Tag: migrants

Murdoch Media Push Fake Story Blaming Migrants For Eviction Of 'Homeless Vets'

Right-wing media figures uncritically amplified a now-debunked New York Post story to demonize immigrants and attack Democratic lawmakers.

On May 13, the New York Post published a story alleging that a group of 20 homeless military veterans had been “evicted” from two upstate New York hotels to make room for immigrants who had settled in New York City. The Post claimed the supposed migrants were part of New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ plans to secure temporary housing for immigrants entering the city.

After the Post published its story, the local outlet Mid Hudson News spoke with hotel management and service providers the Post claimed were involved in the removals. On May 18, the paper reported that not only had no homeless veterans been removed, but they were never there to begin with — one hotel manager “had never heard of” the veteran's group supposedly involved, while another said it “had not put any veterans in the hotel for ‘a long time.’”

The report also discredited a receipt presented by State Assemblyman Brian Maher as supposed evidence that the group representing the homeless veterans had paid for the rooms. The Post later reported that the group’s longtime advocate had lied to the newspaper about the entire situation, and on Friday the Mid Hudson News revealed that 15 homeless men were paid to pretend they were veterans who had been staying at the hotel.

By the time the story fell apart, right-wing media had already latched onto the now-debunked narrative and immediately weaponized the shoddily reported story as part of their ongoing fear campaign over a so-called “invasion” of migrants coming across the southern border.

  • Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt said it was “astonishing that some of these hotels are getting migrants” and having to cancel other reservations, adding, “There are two couples that booked rooms for their wedding … and 20 vets also were in that hotel, they all had to move out because these migrants moved in.”
  • Later on Fox & Friends, guest co-host Will Cain claimed that a “flood of illegal immigrants” are taking up hotel rooms and other resources in New York. Cain went on to remind viewers “about homeless veterans booted from a hotel so that rooms could be given to illegal immigrants,” with Earhardt adding that “Eric Adams says they’re gonna stay there for four months, so 20 veterans had to move to another hotel.”
  • Fox anchor Harris Faulkner claimed the story showed “the disgraceful treatment of our military veterans played out in Orange County, New York,” as the nonexistent group of “at least 20 homeless veterans, some reportedly suffering from PTSD, had to give up their hotel rooms for illegals.” Fox contributor Johnny “Joey” Jones added a jab at the Biden administration, stating, “A president that would leave Americans stranded in Afghanistan probably doesn't see the onus to take care of 20 veterans in a hotel. And I hate to say it, but that's just the absolute truth of it.”
  • Outnumbered co-hosts Emily Compagno and Kayleigh McEnany expressed outrage over the New York Post story, with Compagno claiming “America's heroes are now paying the price” for the “Southern border crisis.” McEnany lamented, “I can't help but notice the contrast when you have a 24-year-old — a veteran, had been in Afghanistan — kicked out of his hotel room as an Afghan national on the terror watch list is crossing the border in San Diego.”
  • Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum complained, “You’ve got the hotels in New York that are having to take folks in. You had one in Newburgh, New York, where they had to cancel a wedding and kick out some homeless veterans to make room for incoming migrants.”
  • Conservative moving company owner John Rourke appeared on One America News and ranted, “It just drives me nuts when we have veterans sleeping on the streets of this country and committing suicide in record numbers … and here we are filling up hotel rooms with illegal aliens, giving them cell phones, giving them medical attention, giving them food and water, and then putting them on planes.”
  • On Twitter, Donald Trump Jr. used the story to attack Democrats, stating, “Honestly, this is just infuriating! Homeless vets are being booted from New York hotels to make room for migrants. Fuck Democrats & their bullshit policies! America last isn’t hyperbole it’s their goal.”
  • Students for Trump founder Ryan Fournier tweeted, “Unacceptable. Nearly two dozen struggling homeless vets have been booted from NY hotels… So illegal immigrants can have space. WHAT?!”
  • Conservative radio host Bo Snerdley tweeted, “This is about as ruthless, coldblooded, and incredibly heinous as anything Biden and Democrats have ever done. Kicking American veterans out of their lodging to make way for illegal immigrants? What country IS this?”
  • Newsmax contributor Tony Shaffer later tweeted, “This tells you everything you need to understand about the progressive left cult - they are out to expand political power and a permanent underclass that will vote for them even if it means sacrificing veterans.”
  • Fox News contributor and former Trump Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted, “What could be more backwards than putting illegal immigrants ahead of American veterans? An insult to American sovereignty.”
  • 2024 Republican presidential candidate and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley tweeted a link to the New York Post’s story, adding, “Liberal insanity at work.”

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

Jim Jordan

Jim Jordan's Border Stunt Flops When Migrants Don't Show Up

House Republicans, led by loudest maniac Jim Jordan, had high hopes of stealing some of President Joe Biden’s thunder after his historic surprise trip to Kyiv, Ukraine. “Oh, yeah,” you could hear them squeaking. “We’ll show him.” So in the best tradition of nativist, isolationist know-nothingism, they headed for the southern border to put on a show of hunting for the crisis of the hordes invading “our” country. What they got was ... not that.

“As they rumbled along the entry port of San Luis, a dam along the Colorado River and more desolate sections of the U.S. border between Arizona and Mexico, though, their search came up empty,” a reporter on the scene described. “Hours later, immigration officials would spot a group crossing north, but it was long after Congress members had retired for the night.”

This was part of what they’re calling a “field hearing” by the House Judiciary Committee, explaining Jordan’s, ahem, leadership. (Seriously, they need to rethink having this guy as their mascot. Does anyone, could anyone, find this guy compelling?) The “convoy” included “more than a dozen congressional Republicans, a large contingent of staffers and a handful of reporters.” Having turned the trip into some kind of sick safari, the group thwarted their own goal.

“Jordan’s group was told that around 4,000 immigrants cross the U.S. border near Yuma each day, but its conspicuous presence thwarted the expedition’s goal of spotting immigrants attempting an unobtrusive entry.” You don’t say. They did spot a bus parked across the border, however. No one came out of it to make a run for the border.

No Democrats participated in what ranking committee Democrat Jerry Nadler called a “stunt hearing,” though he did say that some Democrats from the committee would go to the border next month to to “hear from the community and government officials on the ground.”

The big convoy also help put the lie to the GOP’s government spending obsession. This is the third trip to the border by some contingent of GOP House members in the new Congress, with Barely Speaker Kevin McCarthy having already gone to try to score points, as well as members of the Energy and Commerce Committee.

The Homeland Security Committee has what they’re calling a “border bootcamp” for Republican freshmen members, and the Oversight Committee has plans to go in the near future, too. That’s one way to stop illegal crossings: Just keep sending down convoys of GOP representatives to play border patrol.

All that’s pretty expensive. The GOP Judiciary Committee alone has requested $262,400 for travel this session. In 2022, with Democrats in charge of the committee, they spent $7,986.

When it comes to actual border policy rather than publicity and preening, they’ve got nothing. Or rather they’ve got an interparty fight, as Gabe Ortiz reported. Their first go at an immigration bill “was so extreme it derailed itself, after so-called moderates refused to sign on.”

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

Asylum Seekers Shipped North By DeSantis Were Promised Cash And Jobs

Asylum Seekers Shipped North By DeSantis Were Promised Cash And Jobs

Officials in Massachusetts, the U.S. Dept. of Justice, and others concerned for the well-being and civil rights of 50 or so asylum seekers from Venezuela, including children, flown to Martha’s Vineyard by Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis were reportedly given a brochure that said they would be eligible to receive “8 months cash assistance,” “assistance with housing,” and “job placement,” along with other benefits.

Calling it “The smoking gun in Martha’s Vineyard,” Popular Information’s Judd Legum reports it “has obtained documentary evidence that migrants from Venezuela were provided with false information to convince them to board flights chartered by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R). The documents suggest that the flights were not just a callous political stunt but potentially a crime.”

Legum reports “many of the migrants told reporters that they were misled about the nature of the flights. Several migrants told NPR they were told the flight was going to Boston, not Martha’s Vineyard. According to the migrants, a woman who identified herself as Perla also said that, if they traveled to Boston, they could receive ‘expedited work papers.'”

“If the migrants were misled,” Legum adds, that is “potentially criminal,” and would mean the “scheme to transport them to Martha’s Vineyard could constitute fraud, false imprisonment, or kidnapping. ”

Popular Information “obtained a brochure that was provided to the migrants who ultimately agreed to the flights” that “says that migrants who arrive in Massachusetts will be eligible for numerous benefits, including ‘8 months cash assistance,’ ‘assistance with housing,’ ‘food,’ ‘clothing,’ ‘transportation to job interviews,’ ‘job training,’ ‘job placement,’ ‘registering children for school,’ ‘assistance applying for Social Security cards,’ and many other benefits.”

Massachusetts Democratic state Rep. Dylan Fernandes, whose district includes Martha’s Vineyard, has been pushing for a federal investigation

“We are requesting that the Department of Justice open an investigation to hold DeSantis & others accountable for these inhumane acts. Not only is it morally criminal, there are legal implications around fraud, kidnapping, deprivation of liberty, and human trafficking,” he said, adding: “I have spoken with our US Attorney Rachel Rollins and am grateful to hear she is pushing for a response from the DOJ.”

Many of the asylum-seeking immigrants from Venezuela are now represented by Lawyers for Civil Rights (LCR), which says the group was “induced to board airplanes and cross state lines under false pretenses,'” according to The Guardian.

“Individuals, working in concert with state officials, including the Florida governor, made numerous false promises [to the migrants] – including of work opportunities, schooling for their children, and immigration assistance – in order to induce them to travel.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Migrants S

Migrants Say DHS Agents Aided DeSantis Human Trafficking Stunt

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ inhumane and depraved stunt keeps getting worse as more facts emerge. On Wednesday, DeSantis loaded 48 migrants—who are asylum-seekers mostly from Venezuela—onto planes in in San Antonio, Texas. They then flew to Florida, then eventually on to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, where there are no refugee services. Officials there had no warning, but the community rallied in support of the incomers -- to the point where officials received so many donations and volunteers that they had to turn them away.

That’s the heartwarming part of the story. The part that makes this so much worse than we even knew before is emerging as the story comes from the migrants themselves through the immigration attorneys who have mobilized to help them. That includes the allegation that U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agents assisted DeSantis in this stunt.

Here’s immigration attorney Rachel Self relating what she heard from her new clients.

According to the migrants, DHS agents met the migrants as they were boarding the plane. The agents gave them false addresses of homeless shelters from all over the country—from Tacoma, Washington, to Florida—and told them to use those locations as their contact addresses. “According to the paperwork provided to them, the migrants are required to check in with the ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] office nearest to the fake address chosen for them by DHS, or be permanently removed from the United States,” Self said. Some are required to check in as early as Monday morning.

“It could not be clearer that this is an attempt to have these people ordered to be removed even if they try as hard as they can to comply with the instructions provided to them,” Self told a group of reporters.

“Their biggest concern today is that many of them have dates to appear in San Antonio Monday morning. Tacoma, Washington Monday morning. Washington, D.C. Monday morning,” Self said. “Their biggest concern is compliance.” Tallahassee immigration attorney Elizabeth Ricci told the Orlando Sentinel on Friday that DHS and ICE had to be involved. “ICE likely conspired with the governor’s office to pull off the stunt,” Ricci said. “It couldn’t have been done without their direct involvement.”

DHS officials haven’t responded to the allegation yet.

The migrants were lured onto the planes thinking they were getting jobs and housing. Emmanuel, a 20-year-old Venezuelan migrant, told the San Antonio Report that he had been paid $200 in cash by a woman who identified herself as “Perla” to recruit fellow migrants to board the flights. He said Perla told him the migrants would be sent to “sanctuary states” where the government would help.

She told him an “anonymous benefactor” was funding the operation, including his payment. “Perla informed me that in those sanctuary states, the state has the benefits to help migrants,” Emmanuel told the Report. “I’ve just been the mediator because I like to help people.”

“A lot of people really come without plans, they want to come and just work and they have a hand that’ll provide them shelter,” he said. “I just saw it in that way, like a sweet way, doing it for good.”

Lawyers for Civil Rights, which is based in Boston, is providing free legal services to the migrants. The group also says that it is investigating claims by migrants that they were tricked or sent against their will into taking the flights by DeSantis, making it a possible violation of human trafficking laws.

DeSantis remains belligerent and promises this outrage will continue. He says he has people in Texas who are intercepting Venezuelans seeking refuge in Florida, where they likely have family they want to rejoin. “What we’re trying to do is profile, ‘OK, who do you think is trying to get to Florida?’ You’re trying to identify who’s most likely to come.” Are DeSantis’ “people” in Texas the DHS agents who allegedly helped him essentially kidnap these 48 people, including families with children?

The Department of Justice needs to be investigating this now. That was true before the allegations emerged that federal employees—agents of the DHS—were complicit in DeSantis’ monstrous stunt. Those allegations make a federal investigation imperative, and urgent.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.