Who Will Theresa May Come For Next?

On February 13th 2017 Sparrow Chat asked the question, “Who Will Trump Come For Next?”. The answer appeared the very next day when a young Latino man, Daniel Ramirez Medina, was arrested by officials of the Immigration & Customs Enforcement agency (ICE). Two days after this, the Guardian reported that Medina, despite being in the U.S. legally under the DACA ( Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program instigated by Barack Obama, had been stripped of his legal status and was being detained in a detention center :

The US government has terminated a detained undocumented immigrant’s “dreamer” status, alleging that he is a gang member in part because of a tattoo on his arm that says “peace” in Spanish.

Daniel Ramirez Medina, a 23-year-old with no criminal record who was brought to the US from Mexico when he was seven years old, was arrested last Friday in Seattle despite the fact that he was twice granted a work permit under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca) program.

The incident is believed to be the first arrest of a “dreamer”, as Daca recipients are known, since Donald Trump’s inauguration. The government’s court filings on Thursday have raised fresh concerns about the methods Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) may be using to deport immigrants who were previously protected by Barack Obama’s policies. [1]

At the time of writing Medina is still being held in a detention centre. A Seattle Judge has refused to release him.

On the same day, in El Paso, Texas, an unnamed woman was arrested in a courthouse just moments following a judge granting her a protection order after she’d suffered serious domestic violence.

The Guardian again:

Officials in El Paso, Texas, said that the detention of the woman moments after Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) agents watched a judge grant her a protective order was an alarming development that had sent shockwaves through the community.

The woman has been a victim of violence by her partner on at least three occasions, has filed three police reports and endured punching, kicking, choking and having a knife thrown at her, Jo Anne Bernal, the El Paso county attorney, said on a conference call with reporters.

As the protective order was granted on 9 February, Bernal said, an Ice agent sat through the proceedings in the courtroom. Two federal agents were placed at exits, she said. After the end of the hearing, agents escorted the woman from the courtroom area on the 10th floor and out of the building. She is presently in the county jail.

“None of us can recall an incident where immigration authorities made their presence known inside a courtroom in this courthouse, and especially not in a courtroom that is reserved for victims of domestic violence,” Bernal said. “We need to be very firm in our voice: the courthouse is not a place for enforcement of immigration law, the courthouse is a place where victims of domestic violence come for protection.”

Jaime Esparza, the local district attorney, said: “They came into the courthouse and I think it sends a horrible message to victims of domestic violence on whether or not they’re actually going to have the ability to seek justice in our courthouse.” [2]

These are just examples that hit the headlines. How many more are being dragged from their homes and incarcerated before driven to the Mexican border and dropped off, often with no chance to say goodbye to loved ones, pack a suitcase, or make arrangements for children left behind?

Of course, this isn’t the first time officials from the “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave,” have carried out these sorts of inhumane acts. Remember Iraq 2003 – 2010? How many thousands of innocent Iraqis were dragged from their beds and carted off to prisons like Abu Ghraib, or internment camps like Bucca, because the wrong people had gained power in the United States?

Meanwhile, America’s latest apology for a ‘president’, Donald Trump, continues to castigate the media for telling the truth about him. “Fake News” has become one of his favourite catch-phrases.

There’s been much made of the link between the U.K’s ‘Brexit’ referendum vote and Trump’s elevation to the White House. The legitimacy of both are open to question. What’s obvious is the manner in which the British government is now callously emulating the Trump doctrine.

In an interview yesterday on ITV’s programme, ‘Peston On Sunday’, Britain’s Home Secretary, Amber Rudd…

…was quoted by the U.K.’s Mirror newspaper (and others) in this report:

A Tory Cabinet Minister channelled Donald Trump today when she accused the media of “fake news” over the child refugees row.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd became the most senior member of Theresa May’s government to publicly use the term coined by the US President.

Ms Rudd has been under mounting pressure after axing the “Dubs” scheme used to bring unaccompanied children to Britain from migrant camps.

Just 350 youngsters benefited, despite suggestions at the time that thousands would be allowed in.

But, confronted by criticism on ITV’s Peston on Sunday, she claimed: “Unfortunately fake news is settling out there, shall we say.” [3]

Following the ‘Brexit’ result, mass deportations have become the norm in the U.K.:

The UK government’s decision to forcibly remove 50 people to Jamaica on Wednesday morning, deporting them on a private charter plane, was unjust and unfair.

Among those targeted were parents, grandparents and partners of people still resident in the UK, some who are primary carers and one with a mental health condition. All but one had children. Many had been living in the UK for over 10 years, with some arriving in the country as small children, even babies.

They included people who had not reached the end of the immigration process in the UK, in terms of naturalisation and appeals, and some who may be in this situation due to administrative errors made by parents while they were still children. I understand that one person was completing the process of naturalisation before their British-born partner died; they were then told that, as a result of their partner’s death, it could no longer be concluded. They should have been allowed to finish this process. Then, once they had completely exhausted all appeals, the government should have given them the option of returning to Jamaica themselves, independently, paying for their own flights. This would have allowed them to make applications to return to the UK if they wanted to.

By deporting them, their right to apply and return has been taken away…

…Among those rounded up to be removed are a former soldier who served in the British army, a father of three who arrived in the UK aged four, and one who had arrived to sign in [at an immigration centre] with his baby in a pushchair. While detaining him, the Home Office called social services to take his baby. [4]

There are reports of many more mass, or individual, deportations – of families ripped apart by a cold, bloody-minded, set of rules applied with Gestapo-style inhumanity. Most recent was the case of this woman…

…Irene Clennell. Originally from Singapore, she’d lived in Britain for nearly thirty years, was married to a British national and had two children. She’d needed to return to Singapore from time to time to nurse her aged parents, both of whom eventually died, but because she’d spent time abroad the British government decided she hadn’t lived continuously in Britain for sufficient time to meet the regulations. She was arrested, taken to a detention centre, then put on a plane to Singapore with no time to say goodbye to her husband or family, and with only twelve pounds in her pocket.

Clennell first arrived in London in 1988 and married John, a British man, two years later. They settled in County Durham and had two children together. She now has one grandchild.

Her sister-in-law Angela confirmed Clennell had been deported. She said she had been subject to “insensitive and unfair government rules” and that Irene’s husband, her brother, was seriously ill…

…“For 30 years, my sister-in-law Irene has lived in Britain after arriving here from Singapore. She has a British husband, two wonderful British children and a granddaughter she dotes upon. She has worked hard for those 30 years raising her family and being an important and beloved member of the local community.

“Without her to look after him, we’re all worried for him, and to rip apart a family after 30 years of happiness seems so unfair. Irene has never claimed benefits in the UK. John has worked his entire adult life. We need to fight to keep them together so he has someone to care for him, and so she can stay with her family, where her home is.
“Irene has nowhere to go in Singapore, both her parents have passed away – her whole life is here in Britain.”

Clennell was given indefinite leave to remain in the UK after marrying John in 1990 but spent periods back in Singapore caring for her parents before they died.

The government’s spousal visa system requires the British partner to prove earnings of at least £18,600 and the couple being able to show long stretches of uninterrupted time living in the UK.

Clennell lost her leave to remain as the time she spent out of the country when her parents were dying was too long. She has made repeated attempts – in Singapore and back in the UK – to reapply for permission to live with her husband.

When asked to comment on this heart-wrenching story, a British Home Office spokesperson, speaking on behalf of Home Secretary (‘fake news’) Amber Rudd, gave the conventional response:

“All applications for leave to remain in the UK are considered on their individual merits and in line with the immigration rules. We expect those with no legal right to remain in the country to leave.” [5]

The term “Legal Right” can have little meaning when laws are written without humanity or compassion. They’re a product of ultra-nationalism. Every day we hear horror stories emanating from the U.S.A and Britain, two countries wallowing in a sunami of far-right-wing, nationalistic, fervour, egged on by leaders and governments composed of fascist-orientated individuals posing as democratically elected officials.

At the head of this post is an image of Donald Trump and Theresa May standing together. It was probably taken in the White House. Below is another image. It was taken in 1938 on a visit by Adolf Hitler and his Nazi cronies to Italy. Hitler is standing with Benito Mussolini. It was probably taken in the Coliseum at Rome.

Could Donald Trump be the latest incarnation of Adolf Hitler, with Theresa May his Mussolini? It seems preposterous, but Trump has promised that America will have the mightiest military ever seen on earth, and is increasing an already over-swollen military budget by a further ten percent. His raucous speeches to, “Make America Great Again,” bear similarity to Hitler’s promises to the German people. Let’s not forget it was the Wall Street crash of 1929 that helped elevate the Nazi Party to power in Germany, and one of their first priorities was to begin deporting German Jews – the excuse being they were to blame for Germany’s economic problems. A similar crash in 2008-09 has led to austerity for many Americans, and Europeans. There can be no doubt that this austerity produced both ‘Brexit’ and the rise of Donald Trump.

We cannot foretell the future, but the human race has a bad habit of never learning from its history. Consequently, human history has a habit of repeating itself.

[1] “US immigrant stripped of ‘dreamer’ status in part over alleged gang tattoo” Guardian, February 16th 2017

[2] “Undocumented Texas woman arrested while seeking domestic violence help” Guardian, February 16th 2017

[3] “Amber Rudd says concern over Tories scrapping child refugee scheme is ‘fake news'” Mirror, February 26th 2017

[4] “How can 50 people be snatched from their families and deported to Jamaica?” Guardian, September 8th 2016

[5] “Woman deported from UK despite being married to Briton for 27 years” Guardian, February 26th 2017

3 Replies to “Who Will Theresa May Come For Next?”

  1. Re Trump/Hitler – He’s doing similar things Hitler did in his early days, though whether Trump is as innately evil, or simply presidentially incompetent and hyperbolic isn’t yet clear enough for us to make a full comparison of him to Hitler. Godwin’s Law & all that.
    RE T. May’s doings – I thought Jamaicans had the right to live in Britain as citizens of the (Ex-)British Empire? Seems not then. I’d say they have far more right to be there than Mexicans have to be in the USA without benefit of visas etc.

    But what do I know ? Not enough. It’s all way above my pay grade and open to all kinds of interpretation.

  2. Twilight – ‘Godwin’s Law’ tends to suggest that Hitler was so evil that any discussion that ends up comparing someone (or something) to him has reached an inevitable conclusion. Presumably everyone then reverts to discussing cricket, or baseball, or the weather.

    The thing is that the Third Reich was a fascist system, composed of nasty individuals intent on shaping things their way without any semblance of humanity. It was an extremely cruel system based around the idea that all human beings not genetically related to the Aryan race were inferior, animalistic, and as such could be used for slavery, or even exterminated. My reading of that period of German history (though far from thorough) has indicated that Hitler was to some extent a frontman who left much of the running of the system to those he’d deputized power – Goebbels, Goering, Himmler, etc..

    We hear today that Trump has ordered Homeland Security to create a new Department – ‘VOICE’, ‘Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement’, to investigate and report alleged crimes by [illegal?] immigrants. In fact, percentage-wise more crimes are committed by citizen Americans than undocumented immigrants, meaning this is no more than a deliberate attempt to vilify certain sections of the immigrant population (done before in America: Chinese, Japanese, Italians, at various points in US history) and turn people against them. It will work, at least partially. It worked for the Nazis in the 1930s.

    It is too early to contemplate Trump as the latest fascist dictator surrounded by a body of evil henchmen ready to commit terrible atrocities. He does have Bannon, and Miller, and Kushner – all three capable of being very nasty – and Sessions to frame his legislation (remember Bush’s Assistant Attorney-General, John Yoo, and his ‘Waterboarding is legal’ decision?)

    However, it would be foolish to believe it couldn’t happen again. We said it of two world wars, after all, and according to reference.com, “As of September 2014, there are 10 official wars and 8 active military conflicts recognized by the United States. There are also other violent conflicts involving 64 countries and 576 militias and separatist groups,” (there’s probably more today) so maybe at worst Trump’s regime could evolve into the equivalent of a ‘world war’, or possibly at best, a mere ‘violent conflict’.

    Somehow, I doubt we’ll end up comparing it to a peaceful summer’s afternoon by the lake.

  3. Re VOICE, RJ – I dunno – maybe I’m morphing into a Republican, but I didn’t see that (as I understood it from listening to his speech – but NOT following up by listening to MSNBC etc) as inherently wicked or hateful.

    If immigrants, from wherever, who came here undocumented (aka illegal aliens) can get a way with it, and “keep their noses clean”, they’re welcome as far as I’m concerned; but if they commit any serious crime they should be treated rather differently. Yes there are thousands more legal immigrants and non-immigrants committing crimes here, but that’s not the point. Those here illegally are doing a double whammy if they commit crime. Listing them is hardly wicked or hateful, and not in the same league as Nazi doings in connection with Jews and others.

    I get the feeling that Democrats are using hyperbole at every opportunity. Trump is NOT presidential material, I agree on that, but neither is he the monster they want him to be seen as. (In my not so humble opinion.) 😉

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