Progressive Breakfast for June 20

Morning Message

How Scapegoating Immigrants Hurts All Workers

While many Americans believe Donald Trump’s policy of separating families at the border to be cruel and unnecessary, the administration is also counting on a number of Americans to ask: What about my own family? Seeing millions rally for immigrant children newly arriving to the United States, some may want to know what’s being done for the families that are already here who can’t make ends meet. It’s a valid question - but one that too often results in a race to the bottom that hurts all workers and their children.

Trump Says Immigrants ‘Infest” U.S.

Trump ramps up rhetoric: Dems want ‘illegal immigrants’ to ‘infest our country’. CNN: “President Donald Trump amplified his heated immigration rhetoric on Tuesday, accusing Democrats of wanting migrants to ‘infest our country’ and turning a speech on the economy into an angry tirade defending his harsh stance. It was a reflection of Trump’s growing frustration that the family separation crisis roiling his administration has led to accusations of child abuse and heartlessness. Privately, Trump has insisted he is right to push forward with a practice that has drawn outcry from across the political spectrum In a morning tweet, Trump used language evoking images of pests, not human beings, when describing migrants approaching the US border. ‘Democrats are the problem,’ he wrote. ‘They don’t care about crime and want illegal immigrants, no matter how bad they may be, to pour into and infest our Country, like MS-13. They can’t win on their terrible policies, so they view them as potential voters!’ he wrote.”

DHS Sec. Nielsen Denies Family Separations

Nielsen was a target of Trump’s immigration ire. Now she’s his protector. NYT: “This week, confronted by images of children in cages after they had been separated from their families at the Southwest border, Ms. Nielsen served as a shield for the Trump administration against global criticism for its hard-line attempts to discourage illegal immigration. Smiling as she took the White House lectern on Monday, Ms. Nielsen read from a script defending Mr. Trump’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy, which has separated 2,300 children from their parents yet failed to reduce the number of families trying to cross the border. She falsely said that Mr. Trump’s family separation strategy was not administration policy, wrongly insisting it was the result of legal ‘loopholes’ that only Congress can fix. Asked whether images of young children packed into detention centers and an audiotape of them keening for their parents were intended or unintended consequences of the administration’s decision making, Ms. Nielsen replied: ‘They reflect the focus of those who post such pictures and narratives. The narratives we don’t see are the narratives of the crime.’ Asked ‘how is this not child abuse,’ she responded coolly, ‘Be more specific, please.'”

Tent Cities Cost More Than Keeping Families Together

Trump admin’s ‘tent cities’ cost more than keeping migrant kids with parents. NBC: “The cost of holding migrant children who have been separated from their parents in newly created “tent cities” is $775 per person per night, according to an official at the Department of Health and Human Services — far higher than the cost of keeping children with their parents in detention centers or holding them in more permanent buildings. The reason for the high cost, the official and several former officials told NBC News, is that the sudden urgency to bring in security, air conditioning, medical workers and other government contractors far surpasses the cost for structures that are routinely staffed. It costs $256 per person per night to hold children in permanent HHS facilities like Casa Padre in Brownsville, Texas. And keeping children with their parents in detention centers like the one run by U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement in Dilley, Texas cost $298 per resident per night, according to an agency estimate when it awarded the contract for the facility in 2014. At those prices, the additional cost to operate a 400-bed temporary structure for one month at capacity would be more than $5 million. The average stay for separated kids is nearly two months.”

WH Touts Skimpy Health Plans

Trump administration puts skimpy health insurance plans in place. Reuters: “The Trump administration on Tuesday issued a finalized rule that will enable millions of Americans to buy skimpy health insurance plans that do not comply with key Obamacare coverage requirements, marking its latest effort to chip away at the healthcare law. The rule, which the U.S. Department of Labor will post Tuesday, allows small businesses and those who are self-employed to band together and buy lower-cost health insurance policies, similar to large employers. But these insurance plans would not be subject to requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly called Obamacare, which included mandatory coverage for a set of 10 essential health benefits, such as maternity and newborn care, prescription drug costs and mental health treatment. They are expected to be far less expensive than Obamacare plans. Health providers, insurers and medical groups have warned that the plans could drive up premiums and make insurance unaffordable for some people by siphoning off healthy consumers who want cheaper coverage, leaving behind a sicker patient pool with higher medical costs in Obamacare plans.”

More from OurFuture.org:

Donald Trump Has an Ugly Midterm Strategy And Democrats Need to be Ready. Robert Borosage: We are headed into what is sure to be one of the most vile electoral battles in recent history. Trump will purposefully nationalize the midterms, and cowed Republicans will fall in line. This will be a ‘base-plus election,’ (Steve) Bannon argued. Trump will be ‘on the ballot in every congressional district.’ It will be an up-down vote on Trump; ‘Trump or Pelosi’—impeachment or continue the Trump course. Trump will reprise the themes of 2016: Trump against the failed political class, America First against the feckless elite globalists, and, of course, the politics of racial fear and division. Trump will take credit for the economy, touting the benefits of his top-end tax cuts. But, Bannon warns Republicans, ‘ads on tax cuts alone [are] not going to resonate.’ The key is Trump’s right-wing nationalist populism. Trump will posture on trade, take on the Chinese, stand up for the American worker, and claim that companies are coming back home. ‘The wall,’ Bannon argued, is central to this. It is more than ‘totemic.’ Immigration ‘is about not just sovereignty. It’s about jobs,’ Bannon said.”