Tag Archives: illegal immigration

Now it’s ‘only’ 15 in the GOP field

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks to the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Tuesday, April 17, 2012 in Springfield, Ill. Walker says he's using Illinois and its many problems as an argument for keeping him in office. The first-term Republican faces a recall election in June primarily because he restricted union bargaining rights for state employees.  (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

Scott Walker wasn’t supposed to call an end to his Republican presidential campaign … so early.

Wasn’t the Wisconsin governor at or near the lead in Iowa? Didn’t he appeal to those Christian evangelicals? Isn’t he the guy who stood up to those unions in Wisconsin, which plays well with the GOP base?

Well, then he started talking.

He equated those union workers to the Islamic State.

He then decided it is worth discussing the possibility of building a wall across the nation’s border with Canada.

Then along came Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina — three political outsiders — to knock the wind out of Walker’s “establishment” message.

The end of Walker’s campaign comes only a week or so after former Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s swan song.

It’s becoming a bit of a guessing game now.

Who’s next? Ex-New York Gov. George Pataki? Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore?

While the media are fixated on polls and whether any of the still-large GOP field is able to reel in Trump, many of the rest of the GOP field are trying to have their voices heard.

Unfortunately for Gov. Walker, those times he actually was heard … he managed to make declarations that exposed him to ridicule.

Let the culling of the field continue.


Refugees or criminals? Which is it?


One of my very best friends in the whole, wide world is a lawyer who lives in California.

I’ve known Tim Lundell since I was in high school. He was my best man and we’ve shared a lot of emotions over many years.

Tim posted this comment today on Facebook.

“Isn’t it funny? In Europe they have ‘desperate migrants, embarking on a perilous journey in search of a better life.’ Here, according to certain politicians, we have ‘illegal immigrants who rape and murder.’ I guess it’s just a matter of humanitarian perspective.”

The target of Tim’s barb, I’m certain, is Donald Trump, who’s gained considerable mileage over his rants about illegal immigrants who come to the United States from points south … meaning Mexico and beyond. Republican primary voters are eating this stuff up, giving Trump a tremendous boost in the current public opinion polling

I do not dispute the notion that some of those who come into this country without the proper documentation come here to do harm, just as Trump has said.

But many others do come here to seek a better life, just as those who are fleeing the Middle East and heading for places such as Greece, Italy, France and Germany are doing.

I’ll also acknowledge that the influx of immigrants into Europe has spawned a considerable backlash from right-wing extremists, who contend that the refugees present a considerable danger to the European way of life.

However, as we keep debating the issue of whether to deport all 11 million illegal immigrants from the United States, shouldn’t we keep in mind that many of them are here for the right reasons and are not here to commit crimes?

The blanket condemnation of illegal immigrants does not square with the reality of why many of them are here in the first place. They are here to make a better life for their families.

I am not suggesting they all should be granted amnesty, or that they shouldn’t be required to start the process of obtaining legal immigrant status.

Let us just try to understand that people come here for a lot of reasons — and many of them have no intention of committing crimes against the country they want to call home.




Jorge Ramos: advocate or journalist?


Jorge Ramos sought to call Donald Trump to account for the Republican presidential candidate’s controversial views on illegal immigration.

He stood during a press conference and peppered the candidate with questions about his plan to build a wall along the nation’s southern border. Trump then called a bodyguard over to escort Ramos from the room.

It was an unattractive scene, to be sure.

Then Ramos, a noted news anchor for Univision — a leading Spanish-language TV network — went on ABC’s “Good Morning America” the next morning to discuss the incident. He said a curious thing, in my humble view.

GMA host George Stephanopoulos asked Ramos if he was acting more as an advocate than a journalist. Ramos responded by saying “journalists must stand for something.”

His answer had me scratching my noggin.

Journalists, as I understand the meaning of the term, basically fall into two categories: reporters and editorialists. I spent most of my nearly 37 years as a full-time print journalist on the opinion side, writing editorials and commentaries for publications in two states.

But on occasion, when the opportunity presented itself, I was able and willing to write news copy for those publications. I was able to set personal bias aside and deliver information for readers to consume — and for them to make up their own minds about the topic about which I was writing.

I don’t know if at the press conference, in which Trump was fielding questions from reporters, whether Ramos was representing himself as a reporter or an editorialist.

His answer to the question, then, on GMA was incomplete.

A journalist, if he is writing or broadcasting opinion, is certainly entitled to “stand for something.” If the journalist is there to report on a story, well, then he or she should stand for nothing.

Jorge Ramos doesn’t think a 1,900-mile-long wall along our border is practical or even feasible. He doesn’t think Trump’s idea of rounding up 11 million undocumented immigrants is possible without breaking up families and causing considerable heartache and grief.

If that is what he believes, then he should simply state it.

If, however, he is asking a serious question on the issue, I believe he should do so without inserting his personal views on the matter.

Perhaps his effort to “stand for something” ought to include fulfilling his entire obligation as a journalist — which includes reporting the story and leaving his own bias out of it.


Birthright debate set to rage

deport mom

Let’s get some conversation started on this birthright citizenship business.

A number of Republican Party presidential candidates want to do away with the constitutional provision that grants citizenship to anyone born in the United States of America.

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich wants it to remain a right of “natural-born” Americans. He writes this:

“Ending ‘birthright citizenship’ used to be an idea embraced by far-right whackos. But since Trump trumpeted it, Bobby Jindal, Lindsey Graham, Scott Walker, Rand Paul and others have joined him. Even Chris Christie now says the current policy needs to be ‘re-examined.’ And Jeb said today he doesn’t find the term ‘anchor babies’ offensive in the slightest.

“Can we get a grip? The right of anyone born in the United States to be an American citizen lies at the core of the post-Civil War concept of citizenship. It underlies the entire framework of rights and governance built around citizenship — including the 14th Amendment. It undergirds our entire history of immigration. And it prevents America from having permanent underclass of non-citizens spanning generations, as some other countries do.

“For Trump and other Republicans to make this proposal a centerpiece of their campaigns is not just to scapegoat immigrants for the economic anxieties of the middle class but to scapegoat innocent children as well. It is shameful.

“Your view?”

I think it’s the “innocent children” aspect of this effort that offends me the most.

So, talk to me.


Get Mexico to pay for a wall? How do we do that?

GRA030 MELILLA, 22/10/2014.- Agentes de Policía junto a algunos de los ochenta inmigrantes que están encaramados desde primera hora a la valla de Melilla, fronteriza con Marruecos, tras el último intento de entrar en la ciudad autonóma protagonizado por varios centenares de subsaharianos, algunos de los cuales, al menos una docena, ha conseguido superar el vallado perimetral. EFE/Francisco G. Guerrero

Donald Trump has revealed his position paper on illegal immigration.

It appeals to a lot of Americans — apparently.

He wants to build an impenetrable wall; he wants to get rid of birthright citizenship; he demands that we deport all 11 million immigrants who are here illegally.

The question remains of the leading Republican Party presidential candidate: How do we do this?

I think the nuttiest notion deals with how we persuade Mexico to pay for building the wall. I’m trying to understand how a foreign government could demand something like that of, oh, the United States of America!

Would an American president stand still for such a demand? Would our Congress be willing to spend the money? Of course not!

I am wondering how a President Trump (those two words make my fingers tremble as I type them) could possibly expect Mexico to foot the bill for an enormous wall stretching from the mouth of the Rio Grande River to the Pacific Ocean.

And what, I must ask, would such a demand do to the long-standing friendship between the nations?

As the Washington Post reported: “… Trump says that undocumented immigrants ‘have to go,’ and he has vowed to undo President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.”

The president issued an executive order that seek in part to protect temporarily those who were brought here when they were children from deportation. Trump would undo that order, round up those protected from deportation and send them back to the country their parents fled … even though they have grown up as Americans?

Someone has to explain to me how that is a humane policy.

Trump: Deport ’em all … now!


Donald Trump is going to unveil his immigration reform package.

It shouldn’t take long for him to tell us his plans if he is elected president of the United States. As I understand it, the plan will look something like this:

Build a wall and then deport all the undocumented immigrants immediately.

If there is anything that resembles a centerpiece of the Trump campaign, immigration appears to fit that description. He made quite a splash regarding immigrants when he announced his candidacy in June. Mexico, he said, is “sending” criminals to the United States. Murderers, rapists and drug dealers are being sent here. “Some, I assume, are good people,” he added as an afterthought.

Trump said he plan to rescind President Obama’s executive order granting temporary amnesty for as many as 5 million illegal immigrants, which of course has drawn high praise from Republican audiences. “We will work with them. They have to go,” Trump said. “We either have a country or we don’t have a country.”

I have just a couple of thoughts regarding the Trump Immigration Reform Plan.

How much will it cost to build an impenetrable wall across our southern border? Do we have the money?

How does he intend to search for and locate every one of the undocumented immigrants who are living here? And what does he intend to do with the children of those undocumented individuals who were born in the United States and have earned U.S. citizenship just by being born in this country?

And what might Trump propose to do with those individuals who entered the country illegally but who have become successful businessmen and women?

All of this is going to require the detail, nuance and thoughtfulness that’s been missing in Trump’s campaign to date.

Then again, why should he provide it now? Those polls that show the real estate mogul leading the GOP field suggest many of the party’s primary voters don’t care about those things.


Trump still in front … but only for now?

Of all the moments worth mentioning from Thursday night’s Republican Party Top 10 debate, one — in my mind — stands out dramatically.

It involves Fox News moderator Chris Wallace and, you guessed it, Donald Trump.

I give Wallace great credit for seeking a specific answer to a specific allegation that Trump has leveled at Mexico’s government, which is that the Mexican government is “sending” illegal immigrants across the border, into the United States, where they are raping and murdering Americans.

Twice last night he sought some specifics from Trump, who early in the morning after the debate remains — I’m betting — the GOP frontrunner.

When he failed to provide specifics to the first question, Wallace gave him another 30 seconds to specify what proof Trump had to back up his allegation.

Trump finally said he’d “been to the border last week” and talked to Border Patrol officers who told him “that’s what is going on down there, whether you like it or not.”

So. There you have it.

Border Patrol agents told him. That means it’s true, yes?

It was an entertaining and edifying exchange between a loudmouth entertainer seeking the presidency of the United States of America and a moderator seeking some detail in one of the more outrageous allegations that has come from a candidate’s mouth.

And yet, this guy somehow is getting away with this stuff?

I’m going to stand by my belief that Trump’s candidacy likely died when he made light of Sen. John McCain’s Vietnam War record. Events such as what we heard when Chris Wallace asked him twice to provide proof of a claim that Mexico’s government is “sending” illegal immigrants into the United States only highlights Trump’s unfitness for public office.

The big question remains: When will the GOP faithful realize it, too?

Thicken your skin, Donald; it’s going to get worse

Let’s see if I have this right.

Donald Trump enters the Republican Party presidential primary field and immediately rakes Mexican illegal immigrants over the coals and then says Sen. John McCain isn’t a real war hero because, as Trump said, he likes “people who weren’t captured” by the enemy in wartime.

Then the Des Moines Register, Iowa’ leading newspaper, publishes a scathing editorial urging Trump to withdraw from the campaign. He called Trump an embarrassment to the Republican Party.

And then Trump bans the Register from covering a campaign event in Iowa.


And why? Because the Register was offering an opinion on the state of play in the GOP and Trump’s role in this campaign. That’s part of the paper’s mission, its franchise, its duty to those who read the publication.

Trump, though, just didn’t like the editorial. So, he decided to kick the paper out of his campaign event.

Wow! This is getting really, really fun to watch.

Trump’s got to get some thicker skin. Hey, he says he’s the master of the universe — or words more or less to that effect. Does the Man Who Can Fix Any Problem on Earth really have to react so badly because a newspaper is performing its duty?

I would think one with the clout that Trump proclaims wouldn’t have to worry about what a measly little media outlet would have to say about him.

This campaign is shaping up already as an amazing sideshow of insults, gotchas, payback and political stunt work.

Good grief! Those Iowa caucuses are still months away.

Donald, you need to toughen up. It’s only going to get worse.

Donald Trump: man of danger


Donald Trump came to Texas this week and, according to the man himself, thrust himself into harm’s way by speaking the truth about illegal immigration.

Well, since he’s the presumed frontrunner — for the moment — for the Republican Party presidential nomination next year, his visit requires a brief comment.


It meant nothing in the nation’s ongoing battle against illegal immigration.

Trump’s appearance was just for show. That’s understandable, though. Political candidates do these things on occasion. He swept into Laredo, bounded off his big ol’ jet wearing a ball cap emblazoned with “Making America Great Again.” He said he’s the only candidate speaking the truth about illegal immigration.

He offered zero specifics about what he intends to do about illegal immigration, although he has said he would build a wall to seal off our southern border to protect us against the flood of murderers, rapists and drug dealers who are pouring into the United States en masse.

I’m wondering, though: Is Trump going to make a similar campaign splash in, say, Buffalo, Detroit or Bellingham, Wash., cities that sit on our border with Canada? Let’s seal off our northern border as well, while we’re at it.

As the Texas Tribune reported, the brief fling in Laredo was long on sizzle and short on substance.

He said: “I’ll take jobs back from China, I’ll take jobs back from Japan … The Hispanics are going to get those jobs, and they’re going to love Trump.” There’s that third-person reference again.

According to The Trib: “The spectacle reached its apex when he held court with a crush of media at the border following a roughly half-hour closed-door meeting with law enforcement officials. Against the backdrop of a line of trucks waiting to enter the country, Trump regaled reporters with a string of boisterous predictions — that he would not only win the GOP nomination, but would also take the Hispanic vote — and vague prescriptions for the issue that brought him here: illegal immigration.”

This event kind of reminded me of the time then-Texas Attorney General Jim Mattox traipsed through the mud in Matamoros, Mexico, in the late 1980s after a University of Texas student was killed. Mattox, a Democrat, wanted to make a grand show of how he would root out the killers and bring them to justice. That’s all fine, except for this minor detail: The Texas AG has virtually zero criminal jurisdiction; the office deals almost exclusively with civil matters.

But, hey, it made for great photo ops.

So did Trump’s appearance in Laredo. That’s it.

NBC to Trump: You’re fired

Quite obviously, Donald Trump’s announcement that he’s running for president contained some remarks that stunned a lot of folks when they heard it.

I was one of them. So were the executives at NBC Universal, which today severed its relationship with The Donald. Why? The man’s comments about immigrants were, shall we say, inflammatory in the extreme.


This was my “favorite” part of Trump’s tirade as he declared his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination: “They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists, and some I assume are good people, but I speak to border guards and they tell us what we are getting.”

“And some I assume are good people.”

There you have it. An afterthought. A token reference to those who are coming here to improve their lives.

He kept saying that Mexico is “sending” criminals to the United States. Who in Mexico is “sending” these folks?

NBC Universal said it cannot sanction Trump’s xenophobic rants.

Univision, the Spanish-language TV network, also has ended its business relationship with Trump.

The Donald’s reaction? He’s not backing down, which surprises no one.

The more he speaks, the less serious he becomes.

Keep talking, Donald.