Tag Archives: immigration

Something So Wrong: September 2017

  • On September 5, Trump announced that he was ending the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) program. The program was created by President Obama by executive order in 2012 and made it possible for immigrants who had been brought to the US as children to stay legally in the country if they met certain qualifications. Trump ordered an end to the program as of March 5, 2018, exposing the 800,000 young immigrants currently enrolled in the program to deportation. In the meantime, the Department of Homeland Security will not accept any new applicants for the program.
  • On September 19, in his first speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Trump called on all nations to uphold “two core sovereign duties: to respect the interests of their own people and the rights of every other sovereign nation.” He called these duties “the beautiful vision” of the UN. He declared that nationalism should be the guiding principal of all countries: “As President of the United States, I will always put America first, just like you, as the leaders of your countries will always, and should always, put your countries first.” He called out North Korea, Iran and Syria for particular criticism. North Korea, he said, is a “depraved regime” whose its pursuit of nuclear weapons is “reckless.” He warned that if North Korea threatened the US or its allies, the would “have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.” He belittled North Korea’s leader, calling him “Rocket Man” and saying that the North Korean leader was “on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.” He said that “denuclearization” was North Korea’s “only acceptable future.” Turning to Iran, Trump called that nation’s government a “reckless” and “murderous” regime. The 2015 agreement with Iran, he said, was “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.” The five-nation agreement, which curtailed Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon, was, he said, “an embarrassment to the United States.” He called on Iran to “stop supporting terrorists, begin serving its own people, and respect the sovereign rights of its neighbors.” Trump said that the US is seeking the “de-escalation of the Syrian conflict,” while calling the current Syrian government a “criminal regime.” Trump asserted that the US is a “compassionate nation” that has spent “billions and billions of dollars” supporting humanitarian assistance in Syria, and he praised Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon for “hosting refugees from the Syrian conflict.” He said that the US would not accept more Syrian refugees but would “out of the goodness of our hearts…offer financial assistance to hosting countries in the region.”
  • On September 22, North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong-un responded to Trump’s speech at the UN with rhetoric of his own: “The mentally deranged behavior of the U.S. president openly expressing on the U.N. arena the unethical will to ‘totally destroy’ a sovereign state… makes even those with normal thinking faculty think about discretion and composure.” Trump’s remarks “convinced” Kim “that the path I chose is correct and that it is the one I have to follow to the last.” He refered to Trump’s speech as “the most ferocious declaration of a war in history” and vowed: “I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire.”
  • On September 26, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the Graham-Cassidy bill, the Republicans’ last-ditch attempt to “repeal and replace Obamacare” under the reconciliation process (requiring only 50 votes), would not be brought to a vote after three Republican Senators (McCain, Collins and Paul) declared their intention to vote against the bill. McConnell said that the Republicans would now turn their attention to tax reform.
  • On September 27, Trump announced that the quota on refugee admissions to the US would be capped at 45,000 for the 2018 fiscal year. This sharply reduced the number of refugees allowed under the Obama administration (110,000 for fiscal year 2017). Since 1980, annual refugee admissions have averaged more than 95,000 per year.
  • San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick made news in August of 2016 for not standing while the national anthem was played at a pre-season game. He said that he would not “show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” Since that time, other NFL players have taken a knee during the anthem as a protest against social injustice. At a campaign rally for senate candidate Luther Strange on September 22, Trump told the crowd that NFL owners should respond to players kneeling during the national anthem by saying: “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, he’s fired!” He suggested that fans should “leave the stadium” when players kneel in protest. At subsequent NFL games, many more players joined in protest by kneeling.
  • On September 28, acting Homeland Security chief Elaine Duke told reporters that the federal response to the devastation of Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria was “really a good news story in terms of our ability to reach people and the limited number of deaths that have taken place in such a devastating hurricane.” In response the next day, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz said: “This is, dammit, this is not a good news story. This is a ‘people are dying’ story. This is a ‘life or death’ story. This is ‘there’s a truckload of stuff that cannot be taken to people’ story. This is a story of a devastation that continues to worsen.” Trump reacted to the mayor’s comments by tweeting: “Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort.”

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Some other stuff for later,

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    On August 2, Trump endorsed the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act, an immigration reform bill introduced in the Senate by Tom Cotton (Arkansas) and David Perdue (Georgia). The bill would sharply reduce the number of immigrants granted permanent residency status (green cards) each year. It would redefine…
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    After a decade of diplomatic effort, the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany reached an accord with Iran earlier this year. These nations (known as the P5+1 or the E3+3), engaged in negotiations with the goal of preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. A deal was signed…

Something So Wrong: August 2017

  • On August 2, Trump endorsed the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act, an immigration reform bill introduced in the Senate by Tom Cotton (Arkansas) and David Perdue (Georgia). The bill would sharply reduce the number of immigrants granted permanent residency status (green cards) each year. It would redefine family-based immigration priorities, removing a path for siblings and adult children of US citizens to become permanent residents. It would institute a point-system for green card applicants, favoring those who speak English and who have job skills. The bill would cap refugee admissions at 50,000 per year.
  • On August 8, Trump responded to North Korea’s threats against the US by saying that any more threats would “be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.” The UN Security Council voted unanimously on August 5 for a new set of sanctions to pressure North Korea to curtail its development of nuclear weapons after several successful tests of intercontinental missiles. North Korea, responding to the new UN sanctions, threatened retaliation against the United States on August 7 boasting that the US would pay “thousands of times” for the sanctions. In response to Trump’s warning, North Korea issued a statement on August 9 that its military was “examining the operational plan” to launch a strike against the US territory of Guam.
  • On August 12, various white nationalist groups staged a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The so-called “Unite the Right” rally was ostensibly in protest of the city’s decision to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee from Emancipation Park. The City Council earlier, on June 5, had changed the name of the park—formerly known as Lee Park. The Lee statue was commissioned in 1917. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. During the rally, a 20-year-old who identified with the white nationalist movement, intentionally drove his car into a group of counter-protesters gathered to protest against racism and hatred, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring 19. In response to the violence, Trump said: “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides. On many sides. It’s been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. This has been going on for a long, long time.” He gave no explanation of what he meant by blaming “many sides” for the violence, and he did not condemn the white nationalist group that had organized the rally.
  • On August 14, Trump told Fox news that he was “seriously considering” pardoning former Arizona sheriff Jo Arpaio, calling Arpaio a “great American patriot.” Arpaio was convicted in July of criminal contempt of court for defying a federal court order to stop detaining people based on mere suspicion of being illegal immigrants. Due to be sentenced in October, Arpaio faces up to six months in prison. Arpaio was an outspoken Trump supporter during the presidential campaign, and he was a speaker at the Republican National Convention.
  • On August 15, Trump again blamed “both sides” for the violence in Charlottesville. He described what he called “alt-left” demonstrators as “very, very violent” people who “came charging with clubs in their hands” against the “alt-right,” who were there “to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee.” In advance of the rally, however, one of the organizers of the “Unite the Right” said the planned rally was “about an anti-white climate within the Western world and the need for white people to have advocacy like other groups do.”
  • On August 25, Trump tweeted: “I am pleased to inform you that I have just granted a full Pardon to 85 year old American patriot Sheriff Joe Arpaio.”
  • On August 25, the Trump White House issued an order to the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security to implement its directive banning transgender people from military service. The order temporarily excluded persons currently serving in the military, stating “no action may be taken against such individuals” until the secretary of Defense comes up with a plan to address such military personnel. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis requested that a panel of experts study the matter and report back to him.

Share This:

Some other stuff for later,

  • 84
    On September 5, Trump announced that he was ending the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) program. The program was created by President Obama by executive order in 2012 and made it possible for immigrants who had been brought to the US as children to stay legally in the country…
  • 72
    The next chapter is tracking six focus issues during the current presidential election process. TNC has summarized the positions of the presidential candidates: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Now that the candidates have selected their running mates, TNC is looking at the positions of Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Mike…
  • 70
    After a decade of diplomatic effort, the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany reached an accord with Iran earlier this year. These nations (known as the P5+1 or the E3+3), engaged in negotiations with the goal of preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. A deal was signed…