Tag Archives: immigration

Who’s next, those who fled the Holocaust?

Donald J. Trump is expanding his campaign to rid the nation of political refugees, or so it appears.

The president now reportedly is taking aim at those who fled Vietnam during the war that tore that country apart. The Vietnam War! The one that ended in 1975 when the communists rolled into Saigon and took control of the country. They renamed the South Vietnamese capital city after Ho Chi Minh and set up a repressive government that rounded up those who cooperated with the United States and sent them to what they called “re-education camps,” which was a euphemism for “concentration camps.”

Now, more than four decades later, the president wants to round up many of those who came to this country and send them back to Vietnam. What in name of human decency has possessed this guy, the president?

According to The Atlantic: This is the latest move in the president’s long record of prioritizing harsh immigration and asylum restrictions, and one that’s sure to raise eyebrows—the White House had hesitantly backed off the plan in August before reversing course. In essence, the administration has now decided that Vietnamese immigrants who arrived in the country before the establishment of diplomatic ties between the United States and Vietnam are subject to standard immigration law—meaning they are all eligible for deportation.

Trump believes many of those immigrants have taken up lives of crime, corruption and assorted mayhem, that they pose a hazard to Americans.

Here’s what the White House needs to consider: Vietnam is still a hardline communist country. Many of those refugees who fled their homeland did so to avoid persecution by the government, which looked harshly on those who aided U.S. forces and diplomats during “the American war.” Returning them to Vietnam well might subject them to imprisonment — or worse.

Yes, we now have full diplomatic relations with our former battlefield enemy. Do we really want to imperil that relationship over a demagogic campaign promise to crack down on immigration, to “put America first”?

Don’t go there, Mr. President.

Yes, we damn sure are a ‘nation of immigrants’

The quote under the picture is attributed to the fellow in the picture, right-wing lawyer and radio talk show host Mark Levin, who is engaging in some of the worst hyperbole I have seen in this debate over immigration, illegal immigration and immigration reform.

For starters, we damn sure are a nation of immigrants. I don’t know the first thing about Levin’s background, but given that he appears to be an white guy, my strong hunch is that his familial forebears came from somewhere other than the backwoods of wherever he was born.

Europe, maybe? Yeah, probably?

I am the proud grandson of immigrants to came to this country in the early 20th century. I have a deep pride in my Greek heritage. I make no apologies for it.

And yet . . .  I consider myself to be an American patriot. I have gone to war for my country. So, to suggest that to be an American citizen is somehow mutually exclusive from living in a nation of immigrants is the most disgusting demagoguery imaginable.

One more point. I do not believe anyone is treating those who “cross the border illegally as the most virtuous human being on the face of the earth.”

Again, hyperbole in the extreme.

But as it is with these radio talkers, their “fan(atic)s” take their word as some sort of gospel. They glom onto their message, pass it on, giving them a life of their own.

I’ll concede that I do not listen to Mark Levin; I don’t listen to talk radio of any political stripe. It’s just that when these messages show up on social media platforms and get otherwise good folks all riled up, I am compelled to speak my own mind.

Levin is entitled to his opinion. Just remember: Opinions are like a certain body orifice . . . everybody has one.

Stunt is coming to an end on the border

Thousands of active-duty American troops deployed to our southern border. They strung some razor wire, walked around with rifles on their shoulders. They waited for the “caravan” to arrive.

The migrants fleeing repression in Latin America are still en route, supposedly. But the troops are getting ready now to go back to where they are based.

What was the point of sending them to the border? It’s clear to a lot of us that the troops were part of “stunt” orchestrated by the commander in chief, Donald J. Trump.

The size of the “border security force” outnumbered the forces deployed each in Afghanistan and Iraq.

So they’re now getting ready to leave. The “caravan” might get here. It might not arrive. The “horde” comprises families: mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers and children. These are the folks who pose the existential threat to our national security? Please!

It’s also been an expensive stunt, costing billions of dollars we cannot afford to spend. Meanwhile, the fires are burning out of control in California and Donald Trump is yammering about “forest management practices” being the culprit for the tragedy that has ravaged the state.

I am astonished.

America, we have a home-grown problem

I won’t take credit for thinking of this. This thought showed up on a social media platform I see regularly.

The shooter who gunned down 12 victims overnight in Thousand Oaks, Calif., is a home-grown, corn-fed domestic terrorist. He walked into a country/western night club and opened fire with a pistol.

A wall across our southern border wouldn’t have kept him out of the country; nor would a travel ban imposed on those coming here from Muslim countries; the shooter wasn’t an Islamic State goon; he didn’t trudge north into this country as part of a “caravan” comprising murders/rapists/sex traffickers.

He was an American citizen. A former Marine. He purchased his murderous weapon legally.

We need to look inward, folks. We are facing threats from within arguably more dire than from outside our borders.

Remember: Immigrants built this great nation

The Donald Trump Republican lies keep piling up.

Here is one of them: Immigrants are pouring into our country intent on harming innocent, defenseless Americans; they will steal our children and sell them into sex slavery; they will rape our women; they will peddle deadly drugs. We have to stop them now by sending thousands of heavily armed “patriotic” American fighting men and women to our southern borders.

What’s more, the lie continues, Republican opponents — Democrats, if you please — favor “open borders,” they believe we have “too much border security” and want to grant illegal immigrants “the right to vote.”

The lying is prevalent in border states, such as Texas, where a U.S. Senate campaign — Democrat Beto O’Rourke vs. Republican Ted Cruz — is heading into the home stretch.

Donald Trump is fomenting those lies with his reckless, feckless rhetoric on the stump. He whips his crowds into a frenzy with the blathering about how Democrats favor lawlessness and Republicans favor “safety and security.”

Look, this nation owes its greatness to immigrants. My sisters and I are the grandchildren of immigrants. Two of our grandparents came here from Turkey, which the president might define as a “sh**hole” country, given that it is a predominantly Muslim nation; the other two came from southern Greece. Yes, they got here legally, but they shared the same dream as others who are sneaking in illegally: They wanted to build a better life than the one they had back in the “old country.”

The same thing can be said of those who are fleeing oppression in Latin America. Yet the president seeks to lump them into a single category of “violent criminals.”

As for Democrats wanting to grant illegal immigrants the immediate “right to vote,” I am waiting to hear or read a single comment from any politician in this election cycle say such a thing. Beto O’Rourke hasn’t said it, nor has any other so-called squishy liberal/progressive politician.

What I hear them say is that they want to grant temporary reprieves from deportation for those who are here illegally; they want to ensure, through thorough background checks, that they want in for the right reasons, and they want to enable them to gain permanent resident status or — yes! — citizenship.

Once they become citizens, then they can vote! Not before! That’s what I am hearing.

I know the lying will continue, so my plea isn’t for the liars to cease. It is for the rest of us to stop swilling the poison.

Army assessment dampens Trump view of ‘caravan’

I’m sure you remember that when he was campaigning for president in 2016, Donald Trump declared he knows “more about ISIS than the generals, believe me.”

It has turned out that he doesn’t. Nor does he know more about that so-called “caravan” of tough guys, criminals and “Middle Easterners” heading toward our southern border than the generals.

Trump has tried to inject fear and panic among Americans in advance of next Tuesday’s midterm election. He has called that “caravan” an invasion force intent on breaching our southern border. So he’s dispatched as many as 15,000 troops to the border to take charge of matters, to secure it against the invading hordes.

The U.S. Army, though, assesses it a bit differently. It said the refugees fleeing northward remain a good distance away and projects that only a small percentage of the “caravan” will reach our border. The Army assessment presumes that there will be about five U.S. troops for every refugee who manages to make it to the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Washington Post says it cannot verify the Army assessment independently, but reports that military officials the newspaper contacted are vouching for its veracity.

Trump peddles fear like few other modern-day politicians. I’ll concede that he’s pretty good at it. He has that base of supporters who continue to believe the lies that fly out of the president’s mouth. That’s all that matters to him. He talks to them only. The rest of us? Forget about it!

As the Post reports: Seizing on immigration as his main campaign theme ahead of Tuesday’s midterm elections, Trump has depicted the caravans — at least four have formed, though they remain hundreds of miles away — as a grave danger to U.S. national security, claiming they are composed of “unknown Middle Easterners,” hardened criminals and “very tough fighters.” He also insists the number of migrants heading north is much larger than estimates put forward by U.S. and Mexican government officials.

The military assessment does not support any of those claims.

And we are to believe the opinion of a man — the president — who admits he doesn’t read briefing papers or doesn’t feel the need to absorb national security briefings?

I don’t think so.

Non-politician POTUS earns his political chops rapidly

I have to hand it to Donald J. Trump. He campaigned for president as a non-politician, a self-made zillionaire who would surround himself with the “best people.”

Where do we stand? He’s been shown to be far from self-made and his “best people” have let the country down repeatedly during his time as president.

As for the non-politician thing, Trump is showing he’s a far better politician than he let on. Take this nonsensical notion of sending 5,200 active-duty military personnel to the southern border to block the horde of “invaders” traveling north from Latin America.

The “caravan” is dwindling by the hour. It’s still a long way from the southern border. Its numbers might not even be half the size of the force Trump is ordering to the new “front.”

However, the president is managing to whip up a frenzy among his base of supporters, he is energizing Republicans in advance of next Tuesday’s midterm election and he’s scaring the bejabbers out of Americans who actually believe the crap he spews about “Middle Eastern” terrorists infiltrating the massive crowd of invaders.

Trump is acting totally within his legal authority as commander in chief. He isn’t the first president to do such a thing. Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama dispatched National Guard troops to help secure the border during their administrations. Trump’s order is a bit different. He is ordering active-duty ground troops to the border. The issue, though, is simply: Why? To do what, precisely?

These individuals are fleeing some of the most repressive regimes imaginable. El Salvador, Honduras, Belize and Guatemala are known to be cesspools of corruption and violence.

Yet the president refers to many of them, as he did on Fox News the other day, as young and sturdy men who are coming here to do … what? To rape our women? To commit various and sundry acts of violence against unsuspecting Americans?

This troop deployment is all a political stunt.

‘Middle Easterners’ in the caravan mix?

Donald J. “Fearmonger in Chief” Trump is at it again.

He said the “caravan” of refugees heading for our nation’s southern border contains “criminals” and “unknown Middle Easterners.” Does the president have any evidence of it?

Of course not! He never produces evidence of anything when he makes these bellicose assertions. It makes his crowds cheer. It fires him up. He speaks the language that his “base” understands and to which it is drawn.

The unknown Middle East component, of course, harkens back to 9/11 and the view being promoted by those on the far right that the Middle East is populated by millions of Muslims who “hate America” and will do whatever they can to do harm to Americans.

So now, according to Trump, they’re slipping into the crowd of Latin American refugees and are heading toward our soft underbelly.

I wish I had an answer to what we should do when that “caravan” arrives along our Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California borders. I don’t.

I do not believe the president is helping quell the fear of many Americans by suggesting — without attribution — the notion that the refugees are full of criminals and “Middle Easterners.”

No. Donald Trump is stoking the fear. That’s what he does. It is how he rolls.

‘Open borders’: the stuff of demagogues

I am weary in the extreme of Donald John “Demagogue in Chief” Trump’s assertion that opposition to building a wall along our nation’s southern border means a favoring of “open borders.”

Trump wants to build that damn wall. Others don’t want it. I am one who opposes the wall. The nation is full of politicians who oppose construction of a wall, too.

Trump said initially Mexico would pay for it. Mexico responded, um, no we won’t. Now the president wants to stick U.S. taxpayers with the bill.

He’s planning to come to Texas soon to campaign for “Lyin’ Ted” Cruz (which is Trump’s one-time epithet for the Republican U.S. senator). Cruz favors the wall. His Democratic foe, Beto O’Rourke, opposes it. Trump will declare at some undisclosed political rally location that O’Rourke favors “open borders.” He’ll draw cheers, whoops and hollering from the crowd.

It’s a lie. Donald Trump knows it’s a lie, but he’ll say it time and again anyway.

I have grown weary of the demagoguery that keeps flowing from the president’s pie hole. This “open borders” canard is just one statement that I cannot let stand.

For the record, I favor stronger border security measures along our borders — south and north. I mean, if we’re going to insist on cracking down on illegal immigrants who try to sneak in along our southern border, then let’s devote more emphasis and energy along our northern border with Canada.

Walling off this nation from a neighbor with whom we share a 2,000-mile-long border is utterly un-American on its face. That doesn’t bother Trump, who took office without an understanding at any level of what this nation has stood for since its creation in the 18th century.

Does any reasonable American favor an “open border” where we don’t enforce immigration laws? Of course not!

Yet that doesn’t stop the demagogue who sits behind the big desk in the Oval Office from uttering the disgraceful rhetoric that suggests otherwise.

I grew sick of it long ago.

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.