Trump’s Financial Disclosures Are Meaningless

President Trump has repeatedly argued that there is no need for him to release his tax returns because his financial disclosures give us the same information we would obtain from his tax returns. Specifically, Trump argues through his financial disclosure forms that because he is no longer listed as the head of his numerous companies, he doesn’t have any conflict of interest. Well, now we find out courtesy of CNN’s OutFront with Erin Burnett that Trump’s financial disclosures are deceptive and thus meaningless.

Erin Burnett citing a consumer advocacy group Public Citizen said, “Public Citizen did some digging by looking into Trump’s federal financial disclosures and found that Trump did remove his name as the owner of more than 500 assets once he became President but [that is] on paper, not in reality. The Truth, Public Citizen found, the assets Trump transferred ownership to can be traced back to one person and that one person is President Trump…..Which means Trump still has a vested interest in making sure his businesses are doing well, businesses that receive money every single day from people trying to influence or carry favor from the President.”

Bottom line folks, we do not need Erin Burnett to prove to us that Trump is in serious and constant violation of the constitution’s emoluments clause. The clamor for his tax returns should be an issue of the utmost urgency and Congress must deal ruthlessly with corrupt public officials like Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin who continue to abuse their positions to hide Trump’s tax returns. Time has come for Congress to exercise its rarely used powers and jail Steven Mnuchin for contempt of Congress!!

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DHS-ICE Illegally Detaining U.S. Citizens

A troubling report on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show says DHS-ICE is increasingly detaining U.S. Citizens, something it has absolutely no legal authority to do. According to host Joy Reid who was subbing for the vacationing Maddow, this stems from a legally questionable practice currently in place in many U.S. counties where DHS-ICE places “detainers” on county jail inmates it suspects are either not in the U.S. legally, or even if here legally, are subject to deportation proceedings based on their criminal convictions. The Maddow segment focused on Peter Brown, a Philadelphia native who DHS-ICE almost mistakenly deported to Jamaica. For the record DHS-ICE has no legal authority to detain a U.S. citizen so any ICE detainer placed on a U.S. citizen is void on its face.

The full Maddow segment is available here but the relevant clip is below.

So for example if someone is convicted in Harris County Texas for say DWI, and jailed for say 6 months at the county jail, one of the preliminary issues that is determined by county jail officials is whether the inmate is a U.S. citizen. If it is determined that the inmate is not a U.S. citizen then DHS-ICE places a “detainer” on them essentially telling the Harris County jail officials to detain the said inmate for an extra 48 hours(2 days) to allow DHS-ICE to come and pick them up for deportation proceedings.

The problem with this policy is that it is prone to a lot of racial and ethnic profiling by county jail officials who often arbitrarily classify inmates who don’t “look like” or “speak like” Americans as non-citizens and thereby illegally subjecting them to DHS-ICE detainers. This is especially problematic in immigrant-rich cities like Houston which is home to many naturalized U.S. citizens who don’t “look like” or “speak like” Americans.

According to the Maddow segment, DHS-ICE apparently enters into contracts with county officials where they pay them an agreed sum for every inmate the county detains for them. It turns out however that in addition to this “detainer” policy being patently illegal as applied to U.S. citizens, it is also draining county tax dollars from the resultant lawsuits. In other words this “detainer” policy is ending up costing counties infinitely more money in lawsuits than the money DHS-ICE pays them to detain inmates for them. So in their zeal to push a “tough-on-immigration” agenda using the “detainers”, county officials(often Republican counties) are ending up wasting much needed tax dollars settling lawsuits brought by illegally detained U.S. citizens—a total travesty.

Bottom line as Yours Truly has said all along, Congress must step in and enforce some checks on DHS-ICE’s seemingly absolute powers. It seems as if at every turn DHS-ICE is violating the constitutional rights of poor immigrants whether that be through its evil family separation policy, illegal surveillance of legal immigrants or now illegally detaining U.S. citizens. A wise man once said, “power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.” It’s about time the U.S. Congress reigned in DHS-ICE’s absolute power.

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The Real Reason I.C.E Should Be Abolished

After the Trump Administration’s “Zero Tolerance” policy which called for the separation of migrant children from their parents upon apprehension at the southern U.S. border, there have been increasing calls including by a senior U.S. Senator, for the abolition of DHS’ Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Calls for the abolition of ICE went on overdrive when a previously little known Progressive Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez scored a stunning upset victory in the NY14 Democratic primary, unseating the 4th ranking Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Ocassio-Cortez made abolishing ICE the central theme of her campaign, so naturally her stunning upset win has been read by many to mean there is groundswell support among grassroots Democrats for the abolition of ICE

Left out of the ICE abolition debate however is what Yours Truly believes should be the real reason ICE should either be abolished or severely investigated;–That ICE which most Americans associate with going after people in the U.S. illegally, is now also terrorizing legal permanent residents (green card holders) and naturalized  U.S. citizens with illegal surveillance for their political statements on social media(Twitter, Facebook). Even more troubling is that these outright unconstitutional practices by ICE(First Amendment violations) have been widely reported in the media yet Congress remains silent. The troubling practices at DHS-ICE have been likened to the infamous “Cointelpro” tactics employed by the FBI in the 1960s to target black civil rights activists.


To be very clear, Yours Truly is not saying the evil child separation policy of the Trump Admin is not reason enough for Dems to call for the abolition of ICE. What Yours Truly is suggesting is that Congressional Dems, especially Senators need to start hammering DHS/ICE over its unconstitutional surveillance of legal permanent residents and naturalized citizens for their political speech and then add the evil child separation policy as the reason the agency needs to be abolished. Put another way, Dems should argue that ICE is already flagrantly and routinely violating the constitutional rights of permanent residents and naturalized citizens, and that this coupled with the evil child separation policy, should be sufficient grounds for its abolition–the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

Bottomline the real atrocities at ICE have not yet been exposed enough to convince the public that time has come to disband the agency. Dems will be better advised to first push for hearings/investigation into ICE’s unconstitutional practices towards legal permanent residents and naturalized citizens and then call for its abolition for the evil child separation policy. When the truth about ICE’s illegal practices are finally put on full display to the public,  abolition will be a very easy sell.

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