Meanwhile, (bad) policy is happening.

Buried in my feed this morning amidst people trying to make sense of presidential word salad at his press conference was this thread, which is really something. Paul Ryan threw Dems and Hispanic caucus members out of a meeting with ICE that they requested. (It’s now reported here.) To repeat, members of the goverment were thrown out of a meeting with a government agency. The import from the meeting, besides this procedural nonsense-which is repulsive on its own,-is that the government is TARGETING as many people as possible. “Only hesitation is whether to go after DACA recipients.” This doesn’t sound like “only criminals” to me.

The idea that this is a good use of resources for a government and nation with many other problems is ridiculous. Do I want to fund a wall and mass deportations of people who contribute to our economy and pay taxes without receiving many of its benefits- or do I want health care for all and government accountability and better schools and and and? No brainer.

I don’t want government agencies actively tearing apart the fabric of our communities, and it’s counterproductive by colder measures, as well- measures of benefits to people not at risk of deportation. Immigrants do jobs no one else will do (this is exploitation, and I support common-sense immigration reform and labor protections) and immigrants, documented and undocumented, work incredibly hard, and as noted above, pay into an economy that they often benefit less from (paying taxes but not receiving benefits if they are non-citizens/undocumented.)

(Not for nothing, during the snowstorm in New York last week, who was feeding people in restaurants, keeping bodegas open, and even painting the nails of people who didn’t go into the office during winter storm Niko? I think I can safely say that a lot of them were immigrants. Not that non-immigrants didn’t keep working, too- even many of the people who stayed home simply worked from home, and I’m sure a lot of those office-job holders are immigrants, too. But immigrants are a vital part of the economy and our national identity.)

Also, sanctuary city policies provably make our cities safer by empowering undocumented victims to report crimes. A troubling note on that front: this week, a domestic violence victim was arrested- in court, where she had gone to get a restraining order against her abuser!- by ICE- on a tip-off from her abuser. Yes, the government became a tool of a woman’s abuser.

While a complex issue, I feel pretty clear that this administration’s policies are not the answer, not to mention their protofascist style of implementation. They’re sowing fear, and that’s part of the intended result, not just a side effect.

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