Tag Archives: DACA

Rep. Pelosi sets a blab record

This record needs to stand for a long time.

U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California believes strongly in immigration reform. She believes so strongly in it that she is able to talk for a verrrry long time about why Congress needs to enact it.

Pelosi put her commitment to the test today. She took the floor of the House and spoke — non-stop, without a break — for eight hours. She argued passionately on behalf of “Dreamers,” those undocumented immigrants who were granted a reprieve under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program established near the end of the Obama administration.

That’s a filibuster-length harangue, only they cannot call it that in the House; only the Senate allows filibusters, which enables senators to talk about whatever the heck they want for as long as they want.

Here, though, might be the most remarkable element of the Pelosi gabfest.

The former House speaker happens to be 77 years of age. Do not accuse me of being sexist by mentioning Pelosi’s age; I would say the very same thing about a comparably aged male member of Congress if he were able to talk as long as Pelosi has done.

Pelosi’s astonishing display of endurance is likely to remain on the books for a long time.

Nice going, Mme. Minority Leader.

Trump would ‘love a shutdown’?

Donald Trump would “love” a shutdown of the federal government.

He’d love it. He said it many times today during a White House meeting on gang violence. The president, quite naturally, blames Democrats if a shutdown occurs. Democrats, he said, oppose border security; they oppose benefits for the military. Democrats are nasty. They’re “un-American” because they didn’t clap for him while he delivered “really good news” during the president’s State of the Union speech the other day.

The president really should not want a shutdown of the government, as Republican U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock told him during the gang violence meeting. “Both sides” learned that a shutdown hurts them, and the public doesn’t like it one damn bit, she said.

Ah, but the president still would “love” a shutdown.

This is how you “tell it like it is,” right? Trump is the first president in my memory who has said — in effect — that he would favor a shutting down of the government he was elected to administer.

To what end do we close offices and deny taxpayers the full service from the government for which they pay? To build a wall across our southern border.

This is not how you govern, Mr. President. Honest.

Unity remains a distant goal

Donald Trump vowed to deliver a speech this past week that would “unify” the nation.

It didn’t happen. He didn’t deliver. His State of the Union speech was met with disdain from roughly half of the room in which he spoke and about the same percentage from Americans at large, those of us who watched the speech from far away, on our TV screens.

It now begs the question: How are we ever going to be unified?

I believe it starts with the president of the United States.

We have one individual with a political constituency comprising the entire nation: it’s the president (and yes, you can include the vice president, too, given that these individuals run as a ticket).

But the president stands behind the bully pulpit. He is the one we listen to. He is the one with the message, the policy, the principles we look for. The president also is the one who is capable of delivering the message of unity.

It’s been one year and about two weeks since Donald Trump took the oath as president. How much has he done to unify the nation?

Practically nothing!

He blasts congressional Democrats for failing to cast any votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The president ignores — he didn’t forget — that not a single Republican cast any votes to approve the ACA back in 2010.

Trump continues to pound away at the media, calling journalists the “enemy of the American people.” He undermines the media for reporting what he calls “fake news.” He plays directly to the base of supporters that continues to support him — no matter what!

The president uttered that hideous assertion that white supremacists/Nazis/Klansmen comprise “fine people.” Who in the world actually believes that utter crap — other than the president?

At his State of the Union speech, the president uttered a remarkably divisive comment, declaring that “Americans are dreamers, too.” How does someone who proposes to unify the country poke his proverbial finger in the eye of those U.S. residents who were brought here illegally as children but who want to forge a path toward legal residency and even U.S. citizenship?

How can we reach a unified state? It must begin with the president. It’s the president who must set the tone.

It is not enough to declare your intention to unify a badly divided nation. It is incumbent on the head of state to deliver unity in the form of rhetoric that seeks to calm the storm.

The unity that Donald Trump proclaims he wants remains far in the distance. My fear is that this president is incapable of getting us to that point. He cannot function in such an environment.

‘Compromise’ isn’t a four-letter word

What do you know about this?

The president of the United States has tossed a compromise proposal on the table that has angered folks on the left and the right.

It involves a path to citizenship for so-called “Dreamers,” while also seeking $25 billion to fund increased border security, including construction of a wall along our southern border.

The lefties dislike the wall money; the righties dislike the citizenship idea.

I’ll accept this pitch as a legitimate starting point.

Donald Trump threw it out there as a way to seek a resolution to the nagging immigration problem that shut the federal government down for three days this past weekend.

Politico reports: The framework also eliminates the visa lottery and curbs U.S. migration by extended families, a fundamental change to existing immigration policy. New citizens would be able to sponsor their immediate families — spouses and children — to legally enter the country, but other relatives would be excluded. The administration would continue to allow people who have already applied for entry to be processed under the old system.

The key issue, as I see it, is the disposition of those illegal immigrants who were brought here as children. Barack Obama issued an executive order that set up the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program. It granted a reprieve from the threat of deportation for those who came here because their parents brought them here illegally. DACA recipients know life only in the United States. They are U.S. residents and have become de facto Americans.

Trump reversed that order and then gave Congress a deadline to come up with a legislative solution.

There’s plenty in this latest proposal to anger those on both sides. I wish we could dispense with this wall-funding notion. While I approve of the president’s desire to boost border security, a wall is the wrong solution.

DACA recipients deserve to be treated with a healthy measure of compassion. They do not deserve to be rounded up and shipped back to their country of origin, which they do not know.

I agree with what Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said: “I welcome when he says the right thing. But I know the next day he might be 180 degrees different.”

At least we have a starting point.

Hold the applause and the back-slapping, Congress

I swear I could hear — even way out here in Flyover Country — the sounds of cheers, backslapping and high-fiving on Capitol Hill.

The U.S. Senate this morning approved a measure that funds the government all … the … way until Feb. 8.

Great, huh? Well, not even close.

The House of Representatives now gets this measure. House members will follow suit. Then it will head to the White House, where Donald John “Dealmaker in Chief” Trump will sign it into law.

What got the deal done? Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised to allow debate on the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals status in exchange for reopening the federal government that had been shuttered since midnight Friday.

Oh, brother. What a sham!

The president said in September he wanted to disband DACA, but gave Congress until March to find a legislative solution. Congress didn’t get there. Then came the government shutdown game of chicken.

Neither side blinked when the money ran out. The government closed its doors. The blame game commenced.

Now we have Senate Republicans crowing that they got Democrats to accept most of their demands.

To what end? We have yet another temporary repair. Then we get to have another face-off — maybe, perhaps, possibly — on Feb. 8.

DACA screams loudly for a resolution. It involves the status of U.S. residents who came here illegally when they were brought here — as children — by their parents or legal guardians. These young men and women do not deserve to be shipped back to the country of their origin, countries they do not know; they grew up as Americans.

The Trump re-election campaign poisoned the discussion over the weekend by releasing a TV ad that declares Democrats would be culpable if an illegal immigrant commits murder, saying that Democrats would have blood on their hands.

So, here we stand. We’re likely to get the government reopened. DACA will return to the bargaining table. Senators and House members are proud of themselves because they worked hard all weekend to find a solution.

However, it’s another short-term fix.

We need something that we can call the “law of the land.” We need to end this gamesmanship. We need a government that works.

When we arrive at that point, then we can break out the bubbly.

Geniuses surrender to idiots

Bill Cassidy has produced — to my mind — the most memorable quote from the current government shutdown/game of chicken.

The nation, said the Louisiana Republican U.S. senator over the weekend, was “founded by geniuses but is being governed by idiots.”

You go, Sen. Cassidy!

Sen. Cassidy faces his critics

Yes, the idiots have taken over. The men and women who comprise the Congress, along with the individual who sits in the White House, cannot govern the greatest nation on Earth.

Oh, no! They are bound up in a fight over a spending bill. They cannot settle their disagreements over how to control illegal immigration. The people caught in the grip of this government sausage grinder happen to be individuals who were brought here as children when their parents sneaked into the country illegally.

Republican hard liners cannot find it in what passes for their heart to extend protections for those so-called “Dreamers.” These folks were raised in the United States; this is the only country they know. But the GOP “base” wants to send them back to their country of origin?

What the hell … ?

As a result, the government is now officially paralyzed.

The idiot in chief — the president — can’t decide whether to approve an extension of those protections. He is getting pressure from his GOP base.

I continue to believe that this is the Trump Shutdown. He is joined by the idiots in Congress. I won’t assign all the blame to just one party. There’s plenty of blame to go along.

However, we have just a single president. He is The Man. He has an entire nation as his constituency. Not all of us approve of the way he is running the government; indeed, more of us voted for the other major-party candidate than for the guy who actually won.

Where in the world are the geniuses?

This is not how to govern, Congress

What a way to govern … not!

Congress is fighting over how to pay for immigration measures. It cannot settle a dispute over whether to pay for construction of a wall along our nation’s southern border or whether to extend protection for those U.S. residents who were brought here when they were children as their parents sneaked into the country illegally.

The consequence of this dispute?

The government might shut down — if only partially — in the next 24 hours.

Republicans who run both congressional chambers are scrambling to find yet another stop-gap solution that will delay the next shutdown threat for a couple of weeks.

Oh, and then we have the president of the United States. Donald J. Trump reportedly is a non-player in the negotiation over how to find a longer-term solution to this problem. Media reports say that Trump is making zero phone calls to congressional leaders, suggesting he’s leaving it exclusively up to lawmakers to find an answer.

Even congressional Republicans are complaining about the lack of a “reliable partner” in the White House.

Trump torpedoes GOP strategy

I’m trying to imagine Lyndon Johnson leaving a matter such as this to Capitol Hill. The late former president came to the presidency after a distinguished career in the U.S. Senate. President Kennedy plucked him from his Senate majority leader post to run with him as vice president in 1960. LBJ never lost his congressional connections.

Trump, though, has none of that kind of history. Zero, man!

Effective governance is supposed to comprise a partnership between the legislative and executive branches of government. It’s not happening these days.

Republicans are barely talking to Democrats in Congress, and vice versa. The president, meanwhile, is maintaining a position that I suppose he might say is “above the fray.”

As a result, Congress might stumble and bumble its way to another short-term Band-Aid repair, only to wait for the next deadline to approach before we face yet another government shutdown threat.

How about trying this: Work together for a change in the hunt for common ground. Fund the government, repair the problem — and stop threatening to shut down a government that is supposed to serve all Americans all the time.

Maddening.

DACA recipients being chewed up, spit out

I am angry on behalf of millions of U.S. residents who do not deserve the fate that might await them.

They are individuals who came to this country because their parents sneaked across our border illegally. Mom and Dad Illegal Immigrant brought their children with them because, being good parents, they didn’t want to leave them in the country they were fleeing.

They are being kicked around by congressional Republicans who want to send them back because they don’t want to extend protection offered them during the Obama administration. It’s called the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals order, or DACA.

Republicans want Congress to approve money to start building that “big, beautiful wall” across our southern border. Democrats don’t want the wall and instead are pushing for an extension of the DACA protection that Donald J. Trump wants to eliminate.

But what about those U.S. residents who know only life in the United States and do not want to return to a country they don’t know? Do they deserve to be kicked out of here because their parents sneaked them in? I do not believe they deserve that fate.

DACA recipients might fall victim in this game of political chicken that could result in a partial shutdown of the federal government. If the money runs out Friday, the feds close the door on government agencies.

DACA recipients are being held hostage.

President Obama extended the DACA protection as a form of temporary amnesty for those facing deportation. Its intent is to give these folks a way to obtain citizenship or legal immigrant status. Trump sees it differently. He doesn’t want to extend the protection because — as I understand it — his Republican base wants to toss all illegal immigrants out of the country.

Even those who came of age here, who have virtually — or absolutely — zero memory of the country from where they came. Many of these young people have gotten their education in the United States, they have worked hard and paid their taxes. They have become part of our national fabric — even without the necessary papers to prove they are here legally.

This drama is going to play out in due course.

If only the politicians in Washington would understand the consequences of their actions on all those who live in this country.

Do they really intend to round these folks up and send them to a strange land?

POTUS shows that ‘Fire and Fury’ is accurate

Michael Wolff wrote a book, “Fire and Fury,” that alleges that the president of the United States is clueless about government and the issues of the day — among other things.

Donald John “Stable Genius” Trump Sr. responds that the book is crap; it’s fiction; it’s fake.

Then he convened an open-mic session in the White House to discuss immigration reform — and manages to demonstrate in real time the accuracy of Wolff’s description of Trump’s handling of affairs of state.

The man is clueless! Really! He doesn’t have a clue!

Trump said he’d sign whatever immigration bill the congressional leadership brought to his desk. Then came House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to remind the president that, actually, he cannot make that promise.

Why? Because the GOP base won’t stand for just any old immigration bill, such as something that doesn’t include construction of a wall along our nation’s southern border.

This is deal-making? This is how the “art of the deal” gets done?

Margaret Carlson, certainly no fan of Trump, wrote this in the Daily Beast:

What the White House actually accomplished Tuesday is the opposite of what it set out to do—set the bar low and show a president carrying out presidential tasks competently. If this had been Trump at the first tee, he’d have shanked it 50 yards into the woods. Into the bargain, the White House staff took more mulligans than (Bill) Clinton ever did. Aside from giving in to his Democratic captors, all the king’s men couldn’t keep him from going off script to long nostalgically for the olden days of Jack Abramoff memorial earmarks.

Read the rest of Carlson’s essay here.

Wolff actually stated in “Fire and Fury” that the White House operates in a state of constant confusion, chaos and contradiction.

I believe we have seen a demonstrable example of what Wolff wrote.

DACA outcome remains worrisome

Donald John Trump spoke sympathetically about the need to craft a bill of “love” as it regards immigration reform.

The president used that language that some of us thought was a signal that he might bend a bit on his insistence that we kick every single illegal immigrant out of the United States of America.

I remain worried bigly about the fate of those illegal immigrants who came here not of their own volition, but because they were brought here when they were children by their parents.

They are the so-called Dreamers. They are recipients of the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals policy enacted by President Barack H. Obama. The president granted these residents temporary reprieve from deportation while they sought a pathway to permanent legal status or perhaps citizenship.

It’s a humane policy. It allows these individuals to continue living as Americans in the only country they’ve ever known. There have been many success stories involving DACA residents: they have achieved academic excellence; they have enrolled in college; they have founded successful businesses.

Trump, though, eliminated the DACA rule. He said Congress had until March to find a legislative solution.

And then a federal judge in California weighed in with an injunction that orders the president to delay the elimination of DACA . The White House calls the judge’s decision “outrageous.”

What I consider outrageous would be to round up these Dreamers and send them to back to their country of origin — which are, pardon the intended pun, foreign to them.

I want to implore Congress and the president to think about the “love” they say they want to enact. An immigration package ought to include some form of DACA that allows these individuals to stay here, to continue to contribute to our national fabric.

These residents need not be banished to a country they do not know.

If the president is going to insist on a bill of “love,” here is his opportunity to deliver on it.