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Lindsey Graham Breaks Senate Rules To Force Anti-Asylum Bill

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan, testifies at the Senate Committee on the Judiciary hearing entitled: “Oversight of Customs and Border Protection’s Response to the Smuggling of Persons at the Southern Border” held at the Dirksen Senate Office Building. On 5 March 2019. U.S. Customs and Border Protection photo by Jaime Rodriguez Sr.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan, testifies at the Senate Committee on the Judiciary hearing entitled: “Oversight of Customs and Border Protection’s Response to the Smuggling of Persons at the Southern Border” held at the Dirksen Senate Office Building. On 5 March 2019. U.S. Customs and Border Protection photo by Jaime Rodriguez Sr.

“If ‘the cruelty is the point’ of the Trump administration’s immigration policies, allowing for the indefinite detention of children would be its posterchild. I wanted to introduce an amendment stripping indefinite detention from the Graham bill. Graham didn’t allow it.”

Senator Lindsey Graham forced a bill to harshen asylum laws through the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, denying Democratic members the opportunity to dissent in blatant defiance of congressional rules.

“You’re breaking the rules of the committee. Mr. Chairman, this is unprecedented,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the panel. Graham ignored his colleague’s complaints and advanced the bill, the Secure and Protect Act of 2019, which will require asylum seekers from Central America to apply for asylum in their home countries and Mexico and extend the amount of time families can be kept in detention.

“Chairman Graham just broke FOUR committee rules in order to advance Pres. Trump’s bill to lock up immigrant children INDEFINITELY,” tweeted Senator Patrick Leahy Thursday. “Rules every Republican voted for 6 months ago. Rules I always respected as chairman.”

The bill is widely condemned by human rights groups and is not expected to win 60 votes in the senate.

“If “the cruelty is the point” of the Trump administration’s immigration policies, allowing for the indefinite detention of children would be its posterchild,” Sen. Leahy continued. “I wanted to introduce an amendment stripping indefinite detention from the Graham bill. Graham didn’t allow it.”

Lindsey Graham is one of the top recipients of campaign donations from the private prison industry. Private prison corporations have profited enormously from the Trump administration’s migration agenda, as they provide more than two-thirds of the beds for migrants in detention. The industry receives billions in government subsidies and is awarded extensive tax breaks, even though it has provided inhumane living conditions and uses migrants for slave labor.

After a visit to migrant detention facilities with Vice President Mike Pence last month, Graham expressed no sympathy for what the Department of Homeland Security recently described as a “ticking time-bomb.”

“I don’t care if they have to stay in these facilities for 400 days,” Graham told Fox News. “We’re not going to let those men go that I saw.”

#LeningradLindsey joined the trending hashtag #MoscowMitch on Twitter after the controversial senate maneuver on Thursday, both terms in reference to what critics perceive to be disloyalty to the public from the two senate Republicans.

Just as Graham disrespected congressional protocol in forcing the anti-asylum bill, McConnell has been ignoring traditional procedures in rushing confirmations for Trump-picked federal judges, many of whom are inexperienced and hyper-partisan.

Mitch McConnell’s new nickname came after the senate majority leader blocked two election security bills last month, despite special counsel Robert Mueller’s emphatic warning of Russian election interference during his testimony the previous day. Graham also holds controversial ties to Russia, having received $800,000 to his 2016 presidential campaign from Russian oligarch Len Blavantik.

 

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Peter Castagno

Peter Castagno is a freelance writer with a Master’s degree in International Conflict Resolution. He has traveled throughout the Middle East and Latin America to gain firsthand insight in some of the world’s most troubled areas, and he plans on publishing his first book in 2019.

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1 Comment

  1. JudyLeduc August 4, 2019

    Drain the swamp! The bizarre behavior we are seeing more and more in Trump government ALWAYS seems to trace back to vested interests and $$$$$. Where is integrity? Shameless!

    Reply

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