Tag Archives: illegal immigrants

Congressman goes beyond the pale in this attack

U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez needs to chill out. He needs to take a breath. He needs to rethink the insult he hurled at one of Donald Trump’s more celebrated and worthy appointees.

The Illinois Democrat is angry that the president decided to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals order signed by President Barack Obama. He’s so angry that he said that White House chief of staff John Kelly has “disgraced the uniform he used to wear” by enabling the president to rescind this order.

I have two words for Rep. Gutierrez: Shut. Up.

I will stipulate first of all that I agree that the DACA rescission is a mistake. I wish the president had not done it. I believe DACA rules are humane, in that they protect undocumented immigrants who were brought to this country as children illegally by their parents; many of them know no other country than the United States of America. They deserve a clear and unfettered path to citizenship or permanent legal immigrant status.

But to say that Kelly — a retired Marine Corps general and a Gold Star father whose son was killed in combat in Afghanistan — goes far beyond what is decent and honorable.

I get that Gutierrez is emotional about immigration reform. He feels it in his gut. But let’s put the hyper-heated and defamatory rhetoric in cold storage while we discuss DACA, shall we?

Oh, one more thing: Luis Gutierrez’s own military service? None.

Let the ‘children’ stay in U.S.

DACA is on the table now for the president of the United States.

Donald Trump should do the right thing and leave it alone. He shouldn’t axe it. He shouldn’t send U.S. residents back to somewhere they’ve never known.

DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

There’s news that Trump is preparing to make a decision on DACA and on whether he’s going to order the expulsion of undocumented immigrants. Don’t do it, Mr. President. It’s not the right thing to do.

DACA covers those who came to this country as children of undocumented immigrants. They were in some cases infants and toddlers. They grew up in the United States. They were educated here. Many of them have grown into responsible adults and have been hired to do important work.

Do we now toss them out because of something their parents did and committed an illegal act over which these children had zero control?

The president is trying to shore up his Republican Party base and a decision to toss out the DACA residents would surely please the 30-percent base of Americans who still endorse Trump’s agenda.

Trump campaigned for the presidency pledging to toss aside DACA. He calls it “amnesty” for illegal immigrants. It is no such thing. DACA gives these individuals a path to citizenship or to achieve legal immigrant status. That’s it.

Maybe he should ask his secretary of energy, Rick Perry, the former governor of Texas who has supported allowing these residents to remain in the United States. Indeed, Perry knows the impact that these individuals have on a state’s economy and the value they bring to society as responsible adults. Perry’s support of DACA echoes the belief of another former Texas governor, former President George W. Bush.

There’s also another political calculation that Trump needs to ponder. He continues to poll miserably among Hispanic Americans. To be candid, I don’t give a damn if he finds a way to please that demographic group. If he does take that into account and he scraps the notion of tossing out these U.S. residents — these de facto Americans — he’ll do far more than please a voting demographic he needs while angering the “base” that’s been with him all along.

The president would be doing the right thing.

‘Law and order’ boast gets doused by pardon

Donald Trump promised to be “the law-and-order president,” which harkened back to the call issued in the late 1960s by Richard Nixon’s campaign for the presidency.

The way I see it, though, Trump’s pardon of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio douses the president’s law-and-order pledge bigly.

Arpaio once served as sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz. He made a big name for himself by his tough policies on illegal immigration. He would racially profile individuals he assumed were entering the country illegally; he would detain them, often in brutal conditions.

A federal judge ordered Arpaio to cease that round-up policy. He refused. The judge put him on trial. The sheriff was convicted. Oh, and then he lost his re-election bid along the way.

How does this comport with the president’s pledge to be the law-and-order guy? It doesn’t.

The president stuck his thumb in the eye of the federal judicial system. He, in effect, said the rule of law doesn’t apply. The pardon clearly is within the president’s realm of power. Some arguing that the pardon might be illegal; I won’t go there.

A pardon’s legality doesn’t necessarily make it right. In this case, it pulls precisely against the pledge the president made to emphasize law and order.

By flouting the rule of law, therefore, the president has declared war as well on any semblance of order.

Stop the excuses for this hideous pardon, already!

I wish my friends on the right would stop diverting attention from Donald Trump’s hideous pardon of “Sheriff Joe” Arpaio.

The former Maricopa County (Ariz.) sheriff had been convicted of flouting a federal judge’s order. It was contempt of court charge. The judge ordered Arpaio to cease rounding up individuals he suspected of being illegal immigrants and then subjecting them to brutal conditions while under detention.

Arpaio thumbed his nose at the judge. He disrespected the rule of law. He said the judge’s order didn’t matter. He’d keep doing what he was ordered to cease doing.

He got convicted. He was awaiting a sentence.

Then the president intervened. He pardoned “Sheriff Joe,” reportedly without clearing it with Justice Department policies. He acted, yet again, on his own — which of course is his right; the Constitution gives the president the power to issue full and unconditional pardons.

The diversion occurs from those on the right who keep looking backward at the pardons issued by he likes of, oh, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. I will concede that those presidents issued controversial pardons, too. They got hammered pretty damn hard for them as well. I just choose not to revisit those actions, preferring instead to focus on the here and now.

Trump’s pardon of Arpaio gives aid and comfort to those on the right and the far right who think it’s OK for law enforcement officials to rough up anyone they think is entering this country illegally.

The pardon further divides an already deeply divided nation.

The president said Arpaio was “convicted for doing his job.” That is utterly ridiculous on its face.

He was convicted because he has demonstrated zero acceptance of the rule of law. The president of the United States has just endorsed that dangerous concept.

That’s why this pardon matters.

Trump ratchets up his disrespect for federal judiciary

Just when you thought Donald Trump couldn’t disrespect a branch of government with any more emphasis … he does exactly that very thing.

The president today has pardoned former Maricopa County (Ariz.) Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of disobeying a direct order from a federal judge.

The judge had ordered Arpaio to stop rounding up illegal immigrants en masse, citing potential civil rights violations. Arpaio then decided he would ignore the judge’s lawful order.

Arpaio went on trial and he was convicted.

The president today intervened, issuing a presidential pardon — which is the president’s constitutional right. The pardon is irrevocable.

It’s also a gigantic mistake.

Arpaio, who was defeated for re-election in 2016, is an enormously polarizing figure. He’s long been seen by those on the right and the far right as a champion for their cause against illegal immigration. He has acted roughly and brusquely with those he has caught trying to sneak into the country. He has made no apology for the way he has handled that part of his job.

So he stuck it in the eye of the federal judiciary by refusing to abide by a court order. No worries, according to Trump — who has himself disrespected federal judges who have ruled against him on assorted judicial matters.

Trump vowed to be a “law and order president.” What the president has done with this pardon, though, is reaffirm his belief that judges’ orders don’t matter.

If I might borrow a quote from one of the president’s many tweets.

Sad.

Texas playing ball with vote fraud panel … sort of

I was hoping the Texas secretary of state would follow the lead of his fellow Republican colleague in Mississippi and tell the feds to go “jump in the Gulf of Mexico.”

He didn’t. Instead, the state is going to hand over some voter records to that idiotic voter fraud commission named by Donald J. Trump to root out the hordes of illegal votes — he says — that were cast in the 2016 presidential election.

Good luck with that.

The panel led by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is called the Election Integrity Commission. The president has asserted — with zero evidence at hand — that “millions of illegal immigrants” voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, giving her the popular vote margin over Trump.

So he cobbled together this group to find a problem in search of a solution.

The Texas secretary of state is the state’s top elections officer. According to the Texas Tribune: “Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos said he plans to respond to the request, but it’s not entirely clear how much data he’ll be handing over. Pablos said his agency would treat Kobach’s letter like any other public information request, and would only hand over information that’s considered public under Texas law.

“’The Secretary of State’s office will provide the Election Integrity Commission with public information and will protect the private information of Texas citizens while working to maintain the security and integrity of our state’s elections system,’ Pablos said in a statement. ‘As always, my office will continue to exercise the utmost care whenever sensitive voter information is required to be released by state or federal law.’”

Social Security numbers are private and as I understand it, that’s about the extentof the information Pablos’s office will withhold from this commission.

Check out the Texas Tribune explanation here.

The voter fraud panel’s request has been met with considerable resistance around the country. Officials in states that voted for Trump have said “no” to requests, as have those in states that voted for Clinton.

Honestly, this semi-acquiescence from Rolando Pablos makes me a bit nervous … and I’m a U.S. citizen.

I also wonder about something. Why is the president so damn intent on looking for widespread voter fraud that few local officials believe exist while he continues to ignore the assertion by U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia meddled in our electoral process?

Voter fraud probe runs into trouble … good deal!

States across the nation aren’t playing ball with a task force created to find a problem that likely doesn’t exist.

To which I say, “Good for them.”

Donald J. Trump alleged — without foundation — that voter fraud was rampant across the land during the 2016 presidential election. You’ll recall that he said “millions of illegal immigrants” voted for Hillary Rodham Clinton, thus giving her a substantial popular vote margin over the president. This has been one of the countless lies that the president has told since he launched his political career in the summer of 2015.

So, he sought the formation of a task force to get to the root of the problem. States, though, aren’t giving in to this — if you’ll allow me to use this term — witch hunt in search of problem.

The White House commission led by Vice President Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach have asked all the states and the District of Columbia to turn over records of voters, including birth dates, the last four Social Security digits and party affiliation. Roughly half the states have said “no.” Even Texas, as friendly toward Trump as any state, has agreed only to turn over certain publicly held information; Social Security information and dates of birth won’t be turned over.

A good number of states refusing to comply, incidentally, happen to states that Trump won. So this isn’t a strictly partisan boycott of this ridiculous notion. As The Hill reported: “In the event I were to receive correspondence from the Commission … My reply would be: They can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi is a great state to launch from,” Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, a Republican, said in a Friday statement.

The voter fraud commission is trying to reel in a red herring. Indeed, Kris Kobach is known to be something of a conspiracy theorist who believes voter fraud has reached epidemic proportions in his state and across the land.

Independent studies have revealed only minuscule numbers of people voting illegally, certainly not in numbers sufficient to decide electoral outcomes nationally.

I’m sensing a showdown is on the horizon. I’m going to pull for the states to stand their ground. As Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Grimes, a Democrat, has noted, the commission was formulated on a “sham premise.”

Who in the world can trust POTUS?

Donald J. Trump’s obsession with Twitter is diminishing his standing around the world, or so it would appear.

I keep circling back to a question: How do world leaders trust anything the president of the United States tells them when he continues to tweet ridiculous messages?

Take these instances involving Trump and his tweets:

* He said former President Barack Obama ordered the wiretapping of his campaign office. That was false.

* The president said Hillary Rodham Clinton’s popular vote margin “victory” in the 2016 election was because of “millions” of illegal immigrants voting for her. Another falsehood.

* He says Germany is making “too many cars” and selling them to Americans.

* Trump ripped into London’s mayor after the Manchester shooting by misquoting what the mayor said about the threat of international terrorists.

I am missing many more examples just since Trump became president, but you get the idea.

The man cannot control his impulses. He fires off these tweets and then changes the subject. He meets in private with world leaders and then blabs his brains out about them.

The president’s Republican allies in Congress, though, give him a pass. House Speaker Paul Ryan blithely states that Trump is “new at this,” meaning he’s “new” at governing, new at understanding the limits of presidential power.

The world is a volatile place, which I am sure the president understands. What I do not get is why he cannot control himself. I’m pretty sure we’ve got leaders all around the planet who are wondering the same thing.

Can we trust POTUS to tell the truth — ever?

Now that we’ve pretty much established that Donald J. Trump is a serial liar, let’s ponder what this might mean as he talks to other world leaders.

Do they believe him when he pledges the United States to a certain policy? Can they trust that his word is good? Will they be able to conduct their own policies knowing that the U.S. president has their back?

Trump has demonstrated repeatedly that his word is good — until he changes his mind.

He promised to stop using Twitter once he became president; he said millions of illegal immigrants voted in the 2016 election; Trump allegedly witnessed Muslims cheering the fall of the Twin Towers on 9/11; he said he “knows more about ISIS than the generals”; Trump asked several federal prosecutors appointed by his predecessor to stay on the job, then demanded their resignations; he has accused Barack Obama of wiretapping his campaign offices.

He once said “the shows” provide him with all the knowledge he needs to deal with foreign crises. Trump has said he is his own primary adviser, that he has a “great mind.”

There’s more examples to offer. But in all of those, either he told a flat-out lie or has failed to produce a shred of proof to back up anything he has said.

How does the president of the United States take that record of prevarication to the negotiating table with other foreign leaders? And how do they know whether to believe a single thing this individual says?

Ladies and gents, we have elected a patently untrustworthy man as president.

Proof, Donald, we need proof … yet again!

It’s helpful to keep everything that flies out of Donald J. Trump’s mouth — or shows up on his Twitter feed — in their proper perspective.

It is that the president of the United States is likely to say or tweet whatever the hell pops into his noggin at any time of the day or night.

He now accuses President Obama of wiretapping his Trump Tower offices, allegedly to determine if he had held unauthorized talks with Russian officials before he became president.

Proof? Pffft! Who needs it? Trump seems to ask.

Let us review for a moment a couple of other specious claims that Trump has made.

* He said “thousands and thousands of Muslims cheered” the collapse of the World Trade Center during the 9/11 attacks. They didn’t.

* The president said that “millions of illegal immigrants voted for Hillary Clinton” in the 2016 presidential election, giving her the comfortable popular vote margin she scored over Trump while losing the Electoral College. He has yet to prove that, either.

Now this.

Obama had his staff wiretap his office, according to Trump.

No proof has come forward.

How on God’s Earth can we believe anything that this clown keeps saying?

I cannot.