Tag Archives: illegal immigration

No, Mr. President, they aren’t ‘animals’

Donald John Trump really and truly doesn’t like those who come into this country illegally.

The president laid some pretty harsh language on them during a White House meeting this week. His description? He calls them “animals.”

There you go, Mr. President. Many of the undocumented immigrants who have come to the United States have managed to, um, graduate from college (some with academic honors), rear their families, pursue fruitful professional careers, serve in the U.S. military (and dying for the country in the process).

These are who the president of the United States calls “animals”?

According to National Public Radio: During a White House roundtable discussion with law enforcement officials and political leaders, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims expressed frustration that California law signed last year by Gov. Jerry Brown forbids informing U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement of undocumented immigrants in the state’s jails, even if police believe they are part of a gang.

Trump’s response: “We have people coming into the country — or trying to come in, we’re stopping a lot of them — but we’re taking people out of the country, you wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals,” the president said.

The White House meeting dealt with sanctuary cities, where municipal officials have declared their communities to be safe havens for those who enter the country without proper documentation. Trump wanted to make some idiotic generalization about every person who sneaks into the country.

As usual, the president’s overheated hyperbole is inaccurate, unfair and without any basis in fact.

I understand fully that some undocumented U.S. residents them come here and commit violent crimes. They harm others. Has it been proven, though, that undocumented immigrants do so at a more frequent rate than U.S. citizens?

The president continues to speak only for those who comprise his political base. He doesn’t speak for me.

Disgraceful.

Border ‘crisis’ appears to be overcooked

I’m going to speak from the cuff here, but I believe it needs to be said. Donald Trump’s decision to deploy National Guard troops to our southern border appears to me to be a solution in search of a problem.

The president keeps hyping an immigration “crisis” along our border with Mexico. He is implying that the border is being overrun by illegal immigrants. He suggests that the only way to stem that deluge of people sneaking in is to send in ground troops; they need to patrol the border, shoring up security already being provided by Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, local police and electronic surveillance equipment.

When did it get to this point? What is the president trying to prove with this initiative?

I don’t get it. I cannot fathom when this matter escalated to a point that requires a virtual militarization of our border with one of our nation’s closest allies.

Barack Obama deported a record number of illegal immigrants during his two terms as president of the United States. George W. Bush created the Department of Homeland Security after the 9/11 attacks, giving the federal government another agency responsible for protecting us against potential terrorist entry.

Trump takes office after campaigning on a promise to build a “big, beautiful wall” and forcing Mexico to pay for it. Mexico won’t pay a dime for the wall.

Why in the world is there this need to send National Guardsmen and women to the border when we have plenty of civilian resources available to do the job of catching people who are trying to sneak into the United States illegally?

This looks to me to be a made-up crisis.

Happy Trails, Part 89

I don’t like doing this, but this post is going to mix a bit of current politics and public policy with another musing about retirement.

You see, I’ve mentioned already that my wife and I intend to visit North America while hauling our RV behind our (now repaired) pickup truck.

What I’ve neglected to say is that North America includes another set of countries. They are south of the United States, starting with Mexico and going into Central America.

We are a bit concerned about traveling into Mexico. It has nothing to do with the people there, or the country. We’ve both ventured across the border. The last time we crossed the border was in 1974, when we drove from San Diego into Tijuana and then to Ensenada. We took a cruise with our sons from Galveston to Cozumel in 2011, but that doesn’t actually count as a “border crossing.”

What is troubling to me is the rhetoric coming from Washington since the inauguration of Donald Trump as president of the United States. He campaigned on a pledge to build a wall across our southern border; he vowed to make Mexico pay for it. He accused Mexico of “sending criminals” into the United States, as if suggesting that the Mexican government is responsible for some so-called deluge of illegal immigration.

He has continued to sound sharply critical of those who live in Latin America.

My fear is the potential fomenting of anti-American bias in that part of the world, which could put tourists — such as, oh, yours truly — at risk of harm by those who might notice the Texas license plates on our RV and our truck.

Do you get my drift? Of course you do!

I ventured to Mexico City in 1997 on a four-day journalism-related trip. I love that city. I want to show my wife the Aztec pyramids I got to climb. I want to take her to the spectacularly colorful Folklorico Ballet that I watched. I want to treat her to tacos the way they are prepared in Mexico.

At this moment, though, I am fearful of hauling our RV there to see those sights.

If only we could cease this in-your-face rhetoric that I suspect is not being lost on those wonderful continental neighbors.

Non-politician has learned how to politicize

Edwin Jackson died in a tragic automobile accident over the weekend.

He was a linebacker for the Indianapolis Colts. His death is a tragedy for his family, his teammates and for professional football fans who followed his career.

So … how does the president of the United States respond?

He fired off two tweets. The first one said this: So disgraceful that a person illegally in our country killed @Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson. This is just one of many such preventable tragedies. We must get the Dems to get tough on the Border, and with illegal immigration, FAST!

Five minutes, Donald Trump wrote this: My prayers and best wishes are with the family of Edwin Jackson, a wonderful young man whose life was so senselessly taken. @Colts

Which of these tweets more accurately reflects the president’s instincts? Is it the one that offered the typical knee-jerk political reaction to a human tragedy? Or is the second one that should have been the only comment coming from the president?

Donald Trump entered the 2016 presidential campaign by touting his non-political background. He boasted of his business acumen, his instincts, as well as his ability to cut the “best deals” in the history of Planet Earth.

Here we are. One year and a few days after Donald Trump became president, the non-politician has acquired the politician’s taste — if not the nuanced ability — for politicizing an event that should remain far from the political arena.

Shameful.

‘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.

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.

Immigration reform might be on the horizon

There you go, Mr. President.

Sit down with Democrats and Republicans, talk out loud in front of the media about ways to reform the nation’s immigration policy.

Before you know it, you can get leaders from both parties speaking encouragingly about the prospects.

Donald Trump led a lengthy meeting today in the White House with congressional Democratic and Republican leaders. He talked openly with them about allowing so-called “Dreamers” to stay in the nation while beefing up border security and perhaps giving greater consideration to families when considering granting legal status to immigrants.

The president and lawmakers say they have reached a sort of tentative agreement on an immigration reform package. A key component could be a way to preserve a portion of the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals provision, which then-President Obama established as a way to prevent the deportation of illegal immigrants who were brought here as children.

Trump said he would ask lawmakers to hammer out the details and promised to sign whatever bill they bring to his desk.

See? This bipartisan approach to legislating actually holds key opportunities for leaders of both parties.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy noted that this approach means “both sides” have to surrender something and that he would be “the first” to offer some compromise.

Those of us who want comprehensive immigration reform can feel a bit heartened by what transpired today. According to The Hill : Trump expressed sympathy to immigrants who came to the country illegally at a young age and now face deportation, urging negotiators to pass “a bill of love.”

Now, will all this go down in flames if Democrats say something that ticks off the president? That’s happened before. The president does have this habit of reacting badly when he hears a negative thought.

There’s little likelihood the bill will be completed in time to avoid a government shutdown on Jan. 19. Here’s an idea: Approve yet another temporary funding measure and get to work without delay on repairing the immigration system.

A felon for U.S. senator?

This is fantastic. A man convicted of civil rights violations and disobeying a federal court order is going to run for the U.S. Senate from Arizona.

Oh, sure, Joe Arpaio has received a presidential pardon from Donald John (Stable Genius) Trump Sr., which means that technically he’s no longer a convicted felon.

He had been convicted of violating a federal court order stemming from accusations that he discriminated against Latinos in his hunt for illegal immigrants. That’s when the president stepped in to pardon the former Maricopa County sheriff.

So, the ex-lawman is going to seek to pay Trump back by being elected to a Senate seat that would enable him to support the president’s political agenda. Is this a quid pro quo?

Arpaio wants to succeed Sen. Jeff Flake, the Republican who’s retiring at the end of his current term, which expires at the end of 2018.

I don’t believe Arizona Republicans should nominate this guy to represent the GOP, let alone elect him to the Senate.

Arpaio said this, according to the Arizona Republic: “I’ll outgun anybody running against me or otherwise,” Arpaio said. “I wouldn’t do this if I felt that I couldn’t put all my energy into being elected and also in Washington, doing what I can to help the country and the state. So I feel good about it. I’m not worried about the age.”

Arpaio would be 86 at the beginning of a Senate term.

Weird.