mykeystrokes.com

"Do or Do not. There is no try."

“Virtual Walls And Rhetorical Deportations”: Adapting What Trump Actually Said Can’t Cover Up Reality

One of the reasons that so many people underestimated the possibility of Donald Trump’s rise in the Republican Party is that we zeroed in on his policy proposals and actually took them seriously. If you remember, during the primary debates there was a lot of ink spilled on the nuanced differences between Rubio, Cruz and Trump on illegal immigrants. None of that ever mattered. What Trump was communicating to his supporters didn’t have anything to do with all of that. His message has always been emotional – not thoughtful or logical.

That’s what makes the comments by Rep. Chris Collins – the first member of Congress to endorse Trump – so fascinating.

The first member of Congress to endorse Donald Trump for president doesn’t envision one of Trump’s main campaign promises – a wall at the Mexican border – ever becoming a reality that stretches from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico.

“I have called it a virtual wall,” Rep. Chris Collins said in an interview with The Buffalo News.

“Maybe we will be building a wall over some aspects of it; I don’t know,” the Clarence Republican said of Trump’s proposed barrier to keep illegal immigrants and drugs from crossing the southern border.

Collins, who has become one of the presumptive GOP nominee’s main media surrogates, also cast doubts on another central Trump campaign promise: the candidate’s vow to deport the nation’s 12 million undocumented immigrants.

“I call it a rhetorical deportation of 12 million people,” Collins said.

He then gestured toward a door in his Capitol Hill office.

“They go out that door, they go in that room, they get their work papers, Social Security number, then they come in that door, and they’ve got legal work status but are not citizens of the United States,” Collins said. “So there was a virtual deportation as they left that door for processing and came in this door.”

Collins added: “We’re not going to put them on a bus, and we’re not going to drive them across the border.”

Collins went on to say that Trump wouldn’t necessarily agree with this interpretation of his proposals. In other words, they are Collins’ way of adapting what Trump actually said in a way that allows him to support the candidate. I wonder if anyone finds that as interesting as I do. I suspect that it is pretty common in campaigns that are fueled primarily by emotions rather than workable policies. In other words, it is rampant in the world of post-policy Republicans.

So beyond assuming virtual walls and rhetorical deportations, why does Collins support Trump? Here’s what he said:

“I’m comfortable with his judgment as a CEO, and I’m comfortable with his 60,000-foot level vision for America,” Collins said, noting that many of the details in Trump’s proposed policies are yet to be worked out.

Oh my! He’s comfortable with Trump’s judgement and vision, but pesky “details” about things like rounding up and deporting millions of people can get worked out later. Rep. Collins’ approach to politics is why I wrote this the other day:

That might be what this campaign comes down to – a contest between someone who is trying to reflect our feelings of anger and fear and someone who is determined to tackle the challenges we face as a country.

Donald Trump’s judgment and vision are those of a narcissistic bully let loose on the national stage. Using words like “virtual” and “rhetorical” can’t cover up that reality.

 

By: Nancy LeTourneau, Political Animal Blog, The Washington Monthly, May 19, 2016

May 21, 2016 Posted by | Border Wall, Donald Trump, Immigrants | , , , , | 1 Comment

“Where Will It All End?”: Trump’s New Mexico Proposal Is Much Crazier And More Nightmarish Than You Thought

Donald Trump’s new proposal — if you can call it that — to force Mexico to fund a border wall by threatening to cut off money transfers into that country could prove even crazier and more nightmarish than it first appears.

In particular, it could require literally every person anywhere in the country who wants to transfer money abroad to present proof of lawful presence — or, if not, it could force private businesses to potentially discriminate against Mexican immigrants, several immigration policy analysts with varying specializations on the issue tell me. And it could also fuel an explosion of black-market money-transferring activities.

Under the proposal, which was outlined to the Washington Post in a two-page memo, President Trump would threaten to change a rule under the U.S.A. Patriot Act, to require that “no alien may wire money outside of the United States unless the alien first provides a document establishing his lawful presence in the United States.”

Once apprised of this threat, which would cause tens of billions of dollars in remittances to Mexico to dry up, Mexico would instantly cave and cough up $5-10 billion to build a Great Trumpian Wall on the border, his memo boasts.

The Post story about this proposal points out that there are major legal obstacles to actually achieving such a rules change, and also notes that the prospect of a major confrontation with Mexico over the idea could prove prohibitive.

But just as bad or worse than any of that, the practical on-the-ground consequences of actually implementing this proposal could be quite dramatic and nightmarish. It raises possibilities that (you’d think) Trump’s opponents could use to persuade GOP voters that he is less-than-prepared for the presidency, to put it charitably.

For Trump’s proposal to work, one of two things would have to happen, these analysts tell me: Either every transfer of money abroad would require the agent carrying out the transaction to demand documentation of lawful presence from the person looking to send money. Or the agent would only have to run such a check on those who are sending money to Mexico in particular. Trump’s proposal seems to require this of every “alien” looking to transfer funds abroad, which would seem to mean anywhere outside the U.S. But the memo’s broader aim — forcing Mexico in particular to its knees — suggests he may mean the latter.

“Under Trump’s proposal, every individual sending money outside of the United States would first have to establish his legal authority to be in the U.S.,” Fernand Amandi, a principle of Bendixen and Amandi International, which has studied remittances for decades, tells me.

“The dog whistle that one can interpret or decipher from the memo is that it’s targeting Mexican undocumented immigrants only,” Amandi adds. “The implication of this is that it would require lawful proof of residence in the U.S. only from people who are transferring money to Mexico. Until Trump is explicit about this policy, we can’t know for certain which of these he means.”

Alex Nowrasteh, an immigration policy analyst for the libertarian Cato Institute, agrees. “The only way to do this is to force every Western Union or bank employee to ask for proof of lawful presence,” Nowrasteh tells me. “Unless you want to patrol every transaction, it would have to stereotype specifically against Mexican Americans and Mexicans in the United States.”

In other words, this would impact “$125 billion in annual remittances from the U.S. to the entire world,” or it would require those carrying out transfers to “profile all their customers, determine which are sending money to Mexico, and block that,” Nowrasteh says. Either way, this would be an “expensive government regulation that would impact global capital flows,” he adds.

“The agents would provide this service upon presentation of proof of lawful presence in the United States,” says Manuel Orozco, an expert on remittances at the Inter-American Dialogue, a think tank in Washington that focuses on western hemispheric policy. “None of this is feasible in any way.”

Nowrasteh of the Cato Institute also sees the possibility that Trump’s proposal could cause a rise in criminal money-transfering activity — and an increase in illegal immigration.

“Black market channels would be quickly utilized for funneling money abroad,” Nowrasteh says. “Immediately it would all go underground.” He predicts that this business might flow into already existing underground money-transfer channels, such as to people who literally “haul cash across the border on their backs.” Or people might buy stocks and transfer those, to be sold in Mexico. Or, if the restriction were only on money being transferred to Mexico, as opposed to all money transferred abroad, some might send money to a third party in another country who would then send the money on to Mexico.

And there’s still more! “Blocking remittances could create more incentives for Mexicans to come here and stay here longer, because income flows are cut off,” Nowrasteh says. “That’s clearly not Trump’s goal.”

Trump has shown a talent for offering up proposals that seem ever more batty than the ones that came before, no matter how crazy the previous ones seemed. Trump launched his campaign amid a vow to carry out mass deportations and build a border wall. He then followed that with a promise to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country. Now he’s somehow managed to make the initial border wall proposal — which has been the lodestar of his whole candidacy — seem even more outlandish still.

As nutty as some of these previous proposals have seemed, his GOP rivals have at times responded with surprisingly mute criticism combined with movement in his direction. Trumpism has compelled Marco Rubio to call for stepped up surveillance of mosques and it has driven Ted Cruz to rule out legalization of the 11 million and to call for increased patrols of Muslim neighborhoods. At this point, it’s impossible to even venture a suggestion as to where it will all end.

 

By: Greg Sargent, The Plum Line Blog, The Washington Post, April 5, 2016

April 9, 2016 Posted by | Border Wall, Donald Trump, Mexico | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Celebrating The Absurd”: Cruz Sees Border Wall As Solution To Drug Abuse

When Ted Cruz reflected this week on the crisis in Flint – which he inexplicably blamed on local Democratic officials who had no decision-making authority – he wrapped up his thoughts by reflecting on the road ahead for struggling cities like Flint. The solution, Cruz added, is to “go with the policies that work” – such as giving taxpayer money to private schools.

It was a bit jarring. A discussion about poisonous water led the Republican presidential hopeful to think about privatizing education – as if, on some unidentified level, the two unrelated topics were pieces of the same puzzle.

Yesterday, we saw something eerily similar happen at an event in New Hampshire. The Wall Street Journal reported:

Ted Cruz spent 18 minutes telling an emotional, gripping story of his family’s history of drug and alcohol abuse. His older half-sister and later his father, he told an addiction policy forum, got hooked and became addicted. His sister died, his father survived only after becoming religious, Mr. Cruz said in a Baptist church here.

So it was jarring to hear Mr. Cruz then pivot to his policy solution: building a wall along the nation’s southern border to stop illegal immigration and halt the flow of drugs from Mexico.

“If we want to turn around the drug crisis we have got to finally and permanently secure the border,” Mr. Cruz said. “We need to solve this problem; we need to build this wall.”

At a certain level, my expectations have fallen to such a low point, I’m inclined to give Cruz at least some credit for acknowledging an actual, real-world problem. There’s a drug epidemic; it’s destroying lives and families; and policymakers at every level desperately need to take it seriously. While some Republicans have dismissed the addiction crisis as meaningless, it seems like a small step in the right direction for Cruz to recognize, even briefly, that the problem exists.

If only his proposed solution were serious, we might be getting somewhere.

A Huffington Post report added:

After Cruz blamed the drug crisis on an insecure border, he blamed the insecure border on the Democrats, and some “cynical” Republicans, who favor immigration reform. He accused them of having base political motives for not doing more on the issue.

“As a political matter, the Democratic Party does not want to solve this problem. And as a political matter, far too many Republicans don’t either,” he said. “Sadly, stopping the drug traffic gets de-emphasized, because their policy view instead is to open the borders to illegal immigration.”

None of this reflects reality in any way. Border security is up and illegal immigration is down. The facts are not in dispute.

But when given a choice between reality and absurd campaign rhetoric, Cruz finds it easy to ignore the former and celebrate the latter.

 

By: Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog, February 5, 2016

February 7, 2016 Posted by | Border Wall, Drug Addiction, Ted Cruz | , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

%d bloggers like this: