With full attention to the whistleblower who sparked the impeachment inquiry and the unnamed “senior Trump administration official” whose the book was published this montha story about another insider criticizing the Trump administration was almost entirely ignored.
This one is a damning moral and legal indictment of Trump’s “stay in Mexico” policy by an asylum worker and lawyer who refused to implement the Migrant protection protocols– an Orwellian-sounding process by which the administration sends those seeking asylum on the southern border to ramshackle and dangerous camps in Mexico to await their hearings. The email they sent to USCIS management was obtained by Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley, and published by The Washington Post this week.
“The MPP is illegal,” the officer wrote. “The program exists without legal authority under the [Immigration and Nationality Act]breaches normal rule-making procedures under the [Administrative Procedure Act], and violates international law. The execution of the program undermines the fair application of our laws and goes directly against the values of [the Refugee, Asylum, and International Operations Directorate]. I respectfully decline any further participation in the program. You couldn’t get much more signal than that.
The letter continued, “The MPP is clearly designed to advance this administration’s racist agenda of keeping Hispanic and Latino populations out of the United States. This is evident in the arbitrary nature of the ordinance, in that it only applies to the southern border. This racist agenda was firmly exposed this week: The Associated Press reported that nearly 70,000 migrant children have been held in detention centers this year, an all-time high.
Not only that, but after introducing new fees for asylum claims last week, the administration announced on Monday that it is also proposing rule changes that make asylum seekers wait a year to get a work permit and to refuse them outright to anyone who crosses the border illegally. It would also deny work permits to applicants who missed asylum-related meetings or hearings, even if it was due to a clerical error.
Eleanor Acer, Senior Director for Refugee Protection at Human Rights First, released a statement accusing the administration of aiming “to inflict suffering on people seeking refugee protection in the United States – in this case, apparently to leave them hungry and homeless”.
Meanwhile, the rollback of vital environmental protections continues apace. The latest affront: the EPA rejected a demand from Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility to phase out the use of hydrofluoric acid in oil refineries over the next two years, despite documented evidence that even minute traces of the substance in the air can sicken or even kill workers and residents of nearby communities. Although PEER presented numerous examples of hazardous acid exposure, the industry-friendly EPA decided the petition had a “lack of sufficient facts.”
And the noise? Surely this week’s top contender must be Devin Nunes and Jim Jordan dog whistling during the public hearings for the opening of the impeachment inquiry. But Trump only asksfriendly journalistsduring his press conference with the ugly Erdogan must surely rank second.