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Morning Reads: Aggressive New Plan for Deportations; Lawmakers Get an Earful From Constituents

A roundup of stories we're reading at BillMoyers.com HQ...

Morning Reads: Aggressive New Plan for Deportations

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seal hangs on a fence at the agency's headquarters in Washington, DC. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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“Identify, capture and quickly deport” –> The Trump administration has directed the Department of Homeland Security to enforce aggressive new rules that will make Trump’s campaign-trail pledges to round up and deport undocumented immigrants a reality. Memos made public yesterday call for the hiring of 10,000 more immigration agents and instruct law enforcement to quickly deport every undocumented immigrant they encounter. USA Today reports: “Although Trump recently said his focus would be to deport undocumented immigrants with criminal histories or who pose a threat to national security, the new memos make clear that nearly all undocumented immigrants are at risk.” There are an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the US.

The orders also instruct Customs and Border Patrol to deport to Mexico anyone found crossing the southern border — even if they’re not from Mexico. “If present immigration trends continue, that could mean the United States would push hundreds of thousands of Guatemalans, Hondurans, Salvadorans, Brazilians, Ecuadorans, even Haitians into Mexico,” Ginger Thompson and Marcelo Rochabrun report for ProPublica. “Currently, such people are detained in the US and allowed to request asylum.”

These laws will lead to a host of heartbreaking stories. Leighton Akio Woodhouse tells one, at The Intercept, about an undocumented immigrant — “C” — who “has a very specific reason to fear the Trump administration. Her husband, an American citizen, is currently serving a 6-month sentence for domestic violence, and C. does not yet have full custody over their children. If she is deported, her children will remain in the US with their father. They will be alone to face his near homicidal rage.”

Disgruntled Americans give lawmakers an earful –> Virginia Republican David Brat did not help his case when he complained of women getting up “in my grill” earlier this year in support of Obamacare. This week, he was one target of protests at town halls that members of Congress are holding across the country. “For a little more than an hour, Brat was heckled nonstop as he fielded questions on health care, President Trump’s policies and the border wall,” Jenna Portnoy reports for The Washington Post. The New York Times reports similar protests in Tennessee, Florida and Iowa. Other Republicans are hiding from angry constituents — but a new poll by Morning Consult and Politico finds that half of Americans think their member of Congress is too inaccessible.

Where’s the proof? -—> Federal Elections Commissioner Ellen Weintraub called on Donald Trump to provide evidence for his claim that “thousands” of people who were “brought in on buses” to vote in New Hampshire. Matt Shuham reports for Talking Points Memo that, in return, a Koch brothers-funded group, Cause of Action, sent a letter to the FEC inspector general asking that Weintraub be investigated for ethics violations. “Let there be no doubt: It is absolutely within my official duties as a federal election official to comment publicly on any aspect of the integrity of federal elections in the United States,” Weintraub wrote in a statement posted online yesterday. “I will not be silenced.”

Challenge to Second Amendment absolutists –> An appeals court ruled yesterday that the Second Amendment does not protect assault weapons. The court, in particular, considered how the availability of assault weapons made the Newtown shooting possible, and issued a ruling that Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern calls “a remarkable victory for gun safety advocates and a serious setback for gun proponents who believe the Second Amendment exempts weapons of war from regulation.”

Show of unity –> Over last weekend, “as many as 200 gravestones were toppled or damaged in the Chesed Shel Emeth cemetery,” a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis, Shira Hanau reports for the Forward. “The defacement was discovered on a weekend when 11 Jewish Community Centers received bomb threats.” On Tuesday, two Muslim activists launched a crowdfunding page to repair the cemetery. They aimed to raise $20,000 but blew through that goal in three hours. As of this writing, more than $66,000 in donations have come in.

Trump is ubiquitous –> New York Times reporter Farhad Manjoo tries to ignore Trump news for a week, finds it impossible. He writes, “as the week wore on, I discovered several truths about our digital media ecosystem. Coverage of Mr. Trump may eclipse that of any single human being ever.” He could find almost no “Trump-free” part of the press. Worth a read.

Morning Reads was compiled by John Light and edited by Theresa Riley.

 


 

We produce this news digest every weekday. You can sign up to receive these updates as an email newsletter each morning.