Immigration battle heats up even after more administration departures

There hasn’t been too many going through the revolving door in the past little while but it changed when Kirstjen Nielsen, the secretary of Homeland Security, was [from what it looks like was] fired by Trump. She came to the White House recently supposedly to discuss immigration and border issues and walked out without a job. Right away, Donald Trump name Kevin McAleenan, the current US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner, to replace her. So that shows that she didn’t resign but was forced out.

The departure comes just days after Trump suddenly withdrew the nomination of Ron Vitiello for Immigration and Customs Enforcement director, blindsiding the Department of Homeland Security. Nielsen was unaware what was happening until after the nomination had been pulled. Trump was not pleased with Nielsen’s performance the past few weeks. But is he ever happy when things don’t go his way?

United States Secret Service director Randolph “Tex” Alles is being removed from his position. Trump instructed his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, to fire Alles. Alles remains in his position as of now but has been asked to leave. Secret Service officials have been caught by surprise with the news. White House press secretary Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders said that Trump has picked James M. Murray, a career USSS official, to replace Alles.

Alles was under recently fired Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen. Also under DoHS, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services director Francis Cissna and Office of the General Counsel’s John Mitnick are expected to be gone soon.

The Trump administration pressured the Department of Homeland Security to release immigrants detained at the southern border into so-called sanctuary cities in part to retaliate against Democrats who oppose Trump’s plans for a border wall. Trump personally pushed former Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen to follow through on the plan. Nielsen resisted and the DHS legal team eventually produced an analysis that killed the plan.

Already, fellow Republicans aren’t happy and legal experts are saying the dumping of immigrants in sanctuary cities is illegal.

Trump told reporters that his administration is not looking to resume the separation of parents and children at the US-Mexico border, denying reports that it is something he has been pushing for. Trump had had been pushing then-Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to enforce a stricter and more widespread “zero-tolerance” immigration policy. [Except when he denies these issue, they are generally true.]

Trump wanted families separated even if they came in at a legal port of entry and were legal asylum seekers and he wanted families separated even if they were apprehended within the US. He thinks the separations work to deter migrants from coming.

Trump also blamed the policy on the Obama administration. “President Obama separated children. I was the one who that changed it,” he claimed falsely. Under President Barack Obama, the Justice Department was given broad discretion on who should face criminal charges, and federal prosecutors rarely went after families.

In April 2018, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Justice Department would prosecute 100% of illegal border-crossers in a policy known as “zero-tolerance.” Adults went to jails and awaited criminal proceedings while children were sent to detention centers run by the Department of Health and Human Services, and some were eventually placed in foster care. This specific change is what led to the widespread separation of parents and children.

Another option is the “binary choice” proposal where it puts that decision of separation in the hands of parents. What do you think the parents would want to do if had a choice?

Trump whined again about having the worst immigration laws. He then blames the Democrats but he had 2 years of a Republican controlled Congress. So why didn’t he do it then when he theoretically could pass a new law?

Trump called the asylum program “a scam,” alleging that lawyers coach tough, violent men through the process. “Some of the roughest people you’ve ever seen, people that look like they should be fighting for the Ultimate Fighting Championship… They read a little page given by lawyers that are all over the place.”

Attorney General William Barr told lawmakers that he will be looking to the “genesis” of the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into potential ties between members of Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russian government began in 2016, saying, “I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal” but declining to elaborate on his concerns.

Democrats are worried that Barr is bending to the Trump’s demands and have called on Barr to release an unredacted version of the special counsel’s confidential report on the Russia investigation to Congress.
Trump said that Barr was doing a “great job” and “getting started on going back to the origins on where exactly this all started because it was an illegal witch hunt. …. This was an attempted coup, this was an attempted take-down of a president.” Does he know the definition of a coup?

Federal investigators in New York have “gathered more evidence than previously known” from individuals in the President’s “inner circle,” related to the hush-money payments made to two women who claim they had affairs with Trump. Investigators “learned of calls” between Keith Schiller, Trump’s longtime bodyguard, and David Pecker, the head of American Media Inc., the company that publishes the National Enquirer.

Trump still doesn’t want to release his tax returns. “There is no law, as you know, I got elected last time with the same issue and while I’m under audit, I won’t do it. If I’m not under audit, I would do it, I have no problem with it, but while I’m under audit, I would not give my taxes,” Trump said. That is one long audit!

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sent a very clear message to Trump: Stop picking problematic nominees and asking the Senate to confirm them. He is picking candidates that wouldn’t be easy to confirm even with a Republican majority in the senate.

Trump’s older sister, federal appellate Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, has retired — halting an investigation into whether she broke judicial conduct rules by committing tax fraud. The investigation started last fall indicating that the Trump family had participated in tax schemes to maximize Trump, Barry and their siblings’ inheritances. An inactive judge for over two years, Barry no longer faces the judicial misconduct charge as the statute only applies to active judges.

When Julian Assange was arrested by London [UK] police from the Ecuadorian embassy, Trump told reporters he knows “nothing about WikiLeaks” and it’s not his “thing.” Yet during the campaign trail at rallies when the mountain of information came out from WikiLeaks, Trump praised WikiLeaks saying even that “I love WikiLeaks” among other positive comments.

Multiple Republicans, including Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, and Sen. Roy Blunt were scratching their heads at Trump’s comments how he didn’t know much about WikiLeaks now but made those comments about 30 months ago.

Near Calexico, California, a section of the fencing between Mexico and the US was recently replaced. This section was in the works to be replaced almost a decade ago. And yet there was a plaque that was added to the fence which said that “This plaque was installed on October 26, 2018 to commemorate the completion of the first section of President Trump’s border wall.” But as mentioned, it was a replacement wall and not part of a new wall that didn’t previously exist.

Trump created a brand new attack on trade with Europe, including threats by the US trade office of tariffs on $11 billion US worth of European goods. Just like going after Canada, Mexico, China and others with the same phrase, Trump tweeted “The EU has taken advantage of the U.S. on trade for many years. It will soon stop!” The EU is expected to retaliate.

Aircraft subsidies are just an excuse for the US to launch an attack on another of its longtime trade partners in hopes of winning the kinds of advantages it sees itself getting in its deal with China. Others says he is trying to get on Boeing’s good side especially after the slew of canceled orders because of the 737 Max 8 issue.

Trump canceled a deal that made it easier for Cuban baseball players to compete professionally in the US. It allowed Cuban players to play in the US without detecting and then state-run Cuban Baseball Federation would get a fee. The White House argued that the Cuban Baseball Federation is part of the Cuban government, which caused the deal to be nullified as trade with Cuba is banned. The deal was made just 4 months ago.

Mount Vernon president and CEO Doug Bradburn, who led the tour, according to Politico, has told several people that French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife were far more knowledgeable about the history of Washington’s compound than Trump seemed to be.

Trump reportedly learned about the first US president’s real estate empire. But Trump didn’t seem too impressed. “If he was smart, he would’ve put his name on it,” Trump said of Mount Vernon. “You’ve got to put your name on stuff or no one remembers you.” Bradburn reminded Trump that Washington had succeeded in getting the nation’s capital named after him.

Twitter is considering labeling tweets that violate its rules but should remain on the platform because they’re in the public interest. This include tweets from politicians and other figures that may be offensive but are important for public debate. Twitter has come under fire from some critics who say Trump’s tweets often violate its rules against bullying, dehumanization and threatening harm.

Jessikka Aro, a Finnish investigative journalist with a history of breaking stories on Russian propaganda efforts, had been slated to receive a prestigious award in Washington a little while back along with several other women selected by the State Department for their courage in the face of great risks overseas. The State Department said it was a miscommunication and that she had been “incorrectly notified” of her award. But internal communications show that the State Department and US embassy officials in Finland had been in talks with Aro for several months.

Trump knows how to pick them. Stephen Moore, Trump’s pick for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board, owes $75,000 in taxes and penalties to the IRS. It was for unpaid taxes, penalties, interest and other costs in 2014. Moore has previously gone after the Feds in comments and is fairly close to Trump.

A former driver for Trump’s family has been in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for eight months. The man, a Romanian immigrant green card holder, who came to the United States legally in 2011 and worked for Trump’s golf club in Jupiter, Florida, was arrested in June 2018 by ICE after the agency called him to their office “to discuss his ‘inadmissibility'” to the United States following a 2013 trip he took to Romania. During the 2016 election, the man picked up campaign staff members and dignitaries at the airport adding that he had to receive security clearances from the Secret Service.

Last year, companies announced 98,563 retail job cuts, the highest total since 2009. Primary reason is more online shopping. But what was lost, package pickers and drivers have increased. Just this week, Payless shoes announced it would close 2,500 stores in the US and Canada and lay off 16,000 workers.