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Monday, May 29, 2017

Trump's budget—billions for mass deportations and 'bricks and mortar,' but screw the poor


WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 01:  President Donald Trump (2nd R) hosts Office of Managment and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney (L) and Republican Congressional leaders (2nd L-R) Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA); Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) and others during a working lunch in the Roosevelt Room at the White House March 1, 2017 in Washington, DC. The meeting comes the day after Trump layed out his policy priorities during a joint session of Congress.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Sure, the new 2018 budget slashes billions from food assistance, cancer research, and disability benefits, but the Trump regime has still miraculously found plenty of taxpayer money for two of his favorite, racist pet projects. Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney unveiled a budget proposal asking for billions to terrorize immigrant families, expand Trump’s mass deportation force that has been targeting moms and dads with no criminal record, and to build some of that f*cking wall that Mexico was supposed to pay for: 
The budget proposed by the White House on Tuesday includes $2.6 billion for border security -- $1.6 billion of which will be for "bricks and mortar for a wall," Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told reporters on Monday.
In addition to the wall money, another $1 billion would cover investments at the border like aircraft, communications equipment, weapons, surveillance technology, road infrastructure and inspection equipment, according to budget documents provided by the White House.
The budget will make further requests for immigration enforcement, including $300 million to support recruiting, hiring and training for the vast increase in agents for Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement that Trump has called for.
Esther Lee of Think Progress notes that “the request, formally submitted to Congress on Tuesday, is nearly half the $4.1 billion amount for border wall construction called for in the skinny version of a budget blueprint released in March,” but it’s the funding to expand deportations that should be the worry here. As immigrant rights group America’s Voice noted, ICE and CBP are two of the worst law enforcement agencies in the nation,” with one former official saying CBP’s corruption rate has “exceeded that of any other U.S. federal law-enforcement agency.” Among one of the agencies Trump wants to ramp up, three CBP agents were accused this month of “extreme hazing” by colleagues, including assault on something called a “rape table.” But wasn’t it Mexican immigrants who were bringing that?
"They take you in a room, and your fellow officers are all watching as officers grab you," said officer Vito Degironimo in an interview with NBC New York. "Once the lights go out, they grab you up like a gang, and they forcibly throw you on the table, and one officer ended up mounting me and pretty much riding me like a horse."
Officer Diana Cifuentes says she was never forced onto this table, but did receive threats and intimidation from at least one fellow officer, with whom she describes having a previous conflict.
"He said, 'You deserve to be put on the rape table,' and that's when he started chasing after me," she said. “[Eventually] I was held down by another officer and one additional officer taped me with green customs tape to the chair."
Among ICE, only 6.5 percent of the 41,300 undocumented immigrants arrested by agents since Trump’s inauguration had violent crime convictions, while “the fastest growing category of arrests were immigrants with no convictions,” according to America’s Voice. ICE has claimed that nearly 75 percent of those arrested are “convicted criminals,” but the Trump regime has expanded the definition of “criminal” to include folks that only have traffic or immigration-related infractions.

DHS Secretary John Kelly could release more information about who is getting arrested and why, but “ICE refuses to release the full set of statistics about its enforcement operations.” It’s almost like they’re trying to hid something, right?

“Despite ICE spin, the facts are that most people being deported are not dangers to the public, they are ordinary folks who have been building their lives here and contributing,” said Lynn Tramonte of America’s Voice. “And the agencies that make up Trump’s Deportation Force are unaccountable, unprofessional, and abusive.

Instead of expanding their ranks, they need oversight and reform.” Fact, because rather than taking steps to reining in these state-sanctioned thugs, House Republicans want to arm ICE with M-4s as DHS looks for ways to ease hiring standards for Border Patrol agents. Rather than throwing cold water on the fire, these guys are intent on adding gasoline.

If Trump really is looking for some of those “bad hombres,” maybe he should go check out his own employees first.

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