Things That Matter

These 13 Heartbreaking Moments From The Trump Administration Will Forever Be Unforgivable

Friends, familia, there is a lot we cannot forgive Trump for, and our mamas raised us well. From the moment he opened his mouth to announce his presidential campaign by calling Mexicans “rapists” and “degenerates,” to mocking rape survivor Christine Blasey Ford in front of a crowd of people–it’s tough to narrow this list down.

But it’s important that we do because as our nation transitions from one shocking moment to another, we’re losing sight of what ‘normal’ felt like years ago. We have to stay vigilant to the horrors happening in this country at the signature of Trump’s pen or the thoughtless jeer to a crowd of people. We have to hold him, and ourselves, accountable to the truth.

1. At least five children have died in federal custody since December 2018.

@Nysteveo2AOLcom / Twitter

Before then, no children had died in Customs and Border Protection custody in ten years. Jakelin Caal Maquin is a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl who was kept in what most people would call a garage for hours until she was taken to the hospital. She died of dehydration.

2. Trump’s family separation policy has traumatized countless children.

@akri2000 / Twitter

Hundreds still have not been reunited with their families, and the evidence points to Trump’s administration not even having a plan in place to reunite them in the first place. Their mission is to deport as many people as possible, regardless of human rights violations and international law.

3. Trump stands by the use of tear gas at the border.

@leedsgarcia / Twitter

U.S. border agents fired tear gas canisters in November 2018 into Mexico to disperse a group of migrant families near the border. Doctors have protested the use of tear gas, especially at children, whose respiratory systems aren’t as resilient as adults. Reportedly, some children fainted and had to be carried away. Trump stood by the agents.

4. Trump says immigrant children don’t need soap, toothbrushes or beds.

@Stone1ML / Twitter

After an Associated Press report that detailed a lack of adequate access to food, water or medicine for 250 infants, children and teenagers detained in Clint, Texas, Trump blamed Democrats. The Flores settlement lays out that it’s the government’s responsibility to provide “safe and sanitary” conditions to migrants. According to the Trump administration, soap, toothbrushes, and beds are superfluous to “safe and sanitary” conditions for children.

5. When Trump blamed Democrats for the deaths of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his one-year-old daughter, Valeria.

@DarrinFranklyn / Twitter

Óscar and his wife Tania Vanessa Ávalos arrived on U.S. soil from El Salvador seeking asylum–a legal right. They were held in a migrant camp on the Mexican side of the border–a new policy–which left the family in essentially a dog pound, with temperatures reaching over 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

Desperate for true safety, they attempted to cross the Rio Grande on their own. Óscar brought Valeria safely to the other side, but when he went back for Tania, Valeria tried to go after him. Oscar swam back for his daughter, but the current took them away. Tania survived to tell the horrific story.

6. Trump has made America a place that has concentration camps of brown people.

@Donald_from_HI / Twitter

According to Andrea Pitzer, author of One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps, these immigrant detention centers fit the bill for “a concentration camp system” in the U.S. She defines a concentration camp as mass detention of civilians without trial.

So far, 24 people have died in ICE custody under the Trump administration. Now, Trump is using Fort Sill, a once-Japanese internment camp to house 1,400 unaccompanied migrant children.

7. Trump’s Trans military ban, which is now in effect.

@OuterPeaceGear / Twitter

The way Trump got around the obvious human rights violations is by saying that trans people can serve… but only as their sex at birth. That means a trans male would be forced to present and bunk with females, and a trans woman would be forced to have the same haircut, and presentation as men in the military.

8. When Trump threw paper towels at Puerto Ricans.

@ninersCK7 / Twitter

This photo was taken at a relief event in a church. Trump appeared as President of the United States and the best he could do was throw paper towels into a crowd of people devastated by a major hurricane. Just weeks before, Trump’s administration responded swiftly, and seriously to Hurricane Harvey victims.

9. Trump still refused to acknowledge the 2,975 deaths from Hurricane Maria.

@ajplus / Twitter

His administration announced that 64 people died from the storm. Far worse than Trump’s denial of the true tragedy of Hurricane Maria is the fact that hundreds, maybe thousands, of deaths could have been prevented by an equal response by FEMA. Similar to Hurricane Katrina, the delay in response from FEMA is unforgivable.

Trump tried to blame the “big water, ocean water” that made Puerto Rico difficult to assist, but the reality is that it’s as long a plane ride from the U.S. mainland as it is for Trump to fly to Mar-a-Lago.

10. When someone died at the hands of white nationalists and he said there were “very fine people on both sides.”

@TimMoses37 / Twitter

After white nationalists announced a march through Charlottesville, Virginia, counter-protesters flooded the streets to prevent White Power from taking over their community. One white nationalist drove his car into a sea of counter-protesters, killing Heather Heyer.

Trump defended the white nationalists by saying there were “very fine people on both sides” and refused to denounce their philosophy until days later. Unforgivable.

11. Trump called black athletes honoring black victims of police brutality “son[s] of bitch[es].”

@ninersCK7 / Twitter

Colin Kaepernick started a movement that has forever made an impact on sports, by taking a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality against black and brown lives. In a September 2017 rally in Alabama, he roared at the crowd claiming that NFL owners should fire their players for exercising free speech. “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. He’s fired. He’s fired!”

Under oath, Miami Dolphins owner, Stephen Ross, admitted that he supported the protests initially, but Trump’s comments changed his mind.

12. Trump mocked a reporter’s disability.

@VABVOX / Twitter

New York Times journalist, Serge Kovaleski, suffers from a joint condition that became the butt of a joke for Trump during his primary campaign. Kovaleski was correcting Trump’s lie that “thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey celebrated the 9/11 attacks. Trump’s response was to mock his congenital condition. We all thought that would be his last strike. Never forget.

13. When Trump took out an ad wanting to kill the wrongly convicted Central Park Five.

@morganstephensa / Twitter

The newly released Netflix series “When They See Us” depicts what happened to a collection of Black and Latino young boys who were coerced to admit guilt to raping a woman in Central Park. A big theme in the story was how it felt for the mothers of the boys and the boys themselves to see that this random, rich white man, wanted to kill them. They’ve since been exonerated.

A reporter asked Trump if he would apologize to the Central Park Five. His response was, “You have people on both sides of that. They admitted their guilt.”

This man wouldn’t know truth if it hit him in the face, and we hope it does. Hard.

READ: Migrants Children Are Getting Sick In Detention Centers But The Trump Administration Doesn’t Want To Give Them Toothbrushes

Immigration Advocates Are Sounding The Alarm Over Trump’s Decision To Collect DNA Samples From Asylum Seekers

Things That Matter

Immigration Advocates Are Sounding The Alarm Over Trump’s Decision To Collect DNA Samples From Asylum Seekers

Tom Pennington / Getty Images

In 2005, the DNA Fingerprint Act updated a former law‚ the DNA Identification Act of 1994, which denied authorities to obtain DNA from “arrestees who have not been charged in an indictment or information with a crime, and DNA samples that are voluntarily submitted solely for elimination purposes, from being included in the National DNA Index System.” In other words, the DNA Fingerprint Act was revised to protect the privacy rights of immigrantsIn 2010, the DNA Fingerprint Act was again revised because of then-Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, who said government agencies didn’t have the resources back then to gather DNA from “migrants in custody who weren’t facing criminal charges or those pending deportation proceedings,” so another clause was put in place for them. Now, in another move in the attack on migrants, the Trump Administration wants to change that. 

The Trump Administration is continuing forward with its push to collect DNA samples from every migrant person that enters the U.S.

Credit: @nytimes / Twitter

According to the New York Times, “a homeland security official said in a call with reporters on Wednesday that the exemption [put in place in 2010] was outdated, and that it was time to eliminate it.” That statement means the government now has resources to sort through and gather DNA, which it didn’t have in 2010. But that assumption is a stark contradiction since border agents, and immigration officials are severely understaffed

Immigration advocates are calling foul on this tactic by the Trump Administration who continues to criminalize migrants who are seeking asylum. Once their DNA is in the system, they will forever be recorded as felons.

Credit: @jherrerx / Twitter

“That kind of mass collection alters the purpose of DNA collection from one of criminal investigation basically to population surveillance, which is basically contrary to our basic notions of a free, trusting, autonomous society,” Vera Eidelman, a staff lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, told The New York Times

The government began collecting DNA from migrants starting this summer.

Credit: @CREWcrew / Twitter

At some point, this summer border agents began collecting DNA from migrants in order to verify whether or not they were related to the people they were traveling with. Agents were trying to prove whether family units entering the country together were actually related or traveling under false information. The DNA they gathered at the point was just to show family DNA. 

“This was really an investigative tool in attacking the fraudulent family phenomenon,” an ICE official said to CNN about the operation that began this summer. “We’re interested in using this as a tactical law enforcement tool, one of many, to be deployed when looking at a potential fraudulent family scenario.”

This new type of DNA that the administration is aiming to get would provide more extensive information and also would not be shared with other law enforcement agencies.

Credit: @YouGovUS / Twitter

The problem here lies with privacy concerns. For example, if an immigration official gathers DNA information from a migrant who entered the country illegally only to be given asylum later — because the court process takes a very long time — that person, who has the option of becoming a U.S. citizen at some point now has a criminal stain on their record for the rest of their life. 

Writer Kelly Hayes wrote an extensive Twitter thread that exposes the extensive damage and intrusion this form of DNA gathering will have for years to come. 

Credit: @kejames / Twitter

“A DNA registry for migrants,” Hayes tweeted. “Imagine the ugly possibilities of having a marginalized group of people that large cataloged according to their DNA, and that catalog being in the hands of the state. I know folks are focused on Ukraine, but this is a whole thing. We’re talking about hundreds of thousands of people, including children. With evolving technologies, the potential surveillance applications of a massive DNA registry are ominous AF.”

It’s unclear when this DNA collection will officially begin, even though the New York Times reports that Homeland Security officials have already said they have the right to get DNA from migrants. However, the Supreme Court has already ruled undocumented people have rights just as U.S. citizens do. 

“Though the Supreme Court has found that the constitutional right to privacy applies to everyone within the United States, regardless of their immigration status, a more restrictive interpretation of the Fourth Amendment has been applied within a 100-mile zone of the border, where suspicionless searches are allowed, even of American citizens,” the Times reports. And yet we already know some attorneys are trying to fight that the Fourth Amendment doesn’t apply to undocumented people

READ: A City Claims A Family Can’t Sue Over A Wrongful Death Because Undocumented People Don’t Have Rights Under Constitution

This Study On Latino Republicans And Their Beliefs Will Make You Better Understand Your MAGA Family

Things That Matter

This Study On Latino Republicans And Their Beliefs Will Make You Better Understand Your MAGA Family

latinosfortrump20 / Instagram

Like most other American families, Latino-American families can be home to a wide range of differing political opinions, leaving family members on each side of the aisle appalled with each other’s opposite opinions. You might be a liberal trying to understand how your brown, immigrant mami is walking around in a MAGA hat, or you might be just as pleased as we are that the Latino vote is finally being more closely examined. Either way, The Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Houston has given a home to Professor Rottinghaus and co-author Rudy Fonseca, who just published a study complete with answers to all your questions.

Myth #1: “Latinos are Natural Democrats…but it Ain’t Happening in Texas”

Credit: @stormirdgz / Twitter

Tejanos are more likely to be registered Republicans than Latinos in other states. Twenty-seven percent of Tejanos identified as Republican, compared to 21 percent of Latinos in all other states during a 2014 Gallup poll. That said, the study reports that “divisive rhetoric and harsh immigration policies has
led many to hit the alarm.” As of September 2019, Trump has a 24 percent approval rating among Latinos, compared with an average of 30 percent to 35 percent of the Latino vote typically given to Republicans.

Bottom line: The majority of Latino-Americans identify with the Democratic party, but about a third of us identify as Republican.

Myth #2: “Latinx Republicans Must Be Less Conservative than Other Republicans”

Study: “Six Myths About Texas Latinx Republicans.” Brandon Rottinghaus, Rudy Fonseca. 3 October 2019.

This myth is also pretty close to the truth, but it’s not the whole story. While Latino Republicans are more likely to identify as “somewhat conservative” than Republicans as a whole, it doesn’t mean they fall right in the middle of the political spectrum. An October 2016 Texas Tribune poll illustrated that Latino Republicans are far less likely to identify as “extremely conservative” than their Republican counterparts as a whole. 

Bottom line: Latino Republicans are slightly less conservative than Republicans as a whole, but are still squarely Republican. Rottinghaus’s study notes that the party is likely to lose Latino voters if they continue to lean more extremely to the right. 

Myth #3: “Latinx Republicans Are Moderating Recently As Republican Party
Rhetoric Grows more Conservative”

Study: “Six Myths About Texas Latinx Republicans.” Brandon Rottinghaus, Rudy Fonseca. 3 October 2019.

Myth #2 brings us straight to myth #3. Latino Republicans are growing more conservative over time. Another Texas Tribune poll just two years later showed that 27 percent of Latino Republicans are now identifying as “extremely conservative,” as compared to 19 percent just two years prior.

The same poll broke down some differences of opinion. When it comes to deportation, border security, trade negotiations, and judicial nominees, Latino Republicans were less in favor of Trump’s tactics than other Republicans. They were also 18 percent less likely to feel that “Trump cares about people like you” than the Republican party as a whole.

Bottom line: The myth is true. Latino Republicans are more moderate compared to the Republican party at large. 

Myth #4: Latinos are Culturally Conservative, And This is the Only Reason They
Support the Republican Party

Credit: @LaRepublicana86 / Twitter

The study concludes what we all already knew. If you had to genuflect in front of a Jesus painting at the entrance of your house, that (i.e. religion) plays a “major role” in choosing the Republican party. Those religious values that determine pro-life and anti-gay marriage political beliefs strongly swing a Latino’s choice of party. 

Bottom line: Of course, cultural beliefs are not the “only reason” Latinos might become Republicans. Homeowners and Latinos who have established roots in the U.S. for several generations are more likely to support the Republican party. Men are also more likely than Latinas to identify as Republican. The higher the income, the higher the probability a Latino might identify as a Republican.

Myth #5: “Latinx Republicans are “Softer” On Illegal Voting and Immigration
Than Other Republicans”

Study: “Six Myths About Texas Latinx Republicans.” Brandon Rottinghaus, Rudy Fonseca. 3 October 2019.

The study concludes that while Latino Republicans, in fact, are “softer” on these issues than other Republicans, the one area that sets them apart is deportation. A Texas Tribune 2016 poll showed 19 percent of Latino Republicans “strongly agreed” that “undocumented immigrants should be deported immediately,” compared to 35 percent of all Republicans. 

Bottom line: When it comes to immigration, Latino Republicans don’t see it as such a serious threat as other Republicans, but that gap is beginning to close. The 2018 Texas Tribune poll showed a nearly 15 percent rise in general opinion that “undocumented immigrants should be deported immediately,” and the gap between Latino Republicans and the party as a whole has closed by 2 points.

Myth #6: Latinos Don’t Feel Welcome in the Republican Party

Credit: @stormirdgz / Twitter

The Houston study completely debunked this myth, finding that 61 percent of Latinx Republicans do feel welcome in the Republican party, compared to 68% of all Republicans. They might not feel as welcome as other Republicans, but the majority do feel welcome.

Bottom line: While Latino-Republicans feel welcome in their own party as a whole, only 22 percent of them feel the Republican party is “doing a good job” in reaching out to Latinos, according to the study. “The “sleeping giant” is real: Latinos are predicted to become
the largest population group in Texas by 2022,” the study concludes. If immigration is where Latino Republicans have differing views, the continued focus on deportation in the 2020 campaign could cause Latino Republicans to feel even less welcome in their own party.