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Vox Sentences: Deport first, ask questions later

Vox Sentences is your daily digest for what's happening in the world, curated by Dara Lind and Dylan Matthews. Sign up for the Vox Sentences newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday, or view the Vox Sentences archive for past editions.

Difference and integration in the Western world: a triptych.


When everyone is a priority...

DHS Secretary John Kelly with Trump Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
  • The Department of Homeland Security has issued memos implementing two executive orders President Trump signed in his first week in office, cracking down on the treatment of immigrants crossing into the US and unauthorized immigrants living in the country. [Vox / Dara Lind]
  • (The memos were originally signed by DHS Secretary John Kelly on Friday, then rescinded for White House review over the weekend, in case you're wondering who's really in charge here.) [Reuters / Jilia Edwards Ainsley and Diane Bartz]
  • The memos make official the most dramatic shift from Obama's immigration policy circa 2016 to Trump's circa 2017: Any unauthorized immigrant who's ever done anything that constitutes a crime (including working with a fake SSN and driving without a license) is now a priority for deportation. That's ... the overwhelming majority of unauthorized immigrants. [Vox / Dara Lind]
  • This is best described as mass vulnerability to deportation. The memos don't, on their own, set up mass deportation — the government simply doesn't have the resources for that. [NYT / Michael D. Shear and Ron Nixon]
  • In part, how much Immigrations and Customs Enforcement's scope to deport immigrants increases will depend on whether Congress is willing to provide the funds to hire the 10,000 extra agents the memo requests. [Washington Post / Greg Sargent]
  • In part, it will depend on local law enforcement, who have to decide whether to align explicitly with the federal government via 287(g) agreements (which allow police to be deputized to enforce immigration law)... [The Marshall Project / Anna Flagg]
  • ...or implicitly, through "broken windows" policies that make it more likely immigrants will be booked into jails and therefore come to ICE's attention. [Vice / Max Rivlin-Nadler]
  • And in part, it will depend on the ability of the government to route around the biggest bottlenecks in the deportation system — by, for example, sending immigrants (even non-Mexicans) back to Mexico while their court cases are pending. [ProPublica / Ginger Thompson and Marcelo Rochabrun]

So he said "anti-Semitism." Nu?

A vandalized Jewish cemetery in St. Louis Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS via Getty Images
  • President Trump finally condemned "anti-Semitism" in so many words on Tuesday, earning a metaphorical cookie (a hamantaschen, one assumes). [Reuters / Ayesha Rascoe]
  • Trump's comments were in response to the desecration of a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis Monday, in which dozens of gravestones were overturned. [AP / Jim Salter]
  • (This is on top of the 69 bomb threats made against Jewish community centers since the beginning of 2017.) [NPR / Camila Domonoske]
  • President Trump should get used to condemning anti-Semitism explicitly. His apparent discomfort with it — perhaps because it risks looking like he's criticizing his followers — is exactly what makes it necessary. [Vox / Dara Lind]
  • The fact of the matter is that, coincident with Trump's rise, Jews have been vulnerable to more targeting and bigotry: less "white," in American parlance, because more other. [The Atlantic / Emma O. Green]
  • This isn't the first time in Jewish history that Jews suddenly found themselves less assimilated than they thought (see also: turn-of-the-century France). [Pacific Standard / David M. Perry]
  • But that experience also gives us (including Dara) something of a way forward. If the current political moment makes no sense to Americans, it makes historical sense to many Jews. [Haaretz / Peter Beinart]
  • And other targeted minorities intuitively recognize what's going on too. The people stepping up first to help the Jewish cemetery in St. Louis and other Jewish targets? Muslim Americans. [Huffington Post / Antonia Blumberg]

What happened in Sweden last night

Swedish flag Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images
  • Several cars were burned and one police officer was injured in riots Tuesday in the immigrant-heavy Stockholm neighborhood of Rinkeby, after a resident was arrested on drug charges. [Washington Post / Max Bearak]
  • Rinkeby was also the site of protests (on similar grounds) in 2010 and 2013. [AFP]
  • But Tuesday's riots were noteworthy outside Sweden because they came so soon after President Trump characterized Swedish immigrants as criminals and terrorists, making a bizarre reference to an imaginary horror that "happened in Sweden last night" at a campaign rally Saturday. [Vox / Zack Beauchamp]
  • Trump was referring to a right-wing trope that associates immigrants and refugees with high rates of rape in Sweden, which turns out to be wholly untrue. (Sweden has a higher rape rate than other European countries because it defines rape differently.) [Globe and Mail / Doug Saunders]
  • Swedes and their government reacted to Trump's comments with a mix of umbrage and mockery — eager to defend their welcoming attitude toward immigrants. [The Independent / Will Worley]
  • But as the riots in Rinkeby showed in 2013, and again in 2017, integration — real integration — is genuinely difficult. [Migration Policy Institute / Sofie Fredlund-Blomst]
  • And it gets a lot harder — maybe even impossible — when people in power, like, say, Trump, are characterizing immigrants as inherently unassimilable, criminal, and undesirable. [Vox / Dara Lind]

Miscellaneous

  • France is training eagles to take down drones, in an early preview of the robot wars to come. [Washington Post / Avi Selk]
  • Meet Zhdun, a humanoid blob that has become a massively popular meme in Russia for some reason. [NY Mag / Madison Malone Kircher]
  • Walt Whitman's novel Life and Adventures of Jack Engle was lost for 165 years — until a University of Houston grad student discovered it in 2016. [NYT / Jennifer Schuessler]
  • Politicians shaking hands with robots, ranked. [Gizmodo / Matt Novak]
  • Mack Beggs is a trans boy who's been forced to compete against girls in high school wrestling. Joke's on the wrestling league, though, since his testosterone treatments are making him basically unstoppable. [Dallas News / Michael Florek]

Verbatim

  • "Imagine, Mercier and Sperber suggest, a mouse that thinks the way we do. Such a mouse, 'bent on confirming its belief that there are no cats around,' would soon be dinner." [New Yorker / Elizabeth Kolbert]
  • "Some of the things we believe are upheld by the Republican party and yet we have this child that we dearly love who is likely going to have services cut by people in the Republican party. It’s hard." [Kim Rankin to STAT / Andrew Joseph]
  • "Up popped a photograph of a dead, bloodied brown-skinned man, lying on the ground next to an AK-47 assault rifle. The audience began to cheer — first hesitantly and then with gusto. Gorka’s booming voice filled the room. 'We can win now,' he thundered. 'We can win!'" [Washington Post / Greg Jaffe]
  • "[Icelandic President] Guðni answered that he was fundamentally opposed to putting pineapple on top of a pizza." [Iceland Magazine]
  • "This is probably more math-y black and Hispanic kids than I’ve seen in my whole career. That's why I'm here." [Mira Bernstein to NYT / Amy Harmon]

Watch this: The hotline Hollywood calls for science advice

There's a consulting service connecting filmmakers with scientist script advisers — and it's changing what science looks like onscreen. [YouTube / Christophe Haubursin and Phil Edwards]