Culture

Kat Von D Is Using Her Immigration Story To Take A Stand Against Trump’s Border Wall

President Trump’s ban on refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East, along with his rumored plans to route American tax dollars to a border wall, are not sitting well with people. Companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft have spoken out against Trump’s executive actions and celebrities have been doing the same. The latest criticism comes from Kat Von D, who shared her own immigration story. Here’s what she had to say.

Kat Von D, tattoo artist and TV personality, shared her immigration story to fans to show the cost of the border wall.

Fun fact: My parents were both born in Argentina, and my brother, sister and I were born in Montemorelos, Mexico, where…

Posted by Kat Von D on Wednesday, February 1, 2017


credit: instagram @thekatvond

“Fun fact: My parents were both born in Argentina, and my brother, sister and I were born in Montemorelos, Mexico, where my Dad was working as a missionary doctor building hospitals and treating people in pueblos that had no access to medical aid,” Kat Von D wrote in a Facebook post.

“This childhood photo of me was taken before my family immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico,” Von D added.

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Fun fact: My parents were both born in Argentina, and my brother, sister and I were born in Montemorelos, Mexico, where my Dad was working as a missionary doctor building hospitals and treating people in pueblos that had no access to medical aid. This childhood photo of me was taken before my family immigrated to the US from Mexico. Funny to think I didn't even know one word of English then. And it would be another 10 years before I would finally become a US citizen. The idea of building a wall between the US and Mexico damages us all on so many levels. But the ridiculous/obvious financial damage it would do to our country is insignificant when compared to the underlying message it sends that one race is below another. I AM MEXICAN. I AM ARGENTINIAN. And I AM AMERICAN. We shouldn't forget we are a nation of immigrants. ???? *ps. if you support the Muslim ban or wall, do me a favor and UNFOLLOW ME right now. #FUCKYOURWALL

A post shared by ???????????? ???????????? ???? (@thekatvond) on


“Funny to think I didn’t even know one word of English then,” Von D wrote. “And it would be another 10 years before I would finally become a U.S. citizen.”

Von D then mentions the real impact of the border wall –beyond financial implications.

katvondunlimited / Tumblr
CREDIT: katvondunlimited / Tumblr

“The idea of building a wall between the US and Mexico damages us all on so many levels,” Von D wrote. “But the ridiculous/obvious financial damage it would do to our country is insignificant when compared to the underlying message it sends that one race is below another.”

“I am Mexican. I am Argentinian. And I am American,” Von D proclaimed. “We shouldn’t forget we are a nation of immigrants.”

ionmyway / Tumblr
CREDIT: ionmyway / Tumblr

“*ps. if you are pro-Muslim-ban or pro-wall, do me a favor and UNFOLLOW ME right now,” she ended her post.


READ: From Cat Pics To Eyeliner Selfies, Kat Von D’s Instagram Proves She’s Basically All Of Us

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Trump Wanted To Torture Migrants By Deploying A Military ‘Heat Ray’ At The Border

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Trump Wanted To Torture Migrants By Deploying A Military ‘Heat Ray’ At The Border

Saul Loeb / Getty Images

It’s no secret that President Trump envisions his far-from-completed border wall as essential in his plan to overhaul the U.S. immigration system. Given previous reports of arming the border with snakes or alligators, it’s obvious that Trump envisions the wall as a punitive source of physical harm as much as a deterrent.

So it should come as little surprise that the president has wanted to deploy military-grade weapons to the border to actually ‘torture’ and ‘maim’ those who try and cross the U.S.-Mexico border without authorization. However, a recent New York Times report goes into further detail on Trump’s ideas and they are, in fact, quite shocking.

The Trump Administration allegedly wanted to deploy a military-style weapon at the border to deter migrants.

Last week, it was reported by the New York Times that in 2018, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) had proposed using non-lethal weapon developed by the military to induce agonizing pain in migrants attempting to cross the border, with the intent to force them to turn back.

Described in overly simplistic terms by the Department of Defense as a “non-lethal, directed-energy, counter-personnel system,” the ADS is essentially a pain projector (the Times used the term “heat ray”) that subjects targets to the sensation of “heat felt from opening the door to a hot oven” all over their body. If deployed, the device would essentially make even approaching the U.S.-Mexico border a painful experience. 

So what exactly is the device that Trump and other CBP officials wanted to deploy?

Credit: Paul Richards / Getty Images

Although these ‘heat rays’ may sound like weapons for a made-for-TV villain, they’re actually very real. The U.S. Air Force began developing a weapon decades ago to give soldiers a non-lethal option for dealing with civilian mobs or or riots at overseas military bases.

The truck- or Humvee-mounted Active Denial System can affect multiple persons at range of up to one mile away. It silently emits a very high frequency microwave-like beam that can penetrate clothing and heats water molecules on the surface of the skin to 130 degrees Fahrenheit (55 C).

The resulting sensation, described as being akin to pressing a hot fluorescent light bulb to the skin, is so intense that within seconds affected persons are reflexively compelled to jump aside or run away. Supposedly the pain dissipates within seconds, though some accounts describe a lingering tingling that can last hours.

Although Trump floated the idea, according to DHS officials it was never considered as part of a border enforcement strategy.

Credit: John Moore / Getty Images

Although Trump and CBP officials mentioned the possibility of deploying ADS, per the Times, the idea was flatly rejected by Kirsten Nielsen, then the secretary of Homeland Security. She allegedly told an aide after the meeting that she would not authorize the use of such a device, and it should never be brought up again in her presence.

However, the idea of using a ‘heat ray’ to torture migrants was at least entertained by some within the agency, likely emboldened by Trump’s increasingly harsh rhetoric against immigrants.

A former DHS officials is the one sounding the alarm on Trump’s alleged plan.

Speaking with The Daily Beast, former Department of Homeland Security chief of staff Miles Taylor claimed he’d sat in meetings with the president in which “[Trump] says, ‘We got to do this, this, this, and this,’ all of which are probably impossible, illegal, unethical.” 

Among the things Taylor claims the president suggested are efforts to gas, “maim,” and “pierce the flesh” of migrants attempting to cross into the United States without documentation. At one point, Taylor said, “[Trump] looks over me and he goes, ‘You fucking taking notes?”

Other ideas Trump reportedly floated — such as building a trench around the border and filling it with alligators or snakes — was also shot down, according to the Times.

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Hurricane Hanna Battered Texas But Did It Actually Knock Over Part Of Trump’s Border Wall?

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Hurricane Hanna Battered Texas But Did It Actually Knock Over Part Of Trump’s Border Wall?

Jodi Jacobson / Getty Images

It’s official: hurricane season is in full swing and Texas has been hit hard by the first hurricane of the 2020 season to make landfall in the United States. And it potentially claimed a very high-profile victim: a segment of Trump’s beloved border wall.

On Sunday, a viral video started circulating on Twitter showing a segment of the wall tumbling over in strong winds. However, government officials have since claimed that the video is old news and that Hanna didn’t actually bring down any segment of border wall.

A video that went viral on Twitter on Sunday shows a section of the border wall toppling to the ground amid fierce wind and rain.

As Hurricane Hanna made landfall along the U.S.-Mexico border, ravaging towns and cities in its path – a viral video started to make its rounds on Twitter. The video showed a segment of the border wall falling over in what appeared to be very strong winds, like something you’d find in a hurricane.

The video posted to Twitter by journalist Yadith Valdez on Sunday shows construction workers standing by and watching as fierce gusts knock the steel structure to the ground.

The video served as yet another reminder that Trump’s border wall is useless and detrimental to the regions and people it’s targeting. Some pointed out that just last week, Trump was bragging about his vanity project, calling it ‘the most powerful and comprehensive border wall structure’ in the world.’

Well if this viral video is any proof, that’s simply not true.

However, some have called the validity of the footage into question, noting that it’s unclear when and where it was recorded.

Mexican news outlet Debate claimed in an article that the video was filmed at a section of wall dividing Texas from Ciudad Camargo in the state of Tamaulipas. However, Washington Post reporter Nick Miroff refuted that report in a tweet, saying that Customs and Border Patrol officials told him the video was not recorded in the Rio Grande Valley. 

‘Unclear where it was filmed, but based on desert terrain, daytime recording and style of bollards, I’m guessing these are images of a monsoon out west, prob Arizona,’ Miroff wrote.

And for their part, the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement: “The video circulating on social media appears to be from June 2020 when high winds caused several border wall panels that were pending additional anchoring to fall over at a construction site near Deming, New Mexico.”

The clip became the target of widespread ridicule as critics likened the collapse to President Trump’s re-election campaign.

Credit: DAEMMRICH PHOTOGRAPHY / Getty Images

While the debate of where and when the video was recorded will continue to linger on, it is obvious that part of Trump’s expensive border wall between the United States and Mexico was toppled by strong winds at some point and people couldn’t help but make jokes about the construction that was a big part of the president’s campaign four years ago, which he vowed to make Mexico pay for.

Regardless of questions over the origin of the video, Trump critics had a field day with jokes about the collapse. Best-selling author Rick Wilson tweeted: ‘I have a Trump wall joke but it blows.’ 

Another man tweeted in response to Wilson: ‘I have a trump wall joke but I know it will fall flat.’ 

Yet another critic added: ‘I hope the Trump Wall is still under warranty. I’d hate to see Mexico have to pay for it a second time.’

Meanwhile, Hurricane Hanna inflicted major damage across Texas and northern Mexico.

Although many were talking about Hanna’s potential effect on the border wall, many cities and towns in the region were badly hit by the storm. She first made landfall near South Padre Island, Texas as a Category 1 hurricane but has since been downgraded to a tropical depression.

The storm dumped more than 12 inches of rain along the US-Mexico border as it tore through the area with winds of up to 50 miles per hour.  

The section of Texas that was hardest hit is also dealing with a severe outbreak of Covid-19, complicating efforts by officials to respond to the disaster.

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