THE RED FLAG ASKS: IS THE UNITED STATES A THIRD WORLD DEMOCRACY?

Journalist: Fear Is A 'Very Powerful Tool' In Trump's Approach To Immigration

37:37

ICE agents make an arrest in Los Angeles on Feb. 7, 2017. Shortly after taking office, President Trump passed an executive order criminalizing anyone in the country illegally.

Charles Reed/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement/AP

The Pew Research Center estimates that there are about 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States — and that approximately two-thirds of them have been here for more than a decade.

Journalist Frank Foer says that for many years, there was a tacit agreement among politicians of both parties that there would be a pathway to citizenship for many of the long-term undocumented immigrants.

"They rooted themselves within our communities. ... They raise children who are U.S. citizens," Foer says. "There had been this consensus that they could stay."

But shortly after President Trump was sworn into office, he passed an executive order that criminalized anyone in the country illegally — opening the door for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) to deport any undocumented immigrant.

Foer says that the policy was unprecedented: "Never before have we had such a large, dedicated police force whose mission is to remove undocumented immigrants from the communities in which they're rooted."



Foer's new Atlantic cover story, "How Trump Radicalized ICE," reveals that immigration enforcement has been handed over to a small group of militant, anti-immigration hawks, who cultivate fear to accomplish their goal of driving out undocumented immigrants.

In the past, Foer says, ICE was forbidden from operating in places like schools, churches and hospitals, which are known as "sensitive locations." Now, he says, "there's growing anecdotal evidence that ICE hasn't overturned the policy of sensitive locations, but they've given themselves ever greater latitude to operate in those places where they'd once been forbidden."


Interview Highlights

On the Trump administration's tactic of cultivating fear among undocumented immigrants 

The Trump administration knows that it can't round up 11 million undocumented immigrants, even with our profound investments in immigration enforcement over the decades, there's still not the bandwidth or the infrastructure to do that. So if you're trying to seriously and quickly diminish the number of immigrants in this country you have one very, very powerful tool at your disposal — which is that you have the power of the state to cultivate fear. And so Trump himself has propagated the sense of fear with his rhetoric. The executive orders that have been proposed — and in some cases rescinded because they were so overly broad — had the effect of succeeding even when they were failing, because the theatrics of those policies helped cultivate a sense of fear.

On how ICE's reach into "sensitive locations," such as hospital emergency rooms, has affected undocumented immigrants

In places like Los Angeles and Houston and other jurisdictions there's now a lot of empirical evidence that undocumented women are afraid to call in cases of domestic abuse because when they call in those cases they're afraid that their partners are going to get picked up and deported, and they're afraid that they themselves may end up on the radar of ICE by calling in a report of abuse. So asking the police for protection could perversely result in the destruction of their lives.

On the belief that immigrants would self-deport if life became uncomfortable enough

[Kansas Secretary of State Kris] Kobach had a theory that also goes by a more clinical name "attrition through enforcement," and the idea was that you could make life profoundly uncomfortable for immigrants. You could deprive them of benefits. You could increase a sense of fear. You can make it harder for them to get jobs — and all this pressure would add up.

And at a certain point, [Kobach] argued that immigrants are rational, that their decision to come to this country and stay in this country is premised on an understanding of their own self-interest, and if the state was able to apply its powers properly, then it could induce a state of panic and terror that would cause immigrants to pack up their bags and leave on their own accord.

On Attorney General Jeff Sessions' role in immigration policy

One thing that I was told constantly is that Jeff Sessions is the de facto secretary of homeland security — that he's the person in the administration who just lives, breathes immigration policy. It's the thing that he cares about most in the world. It's really the reason that he's suffered some of the indignities that he suffered at the hands of his own boss, who seems to imply that he wants him to resign constantly, and for Sessions it's worth soldiering on, because he's implementing massive policy changes in the demand that matters to him most. ...

Sessions comes from small town Alabama and he shares with Trump this hostility to free trade, to globalization, and I think his views on immigration are of a piece with that. I also think that he has a cultural and racial hostility to immigration and the transformation of America — a fear of what multiculturalism will do to the country.

On how both parties have increased expenditures to immigration enforcement

Since the 1990s, you've had both political parties racing to prove their bonafides on immigration enforcement. From Bill Clinton to Barack Obama, Democrats have willingly participated in the process of legislating ever greater expenditures to ICE and the Department of Homeland Security, and the system has just started to bloat and grow.

By the time Barack Obama started his second term we were spending more money on immigration enforcement — on ICE and border patrol — than on the DEA, FBI, ATF, U.S. Marshals Service combined. We were spending $18 billion on immigration enforcement, as opposed to the $14 billion that we were spending on all those other criminal law enforcement agencies. Half of all federal prosecutions were for immigration-related crimes. So everybody, every political party, nearly every politician on Capitol Hill, also played their part in creating this system.

Amy Salit and Mooj Zadie produced and edited the audio of this interview. Bridget Bentz and Molly Seavy-Nesper adapted it for the Web.

Journalist: Fear Is A 'Very Powerful Tool' In Trump's Approach To Immigration

37:32

ICE agents make an arrest in Los Angeles on Feb. 7, 2017. Shortly after taking office, President Trump passed an executive order criminalizing anyone in the country illegally.

Charles Reed/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement/AP

The Pew Research Center estimates that there are about 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States — and that approximately two-thirds of them have been here for more than a decade.

Journalist Frank Foer says that for many years, there was a tacit agreement among politicians of both parties that there would be a pathway to citizenship for many of the long-term undocumented immigrants.

"They rooted themselves within our communities. ... They raise children who are U.S. citizens," Foer says. "There had been this consensus that they could stay."

But shortly after President Trump was sworn into office, he passed an executive order that criminalized anyone in the country illegally — opening the door for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) to deport any undocumented immigrant.

Foer says that the policy was unprecedented: "Never before have we had such a large, dedicated police force whose mission is to remove undocumented immigrants from the communities in which they're rooted."



Foer's new Atlantic cover story, "How Trump Radicalized ICE," reveals that immigration enforcement has been handed over to a small group of militant, anti-immigration hawks, who cultivate fear to accomplish their goal of driving out undocumented immigrants.

In the past, Foer says, ICE was forbidden from operating in places like schools, churches and hospitals, which are known as "sensitive locations." Now, he says, "there's growing anecdotal evidence that ICE hasn't overturned the policy of sensitive locations, but they've given themselves ever greater latitude to operate in those places where they'd once been forbidden."


Interview Highlights

On the Trump administration's tactic of cultivating fear among undocumented immigrants 

The Trump administration knows that it can't round up 11 million undocumented immigrants, even with our profound investments in immigration enforcement over the decades, there's still not the bandwidth or the infrastructure to do that. So if you're trying to seriously and quickly diminish the number of immigrants in this country you have one very, very powerful tool at your disposal — which is that you have the power of the state to cultivate fear. And so Trump himself has propagated the sense of fear with his rhetoric. The executive orders that have been proposed — and in some cases rescinded because they were so overly broad — had the effect of succeeding even when they were failing, because the theatrics of those policies helped cultivate a sense of fear.

On how ICE's reach into "sensitive locations," such as hospital emergency rooms, has affected undocumented immigrants

In places like Los Angeles and Houston and other jurisdictions there's now a lot of empirical evidence that undocumented women are afraid to call in cases of domestic abuse because when they call in those cases they're afraid that their partners are going to get picked up and deported, and they're afraid that they themselves may end up on the radar of ICE by calling in a report of abuse. So asking the police for protection could perversely result in the destruction of their lives.

On the belief that immigrants would self-deport if life became uncomfortable enough

[Kansas Secretary of State Kris] Kobach had a theory that also goes by a more clinical name "attrition through enforcement," and the idea was that you could make life profoundly uncomfortable for immigrants. You could deprive them of benefits. You could increase a sense of fear. You can make it harder for them to get jobs — and all this pressure would add up.

And at a certain point, [Kobach] argued that immigrants are rational, that their decision to come to this country and stay in this country is premised on an understanding of their own self-interest, and if the state was able to apply its powers properly, then it could induce a state of panic and terror that would cause immigrants to pack up their bags and leave on their own accord.

On Attorney General Jeff Sessions' role in immigration policy

One thing that I was told constantly is that Jeff Sessions is the de facto secretary of homeland security — that he's the person in the administration who just lives, breathes immigration policy. It's the thing that he cares about most in the world. It's really the reason that he's suffered some of the indignities that he suffered at the hands of his own boss, who seems to imply that he wants him to resign constantly, and for Sessions it's worth soldiering on, because he's implementing massive policy changes in the demand that matters to him most. ...

Sessions comes from small town Alabama and he shares with Trump this hostility to free trade, to globalization, and I think his views on immigration are of a piece with that. I also think that he has a cultural and racial hostility to immigration and the transformation of America — a fear of what multiculturalism will do to the country.

On how both parties have increased expenditures to immigration enforcement

Since the 1990s, you've had both political parties racing to prove their bonafides on immigration enforcement. From Bill Clinton to Barack Obama, Democrats have willingly participated in the process of legislating ever greater expenditures to ICE and the Department of Homeland Security, and the system has just started to bloat and grow.

By the time Barack Obama started his second term we were spending more money on immigration enforcement — on ICE and border patrol — than on the DEA, FBI, ATF, U.S. Marshals Service combined. We were spending $18 billion on immigration enforcement, as opposed to the $14 billion that we were spending on all those other criminal law enforcement agencies. Half of all federal prosecutions were for immigration-related crimes. So everybody, every political party, nearly every politician on Capitol Hill, also played their part in creating this system.

Amy Salit and Mooj Zadie produced and edited the audio of this interview. Bridget Bentz and Molly Seavy-Nesper adapted it for the Web. https://www.npr.org/2018/08/09/636961877/journalist-fear-is-a-very-...


BACK TO THE POLLS

The eight African elections to watch out for in 2018

By Abdi Latif DahirJanuary 2, 2018

For many African countries, 2017 was the beginning of a new era. Long-term rulers departed in Zimbabwe, Angola, and the Gambia; internal dissent, economic challenges, and increasing unemployment rates pressured many countries including Ethiopia and Nigeria; and a divided ruling party in South Africa showed an electorate disenchanted with liberation movements.

Some of these internal and external pressures will feature in elections across the continent in 2018. More than 20 nations will hold presidential, legislative and municipals elections this year, with the expectation that some of the results might herald a political sea change for party juggernauts. Presidential campaigns in both South Africa and Nigeria will also heat up ahead of the 2019 polls, with African National Congress leader Cyril Ramaphosa and president Muhammadu Buhari both hoping to win, respectively.

As millions of African voters head to the polls in the next 12 months, here are the elections to watch for, in chronological order:

1. Egypt

When: Between February—May 2018

Even though he is yet to declare his candidacy, president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is still the man to beat in Egypt’s upcoming presidential election. While former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq and prominent human rights lawyer Khaled Ali have declared their intentions to run, many candidates will face obstacles getting on the ballot, let alone win. There have also been reports that Anwar Sadat, nephew, and namesake of Egypt’s former assassinated president, was considering a run for the top job.

1. Egypt

When: Between February—May 2018

Even though he is yet to declare his candidacy, president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is still the man to beat in Egypt’s upcoming presidential election. While former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq and prominent human rights lawyer Khaled Ali have declared their intentions to run, many candidates will face obstacles getting on the ballot, let alone win. There have also been reports that Anwar Sadat, nephew, and namesake of Egypt’s former assassinated president, was considering a run for the top job.




The polls come as Egypt grapples with a sharp economic downturn and a surge in deadly terrorist attacks that continue to put a dent in its image as a favorite tourist destination. Sisi’s government continues to crack down on activists, and has blocked hundreds of websites as part of what it says is curbing websites that are “publishing false information” and “supporting terrorism.” Sisi, 63, will also have to shake off the controversy surrounding two uninhabited islands in the Red Sea, which sparked protests in 2017 and saw him being accused of selling the islands in exchange for Saudi largesse.

The polls come as Egypt grapples with a sharp economic downturn and a surge in deadly terrorist attacks that continue to put a dent in its image as a favorite tourist destination. Sisi’s government continues to crack down on activists, and has blocked hundreds of websites as part of what it says is curbing websites that are “publishing false information” and “supporting terrorism.” Sisi, 63, will also have to shake off the controversy surrounding two uninhabited islands in the Red Sea, which sparked protests in 2017 and saw him being accused of selling the islands in exchange for Saudi largesse.

2. Sierra Leone

When: March 7, 2018

This West African nation will hold general elections in early March, with more than a dozen parties fielding candidates in presidential, parliamentary, mayoral and municipal elections. The ruling All People’s Congress has appointed foreign affairs minister Samura Kamara as the successor to president Ernest Bai Koroma, who will step down after a decade in power. Opposition candidate Julius Maada Bio, who ran against Koroma in 2012 on a Sierra Leone People’s Party ticket, is expected to run in the upcoming elections.

The 2018 elections come at a crucial moment as Sierra Leone recovers from the devastating impact of Ebola and a tragic mudslide that killed hundreds of people and displaced more last year.

3. South Sudan

When: July 2018

The world’s newest nation is expected to hold general elections amid a brutal civil war that has displaced millions of people both inside and out of the country. The infighting between rival government and rebel forces has torn apart the nation, devastating the economy, affecting humanitarian operations, and foreign investment—all while the leaders of the two opposing sides amassed millions of dollars in illegal wealth.

As the government’s term comes to an end in February, president Salva Kiir wants to hold elections. This is proving to be impossible, given that the government lacks the necessary funds and the security to register voters and conduct elections. Former vice president Riek Machar is also in exile in South Africa, with some reports noting that he is in a “house arrest” in a farmhouse outside of Johannesburg. Amidst all this, the government’s resolve to hold the vote is also worrying the United Nations, which has said that the polls risk “deepening and extending” the conflict.

4. Mali

When: April to Nov. 2018

Landlocked Mali will hold regional, presidential and national elections in various stages, beginning in April and ending in November. Elections were set to begin in mid-December but were delayed over security concerns, and whether the opposition and rebel groups party to the 2015 Algiers Accord to bring stability to the nation’s vast northern desert would take part in the process. The region was overtaken by Islamist militants in 2012, and though they were ousted by a French-led multinational force, the groups have staged deadly attacks on civilian and military establishments.

In late Dec. 2017, prime minister Abdoulaye Idrissa Maiga resigned along with his government, dealing a devastating a blow to president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, 72, who is seeking re-election. Last September, Kalifa Sanogo, the mayor of Mali’s second city Sikasso, also declared himself a candidate for the 2018 presidential polls. The move complicates the situation given that his party, the Alliance for Democracy in Mali (Adema), supports Keita’s Rally For Mali (RPM) in parliament and was not expected to field a separate presidential candidate.

5. Zimbabwe

When: July – August 2018

With Robert Mugabe out of way, president Emmerson Mnangagwa is expected to lead his ZANU-PF party into the presidential polls between July and August. Mnangagwa, 75, has already said the election will be “credible, free, fair and transparent” and should help define a new trajectory for the cash-strapped and impoverished nation. Both Mnangagwa and the ruling party will face questions about how to revive the economy, deal with the scarcity of fuel and foodstuffs, currency instability, and ballooning unemployment rates.

The United Kingdom has also said that “democratic progress” was the key to helping Zimbabwe clear its arrears with the World Bank and African Development Bank, and stabilize its currency.

6. Cameroon

When: Oct. 2018

With 36 years in power, president Paul Biya is one of the longest-serving African leaders still in power. At 84, Biya is expected to run again in the country’s general elections in October. Celebrated lawyer Akere Muna has also declared his candidature and has urged the opposition to unite in order to remove Biya from office.

The polls in the Central African nation come after more than a year-long crisis in its Anglophone regions, leading to violent crackdowns and anti-government protests. The simmering tensions also led the government to shut down the internet in the two Northwest and Southwest regions, where residents have complained of political and economic discrimination for decades. Activists have also called for the two regions to secede from the majority French-speaking nation and to create an independent homeland called Ambazonia.

7. The Democratic Republic of Congo

When: Dec. 23, 2018

More than two years behind schedule, the elections in the mineral-rich DR Congo will be finally be held in late December. Yet the big question looming over the poll is whether president Joseph Kabila, who has ruled the country since 2001, and who has repeatedly pushed the date of the polls, will agree to step down. In late December, the country was again rocked by anti-government demonstrations, which led to the death of at least seven people and the arrest of 120 others.

The government also resorted to an old tactic: cutting off the internet and SMS communication.

8. Libya

When: TBD 2018

With no exact date in place, Libya’s UN-backed government says it’s pushing ahead with preparations for presidential and legislative elections to take place in 2018. According to the electoral commission, around one million voters have registered for the upcoming polls, which includes a vote on a new draft constitution.

Among the people mulling a run for president: Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of the former Libyan dictator, Muammar Gaddafi. After years in captivity in the town of Zintan, Saif, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity, hopes to run and unify the various factions controlling the North African nation. Since his father’s fall, Libya has struggled to make a democratic transition, with political divisions and unrest bedeviling the country. The war-torn nation has also struggled with curbing illegal immigration, with African migrants even being sold as slaves in open markets.

https://qz.com/africa/1169321/eight-african-2018-elections-to-watch...

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Comment by mary gravitt on August 9, 2018 at 12:56pm

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