Proposed changes to rules for issuing immigrants’ green cards — as well as regulations putting fate of thousands of species in hands of mining and oil companies — seen as Administration’s commitment to maintaining fewer diversified populations across all US life forms.
August 13, 2019
By Andrew Squibley and Arthur Bushwhacker, Know All the Words to “Let It Go”
“Democracy Dies In Darkness…Which is Why It Summers in Alaska”
WASHINGTON (Rueters) — New federal rules affecting the fate of immigrants and endangered species are part of a carefully considered strategy to energize President Trump’s base and keep faith with powerful commercial interests — all designed to improve his reelection prospects, Rueters has learned.
In a series of confidential emails — recently passed along to Rueters — from a top presidential advisor to the heads of the Interior Department and Citizenship and Immigration Services, the White House urged quick action to challenge the rights of poor immigrants to enter the US and endangered species to continue living here.
“How many more immigrants do we really need in this country,” senior White House adviser Stephen Miller wrote to both Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
“And, frankly, don’t we already have enough bald eagles, grizzlies and alligators at this point? The Boss’s voters don’t give a shit about immigrants, gray wolves or barn owls. In fact, they mostly hate them,” he wrote the two department heads.
Cuccinelli’s office, following the party line as laid out by Miller, recently changed the criteria for immigrants to obtain green cards. If allowed to take effect in 30 days (they could be challenged in court), the new regulations would have immigration officials focus more closely on immigrants’ financial resources before granting green cards.
These changes would make it more difficult for immigrants who came to the US legally to stay as permanent residents if they’ve used — or may use — public benefits like food stamps, federal housing vouchers or state-run Medicaid services.
In virtual lockstep with Cuccinelli’s proposals, Bernhardt’s department announced sweeping changes to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that would weaken protections for threatened and endangered species in place since 1973 — regulations credited by conservation experts with saving from extinction bald eagles, grizzly bears and the American alligator.
If not successfully challenged in court, the rule changes, which introduce cost-benefit analysis to determine the economic value of protecting mammals, marine life, birds, and insects, would take effect in 30 days.
Administration opponents see the diminishing of ESA’s protections as a huge favor from Trump to oil, gas and mining concerns who’ve regularly found their development efforts delayed or derailed altogether by the presence of threatened species on their lands.
“Under the new regs,” said one conservation leader, “all these companies will have to do is say their projects are more important for the economy than the lives of threatened or endangered species.
“Alligators, bald eagles and grizzlies are the lucky ones. They were saved by the ESA,” he continued. “It’s pretty much all bets are off for the rest of our wildlife.”
Left: Even though the ESA doesn’t protect Burmese pythons in the Everglades, they’ve still found hunting there pretty good; Right: Like so many beneficiaries of federal programs, grizzlies “got ours” and now oppose extending benefits to other species. (Photos by Rueters)
Taken together, the changes to criteria for immigrants attempting to acquire a green card — as well as stripping away nearly a half-century of wildlife protections — represent a strategy to reduce diversity among humans and animals throughout the US, former vice president and Democratic candidate for president Joe Biden told Rueters when asked to comment on the various rule changes.
“We know that gray wolves and barn owls are just as smart as poor kids,” Biden said. “They deserve every protection we can offer.”