Send Lawyers and Money

If you want to do something to help the kids that ICE and the Trump administration has held hostage for political goals, my sister’s best friend since kindergarten needs support.

We’ve helped Melanie in the past. Let’s help her again as she heads to El Paso




Support Critical Legal Services on the El Paso, TX/Ciudad Juarez, MX Border through Election Day (11/6/18)

Since July 2015, the Attorney on the Move project has given 100% pro bono legal services to hundreds of immigrant clients around the United States. Most recently, the project was based in Tucson, Arizona—70 miles away from Nogales, Mexico. I worked on both sides of the U.S./Mexico border and represented dozens of asylum seekers in their court proceedings in the Eloy, Florence, Tucson, and Phoenix immigration courts. I have recently published op-eds about family separation in USA Today and The Huffington Post.

And on July 14, 2018, I will be moving to the border to El Paso, Texas through Election Day (11/6/18) to give pro bono help to detained asylum seekers directly affected by the family separation/family detention crisis.

Your gift will support the following work—to be done on a 100% pro bono basis:

  • There are several amazing and scrappy local immigration advocacy groups in El Paso. I’ll be working very closely with the Executive Director of Las Americas (the ED is also currently the only lawyer on staff). We will be sharing responsibilities during my time in El Paso so that the ED has more capacity to focus on longer-term growth.
  • I’ll be creating from scratch, an on-the-ground pro bono program so that more volunteer lawyers from all over the country are able to come and represent more asylum seekers—especially as family detention expands onto nearby Ft. Bliss and legal counsel is urgently needed. This on-the-ground volunteer program will be similar in nature to those at the 3 other family detention centers in the U.S.: Dilley & Karnes City, TX and Berks, PA. The program will involve other volunteer lawyers coming to El Paso to prep asylum seekers for their Credible Fear Interviews (CFIs) and other legal needs.
  • Similarly, I will be creating a system for triaging urgently needed intakes of asylum seekers.
  • I will also be directly representing a number of detained asylum seekers affected by family separation/family detention in greater El Paso.
  • …and more to be determined upon arriving in Texas.

I am grateful to be in community with you all during these wild times. It’d be an honor to receive your support so that these urgent legal services can be provided to asylum seekers in El Paso, Texas.

In solidarity,

Melanie Gleason, Esq.

Founder, Attorney on the Move

As Above, So Below: More Repub-Enabled Tragedy Waiting to Happen

Wonkette summarizes J.J. McNab’s latest depressing domestic-terrorism news:

In early June, a conspiracy nutter, pretend veterans advocate, and wannabe rightwing star named Lewis Arthur got himself about two weeks’ worth of social media fame after he decided that an abandoned homeless camp in the desert near Tucson, Arizona, was actually a child sex trafficking site, complete with a “dungeon” and a “rape tree.” No evidence whatsoever, but he seemed so certain about it that some local TV stations that should have known better gave it coverage, and the wingnuttosphere glommed on to it as the latest “proof” of the vast imaginary pedophile network that started with #Pizzagate and later morphed into the insane QAnon troll drama that the kids are so into these days. The Internet, which has an attention span shorter than Donald Trump’s, moved on to other things, but instead of gracefully fading away like Numa Numa videos, Arthur is determined to regain his brief moment of online glory. He seems determined to be a complete asshole about it, and may just end up getting people killed.

As the invaluable militia-watcher JJ MacNab explains, a month after his brief fling with being the hottest new shit in wingnut world, Arthur finds himself with stagnating online support, mostly because “People have gotten bored watching hour after hour of Lewis pointing to trash and calling it proof that traffickers were there just before he and his crew ran them off.” …

As MacNab notes, Arthur seems to have decided on a new tack: Instead of looking for the child sex traffickers that he can’t seem to find, Arthur and his “Veterans on Patrol” (a group Arthur originally started to help homeless vets; he himself has never served but is very big on military-speak) will now start going after illegal immigrants, because obviously a bunch of loons in the desert looking for migrants to harass will bring an end to the child trafficking, too.

Lewis Arthur has a real cool plan: He’s gonna go out and find every single cache of supplies left to help migrants, “confiscate” the water, food, and medical supplies, and then place them in national parks and monuments (and maybe national forests — he seems unclear on the concept) so they can be used by Americans. At one point he claims he and his group will “re-open” the national parks, which he seems to think have been shut down by the constant flow of human traffickers and drug mules all over public lands…

Long story short: Lewis Arthur certainly isn’t going to be setting up any water stations in national parks. But the damn fool’s likely to destroy water supplies for migrants crossing the desert in Arizona’s summer heat, and that may very possibly lead to people dying. You wouldn’t be amiss in sending a few dollars to Humane Borders, which has this crazy idea that even though crossing the border is illegal, it shouldn’t be treated as a death sentence.

As the NYTimes is bound to assure us if — Goddess forbid, when — Arthur’s nutball stunting causes an actual tragedy, it’s not as though Donald Trump / Paul Ryan / Mitch McConnell were directly responsible. But Trump is the man who gave Arthur and his fellows explicit permission to “knock the shit outta” everyone not a bigoted xenophobe… and the entire Republican coalition are the ones whose endless energy have been directed, not at reducing the harm their Dear Leader can do, but at guaranteeing maximal damage for their own personal power.

Monday Morning Open Thread: Keep Fighting

If you didn’t get a chance to read Balloon Juice over the weekend, you will want to go back and be inspired by Cheryl’s amazing job collating the pics from so many of your fellow Daydream Believers: start here, then here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

And, of course, many thanks and kudos to you who marched, whether or not you sent photos!

I’m not seeing nationwide crowd estimates yet, but the turnout — given the short notice, and for much of the country the heat of the day — seems to have been a major surprise to our media “betters”. Lisa Ryan, at NYMag‘s ladyblog The Cut, has an excellent aggregation of The Most Powerful Scenes From the Families Belong Together Protests”.

And the Los Angeles Times — no surprise — has the best summary I’ve seen so far:

Galvanized by the images and voices of migrant children separated from their parents by President Trump’s immigration policies, hundreds of thousands took to the streets Saturday in major cities and small towns across America to express outrage that they hope will carry over into the fall election.

From coast to coast, several hundred rallies dubbed Families Belong Together ranged from the large and boisterous — thousands clogging the Brooklyn Bridge in New York — to more modest ones, such as a protest that drew about 200 people to a street corner in West Hartford, Conn.

In Los Angeles, tens of thousands assembled in front of City Hall just before noon in a star- and politician-studded rally that centered on messages of humanity and empathy transcending borders. Organizers said they were not only protesting the separation of families but also Trump policies “criminalizing” migrants and leaving in limbo the fate of those protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which shielded from deportation young immigrants brought here illegally when they were children…

Many marchers were veterans of protests against other Trump administration policies, including the Women’s March and the March for Science, but some were newly energized to speak up. For Debbie Greenspan, a protest Saturday in Hollywood, Fla., was the first demonstration she ever attended.

“I just can’t bear babies being taken from their parents or even putting the whole family in jail,” Greenspan said. “I mean, what is wrong with these people? It’s beyond comprehension.”…

The midterm elections were on the minds of protesters all over the country. In Dallas, marchers carried signs reading, “November is coming.” In Denver, protesters at the state Capitol chanted: “Vote them out! Vote them out!”…

Marching in Chicago was Margo Chavez-Easley, who immigrated to the U.S. from Guatemala with her mother when she was 9.

“To be an immigrant and an American, I feel a mix of pride and shame,” Chavez-Easley said. “… That’s a child’s biggest fear, is to lose their mom and dad.”

Protesting side by side in Denver were Henny Pattirane, 26, an immigrant from Indonesia, and her friend Joseline Umulisa, also 26, an immigrant from Rwanda.

Umulisa said she was moved to tears when she thought about what some immigrants had been through.

“The only reason you were born here is because you were lucky,” she said. “I came out today because I had to do something, and it beats crying in your bed.”

Funny thing, though…

Senile Delusions Open Thread: Granpa Trump Lauds His ICE Enforcers

Of course, Trump has been a serial fantasist, and proud racist, since at least the 1980s. But some of you will remember that when Ronald Reagan started insisting he’d helped liberate Dachau in person — and not just seen films about the horror — it was later cited as the first public evidence of his decline into Alzheimers.

When confronted last week with audio obtained by ProPublica of wailing children separated from their parents, White House Communications Adviser Mercedes Schlapp said, “What’s very heartbreaking is to watch Americans who have lost their children because of the MS-13 gang members.” But the vast majority of MS-13 victims are young immigrants, many of them undocumented.

I often think about this when I’m out reporting. This year, I have reached out to current gang members and added them as friends on Facebook. I’ve visited the homes of people on the local clique’s kill list, and heard their police-issued panic buttons hum under tables and behind doors. I’ve explored the wooded areas Long Island police call “the killing fields,” where bodies have been found. I feel safe doing this because MS-13 rarely goes after true outsiders — people who are not friends with any gang members or targets for recruitment. The closest I’ve found in Long Island to a totally random victim was a worker at a Central American deli who was hurt when a bullet passed through the head of a targeted victim.

The White House put out a statement last month that described recent murders carried out by “MS-13 animals.” Lost in the controversy over whether it was OK to call gang members animals was the fact that of the six identified victims, five were immigrants and the other was a child of immigrants…

Fantasy Tough Guy Squads are protecting Granpa Dollhands and his dumbest most loyal followers from the dusky rapists hiding under their beds! WHY MUST YOU LIE-BRALS BE SUCH HATERZ AS TO DENY THE IMAGINARY RAPISTS UNDER OUR BEDS!?! WHY CAN YOU NOT RESPECT THAT WE ARE TRULY SCARED!!!

Of course, abusing actual undocumented humans doesn’t “cure” whatever personal terrors drive their voters’ xenophobia, but fortunately for the Repubs, there’s always another batch of SCARY NOT-LIKE-US MONSTERS masks to gin up the rubes.

Saturday Morning Open Thread: Fight On!

The Washington Post:

It took 13 days to organize Saturday’s demonstration against the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy and the detention of children and families. It was the fastest that organizers could patch something together.

They guessed about 5,000 people would attend.

The National Park Service is now prepared for 10 times that — 50,000 people — to rally outside the White House and march on the Department of Justice, according to a permit issued this week. Demonstrators will demand an end to family detentions and the reunification for at least 2,500 children separated from their parents at the country’s southern border.

Several speakers, including Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of “Hamilton,” and actors America Ferrera and Diane Guerrero, will take the stage at Lafayette Square to kick off the protest, which begins at 11 a.m. People who have lived through the Holocaust, Japanese internment camps and Trump’s family separation policy are expected to speak.

About 750 similar protests have been planned throughout the country in every state, from big cities such as New York and Los Angeles to tiny ones such as Antler, N.D., population 28…

The rally will cap off a week of demonstrations in Washington that included the arrests of 575 people Thursday at the Hart Senate Office Building during a women-led protest and another outside the Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters, in which dozens called for the agency’s dissolution…

Looking forward to reports / pics from the various rallies across the country!

Friday Morning Open Thread: Who’s Going to A ‘Families Belong Together’ Rally This Saturday?

From a commentor:

Looks like LAO and I (RedDirtGirl) are going to meet up for the Foley Square demo and march across the Brooklyn Bridge. Any chance of including that info in a post before the weekend? It would be great to have a jackal contingent there.

Jump into the comments, if you’d like to meet up with other jackals in your area!


Thursday Evening Open Thread: 14 Words

It’s not a dog whistle, it’s a racist bullhorn.

And the first spokesdrone who claims the headline was totally a coincidence should be fired into the sun for being either a liar or a moron, or both.