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 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018 August 2018 September 2018 October 2018


 

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

Hullabaloo


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

 

Trump's deportation madness

by digby




I wrote about the latest action to feed Trump's obsession to rid America of all foreigners for Salon this morning. But because he doesn't really understand who is foreign and who isn't he's got a little problem:



President Trump issued two presidential pardons on Tuesday and to the nation's great relief they didn't go to anyone named Manafort or Flynn. They were for a couple of other turkeys called Drumstick and Wishbone and in his usual classy fashion he joked around about how he loved to rescind his predecessor's orders and had looked into withdrawing the pardons for last year's turkeys but was told he couldn't do it. He seemed quite pleased with himself.

Unfortunately, there are millions of Americans not feeling quite so happy this Thanksgiving. The Trump administration dropped a lovely bombshell this week on the 58,000 Haitians who came to America after the catastrophic earthquake in 2010 as part of the temporary permit program and told them they have to leave.

Recall that these Haitians were displaced by a massive earthquake in 2010 that killed over 100,000 people and destroyed an estimated 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings.There were so many bodies they had to be buried in mass graves. Nearly all infrastructure, including communications airport, roads and power were destroyed. Cholera broke out and killed more than 8,000 people. In other words the country was decimated.

The disaster was so monumental that help and pledges came in from all over the world. But the task has been overwhelming and corruption has been rife, particularly in one egregious case involving the American Red Cross which NPR and Pro Publica reported in 2015 had mismanaged $500 million dollars that had been donated for disaster relief and rebuilding of the country with very little to show for it. Seven years later the country has barely begun to fully recover, at least partly due to the fact that much of the help they were promised never materialized.

Haiti is one of the most impoverished countries in the world and the poorest in the Americas. It has a population of 11 million and the average life expectancy is only 50 years. According to the World Bank, "more than 6 million out of 10.4 million (59%) Haitians live under the national poverty line of US$2.41 per day and over 2.5 million (24%) live under the national extreme poverty line of US$1.23 per day." It is not exactly the land of opportunity.

Nonetheless, the Trump administration has decided that despite the fact that many of these people have American children and are working and contributing to the country they have to go back. They are determined to deport as many people as possible regardless of their circumstances, what they are facing in their home countries and how much they have enriched our communities. For now this seems to be the final word for these Haitians but Democratic Sens. Ben Cardin, Chris Van Hollen and Dianne Feinstein have proposed legislation to protect undocumented immigrants living under temporary protected status in the future by allowing them to apply for permanent legal status after three years. It's unlikely this will ever pass with the immigrant hating Trump in the White House but it could happen if the Democrats take control in 2020.

And that could happen as a direct result of such harsh and cruel policies. Right now Puerto Rico is still in the midst of a catastrophe not all that different from what happened in Haiti in 2010. It has not faced the massive loss of life because there was warning of the hurricane and people were able to prepare. But the broken infrastructure and loss of basic necessities in the disaster's wake is also devastating. And in this case, the island is an American territory which could have expected the kind of professional, efficient disaster relief that any American state would receive.

We know that didn't happen in the immediate aftermath. The response to Hurricane Maria was a disgrace and if the administration wasn't plagued with scandals, gaffes, investigations, palace intrigue and non-stop misconduct and incompetence, the president's reaction to the disaster and his behavior when he went to visit would have been the low point. We've already seen one glaring example of corruption with the rewarding of a very expensive contract to restore power to an inexperienced friend of Trump's interior secretary Ryan Zinke. (The project is a mess.)That's just one of many shocking examples of Trump's malfeasance, almost forgotten now in the avalanche of news that's happened since.

However, Puerto Rico is still in serious crisis. The unofficial death toll as gathered by CNN is around 500 people. The LA Times reports that economist Tony Villamil, an expert in Puerto Rico, believes that it “going to take a decade at minimum for the island to recover and regain some sense of normalcy.The ports, the power grid, the highways all need to be rebuilt with significant improvements. There needs to be a strong public-private sector relationship that is developed to help in these efforts.”

To date Congress has approved $5 billion in aid for Puerto Rico. Governor Ricardo Rossello has requested nearly $94 billion more. The chances of that happening with this GOP congress are remote, to say the least. Their priority is placating their wealthy benefactors with gigantic tax cuts.

The people of Puerto Rico are Americans and like every other American,they can move wherever they want. And that is exactly what they are doing. The government's poor response has people leaving the island at a rate of 2,000 people a day. According to the NY Times, 168,000 Puerto Ricans have emigrated to Florida since the hurricane and many more are expected. And since they know very well that the island is being neglected and it's presumed it will take years to repair, they are putting down roots on the mainland.

Unlike the Haitians and Nicaraguans who are in the US on a temporary permit, they can stay. They can go to school, work, and start businesses. They can also remember who it was that threw paper towels when he came to the island for a photo op and then never bothered to talk about the crisis again.

And they can do something else once they take up residency on the mainland: vote.

President Trump is in Florida for Thanksgiving. At some point during his sumptuous feast perhaps the fact that he only won the state by 1.2% in the last election will come up in the conversation and maybe someone will mention that next time the state will be filled with new voters whose lives were upended by hurricane Maria. He will ask how long before they can be deported back to the island and someone will tell him that they can stay as long as they like. It might just ruin his holiday.