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Legal immigration is now under attack.

Is there anybody who still believes this administration’s “concerns” about immigration are about national security and the economy as opposed to just naked racism? Hopefully not, but just in case there are, Stephen Miller is erasing any doubt.

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Is there anybody who still believes this administration’s “concerns” about immigration are about national security and the economy as opposed to just naked racism? Hopefully not, but just in case there are, Stephen Miller is erasing any doubt.

stephen

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is expected to issue a proposal in coming weeks that would make it harder for legal immigrants to become citizens or get green cards if they have ever used a range of popular public welfare programs, including Obamacare, four sources with knowledge of the plan told NBC News.

The move, which would not need congressional approval, is part of White House senior adviser Stephen Miller’s plan to limit the number of migrants who obtain legal status in the U.S. each year.

Details of the rulemaking proposal are still being finalized, but based on a recent draft seen last week and described to NBC News, immigrants living legally in the U.S. who have ever used or whose household members have ever used Obamacare, children’s health insurance, food stamps and other benefits could be hindered from obtaining legal status in the U.S.

Immigration lawyers and advocates and public health researchers say it would be the biggest change to the legal immigration system in decades and estimate that more than 20 million immigrants could be affected. They say it would fall particularly hard on immigrants working jobs that don’t pay enough to support their families.

(cont. NBC News)

Your President and his administration are all racists and his anti-immigrant rhetoric is proof.

“Well people shouldn’t come illegally! We need a wall to keep illegals out!”

Your President and his administration are turning away asylum seekers and separating babies from their parents. Requesting asylum is a legal way to enter the country — they’re not hiding from the government. They need our help.

“Well why should we take in a bunch of freeloaders from countries that can’t take care of their own people? They should get green cards and get jobs and work really hard and then they can be citizens the right way.”

Your President and his administration are making it harder for green card holders to gain citizenship because some of those hard workers are doing jobs that don’t pay enough to live and then have to ask the government for assistance and now they’re being kept from becoming US citizens.

“Well they should get better jobs and then they can stay!”

THIS WAS NEVER ABOUT IMMIGRATION. THIS WAS ABOUT KEEPING BROWN PEOPLE OUT OF THE US AND REMOVING AS MANY AS THEY COULD LEGALLY GET AWAY WITH.

African, Caribbean, and Latin American immigrants do the jobs nobody else wants to do. If you aren’t a “skilled worker” and your English is limited, your job opportunities aren’t great. These folks work hard — HARD!!! — to not only support their families but to keep this country running. We don’t pay them a decent wage because we don’t have to! In a capitalist society built on a very clear stratifications of labor and wages, the multi-millionaire at the top doesn’t have to pay a living wage to the people on the bottom because there will always be a fresh influx of new folks to take over should any of the current workers quit. They get paid pennies because everyone swears the prices of goods would go up so high none of the rest of us would be able to afford them if the people producing the goods got paid enough to live. Never is it suggested we cut into CEO profits — no, we have to keep the poorest among us SUPER poor so the regular-poor and just-above-poor can benefit from those depressed wages in the form of low-cost goods.

Nobody else wants the jobs immigrants do for us. We have fruit rotting on the ground all over California because this administration won’t let immigrants pick it and Republicans — who swear immigrants are stealing their jobs — don’t want *that* job.  I don’t like stereotyping and hopefully that’s not what I’m doing but we also can’t ignore the fact that there is a large workforce of immigrants that make it possible for the rest of us to ignore what it takes to keep a country like this in motion. Agriculture, restaurants, custodial, and service industries rest on a foundation of immigrants (both documented and undocumented) and these bigots are so focused on Making America White Again they haven’t figured out how they’re gonna make white people pick tomatoes and bus tables.

And I wish I could just blame white people and conservatives, but I get my hair cut in a Black barbershop in Harlem.  One of the most popular topics whenever politics comes up is how we shouldn’t be so worried about “illegal Mexicans” and worry about our own communities and jobs for us instead.  Nevermind the fact that over half of the undocumented immigrants in this country are Black people from Africa and the Caribbean, “Mexican Illegals” are bad because they come here and get free handouts and take jobs away that should belong to us because we were here first. It’s straight out of the White Conservative playbook but tweaked a little for poor Black people trying to hold on to whatever tiny piece of the American dream they’ve been able to grab hold to. We were here first and paid our dues and built this country, so it’s not fair that some Mexicans (it’s always Mexicans, anybody brown and speaking Spanish and coming across the border without papers is always Mexican in these “discussions”) can just show up, get a job, and get free money while our own neighborhoods are still rife with crime and unemployment.

It’s a pile of lies and fallacies, a distraction thrown at us by the rich white people at the top and it’s working perfectly. Poor white people, poor Black people, and poor immigrants are all at each other’s throats fighting for scraps while the RICH white people at the top are feasting. A butcher holding a Porterhouse is dangling it in front of three pit bulls who are all fighting each other for it instead of just attacking the butcher who is holding the Porterhouse! They’re going to kill each other while the butcher watches and then carves off a corner for the winner when the three of them should’ve just ripped the butcher’s throat out and kept the whole slab for themselves.

And while we’re fighting each other, we’re being slowly pushed to the margins of this country. It’s harder for POC to vote now than at any point since the 1960s. Legal immigration is being attacked on the grounds that poor people shouldn’t be allowed to become citizens. Tax cuts are being handed down to make the rich richer and further concentrate power in the hands of a tiny percentage of wealthy white people.

There is nothing an immigrant could possibly do that would threaten your livelihood more than what the 1% is doing in Washington.  If that argument doesn’t work on the skeptics in your life, just appeal to their selfishness.  If all the poor people are kicked out of the country, if all the fresh immigrants are kicked out of the country, what do you think happens? That wages go up in your industry or that you will be force down into the industry that has been left open by a mass removal of those workers?   Black people especially like to forget that we’re only a few decades removed from a time where the only jobs we could get were factory work, farm work, or domestic work. Who do you think will be first in line to return there if there’s no immigrant class to prop up American greed at the top?

But it shouldn’t take appeals to selfishness to see that this is just wrong. Someone coming to this country for a better life – working 80 hours a week just to survive because we don’t pay them what they’re worth and doing everything the right way because we told them the American Dream is real and if you just work hard for long enough, you and your family will be rewarded – should not be denied citizenship because his 80-hour paycheck wasn’t big enough to afford healthcare or food. We should be ashamed that anyone has to work 12 hour days and still ask the government for help – but we’re so busy trying to protect our own pennies we can’t even address the real problem.

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economy

Joe Manchin doesn’t want to give money to people who need money.

Conservatives are so intent on giving money to people who already have it.

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When you’re rich, you see money as a reward as opposed to a necessity to live. Joe Manchin is worth over seven million dollars so he has no frame of reference for what a $300 credit is to someone with a child. To him, $300 is pocket change you get as a thank you, not the difference between cooking healthy meals or going to McDonald’s.

Millions of children are set to be lifted out of poverty this year because the Democrats temporarily beefed up the child tax credit in the last coronavirus relief package.

Extending the enhanced credit is included in Democrats’ massive social spending bill. But Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia — whose support is needed to pass the legislation — has said he wants to once again require parents to work in order to qualify for the credit, a shift that could exclude millions of the nation’s poorest families.

(cont. CNN)

The impact this would have on children isn’t up for debate. The monthly payments that started in July have kept 3.5 million children out of poverty. Child poverty is expected to be cut in half by the end of the year and low income families with children have seen a 25% decrease in food instability. (x)

But a credit for parents isn’t just about being able to buy food for your children. Almost half of the recipients used some of the money to buy groceries, but others paid bills, which also allows you to provide food for your family.

Poor people know that any money coming from anywhere that goes to anything helps you put better food on the table. If you work two jobs to make ends meet, you don’t always have time to cook. You go to McDonald’s on the way home because that’s the only way you can feed your family. Cutting one job down to two, or even cutting some hours from your second job, gives you more time to feed your family with better food.

Poor people who live or have lived in food deserts also know what that extra money can mean to your family. I’ve lived in a food desert in Bed-Stuy and in Harlem. I’m young, able-bodied, and childless. If I have to walk half a mile to the nearest grocery store with fresh vegetables, I’m able to do that. There are so many low income families who do not have that option. Extra money means a used car so you can get to a grocery store or even just a Lyft once a week so you can stock your refrigerator.

Money gives you options and choices. It gives you ways to be a better parent and provider. So what’s the problem? How could you possibly have an argument against helping parents be better parents?

Once again, rich people are concerned that poor people will get something they didn’t work for. Let’s be clear about Joe Manchin: he did not work for $7 million. He’s been an elected official for the past 40 years. That is his job and you do not amass $7 million on the salary of a public servant. He founded a coal brokerage firm and gave it to his son, but the company still pays him dividends as he stops clean energy bills from passing. That’s where Joe Manchin gets his money, from coal trading that he doesn’t even do. He has $7 million dollars from not working.

So it is absolutely enraging that a rich person who does not work wants to keep $300 from reaching parents who desperately need it because some of them may take it as an incentive to not work, or to work less. To that I say: so what if they don’t work? If $300 a month is enough money to keep you out of the job market, then the job you were doing was grossly underpaying you in the first place. It was probably demeaning work for pennies, and if you can save a bit of your self worth thanks to the federal government, that is a good thing. That is a happier American citizen. That is a better parent raising the next generation.

But that’s just giving Manchin’s position a level of truth it doesn’t deserve anyway. Of the people who have received child credits, only 5% of them decided to work less. Joe Manchin, like so many other Conservatives, will screw the majority just to make sure a minority isn’t “getting one over” on him. Instead, his rationale is to give a credit to people who already have jobs. Joe Manchin, like every other Conservative, wants to give money to people who already have money because, in America, having money means you are morally better than someone who does not have money. It all goes back to the foundation of American Christian Prosperity Gospel Capitalism: rich people are rich because they are good people who deserve it and poor people are poor because of their own moral failures. You can extrapolate that principle out to a host of social policies Conservatives refuse to support.

And if you can get rich by doing absolutely no work at all, kindly forget that you did nothing. Just pretend you worked super hard and the Money Jesus smiled upon all of your endeavors.

 

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Vote or Don’t Vote for Charles Graham…but know why.

A good ad does not a good candidate make.

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Earlier this week, NC State Rep. Charles Graham announced his run for the US House of Representatives, hoping to unseat Republican incumbent Dan Bishop in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District. And he came in guns blazing with this campaign ad featuring the KKK…

I’ve never seen a campaign ad for a Congressional race go viral on social media so quickly, but less than a day after it was released, it was all over Twitter. I reposted it too. And then I found out Charles Graham was the only Democrat in the NC House to vote in favor of NC’s HB-2, the state’s infamous transgender bathroom bill.

Back in 2017, Republican state lawmakers wrote a bill that required people to use the public restroom in accordance with the gender they were assigned at birth. Republicans cited their false intention to protect women and children from predators (a thoroughly debunked premise that I don’t need to spend time on), and Charles Graham was the only Democrat to vote in favor of it.

I deleted my Retweet immediately.

Later, I did more reading, and Charles Graham had issued an apology for his vote, and as far as political backtracking goes, this is one of the more sincere and believable ones I’ve come across.

————————————————————–

Text of the above screengrab from Charles Graham’s website reads:

I believe human dignity is a human right. It’s a value I hold dear – but five years ago I failed to uphold my own value when I voted for HB2, and it was a mistake. It was a bill written and voted on within 24 hours, with the conversation surrounding protecting children and women, but I should have done more research to completely understand the impact of the bill. After the hurried vote, I spent the following days talking with colleagues and transgender-rights activists about the impacts of the bill – I became a full supporter of recalling the bill and worked across the aisle to fully repeal it. To the LGBTQ+ community, and specifically to the transgender community who suffered real pain from this bill and the rhetoric that surrounded it, I am sorry.

I have always tried to do what is right, but I am not perfect. I’m running for Congress to stand up against hatred and ignorance, and I expect to be held accountable when I fail to live up to my own principles.

————————————————————–

I believe him. That said, you don’t have to. There are people making the case that if he were truly apologetic, he would have released this apology at any point between 2017 and now, that if he were truly in favor of trans rights, he wouldn’t have waited until his campaign ad went viral and his voting record on the issue was called into question. I don’t disagree, however, he admitted that he didn’t really have a full grasp of the issue when he voted, and once he had a greater understanding, he worked to repeal the bill. That to me is more than just lip-service — that’s action to undue something you did.

So. I decided to post his ad again, but I took a beat. I’d already made the mistake of supporting a candidate (from afar) based on one campaign ad without really looking into his record or what he supports, so I did my due diligence and it’s not great.

NC-9 has been very dramatic these past few years. In 2016, a US District Court ruled the gerrymandering in North Carolina was so heavily and obviously prejudiced toward Republican candidates, the state had to redraw the lines. Before 2016, NC-9 looked like this.

Democrats still argue that the partisan lean toward Republicans continues to be out of sync with the actual population of the state so they’re looking to have the lines drawn even more equitably, but for now, this is NC-9.

Before the lines were redrawn, incumbent Robert Pittinger won that slivery snake of a district with 94% of the vote. He lost his primary bid in the election following the restructuring of his district and Reverend Mark Harris won the Republican nomination. His Democratic opponent, Dan McCready, is a successful businessman with a solar clean energy fund called Double Time Capital. Far from the forgone conclusion of the 94% win by Pittinger, the race between Harris and McCready went down to the wire (I wonder why…) and Harris came out on top with roughly 900 more votes than McCready.

However! (Drama!) The bi-partisan state election board declined to certify the results because campaign operatives for Harris committed fraud on multiple occasions (which included tricking elderly Black voters in rural areas into filling out absentee ballots for Harris). The election was voided and Dan Harris was not the Republican nominee the second time around. State Senator Dan Bishop won the Republican primary and went on to defeat McCready by two percentage points. In the last cycle, Bishop won re-election by a larger margin against Cynthia Wallace, the first Black chairperson of NC-9’s Democratic Party, in a lackluster race that didn’t garner much attention.

This backstory is necessary to understand why the Democratic Party should put its weight behind someone other than Charles Graham. Charles Graham is a Conservative. He’s absolutely the kind of person/politician who is aligned with the Democratic Party not because he agrees with most of the platform but because he disagrees with the other side, and that’s an important distinction. Because we have a two party system, we have a lot of people who belong to to the Democratic Party by default, not by choice. If you’re a politician who hates Donald Trump and supports funding for education, you’re not allowed a voice in the Republican Party. Even if you take issue with some of the Democratic platform, you’re still allowed a place in our Big Tent, and that’s who Charles Graham is.

…critics began pointing out Graham’s more conservative voting record in the General Assembly, including his support for some abortion restrictions, in favor of allowing firearms on school grounds, and opposing a statewide mask mandate — all votes largely in keeping with the prevailing sentiment in his conservative district, which has begun trending more Republican as rural voters sour on Democrats due to culture-war issues.

(cont. MetroWeekly)

Firearms on school grounds and abortion restrictions and no mask mandates are the positions of a Republican. We don’t need another “Democrat” of this kind in Congress, so reflect back on the recent history of NC-9. If this were the snakelike sliver of the past where 94% of the vote went to a Republican and we suddenly had a chance to flip the seat, it might make more sense to focus on a Conservative Democrat. In a district where one Republican had to cheat to win, and still only won by a few hundred votes, you don’t need to run a Conservative Democrat. In that same district where the the election was voided and the next Republican won by 2% partly because of his alignment with Donald Trump, you don’t need to run a Conservative Democrat.  In that same district where Donald Trump won the state for reelection and a Black woman still managed to grab 45% of the vote, you don’t need to run a Conservative Democrat. A clean energy businessman narrowly lost while Trump was in office and a Black woman grabbed a huge share while Trump was winning the electoral votes. You can run the same kind of candidates against that Trump-supporter again and win if you mobilize the people to vote.

Look at this way: People who voted for Republican Dan Bishop because they like Dan Bishop are going to vote for Dan Bishop again. They are not going to suddenly vote for a slightly more liberal version of Dan Bishop just because that version has a good backstory about fighting the KKK and taught special ed. Your goal is to grab the people who don’t like Dan Bishop, so why would you run Dan Bishop-lite? Run an actual alternative who can grab the people who didn’t vote for him while also catching the attention of the people who didn’t vote at all. Nobody who voted for Dan McCready a few years ago or Cynthia Wallace last year is suddenly itching to vote for a Democrat In Name Only. Charles Graham caught a couple of headlines with a good campaign ad, but that’s about as much attention as he deserves from national politics going forward. Save your donations for his primary opponents.

(Sidenote: I do believe Charles Graham evolved quickly on trans issues and his statement was genuine. I believe it because he has not apologized for his votes on abortion. He probably believes in his heart that women do not have the right to choose, so he has nothing to apologize for. If he were an opportunist, he would just apologize for that too and keep it moving.)

 

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Politics

Rolling Stone: Rudy Giuliani Whines About Fox News Ban to Steve Bannon

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Rudy Giuliani was reportedly “really hurt” that Fox News banned him from appearing on the network. He turned to Steve Bannon to elaborate on Friday, telling the former White House adviser that the ban is “outrageous.”

(cont.)

Fox News is perfectly fine with peddling lies and booking commentators who peddle lies, but they’re not okay with losing money. When Dominion Voting Systems filed suit against Giuliani *and* sued Fox News for $1.6 billion partly because Giuliani kept going on air to say Dominion was part of the rigged system to give Biden the election, Giuliani’s relationship with Fox News was suddenly in jeopardy.

You can lie all you want to destroy our democracy, but don’t you dare cost us any money.

 

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