On Friday, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) flew an unarmed Predator surveillance drone over Minneapolis to help police monitor protestors around the city. Essentially, the federal government used military-grade equipment to spy on its own citizens, but then again, the feds have long surveilled those who dare challenge state power.
A CBP spokesperson said the drone provided “live video feed” at “the request of our federal law enforcement partners in Minneapolis” to give police “situational awareness, maximizing public safety while minimizing the threat to personnel and assets.”
Though the drone flew around at 9 a.m. CST, made a hexagon around the city, and returned to its base. It was used to look over the aftermath of protestors who had spent the last three nights demonstrating against police brutality.
The protestors, some of whom are affiliated with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, seek police accountability and judicial reform after the May 25 killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man suspected of using a counterfeit $20 bill.
A Minneapolis police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck during his arrest for nearly nine minutes while Floyd said, “I can’t breathe.” Floyd, who had a bloody nose while having his face smashed against the pavement, cried out for his mother and then subsequently died in police custody.
While the offending officer, Derek Chauvin, is currently in custody and has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death, charges haven’t been filed against the three other officers present during Floyd’s arrest.
During the resulting protests, police from the neighboring city of St. Paul estimate that more than 170 businesses have damaged or looted with dozens of fires occurring elsewhere in the city, most notably burning out the 3rd Precinct Police building where Chauvin worked.
The U.S. government has monitored activists since possibly before the mid 20th century’s Civil Rights Era. These days, the CBP, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and local police have increasingly used high-tech tools to surveil protestors, including artificial intelligence-powered cameras, facial recognition, cellphone data locators, social media monitoring, license plate readers, body cameras, video analysis tools.
These tools have been used against BLM and Occupy Wall Street activists in the past, and these same tools are currently at the Minneapolis police department’s disposal while city and state leaders try to decide how best to defuse the escalating situation.
Yesterday evening, Minneapolis Mayor enacted an 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. weekend curfew for all city residents. The curfew forbids folks from any travel on city streets whether by foot or wheel. Violators can get a $1,000 fine or 90 days in jail.
Though CBP says it loans its drones out all the time to help with local police and the National Guard, Neema Singh Guliani, senior legislative counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), thinks they shouldn’t be used at all.
“No government agency should be facilitating the over-policing of the Black community, period,” Guliani said in a statement. “And CBP has no role in what’s happening in Minneapolis at all. This rogue agency’s use of military technology to surveil protesters inside US borders is deeply disturbing, especially given CBP’s lack of clear and strong policies to protect privacy and constitutional rights.”
Democratic New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was more succinct in her reaction to the drone. “This is what happens when leaders sign blank check after blank check to militarize police, CBP, etc while letting violence go unchecked,” she tweeted “We need answers. And we need to defund.”
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DHS Offers Difficult Choice to Immigrants: Eat or Be Legal
The Trump administration is seeking to expand its brutal treatment of immigrants, potentially denying green cards to legal immigrants who have previously received — or might receive — government assistance.
The new policy would cause these immigrants choose between being legally allowed to function in the country or the ability to eat and secure other needs, such as medication.
The Department of Homeland Security posted the new rule online this Saturday.
Immigrants could be denied “lawful permanent residency” under the new rule if they have accessed certain government benefits such as food or shelter. They could also be barred if the government suspects they might use assistance programs in the future.
The Department of Homeland Security claims the policy is not anti-immigrant as much as it is pro-taxpayer.
Under long-standing federal law, those seeking to immigrate to the United States must show they can support themselves financially,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen in a DHS press release.
Nielsen added, “This proposed rule will implement a law passed by Congress intended to promote immigrant self-sufficiency and protect finite resources by ensuring that they are not likely to become burdens on American taxpayers.”
The policy is the handiwork of trump aide Stephen Miller, a staunch opponent of immigrants and immigration policy.
The Trump administration has been anti-immigrant from the beginning, with Donald Trump attacking Mexican immigrants in the very first speech in his campaign.
The administration has sought to bar visas for many traveling to the United States, has detained both adults and children in hastily-assembled facilities, and, of course, still seeks to create a massive wall along the country’s southern border.
Contrary to past assurances that the government was only weeding out illegal immigration, this policy targets those attempting to function in the United States legally, possibly forcing some to break the law just to survive.
Tucker Carlson Defends Trump With Racist Claim That Mexico Interferes in US Elections More Than Russia
Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson is defending President Donald Trump’s insistence Monday, while standing with Vladimir Putin, that Russia did not interfere in the U.S. election that placed him in the White House.
Carlson employed his best “whataboutism” to declare that Mexico has interfered in America’s elections far more than Russia because, presumably, undocumented immigrants cross the Southern border and vote.
“I don’t think Russia is our close friend, or anything like that,” Carlson said. “Of course they tried to interfere in our affairs, many countries do – some more successfully than Russia,” the Fox News anchor continued.
“Mexico,” Carlson offered as a supposed example, “which is routinely interfering in our elections by picking the electorate,” Carlson said in a racist claim.
Tucker Carlson says that Mexico has been more successful at interfering in US elections and does it more routinely than Russia by “packing our electorate” pic.twitter.com/vYk0jyVFUZ
— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) July 16, 2018
That’s false, in fact. The incidence of immigrants – undocumented or not – illegally voting in U.S. elections is so minimal as to be almost zero.
Some responses via Twitter:
Every sentence about Tucker Carlson should start with the words “Prominent white nationalist Tucker Carlson…” https://t.co/0iN11yoZgM
— Matt O’Brien (@ObsoleteDogma) July 16, 2018
Americans of color interfere with elections by voting, according to Tucker Carlson. https://t.co/OT9zpAtZaa
— Bobby Kogan (@BBKogan) July 16, 2018
Folks, I realize Tucker Carlson is just some dude on Fox News but the message he’s testing here is really quite alarming https://t.co/wjsu4DNVTe
— EricaGrieder (@EricaGrieder) July 16, 2018
Tucker Carlson is a white nationalist and is counted as a fellow traveler by preppie neo-Nazi types. The mask is increasingly slipping. https://t.co/ohhFF7RmZt
— Dan O’Sullivan (@Bro_Pair) July 16, 2018
‘This Is Fascism’: Internet Blasts ‘Openly Racist AF’ Mike Huckabee for Posting Racist Tweet
‘Laying the Groundwork for Genocide’
Mike Huckabee once portrayed himself as an affable centrist Republican, a man who loved people and loved playing his guitar. An ordained Baptist minister who would minister to the nation. He used all that to serve as the Republican governor of Arkansas for nine years, and run for president twice.
That was all a lie, a cover, a smokescreen. A mask.
It should come as little surprise. His daughter is the White House press secretary under President Donald Trump. She has a record of supporting Trump’s polices and a record of lying to reporters on a regular basis.
Today, Mike Huckabee is under fire after he posted a vile and offensive tweet. It shows an image of young, shirtless teen boys or young men with tattoos. The image has appeared on dozens of websites, and a Google image search titles it as “ms 13 gang sign.”
MS-13 is President Trump’s “favorite” anti-immigrant tool, a dangerous gang he portrays as Central American, but it was formed on the streets of Los Angeles.
Huckabee had a different title than Google for the photo: “Nancy Pelosi introduces her campaign committee for the take back of the House.”
Nancy Pelosi introduces her campaign committee for the take back of the House. pic.twitter.com/yKDhkVubck
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) June 23, 2018
It’s clear, unadulterated racism.
And many on social media berated the former Arkansas governor.
Take a look at some of the responses:
I know we’re cautioned to go easy on the Nazi parallels, but this is too clear an example.
This is no different from a Nazi-era cartoon of criminal Jews.
Huckabee should be ostracized and ashamed. https://t.co/lmMzU75XKP
— Adam Davidson (@adamdavidson) June 23, 2018
This is racist.
This is fascism. https://t.co/mbWPkObJ57
— Robert Rutledge (@rerutled) June 23, 2018
I sure hope the Hell you believe in exists, @GovMikeHuckabee.
P.S. No one with any sense was under the impression that you weren’t an ignorant, racist fraud—but thanks for the confirmation. https://t.co/dF7RzSHFIW
— John Pavlovitz (@johnpavlovitz) June 23, 2018
Remember immigrants, both legal and undocumented, commit crimes at lower rates than native-born Americans.
The reason people are pointing out that Huckabee’s tweet is racist is because he’s feeding a narrative about a particular group of immigrants that has no basis in fact. https://t.co/ehHpvnaiOZ
— Robert Maguire (@RobertMaguire_) June 23, 2018
Reactions to this @GovMikeHuckabee dog whistle:
Normal people: He once seemed a decent man. This is sick.
Trump rationalizers: a) c’mon, lighten up, b) liberals are tasteless too, & c) you know, Pelosi really is soft on crime.
Elected Republicans: Tax cuts.
The dogs: Woof! Woof! https://t.co/d6C2Akp8T3
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) June 23, 2018
Blood libel all the way. Remember when Huckabee used to get favorable press as a folksy, likable guy? https://t.co/T9aLnEqjWM
— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) June 23, 2018
You’re beneath contempt. https://t.co/xgqxTf4f9s
— Jonathan Capehart (@CapehartJ) June 23, 2018
All the subtlety of a Klan hood. https://t.co/cHmzDConMG
— ana marie cox (@anamariecox) June 23, 2018
Attaboy, Mikey. Keep showing us who you and your ilk are. Seeing this — realizing that you have no idea why you should not have posted this — helps me understand how we now have Sarah. #LordHelpUsAll https://t.co/AOi2XYpXYv
— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) June 23, 2018
When a Southern White Preacher Man feels free to be openly racist AF in public.
THAT’s what Trump meant last night when he talked about making America “safe” for Americans.
That’s exactly what he meant, right there. https://t.co/JCmAKtFpTr
— Stonekettle (@Stonekettle) June 23, 2018
Mike Huckabee shows again what an unrepentant, virulent racist he is. https://t.co/RQMUFQKd56
— Tim Williams (@timwilliamsart) June 23, 2018
This tweet is not “racially charged”.
It’s not “racially divisive”.
It’s not “racialist”, or “sparking racial controversy.”
This tweet is straight up racist and the media should call it so. https://t.co/RAaMQFt6sY
— Karen Attiah (@KarenAttiah) June 23, 2018
I see where your daughter gets her liar. https://t.co/4mATYO1kAc
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) June 23, 2018
I reported this Tweet to @twitter because it clearly is designed to stoke hatred of a group.
(And, no, he is not limiting his hatred-stoking to actual MS13 members, he clearly wants all Hispanic immigrants to be seen as criminal).
— Adam Davidson (@adamdavidson) June 23, 2018
Christian love strikes again. https://t.co/Afr975jwuU
— Hemant Mehta (@hemantmehta) June 23, 2018
— Daylin Leach (@daylinleach) June 23, 2018
So damn tacky. Conservative evangelicals definitely need quality control these days. https://t.co/yqys3NxWDQ
— Holy Bullies (@holybullies) June 23, 2018
What would Jesus do?
— Ellen Page (@EllenPage) June 23, 2018
You white nationalist, fear mongering prick. https://t.co/IxuDZORqVT
— Hassan Ahmad (@HMAesq) June 23, 2018
No shock that this is the father of @PressSec … neither one of them have souls, both of them are liars, both of them support injustice & cruelty, neither of them have a whit of compassion & neither of them gives a second thought that they are laying the groundwork for genocide. https://t.co/ROGnfsxqF8
— Jodi Jacobson (@jljacobson) June 23, 2018
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