Tag Archives: illegal immigrants

‘Mistakes were made,’ governor? Who made them?

I worked for a newspaper editor who detests passive-voice sentence construction. He drilled it into us to write with active-voice construction.

So, when I hear a politician say that “mistakes were made,” I think of my former editor — and current friend — and I see such a statement as a way of a politician seeking to cover his a**.

The basic difference between passive and active voice grammar is that the reader understands who is doing the deed being described in the text he or she is reading.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has said that “mistakes were made” in the release of a fundraising letter the day before the shootings in El Paso and Dayton. The letter sought to gin up support for efforts to “DEFEND” the Texas border against, I presume, illegal immigrants.

The letter went out and then a moron drove from Collin County to El Paso, Texas, and opened fire at a Walmart shopping center, killing 22 people, most of whom were of Latin American descent. Is there a connection? Maybe, perhaps.

As the Texas Tribune reported: “I did get the chance to visit with the El Paso delegation and help them understand that mistakes were made and course correction has been made,” he said.

The Tribune continued: “The national Democrat machine has made no secret of the fact that it hopes to ‘turn Texas blue.’ If they can do it in California, they can do it in Texas — if we let them,” Abbott wrote in the fundraising appeal.

The governor signed off with another pointed warning: “Unless you and I want liberals to succeed in their plan to transform Texas — and our entire country — through illegal immigration, this is a message we MUST send.”

I am left to ask: Who made the mistakes and what is the precise nature of the “course correction”?

I am quite certain my former editor, who has returned to Texas, will read that statement and go into apoplectic shock over Gov. Abbott’s passive-voice a**-covering.

No, Mr. POTUS: The U.S. isn’t ‘full’

Mr. President, how many times do we have to tell you that your anti-immigrant rhetoric is un-American?

Your recent trip to the California-Mexico border contained more of the same, tired rhetoric about how you intend to crack down on illegal immigration, how you want to stop drug traffickers from entering the United States and how you no longer want asylum seekers to even bother making the effort to escape oppression in their home countries.

You said the country is “full.” There’s no more room at the proverbial inn? Is that what you mean?

So now you give Mexico a year to shut down the illegal drug trade before you carry out your threat to “close the border.” Yeah, I heard you say that “I’m not messing around.”

Then you “mess around” by backing off on your shut it down now mantra by declaring you intention to wait a year? Do you know what that tells me, Mr. President? It tells me your initial threat was as phony as all the other threats you fire out there.

You said you want to repeal the Affordable Care Act now. Then you say you want to wait until after the November 2020 presidential election. Same thing, Hoss. That initial threat was hollow. It was phony. Bogus. It was full of crap.

Mr. President, the United States is not full. We comprise about 3.7 million square miles. We are a big and until now a welcoming country. Hey, my grandparents — all four of them — came here in search of a better life than what they had in southern Europe. They found it and contributed more to the advancement of the American ideal than you’ll ever contribute.

They believed in the American dream. You were born into immense wealth and you believe in personal enrichment.

You may stop the bloviating and the bluster about shutting down our southern border. You are now more than welcome to stop proclaiming that the door is now shut, that the “United States is full.”

No sir. It isn’t.

Is it really a ‘national emergency’ on the border?

I cannot possibly profess to know all there is to know, but one current issue has me baffled in the extreme.

I am unable to discern where along our nation’s southern border we are experiencing a “national emergency.” Donald Trump is now threatening to declare that such an emergency exists if he doesn’t persuade Congress to appropriate $5.7 billion to build The Wall.

The president has just backed down from a standoff he engaged in with congressional Democrats. The partial government shutdown was called off. Trump didn’t get any money for The Wall. He said he would keep the government shuttered for as long as it takes until he got money for The Wall. Then he caved, blinked, backpedaled, retreated . . . whatever you want to call it.

Now comes the threat to declare a national emergency. What does it mean? It means that Trump can deploy military personnel to build The Wall and move money appropriated for other projects to finance its construction. Former U.S. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry, a Texas Panhandle Republican, has said such a move runs counter to Pentagon policy and that the military mission should not include wall construction.

What’s more, if he does declare such an emergency, the president can expect an immediate and ferocious legal challenge from congressional Democrats.

I do not live along the border, but I do live in a border state. Texas shares the longest stretch of any of the four states that border Mexico. The entire Texas-Mexico border is along the Rio Grande River. In some areas along that river, it is virtually impossible for anyone to enter one country from the other.

Back to my point. Is there really and truly an emergency occurring down yonder? I have trouble believing that the illegal immigration situation today is any worse than it has been for decades. Indeed, I keep hearing about surveys that tell us that illegal border crossings have declined in recent years. Border Patrol agents have been arresting and deporting undocumented immigrants for as long as the agency has existed.

Trump has sought to scare the daylights out of Americans by implying that hordes of illegal immigrants are pouring across the border to commit all manner of crimes against unsuspecting Americans. I will admit I haven’t spent a lot of time on the border, but I have been there and have wondered where the hordes of criminals have been hiding.

I am simply not going to accept the president’s assertion about the need to declare an emergency. I really wonder if it really exists.

Twitter use? Sure, why not? ‘Fake News’ epithet? Unacceptable

I have learned to accept that Donald Trump is going to use Twitter to express himself whenever he wants. I don’t like it, but that’s his way of communicating, so I’ll let that aspect ride.

What I cannot let stand is his continual use of the term “fake news” to describe media with which he disagrees.

He said this regarding the Davos economic summit, which he decided to skip  because of the partial government shutdown:

Last time I went to Davos, the Fake News said I should not go there. This year, because of the Shutdown, I decided not to go, and the Fake News said I should be there. The fact is that the people understand the media better than the media understands them!

C’mon, Mr. President! Knock off the “fake news” epithet.

He throws that term out whenever he describes media outlets that report news he finds objectionable, which is another way of saying he dislikes media that report the news accurately.

Moreover, the president of the United States is the uncrowned king of fake news. He foments lies continually. He has continued to speak untruths about current events, about his political foes, about the media. He promotes “fakes news” whenever he opens his trap and says things such as:

Barack Obama was ineligible to run for president because he wasn’t a U.S. citizen; he witnessed thousands of Muslims cheering the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11; millions of illegal immigrants voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016; the “caravan” of refugees fleeing Central America contained many “Middle Eastern” terrorists intent on killing Americans.

That’s just a sample of what I am talking about. The president is the master of “fake news.” For him to accuse the media of promoting “fake news” is just, well, another example of Donald Trump’s penchant for prevarication.

POTUS moving ball slowly toward compromise

I’ve been rolling Donald J. Trump’s latest gambit on this government shutdown nonsense around in my noggin.

Here is what I’ve come up with: The president seems to be inching ever so slowly toward compromise with congressional Democrats who do not want to build The Wall along our southern border.

I don’t want The Wall built either. Or whatever form it takes: slats, chain-link fence, steel wall, concrete. None of it sounds appealing to me as an American who hates The Wall but who supports the notion of enhancing border security.

Trump, though, has pitched an enticing notion: He is willing to grant illegal immigrants who came here as children a three-year “amnesty” that enables them to start walking down a “path to citizenship.” We call ’em Dreamers. They came here when their parents entered the nation illegally. They formerly were protected under a program called Deferred Action for Children Arrivals, or DACA. Trump rescinded that Barack Obama-issued executive order.

Now he’s budging a good bit on giving DACA recipients a break.

That is progress. It’s not enough to suit Democrats. Interestingly, the president also has pi**** off hardliners on his far right who don’t want DACA recipients to get a break, even though they did nothing wrong on their own to get here; many thousands of them have grown into adulthood knowing only life as de facto Americans. They have become productive residents of the United States. Many of them have excelled scholastically and have contributed greatly to life in the Land of Opportunity.

So . . . what now?

I would hope those on the left and the right would seek a way to understand that Trump has begun moving the ball just a little bit.

It’s an effort to end this shutdown, which has thrust 800,000 Americans into the ranks of the unpaid and unemployed. They need relief. They need to get back to work.

This shutdown, precipitated by Donald Trump’s silly boast that he would be willing to take the heat for the consequences, needs to end. If a three-year reprieve for DACA recipients can end this stalemate, then I am all in.

Vote recount = election theft? Hardly!

Donald J. Trump is so adept at tossing out unfounded and unsubstantiated allegations it’s getting difficult to zero in on matters deserving of comment.

But here’s one that does. The president has tweeted an allegation of electoral theft in Florida — without any evidence, quite naturally — because officials there have ordered a recount of ballots in the races for U.S. senator and for governor.

Democrats and Republicans are locked in vise-tight battles for both offices. Trump now has warned of possible theft of the election moments after the recounts were declared.

Hey, he’s a pro at this kind of fear-mongering. Remember how he contended that “millions of illegal aliens” voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, accounting for her nearly 3 million vote lead in the popular vote?

America is still waiting for proof of that allegation, Mr. President.

He once warned of a “rigged election” were he to lose the 2016 presidential contest. Hah! He won that election, but hasn’t said a disparaging word about the allegation over whether Russian interference might have “rigged” the results in his favor.

How about letting the recount proceed, Mr. President. We don’t need to hear another word from you on whether there’s any “theft” involved. If the Republicans end up winning the Senate seat and the governorship, at least they will have ensured that all the ballots are counted. The same thing will hold true as well even if the Democrats emerge victorious.

That’s how the system works.

What is so wrong with a ‘pathway to citizenship’?

The 2018 midterm election might be setting an unofficial record for demagogic statements and rhetoric.

One of them goes something like this: Democrats want to grant immediate citizenship to illegal aliens. Hmm. Really?

Here is what I understand is the talking point that Democrats are pitching and it has next to nothing to do with what their Republican foes keep saying about them.

They say they want to grant a “pathway to citizenship” to those who entered the United States illegally. Does that equate in any fashion to granting immediate citizenship? Not to me.

One of the most-watched Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate, Texan Beto O’Rourke, has been vilified as someone who favors “open borders,” one who says we have “too much border security” and someone who favors allowing illegal immigrants to vote.

Yes. I actually heard that last thing stated on a Fox News interview O’Rourke conducted with talking head Sean Hannity.

What I believe is the truth is that O’Rourke and other progressive candidates want is to grant a reprieve from deportation for illegal immigrants. Then he has suggested a form of screening of those immigrants, seeking to determine the reasons they are here. He and others want to allow them the chance to apply for citizenship or to seek permanent resident status.

Why, I must wonder, is that such a bad thing? Why is it preferable in the minds of many others to just round ’em up, keep ’em restrained and then deport ’em without giving them a chance to build new lives in the Land of Opportunity?

The xenophobe in chief keeps implying that every illegal immigrant is here to do harm. Yep, grandma and grandpa, along with their small grandchildren, as well as married couples have sneaked into our country to commit terrible, heinous, despicable crimes against unsuspecting Americans. That’s how the demagoguery goes.

It is untrue. It is a lie fomented by those with ghastly motives.

Do I favor “open borders”? Do I favor an absence of border security? Do I want to grant anyone permission to enter this country without the proper documentation? Of course not. Neither do politicians seeking election to important public offices.

None of that will stop the demagogues from continuing their campaign of lies.

B’bye, Sheriff Joe, and don’t let the door hit you

Now, maybe — one can hope — Joe Arpaio will disappear from the public stage.

The man known colloquially as Sheriff Joe lost his Arizona Republican primary bid this week to win election to the U.S. Senate. Thank goodness for that!

He finished third in a three-candidate field seeking to succeed retiring Sen. Jeff Flake, a conservative Republican and a man with principles and guts.

Arpaio wasn’t your run-of-the-mill losing candidate. He once was sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz. He also got into trouble with the federal judiciary by ignoring a court order to cease profiling Hispanics who he suspected of being in this country illegally.

For his defiance, he was convicted of a federal offense. But then Donald J. Trump — Arpaio’s newfound political “hero” — pardoned him before he was sentenced for the crime he committed.

And to think that Vice President Mike Pence went to Arizona to campaign for Arpaio, calling him a man who stood “for the rule of law.” Hell, he stood for nothing of the sort! He stood for defying the federal judiciary and, therefore, for breaking the law.

The New York Times called Arpaio a “sadistic” man. That’s good enough for me.

Hit the road, Sheriff Joe. And stay out of sight.

Same old song: GOP is tough, Dems are weaklings

If only the president of the United States would stop his stereotyping of political foes.

Such as what he did on thisTwitter message: When people come into our Country illegally, we must IMMEDIATELY escort them back out without going through years of legal maneuvering. Our laws are the dumbest anywhere in the world. Republicans want Strong Borders and no Crime. Dems want Open Borders and are weak on Crime!

Hang on a second.

I happen to align with the Democratic Part. Do I “want Open Borders” and am I “weak on crime!”?

I beg your pardon, Mr. President.

I happen to support the president’s desire to invoke “extreme vetting” of immigrants. I also want to see border security increased, updated, modernized.

I do not favor building a wall along our southern border. I do not favor separating children from their parents. I do not favor Donald Trump’s desire to deport illegal immigrants immediately.

None of this seems to deter Donald John Trump from inflaming passions by his mischaracterization of his foes’ motives. It does fire up the base, which is the only audience that matters to the president.

As for his desire to toss all immigrants out without going through a legal process, I find that to be inherently un-American.

It’s the kind of rhetoric one hears from autocrats and, oh yeah, dictators.

‘Easier to judge quickly than to take time to understand’

Philip Rucker is a first-class reporter for The Washington Post. He posted a Twitter item that stated:

First Lady Melania Trump in speech tonight: “Kindness, compassion, and positivity are very important traits in life. It is far easier to say nothing than it is to speak words of kindness. It is easier to judge quickly than to take time to understand.”

I am blown away by part of what the first lady said.

“It is easier to judge quickly than to take time to understand.”

That’s what she said, according to Rucker. She is correct. Spot on. However, as with most matters involving the first lady, one must feel a bit of pain for her, given that she is married to someone who is too damn eager to “judge quickly” and is so very reluctant to “take time to understand.”

Illegal immigrants, anyone?

Consider what the president of the United States keeps saying about those who enter this country without the proper immigration documents. He is labeling them all with the same epithet. They’re criminals intent on doing serious harm to Americans, he keeps telling us.

The president refuses to “take time to understand” why they’re coming here. Refugees? Escaping crime? Fleeing persecution? In search of a better life for them and their families?

Who needs to “take time” to realize that not all illegal immigrants are motivated by evil intent? They aren’t all coming here for nefarious reasons.

The president is exhibiting a shameful prejudice toward all illegal immigrants and, by implication, almost all of those who come to this country.

If only the first lady’s wisdom could get through to her husband, who remains blind and deaf to the pleas of those who admonish him to cease the cruelty of his views toward immigrants.

It’s a lost cause. A president who makes public policy pronouncements via Twitter isn’t going to heed anyone’s advice. Not even his wife.