By Peter Certo
I’ll be honest: I didn’t watch Trump’s State of the Union address when it aired.
Instead, I put my baby to bed and watched reality TV with my wife. If that rattled a few brain cells, hopefully I saved a few more by not guzzling the bourbon I’d set aside to steel myself for the speech.
The next day’s headlines put an end to this brief indulgence in self care.
Trump had extended an “open hand” to work with Democrats on immigration, they reported. He crowed that he’d come up with a “bipartisan approach” that “should be supported by both parties as a fair compromise.”
The first part of the deal should sound familiar: Trump said he’d support “a path to citizenship” for nearly 1.8 million undocumented young people, or Dreamers, in exchange for his border wall.
What Trump didn’t say was that he’d already removed deportation protections from the 700,000 young people who rely on the DACA program, which Trump unilaterally revoked. And he’d already rejected an offer by Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer to fund the wall in exchange for authorizing those same people.
Democrat Luis Gutierrez, perhaps the staunchest wall critic and immigrant advocate in the House, even said he’d “take a bucket, take bricks, and start building it myself” if it saved the Dreamers.
Trump’s about-face on that deal is why the government shut down this January.
Now Trump wants two more enormous concessions: an end to the so-called “diversity visa” program and the end of family reunification policies for documented immigrants who are already here.
Trump rattled off these demands like they were perfectly reasonable — “a down-the-middle compromise,” he called them. They’re not. In fact, one former speech writer for the last White House called them “a white nationalist wish list.”
That’s because, according to immigration analysts, those latter two provisions would cut legal immigration by nearly half. Half.
And to get that, Trump’s ransomed nearly 2 million Dreamers, whom 80 percent of Americans support legal status for.
He’s taking them hostage, he says, “because Americans are Dreamers, too.” All you need to know about that last remark is that former KKK leader David Duke quoted it right back on Twitter, adding “Thank you, President Trump.”
Let’s put all this in context. Trump’s offering a fig leaf of legal status for a relatively small slice of the undocumented population. In return, he wants to permanently — and drastically — reduce the number of all immigrants who come to this country.
What Trump and his GOP backers want is ethnic cleansing.
It’s not just the Dreamers Trump has endangered, after all. He’s unleashed his ICE stormtroopers on hundreds of thousands of immigrants with no criminal backgrounds, often in hospitals, churches, and schools.
And wherever he can, he’s turned perfectly legal residents into deportable immigrants overnight.
With the stroke of a pen, he ended protections for 200,000 Salvadorans and 60,000 Haitians, while 57,000 Hondurans wait in limbo. And he’s brought refugee admissions to their lowest levels in over three decades, despite a global refugee crisis.
All that tracks perfectly for a guy who called darker-skinned countries “s—holes” and wondered why we can’t have more immigrants from Norway.
Democrats who’d offer a border wall in the face of all this miss the point: That “open hand” is full of poison pills.
Peter Certo is the editorial manager of the Institute for Policy Studies and editor of OtherWords.org.
Sorry Peter to call you out on stating that Chuck Schumer had offered to fund the wall. That is an outright LIE. You had better do more research on the subject before spewing lies in your article. Since when has the USA been designated as the “goto” country for all refugees in this world? And just how many people can this country support financially and physically? Where exactly do you plan to store all of these refugees, in the Nevada desert? Finally, tell me why these refugees can’t go to other countries in this world? We aren’t the only ones living on this planet.
Pierre Tristam says
Richard, your email handle includes the words “spayneuter” among other things and numbers, which is a very good thing when it applies to cats and dogs, not as good when it applies to facts hissed from a glass house: Peter Certo is accurate when he refers to the brief-lived Schumer proposal to fund the wall. The New York Times first reported it on Jan. 19, when relating the substance of a negotiating meal Schumer and Trump had over cheesburgers: “Mr. Schumer said yes to higher levels for military spending and discussed the possibility of fully funding the president’s wall on the southern border with Mexico. In exchange, the president agreed to support legalizing young immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.” The Washington Post then followed suit with a similar account, as did many other news organizations, including Fox (once Schumer withdrew the offer). The Fox report included confirmation from Schumer’s office that Schumer had made the offer, then withdrawn it that Sunday. So first, regardless of what anyone may think about Schumer or that negotiation session, it is factual (that goes for you too Frederick, disappointingly). Second, you could charge “fake news,” but your comment won’t see the light of day because it would be drastically fake, and third, before you insult our contributors about their research, do what I did: spend the totality of 45 seconds–less time than it took you to write your error-filled comment–Googling “Schumer” “wall” and “deal” and you’d have your facts checked. Spend another 30 seconds and you’d find out that, contrary to your claim, the United States doesn’t even make the top 10 list of nations hosting refugees, when calculated by proportion of the countries’ population. Not even Germany does, and it was planning to take in 1 million Syrian refugees. Ironically, my old country, Lebanon, a nation of 4 million, tops the list, having taken in upward of 1 million Syrians alone, not counting the more than quarter million Palestinians still living there as refugees, and a smattering of Iraqis left over from the war we inflicted on that country. As with foreign aid, the United States is embarrassingly stingy regarding refugees. The primary source for all these facts is here. And one last thing: though Nevada did not host a concentration camp for Japanese-Americans during World War II, Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, Arkansas, California and Idaho did. Ten seconds on Google would have led you straight to that bit of American shame, assuming you can unwrap your fingers from Betsy Ross’s tatas. So next time you wish to make a crack along the lines of where to “store” human beings, (great choice of word there Richard, very revealing), you might not want to address the issue with such inaccurately theoretical condescension. Redundant, I know, but what do you expect from a Lebanon-larded immigrant.
(NB: I would not as this site’s editor normally waste my morning correcting a commenter: it’s easier for FlaglerLive’s wretchedly overworked moderator to just leave the comment unapproved. But Richard has recently vaulted high on the list of serial fact-mangler and abuser of other commenters, making it necessary to remind him that this is not one of his echo-chambered fact-free zones he’s used to, and that you will be called out if you insist on wasting our time. Consider it a factual Baker Act.)
What liberal tripe..
“What Trump didn’t say was that he’d already removed deportation protections from the 700,000 young people who rely on the DACA program, which Trump unilaterally revoked.”
He turned it over to the congress where it belonged in the first place. Instead of Obama mandating it ok for people who are hear illegally to stay.
“And he’d already rejected an offer by Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer to fund the wall in exchange for authorizing those same people.” Really? Who did you hear that from? Do you know ALL the details? Please share.
I had so many other comments to make about this article but it really comes down to the liberal mind not understanding Trump. You do not understand that ALL of this, all the tweets, all the comments are all part of a negotiation. Who can get the best deal. Who is holding a strong position and who is weak. The libs are in a week position. The offer is there, the offer even grew from Obama’s 800k to 1.8 million people. You don’t deal this will be the SHumer Shutdown. You will own it and all people will know is the liberals will not accept the offer to save the dreamers. The President offered and the democrats would not accept it. You will even have the media behind you spouting your public line but look how well that has gone for you. You tried it before and during the election and everyday since. In case you have not figured it out it ain’t working. It’s all a negotiation….. your in a weak position and if you don’t give some you lose and it will be used against you everyday through the 2018 elections and YOU WILL LOSE…..
Lol. So he removed the unconsttutional protections form people here illegally. Ending chain immigration and the diversity lottery program are not something new. Because we have so many illegal immigrants in the country maybe there is nothing wrong with ending protections from these shithole countries. I don’t care if they are black, purple or even white. The color of their skin has nothing to do with it. I can’t help that these mostly dark skinned countries are shitholes. Nothing racist about it. Border security, including a wall and other forms of securing the border are necessary to protect our country from drugs and illegals. Personnaly, I think we should just stop all the bull and enforce current laws, how about that?
Percy's mother says
This guy, Peter Certo, doesn’t have a clue.
The only way one can be “legal” is to follow the immigration laws and rules (as did I and my family). We were allowed “in” on a quota. We went through background checks and medical testing. We didn’t just arrive knowing that we were breaking the law and then demand legal status.
I’m sick of hearing about this topic of DEMANDING to be legal. What about all the immigrants who followed the rules, laws and regulations?
Your are correct and show us the very reality of the Trumpster’s and extreme Conservatives ethnic cleansing agenda!
The wall was supposed to be paid by Mexico NOT us. In your dreams Mexico will ever pay a wall in a border that was their territory until 1848, before we took away.
Just because of that forced appropriation Mexicans should be the first one’s to NOT be denied visas when requested, applied and flat out refused for being Latinos, to come to their former vast lands in the USA…
Actually the next historic link shows us the real map of Mexico until 1848 before forced concession!:
What a terrible editorial; completely one sided from an obvious partisan. I wish this site would at least feign impartiality.
“I’ll be honest: I didn’t watch Trump’s State of the Union address when it aired.”
You plan to offer input to the politics of the nation, but rather than participate directly, you wait to be told what to think the next day? Terrible. You need to pick better featured articles @flaglerlive
Regarding the limits on immigration: terrific. No matter what, at the end of the day, there is only so much land, water, and resources for our current and future needs. Our population is approximately 325 million. At what level is our population sustainable and able to pursue “the American Dream”? At what level can we maintain the land and territory own by these United States?
Once wages are increasing again and the current group of immigrants are assimilated, then we can revisit the issue (or maybe do a study).
ICE Stormtroopers. Yes, let’s continue to demonize law enforcement work. What could possibly go wrong with that?
Our own Dreamers come first in the USA, all others stand in line and do it legally!!!
“I would not as this site’s editor normally waste my morning correcting a commenter: it’s easier for FlaglerLive’s wretchedly overworked moderator to just leave the comment unapproved.”
Do you advocate preventing people from voicing opinions or sharing information you disagree with? That seems to be what you’re implying…
Even if a post contains factually inaccurate information, it should never be the role of a paper or impartial body to decide that. It’s on the readers to verify the information and form their own opinion in my view.
Pierre Tristam says
As you can tell from this thread or any thread below my own columns, where the majority of comments would rather have me strung up on Golgotha, the suggestion that I would either prevent people from voicing their opinion or opinions I disagree with is as absurd as, say, Fox calling itself “fair and balanced.” But you’re baiting of course. As for your last paragraph: absolutely disagree. Our comment thread is no different than any publication’s letters or columns sections, where editors always make decisions as to what appears and what doesn’t. This is not a free speech zone. It’s a reasonable speech zone. Obviously we don’t moderate nearly as rigorously as we should: we prefer a lighter hand, but in so far as time and our health care plan permits we’re not here to enable, encourage or further propagate the sort of bogus bullshit corroding this nation’s discourse enough as it is. We are here to inform, fact-check and correct to the extent possible. Keep in mind, FlaglerLive is the most open and trafficked public forum you’ll get anywhere from the Georgia border to the Space Coast. You’re not paying a dime for it (though you should). And you get to do it behind a mask of anonymity. So before you tell us how we should run FlaglerLive, it wouldn’t hurt if you were a tad more informed about the actual content of these threads and maybe a bit more supportive of this 8-year-old non-profit.
Why would anybody hold a sign up in Spanish that wants to stay in the USA? LOL
Pedro Tristam says
gmath, solíamos ser un país multilingüe. Por desgracia, ahora somos solo un país bilingüe. Tal vez mejoraremos nuevamente, con el tiempo.
once again ,if people want to come to America legally ,no problem . Illegal is illegal ,no matter how the liberals try to twist it.The people who are here illegally ,need to be kicked out,ASAP, if they want to stay then they need to follow the proper procedure to stay, what is so hard to understand about that?
Peter Certo is 100% correct.
Pedro Tristam, We used to be a multilingual country. Unfortunately, we are now only a bilingual country. Maybe we’ll get better again, over time.
Stranger in a strange land says
I recall President Trump saying’ to paraphrase’ “We will go after the bad hombres” . The facts don’t bear this out. Per AP fact check (link below) re. immigration arrests last year:
THE FACTS: True, more criminals were arrested than last year, but that’s not the full story.
ICE says 105,736 of the people arrested had criminal convictions, up 12 percent from 94,751 a year earlier. But arrests of non-criminals rose at a much faster clip, nearly doubling to 37,734 from 19,683.
In February, then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly scrapped the previous administration’s instructions to limit deportations to public safety threats, convicted criminals and recent border crossers, effectively making anyone vulnerable who is in the country illegally.
Raiding 7-11s to arrest working undocumented immigrants is easy, safe pickings to beef up arrest stats. Much like speed traps at the bottom of a downhill curved stretch of road. These raids on places where working UIs are easily found is hardly the crackdown on “bad hombres” and MS 13 we were promised. I am all for deportation of people convicted of violent crime or serious theft. Deporting convenience store cashiers, landscapers, dishwashers, and maids are depleting the ranks of workers to do those first rung jobs that have been used by generations of immigrants to build families, educate children, and start businesses (most common examples are restaurants, small hotels, landscaping and other trades). These are highly motivated workers often having multiple jobs working rediculous hours. They don’t want to get in trouble. they don’t want gangs in their neighborhoods (so they will speak with police as long as they don’t have to fear deportation). They want to build a future which will help build the future of this country. Look at the dreamers who have become educated and have good jobs. The reality is for a country to prosper and grow workers in those first rung jobs are needed and the educated children are needed for the jobs of the future. US population growth of non-immigrants is not sufficient for a vibrant economy. 50 year olds who’s jobs have been eliminated by technology are not going to become maids or dishwashers to fill the jobs of those that are deported. My thoughts:
Convict and deport the real “bad hombres” as promised.
Tighten up our borders against further unvetted immigration.
Equally important, face the reality that good, hardworking UIs are part of the fabric of our economy. If someone has been here for, say five years, and have worked and committed no serious crime (don’t throw the “being here is a crime BS” at me, get over it) they deserve a path to a life here without the fear of deportation.
Finally, make the immigration process easier and less expensive so our country will have a flow of people dreaming of, and willing to work for, a better life. If you are Italian, Irish, or decendants of other immigrants who started at menial jobs but built a good life for their children and generations to come, you know what I mean. Here is the AP fact check info:
From Politico – https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/23/chuck-schumer-trump-wall-offer-359156
Stranger in a strange land says
@Richard Enough said? You just posted a link that said Schumer withdrew an offer to fund the wall. In your first post you vehemently stated that saying Schumer offered to fund the wall was a lie. The article clearly states Schumer made an offer to fund the wall. The only one disputing that is some underling White House spokesman. Even R. Whip Cornyn said there was an offer. Yes, it was withdrawn. But nothing I saw refuted that the offer hadn’t been made (you send an underling aid out when the Pres. doesn’t want to be caught in a bold faced lie). . Are you providing a reference that shows you were wrong? That’s very reasonable and upstanding of you. Maybe there is hope that this country can come together and have an open, honest discussion of our differences.