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Sanctuary Cities Prepared To Welcome Migrants ‘Dumped’ By Trump

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Confirming Friday that his administration is considering sending undocumented immigrants en masse to sanctuary cities, President Donald Trump framed the proposal as a threat—but several politicians and rights advocates replied that immigrants would be welcome in those communities.

The president announced that the White House is weighing the proposal hours after the Washington Post reported that it had been considered and then rejected last year.

“Due to the fact that Democrats are unwilling to change our very dangerous immigration laws, we are indeed, as reported, giving strong considerations to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities only,” Trump tweeted.
At least one sanctuary city mayor, Jim Kenney of Philadelphia, responded that he would happily welcome any number of immigrants sent to his city.

“The city would be prepared to welcome these immigrants just as we have embraced our immigrant communities for decades,” Kenney said in a statement. “This White House plan demonstrates the utter contempt that the Trump administration has for basic human dignity.”

Mayor Libby Schaaf of Oakland expressed pride in her city’s status as one that bars all city employees from cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and condemned the president for focusing his immigration agenda on keeping immigrants out of the United States.

“I am proud to be the mayor of a sanctuary city,” Schaaf told CNN. “We believe sanctuary cities are safer cities. We embrace the diversity in Oakland and we do not think it’s appropriate for us to use local resources to do the government’s failed immigration work.”

Much of the response to the Post‘s earlier reporting centered around what an aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the White House’s “despicable” attempt to use human beings as pawns to demonize immigrants.

As Libby Watson noted at Splinter, much of the corporate media’s reporting on the plan followed the narrative laid out by the Trump administration—that sending undocumented immigrants to sanctuary cities would be an “attack” on those cities and their Democratic leaders.

“A premise like ‘busing migrants to San Francisco will punish Nancy Pelosi’ is not self-explanatory,” Watson wrote. “I do not immediately understand the mechanism by which releasing a tired, huddled mass of immigrants in cities with massive populations—and cities where asylum approval rates are much higher—would punish their representatives.”

“The framing is left as ‘the presence of migrants in cities will be bad for those cities.’ And in the end, that just does Stephen Miller’s work for him,” she added, referring to Trump’s policy adviser who has pushed for hard-line, xenophobic immigration policies.

Julia Carrie Wong, a technology reporter for the Guardian, echoed Watson’s concerns.

“Let’s not concede that having refugees in our cities is something to be threatened by,” Wong tweeted.

After Trump announced the plan was again under consideration Friday, critics noted that sending immigrants to sanctuary cities would simply be using the cities and their laws as they were intended.

IMAGE: The skyline of Oakland, California, with the Bay Bridge in the background.

The DNC Vs. The RNC: 10 Major Differences

Published with permission from Alternet.

Think you’ve been watching America’s political conventions closely? Between the DNC this week in Philadelphia, Penn., and the RNC last week in Cleveland, Ohio, here are 10 major differences.

1. Guns: Ohio is an open carry state and guns were permitted within the “event zone” of the RNC. However, far fewer firearms were seen on the streets of Philadelphia due to a 2013 ban on guns from recreation centers.

2. Celebrities: The RNC had Scott Baio. The DNC had Meryl Streep. No contest.

3. Diversity: According to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, black men and women accounted for 1,182 delegates out of 4,765, about 25%, compared to 18 out of 2,472 at the RNC, less than 1%.

4. The Business Party: The RNC featured two CEOs (Tom Barrack and Willie Robertson), a lobbyist (Chris Cox) and a venture capitalist (Peter Thiel). On the other hand, the DNC emphasized unions. SEIU president Mary Kay Henry, AFSCME president Lee Saunders and AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka all spoke at the Democrats’ convention.

5. Law and Order: Donald Trump has branded himself as the “law and order” candidate. Yet, only one speaker at the RNC works in law enforcement: David Clarke, Milwaukee County sheriff. By comparison, Pittsburgh Chief of Police Cameron McLay, former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez all spoke for the Democrats.

6. Education: The American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten, Arkansas fifth-grade teacher Dustin Parsons and social studies teacher Dave Willis all spoke on education at the DNC. By contrast, Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr. was the only person in the education sector to represent the Republicans.

7. The U.S. Military: Half the people who spoke on behalf of the military at the RNC were Benghazi attack survivors. On the other hand, the DNC featured those who lost loved ones in Iraq and Afghanistan.

8. Delegates: The DNC’s “Never Hillary” crowd outnumbered the RNC’s “Never Trump” crowd, which became apparent during their massive walkout Tuesday.

9. Quality of Life: The tone of the RNC was far more negative than that of the DNC. Trump’s surrogates called on voters to “Make America great again” while Hillary’s insisted “America is already great.”

10. Most Used Words: In his RNC speech, Donald Trump’s most used word was “country.” Hillary Clinton’s? “People.”


Photo: Democratic presidential nominee Clinton waves as she arrives to accept the nomination on the fourth and final night at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia

Pursuing Happiness In Philadelphia

Philadelphia — Few in the Democratic Convention multitude knew, but Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love is known for Sisterly Affection.

I wonder if Hillary Clinton, the first woman nominee, knows the city’s Quaker name. We shall see round midnight after an exhilarating but grueling four days.

I saw three young black women delegates dance in the hot sun, to a sidewalk drummer’s beat. And then a white male Philadelphia police officer joined them for a moment that left me gobsmacked at the joyful revival, given the racial police violence other cities have suffered recently.

Philadelphia has gone all in embracing colorful diversity — that of those gathering in this American rite of passage, and also its own. If you love history and Monopoly, try the bustling Reading Terminal Market on 12th and Arch Street.

Yes, it’s the old Reading Railroad on the Monopoly board. This is the heartbeat of the city, many people told me, where everything from fudge, orange strawberry lemonade, fresh fruit, donuts and jambalaya dishes were there for the taking.

A little treat for me when I washed ashore from Washington: fresh eggs from Amish country served at the counter by an Amish woman in a cap. My, they were good for the strength required to walk the miles out to the convention arena — right by the Phillies ballpark.

At least it feels like miles, longer every day under the white tents.

Not that I’m complaining about the modern security state.

For fun, you can go to political gabfests. The Atlantic‘s Steve Clemons asked an artful question of Mark Penn: Is Clinton the queen of convention? So impressed was I at the question that I forgot the answer.

Penn, Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign manager, is an acerbic pollster who reads cultural cues, told us that Americans are a rough and tumble society. He knows this because of a game named “Angry Birds” and a dark reality show where people get fired all the time. Most relevant, he said Clinton has got a lot of work to do in her victory speech. Her polls numbers are low, a long way to go from here.

The disarming Bill Clinton, the former president so ready to be first man, explained his wife better than she has explained herself out on the trail. He started out, “I met a girl,” which television pundits gushed over as brilliant.

To get away from inane present moments, I visited the plush National Constitution Center where a political trivia contest was raging. But I had a date with Alexander Hamilton, still smoldering among the life-size statues of the framers. To be truthful, I have a soft spot for the intriguing Aaron Burr, who slew him, but he was not in the room. Only Burr, of the whole Revolutionary bunch, would be truly thrilled to see an American woman president.

Many women delegates are dressed beautifully today. Young or old, this is a day to remember. A volunteer, Eleanor Watson, wore a shirt with sparking silver letters: End of Story. It’s a quieter vibe — “I’m With Her” — than Barack Obama’s triumphal speech in 2008, when he made history at the Denver Democratic Convention, but it is there.

The Philadelphia landmarks and institutions are singing in concert. The majestic pillared 30th Street Station is lit up in red, white and blue like a huge art object. The famed river Boathouse Row is outlined in red, white and blue lights, twinkling along their Victorian design. Even an ornate old department store is in the lights game. The bonhomie of every police officer is refreshing. Ink-stained wretches at The Philadelphia Inquirer has been all over the event with excellent reporting and the best front pages.

After the ugliness of Cleveland’s Republican gathering, Philadelphia is shining a different light, a classy beacon of Liberty that doesn’t engage in political demagoguery (like chanting “Lock her up.”)

The country’s choice could not be clearer. Two presidents have given her a public benediction, but Hillary Clinton has earned this historic honor with her own life story.

On a personal note, I was born in Philadelphia in July. Chestnut Hill was our lovable neighborhood. And I am staying with friends in Chestnut Hill now. Revolutions come in all sizes here.


Photo: Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton waves as she arrives to accept the nomination on the fourth and final night at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. July 28, 2016. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

Rev. William Barber II Brought Down The House At The DNC

Reverend Dr. William Barber II mesmerized the crowd during the final night of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Using the fiery preaching style that has made him known across North Carolina, the state’s NAACP president delivered an electrifying speech in which he encouraged the nation to fight back against hate with love, and “be the moral defibrillators of our time.”

Although the civil rights leader usually does not endorse candidates or organizations, something he told the convention, his speech was a clear endorsement of Hillary Clinton.

“Some issues are not left versus right or liberal versus conservative, they are right versus wrong,” said the voting rights advocate. “We need to embrace our deepest moral values and push for a revival of the heart of our democracy.”

Photo and Video: PBS