HOME



Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405



Facebook: Digby Parton

Twitter:
@digby56
@Gaius_Publius
@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)
@spockosbrain



emails:
Digby:
thedigbyblog at gmail
Dennis:
satniteflix at gmail
Gaius:
publius.gaius at gmail
Tom:
tpostsully at gmail
Spocko:
Spockosbrain at gmail
tristero:
Richardein at me.com








Infomania

Salon
Buzzflash
Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Slate
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic


Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018


 

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Hullabaloo


Thursday, September 01, 2016

 
Trump's immigrant model problem

by digby

Not this kind of problem ...












I wrote about it for Salon this morning

On Tuesday night when Donald Trump announced he was going to Mexico to meet with the president the next day there were rumors flying around social media among people with contacts in the campaign that this was a sign of the dominance of the hard line Bannon-Session camp. That seemed odd since the campaign was selling the visit and the immigration speech scheduled later that day in Arizona as more "softening" of his immigration policy. It turned out the rumors were true. There was no softening.

According to this report from NBC's Kelly O'Donnell, the trip had actually been in the works for some time and the invitation came at the behest of the Trump campaign not the other way around. O'Donnell reported that son-in-law Jared Kushner led the effort and it was only after they secured the invitation that Mexico offered the same to Hillary Clinton. Evidently Trump himself wasn't all that enthusiastic but agreed to do it as long as he could give the immigration speech he really wanted to give. And so he did. If campaign manager Kellyanne Conway had planned a "pivot" to attract those rapidly defecting white college educated women, Trump apparently decided that what they were looking for was an angry,red-faced demagogue shouting about dangerous foreigners for over an hour.

Despite some dispute about whether his policy of forcing Mexico to finance his great big beautiful wall had come up, his halting and amateurish photo-op in Mexico City was portrayed by the pundits as some sort of turning point because he proved he could appear in a formal setting without talking about the size of his hands. But the speech last night forced many of the credulous press corps to admit that Trump had not changed at all. Politico summed it up nicely with this headline: Trump promises wall and massive deportation program. The GOP candidate ditches his softer approach, returning to his core promise of a big wall, paid for by Mexico.

But that wasn't all. Trump devoted a lot of time to reciting lurid stories of undocumented immigrants killing Americans through various means in great detail while also making a case that even law biding immigrants are destroying the American way of life. It was, in short, as chilling as any speech he's given and that's saying something.

As he was ranting and raving he did manage to lay out something of a "plan" although the legality and constitutionality of its various provisions for ridding America of immigrants is likely to be the subject of furious debate. There was one part of the speech, however, that he may very well come to regret ever bringing up:
Approximately half of new illegal immigrants came on temporary visas and then never, ever left. Why should they? Nobody's telling them to leave. Stay as long as you want, we'll take care of you... Last year alone nearly half a million individuals overstayed their temporary visas. Removing these overstays will be a top priority of my administration. If people around the world believe they can just come on a temporary visa and never, ever leave, the Obama-Clinton policy, that's what it is, then we have a completely open border, and we no longer have a country.

We must send a message that visa expiration dates will be strongly enforced.
Considering that Trump's own wife is suspected of having over stayed her Visa and working in the US illegally it's surprising that somebody in the campaign didn't urge him to back off. It was just a few weeks ago that headlines appeared all over the world  saying Melania Trump reportedly posed nude at one point in her modeling career and revealing some inconsistencies in her story of how she came to live and work in the US. Apparently, she has told numerous people over the years that when she was working as a model here she had to return to Europe every few months to renew her visa which would indicate that she was here on a tourist visa rather than a work visa. That would be illegal. When the story came up a few weeks ago, Trump promised that his wife would hold a press conference to explain but that has failed to materialize.

However, that's just the tip of the iceberg. Just this week Mother Jones published a blockbuster expose which would, in a normal campaign, be considered a possible candidacy ending scandal. Since Trump saw fit to make the visa issue a part of his speech last night, this story about illegal immigration, exploitation of under-age girls, failing to pay workers,  criminal abuse of women and knowing violations of federal law at Trump's modeling agency should at least get wider attention.

Mother Jones interviewed three former models and reviewed financial and immigration documents in a recent lawsuit filed by a fourth and uncovered what amounts to a sweatshop in which Trump pockets millions while charging underage models so much money for their "room and board" in cramped apartments housing half a dozen girls that they end up owing their souls to the company store, also known as Trump Model Management.  And Trump has a little problem with the law:
Two of the former Trump models said Trump's agency encouraged them to deceive customs officials about why they were visiting the United States and told them to lie on customs forms about where they intended to live. Anna said she received a specific instruction from a Trump agency representative: "If they ask you any questions, you're just here for meetings."
One of the models Mother Jones interviewed said, "honestly, they are the most crooked agency I've ever worked for, and I've worked for quite a few."

That's a line echoed by dozens, if not hundreds, of Donald Trump's former employees from virtually every business he's run.  But this one runs afoul of Trump's signature campaign policy and shows him to be on the wrong side of federal immigration law.  I know the bar for Trump is lower than for any presidential candidate in history but surely charges of running an illegal sweatshop exploiting underage girls on tourist visas should garner at least a little attention for the man who promises to put his rival for the presidency in prison?

.