Things That Matter

Trump Issued An Executive Order Allowing States To Refuse Refugees And It Might Be A Step Too Far Even For Republicans

The Trump administration has had a few tug-of-wars with city and state governments. The dimes y diretes in which POTUS and former Californian governor Jerry Brown are now legendary, for example. However, so far Trump’s administration has had a very smooth sailing with Republican incumbents, who even if they didn’t fully agree with POTUS, would follow directives from the White House.

However, a recent development has made some pundits believe that certain Republican governors have had enough and might be breaking ranks with the president when it comes to the highly contested issue of refugee migration policies. Whether this is an honest act of compassion or a political move in face of this years elections remains to be seen, but the fact is that Trump’s isn’t always the last word even in red states. 

So, Trump gave an executive order that allows local and state governments to block refugee resettlements.

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Yes, this is a continuation of the Trump administration’s harsh (and some argue, cruel) stance on migration issues. Detention centers, family separations, privately-run companies that are put in charge of the welfare of vulnerable populations… the list goes on and on. There has been wide criticism for the executive order and three refugee resettlement agencies have sued the Trump administration – the agencies are HIAS, a Jewish nonprofit, Church World Service and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services.

But there are plenty of states that will continue to accept refugees, even some governed by Republicans.

Credit: Axios

This graphic, published in Axios, shows the states that have established that they will continue accepting refugees. These local and state governments are unwilling to block the resettlement of people who have escaped danger in their home countries and gone through the stringent and tortuous process of becoming a United States refugee, a status that is very, very hard to obtain.

Those who apply for this status are put under the microscope and have to undergo seemingly endless bureaucratic processes that guarantee that their claim is indeed valid under the law. This means that successful applicants were in the riskiest situations imaginable.

Just this week, the Republican governors of Tennessee, South Dakota, Oklahoma and Nebraska wrote letters to the State Department or stated loud and clear that they would continue to accept refugees. Some key states haven’t stated their decision yet and promise to be battlegrounds for opposing political views. Texas, for example, has a very conservative governor on Greg Abbott, but many of its cities, such as Austin, have more progressive majors. 

Refugee resettlement is often seen as a tool to obtain goodwill both domestically and internationally, and history has seen plenty of bipartisan efforts to guarantee it.

There is a push against this executive order. As The Washington Post reports, even conservative states like Utah want to continue receiving refugees and even increase their numbers. Governor Gary Herbert, who aligns with Donald Trump on most issues, wrote a letter to the president stating: “”We empathize deeply with individuals and groups who have been forced from their homes and we love giving them a new home and a new life”. He added that newcomers become “productive employees and responsible citizens”. 

Trump’s position is unprecedented: even Ronald Reagan was proud of the refugee resettlement program.

As The Washington Post also notes: “From Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama, every president in recent decades had sought to bolster the program, identifying it as a way to generate goodwill and prestige internationally while strengthening bonds in communities at home.”

Refugees are a key element of American multiculturalism. From the pilgrims in the Mayflower escaping religious persecution to migratory waves of Jewish, Italian and Polish refugees during and after World War II, the United States has been accomodating to those in despair. The recent move from Trump’s White House can lead us to believe that the executive order could potentially have ethnic or racial connotations given the Brown and Black background of those seeking a refugee status today. 

Trump has already cut the number of annual arrivals to 18,000, a record low.

Just picture this. In a rally he mentioned Somali refugees and the crows began to boo. He then said that he would order the executive decision, something that no other president would do. He got that right: no one else would do it. He seems to be catering for his core base, as the WP further reports: ” He has repeatedly attacked refugees, suggesting they may be a “Trojan horse” intent on violence or a Muslim takeover”. This is just not true and only echoes the sentiments and rhetoric of far-right politics 

Rihanna Revealed A Childhood Experience That She Says Connects Her To Mexican Migrants In The U.S.

Entertainment

Rihanna Revealed A Childhood Experience That She Says Connects Her To Mexican Migrants In The U.S.

Badgirlriri / Instagram

Rihanna has never been afraid to speak her mind. She’s a woman who speaks up for issues she cares about and people listen to her. That’s why so many love her – present company included.

The ‘Umbrella’ singer, how has been kind of off the musical radar as of late, spoke out in a new interview with British Vogue and she had a few things to say about her upcoming music, where she’s been living, and her relationship with migrant communities.

Rihanna continues to use her platform and reach of over 200 million followers across social media to bring awareness to social issues that are important to her.

Credit: Chesnot / WireImage

In an interview with Vogue, the creator of “Fenty Beauty” explained feeling empathy with Mexicans and Latinos who are discriminated against in the United States, since she says that she knows how it feels to be on the end of discriminatory policies.

“The Guyanese are like the Mexicans of Barbados,” she said. “So I identify—and that’s why I really relate and empathize with Mexican people or Latino people, who are discriminated against in America. I know what it feels like to have the immigration come into your home in the middle of the night and drag people out.”

Similarly, she recalled the times in which she suffered and the difficulties her and mother experienced when they emigrated from Barbados.

Credit: badgirlriri / Instagram

Rihanna was born Robyn Rihanna Fenty in St. Michael, Barbados to a Guyanese mother and Barbadian father.

In the Vogue interview, she added: “Let’s say I know what that fight is like. I have witnessed it, I have been there. I think I was eight years old when I had to live that in the middle of the night. So I know how daunting it is for a child, and if my father had been dragged out of my house, I can guarantee you that my life would have been a disaster.”

In that same Vogue interview, Rihanna confessed to something that few people outsider her inner circle even knew.

Credit: badgirlriri / Instagram

She explained that in recent years she has become a bit of a nomad, having a house in London, Paris, Barbados and Mexico, where she feels more relaxed.

“I just love Mexico. I really need to do my DNA test,” she jokingly told Afua Hirsch of Vogue. Perhaps she was an agave plant, in a past life, she pondered.

Rihanna has been vocal about immigrant rights in the past and takes great pride in her origins.

Credit: badgirlriri / Instagram

The Grammy Award winning singer and entrepreneur has very publicly thrown shade at President Trump over his cruel immigration policies.

Rihanna, who’s been appointed as the ambassador of her native country Barbados, is no stranger to political matters. She sent a cease-and-desist letter to President Donald Trump in early November after he played her music at one of his rallies. She also rejected the opportunity to perform during the Super Bowl LIII in February 2019 out of protest for Colin Kaepernick.

Plus, in an interview with The Cut last year about the word ‘immigrant’, she said: “For me, it’s a prideful word. To know that you can come from humble beginnings and just take over whatever you want to, dominate at whatever you put your mind to. The world becomes your oyster, and there’s no limit. Wherever I go, except for Barbados, I’m an immigrant. I think people forget that a lot of times.”

He Was Slow To Address The Crisis, Now Trump Says You Need To Prepare For ‘Painful Two Weeks’

Things That Matter

He Was Slow To Address The Crisis, Now Trump Says You Need To Prepare For ‘Painful Two Weeks’

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Experts have agreed for weeks that the Trump administration has severely dropped the ball in handling the current Covid-19 health crisis. With one look at the initial lack of a strategy and the current crisis unfolding at hospitals across the United States, many believe that President Trump fumbled the response at the beginning of the outbreak and that’s why the crisis is spiraling out of control in the United States.

But with press conference after press conference, and health professional after health professional – it seems that Trump may finally be understanding just how serious the situation is.

At a somber press conference on Tuesday, Trump warned the country of the ‘painful two weeks’ that lay ahead.

Credit: CDC

In fact, in his own words, Trump warned the U.S. to brace for a “very, very painful two weeks.” This dire warning comes as the White House projected that the Coronavirus pandemic could claim 100,000 to 240,000 lives, even if current social distancing guidelines are maintained.

It was a stark message from the man who spent weeks downplaying the severity of the virus and questioned its potential impact in the United States.

In this press conference, Trump did not minimize what has become the gravest public health crisis in decades. Instead, he advised Americans that darker days are still to come.

“I want every American to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead. We’re going to go through a very tough two weeks,” Trump said, setting expectations for a scenario where death rates spike.

Fatalities in the U.S. are forecast to peak in 14 days, when around 2,200 people will be dying daily.

Credit: Pixabay / Daniel Ortega

These shocking projections are even considered to be conservative by many experts. And they’re based on the assumption that the current restrictions are universally adhered to by the public. 

Even as the outbreak begins to fade it will last for months, with scores of people still dying throughout June.

The warning came during a press conference meant to inform the public about the administration’s plan to extend social distancing guidelines.

He was speaking during a White House news conference meant to formally reissue nationwide coronavirus guidelines after Trump — faced with dire models showing hundreds of thousands of potential American deaths, polls indicating support for social distancing and calamitous scenes at New York hospitals — determined another 30 days of social distancing were necessary to avert disaster.

Trump’s dire warning may have at least pushed many more states into taking action to protect their residents.

Credit: @_BlakePitcher / Twitter

Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, who for weeks has resisted more stringent statewide measures to slow the spread of the virus, on Wednesday ordered the state’s more than 21 million residents to largely stay at home.

DeSantis, a Republican, relented after a morning telephone call with President Trump – just hours after the administration warned of the expected death count.

The governors of Georgia, Mississippi and Nevada also announced new plans for stay-at-home orders. A vast majority of Americans — more than 290 million people in 37 states and Washington, D.C.— are now under orders or instructions to stay home, or will be in the coming days.

AOC has also had very harsh criticism for the administration’s handling of the crisis.

AOC’s hometown is experiencing the worst spread of COVID-19 infections than any other city in the U.S. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo addresses the press every morning offering updates on how the virus is spreading through New York state in comparison to the U.S.

“I have several major hospitals in my district from Jacobi Medical Center to Elmhurst Hospital, New York-Presbyterian, and one of the things that we are hearing over and over again from hospitals again is this point on personal protective equipment,” AOC says. “There are not enough face masks, gloves, ventilators, [and] hospital beds to get us through this. Many hospitals are already at capacity or are approaching capacity and there is kind of no real stream insight from the federal government on where these materials are coming from.”