Tag Archives: illegal immigrants

Blast the leadership, you blast ‘rank and file,’ too

Donald Trump seeks to cherry pick his targets of scorn.

Such as the FBI and the Department of Justice. The president has been blasting the smithereens out of the “leadership” at the FBI and and at DOJ. But, oh, he says the “rank and file” are great.

His Twitter tirades make me yawn most of the time. However, I often cannot get past the idiocy of some of his messages.

We are witnessing a virtually unprecedented skirmish between the president and the nation’s elite law enforcement community. When the president assails the leadership of the FBI and the DOJ he infers — perhaps unwittingly — that the rank and file are carrying out the policies established by incompetent/crooked/biased leadership.

We are witnessing an intolerable slandering of professional law enforcement officials who do their jobs to the best of their abilities.

It’s not the first time Trump has trashed the troops on the front line of their professions.

He did the same thing to local election officials when he alleged without a scintilla of proof that “millions of illegal immigrants” voted for Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2016, giving her the nearly 3 million popular vote margin she scored over the president. Before he actually won the election, the GOP presidential candidate suggested that a Clinton victory would be the result of a “rigged election.” Again, he managed to defame the hardworking local election officials who perform their duties with diligence, dignity and distinction.

Trump has slandered the media, too, in the same way. When he embarks on his “fake news” mantra, singling out individuals and specific news outlets, he scars all the rest of the media. He then tells us the only media outlets he trusts are those that decline to report news that he deems to be “negative.” In Trump World, “negative” equals “fake.” If the news isn’t positive, it’s untrue — as Trump views it through his bizarre prism.

Here we are now, with the president of the United States denigrating, disparaging and disrespecting the finest law enforcement establishment on Earth.

Never mind his thinly veiled equivocation that the “rank and file are great,” but that he’s targeting only the leadership.

He is denigrating all the professionals at every level with his dangerous tweets and other public pronouncements.

This man is a menace.

‘Big-city liberals’ do what, Lt. Gov. Patrick?

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has been running a TV ad that makes an accusation that offends me to my core.

The Republican is running for re-election and he is proclaiming how tough he is on illegal immigration. Then he declares: “Big-city liberals favor open borders.”

To which I say, “Huh? What? Are you serious?” Well, sure he’s serious. Because he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

You see, what Patrick is saying suggests that “big-city liberals” want no controls on immigration. That they want to allow everyone into this country, regardless of their standing. They “welcome” illegal immigrants who might have criminal intent.

That is the rhetoric of a blatant demagogue.

I am no “big-city” liberal. I live in a moderately sized city in the Texas Panhandle, where most of my neighbors are likely to vote for Patrick later this year.

I also believe in stricter enforcement of our immigration policies. I am willing to pay for more Border Patrol personnel, for more electronic security/surveillance equipment.

However, I part company with Patrick and others on construction of a wall across our southern border. Furthermore, I am pretty damn sure that my own beliefs don’t make me someone who favors “open borders.” My strong hunch, too, is that other liberals would object to the “open borders” canard that comes from the lieutenant governor’s mouth.

Voter fraud commission is a goner … good!

Donald J. Trump said this today in a statement released by the White House:

“Despite substantial evidence of voter fraud, many states have refused to provide the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity with basic information relevant to its inquiry.

“Rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense, today I signed an executive order to dissolve the Commission, and have asked the Department of Homeland Security to review these issues and determine next courses of action.”

Where do I begin? I’ll start with this: Mr. President, the only “evidence” produced came from your mouth or, more accurately, your Twitter account.

The president said after the 2016 election that “millions of illegal immigrants” voted for Hillary Clinton, giving her the nearly 3 million popular vote margin she rolled up while losing the Electoral College tally. Trump never produced a scintilla of evidence. No one ever proved a thing about alleged widespread voter fraud.

So he convened this voter fraud panel to prove he was right. It didn’t find a thing. The president is right about one thing: States refused to cooperate because elections officials — including those in Texas — couldn’t determine any rational cause for releasing the information.

This looked for all the world like an effort to find a solution in search of a problem. The problem didn’t exist in the manner that the president alleged.

I’ll make a friendly wager. No money involved: The Department of Homeland Security won’t find anything, either.

How about all those ‘illegal voters’?

While the world is fluttering over a British royal engagement, sexual misconduct among members of Congress, the media and entertainment moguls and that “Russia thing,” let’s turn briefly to one of Donald Trump’s many lies.

It involves his declaration shortly after becoming president of the  United States that but for the “millions of illegal immigrants” who voted for Hillary Clinton he would have won the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election. Hillary collected nearly 3 million more votes than Trump, but the president won where it counted: in the Electoral College.

He defamed local election officials without offering a shred of proof. He just said it. Then he formed a commission to examine voting practices. He sought to obtain previously confidential information about voters to confirm their U.S. citizenship.

What in the world has happened to this made-up “crisis” in our electoral system? Has the president given up the effort to prove something he knew all along didn’t exist?

We’ve already passed the first year of Trump’s election. Coming up is the first year since his inauguration as president, which is really when much of the fun started. He’s been using his high office as a pulpit to spew out lie after lie.

The phony illegal immigrant voting lie ranks up there with the best — or the worst — of them.

Some of us — perhaps many of us — are interested to know how this lie has been resolved.

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.


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?