mykeystrokes.com

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

“What Latinos Know About America And Trump Doesn’t”: The Problem Is That This Has To Be Explained

News from the campaign trail has Latinos across America cringing.

It happens every time a scene like this splashes across the news: Protesters went plumb loco outside a Donald Trump rally in Albuquerque, N.M. Waving Mexican flags, they lobbed rocks at police, set fires, pushed aside barriers and generally acted like little hooligans.

The outburst was followed by the inevitable. Cable news talking heads, as they always do, wondered why the protesters were so angry.

Really? The United States is veering shockingly close to electing as president a man whose version of “making America great again” includes scapegoating some of the very people who helped make the country so incredible  — Latino immigrants.

That’s the problem. That this has to be explained. And, no, this is not an excuse for the riotous behavior of a few.

Most Hispanics know such out-of-control displays of emotion will not help. Decapitating a Trump piñata might feel good — a symbolic display of cultural fury. But when it’s televised, such an act merely lends credibility to Trump’s innuendo that Latinos are interlopers intent on mayhem and criminality.

Nothing could be further from the truth — even for those who arrive here without all the legal paperwork. If you want to find someone willing to literally die to become an American, find a recent Latino immigrant. Talk to the Central Americans who risked their lives to cross through multiple countries, hoping to gain asylum in the U.S.

They can tell you about yearning for the dignity and freedoms of America, privileges that so many third-, fourth- or nth-generation Americans take for granted.

Latinos have some of the highest rates of service in the U.S. military. They are highly entrepreneurial, creating businesses wherever they settle.

In a nation that so prides itself of being created from immigrant stock, an awful lot of Americans are naive about migration. Many of Trump’s supporters are unaware that their own forefathers did not arrive here with documents in hand, not like what is required now, a system that didn’t even exist until recent decades.

Nor did their ancestors instantly master English. Rather, they followed the same patterns of language assimilation that we observe among Latinos today. Adult immigrants rarely become proficient in English, but their children become bilingual. Following generations are monolingual — in English.

The process of assimilation is a blessing and a curse. It helps bind us together as a nation: one people from many sources. But as we lose our accents and the stigma of origins in another country, we tend to lose contact with a certain historical truth: Not everybody is welcomed in America. America might admit them for their cheap labor, but if these immigrants want to get a piece of the American dream they’re going to have to fight for it.

When you’re ignorant of what previous generations went through to become Americans, it’s easy to believe the sort of isolationist screeds that Trump preaches.

Following the New Mexico melee, Trump headed to the heavily Latino Anaheim, Calif., for another rally. The Los Angeles Times reported that warm-up speakers told stories about loved ones who had been murdered by immigrants not legally in the U.S. Trump followed up by leading his supporters in a chant of “Build that wall!” the Times reported.

Never mind that much of border control is better managed by drones and high-tech sensors and the dull monotony of paperwork. Also ignore the fact that so many of the workers who keep California’s agriculture and restaurant industry humming crossed that border at some point. Trump has a simple, effective message for the ignorant of America: Immigrants are murderers and rapists, and my wall will keep you safe from them.

By the week’s end, Trump had reached the threshold of enough delegates to clinch the GOP nomination. Latinos have taken notice. Reports from around the country are of an increase in Latino migrants moving from legal permanent residency to full U.S. citizenship. They are registering to vote. And many cite Trump’s obnoxious anti-immigrant slogans as the impetus.

Wouldn’t it be rich if these new Americans proved to be the voting bloc that shut Trump out of the White House?

These novice voters embody a truth: Donald Trump not only lacks presidential credentials; he fails to understand what makes America great. Latino immigrants do, and that’s why so many proudly become Americans.

 

By:Mary Sanchez, Opinion-Page Columnist for The Kansas City Star; The National Memo, May 28, 2016

May 29, 2016 Posted by | Donald Trump, Immigrants, Latinos | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“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

“Donald Trump’s Ethnic Cleansing Program”: Openly Campaigning On Moral Atrocities

After a prolonged spell of missteps and atrocious press coverage, Donald Trump has regained his commanding lead in the Republican presidential primary. A week ago he swept five states in the Northeast by giant margins, and he leads every recent poll of Indiana, whose primary takes place Tuesday. The state is probably the last place for the anti-Trump faction to prevent him from winning the primary outright, and it doesn’t even look close.

It’s worth remembering what a grim development this is. Not only will his combination of open bigotry and utter lack of political or military experience be historically unique in a major party candidate, he’s also openly campaigning on moral atrocities — in particular, a plan of what amounts to ethnic cleansing.

Now, most people think of mass murder when they hear ethnic cleansing, but that’s not necessarily the case. Creating an ethnically homogeneous state can also be accomplished through deportation.

This brings me to Trump’s plan to put together a “deportation force” to remove the 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants living in the United States, an idea he justifies by reference to a somewhat similar program called “Operation Wetback” carried out in the mid-50s.

Perhaps the best way to begin to grasp what a horror this would be is to consider the sheer logistics of such an operation. First, one has to find the unauthorized population — no small task, as such people are understandably not keen on being rounded up and deported, and doubly so given the wide adoption of cell phones and internet service.

Though there isn’t a complete database for unauthorized immigrants, demographic estimates find that over 70 percent are from Mexico and Central America. That means a titanic amount of law enforcement rooting around in mostly poor Latino communities — probably starting with checkpoints demanding immigration papers from every brown person stopped along highways in states with high Latino populations, dragnet electronic surveillance, and huge pressure on employers. Absent a brutal secret police, it would be nigh-impossible.

But suppose the Trump Troopers manage to root out every unauthorized immigrant, with a mere few thousand U.S. citizens caught up by mistake. Then they would need to transport them back to their places of origin. Even if we assume that he wouldn’t bother to figure out where people came from, even just dumping them in Mexico (1.5 million Asians and all) would be extraordinarily complicated and expensive. Forcibly packing up 1.3 times the population of New York City, holding them while they’re processed through some sort of legal bureaucracy, and moving them thousands of miles would take thousands of trains, trucks, planes, or ships.

Any method would cost billions in fuel, food, and logistics, and grotesque abuse would be an iron certainty. Here’s how that turned out back in the ’50s:

The boatlift operations back to Mexico ended in September 1956 after seven workers drowned in an apparent attempt to escape, sparking a riot on the vessel known as the Mercurio. There were conflicting reports of what led to the drownings and the riot, according to New York Times accounts of the incident. Congressional investigators later said the boat resembled “an ancient penal ship” and that some 500 Mexican nationals were crammed aboard a boat that was equipped with two lifeboats that could only hold 48 people, according to an August 1956 Times article. [CNN]

Let’s not mince words about why Trump and his followers support this idea: anti-Latino bigotry. In U.S. discourse, the general assumption is that all unauthorized immigrants are Mexican (in reality only 56 percent are), and Trump has been railing against Mexicans for the entire campaign — asserting that the Mexican government is deliberately sending “criminals, drug dealers, rapists” over the U.S. border. It’s not a coincidence this is just when he rocketed to first place in the GOP primary. Deporting millions of Latinos, immigrant or no — and thus restoring the white demographic majority to some degree — is basically the point.

Trump’s Operation Wetback II would be an ethnic cleansing on par with the post-World War II “population transfers” in Eastern Europe, when about 30 million people, half of them Germans, were hastily and often brutally shuffled across borders so as to create ethnically homogenous nation-states. Those too were heinous crimes, but one can sort of understand why Germans might be a bit unpopular in the region. Proposing such an operation in a peaceful and basically prosperous nation, where the target population is quite well-integrated (indeed practically model citizens) is grotesque.

 

By: Ryan Cooper, The Week, May 3, 2016

May 4, 2016 Posted by | Bigotry, Donald Trump, Ethnic Cleansing, GOP Primaries, Immigrants | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“The Same Wrongheaded Justifications”: Republicans Introduce A Bill To Monitor Refugees Who Settle In New York

Last week, Republican New York state senator Terrence Murphy introduced a bill that would make it legal to register and monitor refugees entering the state. The move was opposed by refugee advocacy groups, who called the proposed legislation “heinous” and said that it only stigmatized refugees further.

The bill, S6253-2015, has been a long time in the making and is cosponsored by a variety of Republican and independent senators. In a post on the New York Senate’s website last December, Murphy wrote, “The provisions of the bill allow New York to create its own mechanism to properly vet and monitor individuals seeking asylum within the state’s borders while continuing necessary humanitarian efforts.” His bill was a criticism of the federal government’s current screening process, which was characterized as having insufficient screening measures, despite the Obama administration’s step-by-step breakdown of how Syrian refugees are granted asylum in the U.S.

Murphy’s bill calls for the homeland security and emergency agencies to make plans with refugee agencies to monitor refugees for either a year or until they are given permanent residency by American immigration authorities. The bill proposed “requiring refugee resettlement agencies to submit quarterly reports to the bureau of refugee and immigrant assistance and requiring such agencies to monitor refugees for a certain period of time.” This is in addition to the two years of background checks performed by the federal government before refugees can even set foot in the country.

But exploring the bill reveals the same wrongheaded justifications used by other Republican governors and politicians who have vowed to keep Syrian refugees out of the country since the Paris attacks in November. The attackers were almost entirely European citizens who slipped back into Europe undetected. Of those who made it into the country posing as refugees, they took advantage of the European Union’s mismanaged handling of the refugee crisis. That in itself is a huge difference between the attacks in Paris and the likelihood of a Paris-style attack in the U.S.: it’s simply not as geographically close to hotbeds of extremism.

Furthermore, if terrorists were dressing up as refugees and entering the U.S. to commit attacks, it would’ve happened already. This country has accepted 2 million refugees since 1990 and yet not a single terrorist attack has been attributed to any of them. Anti-immigrant groups, on the other hand, have carried out numerous terrorist attacks over the same period. The same applies in Europe, which took in over a million refugees last year and has suffered a single attack which involved refugees, though the vast majority of conspirators in Paris were European.

The New York Immigration Coalition responded critically to the proposed legislation. “In places like Rochester and Buffalo where larger refugee populations have been settled, we have seen these communities help grow the economies of these localities,” read the group’s statement. “The ‘special registration’ called upon by this bill does not “protect” anyone, but puts up more red tape and ostracizes refugees.”

The New York bill is not the only one under consideration by state legislatures. In South Carolina, a similar bill is being proposed, along with civil liabilities for sponsors of refugees from Syria, Sudan and Iran who end up committing a terrorist act. “If it is not illegal, it is at least un-American,” said Ibrahim Hooper, communications director at Council on American-Islamic Relations, to the AP. That law may face a legal challenge, though, because it discriminates against people of a specific national origin.

Meanwhile, New York’s own refugee registration law is being reviewed by the Senate Finance Committee, where if approved, it will go to the state legislature for a vote. State Democrats, whose leaders have already pledged support for Syrian refugees entering the state, are most likely to oppose it.

 

By: Saif Alnuweiri, The National Memo, March 21, 2016

March 22, 2016 Posted by | Immigrants, Syrian Refugees, Terrorists | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Death By Privatization In US Prisons”: Maximizing Profits Means Minimizing Medical Staffing And Care

More than 20,000 immigrant prisoners are serving their sentences at 11 privatized, immigrant-only contract prisons run by three companies: the Geo Group, the Corrections Corp. of America and the Management and Training Corp. Many of these prisoners are convicted only of illegal entry.

Private prisons cost less than federal prisons because they provide less. Immigrant prisoners — who are deported after serving time — don’t receive rehabilitation, education or job training, services considered essential for U.S. citizens held in government-operated prisons.

Even worse, these prisons fail to provide minimally adequate health care to inmates, leading to death for some and misery for many. Basic human rights standards require prisons to provide adequate medical care to inmates, regardless of their legal status.

Reports show a pervasive pattern of inadequate medical care at privately run immigrant prisons in the United States. A Jan. 28 report by Seth Freed Wessler, a senior fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, analyzed medical records of 103 immigrant prisoners who died in private prisons from 1998 to 2014. It concluded that in at least 25 of those cases, subpar care “likely contributed to the premature deaths of the prisoners.”

Mexican immigrant Claudio Fagardo-Saucedo was one of the prisoners whose death was investigated by Wessler. Fagardo-Saucedo arrived at a private prison in Texas on Jan. 27, 2009, with a positive tuberculosis screen. Medical protocols call for an HIV test for anyone with a positive TB screen. But he wasn’t tested for HIV. Over the next two years, he went to the prison clinic numerous times in pain, but a doctor never saw him. Instead, the clinic’s licensed vocational nurses, who receive only one year of training, prescribed ibuprofen or Tylenol. Fagardo-Saucedo was hospitalized on New Year’s Day 2011 after he collapsed. He died four days later, shackled to his hospital bed. An autopsy showed an HIV-related infection in his brain.

Martin Acosta, a Salvadoran immigrant who served time at the Texas prison for illegal re-entry at the same time as Fagardo-Saucedo, “began complaining of abdominal pain late in the summer of 2010,” according to Wessler’s report. He went to the prison clinic more than 20 times in less than five months. Despite his complaints of vomiting blood and having blood in his stool, no lab tests were performed. In December 2010 he landed in a hospital, where he was diagnosed with severe metastatic stomach cancer. He died in January 2011.

Nestor Garay had a stroke during the night at another Texas immigrant prison. His cellmates called for help. Prison personnel refused to take him to the emergency room, instead isolating him in another cell. By morning, when he was finally taken to the hospital, it was too late for the clot-busting medication that could have saved his life.

Medical care is dismal across the U.S. prison system. Even in publicly run prisons, health care is frequently privatized, penny pinching and inhumane. The Brennan Center for Justice has characterized prisoner medical care as “atrocious.”

But the lack of medical care at these immigrant-only private prisons receives less scrutiny than any public or other private prisons. Families of immigrant inmates often live outside the United States. This limits their ability to fully advocate for imprisoned family members. They have little access to visit or maintain phone contact with prisoners. They don’t have access to U.S. courts for medical malpractice or wrongful death lawsuits. They cannot vote and are not represented in Congress.

The way forward

All prisoners deserve humane treatment and adequate medical care while incarcerated. It is immoral to intentionally discriminate against noncitizen prisoners and segregate them in private prisons with fewer services and woefully inadequate care. A prison sentence should never be a sentence to a miserable, unattended death. Privatization of medical care is deadly and must be stopped not only in immigrant-only prisons but also in all prisons — state and federal — across the country.

When government takes away people’s liberty and exerts total control over their lives, it needs to be held accountable for what happens to those in its custody. Prisoners are vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment by authorities. Some degree of accountability still exists in publicly run prisons. Voters can demand answers from elected officials and can vote them out of office. Accountability is diluted to the vanishing point when the government delegates the running of prisons to for-profit companies.

The first step toward adequate medical care for immigrant inmates is to end the segregation that isolates them in private prisons. The two Democratic presidential candidates — Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — have pledged to end privatization of federal prisons.

A second and crucial step is to end the privatization of prison health care and ensure equitable access to medical care for all prisoners. Privatized prison health care is a multibillion-dollar industry, with more than half the states contracting out part of or all prison medical care. But for-profit companies have failed time after time to provide adequate medical care to inmates. And prisoners, particularly noncitizens, have little recourse and no other options for treatment.

Unsurprisingly, private prison companies and the prison health care industry have well-paid lobbyists in Washington and in state capitals. Since prisoners can’t vote or lobby elected officials, voters must speak out for them. In the 2016 presidential election season, we must raise public awareness about the deadly consequences of privatizing prisons and continue to pressure candidates to honor their campaign pledges to end prison privatization.

 

By: Mary Turck, AlJazeera America, February 24, 2016

February 28, 2016 Posted by | Immigrants, Mass Incarceration, Privatized Prison System | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: