Comparing Immigration Raids Under Trump, Obama

Protesters chant outside the Grayson County courthouse in Sherman, Texas, Feb. 16, 2017. In an action called "A Day Without Immigrants," immigrants across the country are expected to stay home from school, work and close businesses to show how critic

WASHINGTON – When Immigration and Customs Enforcement ((ICE)) agents arrested at least 680 undocumented immigrants in cities around the United States last week, immigration advocates hailed it as the first “mass enforcement operation” of the Donald Trump era.

“It is time to sound the national alarm bell,” said a group of organizations led by United We Dream.

But is it? The truth is more nuanced.

Barack Obama inherited and expanded the capacity to identify, apprehend, and deport unauthorized immigrants, according to the Migration Policy Institute, and he used it as president, deporting more than 2.5 million people between 2009 and 2015.

At the border, there was a “near zero tolerance system, where unauthorized immigrants were increasingly subject to formal removal and criminal charges.”

Immigration enforcement, as laid out in a 2014 memo, also focused on immigrants who committed crimes and those who arrived after the beginning of 2014.

“A more robust enforcement system inevitably inflicts damage on established families and communities,” the Migration Policy Institute report said.

What ICE did not do during the Obama era was detain people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. ICE was instructed to arrest only people who were targeted in advance and not just anybody swept up in a raid, so-called collateral arrests.

Obama said his government did not have the desire to deport millions of undocumented immigrants whose only crime was to enter the country illegally.

And now?

President Donald Trump’s Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States executive order shows that collateral arrests are not to be avoided.

“Many aliens who illegally enter the United States and those who overstay or otherwise violate the terms of their visas present a significant threat to national security and public safety,” the order says.

After last week’s enforcement operations, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly said that 75 percent of the people apprehended had criminal records. This implies that 25 percent of the 680 arrests reported by DHS were non-criminals.

ICE said during “targeted” enforcement operations officers frequently encounter additional suspects who may be in violation of federal immigration laws. “Those persons will be evaluated on a case by case basis and, when appropriate, arrested by ICE,” the agency said.

Rep. Michelle Grisham, D-N.M., speaks during the third day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 27, 016.

Rep. Michelle Grisham, D-N.M., speaks during the third day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 27, 2016

On Capitol Hill, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus has requested a meeting with ICE’s acting director to learn about the location of last week’s operations, the reason for apprehensions, the number of people detained with criminal convictions and the number of parents with minors arrested along with the arresting reason.

“The request to have the meeting, of course, is to get real information, data, about who is apprehended, who are the targets, where, and confirm that information with our constituents … and to make sure that we are following the law, and we’re clear that people are getting due process and that they know their rights, and the fact that we are not causing, which we are, fear and panic in our communities,” New Mexico congresswoman and caucus chair Michelle Grisham said.

A sign alerts customers a bakery is closed for the day as part of an immigration protest, Feb. 16, 2017, in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.

A sign alerts customers a bakery is closed for the day as part of an immigration protest, Feb. 16, 2017, in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.

Building a basis for comparison

While fear is running high in immigrant communities, it is still too early to say how different the Trump administration’s policies will be from the previous ones.

Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) intends to follow it. TRAC is building a baseline “against which arrests by fugitive operation teams and other components of ICE can be compared under the new Trump administration.”

Using case-by-case records of both apprehensions and removals, TRAC has put together an initial report that shows 65,332 individuals were detained and deported by ICE during FY 2016, the last year of Obama’s presidency. TRAC says that amounts to approximately 1,250 per week.

Only a small part of those arrests, however, were the result of ICE raids or other enforcement operations. “Instead, most of these estimated weekly 1,250 ICE apprehensions happened when ICE assumed custody of individuals held by another law enforcement agency,” the TRAC report says.

Putting aside the other law enforcement agencies, TRAC says that “less than 300 individuals were arrested each week from their place of work, where they lived, or other places they may have been when found” by ICE.

Kanye West Has Reportedly Doubled Donald Trump’s Support Among Black Men

Image result for Kanye west and trump

Trump is profiting off Kanye’s endorsement.

While Kanye West has caught no end of grief from seemingly every rapper in the game after exclaiming his support for Donald Trump, it seems as though his message is being heard, at least by some people who have traditionally not been fans of the president.

According to the Washington Times, a new Reuters poll has been released that shows Trump’s support among black men has doubled in the past week, thanks directly to Kanye’s support. To be clear, Trump’s approval among black men was never super high to begin with, and his approval only grew from 11% to 22% among black males. 7% claimed to have “mixed feelings” about Trump, up from 1.5% the week before, and 71% stated that they disapprove of Trump’s performance in the Oval Office.

Regardless, to grow by so much in a week is a testament to the influence that Kanye still wields despite his constant stream of controversial statements. That, or there were more black male Trump supporters than was originally thought, and thanks to Kanye they no longer feel afraid to admit it.

While Trump may have gained in-roads with black men thanks to Kanye, black women weren’t buying into his shtick, with Trump’s approval rating only increasing from 6% to 9%. Trump’s overall national approval rating currently hovers at around 41%.

Kanye has quickly become President Trump’s most popular celebrity endorsement, instantly becoming a favorite among conservative media figures like Alex Jones, Ben Shapiro, and Charlie Kirk, most of whom were publicly against rap music before Kanye declared himself a Trump fan.

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CTA Redline Will Receive 1.1 Billion From Obama For Improvements. 

City Hall has received the parting gift it wanted from the Obama administration: just under $1.1 billion in federal grants to rebuild a key stretch of the Chicago Transit Authority’s Red Line north.

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The city and U.S. Department of Transportation officials are scheduled to sign a contract tomorrow known as a full-funding grant agreement, committing the DOT’s Federal Transit Agency to provide $957 million in “core capacity” funds and another $125 million in anti-congestion money for the CTA’s Phase One Red/Purple Modernization project.The money will be matched with city property taxes collected by a special transit tax-increment financing district that the City Council in November unanimously voted to establish, covering property one half mile on either side of the Red Line from North Avenue to the city limits.

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