Things That Matter

In Its Next Cruel Move Against Migrants, Trump Administration Threatens Half Million Dollar Fines Against Undocumented Migrants

From separating families at the border, deporting children’s parents, holding migrants in deplorable for-profit prisons, denying kids basic necessities, the Trump administration hasn’t been kind to immigrants.

And the cruelty of the administration’s policies are the point.

The administration has admitted that the policies they’re enforcing are meant to deter more migrants from attempting to come to the US.

So the latest move by the government, although not a surprise, is just adding insult to injury.

The Trump administration threatens hefty fines on undocumented immigrants who haven’t left the country.

Credit: @NPR / Twitter

The Trump administration is threatening to impose hundreds of thousands of dollars in civil penalties on immigrants who ignore deportation orders by seeking refuge in churches or elsewhere in the United States, according to a report by NPR.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Washington headquarters on Monday notified a woman seeking sanctuary in a North Carolina church that the agency intends to fine her more than $300,000. An immigrant in Colorado faces a fine of more than $500,000.

It’s the latest hard-line effort by the administration as it clamps down on immigration at the border and increases interior enforcement.

Apparently, the administration has been sending out these notices since December of last year.

Federal officials said they quietly began assessing the penalties in December as part of a rolling effort to curb sanctuary jurisdictions that have thwarted Trump’s efforts to deport undocumented immigrants and to hold immigrants accountable for breaking the law.

Trump called for enforcing the penalties in an executive order days after taking office in 2017.

Because yea, fining people who are fleeing poverty and violence makes total sense.

Credit: @robinskyleigh / Twitter

Immigration advocates argue the Trump administration is trying to instill fear and confusion in immigrant communities, expecting the immigrants will leave. They report similar letters being received by immigrants in similar situations in North Carolina, Utah, Virginia, and Texas.

Edith Espinal, 42, told NPR she could not believe the U.S. government thought she would have almost half a million dollars. She has been living in sanctuary at an Ohio church since an immigration judge ordered her removed two years ago. The church, its congregation, and the community have largely supported her and her family.

“They want to scare me,” Espinal said, adding, “because they know I am in sanctuary. And they know I don’t have this amount of money.”

Many on Twitter shuttered to think what the administration’s next move against migrants could be.

Credit: @dunekacke / Twitter

Espinal’s attorney told NPR, “It’s almost half a million dollars. Are they for real? Do they really think that she’s going to pay this? I laughed because there has to be someone in some basement in D.C. thinking, ‘Oh, what else can I do to mess with immigrants? What else can I do to hurt them?’ “

While other’s pointed out that Trump is doing exactly what he promised he’d do…

Credit: @mariasacchetti / Twitter

At the beginning of his term, Trump signed an executive order promising, “as soon as practicable, and by no later than one year after the date of this order,” that the administration would begin collection of all fines and penalties that the Secretary is authorized under the law to assess and collect from aliens unlawfully present in the United States.

This is him following up on that order.

Other’s suggested that perhaps this was just a plan to help increase revenue since the administration gave that massive tax cut to the nation’s wealthiest people.

Credit: @NPR / Twitter

I mean it would make sense. The tax cut was a massive loss of revenue for the government and with the Trump administration’s cruel treatment of immigrants since he took office, of course he’d make them pay for his mistake.

At least one Twitter user had a plan that we think many people could get behind.

Credit: @washingtonpost / Twitter

To be honest, I think many people rather see the president behind bars than paying fines but it would definitely be a step in the right direction.

READ: A Secret Facebook Group For Immigration Officers Mocking Dead Migrants Has Been Exposed

President Trump Might Deny National Guard Benefits By Ending Deployment One Day Early

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President Trump Might Deny National Guard Benefits By Ending Deployment One Day Early

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One of the key elements of a response to a national crisis is the deployment of the National Guard. The servicemen and women have been working tirelessly since COVID-19 started to spread in the U.S. President Donald Trump, who touts his love of the military, delivered a saddening blow to the National Guard.

President Trump’s order deploying the National Guard to combat COVID-19 is set to expire on June 24.

Politico reported Tuesday that 40,000 National Guard virus workers will face a “hard stop” of services on June 24. The end comes after the guards spend 89 days working with the public to keep the nation safe during the deadly pandemic. Military families and advocates are not happy with the possible end to the mission of assisting states in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic after 89 days.

If troops are told to go home after 89 days, Pres. Trump will deprive them of deserved benefits.

Under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, service members who serve 90 days of active duty are eligible for early retirement and educational benefits. The June 24 deadline means that the guards deployed in March will only spend 89 days on active duty. While the deadline looms and gets more attention, a National Guard spokesperson said that a decision on the deadline is yet to come.

Governors across the country are asking the Trump administration to extend the deadline to protect public health.

States like Texas are quickly reopening their economies and the result has been a noticeable increase in cases and the highest single-day death count for the state. States like New York and New Jersey are seeing their numbers fall after months of social distancing and self-isolation.

According to Politico, states are concerned that the Trump administration removing the troops from the states could lead to a second wave. Many of the state leaders are asking for the Trump administration to extend the deadline by months.

The National Guard is involved in the hard work of keeping communities safe and stopping the spread of COVID-19.

The soldiers have been disinfecting and cleaning nursing homes, building and working field hospitals to manage influxes, and providing testing to people. National Guards service members are eligible for retirement at 60 with a full pension is they serve for 20 years. For every 90 days, they can move up retirement by three months and are eligible for 40 percent off tuition with the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

Critics argue that the Trump administration intentionally set the deadline for 89 days to prevent the soldiers to collect the benefits owed to them.

“It seemed kind of weird to me,” retired Brig. Gen. J. Roy Robinson, president of the National Guard Association, told Politico. “It’s a Wednesday. And it also coincides with 89 days of deployment for any soldiers who went on federal status at the beginning. I was getting all kind of calls about it and I said, ‘It’s probably just a coincidence.’ But in the back of my mind, I know better. They’re screwing the National Guard members out of the status they should have.”

READ: Tributes To Nurses Flood Social Media In Honor Of National Nurses Day

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.