We Resist: Day 483

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One of the difficulties in resisting the Trump administration, the Republican Congressional majority, and Republican state legislatures (plus the occasional non-Republican who obliges us to resist their nonsense, too, like we don't have enough to worry about) is keeping on top of the sheer number of horrors, indignities, and normalization of the aggressively abnormal that they unleash every single day.

So here is a daily thread for all of us to share all the things that are going on, thus crowdsourcing a daily compendium of the onslaught of conservative erosion of our rights and our very democracy.

Stay engaged. Stay vigilant. Resist.

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Earlier today by me: The Only Context to Trump's "Animals" Comment That Matters Is His Vile Nativist Agenda and A Whole Lotta News, Some of Which Will Hopefully Matter Someday and And the Award for Worst Take on #MeToo Goes to....

Here are some more things in the news today...

I already covered an awful lot of the big news of the day earlier, so this is going to be a truncated thread. As always, share the news you've seen of which we should all be aware in comments!

[Content Note: Nativism] Mark Joseph Stern at Slate: Bad Liars: ICE Claimed a Dreamer Was "Gang-Affiliated" and Tried to Deport Him; a Federal Judge Ruled That ICE Was Lying. Empahses mine:
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez shot down the federal government's efforts to strip Daniel Ramirez Medina of his DACA status. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement had arrested and detained Ramirez last year, then falsely claimed that he was affiliated with a gang and attempted to deport him. He filed suit, alleging that ICE had violated his due process rights. Martinez agreed. His order barred the federal government from voiding Ramirez's DACA status, safeguarding his ability to live and work in the United States legally for the foreseeable future.

What may be most remarkable about Martinez's decision, though, is its blunt repudiation of ICE's main claim—that Ramirez is "gang-affiliated." The judge did not simply rule against ICE. He accused the agency of lying to a court of law.

The facts of Ramirez's case are extremely disturbing. In February 2017, shortly after [Donald] Trump unleashed immigration agents to amp up arrests and deportations, ICE agents went to Ramirez's father's house in Seattle to arrest him. (The father is undocumented, and brought Ramirez to the U.S. illegally as a child.) While there, they encountered Ramirez and asked him whether he was "legally here." He responded that he was—a truthful statement given his DACA status, which he had renewed the previous May. Yet ICE officers detained him anyway. They took him to a processing center, where, once again, he told them that he had a work permit.

"It doesn't matter," an agent responded, "because you weren't born in this country."

ICE then interrogated Ramirez, fingerprinted and booked him, confiscated his work permit, sent him to a detention center, and placed him in removal proceedings. It also purported to revoke his DACA status, subjecting him to imminent deportation. Typically, the government may not rescind an individual's DACA status without giving the beneficiary an opportunity to contest its decision. But ICE claimed that Ramirez's DACA benefits could be terminated "automatically" because he presented an "egregious public safety concern" due to his alleged gang affiliation. (ICE routinely alleges that Latino immigrants with no indication of gang affiliation are members of a gang in order to detain and deport them.)

A group of renowned attorneys then stepped in to defend Ramirez, arguing that virtually every action ICE had taken against their client was unlawful. They also alleged that ICE;s key claim—that Ramirez is "gang-affiliated"—was a complete falsehood. One of his lawyers, Mark Rosenbaum, presented evidence indicating that ICE had doctored Ramirez's statement by erasing words he had written in the pencil provided to make it seem as if he had confessed to being in a gang. (The original statement asserts he has no gang affiliation.) During his initial interrogation, ICE officers asked him five times whether he belonged to a gang, and he repeatedly said no. Instead, he asserted that he had "fled California [to Washington] to escape from the gangs."

...ICE continued to press its case against Ramirez. In immigration court, agents rested their case on one piece of evidence: a tattoo on Ramirez's forearm that consists of a nautical star and the words La Paz—BCS, which represent his birthplace, the city of La Paz in Baja California Sur. Ramirez repeatedly insisted that this tattoo had nothing to do with any gang. But an ICE agent claimed that his tattoo actually proved he was "definitely a gang member" because it allegedly looked like the tattoo of the "bulldogs" gang. (It does not.)

Two different immigration judges found no indication that Ramirez was gang affiliated or a threat to public safety. Martin Flores, a gang expert who has consulted in more than 700 cases, testified that he had "never seen a gang member with a similar tattoo nor would [he] attribute this tattoo to have any gang-related meaning." Another gang expert, Edwina Barvosa, declared that there is "no apparent evidence that [Ramirez] has ever been a gang member himself." Carlos García, a Mexican researcher who has studied gangs extensively, stated that "this tattoo does not show any gang affiliation." But ICE still insisted that Ramirez was a gang member, and thus eligible for deportation.

Which is to say nothing of the fact that even if Donald Trump were referring only to actual gang members as "animals," that would still be othering, dehumanizating, eliminationist, hateful, despicable, vile language.

There is no context in which that language is okay for a political leader to use, and no people about whom using that language is acceptable. None.

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Anthony Cormier and Jason Leopold at BuzzFeed: The Definitive Story of How Trump's Team Worked the Trump Moscow Deal During the Campaign. "The licensing agreement came together relatively quickly. Sater turned to a wealthy Moscow developer he knew from the days when Ivanka spun around in Putin's chair: Andrey Rozov. His company, IC Expert, became the developer, and the sides traded proposals. At one point, as the letter of intent was passed back and forth during the negotiations, the Trump Organization changed an upfront fee from $100,000 to $900,000. On Oct. 28, 2015, the day of the third Republican presidential debate, Trump personally signed the letter of intent. In a celebratory email sent from his Trump Organization account, Cohen asked Sater and Rozov that the 'nature and content of the attached LOI not be disclosed' until later and said 'we are truly looking forward to this wonderful opportunity.'"

Emphasis mine. That is a very long, very detailed piece. I highly recommend reading the whole thing in its entirety. And, once again, I will say that I desperately hope, at some point, the information contained therein will matter. Meaning: I hope it is used to hold Trump accountable and remove him from office, along with the rest of the corrupt scoundrels he brought with him to the White House. Including Pence.

And in good resistance news... [CN: Guns]

What have you been reading that we need to resist today?

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