Things That Matter

The Trump Administration Is Signaling That Migrant Detention Is More Important That Disaster Relief

Just as Tropical Storm Dorian continues to barrel towards Puerto Rico on Tuesday, news broke that President Trump would be pulling $271 million from disaster relief funds. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that the pulled funds will be coming from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Coast Guard in part to support President Trump’s border enforcement efforts.

Specifically, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would receive $155 million, coming from FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund, to help build facilities for migrant related court cases. U.S. Coast Guard operations will be losing $116 million in order to fund nearly 6,800 more beds for immigrant detainees as well as transportation and deportation needs. According to NBC News, The new allocated $271 million in funding “would allow ICE to detain nearly 50,000 immigrants at one time.” 

The previously allocated money was originally given to FEMA over 10 years ago. The funds were originally given to be used in this year’s current budget to prepare to respond to natural disasters, such as hurricanes.

Credit: @CBSNEWS / Twitter

DHS typically would have to get approval from Congress to reallocate funds from one of its agencies to another. This is because Congress appropriates each federal department’s annual budget. But instead, DHS sent a notice that said the administration has the authority to move the funds because of the “border emergency.”

“Given the rise of single adults crossing the border, ICE has already had to increase the number of detention beds above what Congress funded,” DHS said a statement. “Without additional funding for single adult detention beds and transportation from the U.S. Border Patrol to ICE detention facilities, ICE will not be able to support the influx of migrants from U.S. Customs and Border Protection apprehensions.

The U.S. government has sent more than 30,000 people back to Mexico as part of it’s “Remain in Mexico” policy. This was done with efforts to have asylum seekers wait out their immigration cases and stop the influx of migrants from making the long journey to the U.S. The Trump administration also recently rolled out new policies that will allow migrant families, including those with children, to be detained indefinitely while their court cases are pending. Many speculate this is all being done to build more family detention facilities.

There has been criticism from Democrats who say the timing of these reallocated funds is a questionable move ahead of hurricane season.

Credit: @repvaldennings / Twitter

Democratic House members have already come out swiftly and strongly disagree with DHS reallocation efforts. They’ve also accused Homeland Security of going around appropriation rules without any requests from members of Congress.  

“I object to the use of funds for that purpose because the Department has provided no substantiation for a claim that this transfer is necessary due to ‘extraordinary circumstances that imminently threaten the safety of human life or the protection of property,’”  Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif said in a tweet. 

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y, echoed a similar sentiment saying the allocated funds are crucial, especially during the incoming hurricane season.

“The Trump administration’s plan to divert money away from FEMA at the start of hurricane season to continue its efforts to separate and jail migrant families is backwards and cruel,” Schumer said in a statement. “Taking these critical funds from disaster preparedness and recovery efforts threatens lives and weakens the government’s ability to help Americans in the wake of natural disasters. Congress appropriated these funds to meet the American people’s priorities and I strongly oppose this effort to undermine our constitutional authority.”

President Trump weighed in on the pending storm but did so without mentioning the pulled $155 Million in funds. 

Credit: @realdonaldtrump / Twitter

This news comes as hurricane season quickly approaches here in the U.S. and as Hurricane Dorian is set to make landfall in Florida on Labor Day.The storm is already strengthening into a Category 1 hurricane that is leading the U.S. territory to declare a state of emergency.

On Tuesday morning, President Trump acknowledged the incoming Hurricane Dorian and lauded past relief efforts to Puerto Rico, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria in 2017. Yet there was no mention of the recently pulled FEMA funds.

“Wow! Yet another big storm heading to Puerto Rico. Will it ever end?” Trump tweeted. “Congress approved 92 Billion Dollars for Puerto Rico last year, an all time record of its kind for ‘anywhere.'”

President Trump was widely criticized for a lack of urgency and preparation in retaliation to Hurricane Maria which ravaged Puerto Rico. The storm knocked out power on the island for months and killed 2,975, a number that is still being disputed.

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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.

Here’s The Man Who Was Arrested For Attacking Another Person For Wearing A Russian MAGA Hat

Things That Matter

Here’s The Man Who Was Arrested For Attacking Another Person For Wearing A Russian MAGA Hat

Hermosa Police Department / Amazon

One month ago, David Delgado, 32, was in a Southern California restaurant bathroom when he spotted an unidentified man wearing a red hat with Russian words embroidered on it. Delgado allegedly asked the man what the hat said in English, and when he learned it was President Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” he punched him in the face several times until the man slumped onto the bathroom floor. 

Before Delgado allegedly fled the scene, he snatched the hat that caused so much conflict.

Delgado was arrested Tuesday morning on charges of suspicion of robbery and battery with serious injuries.

Credit: Hermosa Beach Police Department

Prosecutors allege that Delgado was in the bathroom with the victim at the Tower 12 restaurant in Hermosa Beach at 6:40 p.m. on September 2. They seem to be relying on surveillance footage as evidence that places Delgado at the scene. Nearly a month later, on October 1, Hermosa Beach Police took Delgado into custody and is currently being held in jail with a $100,000 bail. 

Hermosa Beach Police Department Sergeant Robert Higgins told The Daily Breeze that, “It’s not clear who insulted who, but the hat is at the center of this whole mess.”

MAGA hats have become the center of a slew of crimes since Trump’s presidency.

Credit: @NYPDNEWS / Twitter

The pattern seems to be folks in MAGA hats in one of two scenarios. They might be perpetrating hate speech that often leads to assault, including this man who shouted, “You f—ing Mexicans,” as he pushed a Latino man onto the tracks of an NYC subway. Or, as in this scenario, the hat elicits so much anger from those who feel oppressed by the Trump presidency, that they become victims of assault for wearing the hat. In August, a New York City mob on Canal Street beat an art shop owner for wearing a MAGA hat. 

That said, we don’t even know if the victim was wearing the hat in support of Trump or in mockery of Trump.

Credit: alecbaldwininsta / Instagram

“Saturday Night Live” star Alec Baldwin wore the exact same hat to mock the legitimacy of Trump’s election, implying that Russia interfered to ensure he would become the 45th President of the United States. Shortly after, Americans called on Congress to investigate the Trump campaign’s relationship with Russia and to understand Russia’s role in the American election. In an unprecedented move, investigations uncovered that Russia’s method of attack on the American people was through cyber warfare, influencing the minds and political opinions of Americans primarily via Facebook. 

It’s not crystal clear whether this particular hat is meant to imply a corroboration of Trump’s illegitimacy as POTUS or whether it’s something a Trump supporter would wear to mock the left for being unable to secure a Trump impeachment. Bottom line: the victim’s political opinions are unknown, along with his identity.

You can purchase this hat on Amazon Prime for as little as $16.95.

Credit: Posse Comitatus / Amazon

In the comments, some purchasers are using the hat to strictly project an anti-Trump message. “I wore this hat to a house party and the few trump supporters there got upset and left the party,” writes Mark D. in a review. “This hat is magic!!” Several other reviewers, including one from a G. Torrez, writes, “Excellent hat, it triggers both haters and Trump supporters. The hat itself is of great quality, probably one of the best hats I have ever owned. It fits nicely and it has a lot of details which is nice.”

Eerily, this reviewer comforted prospective buyers by letting them know that “you can wear this hat without being [in] fear. Not a single person, once they found out what it said, was offended, offensive, or exhibited any behavior other than amusement.”

The phrasing on the hat worn and, then stolen, was mistranslated.

Digital Image. Screenshot. Amazon. 3 October 2019.

Apparently, the victim of the attack was wearing a hat with white embroidery that translated to “Make America Fantastic Again.” In the end, Delgado allegedly attacked the wearer for wearing a MAFA hat and is being charged on “suspicion of robbery” for stealing the mistranslated hat. The original hat has inspired many copycats since Alec Baldwin first graced it in 2017. On Amazon, seller Posse Comitatus markets the hat as “Posse Comitatus Russian Make America Great Again MAGA Anti Trump #IllegitimatePresident hat Cap Red.” The seller markets the hat as anti-Trump.