Tag Archives: immigration

SCOTUS gives Dreamers a reprieve; get to work, Congress

Several hundred thousand U.S. residents have just been given a reprieve from a most unlikely source: the Supreme Court of the United States.

The court today declined to consider a Trump administration request to expedite a decision on whether a plan to revoke a Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals directive issued by Donald Trump.

This means the so-called “Dreamers,” those who affected by DACA, have more time to remain in the United States even though they were brought here illegally by their parents when they were children.

According to Politico: The Justice Department had asked the justices to skip the usual appeals court process and review a district court judge’s ruling requiring the administration to resume renewals of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The Supreme Court declined the request Monday with no justices dissenting. The high court could still weigh in later, but the move suggests the justices want to allow one or more appeals courts to take up the question before considering it.

A federal judge has blocked the administration’s plan to cancel President Barack Obama’s DACA order. The issue is now before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Justice Department wanted the court to allow a sped-up process to resolve it in time for the March 5 deadline that the president had set for Congress to come up with a legislative solution for DACA recipients.

I would have thought the Supreme Court would side with the administration, given its ideological bent. Silly me. The court has given DACA recipients more time to stay in the United States, the only country many of them have ever known.

Now, to Congress, I want to offer this word: Get to work to find a solution. These U.S. residents must not be deported and returned to nations they do not know.

Can we hear an ‘oops’ on chain migration?

Don’t you just hate it when family matters get in the way of public policy pronouncements? I’m wondering if Donald J. Trump is at all concerned about such matters. Oh, probably not, but I’ll weigh in anyway.

The president doesn’t like what’s being called “chain migration,” which enables extended family members to follow others as immigrants to a particular country. Trump wants to end chain migration as part of this nation’s immigration policy.

But, in the immortal words of Energy Secretary Rick Perry: Oops!

First lady Melania Trump’s parents, Viktor and Amalajia Knavs, were able to obtain their green cards as legal immigrants. The natives of Slovenia want to become U.S. citizens.

They want to reunify with their daughter, who’s already become a U.S. citizen and are preparing to do so soon.

But, but, but … the president wants to end this practice. He’s trying to persuade Congress to end “chain migration.” He said during the State of the Union speech — to rousing hoots and jeers from congressional Democrats — that the United States must end a policy that allows unlimited numbers of family members to enter the country under this chain migration policy.

As The Hill reports: The president has repeatedly called for an end to “chain migration” for extended family members and has identified it as one of the four pillars he says must be included in immigration legislation.

“Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives,” he said in his State of the Union speech.

I know that the parents of the first lady aren’t “distant relatives.” They’re immediate family members. They’re the grandparents of Barron Trump, the 11-year-old son of Donald and Melania.

Still, does it seem a bit odd to anyone out there that immigration officials might break — not just bend — the rules in direct opposition to the president’s stated desire?

Or has the president changed his mind? Hey, it’s happened already!

POTUS has much for which he must answer

The farther along we stagger forward into the presidency of Donald Trump, the deeper the hole he digs for himself.

I refer to the many statements he has made — as candidate and then as president — that have yet to be substantiated.

A few of them come to mind.

  • He has asserted that climate change is a “hoax,” a fantasy created by China to discredit our fossil fuel industry.
  • Trump has accused “millions of illegal immigrants” of voting for Hillary Clinton in 2016, giving her the nearly 3 million popular vote margin she rolled up over the president.
  • The president has fanned the flames of the phony and slanderous birther movement once again by challenging whether Barack Obama was actually born in the United States of America; he once said that the president is a U.S. citizen, but has all but walked that one back.
  • Candidate Donald Trump said he would release his tax returns once the Internal Revenue Service completed its audit. That was more than two years ago. The tax returns remain a secret. The IRS cannot possibly be conducting that audit to this day.
  • Trump said he wouldn’t have time for golf, that he’d be too busy making America “great again.” He, um, has broken that pledge, too.

I know I’ve missed a few. Maybe many. But I hope you get the point.

The president has made bold pledges. He hasn’t been held to account for them. His base continues to rally behind him. They give him a pass on all of it. They ignore his hideous personal behavior in a way they never would do if the president was a member of the opposing political party.

Others of us out here are seeking to hold this guy accountable for his lengthening list of untrue statements and promises he made.

I don’t expect the president to listen to his critics. He doesn’t care what we think. He cares only about the slobbering support he gets from those who relish the idiotic notion that Donald Trump simply is “telling it like it is.”

Trump would ‘love a shutdown’?

Donald Trump would “love” a shutdown of the federal government.

He’d love it. He said it many times today during a White House meeting on gang violence. The president, quite naturally, blames Democrats if a shutdown occurs. Democrats, he said, oppose border security; they oppose benefits for the military. Democrats are nasty. They’re “un-American” because they didn’t clap for him while he delivered “really good news” during the president’s State of the Union speech the other day.

The president really should not want a shutdown of the government, as Republican U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock told him during the gang violence meeting. “Both sides” learned that a shutdown hurts them, and the public doesn’t like it one damn bit, she said.

Ah, but the president still would “love” a shutdown.

This is how you “tell it like it is,” right? Trump is the first president in my memory who has said — in effect — that he would favor a shutting down of the government he was elected to administer.

To what end do we close offices and deny taxpayers the full service from the government for which they pay? To build a wall across our southern border.

This is not how you govern, Mr. President. Honest.

Stand tall, Judge Curiel

This is awesome news!

A U.S. district judge who Donald J. Trump dissed as “a Mexican” has been given the authority to preside over a case involving the wall that the president wants to build across our nation’s southern border.

I cannot think of anything cooler than this — politically speaking, that is.

Judge Gonzalo Curiel will decide the merits of a case that questions whether the federal government can circumvent environmental laws to build the wall.

The Trump administration says it can; plaintiffs have filed suit saying that the administration would violate the law.

The irony of this just drips with richness. Trump disparaged the Indiana-born Judge Curiel during the 2016 presidential campaign, calling him “a Mexican,” alleging that he couldn’t judge another case involving Trump University fairly and impartially. Curiel is of Mexican heritage. However, he is as American as Trump, or me, or you, or anyone whose ancestors came to this country from somewhere else. I believe that constitutes the vast majority of U.S. citizens.

According to The Huffington Post: 

The case consolidates three lawsuits filed last year by the state of California, environmental groups and Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.). The suits challenge the waivers granted by Congress in 1996 and 2005 allowing the federal government to bypass certain federal and state laws, including environmental regulations, for border security reasons.

The suits claim the waivers are outdated and should not apply to Trump’s border wall plan. California said the construction of the wall could do “irreparable harm” to the state’s wildlife. Legal experts say the groups that have brought the lawsuits will bear a significant legal burden to prove their case.

Curiel gets to decide who’s right. Isn’t that just outstanding?

I cannot to hear the blowback if Curiel rules against the administration. Nor can I await the reaction if the judge rules in the president’s favor.

As one who believes that judicial matters should be decided according to what the law allows — and if they follow the U.S. Constitution — I will have faith that Judge Curiel will interpret the law fairly.

Also, as one who doesn’t favor construction of the wall, I will accept whatever decision the judge delivers, even if it disagrees with personal political beliefs.

I would hope the president could do the same thing if the ruling goes against him.

He won’t.

Didn’t hear much ‘unity,’ Mr. President

I awoke this morning during a lunar eclipse. But the sun rose in the east — just as it has done since the beginning of time.

However, I don’t believe I awoke to a country more “unified” after last night’s presidential State of the Union speech, which I watched from start to finish.

The president said his speech would “unify” the nation. Judging from what I witnessed on my TV screen, I didn’t see a unified joint congressional session. Republicans stood repeatedly. Democrats sat on their hands.

Is that somehow different? Is it unique to this president in this time? Not at all! Republicans sat on their hands when Presidents Clinton and Obama spoke to them, just as Democrats did during President Bush’s two terms (the president’s post-9/11 speech notwithstanding, when everyone was cheering his rallying cry to a grieving nation).

Donald Trump’s urging of unity was supplanted by mentioning tax cuts, the repealing of the mandates required by the Affordable Care Act, the battle over immigration and construction of “the wall,” the appointment of a new Supreme Court justice. Divisiveness, anyone?

The president took office in the aftermath of arguably the most contentious, bitter campaigns in the past century. He took charge of a nation divided sharply over his election — and it hasn’t gotten any less divided in the year since he took office.

If the congressional response we witnessed Tuesday night on Capitol Hill is indicative of the nation those men and women represent, well, the president has a lot more work ahead of him.

‘Big-city liberals’ do what, Lt. Gov. Patrick?

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has been running a TV ad that makes an accusation that offends me to my core.

The Republican is running for re-election and he is proclaiming how tough he is on illegal immigration. Then he declares: “Big-city liberals favor open borders.”

To which I say, “Huh? What? Are you serious?” Well, sure he’s serious. Because he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

You see, what Patrick is saying suggests that “big-city liberals” want no controls on immigration. That they want to allow everyone into this country, regardless of their standing. They “welcome” illegal immigrants who might have criminal intent.

That is the rhetoric of a blatant demagogue.

I am no “big-city” liberal. I live in a moderately sized city in the Texas Panhandle, where most of my neighbors are likely to vote for Patrick later this year.

I also believe in stricter enforcement of our immigration policies. I am willing to pay for more Border Patrol personnel, for more electronic security/surveillance equipment.

However, I part company with Patrick and others on construction of a wall across our southern border. Furthermore, I am pretty damn sure that my own beliefs don’t make me someone who favors “open borders.” My strong hunch, too, is that other liberals would object to the “open borders” canard that comes from the lieutenant governor’s mouth.

‘Compromise’ isn’t a four-letter word

What do you know about this?

The president of the United States has tossed a compromise proposal on the table that has angered folks on the left and the right.

It involves a path to citizenship for so-called “Dreamers,” while also seeking $25 billion to fund increased border security, including construction of a wall along our southern border.

The lefties dislike the wall money; the righties dislike the citizenship idea.

I’ll accept this pitch as a legitimate starting point.

Donald Trump threw it out there as a way to seek a resolution to the nagging immigration problem that shut the federal government down for three days this past weekend.

Politico reports: The framework also eliminates the visa lottery and curbs U.S. migration by extended families, a fundamental change to existing immigration policy. New citizens would be able to sponsor their immediate families — spouses and children — to legally enter the country, but other relatives would be excluded. The administration would continue to allow people who have already applied for entry to be processed under the old system.

The key issue, as I see it, is the disposition of those illegal immigrants who were brought here as children. Barack Obama issued an executive order that set up the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program. It granted a reprieve from the threat of deportation for those who came here because their parents brought them here illegally. DACA recipients know life only in the United States. They are U.S. residents and have become de facto Americans.

Trump reversed that order and then gave Congress a deadline to come up with a legislative solution.

There’s plenty in this latest proposal to anger those on both sides. I wish we could dispense with this wall-funding notion. While I approve of the president’s desire to boost border security, a wall is the wrong solution.

DACA recipients deserve to be treated with a healthy measure of compassion. They do not deserve to be rounded up and shipped back to their country of origin, which they do not know.

I agree with what Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said: “I welcome when he says the right thing. But I know the next day he might be 180 degrees different.”

At least we have a starting point.

Hey, what about Mexico paying for it?

Donald Trump keeps yapping about that wall.

The government shut down for three days over immigration and budget disputes. Then it reopened, with the threat of another shutdown looming in just a couple of weeks.

We’re still trying to hammer out a deal on immigration. But the president wants $20 billion of U.S. taxpayer money to start building the wall along our southern border. Is it an actual wall or a figurative wall?

My question — as always — is simply this: What about that campaign boast that Trump was going to make Mexico pay for the wall?

He blamed Mexico for “sending rapists, drug dealers, criminals” across the border. “I’m sure some are good people, too,” he added, as if to soften the harshness of his tone.

Mexico’s government, of course, said it won’t pay a nickel for the wall. I don’t blame them for digging in on that one. No head of state should dictate to another government how to spend its money.

The wall is a nutty, un-American and patently ridiculous notion. I don’t object to increased border security and better enforcement of existing immigration laws.

The president expended a lot of bluster and bellicosity while campaigning for the office he won by declaring Mexico would foot the bill for a “big, beautiful wall.” It wasn’t supposed to cost Americans anything.

What gives, Mr. President?

Oh, and about the special counsel …

Robert Mueller is back in the news.

While our attention was yanked away while we watched Congress and the president writhe and wriggle over immigration and funding the government, the special counsel’s office was busy interviewing players in Donald John Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

We now have learned that Mueller interviewed fired FBI director James Comey sometime this past year. Mueller’s legal team has talked to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

What’s on the special counsel’s mind? He is looking for answers to the Big Question: Did the Trump campaign collude with Russians seeking to influence the 2016 presidential election outcome?

Sessions was a key campaign adviser while serving in the U.S. Senate. Comey — as you no doubt recall — led the FBI while it looked into the e-mail use matter involving Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton; then he turned his sights on the “Russia thing,” before he was fired in May 2017 by the president.

Mueller is trying to ascertain, reportedly, whether Comey’s firing, along with the dismissal of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, was meant to obstruct justice, impede the Russia meddling probe.

Gosh, who could be next on Mueller’s call list? Oh, I know! How about the president himself?

Trump says the investigation into collusion is a big fat nothing. He calls it a witch hunt. He blames it all on Democrats, the “fake media” and other critics of him and his administration.

Here’s a thought: If the president’s phone rings and it’s Robert Mueller on the other end of the call, the president ought to agree on the spot to meet with him — if what he says about the veracity of the probe is true.

If not, well … then we have a problem. Isn’t that right, Mr. President?