Monday September 16, 2019
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Trump's Anti-Immigration MovementRalph E. Stone, Salem-News.com
Melania’s Slovenian parents were beneficiaries of “chain migration” that Trump has criticized and wants to end.
(SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.) - Here are just some of the lowlights of Donald Trump’s hateful, anti-immigrant movement:
During the 2016 presidential campaign Trump promised voters a "big, beautiful" concrete wall along the southern border, that Mexico would pay for. Obviously, that didn’t happen.
Trump has used terms like "invasion," "alien," "killer" and "criminal" more than 500 times in discussing immigrants during campaign rallies since 2017.
In April 2018, the Trump administration introduced a "zero-tolerance” immigration policy calling for the prosecution of all individuals who illegally enter the U.S.
This policy has the effect of separating parents from their children when they enter the country together, because parents are referred for prosecution and the children are placed in the custody of a sponsor, such as a relative or foster home, or held in a shelter.
The Trump administration’s hope is that harsh treatment would deter illegal immigration. As a result, thousands of minors are locked away in immigration shelters alone while their parents were detained far away in intolerable conditions.
On April 19, 2019, the National Origin-Based Anti-discrimination for Nonimmigrants Act, or the “No Ban Act” was introduced in the House. The No Ban Act would repeal the Trump administration’s Muslin ban and asylum ban. Chances of the No Ban Act passing the Senate are slim to none.
In June 2019, Trump announced a series of tariffs on Mexican goods starting at 5% and growing to 25% to compel Mexico to stem the flow of migrants to this country.
It didn’t matter to him that the tariffs would disrupt a critical marketplace. At the eleventh hour, Trump suspended the tariffs saying that Mexico had agreed to new and broader concessions to curb migration, which included deployment of its National Guard throughout Mexico, giving priority to its southern border, and an expansion of a program to allow asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico while their legal cases proceed.
The weekend of August 3 and 4, 31 were killed and several others wounded in back-to-back mass shootings. In Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas.
In a hateful, anti-immigrant “Manifesto” posted online attributed to the El Paso shooter begins, “In general, I support the Christchurch shooter and his manifesto. This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”
Later the shooter admitted to an El Paso police detective that he was the shooter and that he was targeting Mexicans.
On August 9, The Washington Post reported that for nearly two decades, the Trump Organization has relied on a roving crew of Latin American employees, including some who entered the U.S. illegally, to build fountains and waterfalls, sidewalks and rock walls at the company’s winery and its golf courses from New York to Florida. Other employees at Trump clubs nicknamed them “Los Picapiedras,” Spanish for “the Flintstones.”
One worker said he was told by a Trump organization supervisor to obtain fake identity documents. He also said he once hid in the woods of a Trump golf course to avoid being seen by visiting labor union officials.
No Trump organization properties were raided by I.C.E. Months after the Trump organization promised to purge those undocumented workers from their businesses, more are still working there.
Mention must be made of first lady Melania Trump, who reportedly broke immigration law when she first came to the U.S. in August 1996 by entering the country on a tourist visa and then working as a professional model.
She obtained an H-B1 visa as a “skilled worker" in October 1996. Thus, she was paid for 10 modeling assignments between September 10 and October 15 while she was still on the tourist visa. Tourist visas allow someone to stay in the U.S. for six months, but they cannot seek employment in the U.S. during that time.
Melania began dating Trump in 2000. Then in 2001, she was granted a green card (permanent residency) in the elite EB-1 program (sometimes called the the "Einstein visa"), which was designed for renowned academic researchers, multinational business executives or those in other fields, such as Olympic athletes and Oscar-winning actors, who demonstrated “sustained national and international acclaim.”
Her credentials at the time included runway shows in Europe, a Camel cigarette billboard ad in Times Square and — in her biggest job at the time — a spot in the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated, which featured her on the beach in a string bikini, hugging a six-foot inflatable whale. Obviously, green cards were more easily obtained by some at that time, especially if your dating a celebrity like Trump.
Melania’s Slovenian parents, Viktor and Amalija Knavs, were living in the U.S. with green cards, beneficiaries of “chain migration” that Trump has criticized and wants to end. They became citizens in 2018.
Do as Trump says, not what he does.
On August 12, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) launched a massive raid of undocumented immigrants in Mississippi, arresting about 680 people.
The next day, officials announced some 300 undocumented workers who had been detained in the operation were released on humanitarian grounds. As a result of these raids, many children were separated from their parents. No employers were arrested in these I.C.E. raids.
On August 12, 2019, the Trump administration introduced a new policy that will allow the government to deny permanent residency to immigrants who use or are likely to use public benefits, such as food stamps, housing vouchers and Medicaid.
This policy flies in the face of the famous poem by Emma Lazarus on the base of the Statue of Liberty: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, the acting director of I.C.E., altered the statue’s poem, “Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet, and who will not become a public charge.”
Later he said the poem referred to “people coming from Europe, where they had class-based societies where people were considered wretched if they weren’t in the right class.”
Trump appears to believe his racist, anti-immigrant campaign is a winning reelection strategy. Let’s prove him wrong.
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