#EndorseThis: Conan Casts Russia Scandal Made-For-TV Movie
July 14 | 2017
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Right-wing media figures have ramped up their attacks on charities and NGOs that help resettle refugees and assist asylum-seekers as part of a broader campaign to demonize migrants and the Biden administration’s immigration policies. These types of broadsides go back years, but have increased recently as fearmongering about immigration becomes a central plank in Republicans’ 2024 electoral strategy.
Non-governmental organizations and charities, like Catholic Charities and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, have long assisted the federal government in welcoming refugees and other new arrivals to the United States and easing their transition. At its best, this system facilitates the smooth integration of people into communities ready to accept them, as was the case in mass resettlement of Ukrainian refugees following Russia’s invasion of their country two years ago.
This largely decentralized system has its weaknesses, though, primarily stemming from a lack of strong coordination at the federal level. Xenophobic and opportunistic politicians have been able to fill that vacuum and manufacture a crisis, exemplified by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision to bus tens of thousands of migrants to cities like New York, Chicago, and Denver with the apparent goal of creating a crisis in Democrat-led cities in order to score political points.
That manufactured crisis has created an opportunity for right-wing media outlets to attack the organizations tasked with helping refugees and asylum-seekers. Recently, some right-wing figures have promoted a conspiracy theory claiming that these NGOs and charities are engaged in what amounts to an extortion racket, fueling migration in the hopes of inflating federal spending on the issue and capturing the additional money.
In reality, the money that comes from the federal government that these groups spend has been specifically allocated by Congress. Without providing any evidence, right-wing figures make wild assertions that migrant organizations are enriching themselves at the expense of the American public. Todd Bensman, a senior fellow at anti-immigrant think tank the Center for Immigration Studies, has also pushed this myth. (CIS is part of the Tanton network, a constellation of xenophobic organizations funded by John Tanton, whom the Southern Poverty Law Center refers to as “the racist architect of the modern anti-immigrant movement.”)
In February alone, right-wing figures have attacked charities and NGOs that provide direct services to immigrants over a dozen times. It’s notable that this messaging is largely the same whether it’s coming from fringe sources, like Infowars, or conservative outlets which are ostensibly more respectable, like Fox. The narrative has also appeared on CNN, pushed by a former NYPD officer.
Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.
Former Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) is among the Senate Republicans who is being mentioned as a possible replacement for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who on Wednesday announced that he is retiring from that position. The 82-year-old McConnell plans to serve out the rest of his term, which doesn't end until January 3, 2027, but he is stepping down as GOP leader in the U.S. Senate in November.
Far-right Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is hoping that someone other than Cornyn will be chosen. Although the conservative Cornyn has endorsed Donald Trump in the 2024 presidential election, Paxton believes that he isn't MAGA enough.
Paxton, who has been battling legal problems — including securities fraud charges — but survived an impeachment effort in the Texas legislature, attacked Cornyn in a February 28 post on X (formerly Twitter).
The Texas AG wrote, "It will be difficult for @JohnCornyn to be an effective leader since he is anti-Trump, anti-gun, and will be focused on his highly competitive primary campaign in 2026. Republicans deserve better in their next leader and Texans deserve another conservative Senator."
Cornyn, in response to Paxton's tweet, posted, "Hard to run from prison, Ken."
Paxton has been battling legal problems for almost a decade.
In 2015, Paxton was serving his first term as Texas attorney general when he was indicted on securities fraud charges And his legal problems have persisted; the case has been delayed but is scheduled to go to trial in April. Paxton, as Cornyn mentioned, is still in danger of going to prison.
Despite his legal problems, Paxton was reelected as state attorney general in 2018 and won a third term in 2022.
Paxton, in 2023, was impeached in the GOP-controlled Texas House of Representatives, and fellow Republicans argued that acts of corruption and allegations of bribery made him unfit to continue serving as Texas attorney general. But he was later acquitted in an impeachment trial in the Texas Senate, where Republicans also have a majority.
Reprinted with permission from Alternet.