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Poll Shows Surging Support For Refugees As Trump Demands Exclusion

The American public’s support for bringing thousands of refugees to America has increased over the last year, even as Trump has dedicated much of his presidency to attacking them.

Polling data from Gallup released on Tuesday saw a six percent increase in support for refugees from Central America, up from December 2018. Support now stands at 57 percent.

The increase was most pronounced among Republicans, going up 10 percent over the last seven months. Support was also up with Democrats and independents.

“If support for Central American refugee entry continues to increase, this could jeopardize President Donald Trump’s immigration-related initiatives,” Gallup wrote.

Republicans have already seen political fallout from their attacks on immigrants. Anti-immigration messages dominated Republican campaign ads in 2018; but the GOP lost the House to Democrats in a “blue wave” of voters.

These refugees, in spite of — or because of — Trump’s attacks, have a strong base of support.

Gallup found that support for this group of refugees was higher than most past polls for other refugee groups.

Even as public support for refugees went up in the polls, Trump continued his assault on immigrants.

Trump and his administration have threatened the use of “lethal force” at the border they deployed more troops there.

Trump has even considered using executive powers for what would amount to a ban on asylum-seekers who are trying to escape violence in Central America.

Trump’s top aide, Stephen Miller, has reportedly been tasked with effectively enacting a total ban on refugees as part of a multi-pronged opposition to immigration.

Trump has also severely restricted the availability of officials who can process asylum claims, as part of a strategy called “metering.” Activists say this policy contributed directly to the death of a father and his daughter, who drowned trying to cross the Rio Grande.

The polls show that the administration’s anti-immigrant policies are outside the American mainstream, and even face growing distrust from Republicans. But Trump is focused like a laser beam on exclusion.

Published with permission of The American Independent.

Why Trump’s Language Reveals His Racist Attitudes

It’s easy to caricaturize a living, breathing caricature, which is why Donald Trump impersonations are so simple to do. Just pucker your lips, exude insecurity, whine about the media, and boast that you grab women by the genitals. Oh, and don’t forget to talk about “the blacks,” “the Hispanics” and “the Muslims,” and how much they all love you. Because why shout “I’m a racist” explicitly when you can let more subtle language do the talking for you?

“I have a great relationship with the blacks,” Trump said back in 2011, a statement that wasn’t true then and is comically off-base now. “I’ve always had a great relationship with the blacks.”

“We’re going to have great relationships with the Hispanics,” he said after an Indiana primary win in February. “The Hispanics have been so incredible to me.”

Trump’s use of the definite article—“the”—in discussing racial and religious minorities, and other historically marginalized groups, tells us all we need to know about how he views them. It’s a rhetorical way of separating “us” from “them,” a clear means of dividing the “regular” white people from all “the others.”

“I love the Muslims,” Trump told CNN last year—which… give us an effing break already. “I think they’re great people.”

Writing at Quartz, linguist Lynne Murphy takes apart Trump’s use of “the” when speaking of black people and others, noting that it turns groups of individuals into faceless monoliths. Consider it a sort of stripping away of humanity that turns millions of people who happen to share some common traits into an “undifferentiated whole.”

“‘The’ makes the group seem like it’s a large, uniform mass, rather than a diverse group of individuals,” Murphy writes. “This is the key to ‘othering’: treating people from another group as less human than one’s own group. The Nazis did it when they talked about die Juden (‘the Jews’). Homophobes do it when they talk about ‘the gays.’”

(For example, homophobe Donald Trump, just days after the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, told a crowd, “Ask the gays what they think and what they do, in, not only Saudi Arabia, but many of these countries, and then you tell me: Who’s your friend, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton?”)

“There’s this distancing effect, like they’re over there,” Eric Acton, a linguist at Eastern Michigan University, told Business Insider. “They’re signaling they’re not part of it—they’re distancing themselves from it.”

“It’s drawing a circle around a certain group of people,” University of Toronto linguist Sali Tagliamonte told the outlet. “It’s a very straight-jacketing kind of expression. It’s a very delineating thing that could make members of that group think they’re being pigeonholed.”

Atlantic contributor David A. Graham notes that when Trump speaks to his base—which is almost solely white—he dispenses with “the” and talks in terms of “we.” He tells crowds, “We’re going to make America great again.” At the RNC, he opened his speech by stating, “We’re gonna win, we’re gonna win so big!” At a rally last week in Pennsylvania, he told the assembled faithful, “We’re going to beat the system, and we’re going to un-rig the system.” Graham points to this quote, which is just bursting with “we”:

“We’re going to bring back our jobs, and we’re going to save our jobs, and people are going to have great jobs again, and this country, which is very, very divided in so many different ways, is going to become one beautiful loving country, and we’re going to love each other, we’re going to cherish each other and take care of each other, and we’re going to have great economic development and we’re not going to let other countries take it away from us, because that’s what’s been happening for far too many years and we’re not going to do it anymore.”

“Part of Trump’s rhetorical power is his supercharged used of ‘we,’ a method that persuades people across the country that they are part of a larger movement, and somehow share with Trump his aura of wealth and luxury. (It’s the same technique he’s used to sell real estate for years.),” Graham writes. But when Trump refers to minorities not as “we” but “the,” it’s an indicator “that for Trump, blacks and Hispanics aren’t part of ‘we’—’they’ constitute separate groups.”

It also shows that when Trump talks about “the blacks” and “the gays” and “the Muslims,” he isn’t really talking to those groups. He’s talking to “us”—the angry, minority-mistrusting whites who make up his base.

“Also, when Trump describes any group of people, he always describes them as if their name was a category on a PornTube site,” Desus Nice, one half of the comedy duo behind the podcast Bodega Boys, told Buzzfeed.

Murphy notes that when Hillary Clinton uses the definite article, she does so in a completely dissimilar fashion. “The difference is that when Clinton talks about the Russians, the Syrians, the Iranians, and the Kurds, she’s talking about governments or military groups, not everyone of that particular nationality.”

The Internet has, of course, noticed Trump’s racist phrasing, to go along with all the other racist aspects of his campaign. #TheAfricanAmericans hashtag, and related tweets, appeared on Twitter to point out how ridiculous the term sounds every time it leaves Trump’s mouth.

At some point along the way in his campaign, someone on Donald Trump’s team seems to have given him a little advice on this. But it was the wrong advice. Now, instead of dropping “the” before he discusses the abysmal lives and futures of minorities—because Trump would have us believe minorities live in hellscapes where rainy days mean bullets are falling from the sky—the candidate has switched out “African American” for “black” and “Latino” for “Hispanic,” presumably because he thinks it’s more respectful.

“They have no education, they have no jobs,” Trump said at the end of Wednesday night’s debate. “I will do more for African Americans and Latinos than she can ever do in ten lifetimes. All she has done is talk to the African Americans and to the Latinos.”

Maybe you should talk to some of the African Americans and the Latinos, Trump. They’d tell you that you’re still getting it terribly, offensively wrong.

Kali Holloway is a senior writer and the associate editor of media and culture at AlterNet.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Photo: A person holds a sign reading ‘Latinos for Trump’ on the third day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 20, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri


Study Warns Latino Voting Rate May Drop In November Election

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Latinos appear less likely to vote in this year’s presidential race than in either of the past two elections, according to a Pew Research Center study released on Tuesday, even as immigrant rights groups enraged by Republican Donald Trump’s rhetoric seek to drive them to the polls.

The results could signal a challenge for Democrat Hillary Clinton as she relies on a coalition of minority voters to help her against the brash New York businessman, who launched his presidential bid last year by calling some Mexican immigrants rapists and promising to build a wall to stop them.

About 89 percent of Latino registered voters said they plan to vote in the Nov. 8 election, according to the poll, down from 91 percent in an October 2012 survey and 94 percent in a July 2008 survey. Another 10 percent said they would not vote in the upcoming election, and 1 percent said they did not know yet.

By comparison, some 96 percent of the total U.S. population of registered voters plans to vote on Nov. 8, Pew said.

Latinos, a rapidly growing segment of the U.S. electorate with rising influence in closely fought states like Florida and Nevada, tend to lean Democratic and favor Clinton heavily over Trump. Some 58 percent support Clinton compared to 19 percent for Trump, according to the survey. Another 10 percent favor Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and 6 percent prefer Green candidate Jill Stein.

But turnout among Latinos tends to run well below that of whites and African Americans, blunting their impact in political races.

A number of civic groups opposed to Trump have been working to ensure Latinos get to the polls.

Immigrants’ rights group America’s Voice, for example, launched a new Spanish language radio ad in Miami and Orlando stations for the next two weeks bashing Trump’s hardline immigration proposals, which include deporting all undocumented foreigners and making it harder for would-be immigrants to get visas.

In Nevada, the Culinary Union, which is heavily Latino, is working to ensure its members get to the polls, helping them with logistics like finding their polling stations and arranging transport.

“It could make the difference between a one point loss and a one point win,” said Yvanna Cancela, the union’s political director.

Sergio Garcia-Rios, a professor of Latino studies at Cornell University, said Clinton could be missing an opportunity to drive voter turnout further, however, by not engaging Latino voters enough on policy.

“We can’t just rely on an anger reaction to Donald Trump,” he said. The challenge is “to create enthusiasm for Latinos to get out and vote.”

Trump has argued that his proposals on immigration can help minorities by reducing the competition for jobs.

The Pew report was based on a bilingual telephone survey of 1,507 Latino adults, including 804 registered voters, from Aug. 23 through Sept. 21. The overall margin of error is plus or minus 3.3 percentage points; for registered voters, the figure is plus or minus 4.6 percentage points.

(Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

IMAGE: Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a “Latinos for Hillary” rally in San Antonio, Texas October 15, 2015.  REUTERS/Darren Abate

Why The GOP Deserves Trump As Much As Trump Deserves The GOP

First Donald Trump came for President Obama’s birth certificate.

And most Republicans said nothing because they knew much of the GOP base had been waiting for a famous guy to demand papers from the first black president.

Sure, “mainstream” Republicans didn’t embrace his birtherism explicitly. But they stood on stage with him, accepted his endorsements and his foundation’s cash, even when they were supposed to be investigating him for fraud.

Then Trump came for the immigrants, the Muslim-Americans, the refugees, Ted Cruz’s birth certificate, Ted Cruz’s family, Judge Gonzalo Curiel, the Khan family, Alicia Machado…

Along the way he shook off his history of dehumanizing women — to the glee of the crowd at the first GOP debate — and inspired a flood of online racism, anti-semitism, and hate from his supporters that the candidate did just about nothing to contain.

It’s obvious that Trump deserves the impending electoral drubbing he’d already earned even before a leaked tape exposed the GOP nominee bragging about how his fame let him “do anything” to women. He was already headed to the bad end of an electoral college landslide, punctuated by what will likely be the worst performance with minority voters for any Republican since 1964.

But just as Trump deserves to be scarred with the filth of his words and conduct forever, the GOP deserves any damage the Trump does to its stature.

Just last week Paul Ryan promised he would use a Trump victory to “steamroll” huge tax breaks for the rich while revoking the health insurance of 20 million Americans before winter’s end.

As Trump goes up in flames, so does that dream of transferring trillions in dollars in wealth to the richest, who have never been richer. With it goes a once-in-a-generation chance to dominate all three branches of the government.

In exchange, the GOP gets two new swing states to defend — Arizona and Georgia — with the possibility of a third, Texas, which if and when it turns blue could end the GOP’s hopes of ever winning the White House again.

Yes, Texas is likely safe for the GOP, for now and the next decade. And the reason for this reveals why the GOP deserves Trump even more than the Trump deserves the GOP.

Today — in 2016 — it is more difficult to register voters in Texas than it was in Mississippi during 1964’s historic Freedom Summer.

Texas treats voter registration like a criminal offense and makes it as difficult as possible to do,” writes The Nation‘s Ari Berman.

The state’s laws make it costly and risky to launch the kind of voter registration drive necessary to get 2.2 million unregistered Latinos and 750,000 unregistered African-Americans on the voting rolls. And you can see why: Mitt Romney won the state in 2012 by about 1.3 million votes.

Texas’ investment in keeping likely Democratic voters away from ballots is decades old, but the GOP’s decision to make an assault on voting rights a national priority is more recent.

In 2000, the Bush Administration — which had lost the popular vote and only won the state of Florida thanks the Supreme Court and a voter purge that took place under Governor Jeb Bush — launched “a dramatic effort to restrict voting rights,” Berman reports.

A five-year effort found no significant evidence of voting fraud. But the real fraud was the idea that they were troubled by voting fraud. The plague the GOP was obviously determined to root out was the “wrong people” voting.

To stop “them,” the administration approved the first voter-ID law, an unnecessary burden meant to address a problem that doesn’t exist. Only 31 cases of voting impersonation were identified in over a billion votes while countless thousands, or maybe even millions by now, have been barred from the polls by laws designed to shrink the electorate.

The notion that black Americans voting is implicitly fraudulent is as old as black Americans voting. And the GOP hyped that trope up to eleven after President Obama was elected, laying the groundwork for a flurry of restrictions on voting in red states unlike anything we’d seen since the 1960s.

Most of the worst of these egregious attacks on voting were blocked in time for the 2012 election. Still, despite evidence we were in the midst of a coordinated effort to deny the vote to Americans who’d suffered historical discrimination, a conservative Congressional majority fulfilled a conservative dream of gutting the Voting Rights Act in 2013.

What followed was an explosion of new laws that barely bothered to hide their real purpose. North Carolina’s “monster” anti-voting law targeted black voters with “almost surgical precision,” a federal judge found.

Legislatively, the GOP’s assault on President Obama’s legitimacy was unlike anything America had ever seen before.

From the night of his inauguration, conservatives vowed to block anything he was for, even though the country was at the nadir of recession that the GOP had led us into and Obama made a historic effort to embrace Republican ideas, including Mitt Romney’s framework for health care reform.

Even before they’d built a historically large House majority out of districts that were 95 percent majority-white, Republican opposition was relentless. It nearly led us into debt default that would have crashed the global economy. And it actually led us into a government shutdown based on the premise that Obama, who had just been reelected, should give up the signature accomplishment of his first term.

By 2016, the contempt for Obama had become institutionalized as the GOP refused consider a president’s budget and the GOP would not even grant a hearing for the president’s appointment to fill a Supreme Court vacancy, leaving the seat open for the longest period of time in American history to be filled by… Donald Trump.

While the GOP toyed with ways of stopping Trump, the collective action problem of the primary became a full-on embrace of the nominee by fall, with RNC chairman Reince Priebus threatening to punish any Republican who didn’t back Trump.

Then came the “grab them by the p**sy” tape and Republicans were finally threatened with the loss of something they valued — the votes of white women voters.

Rats began to flee the sinking Trump ship, but the deck was already mostly underwater.

Evidence suggests that thanks to the party’s co-dependent relationship with Donald Trump, the GOP may be on the verge of permanently losing two of the fastest growing groups of new voters — Latinos and Asian-Americans. Support from these two groups is dipping toward a percentage in the single digits, suggesting that the GOP could lose their support in the way they’ve lost the African-American vote since the 1964 election, the point that marked the GOP’s surrender to — or willing embrace of — its fate as the party of white America.

In 1968, the GOP’s pivot to the white was incredibly well timed. Fueled by a historic corporate investment in moving the country to the right, Republicans rode a demographic wave to a conservative revolution that undermined many of the policies that built the middle class.

In 2016, betting on white may help you keep an immaculately gerrymandered House of Representatives.It’s a recipe for electoral disaster that may be buffered by a heartless restriction of voting rights as well shameless obstruction — but not for long.

IMAGE: Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus speaks at the Republican National Convention winter meetings in San Diego, California January 16, 2015.  REUTERS/Mike Blake