leave.

There is plenty to criticize about Obama's immigration policy and pre-Obama US immigration law, and I have done so many times, including here. But that is not what's going on now, as anyone who worked in the field could tell you. But you don't actually give a shit about that. Because you don't actually care about detail or that people's lives are at stake. What you care about is the great intra-lefty war that exists in your head, on which you can stand proudly on team "more left." So go play it out, shithead.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 10:25 AM
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||
Who all has seen Bi Gan's Kaili Blues? If you have any tolerance for, shall we say, poetic filmmaking, you need to see Kaili Blues.
|>


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 11:26 AM
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Well, actually, leftsplainng is probably even less effective than mansplaining.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 11:31 AM
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39 I've heard great things about it and I'm dying to see it, Ive also heard great things about Bi Gan's most recent film Long Day's Journey into Night*

*I have no idea what relation it has to the Eugene O'Neill play.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 11:31 AM
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ICE needs to be abolished. This is by no means what where mainstream dDemocrats are headed want though.

Fixt.


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 11:42 AM
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That was very helpful, Halford--thanks.


Posted by: X. Trapnel | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 11:43 AM
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41: You need a VPN, man. I saw it on Fandor, which, like so many things, is not available outside NA. I guess KB isn't going anywhere.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 11:55 AM
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I came here to say what Halford said in 38. Basically, the point of sharing those 2014 photos is to remind people that child refugees, alone, are a hellish situation nobody wants---and Trump is *creating* that situation for kids who are *with* their families.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 12:00 PM
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28 was helpful, thanks. I'd sort of put some of that together, but the outrage has been so confused that I wasn't sure of the details.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 1:04 PM
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I can't remember the last time I was this confused about a news story.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 1:29 PM
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I really want to gripe about the stupid 'trafficking' aspect of the reaction. I have no idea what kernel of truth underlies whatever people are talking about there, but I really, really doubt it's anything recognizable. It is possible to care about what is happening to children without having to turn everything into hysteria about them being sold as sex slaves.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 1:33 PM
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Seconding the appreciation for 28, that's very helpful.

Also, the increase in deportations under Obama was (a) partially a change in the way the numbers were reported and (b) a political strategy to try to pave the way for comprehensive immigration reform. See here for an example of him losing patience with that process:

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/obamas-immigration-speech-republicans-want-moat-alligators-daniel-foster/

So, we have gone above and beyond what was requested by the very Republicans who said they supported broader reform as long as we got serious about enforcement. But even though we've answered these concerns, I suspect there will be those who will try to move the goal posts one more time. They'll say we need to triple the border patrol. Or quadruple the border patrol. They'll say we need a higher fence to support reform.

Maybe they'll say we need a moat. Or alligators in the moat.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 1:41 PM
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Note, I'm not saying that Obama's immigration policy was unproblematic, just saying that it was more a result of short-term political calculation than an indication of the center of gravity on the issue for the Democratic party.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 1:53 PM
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Shouting, indignant, Halford is the best Halford.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 2:12 PM
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Obama kept the policy up for 5 years after that speech. The simplest explanation is that his immigration policies were the ones he wanted, even if the rhetorical justifications for them changed from time to time.


Posted by: Asteele | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 2:45 PM
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As Absolute God King of America, Obama could of course have set whatever policies he wanted.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 2:48 PM
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I dunno that this is really the place or time to rehash Obama's immigration policy, but here's my take: The Obama immigration policy was a total failure, albeit a failure based on a gamble that didn't look crazy at the time.

As NickS says, the idea was something like "if you (a) step up securing the border against illicit crossings, and direct the immigration system to focus narrowly on deporting the small number of immigrants who are also serious criminals, you can then (b) assuage people's fears and peel off business/moderate Republicans and conservative Democrats to cut a deal on comprehensive reform to protect the millions of sympathetic, non-criminal "illegal" immigrants already in the country and set reasonable and enforceable quotas on worldwide immigration going forward."

That doesn't sound crazy on its face. But it was a failure in practice for at least two reasons. First, day-to-day immigration policy is set by federal agencies on the ground, CBP and ICE and the local US Attorneys' Offices were always inclined to be overaggressive against immigrants because, well, why wouldn't they. Plus the relevant statutes are terrible, and have been terrible since 1996 and IIRIRA. So boosting resources for supposedly legitimate purposes only led to a lot of bad on the ground behavior -- a lot of the "crimes" were reentry after removal, i.e., you get removed and then sneak back into the country for a fairly legit reason and then are deemed a criminal, or in a case I witnessed the sentencing of in maybe 2012, a woman previously-removed came back in from Mexico to attend a mandatory child-custody hearing in California state court for her kid. She was picked up by ICE at the hearing, and then prosecuted by the USAO for the federal crime of reentry following removal. She got a federal prison sentence followed by yet another deportation to Mexico. Your tax dollars at work. .

Second, of course, and more important, the politics failed. I don't think it was obvious in 2008-10, or even 2012, that the politics would fail, though this being the internet I'm sure someone will say it was. But remember GWB also tried immigration reform in 2004-2006 with a lot of Republican support, before being shot down by the racist wing of his own party. So there was an unusual amount of evidence that this was a place where a bipartisan deal could actually happen. But any hope for legislation died, like so much else, with Mitch McConnell's total obstructionism policy. By 2014 or so Obama understood that. So you got DACA and DAPA and some attempts to move the issue, but of course those were all executive branch things and fragile, and too little way too late. Meanwhile even then the federal agencies kept on humming and being their basically shitty selves, bolstered by Obama's failed attempt to give them more funding to lay the groundwork for a deal that never happened

Meanwhile total immigration declined a lot from the pre-2008 period, entirely for economic reasons that had nothing to do with federal policy. Then, the assholishness of the electorate increased, racists turned out in force, Donald Trump got a well-distributed 80,000 votes in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, and here we are, with government agents taking away three-year-olds from their parents to extort their parents' wavier of the right to seek asylum from persecution. Good times.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 2:52 PM
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do you advocate sloppy thinking and sloppy talking for no gain at all?

I think in your head you're winning this argument. Set aside that defining terrorism is notoriously difficult, but your 21 is a mess. You quote the UN definition, but try to set aside the part that's inconvenient for you. "Intimidate a population" is not uselessly general, it's actually quite specific: a population, as opposed to a small group (the informant and union cases) or a neighborhood (the gang case). And in fact that aligns with what ICE is doing.

Then you quote another bit and again have to set aside the a chunk of it because it's inconvenient. ICE isn't military. Done. That line is no longer relevant.

The rest is just assertions. Terrorism is meant to influence policy. I disagree! Terrorism is necessarily small-scale. I disagree!

We have the term "state terror" for a reason; sometimes governments use terror to achieve certain ends, as they'd doing here.

I now return to my holiday activities, but feel free to yell at heebie some more. Free country.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 2:59 PM
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Of course ajay I mean "within whatever constraints exsist", still obviously, Obama could of had laxer immigration policies, or had his executive actions cover more people etc. But I know for whatever reason people forget how to have a human conversation once someone criticizes a democrat.


Posted by: Asteele | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 3:19 PM
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Obama may have guessed wrong about how far he could go in the 2014-16 period with executive orders, but the court decisions don't really support that idea all that well. The law is bad. It's bad because a bunch of people are bad. Are those people a solid majority? Maybe at one point, but it's now a diminishing plurality, and gets diminished further by associating our law/policies with the current stone cold racists in charge. Which is fair because they're taking bad law and running wild with it.

YMMV, but IMO 'well, actually, most of the people I need as allies are no damn good, and it's important that I say so often' may not be the most compelling strategies.

(I had this argument with my sister-in-law yesterday.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 3:50 PM
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What NickS says in 49-50. And also Halford in 38 and 54, and Mr Carp's 40.

The idea that the Obama administration was just as bad as the Trump admin on this issue is pretty clearly inaccurate, and just comes across as leftier-than-thou posturing. And at this point, I just don't even to what purpose, or to what end?


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 4:02 PM
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Second, of course, and more important, the politics failed. I don't think it was obvious in 2008-10, or even 2012, that the politics would fail, though this being the internet I'm sure someone will say it was.
It was.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 4:25 PM
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The idea that the Obama administration was just as bad as the Trump admin on this issue is pretty clearly inaccurate, and just comes across as leftier-than-thou posturing. And at this point, I just don't even to what purpose, or to what end?

You know, it strikes me that there's a close but not at all the same point that I largely agree with and that many activists who actually do real work make -- "Sure, Trump is bad, but let's not forget that things were also pretty bad under Obama, and try to do better the next time we get in power." That is a responsible position that comes from the perspective of someone who takes policy seriously and actually cares about the impact of policy on the ground. I never mind that kind of thing at all. Even when it comes from a political place that's not mine. Because it comes from an ethics of actually caring about the world. Someone like Frowner, here, who has politics far to the left of mine, regularly has that perspective. I don't find that enraging at all, in fact it's totally fine, because it's focused on improvement.

But that's not what the lemmy cautions/Asteeles of the world want. What they want is for you to recognize -- and recognize all the time, over and over and over and over again, in every context and on every occasion -- that mainstream liberal Democrats are *bad people with bad intentions.* Again and again the point of the conversation is that centrist/mainstream liberals/the Democratic Party is bad, bad, bad and full of bad, bad, bad people, and that needs to be the ultimate point of any political conversation. Now, why they want you to recognize this I have no real idea. Part of it is certainly a way of ducking responsibility for actually taking action in realistic ways to improve the world -- if Democrats are more-or-less equally bad, and things are bad, and the only politicians you can vote for are Democrats, all of whom are more or less equally bad, then nothing ever really improves so why not abandon all hope and just feel superior, a nicely self-justifying philosophy for people who want to sit on their computers and fling crap without doing much. Part of it is some weird kind of power move in an imaginary game -- they don't want results so much as recognition, recognition that THEY WERE RIGHT ON THE INTERNET and are better than those other jerks. And, especially since the 2016 primary, there's clearly some related imaginary-game power struggle, where if you can just recognize that the mainstream liberals were bad then TEAM LEFT gets a victory in the imaginary game, whatever happens in the real world. It's basically all some kind of combination of politics as a computer game and a demand for personal recognition. But whatever it is it so obviously comes from an ethics of ego. That's how I feel about it today, anyway.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 4:47 PM
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Ego and irresponsibility, I should say.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 4:48 PM
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60: This is coupled with the belief that the US is the source of all evil and therefore any worries about Russia/China/NK/... are distractions.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 4:55 PM
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My contributions to this thread were to 1. Complain about the conditions children are held in. 2. Agree that what trump is doing is terrorism and 3. Say that the policies enacted by president Obama were (of the choices he had) probably the policies he wanted, and by implication 4. were not policies I liked or agree with.

No where did I make any comparisons between the two parties. Or accuse all Democrats of being bad people, or whatever, but I can't make even the most anodyne comments without a person whose brain was broken by the fact, Bernie would of won, to start writing huge blocks of text insulting me. You are the one trapped endlessly fighting the 2016 primary, go fix your own obvious damage.


Posted by: Asteele | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 5:11 PM
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63 - That's a mostly but not completely inaccurate take on your comments today (check out comments 4 and 52), but more importantly this isn't your first time at the rodeo, hoss. I've never known you, in many years, even once to try to meaningfully discuss policy.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 5:15 PM
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Trump is terrible and Obama was also terrible but not as terrible and for somewhat less terrible reasons. Obama's sad record should be recalled the next time a Democrat is in office. But, for now, inter-mural sniping only benefits Trump.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 5:38 PM
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Yes in 4, I use the world bipartisans because I did not want to imply the pictures of children from the Obama era report were not solely a Obama era problem. It is also true I would never try to seriously discuss anything with you at all, as you are unpleasant and abusive.


Posted by: Asteele | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 5:45 PM
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Oh give me a break. You've been posting trolling nonsense for years and nothing but and now you want to make a civility play? If you want to reform and be productive, go for it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 5:59 PM
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It looks like states and cities started resisting ICE after Obama's expansion of deportations in his first term and that resistance has only increased after Trump's moves

"The machinery of interior enforcement that had been dialed down during the final Obama years has been revved back up by the Trump administration. ICE officers say that widening enforcement and dropping prosecutorial discretion requirements have given ICE the leeway necessary to properly do its job and more faithfully execute the nation's immigration laws. Advocates and others decry what they see as unshackled enforcement that makes no distinction between otherwise law-abiding unauthorized immigrants and those with serious criminal offenses.

Nonetheless, the pace of arrests and removals during 2017 was only half that achieved at earlier peaks. It is unlikely that arrests and removals can substantially rise again, given the significant constraints the Trump administration faces in implementing its enforcement agenda. Beyond resource limitations that Congress has declined to lift, the most important constraint lies in the limits on ICE cooperation imposed by growing numbers of states and localities that have large foreign-born populations. "

https://web.kamihq.com/web/viewer.html?source=extension_pdfhandler&file=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.migrationpolicy.org%2Fsites%2Fdefault%2Ffiles%2Fpublications%2FImmigrationEnforcement_ReportinBrief_FINAL.pdf


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 7:57 PM
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55:
1. I await Heebie's defense of herself.
2. You didn't say "state terror", you said "terrorism", as did Heebie. Those terms are not interchangeable, and imply very different things. I have no problem calling ICE action state terror.
3. You quote the UN definition, but try to set aside the part that's inconvenient for you.
And you do exactly the same. Terrorism being meant to influence policy isn't just me, it's in the UN definition as well. The population language in that definition is inadequately defined. I'd amend it to something like "intimidation of a population with the expectation that such intimidation will promote a particular change in public policy". This would exclude criminal and union cases, where the aim is to change individual behavior.
4. "Intimidate a population" is not uselessly general, it's actually quite specific: a population, as opposed to a small group (the informant and union cases)
"Population" isn't defined at all. Your implied definition there is "not small". Fine. Strikes routinely involve tens of thousands of workers; add their immediate families and communities and you reach the hundreds of thousands, larger than many countries. When Mexican cartels hang people from highway overpasses they aren't just trying to intimidate their own members, they're trying to intimidate the whole surrounding society. That gets into the millions.
5. ICE isn't military. Done. That line is no longer relevant.
The point isn't that ICE is military, but that it's part of a state. The context from the proposed UN amendments:

1. Nothing in this Convention shall affect other rights, obligations and responsibilities of States, peoples and individuals under international law, in particular the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and international humanitarian law.

2. The activities of armed forces during an armed conflict, as those terms are understood under international humanitarian law, which are governed by that law, are not governed by this Convention.

3. The activities undertaken by the military forces of a State in the exercise of their official duties, inasmuch as they are governed by other rules of international law, are not governed by this Convention.

4. Nothing in this article condones or makes lawful otherwise unlawful acts, nor precludes prosecution under other laws.
Emphasis added. My point is that state and non-state actors are profoundly different and should be thought of as such. There is a body of thought and policy related to terrorist atrocities; there is another, very different, body of thought and policies related to state atrocities (such as the UDHR and, again, the UNCRC). ICE actions belong in the latter category, and placing them in the former is inaccurate and not useful in any way; as I point out also in 24 and 30, which I note you do not rebut.
6. The rest is just assertions.
Shared by others, better informed than either of us.
6.1 Terrorism is necessarily small-scale. I disagree!
Here's a terrorism scholar discussing terrorists. He means groups like this:
According to the list of terrorist groups publicly available at the RAND-MIPT Terrorism Incident database, the average lifespan of groups worldwide is between five and ten years, at the very most. [...] In Western Europe, the overwhelming majority of terrorist groups (77.2%) took less than ten years to disband giving an average age of 10.5 years. [...] Up to 648 terrorist groups worldwide were active between 1968 and 2006 but the RAND-MIPT only registers the exact lifespan of 402 of them. Some of the less-known groups had very short lives, some disbanded voluntarily and others disappeared without a trace. [...]
Small-scale.
6.2 Terrorism is meant to influence policy. I disagree!
This criterion is, again, contained in a draft UN convention.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 9:36 PM
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69last -- I think the language in 18 USC 2331(5)(B) is a decent shot at that:

[acts that] appear to be intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping

Where the US criminal code (and the UN definitions) fall short of what ICE is doing is in 18 USC 2331(5)(A), which requires that the conduct be itself a violation of federal or state criminal law.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-28-18 11:22 PM
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Asteele, you need to reflect on the context in which you make an argument. When someone brings up something awful that Trump is doing, and you argue that Obama also did something bad, people are necessarily going to react as though you are trying to equate the two, because that's what you're doing.

I've spent most of my life south of the Mason-Dixon line, and you see this sort of thing a lot when people are discussing the geographical variations in institutional racism. When someone talks about Jim Crow, the answer is: "Well, the North is also segregated and racist."

And it's true! And Obama did shitty things regarding immigration. Literally nobody here denies this.

What people deny is that they are the same thing. A Southern racist talking about Northern racism is typically trying to excuse the Southern variant, not speak out in opposition to racism.

Your fallacy even has a formal name: tu quoque.

Does this mean we can never talk about Northern racism or Obama's shitty immigration policies? We can and we do.

But I know for whatever reason people forget how to have a human conversation once someone criticizes a democrat.

Literally every invocation of Obama's immigration policy in this thread has been critical of Obama -- but unlike you, the other Obama critics are conscious of the context of this conversation, and have been careful to not engage in false equivalence with Trump.

Likewise, the NYT has a useful discussion of Yankee racism that is designed as a critique of racism, and not as an excuse for Jim Crow.

This sort of thing can be done. It's not hard. You've just chosen not to do it.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 6:11 AM
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Speaking of racism, did Starbucks fix its institutional racism on Friday? I was traveling, so I didn't read the news.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 6:24 AM
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No where did I make any comparisons between the two parties. Or accuse all Democrats of being bad people, or whatever, but I can't make even the most anodyne comments

What set people off is "Obama kept the policy up for 5 years after that speech. The simplest explanation is that his immigration policies were the ones he wanted, even if the rhetorical justifications for them changed from time to time." Yes, the simplest explanation is that Obama, the most pro-immigrant president imaginable, hates immigrants and all hope is lost.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 6:41 AM
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And "of course I mean within whatever constraints exist" really does change the meaning very substantially. There are a lot of actions that people do willingly, given the constraints upon them, that it would be misleading to say they do willingly tout court.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 6:49 AM
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I really miss Obama. More than I've missed any political leader ever.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 6:50 AM
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74: A lot of people in the US voluntarily go without health insurance.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 6:51 AM
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Heck, as some Roman or other pointed out, the only thing that anyone can force you to do is die. Everything else you do, you do willingly.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 6:57 AM
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77: Little-known fact, the Romans had not yet invented chains or rope.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 8:03 AM
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I think the implication is meant to be that with a strong enough commitment to, e.g., holding your breath, you always have the option of suicide rather than remaining alive in confinement. I don't know that this is true, but that's the idea.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 8:05 AM
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You can't really force someone to do something - i.e. an actual action - with chains or rope. You can stop them from, e.g., moving, but that's not the same thing.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 8:12 AM
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All of this has basically nothing to do with the 1,500 "missing" kids, who were unaccompanied minors released into custody in private homes in the USA, overwhelmingly to family members, and then only "lost" in the sense that the federal government (a different agency -- Office of Refugee Resettlement) wasn't able to find them by dialing the most recently-left phone call. That's bad bureaucratic practice but given the current government you probably on net want these kids to be "lost" to the immigration authorities.

One of the mostly-helpful explanatory tweetstorms from an expert clarifying this issue went one place I couldn't follow - basically said it was correct, even in the abstract, that the government wasn't checking up on these kids.

Do you want the jail keeping track of where every former inmate is? .... ORR's job is NOT to track and monitor these kids and it shouldn't be. As my friend said, if there were an issue - abuse, or other wrongdoing - it should go through the appropriate agency: children's services or what have you.

It's basically a foster situation; the kids have been "placed", with families that seem appropriate, not given new permanent homes. If those kids' info was routinely handed off to local children's services agencies to be treated like other foster kids, that might be more appropriate than federal oversight; not sure if that happens. But the government has a responsibility when it places kids, it can't just wash its hands and be okay with as little oversight as if they'd been adopted out.

I still get these particular kids might be in a better position in practice, but I don't get this person's ideal state of how it would work.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 8:13 AM
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79: more that any action you are "forced" to take is actually you choosing to take that action rather than suffer the result of not doing it (which might be death).


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 8:14 AM
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The "trafficking" thing seems to be true. Teenagers were trafficked to an egg farm in Ohio, held captive and forced to work with virtually no pay. Which is pretty bad, if not as lurid as you might expect. This is a case that has had several prosecutions already.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 8:20 AM
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80 is remarkable sophistry.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 8:52 AM
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80: I think you're underestimating what we can do with pulleys and such, but even so, the British state's old tradition of force feeding shows that yes, we really can force people to do things (that is, consume something they otherwise wouldn't). Even easier with a peg tube.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 8:55 AM
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I mean, I guess if you define "do" as send neural impulses to activate a body part. I don't think "do" is that limited; it can include go, eat, etc, including involuntarily. I believe in you, little word! You can signify ANYTHING!


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 9:01 AM
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I still get these particular kids might be in a better position in practice, but I don't get this person's ideal state of how it would work.

I saw the thing you linked to and had the same question. IIRC the author was a public defender or criminal defense lawyer and therefore likely (and for absolutely good reason in that profession) starts from a baseline of "the government knowing where you are is inherently bad." But obviously the right order of preference is (a) a federal government actually interested in child welfare that checks up on these kids and helps makes sure they're not enslaved by foster parents on egg farms, or whatever; (b) the federal government not knowing where the kids are; (c) the actually-existing immigration authorities in the Trump Administration knowing where these kids are.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 9:06 AM
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84: 80 is remarkable sophistry stoicism.

Gotta keep your Greek philosophers straight!


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 9:09 AM
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Who can forget Dmitri Stoa.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 9:18 AM
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||

Michigan may be the next state to legalize recreational marijuana - I think that would make it the first Midwestern state, unless someplace like Illinois steals a march with the legislative route.

|>


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 11:27 AM
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No potential democratic 2020 presidential candidate supports abolishing ICE, so if people want ICE to be abolished pressure on democratic politicians seems to be the way to go. Just opposing Trump only gets you to the democratic status quo which isn't that good on this issue.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 11:37 AM
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91: amenesty is the correct position which we basically did in 86 bipartisanly. I'm not sure why the political class has become much more reactionary about the conditions of undocumented people living in the United States.


Posted by: Asteele | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 2:19 PM
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92 My guess is that immigration has become something like abortion in that there are, in the Republican coalition, a group of single-issue, or nearly single-issue, voters on this, which are a large enough part of the coalition to make a difference in a Republican primary. Although I think there's broad agreement that a DACA fix would pass, the Republican leadership can't allow itself to be seen as tolerating it, and too many members would rather not see the issue, even as primary season winds down.

You also have a general erosion of norms where even among the Republicans who don't actually support using cattlecars, there's a not insubstantial slug who likes to hear 'let's use cattlecars.'

On the Democratic side, you have a number of people who need the votes of a certain percentage of soft-racists. For them, it's safer to do nothing than to get out in front of where their electorate wants to go.

I don't think abolition of all immigration enforcement is going to be on the table at the next swing of the pendulum, but it may well be possible to have an 86 style bill, and a more reasonable system for handling genuine asylum claims.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 2:41 PM
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Not saying it's a justification but there are vastly more illegal immigrants in the US now than in the 80s. Look at the chart here for example. The number quadrupled after NAFTA. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/27/5-facts-about-illegal-immigration-in-the-u-s/
That is one big reason why the climate has changed...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 2:47 PM
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Globalization. There is a general sense that if they could do so legally, enough people would immigrate here to quintuple the population, and could do so easily. And outside certain economists and utopians, nobody wants that to happen.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 3:08 PM
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94 - note that those are totals, not flows. Most "illegal immigrants" now in the United States have been here for more than 10 years, many much longer. And flows, especially from Mexico, are way, way down from where they were pre-2008. In fact, from Mexico there is net *emigration* from the US after 2008. That is a bad thing, for a lot of reasons!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 3:20 PM
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It's not acting out some fantasy of an intra-left war that exists only in my head to point out that a large number of Democrats have been throwing immigrants and border communities under the bus for a while now. It's not unproductive partisan bickering to point out that things like the border fence and the resulting absolute fucking police state that residents of the border are forced to live in would have been a bit more difficult to enact without some amount cooperation from the Democratic Party. Rather, it suggests that if we, as voters, build vocal coalitions that demand that politicians take strong stances in favor of scaling ICE and CBP back to their most minimal functions with the kinds of budget cuts that the GOP regularly imposes on the EPA, we might find ourselves with elected officials who don't regularly compromise on immigrants' rights.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 3:55 PM
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95 that doesn't make a lot of sense the ceiling on the number of people settling here is more or less completely under the control of the government. We have such a large undocumented population because we deliberately enacted policies to allow it.


Posted by: Asteele | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 4:06 PM
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97: That's right. But if your strategy involves blurring the distinctions between Trump and the Democrats, then that strategy -- by its design -- removes any political incentive for Democrats to distinguish themselves from Trump.

That's not a problem, of course, if there aren't any meaningful distinctions between Trump and the Democrats.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 4:11 PM
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Ending TPS will either force 350k working-age people now productively in the US to either leave or increase the number of undocumented workers.

We're discussing people are a part of the US, a necessary part both demographically and as people who will pick strawberries, work in slaugherhouses, and otherwise do useful work that people with lots of options here will not do.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 4:15 PM
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Somebody could be governor of Missouri.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 4:18 PM
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95 - I don't question that this is how people feel, but I wonder how true the "open borders would quintiple the USA population" thing really is. Germany is very roughly as rich vis-a-vis Romania as the USA is vis-a-vis Mexico, and has sort-of open borders with Romania, yet Germany hasn't filled up in some unsustainable way with Romanians. And until 1915 the world did basically have open borders -- yes woth higher transportation costs but with equally big or bigger differences between rich and poor and transportation affordable to, say, Ukranian peasants with a little savings.

That's not a firm position, I don't know of there are serious projections about what an open-border or close regime would look like in terms of net immigration into the US.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 4:27 PM
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99: I'm not going to argue that there aren't meaningful distinctions between the GOP and Democrats, broadly speaking. Immigration, however, is somewhere where the center-left and center-right positions are the same. That position is, roughly

Vote reliably for $5-6 billion in funding for a newly established gestapo for immigrants under the guise of border security and sometimes for the construction of new fencing, all while punting the question of what to do with currently existing guest workers and undocumented people on to the next congress, continuing to shunt undocumented humans into private detention centers and hoping that a nativist President doesn't come along and draw attention to the unconscionable status quo by making a habit of saying racist things and calling for and even more brutal approach towards dealing with the millions of workers in America who have no political rights.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 4:29 PM
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Speaking of immigration, if anybody watches the PBS show about the Chinese Exclusion Act I'd be curious what they think of it.

[T]he film's scope is far larger. Tracing the story of Chinese immigration from 1840 (when the United States census showed a total of four Chinese among a population of 17 million) to the present, it provides a well-documented but not well-known alternate history -- a corrective to the national myth of the melting pot.

The filmmakers and their cast of mostly Asian-American historians frame the Exclusion Act as part of a long national narrative of racism, xenophobia, predatory capitalism and political calculation. The China trade and the Opium Wars, the Civil War and the collapse of Reconstruction, and cycles of economic depression and labor unrest all figure into a story that doesn't begin to turn until well after World War II. It's also a cautionary tale, reminding us that open ideas about immigration and citizenship that are now under attack have only had currency since the 1960s.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 4:29 PM
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I can't fault the Democrats for not doing something about this in 2008-2010 in the midst of the financial crisis. Obviously it's understandable that creating the CFPB (which recently got me back $800 a bank tried to take from me with no explanation), passing the Affordable Care Act, and allocating stimulus funds took priority in the midst of an economic depression. But now that we've got exactly the kind of President we were worried wouldn't get control over the gestapo, I think it's time to rethink priorities going forward.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 4:32 PM
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103 - What are you quoting from? Also, that is bullshit if it supposed to be the "center left" position -- the mainstream Democratic party position has been to try to get comprehensive immigration reform to avoid precisely the stalemate you are talking about, while making many people here citizens. Yes there probably would be more spent on enforcement and border police than should be there, but let's criticize from a place of talking about what people have been advocating for.

Here's Hillary Clinton's immigration talking points, used here absolutely not to talk about Clinton but only as a proxy for the current mainline Democratic party position on immigration. It's not immune from criticism! But it's not what you are saying, either.

https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/immigration-reform/


Posted by: Robery Halford | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 4:39 PM
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102. Counterfactuals are hard to assess.

There have been past inflows from war-torn places-- about 100k Bosnians in the nineties, apparently 300k Hmong after the Vietnam war. Even 50M potential immigrants seems insanely high to me-- I would ask what empirical basis there is for expecting large-scale long distance migration. Obviously nobody is proposing red-carpet treatment for huge numbers of strangers that would actually be attractive.

I think that most people fleeing disaster think of themselves as waiting out a storm rather than really wanting to resettle.

I think claims of fear of population surges happen because lots of places have an emigration problem. Young people leave the hinterlands for the cities, so the old people who are left are appallled by other changes happening at the same time, are suddenly sensitized to thinking about the future because they see that the past is gone.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 4:48 PM
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106

Yes, the Democratic position has been to say those things, but in practice, vote for $5-6 billion per year in funding for ICE. In fact, the most significant increases coming from 2008-2010, while Democrats controlled the Senate and simply didn't get around to doing all of those (very good) things that Hillary Clinton is suggesting. A great irony is that this would have been a politically savvy thing to do, as it would have given the Democratic Party a few million more voters -- many for life.

In practice, Hillary Clinton's most significant contribution to immigration is to have voted for the Secure Fence Act of 2006. This is not to bring up Hillary Clinton again -- the act enjoyed broad bipartisan support and hence passed the Senate 80-19 and the house 283-138. In the words of the White House Office of the Press Secretary, the Secure Fence Act

"Authorizes the construction of hundreds of miles of additional fencing along our Southern border; Authorizes more vehicle barriers, checkpoints, and lighting to help prevent people from entering our country illegally; Authorizes the Department of Homeland Security to increase the use of advanced technology like cameras, satellites, and unmanned aerial vehicles to reinforce our infrastructure at the border."

This is the act that is the reason that the neighborhood that I went to high school in is basically a fucking police state now. I'm not exaggerating: there are fucking cameras watching peoples' backyards. The wall cuts straight through the fucking neighborhood. It's worse every time I go back. It's a fucking police state.

Half of the Democratic party at the time voted for it, and then when they got a majority in 2008, they increased ICE's budget. I hope you'll understand why I don't find this platform statement all that credible.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 5:09 PM
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But you're being slippery. Everyone agrees that the Democrats can and should do more, and should be pushed by activists to do more, and to actually push immigration issues higher on the agenda for legislative or executive action, when they can. No argument here from me, or AFAICT anyone else. And, in fact, one way to push them to do this is to make this a specifically partisan issue and heighten the partisan valence of it!

But you want to make a separate argument -- you want to argue that Democrats have had a lousy record on immigration issues since 2006 because, somehow, what they actually want to do, as opposed to just political expediency/inattention/whatever.

I do agree that there's been way too much attention to border security. The Democratic party's 2006-2014 hope, as I mentioned somewhere above, was to try and tradeoff increased security for actual immigration reform. That was a completely failed strategy, certainly in hindsight. The Democrats failed. But the deliberate partisan blurring on the issue both is inaccurate historically (and in the present) and isn't really helpful moving forward.

tl;dr "yes Democratic party politicians are saying good things but they're all a bunch of liars who are bad" is both historically wrong and counterproductive; "yes Democratic party politicians are saying good things now and lets hold them accountable so that they actually get shit done, when they can, instead of just talking about it" is, at least with me, uncontroversial.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 5:27 PM
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That's good, and there is a hint that they're doing better: they've finally stopped agreeing to fund more wall in return for unspecified and vague promises about future immigration reform. The fact remains that they turned the border into a police state and we ought to think about how to undo that. And from 2008-2010, we should be clear: there was no compromise. They just didn't get to it. Again, circumstances then were what they were.

My worry is that this will happen again. The reason I fear this will happen again is that immigrants simply can't vote. The size of the voting block that will hold them accountable for not prioritizing immigrants is not tiny, but quite frankly I expect that by the time Democrats have the opportunity to do anything again there will be at least one GOP-created crisis plus other left priorities with larger, whiter, more politically connected constituencies (eg Medicare for All), and immigrants will again be forgotten.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 5:45 PM
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They held the legislature in 2007 and Bush would of signed the bill, they could of gotten immigration reform then if the Dems would of voted for it. I'm not sure about the merits of the 2007 Bill, but it looked pretty similar to Obamas 2011 proposal.


Posted by: Asteele | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 5:55 PM
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Also forgot in 2010 the senate Dems murked the DREAM act, so that wasn't great.


Posted by: Asteele | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 6:02 PM
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102: I don't think that's a great comparison. 3.4 million Romanians have left over the last decade, which is about 16% of their population ten years ago. Romanian immigrants have many richer EU nations to go to--e.g. there are over 400k in the UK. Mexican economic immigrants mostly go to the US, and if 16% of Mexico came here over a decade, that'd be 2 million people a year, far more than we've ever actually seen. Of course, it'd be no means quintuple the population--that's ridiculous and even if everyone in the Western Hemisphere migrated here that wouldn't happen--but it's an extra Texas-load worth people. I can't imagine how batshit the racists would get.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 6:06 PM
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There's also a fundamental injustice to the fact that anyone living in a state counts towards electoral apportionment but they aren't allowed to vote.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 6:10 PM
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Thinking about this a bit more. Both previous presidents wanted reform but couldn't get it through Congress because it's unpopular with the Republican base, and despite part of the republican caucus being willing to defect over the issue, it's not important enough to the Dem party that they'll unify to pass it. They will however relentlessly vote for increased budgets and more enforcement.


Posted by: Asteele | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 6:12 PM
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Although for statewide representation it makes things better for people who can't vote to count towards their local population.


Posted by: heebie | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 6:13 PM
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116 was not clear but the kids are coming. Oh well!


Posted by: heebie | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 6:13 PM
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110.2 - that's reasonable. In some ways, IF the Democrats ever have real power to do something about it, the Trump Administration's making horrible immigration policy their policy centerpiece may be useful. That's the optimistic story. There's a negative story, of course, which is that Republicans being hyped up about this issue prevent change forever. Or another negative story which is that immigration stuff drops to the bottom of the agenda in a Democratic administration. But the strong partisan valence of the issue in Trumpland makes scenario 3 seem less likely to me.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 6:14 PM
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The 2007 immigration reform bill was basically a bipartisan coalition of business Republicans and center-left Democrats from blue states in favor, and opposed by a bipartisan coalition of everyone else It had the DREAM act in it but also some business-Republican-friendly stuff like a guest worker program. Ted Kennedy was a big supporter, a bunch of small-state Democrats at the right wing of the 2007 party were opposed (it's actually amazing looking at the list how much further right that was) and some strange bedfellows on the left of the party, including someone we definitely don't want to mention here, voted no. Once that coalition bill fell apart basically all individual pieces of it did as well, and there was no other real comprehensive immigration reform legislative effort until today.

https://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=110&session=1&vote=00235


Posted by: RH | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 6:24 PM
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Oh, it's not lost on me at all that Trump's decision to make a big show of his hatred for immigrants has had the effect of drawing more attention to the horrors of the status quo. I believe that this kind of thing is why a lot of hard right conservatives found Trump so horrifying: they know that the current style of American authoritarianism is harder to sustain if anyone in power talks about it publicly - even if it's to say that the system should be made more brutal.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 6:32 PM
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Probably the most depressing moment of the 2016 cycle for me was watching the Democratic debate on immigration because it was clear that neither of them had given much thought to immigration at all. There's a similar dynamic with border policy to the one that allows the neocons to dominate foreign policy: the only people who give much thought at all to the border are racist weirdos like Greg Abbott and Joe Arpaio.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 6:40 PM
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I think the 2007 immigration reform act was maybe the last ever attempt at a major "bipartisan center in favor of compromise on semi-competent, important legislation vs. everyone else" bill.* In 2007 it just barely failed. Today, a partisan breakdown like that on any major piece of legislation in Congress feels like reading an ancient scroll from a forgotten time. It might as well be written in Linear B. Seriously, look at that vote breakdown. It really is hard to believe that Unfogged or the internet could possibly have existed in an era when you could have Senate votes broken down like that on an important bill.

*I guess there was one last one, the 2008 emergency bank bailout bill. And that was it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 6:40 PM
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95 et seq: Somewhat orthogonally, as Europe is showing now, spikes in migration reliably bring assholes out of the woodwork, and that can be very dangerous. I think that for a (liberal) immigration policy to be long-term viable the state needs to retain the ability to control migrant flows, and part of that involves physical control of the border. None of this is to condone or condemn any democrat votes in the past, but I think it's something crucial that has to be borne in mind.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 6:47 PM
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I'm sure when John McCain dies we'll see some bipartisanship on the John McCain Memorial Iran War Act of 2019


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 6:47 PM
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124 -Yes, but would you have (the equivalents of) Larry Craig, Lindsay Graham, Ted Kennedy, Trent Lott, John Kerry and Amy Klobuchar in favor, with Sam Brownback, Sherrod Brown, Jeff Sessions, and Bernie Sanders opposed?

That's a Senate vote lineup from another universe.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 6:58 PM
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Seems like the TPP broke along some weird lines. Also easing import restrictions on foreign generic drugs breaks down along some weird lines, with I think Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz being for and Cory Booker and guys like Marco Rubio against.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 7:04 PM
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TPP is the closest for sure, though by the end it was basically Obama+some Republicans vs. everyone else. And you get weird bipartisan coalitions on small stuff or stuff the public isn't noticing all the time. But I think the idea that you could even have a hope of enacting a major law on an important and controversial domestic issue using the kind of expressly (and on both sides of the vote) bipartisan political coalition in 119 is from another world (and was already rare by 2007).

Sometimes I think people underrate how new and weird the current partisan regime is.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 7:50 PM
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But the destruction of the political, social, and cultural fabric of the nation is worth it because the marginal tax rate on the highest earners was cut.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 7:56 PM
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89: dmitri stoa may have been in lubyanka begging for death he was denied. or, I guess, like bo√ęthius, waiting around calmly for them to tighten that fatal band around his head.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 05-29-18 9:17 PM
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