Tag Archives: immigration

Welcome to our ranks, Mr. and Mrs. Knavs

The United States gained at least two new citizens this week.

They are Viktor and Amalija Knavs, natives of Slovenia in central Europe. Oh, yes. They are the parents of first lady Melania Trump.

I welcome them. They likely are fine folks. They will add to the rich texture of this nation of immigrants.

However, there’s this little catch: They became U.S. citizens under the same sort of system that their son-in-law, the president of the United States, continues to rail against.

He calls it “chain migration,” which allows people to enter this country with relatives in tow. You might have heard Donald Trump bellow how chain migration enables immigrants to bring their cousins, in-laws, all sorts of kinfolk. He wants to end it. Trump wants to limit immigration — even those who come here legally — to those who would qualify on “merit.”

I won’t condemn the Knavses for coming here. I welcome them. I know they’ll have a good life as Americans. They’ll be able to be a larger part of their grandson Barron’s life as he continues to come of age in that strange environment within the White House.

However, they might need to toughen their skin as they hear critics who ask aloud why they were able to come here under a policy that conservatives — led by the president — want to discontinue.

Oh, wait …

Demographic changes ‘foisted on us’?

Lauran Ingraham is a conservative radio talker and TV commentator of some note who purports to speak for millions of Americans.

She said this: “In some parts of the country, it does seem like the America that we know and love doesn’t exist anymore,” she complained.

“Massive demographic changes have been foisted upon the American people, and they are changes that none of us ever voted for, and most of us don’t like. From Virginia to California, we see stark examples of how radically, in some ways, the country has changed.”
Yes, the country has been changing since, oh, the moment the first colonialists walked ashore and began setting up camp in the New World.
I wonder how Native Americans then — or those today — might feel about the changes that have been “foisted” on them.

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.

Europe is ‘losing its culture’? Which ‘culture’ is it, Mr. POTUS?

Donald J. Trump needs to read more. He needs to understand the world. He needs to get a grip on the world as it is, as it has been and what it will become.

The president has declared that immigration is destroying Europe’s “culture.” Now, think about that for a moment.

Europe comprises disparate nations. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting a handful of them. Greece is nothing like The Netherlands; Germany and Denmark are separate nations with unique identities; Sweden and Great Britain are worlds apart.

My point is that there is no such thing as a monolithic European “culture.”

However, the president took time this week to disparage immigrants who are going to Europe, many of them fleeing persecution in their home countries, some of which I’ll presume Trump thinks of as “sh**holes.”

Donald Trump once again is revealing a sinister element of his world view. It suggests to me a deep-seated racist and xenophobic view of how the world should be.

As The Hill reported: The president’s comments during his interview with The Sun, however, highlighted Trump’s deeply held skepticism of immigration and resurfaced a line of attack that he had used often on the campaign trail — that Europe was being overrun by non-Europeans and was quickly becoming a shell of what it once was.

“I think you are losing your culture,” he told the tabloid. “Look around. You go through certain areas that didn’t exist ten or 15 years ago.”

Donald Trump doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

For the president of the United States — which used to welcome people from throughout the entire rest of the world — to seek to slam the door shut on immigrants is to ignore our own country’s history.

Indeed, the United States of America’s culture is a conglomeration of many cultures. Each of them is unique and each of them has contributed mightily to the greatness that defines America.

Now he’s spreading his anti-immigrant poison to Europe?

Disgraceful.

Military taking a big bite out of its own hand

Donald Trump must really mean it when he implies that America should become an immigrant-unfriendly place.

The New York Times has published a story that tells of how the U.S. Army is ordering an increasing number of legal immigrants out of the military service. Why? According to one of them — an immigrant from China, with a business degree, a wife and a small child — they are deemed “unsuitable.”

As the Times noted in its story, the Army is booting out an increasing number of immigrants even though it cannot meet its recruitment goals for 2018.

The program, adopted during the Bush 43 administration, is designed to allow legal immigrants a fast track to citizenship. The Trump administration seems to see little value in the program.

What a disgraceful display of un-American treatment of men and women who come here to this country on their volition and want to serve in our military.

The irony is so rich you can taste it, given that the commander in chief sought to avoid military service during the Vietnam War by obtaining a series of student and medical deferments.

Take a look at the NY Times story here.

I am reminded of a time when this country granted automatic citizenship to immigrants who enlisted in the armed forces. How do I know that? My own grandfather, George Filipu, became an instantaneous American by enlisting in the Army in 1918. He wanted to fight in World War I. But then the war ended in November of that year. He didn’t get into the fight — but he retained his U.S. citizenship.

That’s what service and commitment to our country is all about.

The young man who might now be deported to China — after swearing an oath to “protect and defend the U.S. Constitution — now might be punished in his home country simply by enlisting in a foreign military organization.

That’s how you “put America first”? I don’t think so.

Hey, POTUS just ‘tells it like it is’

Donald John Trump’s tweet storms are overwhelming him.

Slate.com reports that the president has just denied saying something he actually said via Twitter three days ago.

The Slate.com article is here.

He said this weekend that he never asked Republicans in Congress to vote on an immigration bill.

But, but, but …

Three days earlier, in an all-capital-letter tweet — to emphasize the point, I guess — he did encourage Republicans to do precisely the very thing he would deny urging them to do.

Is this just the president “telling it like it is”?

To me, it is the president fumbling, bumbling and stumbling his way around a process of which he has zero understanding.

Weird.

‘Dreamers’ are still getting kicked around

Oh, man, I hate that so-called “Dreamers” keep getting kicked around like the political football they have become.

It happened yet again as the U.S. House of Representatives voted down a compromise immigration bill that, among other things, gave Dreamers a “pathway to U.S. citizenship.” Conservatives saw that “pathway” provision and translated it to “amnesty.” They would have none of it.

This bill also included money for a wall. I don’t give a damn about the wall, other than I hate the idea of it. My thought today is about the Dreamers.

Dreamers are those who came this country as the children of illegal immigrant parents who brought them across the border in the search for a better life. They were granted a temporary reprieve from deportation by President Obama who signed an executive order creating the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program, aka DACA.

DACA residents deserve that pathway. They shouldn’t be deported because their parents brought them here. Many of them were babies. They know no other country. They are de facto Americans.

But in the Age of Trump, all illegal immigrants — even DACA residents — are now thought to be criminals. They need to be deported.

This is heartless. It is inhumane. It is un-American.

‘Easier to judge quickly than to take time to understand’

Philip Rucker is a first-class reporter for The Washington Post. He posted a Twitter item that stated:

First Lady Melania Trump in speech tonight: “Kindness, compassion, and positivity are very important traits in life. It is far easier to say nothing than it is to speak words of kindness. It is easier to judge quickly than to take time to understand.”

I am blown away by part of what the first lady said.

“It is easier to judge quickly than to take time to understand.”

That’s what she said, according to Rucker. She is correct. Spot on. However, as with most matters involving the first lady, one must feel a bit of pain for her, given that she is married to someone who is too damn eager to “judge quickly” and is so very reluctant to “take time to understand.”

Illegal immigrants, anyone?

Consider what the president of the United States keeps saying about those who enter this country without the proper immigration documents. He is labeling them all with the same epithet. They’re criminals intent on doing serious harm to Americans, he keeps telling us.

The president refuses to “take time to understand” why they’re coming here. Refugees? Escaping crime? Fleeing persecution? In search of a better life for them and their families?

Who needs to “take time” to realize that not all illegal immigrants are motivated by evil intent? They aren’t all coming here for nefarious reasons.

The president is exhibiting a shameful prejudice toward all illegal immigrants and, by implication, almost all of those who come to this country.

If only the first lady’s wisdom could get through to her husband, who remains blind and deaf to the pleas of those who admonish him to cease the cruelty of his views toward immigrants.

It’s a lost cause. A president who makes public policy pronouncements via Twitter isn’t going to heed anyone’s advice. Not even his wife.

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.