Tag Archives: immigration

Abbott can’t control himself

Greg Abbott has demonstrated once again why he has proven to be such a disappointment as Texas governor.

When border officials found a semi-trailer full of deceased migrants seeking to sneak into the United States, Abbott released a hideous statement that sought to place all the blame on President Biden for the unfolding tragedy.

“These deaths are on Biden,” Abbott tweeted Monday night. “They are the result of his deadly open border policies. They show the deadly consequences of his refusal to enforce the law.”

There’s that phrase again: open border.

For the life of me I cannot stomach continuing to swallow that canard coming from Republican politicians.

The nation’s southern border isn’t “open.” Immigration and Custom Enforcement officials and Border Patrol officers are rounding up undocumented immigrants every hour of every day. They are holding them for processing and sending them back to their countries of origin.

Has the federal program succeeded? No. It hasn’t. However, for GOP pols such as Abbott to keep saying our border is “open” becomes the rhetoric of shameless demagogues.

What’s more, Abbott’s bloviating ignores this fact, too: The state’s policies aren’t working, either.

Furthermore, when a Republican was sitting in the Oval Office, Abbott spoke in decidedly milder tones after a similar tragedy occurred in South Texas. As the Texas Tribune reports:

Migrant truck deaths raise questions about Greg Abbott’s border policies | The Texas Tribune

I am not going to give short shrift to the recent tragedy that killed 51 people who perished in unspeakable misery.

Gov. Abbott, though, needs to reflect a bit on his own words spoken five years ago. He said then that Texas is “working to eradicate” human trafficking.

It’s not working.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Immigration reform … anyone?

President Biden’s decision to repeal a Trump administration policy designed to curb immigration into the country in the midst of a pandemic is being met with opposition from both sides of the great divide.

Title 42 aims to block immigrants from seeking asylum in the U.S. while a pandemic is raging. Biden decided to yank it, but he is getting pounded for it. I believe he acted prematurely.

The point of this particular post, though, is how the overarching need for immigration reform is being trampled by issues of the moment.

There needs to be comprehensive, thorough and complete reform of our immigration system. George W. Bush sought it during his two terms as president, as did Barack Obama during his two terms. Donald Trump? He didn’t go there.

Joe Biden has talked openly about reforming the system, making it easier for immigrants to seek asylum if they are looking for refuge from oppression. Now he has muddied it all up by repealing Title 42, a policy pushed onto the books when the pandemic began sickening and killing human beings all around the world.

The so-called Dreamers need protection from deportation. These are immigrants brought here illegally as children by their parents. They have grown up, come of age in this country — the only country they have known! Many of them face deportation because our immigration policy simply doesn’t allow for humanity in treating these individuals as U.S. residents.

The Trump administration also mucked things up by separating children from their parents at the border in yet another inhumane demonstration. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials got pilloried for their handling of the separation matter, drawing criticism from those seeking to dismantle ICE. That’s a bad call. ICE needs to be mended, not ended.

Immigration reform, sadly, is one of those issues being buried by the headlines of the moment, namely the Ukraine War and the critical shortage of baby formula.

We live in a nation founded by immigrants. It long has functioned under an immigrant-friendly policy. We need a return to the philosophy our founders used to create this great nation.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Pro-business policy? Hah!

Let’s see. How does a politician who belongs to the political party that calls itself a “pro-business” organization justify a policy that stops shipments of goods and commodities and threatens so many businesses in the state he governs?

Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has pulled back his enhanced-inspection order on the state’s border with Mexico. He said he was looking for human traffickers and their “cargo” of individuals who were being smuggled into the United States.

Then he worked out agreements with two Mexican state governors and lifted the inspection protocol at crossings involving the states of Nuevo Leon and Chihuahua. The delay in delivery of food and other goods has crippled businesses across the state.

Now he’s called off the inspection crackdown. The damage has been done to many businesses in Texas … and to what end?

Greg Abbott has pulled off yet another political stunt. It’s not a business-friendly stunt at that!

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Siding with Sid Miller? Wow!

Hell has officially frozen over! How do I know that? Because Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has done something I never thought possible: He has enacted a policy that has me agreeing with the state’s goofball commissioner of agriculture, Sid Miller.

The Stetson-wearing ag commissioner has criticized Abbott’s decision to stop trucks coming into Texas across the state border with Mexico, citing the harm the decision to inspect all those vehicles is doing to Texas farmers and ranchers.

Abbott had decided to double- and triple-down on vehicle inspections at the border on the hunt for human traffickers. The intensity of the search delayed truckers’ stay along border crossings for many hours.

The delay drew Miller’s ire, which by itself is saying something, given that the Republican ag commissioner usually stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the GOP governor on policy matters.

Not this time.

Good news, though, has more or less arrived. Abbott met with the governor of Nuevo Leon, a state in Mexico, and said he would ease the inspections at one commercial bridge at Laredo. It gives some relief at one critical crossing point.

Will it assuage the criticism coming from Sid Miller? Probably not.

The Texas Tribune reported: As part of the deal, Texas Department of Public Safety troopers will stop inspecting every commercial truck on the Laredo-Colombia bridge as long as Nuevo León has checkpoints on its side of the Mexican state’s 9-mile-long border with Texas. The state inspections will continue for trucks coming from the other three Mexican states that border Texas.

Gov. Greg Abbott eases state inspections at one border bridge | The Texas Tribune

Miller had complained that Abbott’s inspection order could result in grocery store shelves being emptied as products imported from Mexico are held up for unreasonable lengths of time.

This latest Abbott order looks for all the world like another grandstanding measure by a Texas governor with his eyes on the White House prize around, oh, 2024.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Political stunts don’t solve anything

Political stunts get an occasional laugh or they might allow the individual who pulls it off to crow a little; however, they rarely — if ever — result in actual solutions to pressing problems.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has offered a doozy of a stunt. He intends to round up immigrants who come into Texas, place them on buses and then send them to Capitol Hill to give the federal government a chance to deal more directly with those Abbott said are creating a crisis on our nation’s southern border.

He blasts President Biden’s immigration policy and says if the president won’t protect our border, then states have an obligation to act.

I agree that the president has so far failed to come to terms with the immigration issue in Texas and other southern-border states. His policies aren’t working.

What’s the answer? It is not the trickery, chicanery and political stunt work that Greg Abbott is delivering.

If only the governor and his Republican pals in Texas would find a way to work with the Biden administration instead of trying to show ’em who’s got the bigger cajones.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Abbott plays stupid game

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said what? That he intends to send migrants who venture into this state on charter buses to Washington, D.C., to enable President Biden to “deal” with them?

Hmm. Abbott’s petulance is getting the better of him. He’s also embarrassing many of the Texans he governs. Such as me.

The Texas Tribune reports: “To help local officials whose communities are being overwhelmed by hordes of illegal immigrants who are being dropped off by the Biden administration, Texas is providing charter buses to send these illegal immigrants who have been dropped off by the Biden administration to Washington D.C.,” Abbott said in a press conference in Weslaco. “We are sending them to the United States Capitol where the Biden administration will be able to more immediately address the needs of the people that they are allowing to come across our border.”

No surprise, to be sure, but Abbott was highly critical of Biden’s decision to roll back a pandemic-era emergency health order known as Title 42 that allowed immigration authorities to turn away migrants at the border, even those seeking asylum. The order was enacted during the Trump administration and it allowed immigration officials to manage the migrants seeking to enter the country.

https://www.texastribune.org/2022/04/06/greg-abbott-texas-border-title-42/

The asylum-seekers are being caught in this game of political “gotcha” between Gov. Abbott and President Biden.

What puzzles me is this: What in the world is going to happen to these individuals once they are bused from Texas to the nation’s capital? If the feds can’t “deal” properly with them, where do they go?

It’s not enough to just wash a state’s hands of an issue by handing them off to the feds. After all, placing problems in the feds’ hands places those problems in all of our hands.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Hegar joins border fight

Give me a break, Glenn Hegar. The state’s chief bean counter has now entered the fight to “protect our border” against criminals and assorted bad actors.

Yep, that’s right. Glenn Hegar is seeking re-election as Texas comptroller of public accounts. So, what — and who — does the Republican incumbent target? President Biden, who he says has allowed the border to get out of control.

I saw Hegar’s TV ad for the first time this evening. I practically fell out of my chair!

Wait a second! Hegar’s office is responsible for telling the Legislature how much it has on hand to appropriate every odd-numbered year when lawmakers gather in legislative session.

He is the state’s top accountant, for cryin’ out loud! What is he doing now trying to inject himself into the border fight?

Let’s see, I think I know. Glenn Hegar has joined the GOP demagoguery brigade. I would laugh out loud … except that it just isn’t funny.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Forgive this rant, but …

I am among the most liberated, enlightened progressive individuals any of you ever will know.

That all said, I want to express a concern I have about this “melting pot” society we embrace as Americans. It involves retailers and the staffers they hire to interact with the public.

I ventured the other day into a major retail outlet in the North Texas city where I live. I was looking for a particular item. I approached a woman wearing the colors of the store I entered and asked her where the item was that I needed to purchase.

She had no idea what I had asked of her. She threw up her hands in that gesture that told me: I do not speak your language; therefore, I am of no help at all.

Oh, my.

I trudged off looking for the item. I found it. I purchased it. I went home.

Here is my point.

We live in a community where English is the predominant language. You can walk into any public place in the United States and the vast majority of those gathered there speak English.

Therefore, I want to make a request of retailers. I believe they should deploy English-speaking staffers to jobs where they must interact with the public. I totally favor hiring non-English speakers, giving them a chance to earn a decent living. I am not going to take the nativist tone we hear too often.

I just want to be able to communicate with individuals who are employed by retail outlets where I do business. Is that too much to ask?

There. My rant is over.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Biden gets blame for this, too?

President Biden no doubt knew he was jumping into a briar patch when he decided to seek the presidency in 2020.

Now he’s getting pilloried for something he couldn’t possibly control, which is the flood of refugees from Haiti; they are congregating on the U.S. border near Del Rio, Texas. The United States is sending thousands of them back to Haiti.

Wait, though, for the criticism that is going to come flowing toward the Biden administration.

Why didn’t they anticipate this flood of immigrants? Why are they being mistreated by border and immigration officers? How can they allow this monumental tragedy unfold?

I will continue to stand with the president as he seeks to deal with this newest crisis on our border.

Haitians are fleeing their country, which was torn apart with the assassination of its president. Then came that killer earthquake. I guess one would want out of a nation with no stable government, let alone a stable infrastructure to withstand Earth’s awesome power.

Where do they go? To the U.S. of A.!

“We are very concerned that Haitians who are taking this irregular migration path are receiving false information that the border is open or the temporary protected status is available,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said. “I want to make sure that it is known that this is not the way to come to the United States.”

Border patrol criticized for treatment of Haitian migrants in Del Rio | The Texas Tribune

President Biden is getting pilloried, pounded and pummeled these days for the crisis that erupted virtually without warning. How in the world does one prepare for such a monstrous development?

Joe Biden sought the presidency twice before finally winning the office in 2020. He has been involved with politics long enough — seemingly since The Flood — to know that the realm is fraught with peril. I spent the previous four years lamenting the fecklessness of a president who didn’t listen to any of the advisers with whom he surrounded himself. He sought to live up to the mindless boast that “I, alone can fix” whatever problems arose.

President Biden isn’t wired that way. He has surrounded himself with critical thinkers and individuals seasoned in the nuanced world of international relations.

They all have a huge problem on their hands at the moment. They need to find a solution quickly. If they fail, then they will deserve the pounding they are sure to receive.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Immigrants strengthen us

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Now that Gov. Greg Abbott has declared his intention to shut down the Texas border with Mexico all by himself, I want to say a word or two about immigrants and the strength they bring to this great country.

I am acutely aware that Abbott wants to end “illegal immigration” into this country. He wants to stop refugees who are seeking to enter the U.S. to flee oppression, crime, poverty and misery in their home countries. Hmm. Is that a bad thing for the United States?

Yes, they should enter the country legally. I know and accept it.

Abbott, though, has targeted specifically criminals who he said should be arrested, detained and then sent back. Let’s see. I think that has been occurring since, oh, about the time of the nation’s founding. However, the GOP demagogues continue to insist that President Biden has enacted an “open border policy” that allows for thugs to enter freely.

Why do I feel so strongly about immigrants? I am the grandson of four of them. They came here near the start of the 20th century in search of a better life. They left southeastern Europe. Two of them came from what one former POTUS would have called a “sh**hole country.” That would be Turkey, a mostly Muslim nation.

They came. They thrived. They produced their children, all of whom led productive lives; some of them served heroically on the battlefield during World War II; my dear Dad was one of them.

What separates immigrants from native-born Americans is one simple fact: All of them chose to come here. They weren’t granted U.S. citizenship merely as an act of fate, having been born here. They made conscious decisions to build new lives and to call the U.S.A. their “home.”

Someone needs to tell me, though, how many of those who seek to sneak into this country comprise the nefarious criminal element that a former president once said comprised most of them.

Immigrants have helped create this great nation. They should be honored, not vilified.