Tag Archives: illegal immigration

Immigration doesn’t harm culture

I just heard once again Donald J. Trump’s comments about “immigration” in Europe.

He told The Sun newspaper in London about how “immigration” was harming Europe. How it was hurting Europe’s “culture.” How it was going to change the continent “and not in a good way.”

What I didn’t hear from Donald J. Trump’s mouth was the word “illegal” preceding the word “immigration” or “immigrants.”

So, what are we to presume? I’ll take a leap and suggest that Trump doesn’t favor immigration. He believes the immigrants who are going to Europe — legally or as refugees from persecution in, say, the Middle East or Africa — present a problem for Europe.

Doesn’t the Xenophobe in Chief understand the value that immigrants bring to any region of the world? He, of course, has declared open warfare against immigrants who want to enter the United States. Yes, I understand that he has zeroed in on illegal immigrants. However, he continues to paint them all with the same broad brush, making damning presumptions about all of them: they’re coming here to commit violent crimes against Americans.

Fascinating, yes, coming from someone who has been married to two women who were immigrants, one from Czechoslovakia and one from Slovenia.

So what does the president presume to know about European “culture” that suggests immigration endangers it?

Moreover, how does he define “European culture”? Does he actually believe that the continent of Europe comprises sovereign nations that adhere to a singular culture?

We see yet again another demonstration of the president’s ignorance about the world, not to mention the very nation he was elected to lead.

Mr. POTUS, we must ‘have judges’

Donald J. Trump wants to change U.S. immigration policy by diminishing the role of — get a load of this — the federal judiciary.

Trump wants to toss all illegal immigrants out of the country without the benefit of having their cases heard by judges.

The president of the United States today yet again took dead aim at our immigration policy. He called it the worst policy “in the history of the world.” He then said something quite remarkable in a brief give-and-take with reporters gathered at the White House.

Trump noted that when immigrants cross our border, “they have judges.” Yes, judges. These are the men and women who take an oath to administer the law in accordance with the U.S. Constitution, to ensure that federal law doesn’t violate the Constitution.

Federal immigration law — indeed, the 14th Amendment to the Constitution — grants “any person” the right to “due process” and “equal protection” under the law. It doesn’t limit those guarantees to U.S. citizens, let alone to those who come here legally from another nation.

The president’s desire to toss out the Constitution, to ignore existing federal statutes crosses the line into a desire to create an autocracy. He wants to throw into the crapper a fundamental tenet that the nation’s founders insisted on when they created this government. That tenet established a judicial system that is ostensibly free of political pressure and coercion.

Yes, we need more federal judges — not fewer of them — to deal specifically with this issue of immigration. Yet the president now disparages the role these judges play? He disrespects their vital contribution to the administering of justice?


Settle down, Rep. Waters

U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters needs to settle down.

The California Democrat needs to develop a sense of decorum and decency in this overheated political climate. I know it’s hard, but it can be done.

She said the following Saturday at a rally. She was commenting on White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders being asked to leave a Virginia restaurant because Huckabee works for Donald J. Trump:

“For these members of his Cabinet who remain and try to defend him, they’re not going to be able to go to a restaurant, they’re not going to be able to stop at a gas station, they’re not going to be able to shop at a department store, the people are going to turn on them, they’re going to protest, they’re going to absolutely harass them until they decide that they’re going to tell the president ‘No, I can’t hang with you, this is wrong, this is unconscionable and we can’t keep doing this to children.'”

Waters is inciting potentially harmful — if not dangerous — confrontations.

She is angry over the president’s policy that took children from their parents at the southern border. I share her anger. It’s an outrageous effort to demonize illegal immigrants. It is punishing children because of something their parents have done.

The White House press secretary does not deserve to be hassled, harassed or hectored while she is in a public place with her family. Yes, Waters has walked back her comment just a bit. She says protest is a “democratic” process as long as it is peaceful. Fine. Protest in all sorts of ways.

However, the idea that she would encourage such confrontation of other Trump administration officials only inflames passion, drives deeper divisions between factions and creates even more hard feelings than those that exist already.

The president himself has shown himself to be the master of division and discord. There is no need to mimic what he has done to sow the seeds of anger among Americans.

Hassling officials from the administration while they are off the clock is no way to unite the nation.

Trump once believed in ‘due process’

It’s hard to believe, but Donald J. Trump once stood tall for the cause of “due process.”

A one-time White House staff secretary, Rob Porter, faced accusations that he beat up two former wives. He was forced to quit amid storms of protest.

The president then asked out loud about whatever happened to “due process.” Why, Porter deserved the same level of due process that the country grants to everyone else, Trump said.

That was then.

These days, due process has been kicked to the curb. The president now believes that every immigrant who comes into the country illegally should be rounded up and kicked out immediately. Due process be damned! They don’t need any adjudication, he said.

What gives? Does the president favor due process or not?

Sure, I get that he’s trying to make a political point. However, some principles should withstand political pressure.

U.S. law allows illegal immigrants to have their cases heard by the judicial system. Judges have an obligation, according to the law, to hear the immigrants’ stories and decide — based on the law — how their case should be resolved.

The president, though, says that’s no longer necessary.

Get ’em out of here, he says. All of ’em! Refugees? Those fleeing persecution? Violence? Forget about it!

Kick them all out, he says. Now!


Due process? Who needs it?

Donald J. Trump, the champion of due process and the rule of law, has decided, um, that he wants to toss it all out the window in his quest to rid the United States of every single person who comes here illegally.

The president launched another Twitter tirade today in which he suggested rounding up every illegal immigrant he can find and then sending them back immediately to their country of origin.

“No court cases,” he said. “No judges,” he added. Just round ’em up. Get rid of ’em.

This kind of red — and raw — meat plays well with his base. That’s his audience anyway. The rest of us? He doesn’t care.

According to The Washington Post: “We cannot allow all of these people to invade our Country,” Trump wrote. “When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came. Our system is a mockery to good immigration policy and Law and Order. Most children come without parents.”

The president continued in a second tweet, “Our Immigration policy, laughed at all over the world, is very unfair to all of those people who have gone through the system legally and are waiting on line for years! Immigration must be based on merit — we need people who will help to Make America Great Again!”

There he goes yet again. He is painting every illegal immigrant with the same broad brush, presuming that every one of them is here to bring havoc to Americans, that they want to kill us, rape us, sell us illegal drugs, kidnap our children and then peddle them as sex slaves.

Due process? U.S. immigration law gives illegal immigrants certain rights, such as the right to have their cases heard by a judge. The president doesn’t give a damn about that.

Get rid of all of them, he said.

His posture is not going to “make America great again.” It is going to make us a pariah state.


‘Merit-based’ immigration policy? Define ‘merit’

What is seemingly lost in all the furor over the “zero tolerance” debate and the fate of children taken from their parents at the southern border is a key element of Donald Trump’s proposed immigration policy.

The president said it again just this week. He wants a “merit-based” immigration policy that allows for a greater degree of selectivity. If you have something to contribute to the United States … you’re in. If you’re, um, not so meritorious, well, call us when you deserve to be admitted.

Trump wants to restrict legal immigration while eliminating illegal immigration. I am with him on the effort to make all immigrants enter this country legally, with proper documentation.

It’s the caveat he is seeking to attach to legal immigrants that bothers me in the extreme.

I am the grandson of immigrants. All four of my grandparents came to this country at the turn of the 20th century. They weren’t highly educated. They didn’t bring special talents or skill — although my maternal grandfather was fluent or conversant in about seven languages, owing to his years of service as a merchant seaman.

I am unclear whether any of them would have made the cut under Donald Trump’s plan to institute a merit-based immigration policy.

Here’s another thing to consider: Two of my grandparents came from Greece, two came from Turkey. I am wondering here and now whether Trump considers Turkey — a predominantly Muslim nation — to be a “sh**hole country” along the lines of El Salvador, Haiti or anywhere in Africa.

This nation — with the exception of Native Americans — is made up of people who all were immigrants. Most of our ancestors came here voluntarily; others of them were forced to come here — as slaves!

To suggest that we set the bar higher than many immigrants can clear is to deny our nation’s history and its tradition of being a land that opens its doors — along with its arms and heart — to the rest of the world.

Is the president creating a crisis where none exists?

I keep getting this feeling in my gut that Donald J. Trump’s insistence that we have an immigration “crisis” is a figment of the president’s imagination.

Or worse, it is a ploy he is using to curry favor with Americans who have this fear about immigrants of all stripes, legal or otherwise.

Trump keeps harping on the flood of immigrants pouring through our “open border” to do harm to Americans. He is managing to cast all immigrants in the same ultra-negative light: They’re murderers, rapists, drug dealers, sex traffickers, kidnappers.

Here’s the nasty part of it: Trump appears to be succeeding in this hideous effort.

The media are covering this “zero tolerance” story with zeal and aggressiveness. The children who have been separated from their parents and sent to something called “tender age” internment camps have broken our hearts. Former first ladies have issued statements condemning the practice.

I keep asking myself: Why? Why are we reacting with such hysteria over this story?

I heard a statistic the other day about how border crossings are down. Yet to listen to the president tell it, the nation’s southern border is awash in people pouring northward into Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

I don’t spend a lot of time along the Texas border with Mexico, although I recently did travel to Laredo. My wife and I spent a few nights at a Texas state park along the Rio Grande River. We also spent some time on the road traveling southeast along the river.

What did we see during those few days along the border? We saw Texans going about their daily lives. We looked at families playing at parks. We saw people shopping. They were enjoying meals. They were walking their pets along city streets.

We saw life continuing at a normal pace.

We did not see a community in crisis. We didn’t see a region gripped by a flood of illegal immigrants/criminals.

This was two years ago. Has it changed dramatically since then?

I think not.

I also believe the president of the United States — who launched his first political campaign in 2015 with a pledge to curb immigration along our southern border — has created a crisis where none exists.


Nothing ‘phony’ about these tales of woe, Mr. POTUS

I am slapping myself silly out of frustration, outrage and anger at the president’s utter ignorance.

He fired off this little ditty this morning via Twitter:

We must maintain a Strong Southern Border. We cannot allow our Country to be overrun by illegal immigrants as the Democrats tell their phony stories of sadness and grief, hoping it will help them in the elections. Obama and others had the same pictures, and did nothing about it!

Where do I begin? Or end, for that matter?

Democrats aren’t telling “phony stories of sadness and grief,” Mr. President. Yet that’s the message that Donald J. Trump sought to deliver.

No, sir. Nothing “phony” is going on at the nation’s southern border. The children are in distress. So are their parents. Yes, they should enter the United States legally. On that point, I am with the president. However, their reasons for seeking entry are as complex as the problem that has erupted.

Many of them are fleeing brutality, gang violence, poverty. They want a better life for their families. Why is that so difficult for the president to understand? He implies through his tweets and other public statements that every illegal immigrant is “infesting” this country intent on doing something evil. He suggests they are bringing “crime” into the United States.

This is nothing short of a disgraceful display of bald-faced prejudice and bigotry.

Phony stories of sadness? Hardly, Mr. President. These tragedies are real and they need answers — not recrimination.

‘The Jacket’ shrouds first lady’s actual mission

I think I’ll paraphrase a message that appeared on the back of first lady Melania Trump’s jacket … so bear with me.

I really don’t care about what it said.

What I do care about is that the first lady chose to wear this particular jacket while she was heading toward South Texas to tour a migrant camp that houses children who had been taken from their parents. The message on the back of the jacket read: “I really don’t care. Do U?”

I also care about the decidedly mixed message from Donald J. Trump’s self-proclaimed “fine-tuned machine” that runs the executive branch of government. Melania Trump’s staff said the first lady never intended to deliver a message with the jacket. Then the president himself tweeted something that said, yep, she did intend to deliver a message, which was aimed at what he calls “fake news.”

Message or no message? Which is it?

How about we hear from the first lady herself?

I am acutely aware that nothing gets done spontaneously at this level of public appearance planning. These events almost always are tightly scripted affairs. So, when the first lady is seen boarding a plane en route to South Texas wearing a jacket that sends a troubling message about whether she cares about the kids, well, then we have a problem.

The message itself isn’t all that weird. It’s the context of the first lady of the United States deciding to wear it while preparing to represent the president at an event that has gripped the nation by its throat.

If it is true — and that’s an iffy prospect, at best — that, according to the president, the first lady’s visit to McAllen was “100 percent” her call, then we need to hear directly from her.

Was she sending a “message,” or was it just an astonishingly sloppy display of ignorance about how the “optics” would play?

Talk to us, Mme. First Lady.

Illegal immigrants ‘infest’ this country? Really, Mr. POTUS?

Count me as one of those Americans who is troubled by the use of the term “infest” when referring to human beings.

Yet, that is how Donald J. Trump referred to illegal immigrants. They “infest” this country by trying to sneak across our border illegally.

Never mind their motive for seeking entry into the Land of Opportunity. Search for a better life? Escape from persecution? Reuniting with family members already here?

Nope. They are seeking to “infest” this country.

This is the individual who attached a moral equivalence between white supremacists/KKK members/neo-Nazis with those who protested against them in Charlottesville, Va., this past year. Do you remember how he said there were “fine people … on both sides” of that hideous riot?

This man, the president, once called for the death penalty for five young men who were exonerated for the crime of beating and raping that woman in Central Park, New York City.

Let us not forget how he continued to foment the lie that the nation’s first African-American president, Barack Obama, was born in Africa and was not qualified to run for he office to which he was elected twice.

The common denominator? Race.

Now he is saying that those who enter the United States illegally from Latin America are seeking to “infest” this country. What in the name of human decency is he saying here?

To my ear, he is labeling every single immigrant — yes, those who are undocumented — as coming here to commit violent crimes, to engage in rape, murder, human trafficking.

At minimum, the president is casting these individuals in starkly unfair terms. My fear is that he knows precisely what he is saying and that the term “infest” comports with his deep, dark and sadistic view of what lures these fellow human beings to the United States of America.