For almost two years (99 weeks, to be precise) Amy Siskind has been tracking changes made by Trump’s administration that she calls, The Weekly List. Most, if not all, of these changes have moved our nation further away from the common good. Her reason is simple but profound. “Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.”
For the Week of October 7, the same week that Vote Common Good held a rally in Morgantown, West Virginia, Siskind noted that, “On Saturday, Trump visited West Virginia for a campaign rally where he bragged about his economic accomplishments. Under Trump, poverty in the state climbed to 19.1% in 2017 from 17.9% in 2016.”
And while most of the news roiled with stories surrounding Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination, a now-familiar story took a turn for the worse. These are the facts:
- On Monday, NYT reported in recent weeks hundreds of migrant children at shelters from Kansas to New York have been roused in the middle of the night and clandestinely transported a tent city in West Texas.
- The population of migrant children has grown fivefold since last year. Private foster homes and shelters that sleep two to three to a room, and provide formal schooling and legal representation, are overburdened.
- The children are in groups of 20, split by gender, and have no formal schooling and limited legal representation. The tent cities are unregulated, except for guidelines created by the Department of Health and Human Services.
- The children wore belts etched in pen with phone numbers for their emergency contacts. Some shelter staff members cried for fear of what was in store for migrant children being moved to tents.
We were reminded, too, how corrupt that system can be:
- On Wednesday, CNN reported a surprise DHS inspection general visit to a privately run California ICE detention facility found nooses hanging in cells, misuse of solitary confinement, and delayed medical care.
- The facility is run by GEO Group, a private prison contractor that runs a number of large immigrant detention centers. GEO donated $250,000 to a pro-Trump super PAC and hired two former aides of attorney general Jeff Sessions in Week 50.
Worse, we also learned from a regular, boring report exactly how bad things have been for a long time.
- On Tuesday, NBC News reported a report by the DHS inspector general found “DHS was not fully prepared to implement the administration’s zero-tolerance policy or to deal with some of its after-effects.”
- Immigration law allows Customs and Border Protection to hold unaccompanied children for up to 72 hours. The report found one-fifth of the children were held at least five days and one longer.
- The report also found that while the Trump regime urged asylum seekers to come through ports of entry, overwhelmed facilities “likely resulted in additional illegal border crossings.”
And for people who try to tell you that “claims” of racism are “overblown,” Siskind laid out some reality:
- Beverly Goldstein, a Republican candidate for Congress in Ohio, in a tweet blamed passage of an ordinance banning LGBTQ discrimination on the “illiteracy” of Black voters.
- Republicans in New York are referring to Antonio Delgado, an African American congressional candidate who is a Rhodes Scholar and Harvard Law graduate, as a “big-city rapper” in political attack ads.
- Linda Dwire was arrested in a Colorado grocery store, after another patron, Kamira Trent, called the police to report that Dwire was harassing two Mexican women for speaking Spanish.
- On Saturday, for the second time in the last 18 months, the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia was vandalized. Vandals painted 19 swastikas on the center.
- The president of the center said, “This is getting to be a regular thing — it’s in the air around us, in the country around us,” and said that “expressions of support…are tinged with fatigue.”
We can say for certain that these facts do not indicate a country acting in the common good. Let’s change that this November 6!