On Saturday, the anniversary of the day in 1787 on which the Framers signed the U.S. Constitution, Attorney General Merrick Garland administered the oath of allegiance to 200 immigrants in the Great Hall at Ellis Island. From 1892 to 1954, nearly 12 million immigrants stopped on the island as part of their journey to the United States, and from 1900 to 1924, the Great Hall was filled with as many as 5000 new arrivals a day, sitting on benches under the high ceiling that had been tiled in the spectacular patterns of Spanish-born architect Rafael Guastavino—who came to the U.S. in 1881—where they awaited health inspections and registration.
Yesterday Heather shared my photograph, The Source, and although I'm a day late, I wanted to say a little something about it.
My wife, Terri, was still asleep back in a friend’s home on the small, outermost inhabited island on America's Atlantic coast and I was out for an early morning walk with our dog and my camera. As I poked around the small harbor, I came upon the depicted collection of stuff in a yard out there and immediately thought of love and faith, not to be at all confused with religion.
I believe that love and faith are the primary sources of goodness in this world…hence the title. Conversely, I believe that the absence of either quality is the source of most societal malaise.
When Heather used this image yesterday, I was even more pleased and honored than usual since it so perfectly mirrors so much of what I feel here within our LFAA community.
I have become acutely aware of how much goodness and, yes, love there is here. Love of country, love of goodness, love for each other and, of course, love for Heather....not to mention Heather and Buddy's love for each other, now evident for all of us to bear witness given their marriage last week!!
Then there's the faith that I saw invoked by the shape of the cross made by the anchor...(faith, my friends, not to be confused with religion, per se). In the past couple of years I have come to intimately understand - again, bear witness to - the depth and breadth of the faith (and hope and more) that Heather's brilliance has inspired in all of us. Words fail to express the extent of my own gratitude, but, more than that, I frequently meet others from our cherished community who affirm the extent to which LFAA has helped them cope, given the diverse challenges that stalk the land these days.
In any event, thank you Heather and thank you all; LFAA, national treasure that it is, has done nothing quite so well as the love and faith it has added to my life.
And, as a parting note to this overly long comment, still further congratulations, Heather, to you and Buddy AND to the third anniversary of LFAA. All are blessings.........
“But Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo noted all along that DeSantis’s story didn’t add up. He is a Florida governor, but he moved people from Texas, and the story is hardly one that looks like a government operation. It appears that a tall, blonde woman going by “Perla” worked with two men and two other women to find migrants to move, promising them work and housing in Massachusetts and putting them up in a hotel until they got 48 people to go.”
How can DeSatis be allowed to play with people’s lives in this way? It is a violation of their human rights!
Merrick Garland's comments about the rule of law were the most articulate explanation of its critical importance to democracy I've encountered. He was speaking to newly sworn-in citizens but more broadly prepping the American people for the historic fight ahead. And, at the same time, powerfully making it clear to Trump and others brazenly flouting the law that the Department of Justice is coming for them. Let's see if Trump responds with yet another bizarre rant that reeks of desperation and mental decline.
I believe that this clear explanation by Lily S. Axel rod, an immigration attorney should eliminate the use of the term “illegal immigration.”
“What part of "illegal" don't you understand?”
(copied from a post by Lily S. Axelrod, Immigration Attorney)
In immigration law, there is no such thing as an "illegal immigrant." It's simply not a category that exists. There are people who are deportable / removable (because they don't have permission to be here, because they have permission to be here but have violated a term of their stay, or for some other reason such as a criminal conviction). There are people who lack legal status and are also not removable. There are people who "have no lawful status," but are also not "unlawfully present." There are people who are removable but also eligible to apply to stay in the US lawfully. There are people who would be eligible to apply to stay here lawfully, but the application is only available if the government first tries to deport them. There are people outside the US who are not eligible to come in legally, but if they were here, they would be allowed to stay. There are even people who are simultaneously deportable and eligible to apply for citizenship.
There are also ways to "break the law" and still be present lawfully. There are lots of types of violations of immigration law and criminal law that can't result in deportation for people in certain types of status, or where there's a "grace period." There are some crimes where you're fine if you were convicted in 1995, but totally out of luck if it was 1997.
When somebody comes to my office, it often takes me well over an hour of reviewing their paperwork and asking them questions about their entire life story and family history in order to figure out (a) whether they entered the US lawfully, (b) whether they are currently present in the US lawfully, (c) whether the government can lawfully deport them, (d) whether, if the government tries to deport them, they are eligible to apply to stay and how likely they would be to win, and (e) whether they're eligible for benefits such as an employment based visa, a marriage-based green card, citizenship, asylum, visas for victims of crime or domestic violence, etc.
Sometimes we even find that somebody is a US citizen and didn't even realize it -- the US accidentally deports US citizens every year.
Every time Congress amends the Immigration and Nationality Act, they intensify our headache. Popular culture doesn't reflect the complexity and subtlety of the laws, so understandably people want to classify folks' status as "legal" or "illegal" when it's usually just not so simple. I wish the laws were more straightforward and easier for people to follow.
So saying "illegal immigrant" is kind of like saying "an illegal movie." There's no such category, so what does it mean? Does the movie include illegal content such as child pornography and is therefore illegal to distribute? Did non-union actors work in violation of a labor agreement? Is the movie R rated but the theatre is allowing 5-year-olds in? Did somebody on the crew get a parking ticket on location? Was the DVD pirated or the script plagiarized? Does the movie depict lawlessness? Just saying "illegal movie" is nonsensical and doesn't give you any information about the movie, whether I am allowed to watch it, or who would be responsible for what violations of which law.
"Undocumented" is a political term, not a legal one. People generally use it as a respectful term to refer collectively to people who entered without inspection and still have no status, and also those who entered lawfully but overstayed or violated their status. People often assume that only undocumented people can be deported, but actually people in lawful status can be deported too, including lawful permanent residents ("green card" holders). I have a client right now who has had his green card for 30 years, nothing unlawful about his immigration status, but he is in deportation proceedings following an illegal arrest by immigration officers, because of a criminal conviction from the early 1990s that he didn't have to serve a day in jail for.
I sometimes use the general terms "out of status" or "lacking lawful immigration status." This is roughly equivalent to how people use the term "undocumented" but it's more precise because often people are "out of status" even though their entry to the US was totally legal and documented.
So... now what part of "illegal" don't you understand?
Merrick Garland spoke with a catch in his throat. And a tear in his eye. Ellis Island saw his family and ours, his were fleeing as was the German Jewish Physics Nobel James Franck, Opa to the woman that asked me to marry her when I was 18, and she was 21 - and I am not ready and three years later we tied the knot, thank God. A man from Dachau and Buchenwald came to Chicago from Vienna. He helped and he hurt, but was critical to my upbringing and my incredible career. He asked me to run The School that made him famous, three times, and I decline after a year of 80 hour weeks and deja vu stuff that was not what I wanted. He asked us to save him and two others and I said no, and we saved many others instead. He took his own life, as another did under him. These experiences were brutal, but nothing like what we see in Ukraine today or what was experienced in America by our slaves and their millions of worthy and wonderful descendants, the American indigenous and theirs. We whites have been cruel.
Merrick Garland’s words come from his warm heart. Donald John Trump’s and Steven Miller’s come from hearts stone cold, they have the heart of a serial child killer.. a racist mass murderers like Putin, Stalin, Hitler or Mussolini, or DeSantis, Abbott and Graham, killers of the spirit, latter day fascists running for power.
Letters FAA has stunning reach and potential. It evolves.
Ken Burns has potential, too. LFAA readers should indulge in his latest - running now. His insight is priceless. It’s also fact based.
When we move from fact to meaning and reality, we deal with the pain of intolerance, and that’s the goal of our nation - in the end.
We must find and fund the way to say we’re sorry. We did not buy and sell the slave and destroy the family with no last name. We were not Confederate soldiers waving flags.
We have been indifferent - and that’s no better.
Our history is this. Facts matter. Feeling matters more.
Thank you Heather.
I did find the suit with the QAnon pin that Trump was wearing quite fetching. Reminiscent of a high school bully that is down to his last group of wannabes that he desperately needs to back him when he goes to the next after school fight that he wears their colors . The last line of defense.
Speaking of wannabes, I hope DeSantis is immediately brought to his knees for the bombastic display of a human publicity stunt. If not, this behavior will continue with the RW extremists. I understand he was given a standing ovation by his cult in his speech following the stunt. That is a dangerous display of blind faith by his own cultists.
How far we have hit rock bottom as a Nation is a stunning display for all the world to see.
We must right this ship. Immediately.
Be safe. Be well.
Prof. Heather Cox Richardson’s facts are all we need to know.
We must do the math, we must think and project outcome. It’s terrifying.
Good news, bad news? We are experiencing, we are witnessing, an Orwellian crisis in the world’s most powerful democracy, we are actually facing a fascist gaslighting, an Orwellian phantasy in bold relief - but it’s no fantasy. This isn’t the movie.
This isn’t dress rehearsal! It’s real. It’s as real as death and taxes and far more troubling than either.
If we lose the MIDTERMS, we well may lose a life of freedom.
It’s all on the line with J D Vance, born surrounded by addiction and depravity, now scheming to become Trump’s lap dog - aiming to bring down our form of government.
We in America are living The Book of Job. God and the Devil are experimenting. Will God’s creation find his way? Or will the devil’s temptations win.
IMO, the madman should be beyond "concerned", he should be in jail awaiting trial.
"Certainly, the former president, who is under scrutiny for stealing national secrets, scheming to overturn the results of the 2020 election, and inciting mob violence against the U.S. government, appears to be concerned."
"that he will soon be placed back into power, arrest his Democratic enemies, try them, and execute some of them. That moment of his return is called “the Storm,” and one of his “retruths” assured his audience that “The Storm is Coming.”
Wannabee "storm troopers":
“These guys are Nazis, they’re boogaloo boys, they’re Proud Boys. These are the same people we fought in World War II,” - General Mark Milley
Can we assume that Abbot was in on the DeSantis game with the plane load of migrants? One can hope that he owns up to it and saves the government some effort in putting together the pieces. A conspiracy between these two governors that potentially broke several state and Federal laws, and prosecution of such, would go a long way to backing up Garland’s words.
Thank you, HCR, for pointing out the importance of Merrick Garland’s speech to new Americans. Ellis Island is where each of my parents came through so when I have seen the Statue of Liberty up close and personal, I get a lump in my throat. Immigrants come here to gain freedom from bloodshed and tyranny. Garland reminded our new Americans that we have rules of law governing our country. These laws are to protect us from evil forces. Those evil forces have always been here but were held at bay, however, that seems not to be the case in recent years. I am nonetheless hopeful while remaining fearful. How can I not? I continue to fight against the perils we face and I won’t give up.
Seems like Republicans are digging themselves deeper holes that may finally lead to criminal charges. They cannot help themselves, believing they are above all scrutiny and laws.
They seem to think government and human lives are a big joke that they can play with.
Fatso's sweating like a pig, he's so scared. You can see it in the video of the hatealong last Saturday. 7,000 seats and couldn't fill even half of them. I was surprised widdle Jimmy Vance didn't get down and actually kiss that ginormous gelatinous blob. If he keeps sweating like that, Fatso won't be so fatso soon.
Baffling. I guess these hooligans in high places…what? Don’t bother to find out if what they’re doing is illegal, because they don’t care? Or knowingly break laws on the principle that if they can cause enough chaos then lawbreaking won’t be a problem?
Heather, glad that you and yours are safe and sound. Thank you for highlighting the QAnon elements in TFG’s Ohio rally.
Thank you, also, for detailing the transfer of processed, legal asylum seekers to Martha’s Vinyard. More than one commentator compared Desantis’ actions to the “Reverse Freedom Rides” of the 1960’s designed to move black from the south to northern liberal locations. https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2022/09/16/reverse-freedom-rides-marthas-vineyard-desantis/
Merrick Garland eloquently talked the talk; I look forward to him walking the walk resulting in indictments and a long-overdue perp-walk.
Ron DeSantis et al willfully manufactured a humanitarian crisis for the sake of political theater. They should face criminal and civil consequences. We can start with a bill from the State of Massachusetts and the Town of Martha’s Vineyard for expenses incurred as a result of DeSantis’ prank.