“They’re not people, these are animals,” Trump says. He says they are pouring into the country, committing vicious, brutal crimes, terrorizing Long Island.
The New York Daily News reported that even his own administration members don’t back his claims:
“Carla Provost, the acting chief of the U.S. Border Patrol, noted during Senate testimony last summer how seldom gang members are caught among the unaccompanied minors crossing the border from Mexico.
“Of the 250,000 children apprehended between 2011 and summer 2017, 159 had or were suspected of having gang affiliations.
“Of those, only 56 were suspected of affiliation or confirmed to be members of MS-13, Provost said.”
CORRECTION 1/10 – DHS=Department of Homeland Security (see below)
Giovanni Miranda was 32 years old when Salvadoran gangs murdered him in front of his family in the tiny room where they lived, behind the small auto body shop he owned. Miranda had lived for most of his life in the United States and was a legal permanent resident, but was deported in 2012, after U.S. authorities discovered a 2002 conviction for possessing a small amount of cocaine. Nothing special about his story: he is one more murder victim in one of the most violent countries in the world, the 2016 murder capital of the world.
On Monday, President Trump and his Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ordered more than 200,000 Salvadorans to return to the most violent country in the world. The administration canceled Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for all Salvadorans and gave them until September 2019 to return to El Salvador or be deported. Continue reading
Anne Frank – by unknown photographer, Collectie Anne Frank Stichting Amsterdam – Website Anne Frank Stichting, Amsterdam, Public Domain
January 27 was International Holocaust Remembrance Day. President Donald Trump marked it with a short statement and a long executive order. He forgot a few things: Continue reading
Photo by Fibonacci Blue. 2017-01-20 This is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License.
Trump justified today’s anti-refugee, anti-immigrant executive order by saying that he’s protecting and defending U.S. citizens from terrorism. His order targets refugees from anywhere in the world and all immigrants and non-immigrant visitors from the predominantly Muslim countries of Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. Does he know that the last time a refugee killed someone in the United States in an act of terrorism was in the 1970s? That terrorist was a Cuban refugee. A Christian Cuban refugee. Continue reading
Let’s call a spade a spade, and admit that a lie is a lie. And this first week of Trump’s term has been filled with lies. The day after the inauguration, Trump sent his press secretary out to lie about the size of the crowds. The next day, special advisor Kellyanne Conway said those lies were just “alternative facts.” I’m a pretty good fact-checker but I can’t begin to keep up with the flood of presidential prevarications. So I’m offering up three big fat lies from the first week, and asking you, my loyal readers, to vote on your favorite. Heck, ask your friends to vote, too!
My nominees for the three biggest lies are: Continue reading
St. Patrick’s Catholic parish in Hudson, Wisconsin was asked to help receive five Syrian refugee families, a total of 11 adults and 15 children. Hatemongers stirred up opposition, and the church and community divided. (Read that sad story here, as reported by MPR.) In Hudson, and across the country, hatemongers stir up fear against refugees, saying that the government doesn’t vet their applications well enough. Truth – political refugees get screened by multiple government agencies and Syrian refugees get the most stringent vetting anyone has been able to devise. Here’s how it works. Continue reading
More than 340,000 people fled the world’s newest nation, South Sudan, this year. Millions of people have been internally displaced, along with the hundreds of thousands who have fled into Uganda since fighting began at the end of 2013. More than 50,000 people have been killed in the civil war. Now, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon says, “the risk of these mass atrocities, which include recurring episodes of ethnic cleansing, escalating into possible genocide is all too real.” Continue reading
Riverside towers on West Bank, home to many of Somali Minnesotans, and the planned setting of K’Naan’s HBO television series.
A planned television series set in Minnesota’s Somali community sparked protests at Saturday’s West Bank block party on September 10. Angry and tired of being characterized as jihadi recruits or recruiters, Minnesota Somali youth protested Somali Canadian rapper K’naan’s television plans when he came to perform. I wasn’t there, so I can’t say who threw what first – but police sprayed some of the crowd with chemical irritants, and arrested a couple of people, including a Muslim woman who is a leader of the Black Liberation Project.
The HBO television series started out as “The Recruiters,” focusing on the Somali community in Minnesota, with the promise that it “will draw open an iron curtain behind which viewers will see the highly impenetrable world of Jihadi recruitment.” That sure plays into stereotypes about Somali youth in Minnesota. Now, the series has been renamed “Mogadishu, Minnesota,” and K’Naan claims that it will “present the true and beautiful side” of Somali immigrants. The protesters weren’t buying the new description. Continue reading
Yusra Mardini and her sister fled the war in Syria, two teenagers making their way through Lebanon, Turkey, Greece, the Balkans and Central Europe to Germany. Crossing the Mediterranean in an overloaded rubber boat, they jumped in the water when the engine died and the boat started taking on water. Here’s how the New York Times tells her story:
“Of the 20 people on board, only the Mardini sisters and two young men knew how to swim, so the four of them jumped overboard. It was about 7 at night, and the turning tide had made the sea harsh and choppy. …
“Mardini and her sister swam for three and a half hours, helping the boat stay on course — even when the two male swimmers gave up and let the dinghy pull them along. It was cold, Mardini said. Her clothes dragged her down, and salt burned her eyes and skin.
“’I’m thinking, what? I’m a swimmer, and I’m going to die in the water in the end?’ she said.”
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When two elephants fight, the grass gets trampled, says a Swahili proverb, which puts me in mind of the RNC and DNC domination of July news. Despite the elephants, other news is happening to people who, like grass under elephants’ feet, seem barely noticed. If you, like me, feel closer to the grass underfoot than to the elephants in Cleveland and Philadelphia, here’s a quick round-up of some important news items you may have missed. Continue reading