Tag Archives: immigration

Biden needs policy reset

I trust you’re sitting down while reading this brief blog post, so with that I’ll offer something some of you might not expect.

President Joe Biden needs to perform a serious reset on what is a serios foreign policy blunder: the immigration crisis along our southern border.

The first task at hand for the Biden administration is to use the term “crisis” in describing what is occurring along our border with Mexico.

That said, I will continue to resist Republicans’ demagogic accusation that President Biden favors “open borders.” He damn sure does nothing of the sort, given the number of immigrants our Border Patrol and state law enforcement officers are rounding up daily.

I get that using certain terminology doesn’t constitute a substantive policy change by itself. It does, though, fill the air with rhetoric that the administration understands the problem with which it is dealing.

The refusal to call it a crisis appears to be a Democratic Party thing. Recall that Texas Democratic governor candidate Beto O’Rourke refused to call the immigration issue a crisis. It cost him votes on Election Day.

Do I favor deporting every single illegal immigrant immediately back to the country from where they came? No. I do believe there absolutely needs some serious streamlining of the process that enables those seeking refuge from tyranny to seek permanent resident status.

What appears to be developing on our border is chaos feeding more chaos. That has to stop. The Biden administration also needs to call it what it is: a crisis.


Dreamers: collateral casualties

Let’s be clear about something: If Republicans take control of Congress after the midterm election, you can rest assured that their onslaught will inflict plenty of collateral casualties.

I want to look briefly at one category of casualty: Dreamers, those who were brought to this country as children when their parents entered the United States without proper immigrant documentation.

The Dreamers who live among us — and they no doubt are in more places than we realize — are going to singled out by Republicans who insist that they are here illegally and, therefore, must be deported.

Many of those Dreamers qualified under a program enacted by President Obama called the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals; Obama issued an order that protected DACA recipients from deportation, enabling them to seek citizenship or apply for permanent legal resident status.

Republicans detest DACA. They want it rescinded. The courts have dented the program along the way.

DACA recipients deserve to be protected against inhumane deportation, which would result in sending them back to the country of their birth. Why is that inhumane? Because they came of age in the United States of America. This is the only country the know. In many cases, they are U.S. residents who have contributed greatly to their country of residence.

Furthermore, I am saddened by the notion that some GOP pols want to punish these Dreamers for the sins of their parents. I get that the parents broke the law when they sneaked into the country when border security guards were looking the other way. It simply boggles my noggin that pols would want to punish the children — some of whom were infants and toddlers when they entered the United States — for something over which they had zero control!

Furthermore, many of those youngsters have grown into men and women who are contributing mightily to their nation of residence. They have excelled in the classroom; they have pursued professions and paid their taxes.

Punish them? Send them away? Someone will have to explain the logic behind that hideous form of revenge.

That is what might await many of these individuals if Republicans take control of our legislative branch of government. God help us all.


Borders aren’t ‘open’!

I want to dispel another bit of demagoguery that is beginning to dominate the 2022 midterm election season. It deals with our borders, north and south.

Now I shall declare that the southern border isn’t an “open border,” which is what Republican candidates for state and national office keep insisting.

Normally I might chuckle at some of the rhetoric coming from Texas GOP candidates. They keep attaching their Democratic opponents’ name to President Biden, suggesting that Biden and all other Democrats favor “open borders.”

This makes me want to pull my hair out … which is saying something, because I don’t have quite as much hair on my noggin as I used to have.

The demagogues, of course, refer to our southern border, which is where so many of these migrants are approaching. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas recently declared his department would send those from Venezuela back to their country if they seek to enter it without proper documentation. Is that the policy of an open-border-loving administration?

Hah! Hardly.

Yet the GOP continues harping on that falsehood. To suggest a politician favors “open borders” implies someone who wants to turn a blind eye to criminals who might be among the migrants seeking entry into the Land of Opportunity.

Well, demagoguery manages to score political points. It does nothing else if it doesn’t include policy proposals. I hear damn little in the way of policy discussion from the GOP demagogues.

I agree with those who contend that the Biden administration needs to treat the southern border problem as the “crisis” that many of us contend it is. However, I will not accept the notion that U.S. immigration policy has turned our borders into a thousand-mile-long sieve.

We continue to round up illegal migrants every day. Thus, the borders aren’t open.


How ‘Christian’ is this?

Ron De Santis no doubt calls himself a devout Christian, not that I really care specifically about a politician’s religious affiliation.

It’s just “normal” for conservative Republican politicians, such as the Florida governor, to hoist a cloak of religious fervor to explain why they do certain things. In De Santis’ case, why he would take families — including babies — place them on an airplane and fly them to a mystery destination after they had entered the United States in search of a better life.

De Santis has been taking considerable joy in these actions against those entering this country while fleeing the communists in Venezuela and Nicaragua. He wants to make some sort of point about how Republicans are tougher on undocumented immigrants than Democrat.

I guess here is where I should mention that De Santis might run for president in 2024 and that his foe in two years could be Democratic President Joe Biden.

Devotion to one’s faith requires, it seems to me, that politicians adhere to all its teachings, not just cherry-pick those that suit the pols’ ambitions.

The Bible I read instructs me to show compassion and caring. Its New Testament teachings — you know, those that come from Jesus Christ — tell me to reach out in love to those in need. So help me, I cannot find a single passage that instructs me to hand those in need over to someone else.

Yet we have Ron De Santis and his GOP pal, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, shipping desperate human beings to points unknown and, in effect, telling them: Y’all are on your own. Good luck and we’ll see ya in funny papers.

Simply disgraceful.


How much longer must the immigrant stunt go?

Two Republican governors — Greg Abbott of Texas and Ron DeSantis of Florida — are doing a fine job of turning human beings’ hardship into a political stunt that they believe will resonate with Americans.

They are engaging in some of the cruelest policy decisions many of us have ever seen. They have decided to send migrants seeking entry into the United States to more liberal-leaning states to … seemingly make some kind of political point.

I wanted to toss a heavy object at my TV earlier this week when I witnessed the image of DeSantis laughing at the torment he is inflicting on immigrants from Latin America. He put 50 of them — including families with small children — on a chartered jet and flew them to Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.

He told them they would begin processing for entry into the United States. The migrants instead were delivered to an empty parking lot. Ah, but there was DeSantis in Florida, yukking it up over the game he is playing with the lives of desperate human beings fleeing tyranny.

Greg Abbott isn’t any better. He is shipping migrants out of Texas on buses, delivering them to Chicago, Washington, D.C., and other communities known to be friendlier toward these migrants.

I understand fully that President Biden’s immigration policy so far is not dealing adequately with the numbers of people seeking asylum and even a safe place to escape the horrors of life in their home countries. However, is the Republican response any better? Do these governors offer any policy alternatives?

No! Instead, they play games with human lives in a disgraceful display of callousness.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.