An internal Department of Homeland Security assessment shows that U.S. immigration agencies are preparing to reinforce the infrastructure needed for mass deportations, the Washington Post reported Wednesday,
Although Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly told the Washington Post that DHS is not pursuing mass deportations, President Donald Trump’s executive orders that have expanded the pool of undocumented immigrants as well as his call for reinforcing the deportation system including the building of the wall, suggest otherwise.
Marielena Hincapie, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, said, “This is an administration that very much is interested in setting up that mass deportation infrastructure and creating the levers of a police state.”
Trump has asked the Immigration and Customs Enforcement to hire an additional 10,000 agents and and the Customs and Border Protection for 5,000 new agents. The documents reveal that in a bid to speed-up the process of hiring, the authorities will end polygraph and physical fitness tests in some cases.
According to the DHS assessment, the hiring of just 500 agents will cost around US$100 million. Immigrant-rights advocates dismissed the escalation in Trump’s deportation plans calling it unnecessary, saying that it t will only lead to panic among 11 million undocumented immigrants.
The DHS assessment did raise concerns about the funding, but it nonetheless stated that the Border Patrol is moving ahead with the construction of the border wall with the US$20 million lawmakers reappropriated to its building in March, with the prototype expected to be completed by July 22.
However, according to the Washington Post, the republican leaders have delayed a decision on Trump’s initial request of US$1.5 billion for the wall and an additional US$2.6 billion for more border security for 2018 until after a new spending bill is approved this month.
The Democrat Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), said in a recent letter to the senate’s republican leadership, “We believe it would be inappropriate to insist on the inclusion of such funding in a must-pass appropriations bill.” Should congress allocate more funds, the CBP will begin working with the Army Corps of Engineers on the “highest-priority area” to construct a levee wall of 34 miles or a border barrier in the Rio Grande valley area and a border barrier in the San Diego area.
According to government sources, the number of people crossing the Mexican border has drastically declined since Trump took to office in January. A recent report by the Center for Migration studies indicates that the number of immigrants visiting U.S. legally and then overstaying their visas have been outnumbering those who arrived without documentation since 2007.
J. Kevin Appleby, a senior director at the Center for Migration Studies, told the Washington Post, “They’re throwing a lot of public resources at a problem that should not be a priority, especially since the number of (border) crossers is down considerably. Overall, it’s a wasted use of resources that could be used more efficiently.”
The documents also show, the CBP is also laying the groundwork to potentially hold immigration court hearings via video conferences at or near U.S. ports of entry if the government of Mexico agrees to house third-country immigrants awaiting adjudication in the U.S. legal system. But according to the Washington Post, the Mexican government said this would raise significant jurisdictional concerns, not to mention that it might cost US$50,000 per location for the video equipment.
Malala Yousafzai Praises Imperialist Canada for Token Citizenship
Malala Yousafzai, the 19-year-old Pakistani education activist who was recently named the U.N. Messenger of Peace was awarded an honorary Canadian citizenship by Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Yousafzai becomes the sixth person to join the list. The ceremony took place at the House of Commons, where Malala Yousafzai received standing ovations from the parliamentarians.
“I’m humbled to accept honorary citizenship of your country,” Yousafzai said as she received the symbolic certificate of citizenship from Trudeau. “While I will always be a proud Pashtun and a proud citizen of Pakistan, I’m grateful to be an honorary member of your nation of heroes.” The token certificate, however, will not grant any voting rights or citizenship privileges to the recipient. Moreover, this token action means little when in December 2016, Trudeau’s government put a cap on the number of private applications to sponsor Syrian and Iraqi refugees in 2017 to just 1,000. Canada accepts far less refugees per capita than most European countries.
As part of his tall promises, soon after Donald Trump’s election, Trudeau once famously tweeted, “To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada.” But Canada is one of the few countries that reserve the rights to detain the migrants for an indefinite period of time. The system that has drawn contempt from international organizations such as the U.N. and the Red Cross as it “contravenes international standards, increases the detainees’ exposure to violence and could trigger or exacerbate mental illnesses.”
Last year in July, Canada detained 60 migrants who went on an indefinite strike. Canada outrightly chooses to ignore the U.N. recommendation that governments must release immigrant detainees after a limited period if they can’t be safely deported to a different country. Currently, this “presumptive period” is 90 days in the U.S.. Due to Canada’s horrendous policy, some of the migrants have spent as long as 12 years in deplorable prison conditions. There are an estimated 242 children detained in Canada’s detention center, according to reports.
On Trudeau’s stance on the recent U.S. missile attack on Syria, University of Ottawa professor Thomas Juneau told the Global News, “Canada’s position has everything to do with staying on side with Trump and little to do with influencing anything internationally because the only role Canada has to play is as part of a U.S.-led coalition.”
Canada like the U.S. is rife with racism and Islamophobia. According to the recent studies, there are around 100 active groups said to be right-wing, ultra-nationalist, and anti-Muslim operating in Canada.
Philippines’ Duterte Cancels Disputed Island Visit, Hails China
Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte has canceled a planned visit to an island the Philippines claims in the disputed South China Sea, after Beijing warned him against the visit.
The brash Philippine leader last week announced his plan to raise the Philippine flag in the island of Thitu and fortify it with barracks, setting off alarm bells.
“Because of our friendship with China and because we value your friendship I will not go there to raise the Philippine flag,” Duterte said in a speech before the Filipino community in Riyadh late Wednesday.
“They said, do not go there in the meantime, just do not go there please. I will correct myself because we value our friendship with China,” he said, adding that he might just send his son to the island.
Duterte said Beijing warned him that “there will likely be trouble” if every head of state of contending parties will go to the disputed islands and plant flags.
The popular president is on a week-long state visit in the Middle East to facilitate trade and investments, and meet with Filipinos overseas.
The Middle East is the second largest source of remittances, with more than one million Filipino workers sending home US$7.6 billion in last year, government data showed.