Things That Matter

Trump Uses His Reelection Campaign To Call For The Mass Deportation Of Millions Of Migrants To Whip Up His Base Since His Record Won’t Get Him Reelected

President Trump Monday night, less than 24 hours before he officially kicks off his re-election campaign, leaked shocking details of a secret U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement operation that has been in the planning stages for months.

Trump said in a tweet that starting next week, ICE will remove “millions” of immigrants who have entered the United States illegally.

Credit: @ABC / Twitter

In a series of tweets Monday night, President Donald Trump threatened mass deportations of undocumented immigrants and said they could happen as soon as next week.

The posts from Trump signaled that a shelved plan for raids in major cities, an idea challenged by former administration officials, could be back on.

This is the first of Trump’s announcements, and like so much else, he made it on Twitter.

Credit: @realDonaldTrump / Twitter

In a report from the Washington Post, Kirsten Nielsen was forced to resign from her post as DHS Secretary because of her hesitancy to move forward with the plan the president announced on Monday.

Last year, the government had already begun processing deportation orders for thousands of undocumented families, but Nielsen and others were worried about the complications of these orders. So Trump replaced them.

Trump, his top immigration adviser Stephen Miller, and other supporters of the plan, which will largely affect families, reportedly want to send a message to any migrants considering crossing the border. Deterrence was also the driving force behind the administration’s policy of separating children from their parents at the border. The mass arrests the president says will

begin next week could result in the splitting up of thousands of families who have been living in the United States for years, if not decades.

The consequences of such a plan could have devastating effects on tens of thousands of families.

Credit: @JamilSmith / Twitter

The Post paints a grim picture of what the operation could look like: “Should adults be arrested without their children because they are at school, day care, summer camp or a friend’s house, it is possible parents could be deported while their children are left behind.”

In fact, according to some experts family separation is equivalent in trauma to several forms of physical and emotional abuse.

Credit: @JamilSmith / Twitter

The government has claimed the deportations would be carried out with “with compassion and humanity.” But promises to carry out deportations in a compassionate way have never come to fruition, despite similar claims from numerous administrations: There’s no kind way to uproot someone’s life against their will, and no nice method for sending a person back to a dangerous situation. And there’s definitely no nice way of tearing children from their mothers and fathers.

Trump’s announcement seems to not only surprise the public but his own government as well.

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The curious thing about the president’s tweets Monday night is that deportation raids typically aren’t announced ahead of time, as the element of surprise is often crucial. ICE officials were reportedly unaware that Trump planned to tweet about the arrests and the agency was “stunned” that Trump announced the plan on Twitter.

Many pointed out that announcement was made on the eve of Trump’s kick-off of his reelection campaign on Tuesday.

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I mean why else would Trump jump the gun and compromise the deportation plan? Look no further than his tweet Tuesday morning — as well as several others from the past few days — teasing his big rally in Orlando, Florida, Tuesday night, during which he will officially relaunch his re-election campaign. Announcing a big crackdown on undocumented immigrants is a pretty juicy piece of red meat for Trump to throw to his supporters. The president apparently couldn’t resist.

The reactions on Twitter have been swift.

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To many, the cruelty is shocking but many realize that the cruelty is the point.

Some have called total BS on many of the government’s supposed ‘pro-life’ stances.

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Like seriously, you can’t call yourself pro-life and then go above and beyond to ruin the lives of thousands of families.

While some on Twitter wanted to point out the shocking levels of hipocrisy coming from the President.

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His own wife would be a target of his new immigration enforcement policies.

Many on Twitter asked “what can we do to help?”

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Many followed up with tips of keeping the pressure on your government representatives on a daily basis. Getting your friends, family, and neighbors to do the same.

And one group that provides legal services to immigrants was quick to remind people of their rights during these scary times.

Credit: @RAICESTEXAS / Twitter

In what’s sure to be a frightening time for undocumented immigrants, RAICES, a Texas nonprofit that provides legal services to immigrants, was quick to remind people of their rights. If ICE raids your workplace, the group noted in a tweet responding to Trump, you don’t have to speak, you do have the right to a lawyer, and you don’t have to sign any documents.

Trump Uses Coronavirus Pandemic To Announce He’s Suspending All Immigration To The U.S. And Here’s What You Need To Know

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Trump Uses Coronavirus Pandemic To Announce He’s Suspending All Immigration To The U.S. And Here’s What You Need To Know

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Donald Trump ran on a campaign pledge to severely limit the rights of migrants and refugees attempting to reach the United States. In office, he wasted no time restricting authorized and unauthorized immigration, with travel bans for citizens of a number of Muslim-majority nations, cutting the numbers of refugees the U.S. accepts, and pushing ahead with plans to build a wall on the southern border.

Now amid a global health pandemic, the president is looking to scapegoat migrant and refugee communities by banning all applications for immigration to the U.S. The move is largely seen as symbolic, however, since the U.S. has already largely stopped processing immigration applications due to reduced capacity.

The White House on Monday announced that President Trump would be signing an executive order to temporarily ban all immigration to the U.S.

President Trump tweeted on Monday that he will pass an executive order to suspend immigration to the United States, claiming that he is seeking to protect jobs in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. Democrats were quick to criticize it as a “dumb move” and pointed to testing as a safe way to reopen the economy. Not to mention that the U.S. is already home to the largest number of cases around the globe.

Trump tweeted: “In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!”

Obviously, since he made the major announcement over Twitter, there is very little clarity over what immigration programs might be impacted. And the White House still hasn’t offered any guidance on what Trump meant by the tweet.

Trump has taken credit for his restrictions on travel to the U.S. from China and hard-hit European countries, arguing it contributed to slowing the spread of the virus in the U.S. But he has yet to extend those restrictions to other nations now experiencing virus outbreaks.

Although the announcement has left many in shock, the U.S. was already severely limiting immigration due to the pandemic.

Already, much of the immigration flow into the country has been paused during the coronavirus pandemic, as the government has temporarily stopped processing all non-worker visas. And, the executive order in its current form will exempt seasonal foreign farm worker visas, one of the largest sources of immigration at the moment.

The administration has already restricted foreign visitors from China, Europe, Canada and Mexico, and has paused processing for immigrants trying to come into the U.S. on non-worker visas because of office closures.

But given the usual chaotic roll out of Trump Administration directives, we still don’t know how long this suspension will last nor what will happen with the applicants already being processed.

Thomas Homan, Trump’s former acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told Reuters: “It’s really not about immigration. It’s about the pandemic and keeping our country safer while protecting opportunities for unemployed Americans.”

And it seems the fact that the U.S. already has the largest number of cases on Earth is completely lost on the president.

As of early April, the United States is now home to the largest number of confirmed Covid-19 infections on the planet. There are more than 800,000 cases confirmed by testing and more than 44,000 deaths associated with the virus. In fact, the U.S. now makes up for nearly a third of all Covid-19 infections and a quarter of all deaths.

If Trump wants to make an impact and help flatten the curve in the United States, he should stop promoting the anti-lockdown protests instead of scapegoating immigrant and refugee communities.

Democrats and migrant right’s groups quickly slammed the president’s proposal as xenophobic and counter-productive.

Sen. Kamala Harris of California, also a former 2020 presidential candidate, responded to Trump’s tweet as well, saying the move was “shamelessly politicizing this pandemic to double down on his anti-immigrant agenda.”

“Trump failed to take this crisis seriously from day 1,” she wrote. “His abandonment of his role as president has cost lives. And now, he’s shamelessly politicizing this pandemic to double down on his anti-immigrant agenda. Enough, Mr. President. The American people are fed up.”

Rep. Eric Swalwell of California, a Democrat who ran for the party’s 2020 presidential nomination, said in response, “We don’t need to protect America from immigrants. We need to protect her from you.” Now that’s a pretty legit clapback.

After Helping The US Catch Dozens of Criminals, This Former Drug Lord Now Faces Deportation

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After Helping The US Catch Dozens of Criminals, This Former Drug Lord Now Faces Deportation

BENICIA ALVARADO / GETTY

The U.S has a massive criminal enforcement network across the world. From Europe to Australia and across Latin America, the United States works with local governments (among others) to play the part of international police force.

This huge network has helped bring down some of the world’s largest criminal organizations. But, often times, it’s not the U.S. officers making the biggest sacrifices – it’s the criminals who join forces with the FBI or DEA as part of a plea bargain. However, those plea agreements don’t always work out in the end.

The leader of one of Honduras’ largest cartels, helped the U.S. bring down serious criminals.

USDEA / DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

According to report by VICE, Valle has a long history of helping U.S. authorities. For example, just months after her arrest, her brothers were extradited to the United States to face charges related to drug trafficking. Meanwhile in Honduras, authorities seized more than 50 properties owned by Los Valles.

Even her own son and daughter weren’t immune. Her son Gerson eventually turned himself in to U.S. authorities after years on the run thanks to his mother. And that came after her daughter was arrested on money laundering charges. Her brothers and son have all since been convicted on drug-related charges.

And although it hasn’t been confirmed, many contribute the arrest of Juan Antonio “Tony” Hernandez – a former congressman and brother of Honduras’ current president – on drug trafficking charges.

Needless to say, this woman has helped U.S. authorities aggressively pursue the dismantling of a massive drug network (along with its ties in the US) across Latin America.

Her criminal empire was especially adept at building coalitions among cartels.

Credit: @AleRyeesH / Twitter

According to court documents, Los Valles was based in Western Honduras – near the Guatemalan border. The family allegedly moved tens of thousands of kilos of cocaine every month – taking the valuable drugs from Colombia, through Honduras, and into the United States using speedboats, submarines and small airplanes

Her organization often worked together alongside Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel – formerly headed by drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán (now serving life in a United States prison).

As the kinder face of the organization, Valle was focused more on finances and logistics instead of violence. In fact, she was often sent to broker new relationships with the country’s criminal and business elites. Sources close to her said she also helped construct churches and gave money to charity during her time in criminal power in Honduras.

Valle was arrested on arrival in Miami by United States law enforcement back in 2014.

Credit: US Dept of Justice

Valle served four and a half years of an 11-year prison sentence and was then realeased. But shortly after being released from prison, she was picked up by ICE and sent to a detention center in Atlanta. Her asylum claim to remain in the United States was denied—a decision she is currently appealing.

Now, after more than six years helping U.S. officials – she’s facing deportation back to Honduras, and likely death.

Credit: Benicia Alvarado / Getty

Since her arrest and plea deal in 2014, Valle has been acting as a key witness for the U.S. She’s helped the government arrest some of the strongest drug lords in the region, including her own organization. If she’s sent back to Honduras – she faces an almost certain death.

“There is a hunt on right now in my country for people who collaborated and then co-operated [with law enforcement] in drug trafficking cases,” former Army Capt. Santos Rodriguez Orellana told VICE by phone from Honduras.

It’s death sentence for her,” according to Mike Vigil, a former chief of international operations at the DEA, who also spoke with VICE News.

He added: “Her chances of survival in Honduras are slim to none. Honduras is, without question, a narco state. The highest levels within the political spectrum along with the military and police are in the pockets of drug traffickers. Given the fact that she cooperated in key drug trafficking trials, she is not likely to survive in Honduras. She is going into a fiery cauldron and is definitely going to get burned.”

Her case shows why so few people see the U.S. legal system as a partner – they become disposable just like that.

Credit: US Dept. Of Justice / DEA Task Force LA

As if it wasn’t dangerous enough for Valle to return to Honduras with a network of criminals hunting for their revenge, there’s a hunt for her at the highest levels of government.

Honduras Public Prosecutor’s Office confirmed that Valle faces charges of money laundering in Honduras, and there is a warrant for her arrest. Her arrival in Honduras wont go unnoticed and being imprisoned will offer her little protection from violence.