Matt Cameron Profile picture
Sep 25, 2018 16 tweets 6 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
1/ One of the worst parts of the proposed new DHS "public charge" rule would resurrect a 400-yr-old idea, punish lower-income immigrants, AND deliver a massive new giveaway to Wall Street.

Not seeing much out there on this piece right now, so here's what you need to know:
2/ The idea of a "public charge bond" goes back to the earliest colonial days. If someone coming over from Europe didn't seem like they would be able to support themselves, the ship's captain would have to put up a given amount of money to keep them off the dole or take them back
3/ As part of the "Passenger Cases," SCOTUS struck down the city of Boston's attempt to collect public charge bonds from ship captains as unconstitutional in 1849, finding that only the federal government had this kind of power. But it didn't actually exercise it until 1882.
4/ The 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, Congress's first major immigration law, tied race-based immigration restrictions and the presumption that incoming immigrants would be a "public charge." This is not a coincidence, and it's still working for Trump today.
5/ As DHS acknowledges in its own explanation of why it is bringing public charge bonds back, these bonds have not been in much use in the modern immigration system, and USCIS doesn't even have a way to collect them today.

That's about to change.
6/ Imagine being told by an immigration officer that your case was borderline under the new "public charge" guidelines and the only way that you would be able to legally immigrate to the U.S. would be if you put up a minimum of $10,000. That's where we're heading.
7/ Like the majority of native-born American citizens, most immigrants almost certainly don't have $10K to spare and will go to the free market for loans. This rule will create 100s of 1000s of new debtors each year, and is nothing less than a windfall for Wall Street banksters
8/ FICO as a stand-in for character is peak neo-liberalism. The proposed rule's focus on credit scores is deeply disturbing, and a precedent I do not want to see for how the federal government makes decisions about anything more than *actually lending money* to citizens.
9/ The proposed rule doesn't directly address the public charge grounds of deportability, which allow immigrants who become a public charge within five years to be physically removed from the U.S. But given how radically the proposal redefines "public charge," that must follow.
10/ If you asked him, I'm sure that Stephen Miller--whose stink is on every one of the 447 pages of this proposal--would tell you that this just restores the original intent of the law.

Abject bullshit. We already got the need for this kind of thing well behind us in 1996.
11/ Modern immigration law already requires a U.S. citizen or resident (usually the family member petitioning for you) to sign off as a financial sponsor and assume the liability of any public benefits you shouldn't have taken. It's a fairly elegant system, and it works.
12/ This is all extra personal for me. I was born in the U.S., but spent the first few years of my life in federally-subsidized public housing, ate household groceries subsidized by WIC, and got a very good public school education. IDK what my family would have done without it.
13/ #EastBoston has thousands of Trump voters who proudly claim on our local FB group at every opportunity that their immigrant parents and grandparents "never took a dime from anyone."

Boston welfare rolls tell a different story.
14/ Between these new public charge rules, the #RAISEAct, the #TravelBan, sharp cuts to refugee admissions, etc. it's all kind of right there: Don't even try to immigrate until you've already made your fortune. It all couldn't be further from our national myth.
15/ Anyway, here's a totally unrelated story about some upstart kid named Friedrich Trump. Back to my sick day.

Oh, meant to add this up there somewhere earlier:

Under this proposal, public charge bonds will be underwritten by "a surety company certified by the Department of Treasury."

Looks like we drained that swamp just in time, folks!

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More from @matt_cam

Aug 27, 2018
Appalling, but no surprise here.

No member of Congress should ever be able publicly comment on immigration--alone work on imm legislation--without answering one simple question:

"How does an undocumented person get a greencard?"
Not, like, step-by-step but generally what are the paths available under current law. If the answer is any variation on "get in line like everybody else," an automatic 6-month bar on any immigration rhetoric/legislation until finishing a mandatory US Immigration 101 course.
If you or your staff are not willing to take the time to understand the system we have, there is no place at the table for you in working toward a new one. None.
Read 4 tweets
Aug 22, 2018
1/ Ten years ago this June a recent immigrant was sentenced to life for the vicious, violent, cold-blooded murder of his wife and infant daughter before trying to flee to his home country.

Here's what *didn't* happen:…

--@bostonherald didn't run an angry editorial blaming our imm. vetting processes

--No one used this tragedy to call for an end to all British immigration

--The media never used a booking photo; always images like this one to remind us of his wealth & whiteness
3/ Neil Entwistle shot his wife in the head, and then his infant daughter in the stomach as she lay sleeping in her mother's arms. He then withdrew every dollar they had and fled to London. Mass state troopers grabbed him on a tube platform.
Read 12 tweets
Aug 22, 2018
If you're ever up for listening in on what your local Deep State is up to, may I recommend one of my favorite eateries in #Boston: the cafe in the JFK fed. building. Decent, reasonably-priced food with a nice view and plenty of space to relax while waiting for #immigrationcourt
1/ Two VA managers are having a lunch meeting nearby, talking through how to deliver faster/better services to a 94-year-old veteran & review implementation of a new process.

A USCIS officer is having a quick salad before another round of immigration interviews. In + out in 10
2/ Friends, this is your actual "Deep State."

Career public servants who take pride in keeping their agencies on mission and making the best use of tax dollars doing it, no matter the President or policies. Dedication, commitment, and institutional knowledge. We can't lose them.
Read 8 tweets
Aug 4, 2018

The people running it & the President directing its policies are also bad.

But ICE was still bad when the President was better.

Its purpose is bad.

Its mandate is bad.

Its unaccountability is bad.

Okay, so any questions on that


Maybe *not* have a rogue, unaccountable, armed secret police force & threat of indefinite detention in a disgusting American gulag archipelago terrorizing immigrant communities in the name of enforcing civil immigration orders

Coordinated internal immigration enforcement is a very new idea in US history. But apart from that: we've only been doing it this way for 15 years. If you are doing anything to make this model inevitable, you're on the wrong side
Read 6 tweets
Jul 30, 2018
1/ Live-tweeting from the Boston immigration court's detained docket:

Detainee is on video. I can't see his face but he has a heavy Massachusetts accent--you'd never know he wasn't born here. He is seeking bond.
2/ He has a series of drug-related convictions together with a record consistent with an addiction. Judge leaves his bond at "no bond" without hearing from him.
3/ Like most people on the detained docket, he doesn't have and can't afford a lawyer. (No appointed counsel here.) He is now speaking for himself.
Read 32 tweets
Jun 27, 2018
UPDATE: Client arrested in #EastBoston court still in #ICE custody. Fighting to get him out, but that's not what this thread is about.

This thread is about how @bostonpolice carelessly railroaded an innocent man & handed him to ICE

#AbolishICE #bospoli

BPD maintains a "gang assessment database" with the Boston Region Intelligence Center, "fusion center" which combines the worst information and impulses of local, state, and federal law enforcement. Their intel on suspected gang members is... well, it's bad. It's very bad.
The database gives BPD cover to "confirm" who is a "VERIFIED & ACTIVE" gang member. It's a serious allegation, something they'd be immediately sued for publicly suggesting about a white Bostonian. But determine that someone is young, male, & Salvadoran.... and here we are:
Read 18 tweets

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