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The op-ed — written by Lisa Feldman Barrett, a professor of psychology at Northeastern University — asks “When Is Speech Violence?” Barrett argues that negative words and thoughts, merely by being said, can be counted as an act of physical violence due to the reaction that they may cause within an individual.
“Imagine that a bully threatens to punch you in the face. A week later, he walks up to you and breaks your nose with his fist. Which is more harmful: the punch or the threat?” she asks. “The answer might seem obvious: Physical violence is physically damaging; verbal statements aren’t. ‘Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me.’”
“But scientifically speaking, it’s not that simple,” Barrett claims. “Words can have a powerful effect on your nervous system. Certain types of adversity, even those involving no physical contact, can make you sick, alter your brain — even kill neurons — and shorten your life.”
Advocates who want America’s immigration laws enforced have found a home in President Donald Trump’s administration, the New York Times’ Nicholas Kulish reports.
For years, a network of immigration hard-liners in Washington was known chiefly for fending off proposals to legalize the status of more people. But with the election of a like-minded president, these groups have moved unexpectedly to offense from defense, with some of their leaders now in positions to carry out their agenda on a national scale.
Mr. Trump’s senior White House adviser, Stephen Miller, worked tirelessly to defeat immigration reform as a staff member for Senator Jeff Sessions, now the attorney general. Gene P. Hamilton, who worked on illegal immigration as Mr. Sessions’s counsel on the Judiciary Committee, is now a senior counselor at the Department of Homeland Security, the parent agency of the Border Patrol and ICE, where Mr. Feere is working. Julia Hahn, who wrote about immigration for Breitbart — with headlines like “Republican-Led Congress Oversees Large-Scale Importation of Somali Migrants” — has followed her former boss, Stephen K. Bannon, to the White House as a deputy policy strategist.
Their influence is already being felt. Mr. Trump is known for his sound-bite-ready pledges to deport millions of people here illegally and to build a border wall, but some of the administration’s more technical yet critical changes to immigration procedures came directly from officials with long ties to the hard-line groups.
Even those who have labored for decades to scale back immigration did not expect such a dramatic change. “This is inconceivable a year ago,” said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies. “Frankly, it’s almost inconceivable six months ago.”