NEW: Joe Biden will raise the refugee cap to 62,500 after facing backlash for keeping the Trump-era cap. He intends to raise the limit to 125,000 next year.

Trump had lowered it to 15,000 — the lowest since the Refugee Act of 1980 became law.…
In case you need a refresher:

The Trump admin was so invested in its anti-refugee policies that it purposely suppressed evidence of refugees’ economic contributions to make them look like a drain on the economy.
Stephen Miller defended Trump’s refugee ban by saying it was necessary to “protect” Americans from “the drain on public benefits that refugees represent.”

He said this knowing that they were suppressing evidence that would have refuted his entire premise.
And when Stephen Miller intervened to manipulate evidence to make refugees look worse, he made sure that only the data about the costs to society were publicized — not the data showing refugees’ contributions to the economy.
Trump’s refugee policies were unthinkably cruel and inhumane. He was actively bombing Syria — thus creating more refugees — while he was turning his back on those very same refugees.
Trump also defunded key programs that provide life-saving care to refugees. He turned his back on them, refused to let them come here for help — and then took away the few lifelines they had outside the US.
Besides turning away refugees and cutting funding for critical aid, the Trump admin also tried to embed federal agents within the HHS refugee agency caring for unaccompanied children in an attempt to use information from relatives to target them for deportation.
The Trump admin defied international law with its refugee policies. In one notable instance, they tried to reject all asylum seekers who were fleeing domestic or gang violence, and also anyone who crossed illegally. This violated international law.
Trump’s policies have been described as a “concerted effort to decimate the US refugee program.” It’s hard to overstate how much death and devastation he’s responsible for. We can never undo that, but we can — and absolutely should — stop it from ever happening again.

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More from @RVAwonk

30 Apr
I fully recognize that I do a shitty job of promoting myself and a lot of people really have no idea what I actually do (sometimes I don’t either), but it still sucks when people continually forget you/your work exists just because it’s hard to put a label on it. 😕
A secret that many people don’t know is that I’ve lost jobs and opportunities because I spend too much time on each article, and I like writing *long* pieces. I do that because it’s how I’m trained as a researcher. But that’s why I don’t fit in at most places.
Also I try to straddle the line between academia and journalism, and there’s not really a place for that right now (that I’m aware of), though I do have a few great platforms where I publish, like @BylineTimes and @ArcDigi, and I am grateful to have people there who get it.
Read 4 tweets
30 Apr
Another study (pre-print) found similar results among Yellow Vest protesters in France (…). Neither establish causality, but the new study found a dose-response relationship between exposure to tear gas and menstrual abnormalities.
It’s not clear if this extends to humans, but other studies have found that the active ingredient in teargas causes endocrine-disrupting effects in animals. The potential health effects of teargas are not well understood, and it was initially tested only on young, healthy men.
This is a good overview of the state of research on the health effects of tear gas:…
Read 4 tweets
30 Apr
Oh my! A confession letter written by Joel Greenberg claims that Matt Gaetz paid for sex with a minor. And Greenberg asked Roger Stone for help getting a pardon.…
A series of private messages between Greenberg & Roger Stone shows a number of exchanges between Greenberg and Stone conducted over the encrypted messaging app Signal, with communications set to disappear.

“However, Greenberg appears to have taken screenshots...”
I mean, f-ing yikes.
Read 8 tweets
28 Apr
Something I started doing during the pandemic is scrutinizing everything even more carefully — photographs, screenshots, text, URLs, etc. The sheer amount of fake/manipulated content online never ceases to amaze me.

I can also now tell if your left ear is 1mm larger.
When I get over my writer’s block, I think I’m going to write about the different types of manipulated or misrepresented content I’ve seen online during the pandemic. I find it interesting so hopefully you will, too.
I got married, had a baby, and finished my PhD, so there’s a reason I haven’t been writing as much, but it kills me because my recent research (as an academic) focuses on infectious disease & vaccine misinformation related to the Ebola epidemic. I should be writing about COVID.
Read 4 tweets
26 Apr
NEW: The FBI, without any court order, sifted through the NSA’s massive troves of foreign communications for information during domestic terrorism investigations, newly declassified documents show.

The violations are described as “widespread”.…
I wonder how many people convicted of domestic terrorism might go free if they can show the government conducted a warrantless search resulting in their arrest or conviction...?
Most of the warrantless FBI searches pertained to domestic terrorism, but the government also acknowledged conducting at least 40 warrantless searches in other criminal investigations.
Read 6 tweets
26 Apr
Peter Thiel is spending $10 million to boost the campaign of Blake Masters — one of his closest allies and chief operating officer of Thiel Capital.

Thiel is bankrolling the newly-formed Saving Arizona PAC to help the GOP take back the Senate majority.
Thiel also gave $10 million recently to Protect Ohio Values, a right-wing super PAC supporting possible Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance.

Two weeks ago, Vance said he’d raise taxes on and fight back against people protesting voter suppression laws.…
Thiel and Zuckerberg are two of a handful of Silicon Valley billionaires whose political contributions could make them among the most influential donors in 2022 and 2024. Thiel was one of Trump’s top donors and a close ally.

A refresher from the past:
Read 6 tweets

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