María has been waiting to be paroled so she can be with her niece, who was sent to foster care 2,400 miles away
To outsiders, the idea that Trump is a model of desirable masculinity is just plain bizarre, as he lacks not just the positive markers of traditional manhood — stoicism, strength and virility — but any positive human qualities at all. But this past month has offered a strong reminder of what, exactly, Trump fans believe makes Trump such a harbinger of restored masculine greatness: His viciousness and cruelty.
Forget the handsome knight in shining armor protecting the weak of chivalric myth. Trump’s “manhood” is strictly about punching down and targeting those who are most vulnerable, with a particular sadism reserved for women and children.
Two of the biggest stories competing for headline space right now are a new allegation from journalist E. Jean Carroll that Trump raped her in the 1990s and reports from border towns in Texas that refugee children separated from their families have been crammed into cages in horrific conditions. But really, both stories are of a piece, illustrating Trump’s baseline impulses, which thrill his fans. He tries to make himself feel tough and powerful by inflicting pain on those who are smaller and unable to protect themselves.
Picking on someone your own size is, in Trump’s terms, for losers. “Winners,” in TrumpWorld, are the men who torture children and overpower women.
Trump’s already unconvincing denials in the face of Carroll’s rape allegation got worse on Monday evening, when he told a reporter for the Hill, “She’s not my type,” a response that suggests he would have no problem raping someone he found attractive.
This response is one of Trump’s go-to responses to the many, many accusations of sexual harassment and sexual violence that have been made against him. He once told a rally crowd, in response to reporter Natasha Stoynoff’s allegations that he assaulted her, “Look at her … I don’t think so.”
This is nonsense, of course. E. Jean Carroll was a beauty queen and looked, at the time Trump allegedly assaulted her, very much like Trump’s first two wives. He resorts to this same line for exactly the same reason men commit rape in the first place: To dominate and humiliate women.
Trump’s “denial,” then, only serves to confirm that he has the capacity for cruelty and misogyny that fuels the crime of rape. It is yet another reminder that the issue isn’t so much that his followers don’t believe the accusations against him — after all, he’s on tape bragging about how he enjoys sexual assault — as that they thrill to his unconcealed malice. They mistake his willingness to hurt vulnerable as strength and feel that by siding with a sadist, they will somehow be more powerful and manly for it.
Grown women have some power to fight back, however, as evidenced by Carroll’s own telling of her escape mid-rape. Children, on the other hand, make even better targets for Trump and his supporters, as they can do almost nothing to resist the abuses of those who need to overpower the vulnerable to feel good about themselves.
This, I think, goes a long way to explaining the horrific situation on the border, where reports are streaming out of migrant children being forced to sleep on cold concrete and not allowed to shower or brush their teeth. Lawyers and reporters say that children are being left in soiled clothes and babies are handed off to older children to be cared for. CNN, for instance, spoke to a 14-year-old who was crammed in a cell with a 4-year-old stranger and an 11-year-old boy, caring for a toddler who was sick and covered in filth.
The administration is attempting to play off this horror show as the result of overcrowding due to a rapid influx of migrants. But all the evidence suggests instead that the government is deliberately abusing small children to satisfy the sadism of Trump and his supporters. As CNN has reported, “officials at the border seem to be making no effort to release children to caregivers — many have parents in the US — rather than holding them for weeks in overcrowded cells at the border.”
Within minutes, reporters were themselves able to locate the desperate parents of a second-grader who was languishing in a cell, abandoned by officials who were unwilling to pick up the phone and call a number the little girl was carrying with her.
The sense that this is being done deliberately was only compounded when it was reported that concerned citizens in the El Paso area keep showing at a Border Patrol holding facility with diapers, toothbrushes and other items to help the children and are being turned away. The Trump administration could help these children. It is deliberately choosing to neglect and abuse them.
There are political reasons for this, as Trump and his allies at Fox News are clearly hoping to exploit concerns about the children’s welfare, while arguing that the solution is to repeal people’s legal right to apply for political asylum. In that sense, this is straightforward hostage-taking by the Trump administration. Except that as some people who have been held hostage by Somali pirates or the Taliban are pointing out, at least they got toothbrushes and soap.
But I’d argue this is about more than Trump’s use of brinksmanship and hostage-taking as his primary political strategy. It’s also about he and his supporters making themselves feel big and powerful by picking on those who are weak and helpless. The word “bully” feels too small to capture what’s going on, but it does capture the pettiness at the heart of Trumpism. When Trump’s fans speak of making America “great,” this is what they mean: Finding someone smaller and more vulnerable and inflicting abuse on them, just because you can.
Amanda Marcotte is a politics writer for Salon. Her new book, “Troll Nation: How The Right Became Trump-Worshipping Monsters Set On Rat-F*cking Liberals, America, and Truth Itself,” is out now. She’s on Twitter @AmandaMarcotte
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The Trump administration’s “remain in Mexico” policy aimed at deterringasylum seekers, especially at the southern border, is illegal and a human rights violation, the head of Amnesty International in the United States has said.
By law, the US is required to allow asylum seekers to file a request for asylum, but the Trump administration has implemented policies designed to prevent that from happening, including placing Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officers at the international boundary to ask travelers for documentation before getting to the port of entry.
“First and foremost the policy is a violation of US and international law and clearly a human rights violation. If the US recognized that an individual has a credible fear of prosecution you can’t send them somewhere else – it is on the obligation of the state to offer protection and not delegate it to some third party,” Margaret Huang, the executive director for Amnesty International US, told the Guardian this week.
For three years, first as a presidential candidate, then as president of the United States, Donald Trump has insisted that the country must stem immigration by building a wall along its southern border – an expensive gambit that few Americans support and that Democratic lawmakers virulently oppose.
Now, he’s even shut down the federal government over this unmet campaign promise. In a Jan. 8 televised address, Trump insisted that it would stay closed until Congress agreed to a $5.7 billion steel barrier to “protect our country.”
But is there a crisis at the southern border?
Unlawful border crossings have actually declined since 2014, when 569,236 people — most of them Central American — were detained at the southern border, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Last year, 521,090 migrants were caught trying to enter the country unlawfully.
Here, immigration experts explain who’s trying to get into the United States, what they want, and why immigration — even undocumented immigration — actually benefits the country.
1. Most Central American migrants are asylum-seekers
Central American migration is heavily driven by fear, according to researcher Jonathan Hiskey of Vanderbilt University.
“An increasing number of individuals are now arriving at the U.S. southwest border because of crime, violence and insecurity in Central America,” he writes.
With 60 murders per 100,000 people in 2017, El Salvador was the deadliest place in the world that was not at war. Almost 4,000 people were killed there in 2017. That year New York City, which has a much larger population, saw 292 killings.
Honduras’ murder rate has plummeted since 2014, but with 42.8 murders per 100,000 people in 2017, it is still one of the world’s most dangerous places.
Source: Is there a crisis at the US-Mexico border? 6 essential reads : The Conversation
We all need to look at ourselves and judge who of us is racist as we all have a right of live. Just because someone, for whatever reason may be different is no reason to be abusive to each other.
There should be zero tolerance on racist attitudes so that we can all live in peace with each other.
Mike in his articles attacking May and her truly foul decision to destroy the evidence needed for the Windrush migrants to show their right to live in our wonderful country also mentioned that poem by Martin Niemoller. Niemoller was one of the scandalously few Christians in Nazi Germany to oppose the regime. You know the poem. It’s become something of a cliché – It opens with the various groups the Nazis came for, with the refrain ‘I did not speak out, because I was not’ whichever group was being attacked. It ends with the line that when they finally came for him, there was no-one to stand up for him. This was the reality in Nazi Germany. The Nazis attacked group after group, not just Jews, but also Gypsies, Socialists, Communists, trade unionists, the disabled, and other political and religious dissidents. And it had an effect. The Catholic Centre Party…
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Around 20,000 Israelis and African migrants took to the streets in Tel Aviv on February 24, protesting against a government policy of detaining and deporting African asylum seekers who refuse to leave the country. A few days earlier, a group of Eritrean asylum seekers held at a detention centre in Israel went on hunger strike in protest against their imminent expulsion from the country.
In early Feburary, Israel began issuing expulsion orders to African migrants and asylum seekers whose asylum claims had been refused by the government. Most were from Eritrea and Sudan. The orders, under new rules announced in December 2017, give people the choice to be sent to a “third country” by the end of March, or face detention and imprisonment. The receiving countries will reportedly receive US$5,000 per asylum seeker they accept, while the asylum seekers themselves receive a plane ticket plus US$3,500 each.
It is the Israeli regime of deportation and detention that is the root cause for the distress of the African migrants and asylum seekers on its soil. It is almost impossible to even launch an asylum claim let alone become a recognised refugee. Merely 11 African asylum seekers, ten from Eritrea and one from Sudan, were given refugee status between 2009 and 2017.
However, in what might prove to be a landmark ruling, an Israeli special appeals court ruled on February 15 in the case of an Eritrean asylum seeker that desertion from the Eritrean military provided a valid claim for asylum. This ruling could affect many Eritreans threatened with deportation, but is unlikely to change wider attitudes among Israeli authorities, who in any case will appeal.
Mixed reasons for coming to Israel
Source: Anger mounts as Israel begins detention and deportation of African asylum seekers : The Conversation
The refugees arrive exhausted in Germany, are greeted and fed by waiting volunteers, then whisked away to reception centres around the country. It all seems as smooth as the assembly line in a BMW factory.
Behind this efficient welcome for asylum seekers, though, are scenes of chaos and confusion as Germany’s famous orderliness is overwhelmed and officials scramble to keep up with the waves of newcomers spilling in from the Middle East.
Standard procedures like identification and registration are forgotten as most newcomers –Syrians, Iraqis, Afghans and any number of other nationalities – pass through cities like Munich on their way to a hoped-for new life elsewhere.
“People who arrive in Munich don’t get registered here at all – they’re distributed all over Germany,” said Christoph Hillenbrand, senior administrator of the Upper Bavaria district around Munich.
Officials are buying so many bunk beds for refugee centres that local supplies are often exhausted and orders are made all the way to China. “IKEA can’t keep up with the demand,” he added, referring to the furniture chain store from Sweden.
Newcomers are told to register for refugee benefits at their final destinations within five days, but there is no way to check if they do it. Of about 25,000 arrivals over the weekend, only around 2,000 have stayed in Munich, he added.
Officials estimate almost 40 percent of those arriving this year come from the Balkans and most will be denied asylum, unlike Syrians deemed worthy of protection from their civil war.
Interpreters talking with the refugees say most speak Arabic, Persian or Pashtu. “But there are fake Syrians here as well, for sure,” said Hillenbrand, meaning people claiming to be from Syria to improve their chances of gaining asylum.
Asked if this open door for refugees exposed Germany to any security risks, the Bavarian official simply replied: “Go ask the interior minister.”
The refugees are quickly brought to shelters, often sports halls or schools hastily equipped with beds and tables, but nothing stops them from leaving to go anywhere they want.
“About 1,000 refugees have left shelters in Munich on their own in the past few days, probably moving on to relatives who are already here,” Hillenbrand said.
“If they want official (refugee) status, they have to register within five days anywhere in Germany,” he added. Only then will their identification be checked and their application for asylum be considered.
The usual registration procedure is so detailed that refugees would be stuck at the German-Austrian frontier for days or weeks if the bureaucracy insisted on checking them all first.
In normal times, asylum seekers are photographed and fingerprinted and have to show passports and any other official papers to prove their identity. If the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees has any doubts, it can run a technical analysis of the documents.
Asylum seekers can also be recorded speaking their native tongues. The Federal Office has 45 experts who can analyse speech patterns and accents in 80 languages to check if applicants have lied about where they come from.
This time, it is not just the apparent efficiency that has a flip side. The images of Germans applauding arriving refugees and passing out water and candies do too.
Right-wing politicians have complained about so many Muslims being let in. Several refugee shelters have been attacked in recent weeks and fears fanned by reports such as one saying Saudi Arabia, which has taken in no refugees itself, has offered to build 200 mosques for those who make it to Germany
In Berlin, residents have donated food that Islam says Muslims cannot eat and clothes it says women should not wear.
“We don’t know what to do with the summer dresses, tank tops and miniskirts,” a charity worker told the Tagesspiegel daily.
- Asylum seekers and refugees applying to be cab drivers are not checked
- Drivers usually undergo criminal records checks for the public’s safety
- Those from outside the EU must provide reference from their home nation
- But refugees and asylum seekers are exempt and may be serious criminals
Asylum seekers and refugees applying to be minicab drivers are exempt from criminal records checks, potentially allowing murderers and rapists to get behind the wheel.
Rules laid down by Transport for London (TfL) mean refugees and those applying for asylum do not have to reveal whether they have a criminal history when trying to become a cab driver.
The legal loophole in an official application document on ‘private hire driver licensing’ says people coming to Britain will not be required to have their criminal convictions checked.
Asylum seekers and refugees applying to be minicab drivers are exempt from criminal records checks (file picture)
The form, seen by the Daily Express, states: ‘With regards to overseas criminal records checks, no such checks will be made in respect of those applicants who declare that they are in possession of or who have applied for refugee or asylum status.’
Everyone else who applies for a cab licence must undergo criminal records checks. Those from outside the EU who have spent more than three months abroad over the last three years have to provide a ‘letter of good conduct’ from their home country.
This usually requires their country of origin to give a reference to the Home Office, revealing whether the applicant has a criminal history.
But asylum seekers and refugees are exempt from this too, according to a second document.
A TfL guide on taxi and private hire applications states: ‘Any applicant who has been granted or is awaiting a decision to be granted asylum/refugee status will not be required to produce a Certificate of Good Conduct from the country he is claiming asylum from.’
Applicants from outside the EU must provide a letter of ‘good conduct’ from their home country – but asylum seekers do not have to
Campaigners called for a change in the guidelines, calling on all minicab drivers to undergo thorough criminal checks.
Tory MP Nick de Bois said: ‘They should not be offering licences to those they can’t check on. They could be putting vulnerable members of the public in the hands of thieves, murderers and rapists. It beggars belief.’
Helen Chapman, manager of London taxi and private hire at TfL, said: ‘All applicants for a Taxi or Private Hire drivers licence are required to undertake an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check which is carried out by the Home Office.
‘Any applicant that has lived in a country other than the UK for more than three months within the last three years is also required to produce a Certificate of Good Conduct from the relevant country.
‘We recognise this may not be possible if an applicant is granted asylum or refugee status and, where applicable, these applicants will be required to provide a Certificate of Good Conduct from any other country of residence within the last three years. They will also be required to provide evidence of their Certificate of Registration or a letter from the Border and Immigration Agency.’