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Week in Review: wiretapping American Muslims, nativist protests in Murrieta

Karl Schuster • Jul 11, 2014

Are border security agents reporting to the U.S. government or political extremists?

Friday, July 11, 2014  |  Imagine 2050

Troubling reports involving border patrol agents have surfaced as a result of the humanitarian crisis with migrant children.

As reports of thousands of children seeking refuge from violence plaguing Central America and Mexico came to light several weeks ago, two radically different reactions were set into motion. Humanitarian groups across the country sprang into action to assist the children who fled across the border alone or were separated from caretakers while thousands of concerned Americans donated clothes, food and supplies. On the flip side, politically extreme nativist groups started using the crisis to amplify calls for increased deportations and dehumanizing rhetoric directed at the children and all immigrants.

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Tennessee nativists oppose possible refugee release of detained children

Thursday, July 10, 2014  |  Imagine 2050

As the nation continues to sort out whether or not the tens of thousands of children who fled violence in Central America will be granted asylum, prominent nativist groups in Tennessee are petitioning to say they are unwelcome in their state. However, the opposition to these asylum-seeking children proves to be more of the same from these groups.

Currently, asylum-seeking children are afforded specific protections under the 2008 Trafficking Victims and Protection Act (TVPRA), which grants unaccompanied children from non-contiguous countries to be placed in the care of relatives or shelters until their court hearings. This allows for an extended screening process to determine whether they qualify for asylum, a program that is currently being threatened by the Obama administration.

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Bigotry – as it always has – guides U.S. surveillance practices

Wednesday, July 9, 2014  |  Imagine 2050

In a new report by Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain, The Intercept this morning released the names of five Americans who were the targets of government spying. The long-awaited report came after Greenwald’s promise that he had another major story to tell from the documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The article is the result of a three-month investigation that found that the U.S. government has “wide latitude in spying on U.S. citizens.” In it, Greenwald and Hussain report that a government spreadsheet shows 7,485 email addresses belonging to individuals monitored by the NSA and FBI between 2002 and 2008. Many on the list appeared to be foreigners with suspected links to al-Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah, according to the authors.

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Politicians avoid hysterical Murrieta rhetoric, but still advance nativist policy

Tuesday, July 8, 2014  |  Imagine 2050

Last week, images of angry protestors blocking buses of young migrants in Southern California attracted national attention. Demonstrators tried to block the transfer detained young people to a Murrieta Border Patrol station. They carried signs stating, “Protect your Kids from Diseases,” “No New Taxe$ / No New Illegals,” “Stop Illegal Immigration,” and “Return to Sender.”

Their unabashed bigotry was on display for the world to see. While most elected politicians eschew such anti-immigrant rhetoric, in practice, many have pursued the very policies demanded by the small crowd of demonstrators.

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‘Go back home!’: Nativist hypocrisy in the Murrieta protests

Monday, July 7, 2014  |  Imagine 2050

As officials continue to work on solving the humanitarian crisis at the U.S/Mexico border, anti-immigrant activists have become increasingly brazen in their opposition to the rights of children and families fleeing violence in Central America.

This came to an ugly head last week as anti-immigrant activists in Murrieta, California, prevented Homeland Security from transferring nearly 150 migrants to a Border Patrol facility for processing. A group of about 50 protesters stood in the street waving American flags and chanting phrases such as “Go back home!” and “We don’t want you here!” to immigrants aboard the buses. Police and Border Patrol officials failed to disperse the crowd — though, it appears little effort was made — and the buses eventually reversed, travelled to another facility near San Diego.

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