Tag Archives: illegal immigration

Beto: No on the wall, yes on enhanced border security

Beto O’Rourke has been talking a lot in general terms about appealing to our better angels and seeking to end the politics of division, anger and bigotry.

Oh, and the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate also has managed to articulate a sensible border policy that does not include construction of a wall along our nation’s southern border.

O’Rourke stated this week a couple of key points: We don’t need to build a wall; he wants to grant citizenship to U.S. residents who were brought here illegally by their parents when they were children; and he wants to shore up border security by using enhanced technology to find those who are sneaking into this country illegally.

Now, does that sound like someone who favors “open borders,” which has become one of Donald John Trump’s go-to attack lines as he campaigns for Republican U.S. House and Senate candidates?

I don’t hear that.

O’Rourke is running against Ted Cruz in this year’s Senate campaign. I am glad to know he wants to help protect the recipients of the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrival policy, which of course is no surprise.

The wall? It’s a boondoggle. We cannot afford to build it and Mexico damn sure isn’t going to pay for it.

And, yes, I endorse efforts to shore up border security to prevent immigrants from sneaking into the United States without proper documentation.

Beto O’Rourke and I are on the same page.

Listen to this grieving father

Rob Tibbetts’s broken heart has not rendered him silent.

His daughter’s death at the hands of a man suspected of being in this country illegally has been cause for politicians to use Mollie Tibbetts’s memory as a political football.

Her dad is having none of it.

Rob Tibbetts wrote in an emotional op-ed in the Des Moines Register: The person who is accused of taking Mollie’s life is no more a reflection of the Hispanic community as white supremacists are of all white people. To suggest otherwise is a lie. Justice in my America is blind. This person will receive a fair trial, as it should be. If convicted, he will face the consequences society has set. Beyond that, he deserves no more attention.

Mollie Tibbetts disappeared several weeks ago while jogging along a rural Iowa road. Her body was discovered just recently and a man stands accused of her murder. The suspect reportedly is here as an undocumented immigrant. Yet politicians, including the president of the United States, have jumped all over this tragic case as a reason to round up every illegal immigrant in this country and deport them to the country of their birth.

It’s a maximum overreaction to a human tragedy.

Rob Tibbetts does not want his daughter’s death to be used in this manner, as he stated in his essay. You can read it here.

I want to offer one more sample of Rob Tibbetts’s poignant message:

My stepdaughter, whom Mollie loved so dearly, is Latina. Her sons — Mollie’s cherished nephews and my grandchildren — are Latino. That means I am Hispanic. I am African. I am Asian. I am European. My blood runs from every corner of the Earth because I am American. As an American, I have one tenet: to respect every citizen of the world and actively engage in the ongoing pursuit to form a more perfect union.

Given that, to knowingly foment discord among races is a disgrace to our flag. It incites fear in innocent communities and lends legitimacy to the darkest, most hate-filled corners of the American soul. It is the opposite of leadership. It is the opposite of humanity. It is heartless. It is despicable. It is shameful.

Mollie Tibbetts’s memory likely to become a political football

Most of us with a heart and soul are heartbroken over the news that a 20-year-old Iowa woman has died at the hands of someone who grabbed her, took her into a field and killed her.

Her name was Mollie Tibbetts. She was jogging along a rural road when she disappeared.

Now we have a suspect — Cristhian Bahena Rivera –who happens to be an undocumented immigrant from Mexico. I am steeling myself for what I expect to be the maximum politicization of this tragic event. The Politicizer in Chief, Donald J. Trump, is likely to lead the “I told you so” chorus that cries out for the immediate arrest and deportation of all such immigrants.

I do not want that to happen. Sadly, I fear that it will occur. Indeed, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott put out a message immediately upon the arrest of the suspect that Texas was correct to out law “sanctuary cities,” where illegal immigrants have been protected against arrest and potential deportation. That’s fine, governor. How about putting a lid on politicking further upon the grief of a stricken family?

Do you think the president of the United States will show discretion? I rather doubt it … strongly!

It’s the nature of the climate in this era of demonization. One man allegedly commits a crime and we are likely now to assign nefarious motives to others just like him who have come into this country without proper documentation.

I prefer simply to grieve for Mollie Tibbetts.

And let the criminal justice system take care of Cristhian Rivera.

Wishing a former governor could weigh in on DACA

I am quite aware that Rick Perry’s job as energy secretary inhibits the areas on which he can comment publicly. He is limited to talking about energy policy.

You see, he also is a former Texas governor who — if memory serves — got into some hot water with hard-line conservatives within his party because of his relatively generous views about undocumented immigrants.

The Republican governor used to support the idea of allowing undocumented immigrants who grew up in Texas, who came of age here, to enroll in colleges and universities while paying in-state tuition rates. Those rates are considerably less expensive than those who live out of state and who choose to attend higher education institutions in Texas.

Thus, I wish the former governor could speak out against the notion of ending the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals, which is what the Trump administration — which Perry now serves as energy boss — wants to eliminate.

The Texas Attorney General’s Office is going to court next week to continue the fight on behalf of the Trump administration.

As the Texas Tribune reports: On Aug. 8, federal District Judge Andrew Hanen will hear the state’s request to have the program preliminarily halted while the issue meanders its way through the federal court system. The hearing comes nearly a year after President Donald Trump promised to end DACA in September by phasing it out over six months. But three different courts have since ruled that the administration must keep the program —which protects immigrants brought into the U.S. as children from deportation and allows them to obtain a two-year work permit — intact for now.

DACA was created by the Obama administration. It is intended to grant temporary reprieve from deportation of those who were brought to this country illegally by their parents. Many DACA recipients came here as babies; they know only life in the United States. They need not be deported, given that many of them already have established themselves as de facto citizens of this country.

Donald Trump wants to eliminate it, seemingly only because it was left over by the presidency of Barack Obama.

If only the secretary of energy, Rick Perry, who was right about his more humane view of how we treat these immigrants could be heard within the president’s inner circle.

Promise, promises … oh, wait! The wall?

Political campaign promises quite are often made to be broken and not kept.

The nation’s Novice Politician in Chief, Donald J. Trump, made a whole lot of promises while winning the 2016 presidential election. He kept some of them: tax cuts, pulling out of the Iran nuke deal and the Paris climate accords and … some other things.

A big one, though, remains unfulfilled. That wall along our southern border. Oh, and remember what he said about paying for it? He said Mexico was going to foot the bill, to which the Mexican government said categorically, “No way!”

The wall debate has entered a new phase. It has become a political football on this side of the border.

Donald Trump now declares his willingness to shut down the federal government if the next congressional budget doesn’t contain money to initiate serious construction of that wall.

There you have it.

A promise to make Mexico pay for a wall now has been turned on American taxpayers. You and I are going to pay for the damn thing!

That is, if it ever gets built.

I just want to stipulate once again that walling off our southern border is an un-American principle. It won’t keep illegal immigrants from coming in. They have been entering this country for the entire history of the republic. To throw terror into the hearts of Americans by suggesting that illegal immigrants are “pouring through open borders” and “wreaking havoc” on innocent victims is the height — or the depth — of demagoguery.

And, no, I do not favor open borders. I want stronger security. I want stricter enforcement of immigration laws. I also want there to be reforms enacted that speed up legalization proceedings for those who want to become legal residents — perhaps even citizens — of the United States of America.

The wall? It’s been a hideous idea since Trump first pitched it on the day he became a politician.

I damn sure don’t want to pay for a wall any more than Mexico wants to pay for it. What’s more, to hold the federal government hostage over this absurd notion is an exercise in stupidity.

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?

Reprehensible.

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!

Shameful.

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.

Disgraceful.