Can An Army Of Lawyers Stop Trump’s Mass Deportations?

Lucy Nicholson/ Reuters

David Iaconangelo for The Christian Science Monitor – FEBRUARY 11, 2017 —A group of prominent Mexican officials, legislators, and other political figures wants Mexico to resist President Trump’s deportation plans by assigning lawyers to fight cases in US immigration court, utilizing tough legal tactics that could jam up the workings of an already backlogged system. Monarca, as the group is named – after the monarch butterfly that travels freely between Mexico and the United States – is meeting with immigrant-rights groups in Phoenix on Saturday to discuss details of the plan. They also hope to meet with the city’s mayor and Sen. Jeff Flake (R) of Arizona, long active in talks for a comprehensive immigration reform, according to the Wall Street Journal. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who hasn’t taken a position on the plan, says his administration will take steps to defend its citizens living in the US, including allocating $50 million to help undocumented immigrants facing deportation.

How Trump’s Immigration Policy Hurts The Economy

Getty

By Maurice Goldman for The Hill – As U.S. citizens why should we care about the deportation of Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos? Guadalupe was the focus of a highly publicized deportation that took place in Phoenix a little over a week ago. Many have heard the humanitarian reasons why someone like Guadalupe should remain: Coming to the U.S. as a minor; living in the U.S. for 21 years; two U.S. citizen children; and her crime was that she wanted to work and make a better life for herself and her family. Several have asked me, “Why didn’t she fix her immigration status?” Realize that most undocumented immigrants cannot simply fix their status and most face a 10-year-bar if they leave the U.S. to try and get lawful permission to re-enter. It’s a disincentive to leave the country. Our immigration laws make no sense.

Right Now -- Resist, Rethink, Recreate

Now, this very week, it is possible to Resist much closer to home. Congress is in recess this week, and it is possible to show up at our elected officials’ events, town halls, and other public appearances to demand answers to questions like whether our own members of Congress will pledge to protect and improve our health care, to protect the religious freedom of Muslims and to meet the human needs of immigrants.

Resistance is not only about the “content” of political demands, but about the “style” of holding officials accountable. If CongressMembers refuse to hold town meetings, we can hold our own with the Congressional chair empty -- to highlight to the public and the media the lawmakers who won't even meet with their constituents. These events are being called “Resistance Recess.”

Click here to find your local Resistance Recess event and RSVP.

So far, the least bold resistance has been defense of the planet that keeps us alive. This is sad, but not surprising. Health care for the sick, religious freedom, the human needs of immigrants and refugees can all be portrayed in human-interest stories, videos, photos. Despite multiplying hyper-droughts and hyper-floods, the connection between planetary scorching and human disaster is harder to see and feel. Yet it remains the Big Story of survival.

So on April 29, we intend to bring together in Washington DC and in support cities around the country a People's Climate March and Movement. I urge you, The Shalom Center ‘s members and readers, to join in that effort.

For many Jews and Jewish organizations, the fact that April 29 is Shabbat makes participation difficult. Plans are under way for a multi-religious prayer service like the one that led the 400,000-person People’s Climate March in New York City in 2014. And in some Jewish communities, there are plans for local Shabbat gatherings in support of the Washington March.

You can get fuller information here as the plans unfold, and you can register to receive bulletins by clicking here www.peoplesclimate.org/?source=theshalomcenter

2)  RETHINK

We need to rethink the assumptions of what American democracy means. Rethinking is necessary because the Trump-Pence-Bannon coalition is right about one thing –-- right enough to win an election under the Constitutional rules even while vastly losing the popular vote.  They are right that for important parts of American society, the globalization model in economics and culture is not working.

Even if they had barely lost instead of barely winning the recent election, American society would have had to keep living with a painful ulcer of fear and rage. That ulcer would have kept us paralyzed. If as a nation we had ignored it, we would have continued to be unable to heal our society as a whole while the ulcer grew and worsened.

Unable, as Dr. King warned, to conquer the triplets of Racism, Militarism, and Materialism.

And this is not only a politically profound issue, it is a spiritually profound challenge. Are those who voted for Trump not still our neighbors, deserving of our open ears and hearts, our striving to understand their legitimate needs and to craft both human connections and policy responses? This too is a question that Dr. King faced in his own day and calls on us to face.

The Trumpist answer to this crisis is even more domination, more top-down control, more repression of those energies that are refusing to keep living passively in situations that are abusive and oppressive. That is an anti-democratic, anti-human, anti-web-of-life response; but the status quo is not viable. So we need to rethink what democracy must mean in our generation.

We need to rethink the relationship between the “old America” that now feels cast out economically, culturally, and spiritually –- and the New America which thinks it is the wave of the future but feels disempowered in the present. Is it inevitable that both kinds of the “left-outs” are hostile to each other, or can we reach beyond the present barricades? 

We need to rethink our top-down political parties, the power of Hyper-Wealth over our elections, the precariousness of our voting rights, including the built-in blockages against democratic decision-making.

We need to reexamine the nature of coalitions between groups of people and organizations that may share some agendas but disagree on others.

We need to rethink the roles of neighborhoods, urban and rural, in giving life to democracy.

We need to rethink the nature of jobs, work, and income in our increasingly computerized and robot-enabled society.

We need to rethink how we think –- the processes of education, culture, media old and new
We need to rethink even religion. Already, the proliferation of “interfaith” and “multireligious” prayer services challenges the very foundations of what the Abrahamic traditions thought Truth was for most of the last two thousand years. It has happened before in history –- under the tyranny of the Roman Empire and the tyranny of Pharaoh, for example --  that an overweening exercise of tyrannical power that shattered old forms of community has led through times of tumult to the birth of new forms of sacred community. Could that be happening now?

By Rabbi Arthur Waskow for The Shalom Center – We are facing a government that is beginning the process of shattering democracy and devastating the Earth, elevating what Martin Luther King defined as the deadly triplets of Racism, Militarism, and Materialism into the domineering reality of our lives. That government is trying to make it become the new normal that our lives will be fearful, consumed by fake news and “alternative facts,” struggling to deal with worsening economic pressures and worsening ecological disasters, even life-spans shorter in years. Three different sorts of energy have been stirred into a devil’s brew to fuel this anti-democratic political machine. They have three specific people as their embodiments: First, a Leader – a Bully — with a strong personal streak of narcissism, cruelty, and vindictiveness: Mr. Trump. What he brings to the amalgam is a “populism” that is not about policy but about an emotional connection with people who are angry enough to break the rules of decorum –- and welcome a leader who does break them.

President’s Day, Masses Say Of Donald Trump: ‘Not My President’

"We do not accept Donald Trump as our president because he does not represent us." (Photo: @ImpeachTrump/Twitter)

By Deirdre Fulton for Common Dreams – “While we acknowledge that Donald Trump holds the current title, the policies he’s trying to put in place are not the beliefs shared by the majority of the people.” From coast to coast and many places in between, thousands of people are marking the occasion of President’s Day by voicing their opposition to the policies of their current president, Donald Trump. Major “Not My President’s Day” anti-Trump rallies are taking place Monday in New York City, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Chicago, while at least two dozen offshoot events are planned for other locations around the United States. “Donald Trump stands against the progress we have worked hard to enact,” the organizers of the Los Angeles event wrote in their call-to-action.

Hundreds Rally For Science At Demonstration Near AAAS Meeting

Boston’s Copley Square fills with people during the Rally to Stand Up for Science.
Sarah McQuate

By Lindzi Wessel for Science -BOSTON–Hundreds of science supporters gathered here in Copley Square this afternoon at a rally coinciding with the annual meeting of AAAS, which publishes Science. Ralliers chose the meeting—the first major gathering of scientists since Trump took office—as an opportune moment to demonstrate that the science community plans to fight recent policies that many see as dangerous to the role of science in society. “We scientists want to send a message to Mr. Trump, and that’s that America runs on science,” Geoffrey Supran, a postdoctoral fellow studying energy modeling at MIT and science history at Harvard, tells Science. “Neither scientists nor citizens are going to stand idly by while the administration peddles anti-science rhetoric and alternative facts.”

Urgent! Block Trump’s Fracked Gas Pipelines

CC BY 2.0 mel

By Staff of Catskill Citizens – President Donald Trump has already made it clear that he intends to trash climate change agreements and give the fossil fuel industry exactly what it wants. But the pipeline projects being pushed by the Trump Administration cannot move forward unless they are first approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission—and FERC can’t operate without a quorum. The five-member commission has been operating with only three members, and today it lost another one. With just two members left, it won’t be able to approve any more infrastructure projects until at least one new commissioner is seated—and the Senate has the ability to block Trump’s FERC appointments. The inability of FERC to do business actually counts as a step forward because for years the commission has been little more than a captive agency of the oil and gas industry, routinely greenlighting infrastructure projects with little regard for public safety.

Brown: Neighbors Joining Together To Block Trump Deportations

More than 400 people attended an organizing meeting last week at Living Water Community Church in Rogers Park to discuss how they could resist any efforts by the Trump administration to carry out immigration enforcement actions in their neighborhood. | Kristi Sanford

By Mark Brown for Chicago Sun Times -In neighborhoods across Chicago with large immigrant populations, people are banding together to form rapid response networks to support their neighbors in the event of expected deportation raids by President Donald Trump’s administration. In the 35th Ward on the city’s Northwest Side, Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa has started what he calls the Community Defense Committee. In Rogers Park, home to an extremely diverse immigrant population, volunteer organizers have chosen to dub their effort Protect RP. In Little Village, the Mexican capital of the Midwest, they have picked the name La Villita Se Defiende, which translates to Little Village Defends Itself. As with the different names, each group seems to be charting its own tactical approach, but the overarching goal is the same: to protect undocumented immigrants by resisting efforts to deport them.

Trump, Like Obama And Bush, Pursues ‘Regime Change’ In Venezuela

Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami (L) and U.S. "Insane Clown President" Donald Trump (R) | Photo: Tareck El Aissami Official Site / Reuters (teleSUR combination photo)

By Joe Emersberger for Tele Sur – Based on allegations of drug trafficking, the U.S. government has added Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami to its list of “sanctioned” Venezuelan officials. Unsurprisingly, Westerns journalists uncritically spread the allegations. Borrowing from Einstein, a definition of corporate journalism could be “the practice of uncritically citing the same dishonest sources over and over again no matter how catastrophic the result.” The targeting of El Aissami is part of the United States’ “regime change” policy toward Venezuela that goes back nearly two decades. It began shortly after the late President Hugo Chavez was first elected in 1998. As always, the international media’s collaboration with U.S. government objectives is crucial.

Popular Movement Against Trump vs. Corporate Media’s Anti-Russia Witch-Hunt

Getty Images

By Andre Damon for WSWS – One day after Donald Trump’s extraordinary news conference, the battle within the American state only grew more intense. The conflict pits the ultra-right president of the United States against powerful sections of the military-intelligence apparatus, with the corporate media, the Democratic Party and a section of the Republicans serving as mouthpieces of the CIA. There is no progressive faction in this dispute, which centers on issues of foreign policy and war. Trump is a noxious representative of the financial oligarchy. He has packed his administration with CEOs and billionaires, alongside ex-generals, social reactionaries and outright fascists. His opponents in the political and media establishment are themselves reactionaries, motivated not by democratic principles, but by concerns that Trump is shifting away from the aggressive, militarist policy toward Russia that is backed by the intelligence establishment and was carried out by the previous administration.

CIA Vs. Trump, The Enemy Of Our Enemy Isn’t Our Friend

CIA seal in lobby of the spy agency’s headquarters. (U.S. government photo)

By Michael Goldstein for Huffington Post. Trump’s base should be our base, this CIA stuff entrenches them in his camp. Further, unlike typical fascists, he has not built mass organizations or gangs of thugs to intimidate his opposition, but what is happening now could change that. We may be willing to look the other way while the Deep State tries to do what the Democratic Party could not, but do you think those who favored Trump aren’t noticing? Check out The Breitbart News piece headlined “The Deep State Bumps Off General Flynn. Who’s the Next Target?” Attempts to subvert an election Trump voters feel they won under the longstanding rules of the game can only solidify their sense of being beleaguered by a liberal establishment. Moreover, such attempts give them reason to self-organize and set up their own brutal gangs or militias, since their victory is being threatened by demonstrably undemocratic means. … we don’t get better democracy by letting the agencies so practiced at subverting governments overseas pull us out of a bad situation at home by doing it here.

How To Stop Trump’s Continuous Scam On The Working Class

Trump speaking in front of a picture of his own face at the Republican National Convention in July 2016. Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/AP

By Paul Street for Truthdig. Two things are clear going forward. First, progressives hoping to defeat Trump and Trumpism will need to drive a class wedge between the new administration’s big basket of deplorable, super-wealthy plutocrats and the president’s conservative WWC base. Second, Trump is going to provide a lot of ammunition for that wedge-building task with policies that mock his posture as some kind of great white working-class hero. It is distressing that candidate Trump got away with taking that populist pose in the first place. Born to significant real estate wealth, Trump owed his rise to hyper-opulence “to his relentless manipulation of the corporate-controlled media market … to increase the market value of his name, which he then licensed to be sold. … The result,” author Mike Lofgren notes, “was Trump resorts, Trump steaks, even Trump dietary supplements retailed through multilevel marketing, the polite biz school euphemism for a pyramid scheme. As for Trump University, the principal lesson it imparted … was how to avoid being victimized by such scams in the future. … Such is Donald Trump, friend of the working class.”

Trump & the Deep State: Attempted Coup By The Intelligence Community?

Trump vs the CIA

By Staff for Washington’s Blog. Former presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich said Tuesday: “The American people have to know that there’s a game going on inside the intelligence community… at the bottom of all this is the fact that there are those that seek to separate US from Russia to reignite the cold war… that’s what’s at the bottom of all this ….What’s going on in the intelligence community with this new president is unprecedented. They’re making every effort trying to upend him.” And, Glenn Greenwald said “Even if you’re somebody who believes that both the CIA and the deep state, on the one hand, and the Trump presidency, on the other, are extremely dangerous, as I do, there’s a huge difference between the two, which is that Trump was democratically elected and is subject to democratic controls. . . But on the other hand, the CIA was elected by nobody. They’re barely subject to democratic controls at all. ”

Emperor Trump Has No Clothes: Time to Organize!

Know Justice Know Peace Black Lives Matter DC 7-8-2016

By Roger D. Harris for Counterpunch. Resisting the inherent racism, sexism, and reactionary nationalism, which is institutionalized in the capitalist order and personified by its current CEO, is essential. But these defensive actions can and should be carried to a higher political level of not just resisting what we are against but also organizing for what we are for. The ruling elites are in a fight over the commanding positions of power such as the composition of the National Security Council. They are scrapping over how best – not whether – to dominate the world and subjugate working people. These fissures within the ruling circles are opportunities for us to go outside the binary choice of one ruling class faction or the other. Our opportunity is to promote a progressive alternative, which extends beyond just ameliorating the worst excesses of capitalism to one that positively promotes a new order.

Newsletter: Being Prepared To Turn Crisis To Our Advantage

Another world is possible II

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. With the Trump administration floundering and the movement opposed to him expanding, we need to be prepared for a possible shock doctrine moment, whether intentional or not, that could be used to unify the country around an unpopular president and shut down political dissent. If a crisis occurs, we need to use it, not to unify behind the President, but to rapidly explain how the crisis is part of the failed government policies of both parties, that it is a systemic problem of which Trump is a symptom and that the crisis means the movement must expand. If we succeed we will advance our cause even in a crisis whether it is self-created, provoked or blow back. We will not only blunt the potential of a Reichstag moment but turn it to our advantage to serve transformation of the nation. If we are to succeed, we must start preparing now. Those who are prepared for crisis, do best when it occurs.

Planting Seed For Strikes In Trump Era, #Strike4Democracy Sweeps Nation

A sign seen in Brooklyn on Friday, February 17, 2017. (Photo: @LAKauffman/Twitter)

By Deirdre Fulton for Common Dreams – Galvanized in response to the Trump administration’s attacks on immigrants, women, the LGBTQ community, and the environment, Friday’s action “amplifies a new chapter of nonviolent resistance ushered in over the last six weeks by calling for strikes that grow in number and power,” the statement reads, pointing to other strike actions planned for March 8 and May 1, as well as “a heightening resistance throughout the summer.” The #F17Strike, as it was being called, also came on the heels of Thursday’s national “Day Without Immigrants,” as well as more localized walk-out actions in Wisconsin and New York. And in a piece published this week at YES! Magazine, senior editor James Trimarco posited that “Feb. 17 is just the beginning.” While “[i]t’s not the American way for workers across industries to stage a one-day walkout to make a statement,” as columnist Shirley Leung wrote in Friday’s Boston Globe, she wondered: “Could that change in the Trump era?”