Stories of Stupid: ICE Ghostbusters, Bank of America, DOJ Denialism

Despite a total lack of evidence, the Trump/Sessions regime continues to insist that voter fraud is rampant and that non-citizens vote by the millions. Their latest target is North Carolina, where courts have repeatedly confirmed Republican election violations through gerrymandering. DOJ and ICE don’t care about gerrymandering: instead, they have launched a giant fishing expedition, trolling for evidence of non-citizen voting. 

The North Carolina story starts with an election audit:

“North Carolina’s state’s election board did an audit for voter fraud after the 2016 election. Out of the nearly 4.8 million people who cast a ballot, state election officials found 41 confirmed noncitizen voters and 441 ineligible voters with disenfranchising felony convictions.

“Voter education, they wrote in a report, was the issue — not intentional fraud, and they vowed to improve warnings on forms and poll worker education.”

That’s consistent with repeated findings across the country: ineligible voters are almost always misinformed voters who mistakenly think they are performing a civic duty. Facts never stand in the way of a good immigrant hunt by ICE and the Department of Justice, so they issued a sweeping subpoena for years of North Carolina election records. After state election officials said that producing more than 15 million records before November would cripple their election efforts, ICE and the DOJ agreed to wait until after the election. That doesn’t resolve the underlying stupidity of the subpoena:

“Justin Levitt, a former Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Department of Justice who worked on voting rights cases in the Obama administration, said the broad nature of the request smacked of a fishing expedition.

“It’s nuts,” Levitt said. “It’s the equivalent of asking, in order to investigate bank fraud, asking the ten largest banks for all of their bank records pertaining to anybody. That’s not how you’d investigate a bank fraud.”

Kareem Crayton, interim executive director of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, notes that, “With so many well-established threats to our election process from abroad, it is odd to see federal resources directed to this particular concern.”

Bank of America

Saeed Moshfegh is in the United States legally, and has been here for seven years. That didn’t stop BoA from freezing his bank account:

“Saeed Moshfegh woke up earlier this month to discover the strangest thing: Though he had plenty of money in his Bank of America account, he couldn’t access it.

“An Iranian getting his Ph.D in physics at the University of Miami, Moshfegh used the account for everyday transactions. All he had to do to maintain the account was show proof of legal residency every six months.

“I think it’s onerous, but I’d been doing it,” said Moshfegh, who has lived in the U.S. for the past seven years. He recently married an American.

“That Thursday, Moshfegh went to his local branch near South Miami. He was told that the documentation he had provided could not be accepted. Bank officials insisted he produce a different form, according to Moshfegh. The bank was wrong, he maintains, because the form he had supplied was the correct one based on his current status as a student nearing graduation”.

Don’t Confuse DOJ With Facts

NBC reports again on the fact-free, fact-resistant DOJ policies on refugees:

“The Trump administration has consistently sought to exaggerate the potential security threat posed by refugees and dismissed an intelligence assessment last year that showed refugees did not present a significant threat to the U.S., three former senior officials told NBC News….

“We read that. The attorney general doesn’t agree with the conclusions of that report,” [Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand] said, according to two officials familiar with the meeting, including one who was in the room at the time.

“Brand’s blunt veto of the intelligence assessment shocked career civil servants at the interagency meeting, which seemed to expose a bid to supplant facts and expertise with an ideological agenda.”

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About Mary Turck

News Day, written by Mary Turck, analyzes, summarizes, links to, and comments on reports from news media around the world, with particular attention to immigration, education, and journalism. Fragments, also written by Mary Turck, has fiction, poetry and some creative non-fiction. Mary Turck edited TC Daily Planet, www.tcdailyplanet.net, from 2007-2014, and edited the award-winning Connection to the Americas and AMERICAS.ORG, in its pre-2008 version. She is also a recovering attorney and the author of many books for young people (and a few for adults), mostly focusing on historical and social issues.
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