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Tag: immigration

Fox's Modest Proposal: Starve Migrant Babies To Save Formula

Fox News is responding to the major shortage of baby formula by focusing its viewers’ ire on a familiar scapegoat: undocumented immigrants. The right-wing network’s biggest stars are complaining that while American parents are struggling to find formula for their children, the Biden administration is lavishing the scarce resource on migrant babies in U.S. immigration detention facilities.

Let’s start from the beginning: There are infants, brought across the border to the United States through what is self-evidently no fault of their own, who are detained under the U.S. government’s control. Like all babies, they are helpless, entirely at the mercy of the adults around them. The babies need to eat. In some cases, they may be separated from their mothers; in others, their mothers may be unable to produce sufficient breast milk. Since the law and basic human decency require governments to feed people they have detained, the U.S. government makes formula available. The alternative is babies starving to death in U.S. custody.

Meanwhile, there is currently a major shortage of baby formula in the United States. There are many reasons for this shortage, including the consolidation of formula suppliers, supply chain issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, bacterial contamination that forced a recall of some formula stocks and the shuttering of a major manufacturing plant, U.S. trade policy, and the general disregard U.S. policy has for children. The shortage is a crisis for many parents, who are unable to find the food they need for their babies.

Republicans have put these two things together and decided to blame President Joe Biden for the formula shortage on the ground that his administration is providing formula to migrant infants in detention facilities. After Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL) posted a photo of what she described as “shelves and pallets packed with baby formula” at a major border processing and detention center alongside another photo of an almost-empty formula shelf at a U.S. store, her party started running with the angle. “Our children deserve a president who puts their needs and survival first – not one who gives critical supplies to illegal immigrants before the very people he took an oath to serve,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement on Thursday.

Fox hosts, in their role as the GOP’s primary propagandists, are playing a key role in promoting this grotesque talking point. All of the network’s star hosts ran with the story on Thursday evening and Friday morning, demanding to know, as Jesse Watters put it, “Why are we feeding illegal babies ahead of American babies?" They described migrant babies getting formula when American babies can’t as something “humiliating” that should “infuriate” their viewers.



The most charitable way to look at this argument is that the Republican politicians and Fox hosts making it don’t really want Biden to starve migrant babies to death – they are just cynically using the specter of fed migrant babies to anger desperate American parents for political gain and ratings. But the direct logical extension of it, if it were carried out, would be the U.S. government starving to death the helpless infants it has in its custody.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

Texas Governor Blasted For Suing To Throw Migrant Kids Out Of School

Governor Greg Abbott is trying to block some children from being able to go to school to get an education. The Texas Republican says he will challenge the Supreme Court to overturn its 40-year-old decision that requires states to pay for the public education of all children, regardless of citizenship status.

Legal experts and others are blasting Abbott.

The Governor says it’s just too expensive for Texas to pay to educate undocumented children. Last month he spent billions of taxpayer dollars on what was decried as “an expensive campaign prop,” and a “stunt,” to “inspect” every truck crossing the border. His antics cost American companies an estimated $9 billion in just ten days.

Abbott’s border stunt isn’t quite over. He’s redirecting half a billion dollars more to fund it, with money from his Health and Human Services Commission and the Texas Department of Public Safety.

But Abbott says there just isn’t money to educate children who are undocumented.

In 1982 the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Texas law, in Plyler v. Doe, finding that states must educate undocumented children. As The New York Times reports, Abbott sees the far-right conservative Supreme Court’s apparent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade as an opening to have the court overturn other decisions he does not like.

“I think we will resurrect that case and challenge this issue again, because the expenses are extraordinary and the times are different than when Plyler versus Doe was issued many decades ago,” Abbott told far-right radio host Joe Pagliarulo, known as “Joe Pags,” the Austin America-Statesman reported.

University of Alabama law professor, MSNBC/NBC News legal analyst, and former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance is blasting Abbott.

“Plyler v Doe is long-standing precedent from 1982 that holds all kids, regardless of citizenship status, are entitled to a K-12 education on 14th Am[endment] equal protection grounds. There is no pending case, no jurisprudential reason to reverse Plyler. It’s race to the bottom stuff,” Vance tweeted Thursday.

Pointing to the Supreme Court’s ruling itself, she calls the attempt to deny children an education “cruel.”

On Friday, Vance doubled down on her condemnation, noting: “The cruelty has no bottom.”

“I know Plyler, the education case TX Gov Abbott opposes [because] it was implicitly at issue when we challenged Alabama’s 2011 anti-immigration law. That law tried to deny even citizen kids education by collecting data on parents’ citizenship. The cruelty has no bottom,” she said.

Vance was responding to a tweet from Santiago Mayer, the founder and Executive Director of Voters of Tomorrow:

Attorney Matthew Cortland says “Abbott wants SCOTUS to declare undocumented immigrants to be un-people, without ANY protections.”

Journalist and political analyst Ron Brownstein adds:

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Why Republican Talk Of 'Invasion' From Mexico Is A Dangerous Lie

Republicans eager to concoct reasons to attack the Biden administration have spent the past month beating their well-worn drum about a nonexistent “invasion” at the U.S.-Mexico border by Latino immigrants. But this time around, the effect has been jarring.

That’s because, since late February, the world has been seeing in real time what an actual invasion looks like, thanks to the attack on Ukraine by Vladimir Putin and the Russian Army. We’ve witnessed cities bombed into rubble, tanks rumbling through the countryside, suburbs turned into death camps, women and children murdered while waiting at railway stations.

When ordinary people think of invasions, they usually are referring to what we are seeing in Ukraine: One nation’s government sending its armed forces across borders and attempting to defeat the other nation's military and ultimately depose its government. You know, what we did in Iraq. Planes, tanks, bombs, the works. Shock and awe.

They don't think of poor people trekking across the desert, looking to land hard labor in our farm fields and on construction sites, or at least escape persecution and seek political asylum, quite the same way. Unless, of course, they are Republicans.

As James Downie in The Washington Post observed:

Notice that McCaul didn’t limit this comparison to traffickers or criminals trying to cross the border. No, every single person trying to cross—including the tens of thousands seeking asylum and the hundreds of thousands of families and unaccompanied children who are just seeking a better life—is in McCaul’s framing no different from soldiers invading a sovereign nation.

The invasion rhetoric has become thick on the ground as Republicans prepare for the 2020 midterm elections in their usual fashion: ginning up as much fear about nonwhite immigration as humanly possible.

Donald Trump, as usual, has been leading the way. “We are being invaded by millions and millions of people, many of them criminals,” he told the crowd at a rally in Washington Township, Michigan, on April 2, claiming that between 10 and 12 million undocumented people were waiting to cross the border. “We will be inundated by illegal immigration."

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik of New York, the House’s third-ranking Republican, also called it an invasion. “Ending Title 42 will worsen the already catastrophic invasion at our Southern Border,” she tweeted. “Joe Biden and his Far Left policies are destroying our country.”

Steven Miller, Trump’s white nationalist-friendly former senior adviser and the architect of Title 42, was even more dire: “This will mean armageddon on the border. This is how nations end.”

Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar, who has become Republicans’ go-to white nationalist in the House, joined in the hysteria on Twitter: “This is full scale invasion. This is 540,000 in one month. Putin sent 150,000 troops into Ukraine and we are ready to set fire to the world. Eliminating Title 42 will only add fuel to the fire. Madness.”

Texas lawmakers have been especially frantic in pushing the “invasion” rhetoric. Some of them are even encouraging Gov. Greg Abbott to declare an “invasion” under the U.S. Constitution, and then use state personnel to deport immigrants.

Under the plan, Texas would invoke Article IV, Section 4, and Article I, Section 10, of the Constitution to exercise wartime powers and use state Department of Public Safety officers and state National Guard troops to immediately turn back migrants at the border. The plan is being pushed by a group of former Trump administration officials and the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC), the union that represents agents and support staff of the U.S. Border Patrol. Brandon Judd, the head of NBPC, recently said Abbott should “absolutely” declare an invasion.

Judd also echoed white nationalist “replacement theory” rhetoric: “I believe that they’re trying to change the demographics of the electorate; that’s what I believe they’re doing,” he said.

The “invasion” declaration idea is being heavily promoted by the Center for Renewing America, a conservative think tank led by Ken Cuccinelli, a former Homeland Security official under Trump. Abbott has not committed to the plan, however. Most legal observers note that the term invasion is reserved to mean an “armed hostility from another political entity.”

The most pernicious aspect of the invasion rhetoric, however, is that it is fundamentally eliminationist in nature: It dehumanizes the people it targets. In this case, it serves two specific functions: It justifies state coercion and violence, and it creates permission for nonstate violence.

It’s rhetoric that has been consistently cited as inspiration and motivation by domestic terrorists of recent vintage, ranging from Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik in 2011 to the man who shot up the Walmart in El Paso, Texas, in 2019, killing 26 people. That man’s manifesto described the attack as a response to the "Hispanic invasion of Texas,” and expressed fears that changing demographics would "make us a Democrat stronghold.”

Similarly, the man who walked into a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018 believing Jews (and specifically the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) were responsible for the immigrant caravan then arriving at the Mexico border, around which Trump and Fox News had indulged in nonstop fearmongering, used the same rhetoric. He posted on Gab just before he murdered 11 people and wounded six:

HIAS likes to bring invaders that kill our people.

I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered.

Screw your optics, I’m going in.

It’s fascinating how the same cast of characters promoting “invasion” rhetoric has played a role in helping spread the very same far-right violence that such eliminationist speech is intended to fuel. It’s worth remembering that when Cuccinelli was the deputy director of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under Trump, he and Acting Director Chad Wolf blocked the release of a threat assessment of future dangers to the nation that highlighted white supremacist violence and Russian election interference, saying it was blocked because of the way it might “reflect upon President Trump.”

“Mr. Cuccinelli stated that Mr. Murphy needed to specifically modify the section on white supremacy in a manner that made the threat appear less severe, as well as include information on the prominence of violent ‘left-wing’ groups,” a whistleblower later averred. Cuccinelli was also heavily involved in DHS’ project in the summer of 2020 to use an army of federal contractors to collect information on Portland’s antifascist activists, which a subsequent review found had engaged in a long litany of constitutional violations.

Invasion rhetoric has a long and violent history in American politics, dating back to the origins of nativism in the 1830s, when anti-Irish agitators like Samuel Morse (inventor of the telegraph) called the arrival of immigrants a “Papist invasion” and an attack on “the American way of life.” Likewise, a panic about a “Chinese invasion” arriving on the West Coast “900,000 strong” in the 1860s led to the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1872.

Japanese immigrants began arriving in the 1890s, and with them, fresh resentment:

During the early 1900s, paranoia about an “invasion” from Asia (mostly Japanese immigrants) gave birth to another wave of nativism. In San Francisco, local agitators founded the Asiatic Exclusion League, dedicated to repelling all elements of Japanese society from the city's midst. Its statement of principles noted that "no large community of foreigners, so cocky, with such racial, social and religious prejudices, can abide long in this country without serious friction." And the racial animus was plain: "As long as California is white man's country, it will remain one of the grandest and best states in the union, but the moment the Golden State is subjected to an unlimited Asiatic coolie invasion there will be no more California," declared a League newsletter. As one speaker at a League meeting put it: "An eternal law of nature has decreed that the white cannot assimilate the blood of another without corrupting the very springs of civilization."

It became popular among right-wing border extremists in the 1990s, particularly white nationalist ideologues like Glenn Spencer, who concocted the “Reconquista” conspiracy theory claiming that Latino ideologues were secretly conspiring to return the American Southwest to Mexican rule, creating a new Hispanic nation called “Aztlan.”

This conspiracy theory was revived by Patrick Buchanan in his 2001 book The Death of the West, which played a foundational role in spreading the white nationalist conspiracy theory of “cultural Marxism” into the mainstream. Similarly, his 2006 book State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America had as its core thesis a revival of the “Reconquista” theory, claiming that Mexico was "slowly but steadily taking back the American Southwest."

“You’ve got a wholesale invasion, the greatest invasion in human history, coming across your southern border, changing the composition and character of your country,” Buchanan said on Fox News’ Hannity & Colmes in November 2007.

In the context of the Ukraine war—where Americans can see on a daily basis what an actual invasion looks like—some conservatives at least recognize how wildly out of proportion that kind of rhetoric seems now. And in light of the very real and very lethal consequences for Texans this kind of rhetoric has had in the recent past, its pervasiveness is a real cause for concern. It’s not just “hot talk.”

David J. Bier of the libertarian Cato Institute called invoking an invasion an “overheated political analogy … An ‘invasion’ isn’t just an overstatement,” Bier wrote. “It’s a completely unserious attempt to demand extraordinary, military-style measures to stop completely mundane actions like walking around a closed port of entry to file asylum paperwork or violating international labor market regulations in order to fill one of the 10 million job openings in this country.”

As the Post’s Downie observes:

Abbott, McCaul and McCarthy, whether they admit it or not, recognize that the easiest way to protect their standing in the Republican Party is to embrace the hate and stoke the same bigoted fury that led a man to open fire in a store. Perhaps one day, the GOP’s fever will break. Until it does, this country’s future remains very dark.

Printed with permission from DailyKos.

Bannon Crony Will Plead Guilty In 'Border Wall’ Fraud

An ally of former President Donald Trump, who also led the campaign effort to raise funding to build the border wall, has agreed to enter a guilty plea on fraud charges amid accusations that he misappropriated funds for the project. The case is in connection with the We Build the Wall border project.

In addition to the fraud charges for attempt and conspiracy to commit wire, Brian Kolfage, a right-wing propagandist on social media, has reportedly agreed to enter a guilty plea for tax fraud for falsifying information on his 2019 taxes, according to court documents filed in the federal Southern District of New York.

Prosectors shared details about Kolfage's income claims noting that he "first claimed to have earned $63,574 that year and then filed a correction claiming $300,000, but officials claimed Kolfage's income for that year 'were materially in excess of that amount.'"

Although Kolfage initially claimed he "wouldn't earn 'a penny in salary or compensation'" from the efforts to raise funds for the border wall, federal prosecutors argue otherwise.

Per Reuters, prosecutors have indicated Kolfage "told prospective donors he would 'not take a penny' as he raised more than $25 million, yet took more than $350,000 and spent money on a boat, a luxury SUV, a golf cart, jewelry, and cosmetic surgery, among other expenses."

Despite the staggering fundraising efforts, Fisher Sand & Gravel, the contractor employed to complete the project, also claims that the organization "pulled out of the $8 million project and paid for only $1.5 million of it," according to Buzzfeed.

The charges against Kolfage follow similar charges brought against former Trump White House strategist Steve Bannon, who escaped prosecution when Trump pardoned him. Kolfage, who faces the possibility of a maximum of 20 years behind bars in connection with the wire and fraud charges, is expected to change his plea status on April 21.

Printed with permission from Alternet.

Three Questions On Immigration That Democrats Should Ask

President Joe Biden seems intent on easing entry into the United States at the politically worst possible time. It's not impossible that he has a plan to keep order after he ends Title 42, which has made it harder for asylum seekers to enter the country.

Even if he manages to skillfully handle what will undoubtedly be a new surge at the border, it will lead to more ugly incidents for the news channels. In any case, the move will be interpreted as relaxing border controls, which almost everyone, including most Democrats, fears.

And so why is he doing this seven months before a midterm election? The reason is that Biden and the Democrats advising him are not asking three important questions.

Question No. 1: Who are the "immigrant advocates" pushing the leadership to take a badly timed political step? They are mostly professionals serving the interests of identity groups. They get paid to pressure politicians, not to win elections.

The term is oily in that the great majority of Americans, including most Republicans, say they value immigrants as long as they come here legally. They are actually better advocates because an immigration program that strictly enforces the rules, such as Canada's, enjoys greater public support.

Question No. 2: Who is sponsoring those polls asserting that Democrats are unhappy with Biden's current immigration policy? Answer: the "immigrant advocates."

And that's how we get headlines like the following from The Hill website: "Democratic poll: 66 percent of voters would be 'upset' without immigration reform." Who sponsored the poll? The Immigration Hub, a group that advocates for more open borders.

Here's a headline on the NBC News website: "Biden's handling of immigration gets low marks in his own pollster's survey." That survey was commissioned by a group called the NILC Immigrant Justice Fund.

It happens that both surveys were "conducted" by so-called Democratic pollsters. These polling companies know that the advocacy groups hiring them expect certain results. Like the advocates, the pollsters get paid whether or not their work helps the party retain power in November.

Question No. 3: Over the weekend, CNN's Abby Phillips said that ending Title 42 "is a promise he (Biden) made in the campaign. Now he has to keep it." Who says? The problematic word is "now." Why do Democrats constantly criticize their leaders for not instantly delivering on their vows as candidates?

If there are good arguments for removing this restriction — and there are — why can't it be done after the election? Former President Donald Trump broke dozens of campaign promises, including the big one to replace the Affordable Care Act. I don't recall Fox News hounding him about that or much of anything else.

As the facts change, so should campaign promises. But that's a discussion for another day.

Another CNN host said it was understandable that Sen. Mark Kelly, Democrat of Arizona, expressed concern that the change would start another stampede to the border. But she seemed mystified that Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan would warn of a migrant surge "all the way up in New Hampshire."

Let me explain. The people in New Hampshire, progressives included, tend to be conservative in manners, dress, and respect for the law. They don't want to turn on their TV and see chaos at the southern border. This is about civic order.

In his State of the Union address, Biden said, "We're putting in place dedicated immigration judges in significantly larger numbers so families fleeing persecution and violence can have their cases heard faster and those who don't legitimately here can be sent back."

Fingers crossed. It may be too late to ask the three questions, but Democrats should at least keep them on file.

Reprinted with permission from Creators.com

Biden Stomps DeSantis Bid To Cut Off Care For Migrant Children

On Wednesday, the Biden administration formally told Florida's Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, that his administration's attempts to shut down federally funded shelters that are offering support to unaccompanied migrant children would not work.

The shelters, contracted by the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement, assist undocumented children seeking asylum before they are reunited with a sponsor, usually a relative.

Mark Greenberg, general counsel for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, sent a letter on Tuesday to Ryan Newman, DeSantis' general counsel. Greenberg wrote that, despite DeSantis' rhetoric and his actions against shelters and other organizations providing care, "Florida cannot take action against federal contractors for activities that are expressly authorized by federal law."

Greenberg said federal contractors "are exempt from any enforcement activity, including injunctive actions, civil administrative penalties, or criminal prosecution or penalties" related to their assistance for children, and he noted that DeSantis' counsel previously conceded the U.S. Constitution limits the ability of Florida to act against them.

Greenberg also noted a Jan. 26 letter from Newman in which the Florida counsel conceded that the Constitution limits Florida's ability "to prohibit through enforcement action activities of federal officers or agents, including federal contractors," which he said means the state can't punish the shelters beyond withholding their state licenses, which aren't required for federal funding, rendering the action essentially meaningless.

But while DeSantis' threats don't have teeth, he can use them to stir up his GOP base. As governor, DeSantis, now considered a likely presidential candidate in 2024, has routinely echoed former President Donald Trump's harsh rhetoric against immigrants and has targeted shelters helping migrants, even those operated by religious organizations.

And DeSantis frequently appears on conservative outlets, like Fox News, to tout his aggressive anti-immigration stances. Such appearances in the past have played a vital role in promoting conservative politicians seeking the Republican nomination for president. Trump's campaign to secure the nomination in 2016 was greatly assisted by appearing on Fox to tout the idea of a border wall, for example. DeSantis also likes to hold press conferences to promote his anti-immigration policies.

DeSantis' attacks on migrant care centers began in September 2021, when he directed the Florida Department of Children and Families to determine if the state should continue providing licenses to them.

One shelter, the Dream Center in Sarasota, Florida, in November had to relocate nearly 60 children in their care after the state failed to renew its license to house them. According to the center, half of the children affected were under 13.

Same Sipes, CEO of Lutheran Services who operates the center, told a local TV station at the time, "It's very sad and these 50+ children were traumatized again because they had to move in a hurry because we couldn’t get clarity about our license status."

That same month, members of the American Academy of Pediatrics called on DeSantis to rescind the order, arguing that it harms the wellbeing of children.

In December, DeSantis ordered that regulators stop renewing or issuing licenses to centers that have been taking care of unaccompanied minors.

Arguing in favor of his stance in a February news conference, DeSantis alleged that the process used by the Biden administration "smuggles in illegal immigrants from many different countries with no vetting, no transparency, and no consideration for child and public safety."

This claim was rated "mostly false" by PolitiFact, who noted that the Customs and Border Protection agency does gather biometric information from immigrant children, along with fingerprints and birth certificates, which are used to uncover possible criminal histories.

Faith leaders have also spoken out against DeSantis' policy, including the Archbishop of Miami, Thomas Wenski.

In an op-ed published on Tuesday written by Rev. Jose Rodriguez and a coalition of Latino community leaders, DeSantis was asked to keep the centers open.

"We have a duty of care to protect children. The child at the border misses and yearns for their mother and father, cries, hurts, is afraid, and needs rescue and protection in the same way that the children that came here from Cuba in the 1960s," the letter read.

The reference was to a Cold War program called Operation Peter Pan that involved the airlift of 14,000 unaccompanied children from Cuba's communist regime to Florida, where they were cared for by charitable organizations.

The Florida government has still scheduled a public hearing on Thursday to consider DeSantis' rule.

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Republicans Prepare Racially Inflammatory Anti-Immigrant Midterm Campaign

Two organizations tracking anti-immigrant advertising say they’ve documented more than 700 such ads leading into the 2022 midterms, including attacks against the Biden administration over a so-called “border crisis” and content designed to undermine a vastly popular pathway to citizenship for the nation’s undocumented communities.

The former is particularly shameless considering two of the previous administration’s worst policies largely shutting down the U.S. asylum system, Remain in Mexico and the debunked Title 42 public health order, are still in effect today. But that hasn’t stopped Republicans from lying. And as we get closer to Election Day, we already know it’ll only get worse.

“Increasingly, these ‘border crisis’ attacks are also using Vice President Kamala Harris as their main foil: the border czar,” America’s Voice and Immigration Hub said in the report. “Thirty-seven paid ads invoke the Vice President with xenophobic dogwhistles, echoed by members of Congress, such as Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Congressman Mike Johnson (R-LA). The gender and racial connotations are also quite evident.”

The report notes hate group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) has spent tens of thousands of dollars over the past two months targeting nearly two dozen House Democrats for their support of popular, pro-immigrant legislation. The racist Tanton network organization has launched ads against House Democrats despite the fact that House Republicans also voted in favor of bills protecting Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients and undocumented farmworkers.

But anti-immigrant advertising isn’t solely a product of the fringe right-wing. Racism is the Republican mainstream. (FAIR led Congressional Republicans in “border crisis” messaging from the very start of Biden’s administration.)

America’s Voice late last year noted racist ads from House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik and Sen. Rick Scott, who heads the National Republican Senate Committee. While both voted to overturn the results of the 2020 election in favor of the twice-impeached former president, Stefanik’s ad stoops to calling undocumented immigrants the real insurrectionists. Stefanik also echoed the white supremacist “replacement theory” in her ad.

The report notes that Lindsey Graham, once a Republican champion of comprehensive immigration reform, also echoed racist “invasion” rhetoric. Once again: It’s not the fringe, it’s the GOP. But America’s Voice and Immigration Hub note that GOP-led attacks “fail to dampen support for citizenship.”

“The report includes new results of a study by Immigration Hub, conducted by BlueLabs Analytics, testing political ads among Florida, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania voters,” the two organizations said. “A GOP ad that attacked President Biden on his management of the border failed to move voters against a path to citizenship, only managing to drive down Biden’s approval numbers.”

“However, voters who viewed the Hub’s ad that exposed the GOP’s obstruction and politicization of the border and pushed for citizenship, moved voters in favor of Democrats. By going on offense, Democrats have an opportunity to counter the Republican electoral playbook.” America’s Voice has separately noted that in a futile attempt to stop GOP attacks, “the Biden administration has maintained numerous Trump policies along the border, only to continue to be attacked by the rabid right wing media.” The groups encourage Democrats to combat Republicans by delivering on promises for a more humane immigration system.

“Republican and right-wing messages haven’t changed since Trump’s departure,” Immigration Hub chief political and communications officer Beatriz Lopez said. “The warning signals to Democrats are clear: It’s immigration today and it’ll be immigration in 2022.”

“While the right-wing playbook is to exacerbate fears over the economy and public health with hyperbole over immigrants and the border, their strategy fails to shake voters’ strong support for a path to citizenship,” she continued. “Our tracking and testing among battleground voters makes clear that Democrats must go on offense by driving their efforts to deliver on a path to citizenship and sensible immigration solutions while exposing the GOP political gamesmanship on the issue.”

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Biden Cancels Billions For Trump’s Military-Funded Border Wall

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

President Joe Biden is cancelling billions in funding for construction of a wall at the southern border that had been authorized by his predecessor, according to The Hill.

Donald Trump had used emergency powers in 2019 to raid Defense Department coffers in order to fund his precious border wall after Congress declined to fully fund the project. Now the White House says some of the leftover funding will be used to help reverse the environmental damage caused by construction of the wall.

"Consistent with the President's Proclamation terminating the redirection of funds for border wall, no more money will be diverted from other purposes to building a border wall," a Biden administration official said Friday. "Today, the Department of Defense will begin cancelling all wall projects using the diverted funds, and will take steps to return remaining unobligated military construction funds to their appropriated purpose as permitted by law."

The move follows on Biden's immediate cancellation upon taking office of the state of emergency Trump had declared at the southern border. In total, Trump had secured some $16 billion for his precious wall, with about $6 billion of it being appropriated by Congress, according to the Associated Press. Now some of the $1.4 billion in funding that had been appropriated for the wall will instead be used to address environmental damage caused by the wall, including soil erosion in the San Diego area and increased risk of flooding in the Rio Grande Valley.

According to the AP, as of mid-January, the government had spent $6.1 billion of the $10.8 billion in work it had contracted to have done. Trump reportedly worked "feverishly" his final year in office in order to complete more than 450 miles of the wall.

In January, following the deadly Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol, Trump traveled to Texas to take one last sad little victory lap on the wall, declaring, "I kept my promises" on completing 450 miles of wall.

Based on the amount still under contract, another 214 miles would have been built, bringing the total to 664 miles.

But President Biden brought that chapter to a close on Friday. Good riddance.