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Some Thoughts on Martin Luther King Day

If President Obama was Martin Luther King’s dream come true then the current president is that dream curdled into a nightmare. The latest pointless debate over whether his disparaging remarks calling countries with predominantly black populations shitholes makes him a racist, misses the point. The daily random insult generator in the White House has a one point agenda of hate.

During the Obama years, everything that happened anywhere in the world, was all Obama’s fault. From the genocide in Syria to the leak in British Petroleum’s oil well. For this President, nothing is ever his fault, he is not to be held responsible even for the words coming out of his mouth. Judy Woodruff of the PBS News Hour actually praised the President for his performance during a televised bipartisan meeting about DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), where he seemed to have no idea what he was talking about.  She was by far not the only one.The prestigious old media continues give the Republicans cover as they continue to destroy one democratic norm after another.

The sad thing is not that the President is a racist but that millions voted for him despite that or may be even because of that. Though they knew that  he was the most ill prepared and ill suited candidate to ever run on a major party’s ticket. Even sadder is the fact that the party of Lincoln condones the  bile he spews on a daily basis. It is they who made his rise possible and have given him the institutional support to thrive. They couldn’t care less that he  pisses away our international prestige one outrageous statement and one discriminatory policy at a time.

They may make soaring speeches praising Dr. King now but Republicans have been single minded in their quest to overturn his legacy, the civil rights legislation. The Republican led Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts gutted the Voting Rights Act  in 2013. Tom Cotton and David Perdue’s goal is to do the same to the Immigration and the Nationalities Act. To them, the man in the White House is a means to an end. Now more than ever we need to do everything to preserve Dr. King’s legacy. Our very lives and what kind of country we want to be depends on it. Our enemies are formidable but we shall overcome.

Cheezburger Image 9115677696

By two_kittehs

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Shame On You New York Times

For soft pedaling Trump’s hate and bigotry and your mealy mouthed coverage of Trump’s full on fascist speech. This is their headline about Trump’s immigration speech from yesterday.

Donald Trump Gambles on Immigration but Sends Conflicting Signals

Really, Patrick Healy? Is that what you got out of Trump’s white nationalist speech? The focus of the undocumented immigrants is just a prelude  to a far more radical agenda, overturning the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act. Make America Great Again is code for Make America White Again.

These are his policies goals:

1. Deport the undocumented by a deportation task force (on the day he takes office)

2. Ban Muslims and any other undesirables as determined by Trump from entering the country on temporary visas (visitor, student, work visas etc)

4. Give local law enforcement jurisdiction over immigration matters which is currently strictly under Federal jurisdiction

3.Overturn the immigration and naturalization act of 1965

5. Get rid of birthright citizenship (remember his rant about anchor babies)

And the final solution, not articulated but can be inferred from the hate he has been spewing for the last one year. Or before, if you take into account his entire birther campaign against President Obama.

6. Impose loyalty tests on naturalized citizens, legal immigrants and children of immigrants for being insufficiently American (you know like Judge Curiel). He doesn’t say what he plans to do with those found not sufficiently loyal but we have history as our guide for this one.

Is Legal Immigration Next on the GOP Hate List?

In the Republican fight for the Presidential nomination, its all immigrant bashing all the time. Demonizing immigrants from Mexico is what has propelled Donald Trump to the front of the pack. So after anchor babies, building a wall on the Canadian border and tracking all visitors to the United States like FedEx packages, what’s next on the menu of the immigrant hate fest?

According to many conservative intellectuals and I am using this term loosely, the real problem with immigration is the legal variety. Number of legal permanent residents admitted every year is too damn high,  for the likes of  Mark Krikorian, the National Review contributor and  a frequent guest expert on immigration for the PBS News Hour. This is what he  has to say about legal immigration,

Downsizing the federal immigration program would give us a breather, improving the job prospects and reducing welfare dependency, not only of the native-born but also the immigrants already here. Republican efforts at recruiting in immigrant communities might have a chance of catching up to the rapid growth that will take place even without immigration. Note that better control over illegal immigration — walls, mass deportations, whatever — isn’t going to fix this. Most immigration is legal immigration, and that’s where change is most needed.

The current numbers for legal immigration are about 1 million per year. A quick look at the data shows, that about half of the green cards granted from years 2011-2013 went to direct relatives of United States citizens. These relatives include spouses, parents and children. The number of green cards that went to employment related categories was less than 15% from 2012-2013 and 16% in 2011. So even if all the employment based legal immigration was slowed down to a trickle, it wouldn’t make a dent in the overall numbers, for that you would have to get rid of family sponsored green cards or greatly reduce their numbers.  In 2013, 68% of the family sponsored green cards went to the immediate relatives of US citizens of which 39% went to spouses.

So I am wondering, which of the presidential candidates of the party of limited government will first present a plan to deal with this scourge, by decreeing who you can get married to? This is not as far fetched as its sounds. The idea of ending birthright citizenship had been doing rounds in conservative circles before it ended up in the Trump plan and the national conversation. Here, is an article in Slate advocating the same, written by Reihan Salam.

What is ironic is that Krikorian and Salam who have somewhat  recent immigrant roots (namely being a grandchild and a child of immigrants) want to pull up  the draw bridge now that they are in and let the riff raff drown in the moat. They may try to dress their objections in more intellectual clothing but their ideology smacks of double standards  and the philosophy of FYGM. According to Krikorian and Salam, the current crop of immigrants are a net drain. If they don’t work (because they are either children or the elderly) they are a burden to the society, if  they work they are stealing jobs from hard working Americans. The only good immigrants, according to these two are the ones who came in generations past, like their parents or grandparents.

Cruzing for a Bruising?

Ted Cruz and the crazy threesome ( Representatives Michelle Bachmann, Louie Gohmert and Steve King)  are driving the GOP immigration policy now.  The  Republican House passed two bills, one to deny due process to the child migrants from Central America and another one to deport the beneficiaries of the  Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACANate Cohn writing for the Times 538 wannabe, Upshot has piped in to let us know that this declaration of hate is not a big deal at all because only one state with a Senate election  this November has a sizable Hispanic population. Yes, indeed why should anyone except Hispanics be bothered about this latest turn of events because the short sighted mean spiritedness displayed by the current GOP officeholders is not going to affect them at all, right? Wrong, the list of people and groups that are in the GOP cross hairs are numerous and by no means restricted to immigrants legal or otherwise.  In fact, even something as non-controversial as promoting basic science is enough to earn you the ire of the right wing media, these days.

I remember that there was a time not that long ago, when the DREAM act which provided a path to legalization for  out of status individuals who had been brought to the United States as minors had bipartisan support and Republican sponsors.

I think that Cohn is wrong and that GOP will pay a price at the polls, but if it doesn’t, I lay at least part of the blame at the door of the  media including New York Times, which has been asleep at the switch while covering Republican intransigence and its effects.  Focusing instead  on convincing the readers how everything from Russia’s incursion in Ukraine to Israel’s latest actions in Gaza to the Republican clamoring for impeachment, is all President Obama’s  fault.

The Answer is No, unless you are Cuban

border_kittehs

By two_kittehs

Wednesday Kittens Want In

Life on the other side of the fence is hard for us kittens

border_kittehs

By two_kittehs

The children on the southern border want in, they want a safe haven.  I think they deserve a hearing before an immigration judge at the very least.  Republican law makers disagree, not only do they want the minors seeking asylum to be deported without a hearing, they also want to overturn the President’s executive order  which gave the DREAMers a temporary reprieve.  It is ironic but not entirely surprising that the person behind the second initiative is none other than Ted Cruz.

If the Republican lawmakers want to curb illegal immigration, why not draft a bill which includes heavy penalties including criminal  ones on employers who knowingly employ migrants who do not have a valid employment authorization?  I see a lot of demonization of workers doing back breaking work for a pittance but I don’t see the employers held accountable, why is that?

The truth of the matter is, that the fruits of labor of the migrant workers are welcome but they are not. Employers hire them in many cases so that they can pay them significantly less than what they would have to pay otherwise. The demand for migrant labor obviously exists but the avenues to get  a temporary  wok visa  for agricultural work are slim and the  opportunity to immigrate legally is almost non-existent unless they have close family here.   I see no real efforts on the part of these lawmakers to change the existing incentives in the market for migrant labor.  The latest uproar seems to be nothing more than yet another stick to beat the administration with and keep the nativist base in full froth.