Grind for July 16th
“History is a vast early warning system.” – Norman Cousins
Labor Sec. resigns amid Epstein controversy
President Trump’s Labor Secretary Alex Acosta submitted his resignation this week following the arrest of financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Acosta, a former attorney, is under investigation in relation to a plea deal he gave Epstein in 2008 – a deal that allowed Epstein to serve just 13 months in prison after pleading guilty to sex trafficking.
Epstein was even allowed to leave his cell to “go to work” for 12 hours each day.
This time, Epstein faces up to 45 years in prison for running a “network and operation” that allowed him to abuse dozens of underage girls.
Mr. Acosta’s resignation was “a victory for crime victims everywhere,” said Florida State Senator Lauren Book (D-Broward). “Acosta aided and abetted criminal sex predator Jeffrey Epstein – and was rewarded with one of the top positions within the United States government…until the truth caught up with him.”
It is widely believed that Epstein’s connections to powerful figures like Bill Clinton enabled him to escape his crimes in 2008.
“I feel power and influence obviously influenced the scales of justice,” said Kirk Blouin, who worked as a police officer in Palm Beach, Florida during Epstein’s original sentencing.
“I was involved in thousands of cases, and not all of them turn out the way you think they should, but in that case it was very bizarre.”
Large-scale immigration raid begins
On June 22nd, President Trump offered to cancel a nationwide immigration raid if lawmakers could work together to close the “asylum and loophole problems” that are creating a crisis at the southern border.
The lawmakers failed, and the raid Trump promised began late Saturday
“We are doing targeted enforcement actions against specific individuals who have had their day in immigration court and have been ordered to be removed by an immigration judge,” explains acting ICE Director Matt Albence. “We are merely executing those lawfully issued judge’s orders.”
Agents have a list of more than 2,000 people who have been ordered deported. These individuals received letters in February offering them a chance for orderly removal from the US; only 3% of people responded.
“At this point, we have no choice but to go out and execute those lawfully-issued removal orders from an immigration judge,” says Albence.
The target list includes entire families, which will be held together in federal detention centers in Pennsylvania and Texas until authorities run out of space. If undocumented parents are found to have children who are US citizens, ICE agents will wait with the kids until a relative can be found.
To highlight the need for a crackdown, ICE on Sunday published a list of recent incidents where nonresidents who were released despite detainer requests went on to commit new crimes including rape, murder, burglary, assault, drug possession, and DUI.
ICE agents will focus on criminals “as much as we can before we do anything else,” said Trump.
It is unclear how successful the raids will be given the publicity. ICE agents are not allowed to forcibly enter a home and advocates in major cities are going door to door providing information on immigrants’ rights. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said his city would not cooperate.
CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan described these efforts as “unconscionable.”
“This is about going after individuals here illegally…Any city, any law enforcement agency that resists, does not cooperate, they’re actually putting those cities in higher danger,” he said.
Based on the success of previous raids, we can expect about 200 arrests.
GOOD TO THE LAST DROP:
Did you know… 15 million gallons of wine were destroyed in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.