As the Carolinas prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Florence, currently a Category 4 storm, Senator Jeff Merkley appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show with a document that shows $10,000,000 was diverted from FEMA's budget to pay for ICE detention centers.
It's believed the transfer of funds took place at the beginning of summer. You know, right before the start of hurricane season. And if that's not enough to make your blood boil, this video of Trump calling his administration's handling of Puerto Rico during and after Hurricane Maria "an incredible, unsung success" should do the trick.
I'm sure Carolinians are relieved the President of the United States considers 3000 dead Americans an incredible, unsung success. No worries, Outer Banks! He'll be there to throw paper towels at you soon.
Trump admin took millions from FEMA for ICE detentions [MSNBC] Read the rest
“America is at stage two Islamic Cancer,” says the founder of ACT for America. Why exactly is Thomas Homan, former acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), speaking at their upcoming event in Washington, D.C.? And he only retired in June. Read the rest
ProPublica's Michael Grabell and Topher Sanders obtained police reports and call logs from more than 70 of the 100 shelters housing immigrant children.
What the documents reveal: “If you're a predator, it's a gold mine.” Read the rest
A 6-year old girl separated from her mom under Trump's "zero tolerance" policy was sexually abused inside a Southwest Key shelter in Arizona, reports The Nation. Read the rest
More horrifying news from Donald Trump's racist 'zero tolerance' war on brown asylum seekers. Read the rest
“I am requesting to reunite with my child...”
The Southern Poverty Law Center says this is a form some of their clients who have been detained under Donald Trump's racist “zero tolerance” program have been presented with, to request that ICE give back their children.
Read the rest
James Schwab worked as federal employee for 17 years, serving in the military, at the Department of Defense and NASA. His last gig with the government was as a spokesperson for ICE under President Obama and President Trump. After close to 20 years in the trenches, many career government employees would have a thousand-yard stare fixed squarely on their retirement. Schwab? Not so much: he resigned from ICE three months ago, rather than be complicit in spreading significant levels of disinformation to the American people. Put an emphasis on significant: Schwab, like many PR pros, was comfortable with a certain amount of bullshit flowing out from between his lips. But as he outlines in this video, there are limits.
Three months after he resigned, two Department of Homeland Security investigators showed up at his front door, looking to question him, allegedly, to intimidate him into keeping quiet about what he was privy to while working for ICE. It just so happened that a CBS This Morning news crew was at Schwab's home, interviewing him when the investigators knocked on his front door.
The Investigators told CBS' Jamie Yuccas and a surprised sounding Schwab that they were there to investigate the leaking of information to the Mayor of Oakland about an ICE operation that took place earlier this year.
Not greasy at all. Nope. Read the rest
One of the more fascinating and horrible details in Reuters' thoroughly fascinating and horrible long-form report on Trump's cruel border policies is this nugget: ICE hacked the risk-assessment tool it used to decide whom to imprison so that it recommended that everyone should be detained.
Read the rest
Last night, a group of culture jammers called Indecline improved a "1-800-GOT-JUNK?" billboard on a highway in Emeryville, California, just east of San Francisco. The billboard previously said "We make junk disappear" and they fixed it to read "We make kids disappear - ICE."
In a statement sent to the media, Indecline stated that the modification was a response to "President Trump's handling of the current immigration crisis, particularly, the separation of young children from their families."
Indecline also posted the following documentation of their work:
(SFGate) Read the rest
An internal document shows the U.S. Navy has developed a plan to construct 'austere' tent cities capable of holding tens of thousands of immigration detainees on remote bases in California, Alabama and Arizona. Read the rest
As Microsoft employees grow increasingly furious that their employer is a key technology provider to ICE, providing, among other things, facial recognition software, the company is responding, conscious of the possibility of a repeat of Google's showdown with its employees over the provision of AI for drone warfare systems.
Read the rest
Sam Lavigne wrote a script that scrapes LinkedIn to create a handy list of people who work for ICE, lately responsible for various unlawful and totalitarian acts in the name of policing immigrants to the United States of America. Read the rest
Back in January, Microsoft announced that they were "proud" to support ICE. Honestly, what company wouldn't be? A U.S. federal contract, no matter how large your coffers and corporate reach might be, is a good get, due both to the amount of American lucre you'll pocket and the visuals that come from being trusted by one of the most powerful countries in the world to meet their cloud computing needs.
But hey: it isn't January anymore and Microsoft in June, 2018 is looking a little bit like IBM back in the 1930s.
Under the Trump Administration's direction, ICE and other Homeland Security entities have been busy breaking up families, emotionally scarring thousands of innocent kids, and driving their anguished caretakers into cages, or worse, to suicide. That Microsoft's Azure cloud computing services are helping such villainy along, in any capacity, might be good in the short-term, for the company's bottom line, but the optics are shit. More than this, the company's association with ICE is raising the hackles of some of their their most important assets: not their shareholders or board, but their employees.
According to Gizmodo, a number of Microsoft employees, who prefer to remain anonymous in the interest of protecting their careers, have stepped forward to report that the computer technology company's relationship with ICE has led to growing dissent among the company's workforce. When Giz questioned Microsoft's PR team on the matter, the response was a bit wishy-washy:
Read the rest
Microsoft condemned family separation by ICE in a statement to Gizmodo but declined to specify if specific tools within Azure Government, like Face API—facial recognition software—were in use by the agency.
Tent cities for migrant children separated from their parents at the border? Sure, why not.
According to USA Today, the Department of Health and Human Services will be paying a visit to Fort Bliss Army base, just outside of El Paso, Texas to see if it would be a suitable location to set up a tent city designed to house between 1,000 and 5,000 migrant kids. According to the report, HHS officials are also eyeing Air Force bases in San Angelo and Abilene for the task.
So, tent cities built by the homeless are deemed illegal and get torn down by the government, but when the government wants to build one, it’s totally cool. Got it.
From USA Today:
The Office of Refugee Resettlement at HHS is responsible for looking after more than 11,200 migrant children being held without a parent or guardian. Some 100 existing shelters, however, are now 95% full.
The number of migrant children held in U.S. government custody without their parents has increased more than 20% as a result of a new "zero-tolerance" policy by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. That policy directs the Border Patrol to refer all people caught crossing the border illegally for criminal prosecution, regardless of their situation.
Because of the Trump Administration’s no-exceptions policy on illegal immigration, enough children to entertain the notion of opening a tent city to contain them all have been ripped from their families over the past few months, while adults, whose only crime was to come to America looking for a better life, you know, like many of our ancestors did, are being locked away in federal prisons while awaiting deportation hearings. Read the rest
If you want to erode the public's trust in the legal system, making a court house an unsafe place to be, even during what's supposed to be a joyful occasion, is a great place to start. Just ask Alexander Parker and Krisha Schmick: They went to a courthouse in Pennsylvania, intent on getting married. The pair had known one another since high school and it seemed like the right time. There was just one problem – Alexander's skin was brown and the judge he and his bride were to stand before was a raging bigot.
According to Newsweek, when Parker and Schmick stood before Judge Elizabeth Beckley in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, instead of presiding over their wedding ceremony, she called Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents to check out Parker.
Parker, originally from Guatemala, was adopted by American parents and brought to the United States when he was eight months old – he is legally allowed to be in the country. He has the paperwork to prove it, too. But for some reason, maybe because, I dunno, HE WAS GETTING MARRIED, he forgot the official documents that proved his right to be in the country at home. All he had on him was a Guatemalan identification card. Court staff, believing for some reason that the document was a fake, contacted ICE to check Parker out.
On his wedding day, when he should have been exchanging vows, Parker was answering questions. Instead of having a ring slipped on his finger, he was forced to provide fingerprints. Read the rest
Jakiw Palij is a convicted Nazi war-criminal who helped train the force charged with murdering every Jew in Poland, guarded the Trawniki forced labor camp -- where 6,000 prisoners were murdered in a single day -- and was present at the "liquidation" of the Warsaw Ghetto. He's lived in the USA since 1949, when he entered the country and lied about his Nazi past.
Read the rest
Public records requests have shown that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement -- who have continued and intensified Obama's program of mass deportations and separation of families under Trump -- uses Facebook's logs, merged with logs from cellular carriers and analyzed by software from Palantir (Peter Thiel's police-state arms-dealer) to track immigrants people they're investigating.
Read the rest