Friday, June 30, 2017

Congress cracks down on sanctuary cities; Kate's law; MS-13 recruits unaccompanied minors from Central America

The Cato Institute has an important piece opposing the “No Sanctuary for Criminals Act” (H.R. 3003) by Dave Bier, link here.  It would appear from a reading that the Bill probably does require local police to ask immigrant status in routine arrests or traffic stops (“don’t ask, do tell”).  Police departments have said that his approach may sometimes hinder cooperation in immigrant communities.

I don’t see mention of enhancing penalties for people who host immigrants who turn out to be illegal (which is possible but unusual).  Nevertheless, in some border areas, some faith groups have tried to encourage the practice based on their personal moral beliefs.

Bier also writes against “Kate’s Law”, which doesn’t seem too effective.  Bier points out that there are serious questions about federalism with both laws.

The Epoch Times has a big article by Charlotte Culbertson about unaccompanied minors from Central America (not including Mexico) being recruited by MS-13 once in the U.S.  It also mentions “sponsors” for the children in some states, but I don’t have any details on how this exist. In some cases, it is possible to remove minor children from detention and place them in foster care (LGBT blog, April 1).

Last Sunday, I did drive by the jail in Snow Hill, MD (SW of Ocean City) where some ICE detainees are held. It is not said to be a desirable facility.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Supreme Court allows most of Trump revised travel ban to go into effect temporarily until it hears case in October

The Supreme Court has allowed a limited travel ban from six “Muslim” countries to go into effect temporarily, while saying it will take up the full case in October.

The Court has ruled that the Trump administration cannot ban travel for foreigners who have a legitimate relationship (probably familial) with someone in the United States (who can provide financial support through the I-864 mechanism)   It would not authorize some kind of de facto “private sponsorship” however for people not yet in the country.  It does seem that people with job offers, or work or study arrangements could be admitted.

The Court seems to buy the idea that security validation from countries with chaotic or very hostile governments is very difficult.

The CNN story is here.

The court was unanimous on the partial ban but 6-3 on allowing the exceptions (Gorsuch voted against allowing them).

The case is Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project, link.

Jeffrey Toobin points out that the “90 day” period keeps moving forward.

Friday, June 23, 2017

EU rules Russian anti-gay propaganda law in violation of treaty

The European Court has ruled that the 203 law in Russia banning the discussion of LGBTQ issues in public in a way visible to minors violates articles of the European Convention on Human Rights, which apparently Russia had signed.  The law was said to be discriminatory and a bar to free speech.
Michael Lavers has a story in the Washington Blade.

The law seems to have been inspired by a concern over the low Russian birth rate.

The law seem also to have indirectly inspired vigilante violence against LGBT people and led to closing or bars.  Some people have sought asylum in the US and Canada.

The EU ruling could make it safer for LGBT people from western countries, who are visible as such online, to travel in Russia.

Wikipedia attribution link for Moscow House of Music, CCSA 3.0, by pxNick. . 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Cato study compares European and US immigrant terror risks, and in the US it is very low

Alex Nowrasteh has authored a study comparing the relative risk of deaths from immigrant terror attacks in European countries to that in the United States, where it is much lower, link here.

But the article admittedly implies that the greater volume of emergency immigration into Europe (asylum seeking rather than refugee) has resulted in larger civilian fatalities in Europe.
Many perpetrators have been in these countries a long time and have varied and complicated criminal histories beyond mere immigration.  And in the U.S., many perpetrators obviously had disturbing behavior and difficulties assimilating for a long time, often as adult children of people who had come here.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

North Korea makes its treatment of civilian POW's as ugly as possible

Peter S. Kim in the Asian Review writes about how na├»ve behavior with North Korea (especially by the South) could mean that nuclear weapons or EMP devices wind up in the hands of terrorists as well as the “terror state” itself, link.

Kim Jong Un looks fat and foppish, even girlish.  And his people worship him as a god?  Clay feet?

Otto Warmbier’s family will not allow future updates on their son’s condition, apparently awake but not aware. That makes this easier to bear for members of the public.   The DPRK has deliberately provided a situation as ugly as it can make it.  But the responsibility for this will remain with government, state, and the Trump administration (though the legacy goes back to Obama) and won’t become a subject of personalized fund-raising campaigns.

North Korea is a real enemy.  And eventually enemies can become personal responsibilities.

Wikipedia attribution link for DPEK-China picture by Roman Harak, CCSA 2.0

Update: June 20

The young man passed away Monday June 19 at about 2:30 PM.

There was a viewpoint expressed (by La Sha, on Huffington) that westerners should not feel privileged and express any contempt when they are there.

Some sort of tourism travel ban to North Korea (a reverse of Trump's ban now) sounds likely (as with  Trump on Cuba), Washington Post story.

Update: June 21

On Don Lemon's show, there were warnings that North Korean could be capable of launching an EMP blast over South Korea now.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Indonesia shows a shocking and sudden hostility to LGBT people

There has been a shocking and sudden deterioration of the lot of LGBTQ people in Indonesia since the beginning of 2016, as explained in this CNN article.

Sodomy has been a crime previously only in Aceh (site of the tsunami in 2004), but it may become so nationwide.

Politicians have suddenly discovered that gays make a convenient scapegoat. The especially prey on parental fears of not having descendants, and this is about procreation, even beyond Islam
This could lead to more asylum cases.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Cato briefs and publications seem to influence circuit courts in holding off Trump travel bans; more on detention

The Cato Institute notes that the Fourth and Ninth circuits do seem to have read that think tank’s work in reaching opinions forestalling various versions of Donald Trump’s travel bans.

Dave Bier has a piece on May 27 here .  Cato’s amicus brief for the Ninth Circuit was here.

The uncertainty and delays regarding these EO’s seem to be putting off a permanent policy where the US can admit legitimate refugees safely, maybe with private help, the way Canada does.

The Afghanistan case I discussed in the post Sunday would sound to me like a case Canada might address, through LGBT private sponsorship, not legally possible in the US now.  That would be a lot better than blind GoFundMe campaigns.

Yesterday I drove past a prison and detention complex to the east of US-1 in Jessup, MD (15 miles south of downtown Baltimore) where I am told some ICE detainees (including asylum seekers) remain in detention.  It looks like the facility is in two adjacent campuses;  I’m not sure how the detention is set up.  I am told it is a much less comfortable place than Farmville or Reading PA.  There is another facility in York, PA, also.

Generally, facilities holding ICE detainees seem to be set up physically so that it is very difficult for member of the public to photograph them well, even externally.  Farmville's is hidden from the road by a hill and slope.  The government doesn't want the public to pay attention to their existence.

Update: Later today:

The New York Times has a detailed article on the arrest of asylum seekers by ICE in some certain circumstances, by Nicholas Kulish, p. A10, link. One of these cases involves a Russian HIV+ man, and apparently Customs applies when returning from territories like the Virgin Islands. You would wonder if in the cases covered here (as with the Venezuelan), the people were carrying their papers showing legal asylum seeker status allowing them to be here,  I don't know if it matters if they were passive or defensive applicants.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Venezuela leading now with asylum seekers in US; more material on LTBTQ asylees at DC Pride 2017

CNN is reporting that the country supplying the most asylum seekers is now Venezuela, link here.

It's ironic because Venezuela is said to have offered asylum to Edward Snowden.

It also gave the USCIS link, well to repeat.

The Pride 2017 Manual has a story and gofundme campaign for a gay man in Afghanistan.  The link is here.

 Flip to page 94 in the Pdf document. The article is by Nemat Sadal.  Generally with gofundme’s to undemocratic countries I would want to know what really happens to the money.  There needs to be some lawful plan to help the person leave the country.  Canada is much better at this than the U.S. since it has private sponsorship of refugees.

The Manual also has a guide for LGBT asylum seekers on p. 76.  By Matthew Corso and Eric Scharf of DV Center Global.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Washington Post Outlook offers booklet on Israeli West Bank settlements

The Washington Post has a long Outlook Section Sunday June 4, “The 50-Years War”, by Dan Ephron, tracing the growth of Israeli settlements on the West Bank since 1967, here.

Israel college students often don’t know the geography of the Green Line, and the legalities of the Occupied Zone under Oslo II don’t seem to have been always observed.  And the growth of settlements grows more rapidly than Israel itself.

Vox had explained the legalities some time back, covered.

Wikipedia attribution link for Elon Moreh by Shuki. CCSA 2.5.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Social media companies come under new fire as conduits of terrorist propaganda after UK attacks

The two recent attacks in England, including a second vehicle attack on London Bridge last night, will bring attention back onto social media companies as sharing moral responsibility for allowing terror recruiting on their networks.

Twitter and Facebook have removed content and closed accounts, and are trying to develop automated detection tools comparable to what happens with child pornography.  Apparently many of the tools will depend on digital watermarks of known images (which Google can scan for with Picasa and gMail).  And we know that there are various lawsuits against social media companies from families of victims of terror attacks, including Paris, Santa Barbara and Orlando/Pulse.   Both companies are also fighting the weaponization of fake news.  European governments have been much more vocal about this than the US, and I would have expected Trump to say a lot more about this than he has so far.  I guess I’m giving him ideas.

A slightly older article on IJR explains how ISIS recruits.  After initial contact on Twitter, the process moves to the Dark Web.

While the problem is much more serious in Europe, social media companies will come under unified pressure.  Again, user generated content could not exist if social media companies had to screen every input before publication.

But Theresa May, British Prime Minister, said that terrorists must be denied their "safe spaces" online.
A group at the University of Maryland has developed a video game to help people learn to recognize radicalization.

Another video about why ISIS social media recruiting works with some youthful populations is here, link..

It's really hard to say where May's "Enough Is Enough" will wind up.

Perps of  crimes like these look for a religious ideology to justify their own nihilistic or "mean streak" compulsions.

May says she will not let the UK Human Rights Act deter her in fighting terrorism or detaining suspicious people, putting them on curfews ad denying them use of the Internet, link