Thursday, February 23, 2017

So How Is Our Dear Leader Faring? Deportations, Bathrooms and Sickness

Our Dear Leader is certainly keeping some of his promises. 

1.  While the Obama administration did deport (or try to deport) those undocumented immigrants who were charged with a serious crime, the Trump administration has truly expanded the definition of who may be deported:

“Under this executive order, ICE will not exempt classes or categories of removal aliens from potential enforcement,” a fact sheet released by the Department of Homeland Security said, using the acronym for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “All of those present in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention, and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States.”
That includes people convicted of fraud in any official matter before a governmental agency and people who “have abused any program related to receipt of public benefits.”

Given that, it is to be expected that 15,000 extra customs and immigration officers are to be hired, more camps are to be built and so on.  This is interesting when we consider the simultaneous hiring freeze in the Federal government.

It is also to be expected that the kinds of sweeps which are taking place now create cases like this one.

All this is frightening for what it tells us about the priorities of those who hold the real power in the Trump administration and about the chaotic nature of many of its actions. 

Where are these immigrants going to be returned?  Some proposals suggest that our Dear Leader just plans to dump all of them in Mexico, including the ones who are not Mexican citizens.  I am pretty sure that Mexico won't be happy with that.

And what are the consequences of these mass deportations to American industries where many of the undocumented work?

Finally,  does it matter at all to the Trump people that net immigration from Mexico, say, appears to have turned negative by 2015?   Mexico is still the largest source country for immigrants, both documented and undocumented to the US.*

2.   Trump has rescinded the Obama administration's federal guidelines which allowed transgender students in schools to use the bathroom matching their gender identity.  Now it's up to the states to decide. It sounds like Trump's new Secretary of Education, Betsy deVos, wasn't too happy about that.

I would like to know who is behind this change.  It might let me predict what other rights will be left to the states to decide.

3.  Will the Affordable Care Act (ACA) be repealed and replaced, in the very near future, as our Dear Leader has promised? 

I watch the whole farce with some sinister satisfaction**, because it looks like the Republican Congress members are facing some tough questioning on this at their town halls and because I have an inkling about the enormous difficulties taking apart and rebuilding a complex system will create. 

Anything the Republicans might actually offer will leave poorer Americans without access to good quality care in the medically required amounts.  But as the real point of the repeal is to cut the taxes for the wealthy, some type of repeal we will see.

Or maybe not.

The Republicans in Congress are the dog who likes chasing cars but doesn't actually expect to catch up to one.  Well, now it did.

The mess any rapid and drastic changes might cause will kill people.  So will a return to the pre-ACA status quo, which is what the Republican planlets*** I've read would mean.


*  Depending on the method used,  China might now be the largest source country.  But the 2015 Pew survey suggests that Mexicans are, in any case,  the majority of undocumented immigrants in the US.

**  I'm obviously not satisfied when I think of the patients in the system or of the people who will now struggle. 

***  Little attempts at plans, without proper numbers etc.