Some people cling to the belief that Eric Garner was killed by everything but the cops who killed him

05 Dec 2014 08:00 am
Posted by: Donna

Rep. Steve King (R-NY) told CNN that Eric Garner’s death was caused by his obesity and not by the choke hold administered by five Staten Island cops.

“You had a 350-pound person who was resisting arrest. The police were trying to bring him down as quickly as possible,” King said in an appearance on CNN’s “The Situation Room.” “If he had not had asthma and a heart condition and was so obese, almost definitely he would not have died from this. The police had no reason to know he was in serious condition.”

The confrontation between Pantaleo and Garner was also caught on video that showed Garner repeatedly telling the officer he couldn’t breathe. King said police hear that kind of thing all the time.

“But if you can’t breathe, you can’t talk,” he argued.

Wow, one hopes that if someone in Rep. King’s vicinity tells him they can’t breathe that he doesn’t respond by calmly informing them that they are, in fact, breathing since they can talk so stop whining. A person saying “I can’t breathe!” is in a state of medical distress. And it’s worth noting that Eric Garner did, in fact, die from, you know, not being able to breathe from the choke hold the five cops who held him down put him in. The New York City medical examiner agrees:

It was a homicide — and the chokehold killed him.

Eric Garner, the Staten Island dad who complained that he couldn’t breathe as he was subdued by cops, died from compression of the neck, the medical examiner said Friday.

The autopsy also found that compressions to the chest and “prone positioning during physical restraint by police” killed Garner. The manner of death, according to the medical examiner, was homicide.

You’d think that would be the end of that but there is nothing (aside from war crimes or military hazing) that brings out the inner Colonel Jessup of some people quite like the killing of unarmed black and brown people by police officers. When I put the Peter King piece up on Facebook and commented about the absurdity of his “obesity” claim, most commenters agreed with me (because I proudly shout into an echo chamber most of the time) but I did have one Facebook friend who wanted to play Devil’s Advocate.

I’m going to list the excuses he made, which may seem unfair since I and others argued with him but, fuck it, it’s my blog and it really doesn’t matter how we responded to him. If you’re Facebook friends with me, you can go to my wall and see the discussion for yourself. If not, I promise that his remarks stand on their own. So here we go:

On Garner’s 32nd arrest on the same sidewalk by the same police department he has an asthma attack, and nobody used his breathalizer to revive him? C’mon, cops did not know about his health risk.

Garner did not ask for his breathalizer like someone with asthma does when they can’t breathe. So how were the cops suppose to know what was wrong with him?

His heart attack happened minutes later, in the ambulance. He was unconscience but breathing at the scene, CPR wasn’t needed there.

32nd arrest at the same location for the same crime? Three hundred+ calls to the police by local businesses and customers. Someone felt threatened/harassed by this guy.

He had an asthma attack during the arrest. Same choking hold on non asthmatic person would not have killed that person.

Officer never had more than one second hold around Garner’s neck at any time on the video. He kept changing his arm positions. Had Garner by the jaw, then his throat, then hi shoulder.

MMA and WWE fighting has more dangerous choke holds than the officer had on Garner, see anyone die from those?

If you do not believe Garner’s asthma attack was the main reason he died, then you are out of touch with reality.

Sure, happens all the time! What causes an asthma attack is high blood pressure/ stressful physical activity. XXXXX XXXXXXXXXX, a classmate of ours nearly died twice from asthma attacks without anybody touching him, just scaring him in normal horsing around, scared the crap out of us, but both times he screamed for his breathilizer.

XXXX XXXXXXXX another of our classmates died from an asthma attack and followup heart attack when he was being chased by some kids at Marivue Park, remember?

So, if Garner was not breaking the law, the cops would not have been called, and he would be alive today, Monica

At one point I did ask if my Facebook friend thought that the coroner, who declared Eric Garner’s death to be a homicide after examining his body, was full of shit.

No, Donna, my education and experience in law enforcement, with Red Cross Safety training, Workshops in restraining suspect training says the coroner in this case is full of shit.

Okey dokey.

And who can speak when they can’t breathe? Try it out, hear how you sound, then compare that with the video. Garner way too clearly speaking, made it hard for the officers to believe him.

Coroner also said asthma attack and obesity contributed to Garner’s death. When a Coroner cannot place an exact time of occurance, like if Garner’s asthma attack happened before, during, or after the arrest, it is standard practice to list as contributing factor instead of main cause, which the grand jury received a full detailed explanation of.

Did the officers take down Garner Like they thought he was healthy or a health risk? Obviously the officers thought Garner was an able bodied, healthy person. So much for intent to murder him. Accidental, negligent maybe, but not murder.

Well, here in Arizona, cops are trained to ask the suspect if they need/have any medications/breathers in these types of situations, so you all can take it easy in our police. I have no idea why none of Garner’s arresting officers asked if he needed his meds/breather. Guess why the NYC Police Departments are getting a three day retraining workshop.

I can’t believe Garner did not ask for his breather. Standard asthma patient training.

I can’t believe Garner sold his cigarettes on the sidewalk in front of the store he bought them from.

I can’t believe Garner survived eight previous chokehold arrests but not this one.

I can’t believe Garner had just broke up a fight.

I can’t believe Garner did not have an asthma attack while breaking up a fight between teenagers, but couldn’t breathe when under arrest. Starting to smell fishy.

Note that he was talking about someone who died there.

Here he is, scolding us for using the phrase “death penalty” to describe Eric Garner’s death.

Since the death penalty was not administered, a take down was, there is no validity to indict any of the officers. Prove intent to kill for officer indictment. That did not happen during grand jury testimony, so no indictment. Deal with it!

Why didn’t the Officers or EMT’s perform a tracheotomy if they knew Garner had an asthma attack?

Because Garner was breathing the entire seven minutes til the ambulance arrived.

Which of the four videos are you basing your entire opinion on? CNN has shown two so far, grand jury saw four, FYI. Second video has witnesses asking cops why they didn’t administer CPR, oxygen, and they replied “He’s breathing, been breathing the whole time.”

Well at least Obama, Holder, and Sharpton are with you guys.

My Facebook interlocutor had an abundance of reasons why Garner deserved to die, none of which make any sense, considering what the coroner said.

Again:

Eric Garner, the Staten Island dad who complained that he couldn’t breathe as he was subdued by cops, died from compression of the neck, the medical examiner said Friday.

The autopsy also found that compressions to the chest and “prone positioning during physical restraint by police” killed Garner. The manner of death, according to the medical examiner, was homicide

But hey, Al Sharpton.

.

Republican senator signals the return of SB1062 under, you guessed it, the banner of Hobby Lobby

03 Dec 2014 07:44 pm
Posted by: Donna

On Monday the AZ Republic featured a pair of op-eds from a Republican State Senator and the outgoing Democratic House Minority Leader about the prospect of a reformulated SB1062 in the upcoming Arizona legislative session.

Here’s Senator Nancy Barto (R) explaining why opponents of discrimination are misguided meaniebutts:

To start — the vast majority of the attacks against this simple bill were at best misunderstandings of the legislation, or at worst outright lies with the endgame of conditioning the public into automatically equating faith with bigotry — in the name of equality and fairness.

On the contrary, SB 1062 brought Arizona in line with federal law and would not have created any “new right” to discriminate (i.e. refusing people taxi, hotel or restaurant service).

The Supreme Court made this clear in June when they said the Green family, who own Hobby Lobby, couldn’t be forced to pay for abortion-causing drugs in their insurance plans as “Obamacare” mandated — meaning they didn’t have to surrender their First Amendment rights simply because they started a business.

This is exactly what SB 1062 would have clarified in Arizona.

Christ, how many times does it have to be explained that the Hobby Lobby decision pertained to all birth control methods? And that Hobby Lobby has already been successfully cited in a case having nothing to do with birth control?

Apparently, it does have to be explained repeatedly, as this comment to the AZ Republic piece indicates:

I don’t know where to begin. The Hobby Lobby case is distinctly different from cases where business owners have tried to refuse service to homosexuals. The only similarity is that extreme Religious elements are attempting to force their beliefs onto others. If the Arizona Legislature passes anything similar to SB 1062, it will simply be challenged in court and deemed unconstitutional.

This person is clearly not a Cathi Herrod fan but thinks that Hobby Lobby is distinctly different from SB1062 because why? Most likely it’s because the Hobby Lobby case was, on its face, about ladies having non-procreative sex. The religious groups behind the case were counting on the propensity of many people to believe that sexually active women of childbearing age inhabit a different moral and legal orbit from that which “real people” i.e. “people who are not ladies having non-procreative sex, i.e. sluts”, do. Many people who are unsympathetic to Cathi Herrod’s and Antonin Scalia’s views in nearly all circumstances are willing to give them the benefit of the doubt when they use “religious freedom” to punish the sluts, despite the potential of that blowing open the door to discrimination against anyone.

Even some legal experts try to draw a distinction where there is none. Here is Jeffery Toobin, legal expert, trying to do that:

The Arizona law and the Hobby Lobby case represent two sides of the same coin. Both assert that the invocation of a religious belief allows a company to opt out of a government requirement that applies to everyone else. But, for better or worse, the politics of the two situations are very different. The Arizona law involved no expenditure of funds by government or the private sector; it was a straight-up question of whether discrimination will be permitted. Hobby Lobby, on the other hand, represents an out-of-pocket cash obligation of a kind that a corporation is always looking to avoid. And the question of birth control is bound up with the question of sex, which makes conservatives uncomfortable, to say the least. It is also tied to the politics of abortion.

Toobin warns of the danger of Hobby Lobby to gay rights, but he also sees the Hobby Lobby case as different because of expenditures. In so doing, Toobin is acting as though women don’t really earn their employment-based health plans the same as men as do, and that we don’t pay insurance premiums and taxes (which is where those “government expenditures” come from). Seriously, Toobin nearly erases women’s participation in the labor market and contribution to the tax base so that he can invoke conservative discomfort over said women having sex! That’s going pretty far to make Hobby Lobby “different” but even some nice, reasonable people (as I believe Jeffery Toobin to be) will go to those lengths to excuse legally codified slut shaming. It’s our national religion, after all.

I think a lot of people do, and will, get that Hobby Lobby and SB1062 spring from the same authoritarian impulse and that if you work to stop SB1062 to protect LGBT rights you have to do the same when it comes back disguised as Hobby Lobby. But I’m afraid too many people in Arizona will hear “birth control” and “abortifacients” and conclude that it’s either not their problem or that the religious bigots have a point on this one because, you know, sluts. It has been thus for forty years.

Conservatives want lots of room for error and fun in their young lives, none for the rest of us.

02 Dec 2014 08:00 am
Posted by: Donna

Photo: DesignTrend.com

By now you’ve probably heard about the spokeswoman for a GOP Congressman ranting on Facebook that Sasha and Malia Obama needed to show more class and stop dressing like they’re going to a bar. Also, too, they are not surrounded by “good role models”.

The rant went viral and Elizabeth Louten was blistered on social media over it. She apologized and ultimately resigned. That may seem harsh but in light of recent revelations of her own adolescent indiscretions, her resignation is looking more and more appropriate.

Elizabeth Lauten, 31, stepped down from her job as communications director for a Republican representative after her Facebook diatribe against Sasha and Malia Obama’s behavior and dress at the annual Turkey pardoning sparked outrage online.

Evidence has now emerged indicating Lauten didn’t exactly practice what she preached when she was a teen, growing up out of the public eye in North Carolina.

When Lauten was 17, just a year older than the president’s eldest daughter Malia, she was caught stealing from a Belk department store in her hometown, according to court records obtained by the Smoking Gun.

Lauten was charged with misdemeanor larceny for the crime in December 2000, but since she was a first-time offender she qualified for the District Court’s deferred prosecution program and the charges were eventually dropped.

Public records also show that Lauten was ticketed at the age of 19 for speeding and running a red light in Virginia.

Lauten attacked the Obama daughters for frowning and wearing short skirts (while not looking in any way like they were headed to the club) neither of which is a crime or an indication of anything but their being teenagers embarrassed by their dad. It’s hard to believe that Lauten, age 31, had forgotten her youthful infractions (which included theft and endangering fellow motorists’ lives through her careless driving) so where does she get off casting aspersions on Malia and Sasha? That’s leaving aside her stupidity in not remembering that there’s the internet now and sites like The Smoking Gun live to expose hypocrites like her.

Right wingers can pretend that they emerged from the womb fully formed as perfectly-behaved 40 year old Sunday school teachers all they want but the truth, found all too easily, is that they make mistakes and have a good time when they’re young too (and when they’re older, as multiple scandals with middle-aged GOP politicians attest). Their cognitive dissonance about this would be amusing if it didn’t show up so much in their policy prescriptions on everything from drug laws to public assistance to sex and reproductive rights, all aimed at punishing poorer and less advantaged people for simply being as human as they are.

Speaking of “thugs”.

30 Nov 2014 11:50 pm
Posted by: Donna

Photo of Matthew Belardine from Scottsdale PD

Per KPHO comes this report of three arrests in downtown Scottsdale, including of two men who accosted Ferguson decision protesters, which led to a brawl.

Two people arrested for fighting in front of the Wasted Grain bar were not part of the protest group, said Scottsdale police Sgt. Ben Hoster. The pair had approached the protesters and started yelling obscenities at them, Hoster said. The two men then began fighting with the protesters and they were quickly arrested, he said.

They are identified as Samuel Lee Busic, 26, of Phoenix. He was charged with assault. Matthew Belardine, 27, of Ohio. He was charged with disorderly conduct.

A very alert Facebook friend with a long memory pointed out that Busic and Belardine were both volunteer football coaches at Steubenville High School and that Belardine was convicted and served jail time for his role in providing the conditions in which a 16 year old girl was raped and the attack was filmed and passed around social media.

Belardine was the only adult present at an August 2012 party held at his home and attended by both players, Ma’lik Richmond and Trenton Mays, and the victim, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office said. Belardine pleaded no contest to serving alcohol to a minor and making a false statement, charges that carried a six-month maximum sentence each.

“It’s very unfortunate the events that transpired that night, you know, with the girl and everything,” Belardine said in court. He said he believed he made “the right decisions,” but “I didn’t make the decisions quick enough.”

He said he learned “a very good lesson — that no matter what, you should always tell the truth.”

In addition to the jail time, Belardine was ordered to serve 40 hours of community service and pay $1,000 in fines. Dan Tierney, a spokesman for the Ohio attorney general’s office, tells CNN Belardine was ordered to report to jail on Friday.

Wow, what a thug. Impressive people you have on your side there, Darren Wilson and St. Louis Police.

St. Louis, Missouri (November 30, 2014) – The St. Louis Police Officers Association is profoundly disappointed with the members of the St. Louis Rams football team who chose to ignore the mountains of evidence released from the St. Louis County Grand Jury this week and engage in a display that police officers around the nation found tasteless, offensive and inflammatory.
Five members of the Rams entered the field today exhibiting the “hands-up-don’t-shoot” pose that has been adopted by protestors who accused Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson of murdering Michael Brown. The gesture has become synonymous with assertions that Michael Brown was innocent of any wrongdoing and attempting to surrender peacefully when Wilson, according to some now-discredited witnesses, gunned him down in cold blood.

SLPOA Business Manager Jeff Roorda said, “now that the evidence is in and Officer Wilson’s account has been verified by physical and ballistic evidence as well as eye-witness testimony, which led the grand jury to conclude that no probable cause existed that Wilson engaged in any wrongdoing, it is unthinkable that hometown athletes would so publicly perpetuate a narrative that has been disproven over-and-over again.”

Roorda was incensed that the Rams and the NFL would tolerate such behavior and called it remarkably hypocritical. “All week long, the Rams and the NFL were on the phone with the St. Louis Police Department asking for assurances that the players and the fans would be kept safe from the violent protesters who had rioted, looted, and burned buildings in Ferguson. Our officers have been working 12 hour shifts for over a week, they had days off including Thanksgiving cancelled so that they could defend this community from those on the streets that perpetuate this myth that Michael Brown was executed by a brother police officer and then, as the players and their fans sit safely in their dome under the watchful protection of hundreds of St. Louis’s finest, they take to the turf to call a now-exonerated officer a murderer, that is way out-of-bounds, to put it in football parlance,” Roorda said.

The SLPOA is calling for the players involved to be disciplined and for the Rams and the NFL to deliver a very public apology. Roorda said he planned to speak to the NFL and the Rams to voice his organization’s displeasure tomorrow. He also plans to reach out to other police organizations in St. Louis and around the country to enlist their input on what the appropriate response from law enforcement should be. Roorda warned, “I know that there are those that will say that these players are simply exercising their First Amendment rights. Well I’ve got news for people who think that way, cops have first amendment rights too, and we plan to exercise ours. I’d remind the NFL and their players that it is not the violent thugs burning down buildings that buy their advertiser’s products. It’s cops and the good people of St. Louis and other NFL towns that do. Somebody needs to throw a flag on this play. If it’s not the NFL and the Rams, then it’ll be cops and their supporters.”

Couple of things: Do all the people who believe that the Darren Wilson grand jury “no true bill” finding was objective, ironclad truth straight from the hand of God believe the same thing about the OJ Simpson jury verdict? My guess is no. Also, have Roorda and his organization ever thought about what the NFL would be like if all the black players decided to strike in protest of the shooting of Mike Brown and the travesty of the grand jury proceedings, along with the utterly cavalier attitude demonstrated by Darren Wilson’s supporters to their community’s pain? Where would your precious football be then, Jeff Roorda?

This reaction by the police association is vastly out of proportion to what the players did (it’s not like they were chanting “fuck the police!” or anything like that) and demanding that the NFL punish the players and apologize over it is precisely the kind of inciting behavior that Wilson supporters swear they aren’t engaging in. Speaking of which, if the cops in St. Louis are that concerned with restoring peace and ensuring their own safety then maybe they ought to focus on the people screaming the N word all over the internet and making death threats. Or this lady.

Democrats didn’t lose the midterms because women stopped caring about reproductive choice

26 Nov 2014 06:00 am
Posted by: Donna

From LifeSiteNews, which I read so you don’t have to, comes this bit of taunting about the recent midterm elections:

U.S. Senator Mark Udall of Colorado was exhibit A. Curry said, as “a decent senator from a powder blue state,” Udall “shouldn’t have been in any trouble at all – and this consultant-think totally infected him.”

During his campaign Udall railed against Cory Gardner’s alleged desire to outlaw contraception and abortion so tirelessly that a reporter for the Denver Post dubbed him “Mark Uterus.” Already by September, Lynn Bartels wrote, “If Colorado’s U.S. Senate race were a movie, the set would be a gynecologist’s office, complete with an exam table and a set of stirrups.”

Curry said Udall’s political consultants recycled what they thought was a winning issue, because they are out-of-touch with anyone outside a corporate boardroom or the Beltway.

Proving, once again, how anti-choicers are really just mean little schoolyard bullies at their core. Seriously, it seems like fully half the articles at LifeSite are basically “neener neener we got one over on you dumb liberals!” But anti-choicers weren’t the only ones mocking Democrats for defending reproductive rights and making them a campaign issue last year. They were joined by the mainstream media, who were casting about for someone to take the blame for what were sure to be Democratic losses. It became conventional wisdom so strong that it led Bill Curry to conclude a mere one day after the election that women felt “manipulated” by Mark Udall and other Democrats.

What that conclusion either misses or deliberately ignores is how Republicans did that autopsy thingy after the 2012 election and then were carefully coached to avoid speaking about topics like abortion, contraception, and rape. If they were absolutely forced to answer to a stance they held, the strategy was clearly to lie in the most bald-faced manner possible about it, as Cory Gardner did repeatedly, denying that the personhood-at-conception measures he supported and even sponsored would, in fact, explicitly confer legal personhood upon fertilized eggs. Gardner cut ads claiming that he would never go after a woman’s right to choose and that he would support selling contraception over the counter, something he has no control over as a member of Congress as only the FDA has the authority to approve that. It appears that Gardner not only manipulated women, but he did so dishonestly.

Whether or not Cory Gardner’s dissembling over repro rights sowed enough benefit of the doubt in the female electorate of Colorado to help him prevail over Mark Udall, the fact is that Democrats did better with women voters in 2014 than in the last midterm.

An analysis of Tuesdays’ exit polls by Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the political arm of the family planning provider, shows that Democrats actually lost women by 1 point in 2010. But this year, 52 percent of women voted for Democrats, compared to 47 percent voting for Republicans. Women of color, specifically, showed strong support for Democrats this year, with 91 percent of black women and 67 percent of Latinas favoring Democrats.

Men, meanwhile, preferred Republicans by the same 14-point margin in 2010 and 2014, suggesting that Democrats have managed to improve their performance among women from the last midterm election without losing any ground among men.

The election proved “that even in a Republican wave election, women will favor the candidates who better support their health care priorities,” said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of PPAF.

Further proof that reproductive rights groups appear to be winning the overall debate, NARAL Pro-Choice America pointed out in a memo last week, is that many of the Republican candidates who won on Tuesday only did so after moderating their positions on abortion and birth control. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), for instance, who has previously indicated his opposition to all legal abortion without exceptions, spoke directly into the camera and told Wisconsin women that an anti-abortion bill he signed “leaves the final decision to a woman and her doctor.”

Obviously Democrats need to improve performance in midterms but anyone who tells you Democrats should downplay support for reproductive rights doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Republicans wouldn’t devote so much energy to avoiding and lying about their positions in general elections if that were true. Sadly, there are elements of the Dem elite that want the narrative to be that reproductive rights hurt Democrats in 2014 because it takes the spotlight off their own failures. Remember these are the same well-heeled chuckleheads who told Democrats to be very, very afraid of the NRA.

Remember that time a bunch of mostly white people rioted near Penn State?

26 Nov 2014 05:00 am
Posted by: Donna

Nick Baumann did and he tweeted this as the protest and unrest after the announcement that the grand jury would not indict Ferguson police officer for shooting and killing Michael Brown unfolded.

Some people responded to Baumann’s tweet, and a tweet of mine reminding people of the Penn State riot,

by insisting that it was different because there was much less destruction at Penn State than in Ferguson. It’s entirely possible that one reason for that was that the cops in State College, PA didn’t turn the pepper spray on the pro-Paterno rioters right away, as they are reported to have done with the teargas in Ferguson. That aside, apart from one guy telling me that Paterno didn’t turn a blind eye to child rape (because I guess he really needed to parse that), no one trying to distinguish the Penn State rioting from Ferguson actually tried to defend the Penn Staters taking to the streets on behalf of the child rapist-protecting football coach.

And I’m not sure if the lack of a defense was because they saw how petty and egregious the motivations of Penn State rioters were, or because they truly could not grasp that.

Some students noted the irony of their coming out to oppose what they saw as a disgraceful end to Mr. Paterno’s distinguished career and then adding to the ignobility of the episode by starting an unruly protest.

Greg Becker, 19, a freshman studying computer science, said he felt as if he had to vent his feelings anyway.

“This definitely looks bad for our school,” he said, sprinting away from a cloud of pepper spray. “I’m sure JoePa wouldn’t want this, but this is just an uproar now. We’re finding a way to express our anger.”

As the crowd got more aggressive, so did police officers. Some protesters fought back. One man in a gas mask rushed half a dozen police officers in protective gear, blasted one officer with pepper spray underneath his safety mask, and then sprinted away. The officer lay on the ground, rubbing his eyes

Other students expressed sadness instead of anger. Kathryn Simpson walked arm-in-arm with a friend, crying.

“I’m here because I just need to be with the rest of my school right now,” she said. “This is devastating for us.”

When the unrest began, a merchant, Douglas Albert, stood outside his downtown shop, Douglas Albert Gallery, to keep it safe.

“I’ve been in State College for 42 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said, looking at the overturned news van, on which one young man was dancing. “This is uncharted waters.”

Students pounded on the sides of upright news vans, and as officers herded them down the street they shouted, “Flip it over!” Some took off their shirts and tied them around their mouths for protection from the fog of pepper spray, which left countless students hacking. A few wore ski goggles. Many climbed on the tops of parked cars, denting and sinking the roofs, to get a better view of the spectacle.

That was (mostly) white people raging over a college football program and a child rapist-protecting coach being fired. Oh, the humanity! The Ferguson protests are about black people having their lives ended. By the way, the folks in Ferguson are getting it a whole bunch worse from the cops than the crybabies at Penn State ever did.

Couple of odds and end post-President Obama’s executive order announcement

21 Nov 2014 03:23 pm
Posted by: Donna

Here’s the very first bill filed in the Georgia Senate for their upcoming session.

First Reader Summary
PF: A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Chapters 5, 11, and 16 of Title 40 of the O.C.G.A., relating to drivers’ licenses, abandoned motor vehicles, and the Department of Driver Services, respectively, so as to provide that persons who possess a lawful alien status are the only category of noncitizens who may obtain a license, permit, or card; to require the Department of Driver Services to participate in the Records and Information from DMVs for E-Verify initiative of the United States Department of Homeland Security; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes…

…”
(11) ‘Lawful alien status’ means an alien status provided for by the federal Immigration
26
and Nationality Act or any other provision by the United States Congress; provided,
27
however, that lawful alien status shall not include a grant of any deferred deportation
28
action from the United States Department of Homeland Security

What babies.

And per Reuters, here’s an example of why a family-based immigration policy – and government policies in general – ought to have a more expansive definition of “family”:

(Reuters) – Most Friday nights, in the Denver suburb of Arvada, Ramon Madera invites his sister Angelica and her three children over to his home for dinner and games. It’s a tradition that became all the more important after the children’s father was deported back to Mexico about five years ago.

Lately, conversations on game night have taken an anxious turn: Madera himself was apprehended by immigration enforcement agents in September and is due in court for a deportation hearing next June.

Madera, 36, said that while he may be a father figure to Angelica’s children, as a gay man who has no children of his own he is unlikely to benefit from the executive action President Barack Obama is expected to announce on Thursday night. His deportation hearing will probably go ahead as scheduled.

“I’m like the dad of the family,” said Madera. “If they need money, they ask me. If they aren’t sure if they should do something, they call me. For every thing, every opinion, they come to me.”

Obama, seeking to give legal status to some of the more than 11 million immigrants without documents in the United States, is likely to focus on keeping nuclear families together by granting temporary relief from deportation to parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

The Migration Policy Institute estimates that around 6.5 million people are like Madera, undocumented immigrant adults living in the United States without children.

Angelica’s daughter and two sons are U.S. citizens, so she will likely be granted relief. But she worries about how she will provide for her family if her brother is deported.

I understand why the administration shaped the policy around traditional nuclear families because, as the Reuters piece points out, that’s an easier sell. But it is clear that a full reform package is needed so that millions of people like Ramon Madera aren’t also torn from families who need them. Too bad a bunch of crybabies like the state legislators in Georgia also got elected to take over the US Senate. Not much room for empathy for a gay undocumented immigrant in that crowd.