Culture

Trump Would Do Well In Remembering That His Grandfather Begged To Be Spared A Family Separating Deportation

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Familia, what you are about to read is rich. Harper’s Magazine has recently uncovered and translated a German letter written by Friedrich Trump, President Trump’s grandfather. At the time of its writing, in 1905, Friedrich Trump was living in Bavaria as an “illegal alien” in what was then Bavaria, and had just received a letter of deportation. Trump responded by penning a letter begging for repatriation to Prince Luitpold. Prince Luitpold rejected Trump’s deeply reverent yet desperate request on behalf of his family’s mental health. The family later resettled in New York.

“Most Serene, Most Powerful Prince Regent! Most Gracious Regent and Lord!,” it begins.

Credit: @PeterFotopoulos / Twitter

Trump begins by explaining how his “parents were honest, plain, pious vineyard workers.” They strictly held [him] to everything good.” He then goes on to explain that he “apprenticed to become a barber,” emigrated to America and with “God’s blessing” he “became rich.” He moved back to Kallstadt, his birthplace in Bavaria, because his wife “could not tolerate the climate in New York.” He brought his “dear family” back to Kallstadt.

He pleads on the count of not separating his family.

Credit: @glennf / Twitter

“The town was glad to have received a capable and productive citizen. My old mother was happy to see her son, her dear daughter-in-law, and her granddaughter around her; she knows now that I will take care of her in her old age. But we were confronted all at once, as if by a lightning strike from fair skies, with the news that the High Royal State Ministry had decided that we must leave our residence in the Kingdom of Bavaria.”

“We were paralyzed with fright; our happy family life was tarnished.”

Credit: @fofochavez / Twitter

“My wife has been overcome by anxiety, and my lovely child has become sick. Why should we be deported? This is very, very hard for a family. What will our fellow citizens think if honest subjects are faced with such a decree — not to mention the great material losses it would incur. I would like to become a Bavarian citizen again.”

People are shooketh that POTUS hasn’t derived any empathy from his own abuelo’s experience as a deported illegal immigrant.

Credit: @MauiGigner / Twitter

Two generations later, Friedrich Trump’s grandson is the President of the United States and enacting new policies that specifically separates families at the border as a “deterrent” to immigration. When Friedrich’s reasons for immigrating was New York’s harsh climate and wanting to be close to his aging mother, we’d expect his grandson to have compassion for families who are fleeing gang violence, LGBT discrimination, and threats of death to protect their families.

That said, Bavaria rejected Trump, Sr. for dodging the military draft.

Credit: @mssenator / Twitter

Friedrich had fled Bavaria (now-Germany) when he was young as a method to escape the military draft. He obviously failed to report his emigration 20 years prior to receiving the letter because it was shady AF. Germany denied his request to stay in the country since he failed to notify the government of his emigration and for dodging the draft.

Given his recent hate speech to “send back” the four Congresswoman of color, this news has folks reeling in Trump’s own hypocrisy.

Credit: @MarioAVazquez7 / Twitter

Twitter user, Mario Vazquez, tweeted his thoughts, “HYPOCRISY: Melania, from Slovenia, illegally worked under a tourist visa in the 90s and then brought her parents over through “chain migration.” Trump’s mom immigrated from Scotland and his grandfather came from Germany. Should they all “go back” then?”

Fourth-generation Americans are chiming in acknowledging their privilege and degrading Trump’s hypocrisy.

Credit: @nosnibornasus / Twitter

What makes America great is that it did welcome Trump’s family at a time when immigration laws were tightening in the U.S. The President at the time had to veto a law passed in Congress that would require immigrants a literacy test by reading five lines of the Constitution. That POTUS rejected the requirement as un-American.

Friedrich Trump became a U.S. citizen after immigrating as an unaccompanied minor who didn’t speak English.

Credit: @AshaRangappa_ / Twitter

He certainly wouldn’t have passed Trump’s citizenship screening test that prioritizes those with Ph.D.’s and wealth. 

It seems as if our own abuelos are trying Twitter for the first time to “burn” Trump.

Credit: @RoberL01302168 / Twitter

We see you, Mr. Lopez. Solid burn.

We’ll leave you with one final reaction to the surfacing of Friedrich Trump’s letter.

Credit: @nharmertaylor / Twitter

You’re not aging very well, Mr. President. Might we suggest honoring the stories of your own ancestors? This country is built on family. Trump’s own family is built on “chain migration.” Without family, you’re just an old, unhinged, racist white-bordering-orange dude.

Trump Made It His Personal Business To Get Israel To Ban Two Democratic Congresswoman From Entering After Saying They “Hate Jewish People”

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Trump Made It His Personal Business To Get Israel To Ban Two Democratic Congresswoman From Entering After Saying They “Hate Jewish People”

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Two Democratic members of Congress have just been barred from visiting Israel next week in a move that many fear will deepen the injured relationship between Democrats and the Jewish state and strengthen the bond between Trump and Israeli leaders. On Thursday, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blocked Congresswomen Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) from embarking on a planned trip to the country. 

Deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely confirmed the ban in a statement to CNN. 

“The plan of the two Congresswomen is only to damage Israel and to foment against Israel,” Netanyahu said.

The decision came after President Donald Trump said Israel would be showing “great weakness” if they allowed the women of color legislators, who have both been very critical of the country, to visit. “It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep.Tlaib to visit. They hate Israel & all Jewish people,” the president wrote on Twitter Thursday morning. “There is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds. Minnesota and Michigan will have a hard time putting them back in office. They are a disgrace!”

The private trip was organized by a Palestinian-led nonprofit. The women were expected to visit Israel and the West Bank, where Tlaib has family, as well as Bethlehem, Hebron, Ramallah, and Jerusalem. In the latter Middle Eastern city, they were to join members of the Palestinian Authority at the Temple Mount (called Haram al-Sharif by Muslims), a major holy site for Jews, Christians and Muslims.

The decision to block the trip comes one month after Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer said that the women would be allowed to visit Israel, noting at the time that barring them would be impertinent.

“Out of respect for the U.S. Congress and the great alliance between Israel and America, we would not deny entry to any member of Congress into Israel,” Dermer, who is close to Netanyahu, said

For some on the left, the Israeli government’s decision to go back on their word is proof that the decision was made in spite of the women. 

Even more, they see it as potentially damaging to an already strained relationship.

“Israel’s denial of entry to Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar is a sign of weakness, and beneath the dignity of the great State of Israel,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. “The President’s statements about the Congresswomen are a sign of ignorance and disrespect, and beneath the dignity of the Office of the President.”

In a separate statement, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the decision a “sign of weakness, not strength,” adding that “it will only hurt the U.S.-Israeli relationship and support for Israel in America … Many strong supporters of Israel will be deeply disappointed in this decision, which the Israeli government should reverse.”

Netanyahu’s main grievance with the women is that they support the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. Both Omar and Tlaib voted for legislation that would have made it US policy to boycott Israel; the measure was thwarted 398-17 in the House.

Since about 2005, the BDS movement has attempted to force Israel to change its approach to the Palestinians through external pressure, like demanding companies to halt business with Israel, asking consumers to stop buying Israeli products and calling on scholars and cultural leaders to stop collaborating with colleagues in the country. For supporters, the mission is much like the boycotts that targeted apartheid in South Africa in the 1980s. 

For opponents, however, the movement, and its followers are deemed anti-Semitic.

Democratic presidential candidates have chimed in on the matter as well, with some recognizing that difference in views does not equate to anti-Semitism and others directly placing their anger with Trump, who they believe helped stir up Isreali leaders with his damaging remarks against Reps. Tlaib and Omar.

“Israel doesn’t advance its case as a tolerant democracy or unwavering US ally by barring elected members of Congress from visiting because of their political views,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) tweeted. “This would be a shameful, unprecedented move. I urge Israel’s government to allow @IlhanMN and @RashidaTlaib entry.”

Speaking to Trump, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) called the president a bigot and told him, “opposing Netanyahu’s policies is not ‘hating the Jewish people.”

Former US representative Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) added: “President Trump, you show great weakness every single day—when you attack women of color when you degrade the office of the president, and when you ask our allies to stoop to your level.”

In July, Trump told Omar and Tlaib, among other members of their “squad” — which also includes Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) — to “go back” to their countries. Tlaib was born in the United States, and Omar was born in Somalia and is a naturalized US citizen.

ICE Air Is A Real Airline That The Government Uses To Deport Thousands Of Migrants Every Day

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ICE Air Is A Real Airline That The Government Uses To Deport Thousands Of Migrants Every Day

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In news that many don’t realize, the government is operating a charter airline called ICE Air for the sole purpose of deporting thousands of migrants each day.

The airline, which is really called ICE Air, transports people who have received orders of removal to their country of origin. For many, that is a dangerous move that has resulted in people’s deaths shortly after arriving back in their origin country.

ICE Air is a real airline and it’s funded with taxpayer dollars.

The Washington Post released an article over the weekend detailing the exclusive press trip aboard ICE Air. A Univision television crew and Matt Albence, the acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, were on-board a flight from Louisiana to Guatemala.

The article itself is a wild ride and an interesting piece of reporting with a lot to be gleaned as much from what is not said as what appears in print. At one point, Albence comments on the cheers coming from some of the passengers aboard the flight. “You see? They’re smiling!” he tells Miroff, “This is probably better than some of the commercial flights I fly on.” 

The acting director of ICE thinks it’s better than flying commercial…

Credit: Reddit

Well, Matthew, pretty sure that if you were being released after being held for months, sometimes years, in questionable conditions and then shackled on a two and a half hour flight, you might let out a sigh of relief.

Here’s Univision’s coverage of “ICE Air” in 2017:

So what exactly is “ICE Air”? In a quick overview from the ICE website, ICE Air Charter Operations is a network of chartered flights which act as the last step of deportation for many Central American immigrants. There are five ICE Air locations throughout the United States – San Antonio and Brownsville, Texas, Alexandria, Louisiana (where the press trip flight took off from), Miami, Florida, and Mesa, Arizona. Destination flights typically land in countries like Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua. Each flight costs $7,785 per flight hour.

2.5 hours, at the short end. 9 flights per week. About 130 people on the flight (assuming the flight is full). Carry the one. Round up to the nearest ugh. It all adds up to a pretty expensive operation for a method that may not even be that effective. Many of the passengers Miroff talked to planned to go back to the United States when they were able.

And ICE Air is currently under scrutiny for alleged misconduct and abuse.

The University of Washington’s Center for Human Rights has been studying ICE Air for the past year. The lack of transparency that haunts the initial article mentioned here, also shows up in a big way in the report the research team put out in April 2019. 

The team were able to analyze the data pulled from ICE’s Alien Repatriation Tracking System obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request. Upfront, they acknowledge the challenge of studying this leg of the deportation process considering the data missing from the set like the failure to make distinctions between flights used to move people between detention centers and flights on what ICE calls removal missions, how many people are being transported by commercial flights and unwillingness to release safety reports.

Even so, the report sheds a lot of light on the operation and some of the things reported in the Miroff article. 

For example, ICE would only release information on a fraction of the passengers on the press trip flight. To read it, one gets the impression that over half of the people on ICE air flights have a criminal past and it seems to be the only story that can be told. However, the UW report reveals that 52% of detainees on deportation flights have no criminal record. 

In fact, if you look closer at that other half of the flight that does NOT have a criminal record, you might be likely to find some folks on the plane who are still undergoing court proceedings, their lawyers finding out about client deportation AFTER the fact in some cases.

More troubling is the documentation of abuses aboard these flights.

Among the claims made by deportees, they found reports of verbal abuse, physical abuse, and denial of access to restrooms resulting in passengers soiling themselves in their seat (which may explain the air freshener). From the UW report: “A Salvadoran national, for example, described being called “scum,” accused of “taking our jobs,” and watching other deportees stumble on the tarmac when shoved while wearing leg shackles at King County International Airport in Seattle.”

While these incidents are few and far between given the scope of mass deportation from the U.S., UW plans to provide further documentation regarding human rights abuses in a new report they are hoping to publish after receiving documents requested under FOIA that have been slow in coming.

And of course, we must not forget what some of the people on this flight will be going home to.

2018 TIME article documents the economic and social reasons why people are fleeing from Central America and continuing on to the United States. While international refugee law prohibits refoulement, the forcible return of asylum seekers to a place where they would be at risk of torture and inhumane treatment, over three quarters of refugees from Mexico and Central America are denied asylum.

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