Tag: immigration

If Only There Were Some Sort of Proxy for Value That We Could Offer Workers in Areas Where There Is a Shortage

There appears to be much hand wringing over how immigration restrictions have created a shortage of teachers.

The very serious people (VSP) have been waging a war on teachers wages, benefits, working conditions, and job security for the past 4 decades, and now they have a problem finding teachers.

It’s pretty simple thing, if you don’t have enough teacher, pay them better, treat them better, and reduce the administrative barriers to entering the field.

Importing teachers is not a response to a shortage, it’s an exercise in labor arbitrage.

A Feature, Not a Bug

It appears that Facebook (and as an aside, Google, Amazon, IBM, and the rest of them) have been using the various foreign worker programs to pay their employees less,which is in direct conflict with the black-letter law.

The Justice Department on Thursday sued Facebook over allegations that it discriminated against Americans in the way it hired temporary foreign workers for thousands of well-paid positions.

The lawsuit contends that Facebook failed to properly advertise at least 2,600 jobs — and consider applications from U.S. citizens — before it offered the spots to foreign workers whom the tech giant was sponsoring for green cards granting permanent residence.

Facebook’s practices violated federal laws that require employers to demonstrate that there are no qualified U.S. workers available before it offers positions to temporary foreign workers it is sponsoring, the Justice Department said. The government sought unspecified monetary damages and other penalties against the tech giant for the alleged violations, which occurred in 2018 and 2019.

“Our message to workers is clear: if companies deny employment opportunities by illegally preferring temporary visa holders, the Department of Justice will hold them accountable,” Eric S. Dreiband, assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division, said in a statement.

Facebook said it could not comment on the now-pending litigation, but spokesman Andy Stone said in a statement the company had been cooperating with the Justice Department fully on its probe and disputes the allegations in the complaint.


Facebook, in particular, long has sought to expand the ranks of high-skilled foreign laborers in the United States, including programs such as the H-1B visa, as they aim to recruit the critical talent necessary to power their highly technical operations. Trump, however, has sought to restrict such programs in recent months — announcing in October, for example, new limits on the visas that later drew broad corporate blowback.

In its complaint, the Justice Department said Facebook has eschewed its traditional hiring process in cases where it wanted to hire an employee on an H-1B visa for a permanent position. When a temporary visa holder sought such a job, Facebook “diverged from its normal recruiting protocols,” according to the government, opting in some cases against “advertising the position on its external website.”

If a U.S. worker applied for one of these jobs — and Facebook determined they were qualified — the company appeared to hire them in a different capacity, the lawsuit found. Federal law generally only allows a company to sponsor a temporary worker for a permanent position in cases where there is no qualified U.S. applicant.

This is not how the system is SUPPOSED to work, but it is how it ACTUALLY works.

Notwithstanding claims to the contrary, the H1B and L1A programs are used to hire cheap, not hiring people with skills unavailable elsewhere.

This has been an open secret since at least 1982, when I was told by someone at what is now the Massachusetts DUA not to even bother applying.

Screwing the Poor as He Leaves

Just days after losing the election, the Trump administration has come up with a new way to f%$# immigrants.

They froze the wages of H2A agricultural workers on November 5:

After the last polls closed, but before the final votes had been tallied, Donald Trump’s administration quietly issued a rule to help corporate interests deny pay hikes to frontline farmworkers who help maintain America’s food supply. The rule follows a Trump administration report forecasting a steep rise in agribusiness profits.

On Nov. 5, the Department of Labor (DOL) published a rule to freeze wages for farmworkers who are working under H-2A visas until 2023. The H-2A visa program allows foreign farmworkers to access temporary visas to work in the United States for approved employers.

The American Farm Bureau Federation, the agriculture industry’s major lobbying group, welcomed the new rule, saying it provides “stability during the uncertainty created by the pandemic and trade imbalances.”

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue praised the wage freezes in a press release: “This rule shows once again President Trump’s commitment to America’s farmers by delivering lower costs when they need it the most.” He added that, “Over the past several years farm wages have increased at a higher pace than other industries, which is why this DOL rule could not come at a better time.”

The move to slash workers’ wages follows Perdue’s department in September reporting that “net farm income, a broad measure of profits, is forecast to increase $19 billion (22.7 percent) from 2019 to $102.7 billion in 2020.”

Perdue is personally invested in agribusiness, and watchdog groups recently demanded the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspector general investigate whether Perdue violated the ethics agreement he signed when he joined the Trump administration.

For them, it’s a double win:  They get to hurt immigrants and the poors at the same time. 

I cannot wait for January 20.

Why People Call for Abolishing ICE

One reason is because the organization has treated its detainees negligently, and when deaths and injuries result, they cover it up.

To quote P.C. Hodgell, “That which can be destroyed by the truth, should be.”

Since January 2017, at least four dozen people have died while being held in detention by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Some were old, and some were young. Some had been in the US for years before being detained; others came here only recently, seeking refuge or better economic circumstances. Some were in terrible health upon arrival; others became ill while in custody.


In June 2019, BuzzFeed News filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking the release of emails, investigative reports, medical records, and other documents related to 25 deaths in custody that ICE had publicly disclosed since President Donald Trump took office.

When the agency did not promptly provide records, BuzzFeed News filed a successful lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security, ICE’s parent agency. To date, DHS has produced more than 5,000 pages of documents related to deaths in ICE custody. Collectively, they tell the story of how ICE has in some instances failed to provide adequate care to detainees, some of whom are locked up for months or years before their immigration cases are resolved.


ICE has publicly insisted that both the detention facilities it runs as well as those that are operated by private, for-profit corporations provide thorough and adequate medical care to all detainees. In response to a request for comment on this story, ICE said the agency takes the health and safety of detainees very seriously and while deaths are “unfortunate and always a cause for concern,” they are “exceedingly rare.”

But internal emails show that ICE’s own investigators raised serious concerns about the agency’s care of the people it detains, with one employee describing the treatment leading up to one death as “a bit scary.”

The documents show that:

  • In multiple instances, guards who were supposed to observe detainees placed in solitary confinement for extra monitoring falsified records to hide apparent dereliction of duty. In at least two cases — at Eloy Detention Center in Arizona and Adelanto Detention Facility in California — people died while they were not being watched but should have been. “During the 51-minute period, the officer documented three welfare checks, none of which were supported by video surveillance,” one internal death review states. The guard resigned two days later, documents show.


  • Medical staff at some detention facilities — including a psychiatrist at Krome North Processing Center in Miami and nurses at Glades County Detention Center, also in Florida — at times did not use an interpreter when treating a detainee with limited English proficiency. The detainee was asked to sign documents related to his care in a language that he may not have understood. He later died while still in ICE custody.
  • Investigators found other failures that point to serious lack of care even if they did not lead directly to death. One man whom doctors noted had no lower teeth and was missing several upper teeth during a physical, for example, was not given a special diet to make sure his nutritional intake was adequate. In another instance, surveillance footage showed a detainee falling out of his wheelchair and struggling to move, but nurses told a guard who expressed concern that the detainee was faking or exaggerating his symptoms. Later that day, the detainee died.


Although ICE has maintained that it takes the well-being of its detainees seriously and spends hundreds of millions of dollars on their medical needs, immigrant advocates have repeatedly questioned the quality of care in ICE custody, concerns that grew this year as detainees began contracting COVID-19. Despite a dramatic dip in the detention population in recent months due to the pandemic, 21 immigrants died in ICE custody in the most recent fiscal year ending Sept. 30, the highest number of such deaths under the agency’s watch in 15 years. Several of those who died tested positive for the coronavirus.

ICE revels in cruelty and and abuse of immigrants.

I’m not sure how you fix this without firing them all and replacing every single officer.

This is Actually a Good Idea

Which is the last thing that I would expect from Trump and Evil Minions, but the proposal to award H1B visas on the basis of highest salary first, instead of doing so through a lottery.

My idea was to go through a lottery process, but this is also an elegant solution to the problem, assuming that the Indian body shops don’t manage to incorporate kick-backs into their recruiting.

I still favor a bid process for H1B applications though:

The Trump administration has proposed changes to the H-1B visa that will see it abolish the current lottery process and instead prioritise highly paid workers.

“Modifying the H-1B cap selection process by replacing the random selection process with a wage-level-based selection process is a better way to allocate H-1Bs when demand exceeds supply,” says a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announcement of the proposed policy.

“If finalized as proposed, this new selection process would incentivize employers to offer higher wages or petition for positions requiring higher skills and higher-skilled workers instead of using the program to fill relatively lower-paid vacancies.”


“The H-1B program is often exploited and abused by U.S. employers, and their U.S. clients, primarily seeking to hire foreign workers and pay lower wages,” said Acting DHS Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli. “The current use of random selection to allocate H-1B visas …. fails to leverage the H-1B program to truly compete for the world’s best and brightest, and hurts American workers by bringing in relatively lower-paid foreign labor at the expense of the American workforce.”


The document also suggests that economic benefits could possibly include:

  • A better chance of attracting skilled and highly paid workers to apply for the H-1B, plus the prospect of higher wages for visa applicants because paying them more would rank them more highly as visa applicants;
  • Increased job opportunities for lower-skilled US workers who would otherwise have to compete with H-1B visa-holder;
  • Increased wages for H-1B recipients whose earnings fall into middling earning bands.

This appears to actually be an well thought out and thoughtful policy.

I credit a few million monkeys chained to typewriters.

The Hysterectomy Doc Story Gets Worse

It turns out that the butcher who was routinely sterilizing ICE detainees was not a board certified OB/Gyn.

My conclusion at this point is that either Dr. Mahendra Amin was getting all of the sterilization jobs because he was paying kickbacks, or someone at the facility wanted mass sterilizations at the facility, and he was a willing conspirator, or both:

The doctor at the center of a scandal over unwanted hysterectomies at an immigrant detention facility in Georgia is not a board certified OB-GYN, The Daily Beast has learned.

Dr. Mahendra Amin came under scrutiny after immigrant rights groups issued a report accusing him of conducting unnecessary or unwanted gynecological procedures on women detained at the Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Georgia.


ICE declined to comment on the record about Amin’s certification or policies concerning board-certified physicians. The agency has previously said it “vehemently disputes the implication that detainees are used for experimental medical procedures,” and cautioned that “anonymous, unproven allegations” should be treated with skepticism.

Reached by text message, Amin declined to comment on his board certification and deferred all questions to his lawyer, who did not respond to multiple requests for comment on the issue.

Amin has practiced in Douglas, Georgia for at least two decades, both in his own private practice and as the medical director for the labor and delivery department at Irwin County Hospital. Business records reviewed by The Daily Beast show he also incorporated a new “Amin Surgery Center for Women” in September 2019, and sought state approvals to build the facility two months afterward. Gayle Evans, a consultant for the project, said the surgical center is still under construction and has not started seeing patients.


Since then, lawyers representing 17 detainees have claimed their clients received unnecessary medical gynecological procedures from Amin, according to the office of Rep. Pramila Jayapal. The Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general has launched an investigation into the allegations, and the chair of the House Homeland Security Committee said his panel would also look into them.


Board certification is a voluntary process meant to enhance a specialist’s expertise beyond state licensure. (Georgia state law requires only one year of education after medical school to obtain a license.) Physicians seeking ABOG certification must pass a written and oral exam and demonstrate experience in treating women’s health care. They are also required to participate in a program to keep them abreast of the latest evidence-based treatments.


Court records show Amin has previously settled lawsuits with at least two patients or their family members outside the detention center. In one case, Amin was accused of discharging a pregnant patient despite “life threatening abnormal lab values.” According to the suit, the woman returned to the hospital 48 hours later with contractions, blurred vision, high blood pressure and vaginal bleeding. She received an emergency cesarean section and died shortly thereafter. In a court filing, Amin denied any negligence and any knowledge of the abnormal lab values.


Amin and eight other doctors at the Irwin County Hospital also agreed to pay $520,000 to the federal government in 2015, after the Department of Justice accused them of fraudulently billing Medicare and Medicaid for services they did not provide. The complaint named Amin as the owner of MGA Health Management, which was contracted to run the hospital, and also identified him as a part owner of the institution.


The complaint further identifies a kickback scheme whereby Amin and other physicians directed patients to ICH instead of other institutions. Because of Amin’s ownership stake in ICH, he allegedly profited off every such referral.


Shahshahani said her organization is still working on discerning the total number of women who received surgery against their will. While she described the attention given to the hysterectomies as “well-deserved,” she cautioned against putting all the blame on an individual doctor.

“At the end of the day, it was the doctor that was performing these procedures but the buck really stops with ICE,” she said. “The U.S. government had the responsibility for the welfare and protection of these women.”

So, we know that he’s corrupt, and we know that ICE is deeply and pervasively racist.

You do the math.

Godwin My Ass. This is Nazi Sh%$

My guess is that this is a combination of greed and bigotry. The doctor and his accomplice want to sterilize brown women, and that they are getting over-reimbursed for what can be a routing procedure, there have been news reports of for-profit hysterectomy mills since at least the 1970s.

Still, it looks like we have a bunch of Josef Mengele wannabees here.

This is beyond horrifying:

Several legal advocacy groups on Monday filed a whistleblower complaint on behalf of a nurse at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center documenting “jarring medical neglect” within the facility, including a refusal to test detainees for the novel coronavirus and an exorbitant rate of hysterectomies being performed on immigrant women.

The nurse, Dawn Wooten, was employed at the Irwin County Detention Center (ICDC) in Georgia, which is operated by LaSalle Corrections, a private prison company. The complaint was filed with the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by advocacy groups Project South, Georgia Detention Watch, Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, and South Georgia Immigrant Support Network.

Multiple women came forward to tell Project South about what they perceived to be the inordinate rate at which women in ICDC were subjected to hysterectomies – a surgical operation in which all or part of the uterus is removed. Additionally, many of the immigrant women who underwent the procedure were reportedly “confused” when asked to explain why they had the surgery, with one detainee likening their treatment to prisoners in concentration camps.

Yes, this sounds a lot like Nazi eugenics programs.

“When I met all these women who had had surgeries, I thought this was like an experimental concentration camp. It was like they’re experimenting with our bodies,” the detainee said.

According to Wooten, ICDC consistently used a particular gynecologist – outside the facility – who almost always opted to remove all or part of the uterus of his female detainee patients.

“Everybody he sees has a hysterectomy—just about everybody,” Wooten said, adding that, “everybody’s uterus cannot be that bad.”

“We’ve questioned among ourselves like goodness he’s taking everybody’s stuff out…That’s his specialty, he’s the uterus collector. I know that’s ugly…is he collecting these things or something…Everybody he sees, he’s taking all their uteruses out or he’s taken their tubes out. What in the world.”

(emphasis mine)

It’s clear that someone wanted to sterilize people because of the color of their skin.

The term for this is, “Good German”

Wooten – who is being represented in the matter by the Government Accountability Project – also confirmed that many of the detained women told her that they didn’t understand why they were being forced to have the procedure. She explained that some of the nurses who didn’t speak Spanish obtained consent from detainees “by simply googling Spanish.”

The complaint details several accounts from detainees, including one woman who was not properly anesthetized during the procedure and heard the aforementioned doctor tell the nurse he had mistakenly removed the wrong ovary, resulting in her losing all reproductive ability. Another said she was scheduled for the procedure but when she questioned why it was necessary, she was given at least three completely different answers.

The private prison company has denied any wrongdoing.

Mandy Rice-Davies applies.*

*Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he?  Seriously, know your history.

Did This Joke Did Not Age Well?

Folks, this really happened. pic.twitter.com/EviEJCGvs7

— John Whitehouse (@existentialfish) August 21, 2020


So, a few months back, Steve Bannon joked about how he and his literal partner in crime at the “Build the Wall” crowd-funding campaign were taking all of the money and living large on a yacht in the Mediterranean:

Welcome back and this is Stephen K. Bannon. We’re off the coast of Saint-Tropez in southern France, in the Mediterranean. We’re on the million-dollar yacht of Brian Kolfage. Brian Kolfage — who took all that money from Build The Wall.

No, we’re actually in Sunland Park, New Mexico.

Now that Bannon and Kolfage have been arrested on fraud charges related to the effort, Bannon while he was LITERALLY onboard a plush mega-yacht, I’m thinking that this joke has not aged well.

Charlie, my son, and sometime standup comic, disagrees.  He thinks that this joke has aged like fine wine.

Maybe he and I should split the difference, and say that it aged like fine wHine.

Former Senior Trump Adviser Steve Bannon Charged With Alleged Fundraising Scheme

Kris Kobach is the general counsel of the Build the Wall PAC that Steve Bannon was just arrested for being involved in as chairman. The advisory board includes Erik Prince, former CO congressman Tom Tancredo, Sheriff Dave Clarke and former pitcher Curt Schilling.

— Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) August 20, 2020

This is the Trifecta of Wingnut Scams

If you read Breitbart at all, or watch Fox News at all, or listen to Rush Limbaugh at all, it quickly becomes clear that a lot of the advertisers for these media outlets are out-right scams.

You see dodgy gold offers, income at home bunco, weight loss supplements, MLM programs, Green Card rackets, etc.

So it comes as no surprise that the private foundation raising money to build a southern border wall has turned out to be a scam, and its principals, including Steve Bannon.

I am not surprised that this was basically a scam, and the organizers were living the high life off the proceeds, but I am a bit surprised about the arrest.

I am surprised that there was an arrest though, and it has to be a let down to Bannon that the arresting officers did not come from the FBI, nor the US Marshalls, but the United States Post Office!

This sh%$ is going tinfoil hat quickly.

Former senior Trump adviser Steve Bannon was arrested and charged with fraud Thursday in connection with an alleged scheme to siphon hundreds of thousands of dollars from a crowdfunding campaign backing one of the president’s signature promises: building a wall along the southern U.S. border.

The We Build the Wall campaign raised more than $25 million, according to prosecutors from the Southern District of New York, which brought the case. The group, which isn’t connected to President Trump but was promoted by several people close to him, has spent less than half its funds on two short stretches of wall in New Mexico and Texas.

“As alleged, the defendants defrauded hundreds of thousands of donors, capitalizing on their interest in funding a border wall to raise millions of dollars, under the false pretense that all of that money would be spent on construction,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss.

Ms. Strauss assumed leadership of the nation’s most prominent federal prosecutor’s office after Mr. Trump ousted former U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman at the request of Attorney General William Barr in June. A law-enforcement official said Mr. Barr was briefed on the case before Thursday’s arrests but declined to elaborate.

My reaction to all this, “I’ll have what she’s having.” (Twice in a month, that’s a lot of schadenfreude)

Here is hoping that Bannon does not succumb to the delirium tremens before we have the spectacle of him breaking down in court.

Doing the Right Thing for the Basest of Reason

This is driven by bigotry and politics, with Covid-19 being used as a pretext, but it is the right thing to do.

The visas in question, H-1B, L-1A, etc. are intended to bring in people who with skills that are unavailable in the United States.

In reality, it’s primarily about getting cheap foreign workers into the country, with foreign body shops like Infosys and Tata being the largest users of the program.

The tech companies are screaming that the sky is falling, but they will be able to get what they need, they will just need to pay a few bucks more an hour:

President Trump issued a proclamation Monday barring many categories of foreign workers and curbing immigration visas through the end of the year, moves the White House said will protect U.S. workers reeling from job losses amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The ban expands earlier restrictions, adding work visas that many companies use, especially in the technology sector, landscaping services and the forestry industry. It excludes agricultural laborers, health-care professionals supporting the pandemic response and food-service employees, along with some other temporary workers.

The restrictions will prevent foreign workers from filling 525,000 jobs, according to the administration’s estimates. The measures will apply only to applicants seeking to come to the United States, not workers who already are on U.S. soil.

“American workers compete against foreign nationals for jobs in every sector of our economy, including against millions of aliens who enter the United States to perform temporary work,” the proclamation states. “Under ordinary circumstances, properly administered temporary worker programs can provide benefits to the economy. But under the extraordinary circumstances of the economic contraction resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, certain nonimmigrant visa programs authorizing such employment pose an unusual threat to the employment of American workers.”

In fact, these problems have always posed a threat to American workers and American workers’ wages.

The real goal of these programs has been to supply cheap tech labor since before I graduated from college. (I literally had someone in an unemployment office in 1982 tell me not to bother, because H-1B job postings were not a real job opening.)

I expect this to be reversed shortly after the election, but this moratorium will provide an opportunity to show that there is no real STEM shortage, and this is a good thing.

Supreme Court Calls Trump Administration a Blithering Idiot

The Supreme Court has ruled against the Trump administration’s attempt to repeal DACA.

The ruling was not on constitutional grounds, it was essentially a statement that the way that they had repealed DACA was so incompetently done as to be invalid.

Oh, Lord, thank you for making the evil so inept:

It has been eight years since the Obama administration created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, which allows undocumented young adults who came to the United States as children to apply for protection from deportation. In 2017, the Trump administration announced that it would end the program, which it believed had been illegal in the first place. Today, by a vote of 5-4, the Supreme Court ruled that the administration acted improperly in terminating the program, and it sent the case back for the Department of Homeland Security to take another look. The ruling means that the DACA program will remain in place, at least for the foreseeable future.


The battle over DACA came to the Supreme Court in November 2018, when the Trump administration asked the justices to take up three different challenges, filed in California, the District of Columbia and New York, to the decision to end DACA. The challengers – which include states, cities, universities, DACA recipients, civil rights groups and even Microsoft – argued that the decision to rescind DACA violated the rights of DACA recipients and the Administrative Procedure Act, the federal law governing administrative agencies. In all three cases, the lower courts ruled for the challengers and ordered the government to keep DACA in place. At the end of June 2019, the Supreme Court announced that it would review the three cases.


Roberts then turned to the central question in the case: whether the Trump administration followed proper procedures in terminating DACA. Under the APA, Roberts stressed, courts should not substitute their own judgment for that of the agency. Instead, he explained, their job is to determine whether an agency made its decision “based on a consideration of the relevant factors and whether there has been a clear error of judgment.” In the majority’s view, the Trump administration had failed to meet even this relatively low bar.

“Even this relatively low bar.” 


This Won’t Hurt a Bit, I’ll Respect You in the Morning, the Check Is in the Mail

And here is the latest big lie, Indian outsourcing firm Infosys is denying that if favors cheap South Asian labor over workers available in America.

There business model is the abuse of the H1B visa program to provide cheap consultants to their US clients, and they go through contortions NOT to find qualified US workers, because they would have to pay them the prevailing wage:

Infosys has rejected the premise of a lawsuit brought by Davina Linguist, the former head of its diversity program recruiting manager program, who alleges the company prefers to hire South Asians and conducted visa fraud to replace US workers.

Filed in the East Texas District Court last week, case 4:20-CV-465, Divina Linguist vs. Infosys Limited, opens with the accusation that Infosys’ staff is 90 percent Indian as a result of a “pattern and practice of discrimination against individuals who are not Indian in the hiring, promotion, compensation, and termination.”

“Infosys managers have obstructed her efforts to increase the non-South Asian diversity of Infosys’ workforce,” the complaint alleges, adding that “Infosys retaliated against Ms. Linguist, stripping her of her title as the head of diversity recruiting (and replacing her with an individual with no relevant experience) and demoting her, among other improper conduct.”

The filing also alleges that “Infosys has gone to great lengths to obtain its primarily South Asian work force in the United States, including by engaging in visa fraud to bring South Asians (primarily Indians) into this country to replace or supplant non-South Asians and non-Indians.” The filing also mentions “bulk rejection of about 12,000 U.S. applicants for positions in favor of South Asian visa holding applicants”.

Infosys denies the allegations.

Needless to say, Mandy Rice-Davies applies.  (“Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?“)

Fox Privilege

This is Shallow Beyond Belief

The folks at Fox News are in a tizzy over Donald Trump’s proposal to suspend green cards, because they will not be able to find immigrants to exploit as their au pairs, and that would an unimaginable horror.

For people who are making something north of ½ million a year, perhaps paying a fair wage for child care is not an unreasonable sacrifice:

Last night, Trump sounded like he thought he had finally found an answer to dealing with the coronavirus. No, not better testing or more PPE but an immigration ban. He tweeted, “In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!”

This morning, cohost Ainsley Earhardt briefly acknowledged that farmers rely on immigrants. Then she launched what looked like a direct plea to Trump, who never seems to let the pandemic interfere with his TV watching:

EARHARDT: Many families here, including mine, we have au pairs, and we rely on them. I go to work at three o’clock in the morning, so I need her there and I need her in my house so that she can help me with my daughter. So, many families rely on child care from other countries. These au pairs come here on work visas, they have to go back to their country to get the visas renewed, and we’ve been talking in my house about how that’s going to happen. So, these are all things, these are questions that we have that, hopefully the president will roll out a plan and we’ll all be informed on how this is going to affect all of our lives.


Apparently, when it comes to their own and their pals’ homes, these Trumpers don’t care so much about America first.

The selfishness and hypocrisy is stunning.

Oh, Snap!

A federal judge has ruled that Ken Cuccinelli was unlawfully appointed to head the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and so all of the rulings that he has made are invalid:

A federal judge ruled on Sunday that Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II was unlawfully appointed to lead United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and that two policies he put in place that limited asylum seekers’ access to counsel should be nullified.

The judge, Randolph D. Moss of United States District Court in Washington, said the Trump administration violated a federal law that stipulates who can fill vacant leadership positions at federal agencies when Mr. Cuccinelli was tapped in June to be the acting director of the agency that oversees legal immigration.


The statute related to Mr. Cuccinelli’s appointment is the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, which says an official temporarily filling a cabinet-level position before Senate confirmation must be next in the line of succession by serving as the “first assistant” or must have worked as a senior official in the agency for at least 90 days. Mr. Cuccinelli, the former Virginia attorney general who aggressively defended Mr. Trump’s immigration agenda on television in the months before his appointment, did not meet either of those requirements, according to the ruling.


But Nitin Shah, senior counsel at Democracy Forward, one of the plaintiffs in the case, said lawyers would examine how other policies could be affected.

“It raises serious questions about the legality of a number of policies that Cuccinelli has enacted and may yet enact, and we and others will be taking a closer look at that in the coming days,” Mr. Shah said. He called the voiding of the asylum directives “a big blow for the Trump administration’s racist agenda.”

The only saving grace of the Trump administration is that they are incompetent.

Gee, You Think?

I will note that stating the blatantly obvious is probably as good as a Washington Post will get so long as Fred Hiatt is running the show on that department, but when an Op/Ed is titled, “The Tacit Alliance of Militia Members and Border Patrol Agents Is Getting out of Control,” you are pretty firmly into, “Well, Duh!” territory, particularly when you scrupulously ignore that the behavior of Customs and Border Patrol is the product of s deeply racist and abusive culture:

The leader of the militia group United Constitutional Patriots was arrested April 20 by the FBI on a federal weapons charge. As The Post reported, “The United Constitutional Patriots came to public attention this month after the emergence of videos that showed men stopping and detaining people crossing the border.” The videos included two that, CNN reported, appeared to feature a UCP member impersonating a Border Patrol agent. Another video showed armed men in military-style uniforms detaining dozens of migrants. “Customs and Border Protection agents arrive and collect migrants but do not ask the group with guns to disperse or take their weapons elsewhere,” The Post reported.

Vigilantism is always a threat to democracy, but the militia videos are especially troubling because of the appearance that civilians were masquerading as law enforcement officials — in at least one, according to The Post, members could be heard shouting “Policia, alto!” or “Police, stop!” — and because federal agents encountered the vigilantes without confronting them.

The null hypothesis is that CBP is actively partnering with civilian racist thugs because  ……… wait for it ……… CBP is run by and for racist thugs.

Maybe mentioning that the CBP is a corrupt and bigoted organization would help create a greater understanding the whole situation.

McKinsey is Really a Plague on the World

Between justifying layoffs, financializing businesses out of relevance, laundering money for corrupt politicians, and generally justifying unlimited stupidity and cruelty, the consultants at McKinsey & Company have been making the world a much worse place since 1926.

But they’ve outdone themselves this time.

They are consulting with the Trump administration about detaining and deporting illegal immigrants, and they are (not joking) suggesting that detainees be starved and provided inadequate medical care:

Just days after he took office in 2017, President Donald Trump set out to make good on his campaign pledge to halt illegal immigration. In a pair of executive orders, he ordered “all legally available resources” to be shifted to border detention facilities and called for hiring 10,000 new immigration officers.

The logistical challenges were daunting, but as luck would have it, Immigration and Customs Enforcement already had a partner on its payroll: McKinsey & Company, an international consulting firm brought on under the Obama administration to help engineer an “organizational transformation” in the ICE division charged with deporting migrants who are in the United States unlawfully.

The Obama administration brought in McKinsey.  There is a whole bunch of stupidity and evil in that sentence.

ICE quickly redirected McKinsey toward helping the agency figure out how to execute the White House’s clampdown on illegal immigration. But the money-saving recommendations the consultants came up with made some career ICE staff uncomfortable. They proposed cuts in spending on food for migrants, as well as on medical care and supervision of detainees, according to interviews with people who worked on the project for both ICE and McKinsey and 1,500 pages of documents obtained from the agency after ProPublica filed a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act.

McKinsey’s team also looked for ways to accelerate the deportation process, provoking worries among some ICE staff members that the recommendations risked short-circuiting due process protections for migrants fighting removal from the United States. The consultants, three people who worked on the project said, seemed focused solely on cutting costs and speeding up deportations — activities whose success could be measured in numbers — with little acknowledgment that these policies affected thousands of human beings.

In what one former official described as “heated meetings” with McKinsey consultants, agency staff members questioned whether saving pennies on food and medical care for detainees justified the potential human cost.

But the consulting firm’s sway at ICE grew to the point that McKinsey’s staff even ghostwrote a government contracting document that defined the consulting team’s own responsibilities and justified the firm’s retention, a contract extension worth $2.2 million. “Can they do that?” an ICE official wrote to a contracting officer in May 2017.


McKinsey has faced mounting scrutiny over the past two years, as reports by The New York Times, ProPublica and others have raised questions about whether the firm has crossed ethical and legal lines in pursuit of profit. The consultancy returned millions of dollars in fees after South African authorities implicated it in a profiteering scheme. The exposure of its history advising opioid makers on ways to bolster sales induced the usually secretive firm to declare publicly that its opioid work had ended. Last month, the Times reported that McKinsey’s bankruptcy practice is the subject of a federal criminal investigation. The firm has denied wrongdoing in each case, but it apologized for missteps in South Africa.


The consulting team became so driven to save money, people involved in the project said, that consultants sometimes ignored — and even complained to agency managers about — ICE staffers who objected that McKinsey’s cost-cutting proposals risked jeopardizing the health and safety of migrants.


McKinsey also looked to cut costs by lowering standards at ICE detention facilities, according to an internal ICE email and two former agency officials. McKinsey, an ICE supervisor wrote in an email dated March 30, 2017, was “looking for ways to cut or reduce standards because they are too costly,” albeit, the supervisor added, “without sacrificing quality, safety and mission.”


But the McKinsey recommendations remain on the books at ICE. The consultants analyzed how the agency could save money at detention centers beyond those where they helped renegotiate contracts — including several near the border, like ICE’s largest family detention facility, in Dilley, Texas — and Cox said these analyses remain reference points for future efforts to curb spending. A report issued this summer by the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general raised concerns about food quality and upkeep at several ICE facilities, both categories on which McKinsey recommended ICE spend less.

One of the more prominent ex-employees of McKinsey & Company these days, is Pete Buttigieg, and he has refused to talk about what he did when working for them, claiming tht he is constrained by a non-disclosure agreement.

Yeah, right.

Live in Obedient Fear, Citizen

The Owellian named Department of Homeland Security is looking to change regulations to require facial scans of US citizens at the border:

Homeland Security wants to expand facial recognition checks for travelers arriving to and departing from the U.S. to also include citizens, which had previously been exempt from the mandatory checks.

In a filing, the department has proposed that all travelers, and not just foreign nationals or visitors, will have to complete a facial recognition check before they are allowed to enter the U.S., but also to leave the country.


But although there may not always be a clear way to opt-out of facial recognition at the airport, U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents — also known as green card holders — have been exempt from these checks, the existing rules say.

Now, the proposed rule change to include citizens has drawn ire from one of the largest civil liberties groups in the country.

“Time and again, the government told the public and members of Congress that U.S. citizens would not be required to submit to this intrusive surveillance technology as a condition of traveling,” said Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union .


Citing a data breach of close to 100,000 license plate and traveler images in June, as well as concerns about a lack of sufficient safeguards to protect the data, Stanley said the government “cannot be trusted” with this technology and that lawmakers should intervene.

Our surveillance state is out of control.

Still Cheaper than the F-35 Mistake Jet

The Snake-And-Alligator Border Moat: A Budget Analysis

Defense One

Someone ran the numbers of Trump’s suggested border moat with various reptiles, and came up with, “$2.5 billion in set-up costs, plus annual operating costs of $1.8 billion.”

By comparison, the F-35 is expected to cost US$1.508 trillion through 2070, 64 years, or about $23½ billion a year.

Personally, I want Sharks with frikken lasers, or at least some ill-tempered mutated sea bass.