😎 👍🏼”RADICALLY OPTIMISTIC” PROGRESSIVE LEADER PATRICK GASPARD, SON OF IMMIGRANTS, THINKS AMERICA CAN MOVE BY TRUMP AND GOP NEO-FASCISM! — “There is a fear that I hear among immigrants that are in our community: they worry that the face of America has changed. When they see things like ‘the great replacement’ conspiracy that’s driving all kinds of not just rhetoric but actual policy on the ground for conservatives, they worry about what kind of violence it can visit on their children.” — Why Isn’t He Protesting Garland’s Mis-Management Of America’s Anti-Immigrant Star Chambers (A/K/A EOIR)?
David Smith reports for The Guardian:
. . . .
The CAP [Center for American Progress] can also be a critical friend. “During the spike in Haitian asylum seekers at the Texas border, when the world saw those reprehensible images of how those asylum seekers were being treated, I didn’t hesitate as the president of CAP to speak out against the policies and to personally go to the border to bear witness to what was occurring and to call for and demand different practises in how we adjudicate those matters.”
There has been “tremendous progress” at the border since then, he says. But Biden’s approval rating remains stubbornly low and there is a sense of gloom in the air. As the president nears his first anniversary in office, what is Gaspard’s verdict so far? “My god, can we step back for a second and have some perspective?
“If someone had told me or anyone on January 5th that 11 months later Joe Biden would have managed to pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill, successfully advanced a historic stimulus bill that’s led to the fastest 11 month job growth in America that we’ve ever had … and was also on the precipice of passing a piece of legislation that will expand access to Medicare benefits, lift up low wage workers who are the frontlines of the care economy, make the most progress on investments in climate change in two generations, I would have taken all of that if you’d offered it to me.”
In his inaugural address, Biden vowed to address the interlocking crises of climate, coronavirus, economy and racial justice. On the last of these, police reform and voting rights have stalled in Congress, raising fears that last year’s Black Lives Matter protests after the police murder of George Floyd could prove a moment, not a movement, after all.
Gaspard, however, believes the momentum is sustainable. “Of course there was the white knuckle moment of George Floyd and the explosion of pent-up advocacy and rage but now there’s a lot of good, thoughtful work. You’re going to have your setbacks but there’s also been extraordinary progress in a number of states – Missouri, Ohio, California – where you can quantify what’s changed. That will continue. Civil rights just does not move in a linear way.”
Less than a year after the 6 January insurrection at the US Capitol, however, the existential threats to democracy itself persist in a deeply divided nation. Gaspard describes himself as “radically optimistic” but not “Pollyannish” about the gathering storm.
“This is a thing I hesitate to say out loud but I really do believe that we should have the understanding that in 2024, when we are conducting elections across the country, there is the potential for us to experience January 6 on steroids, for us to see it in state after state in state capitols.”
“There’s the potential for that kind of civil disruption if we are not on our side intentional about pushing back now and about making as persuasive an argument for democracy as we can and an argument that’s manifest in actual legislation and executive orders.”
Reagan famously referred to America as a “shining city on a hill”; Biden has said the country can be defined in one word: “possibilities”. It was such promises that enticed Gaspard’s parents here half a century ago. But the turmoil of recent years has tarnished its image. Does he think his mother and father would have made the same choice today?
“We have seen that America, as an aspirational brand, has taken a hit the last several years. There’s a direct relationship between that and the previous president of the United States and how he postured on the world stage and projected us as a closed, hyper sovereign space that did not cooperate in a multilateral way and that led with military might and ‘America first’ as opposed to partnership and cooperation.
“There is a fear that I hear among immigrants that are in our community: they worry that the face of America has changed. When they see things like ‘the great replacement’ conspiracy that’s driving all kinds of not just rhetoric but actual policy on the ground for conservatives, they worry about what kind of violence it can visit on their children. All that anxiety is real.”
But again he sees the glass as half full. “I can tell you I’m pretty confident that if my parents were faced with that choice today that America is still the place they would see as this shining beacon of hope and opportunity, irrespective of its challenges which are real and more nakedly exposed than they have been in some time.
Read the full interview at the link.
Gaspard needs to pick up the phone, call his fellow “child of immigrants” in the White House, and remind her that “die in place” and “rot in Mexico” aren’t “progressive human rights and racial policies!”
He also might challenge her to rethink the Administration’s regressive decision to allow AG Merrick “What Me Worry” Garland to run the nation’s largest, and probably second most important, nationwide Federal “court” system with a non-diverse group of many questionably qualified non-life-tenured “holdover” judges and a “de facto Supreme Court of human rights and racial justice” with horribly performing appellate judges appointed or retained by Sessions and Barr because of their “Miller-think” anti-immigrant philosophies and mis-interpretations of the law.
Patrick commendably went to the border to “bear witness” to the miserable Administration policies directed at Haitians and other asylum seekers of color. Now, I think he should show up in Immigration “Court” and “bear witness” to the systemic denial of due process, fundamental fairness, racial justice, and human dignity (not to mention mediocre judging) being inflicted on immigrants and their lawyers (if they are fortunate enough to even have one) on a daily basis! Then, call up President Biden and urge him to live up to his campaign promises!
There are many areas of damage to the American system, particularly the Article III Federal Courts, that are beyond the power of the President to immediately change. But, the Immigration Courts, under the total control of the Executive, are one where immediate progressive change is not only possible, it’s long overdue. If you can’t “put your own house in order” what’s the chance of achieving other portions of the vision for a better, fairer, and more just America?
Under Trump and McConnell, The Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation “owned” the Article III appointment process, while far-right nativist groups FAIR and Center for Immigration Studies (“CIS”) did likewise for the immigration bureaucracy and the Immigration Courts.
So, why is it that CAP and other progressive groups haven’t been able to achieve progressive reforms and better-quality judicial appointments in the Immigration Courts and the BIA? Progressives appear to have once again been outflanked, out-maneuvered, out-visioned, and out-strategized by far-right xenophobic restrictionist and nativist interest groups!
To be perfectly honest, the current Administration policies on refugees, asylees, and human rights in Immigration Court and at the border (the two are intertwined) more closely resemble those of “Gauleiter” Stephen Miller than they do of Patrick Gaspard and other supposedly influential progressives and humanitarians! I predict that future historians will find Garland’s mis-handling of EOIR to be one of the greatest, if not the greatest, “blown opportunities” in American progressivism!
At some point, being progressive and standing up for a racially just America that welcomes immigrants means more than just “talking progressive” or “remaining optimistic” in the face of lies and evil. It means taking action to combat the forces and enablers of anti-democratic, biased, authoritarianism and hate in America!
DUE PROCESS FOREVER!