What do immigrants do for America? They’re one-fourth of our healthcare workers, for starters

Fueled by white nationalist arguments and a need to placate a racist base, Donald Trump and his team have repeatedly pushed for sharp new restrictions on legal immigration to this country.

Add America's already-strained healthcare systems to the list of potential crises-in-waiting if Trump's advisers get their way. Because immigrants make up a very significant portion of our healthcare workers.

The study finds more than one-fourth of direct care workers and 30.3 percent of nursing home housekeeping and maintenance workers are immigrants, underscoring their key role as the U.S. population ages. They make up 18.2 percent of the total health-care workforce at more than 3 million people.

What's the plan to replace those workers? There isn't one. It'll just (waving hands) be fine, somehow. Luckily it's not bloody likely Trump will get his way on harsh limits to legal immigration; when Republicans held the House and Senate both, they conspicuously ignored the White House's most radical demands. But that doesn't mean he won't ramp up those demands as the next election nears. Republican tax cuts landed with a thud and his promises to revitalize various industries have proved vacuous, so racism and conspiracy-peddling are the only cards Trump can still play.

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ICE detention centers had ‘unusable toilets’ and rotting food, 2018 inspections found

Conditions in immigrant detention facilities are horrific and unacceptable, according to the findings in a report from the Department of Homeland Security inspector general based on surprise inspections carried out at four ICE facilities in 2018. The inspector general found unsanitary conditions in kitchens and bathrooms, among other problems, such as uniforms that don’t fit, at the four detention centers: Adelanto ICE Processing Center in California, LaSalle ICE Processing Center in Louisiana, Essex County Correctional Facility in New Jersey, and Aurora ICE Processing Center in Colorado.

The bathrooms at Adelanto and Essex were particularly problematic: The inspector general “observed detainee bathrooms that were in poor condition, including mold and peeling paint on walls, floors, and showers, and unusable toilets.” All four facilities had serious food service problems, but “At Essex, the food handling in general was so substandard that ICE and facility leadership had the kitchen manager replaced during our inspection” after finding raw chicken leaking blood into refrigerators, spoiled lunch meat, and moldy bread.

ICE detainees, according to the report, “are held in civil, not criminal, custody, which is not supposed to be punitive,” in marked contrast to the brutal conditions the inspections found. (And, psst, guys: Criminal detainees shouldn’t be fed rotten lunch meat either.)

Much more recently, inspectors found 900 detainees crammed into a Border Patrol facility meant for 125 in El Paso. It’s almost like the Trump administration isn’t trying to make things better, even as federal watchdogs call it out again and again.

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House Democrats finally passed the Dream and Promise Act. Twitter’s reactions will brighten your day

House Democrats have finally passed the latest rendition of the DREAM Act, along with seven Republicans. No Democrats voted against it! The DREAM And Promise Act of 2019 is a considerable feat: It would give millions of undocumented immigrants (and immigrants with temporary status) a pathway to citizenship. 

The House approved the immigration bill by a vote of 237 to 187. This is the first time there’s been a vote on this issue since 2010. The next step for the legislation is to face the Senate, which is under Republican control. That’s a potential barrier, for sure, but this is still worth celebrating. 

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Texas teacher in hot water over tweets to Trump she thought were private (they weren’t)

Trump’s base, also known as the Republican Party’s base, is filled with people terrified of nonwhite people. They are xenophobic, racist, and angry that they feel all of those things. Ultimately, the biggest problem with racism and bigotry and xenophobia is that, when people with these biases are put into positions of power, they are able to do extremely harmful things. The Washington Post has obtained a teacher incident review from the Fort Worth Independent School District. In it, the school acknowledges that veteran high school English teacher Georgia Clark composed a series of racist tweets to President Trump that she didn’t realize were public.

In the middle of May, Clark directly contacted her white supremacist president via Twitter to ask him to clean undocumented immigrants out of her school system.She said that the system was “loaded with” people she called “illegals,” and that “Texas will not protect whistle blowers. The Mexicans refuse to honor our flag.” She also provided her phone number. Clark reportedly did not realize that a) trying to talk directly to the president of the United States via Twitter with your phone number is sort of a bonkers thing for a person to do, and b) everybody could read how goddamn ignorant she is.

Clark was suspended two days before the end of classes, and has lawyered up, as the district board will be making a decision Tuesday on what the next steps will be for Clark. However, the Post reports that this isn’t the first time she has been mentioned in the same sentence with the term “racism.” Clark, a teacher since 1998, is reportedly already under investigation for asking a student to “show me your papers that are saying you are legal” when they attempted to use the bathroom.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has a more detailed accounting of Clark’s racism, including calling students “little Mexico” and being suspended a few times for bad behavior and language toward students. According to the Star-Telegram, it was suggested Clark be terminated after 2014 from her job as a reading teacher at Western Hills High School after a review of similar complaints of abusive language.

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Border Patrol official emails ‘Happy hunting … have fun’ searching Greyhound buses for immigrants

If passengers feel targeted by federal immigration officials while riding a Greyhound bus, it’s because they have been. NBC News reports that the American Civil Liberties Union obtained a November 2017 email from a Border Patrol official letting agents loose to search buses for immigrants, telling them, "Happy hunting, stay safe, and have fun!"

“Policies imposed during the Obama administration from 2010 to 2012 restricted when the checks could occur, requiring clear intelligence about smuggling or other criminal activity and approval from Border Patrol headquarters,” NBC News continues. “But when the Trump administration dropped the headquarters requirement, the news was met with enthusiasm from some agents.”

Border Patrol has always felt in the right to harass Greyhound passengers, citing an “obscure law” that they believe gives them the right to demand to see the papers of anyone within 100 miles of a border. Now, under Donald Trump, federal immigration agents have been fully unleashed—and they know it, because the agent writing the email called new changes “an excellent opportunity, the likes of which we have not seen in a decade.” 

So what kind of shenanigans have they been pulling since then? Oh, things like harassing a stand-up comic who was returning home to Oregon from a gig in Washington. Mohanad Elshieky said he “explained to them that I was granted asylum here in the United States,” showing the agents his Oregon driver’s license and work authorization card. “They told me that I was lying and these could pretty much be falsified.” The ordeal ended only after Elshieky threatened to call his lawyer on them.

The agency has been pulling this shit for years, stopping one Latino man waiting for a Greyhound bus in Indio, California, because his “shoes looked suspicious,” like they'd belong to a recent border-crosser, according to an ACLU attorney. ”What Greyhound and its passengers need to know is that there is no legal requirement for the company to let Border Patrol board its buses,” the ACLU stated.

”Both Greyhound and former DHS officials have criticized the practice, with the bus line expressing frustration about it to Congress,” NBC News reports. “But Border Patrol views its ability to board trains, buses and other transport dozens of miles from the border as crucial in its fight against smuggling and terrorism.” And against stand-up comics and people with worn shoes, apparently. 

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In loss for Trump administration, Supreme Court declines to fast-track DACA case

Donald Trump has lost an attempt to fast-track the deportation of Dreamers, following the Supreme Court declining the administration’s request from late last month “to consider by the end of the month whether to take up a case” around the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

“The order does not, however, prevent the possibility that the justices could announce by the end of the term that they will take up one of the pending cases for next term,” CNN reports. “Monday's order means it's unlikely, although still possible, that the court will take up the issue before all the lower courts have ruled.”

“Immigrant rights groups involved in the Maryland case urged the Supreme Court not to expedite the case,” NBC News reports, writing that "no court to consider the issue has held that DACA is unlawful.” It’s been lower courts that have forced the administration to reinstate the program, though only partially: first-time applicants are not allowed to enroll, nor are undocumented youth who are aging into eligibility. Immigrant rights advocates have continued to urge eligible DACA beneficiaries to renew their protections as soon as possible.

In asking the Supreme Court to fast-track their proceedings, the administration’s solicitor general laughably “suggested that efforts by Congress to address the situation of those covered under DACA were being stymied by the ongoing court cases.” Nope, it’s been congressional Republicans who are guilty of that, because it’s been under Democratic leadership that legislation that would permanently protect undocumented youth is finally going to the House floor this week.

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