Thursday, February 1, 2018

Trump Blows More Racist Dog Whistles In Absurd, Wildly Overrated State Of The Union Speech

A few years ago, I wrote a story for ESPN about a young college student in San Diego named Ayded Reyes. A world-class athlete and scholar with a 3.5 GPA, she had plans to go to medical school. She also volunteered helping senior citizens. 

The number-one rated college long distance runner in California, Ayded had scholarship offers from Ivy League schools and her future looked bright.

Just one thing: she was living here illegally. Her parents brought her here from Mexico illegally when she was just two years old. She has no memory of Mexico.

One night while she was sitting in her friend's car talking, a police officer came up to the car and asked them for ID. They had done nothing wrong. 

But Ayded didn't have proper ID, so the cop called Border Patrol, who came and got her and threw her in jail. 

Facing deportation, she was scared to death. She had no memory of Mexico whatsoever and did not know a single person there. She would have been completely lost.

My story got the attention of several Democratic members of Congress and a highly respected immigration attorney in San Diego, who intervened.

The second story I wrote for ESPN announced that Ayded's case had been dropped and that she was no longer in danger of being sent back to Mexico.

But under President Trump, she faces that possibility again, unless, of course, he gets his preoposterous $25 billion border wall.

It begs the question: How could anyone with a shred of human decency support her deportation?

Ayded, one of the approximately 1.8 million so-called “Dreamers,” is a remarkable young woman who loves this country deeply. 

I’d be proud to call her my daughter.

She has been a model citizen her entire life, as have all Dreamers, who by definition are people who have never committed a crime.

State of the Union 

In his wildly overrated, racist state of the union address this week, Trump continued to use Dreamers as pawns in his political game.

And once again he twisted and turned the facts on immigration into a rotten pretzel. His comments about Latinos continue to be misinformed and blatantly racist. 

Here are the facts: Native-born Americans are more likely to commit violent crimes than undocumented immigrants who have crossed the border illegally. 

It isn't even close. Study after study shows this. The right touts bogus stats. 

Our morally bankrupt, lying president, who is the most divisive chief executive to ever inhabit the White House, continues to trumpet cases in which a crime was committed by an "illegal," and then says that this is the norm and not the exception. 

It's not true. 

While these crimes are real and undeniably tragic, there's no evidence that illegal immigrants are more likely to commit crimes than those who are born here. 

Most illegal immigrants come to America however they can seeking a better life. They come to work and support their family, not to commit violent crimes. 

Yes, some come to sell drugs, and some have in fact committed violent crimes. But this very small percentage of illegal immigrants are the exception not the rule.

Among other offensive remarks in his ridiculous speech, Trump said that "Americans are dreamers, too.”

Dreamers are Americans, Donald, and they are as loyal and certainly far more grateful than you. 

This is the only country they know, and they had to work very hard to achieve what they have achieved. They were not given a million dollars like you, Donald. They were not born on third base and think their entire lives that they hit a triple.

Any American who would send any one of the Dreamers back to their country of origin, back to a country they don't even know, have lost their right to call themselves decent human beings.

And anyone who would use these Dreamers as pawns in their corrupt political game are cynical cowards.

I agree with those who say that we have to protect our borders. I’ve been saying this ever since 9/11. We must protect our borders for all kinds of reasons. Namely, terrorism. 

And we must put all violent criminals in jail, whether they are illegal or not. And, yes, we should deport the illegal immigrants who commit violent crimes and keep them out. 

But this $25 billion wall is not the answer. It would only lead to thousands more tunnels and other methods of getting across the border.

In fact, illegal immigration is simply not as big an issue as it was a few years ago. The sum of immigration is not far above zero. 

There is no way that poor people from Mexico can get across legally. There is no system in place for them. When it comes to immigration, money talks.

It is un-American but true that those who get here legally have the means to get here. 

Good people in America love and respect the less fortunate. Good people in America care about those who were born into poverty and born in nations with corrupt governments. 

Good people in America also honor and admire those who work their asses off to support their family.

Filled with vague declarations about unity that he never follows, Trump's speech in truth appealed most to people who feel threatened by the browning of America.

Trump’s views on Latinos are represented by his words and deeds regarding Puerto Rico.Illinois Congressman Luis GutiĆ©rrez said it best this week.

“Puerto Rico is a metaphor for how this President sees all Latinos and people of color: he does not see us as his equals and he does not see us as fellow human beings,” he said. “If you look at how the President has treated Puerto Rico, you have to conclude that he just doesn’t care and probably thinks of Puerto Rico as just another shithole country.”

Trump Once Again Plays Loose With the Facts

As usual, Trump got a bunch of facts wrong in his speech.  He said, for example, that under the current immigration system, "a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives.

Not true.

A U.S citizen can petition for a spouse; unmarried children under 21; sons and daughters, married and/or over 21; parents, if you are 21 and over; and siblings, if you are 21 and over, according to the Citizenship and Immigration Services.

A green card holder can petition for spouses, unmarried children under 21, and an unmarried son or daughter of any age. That’s it, Donald.

Again, a racist dog whistle to those who do not want to see this country get any browner.

Trump is also misinformed to suggest that his wall or any wall will solve the illegal immigration issue. Homeland Security officials say a border wall would slow illegal immigration, but it would not make the border fully secure or stop the influx of drugs.

The majority of border crossings actually occur in places where fencing or walls already exist. Just 30 percent of known illegal entries took place in areas without border fencing.

Trump also said, ignorantly, that the visa lottery is "a program that randomly hands out green cards without any regard for skill, merit or the safety of our people.”

Not true. 

The visa lottery program gives immigrant visas to 50,000 people from countries with low immigration rates to the United States.

Applicants must have a high school education or two years of work experience in the past five years that requires “two years of training or experience, according to the State Department. 

The applicant must undergo a medical exam and cannot have a criminal record. Visa winners are then subjected to a lengthy background check that can last for months. 

Bottom line? 

If you support the idea of sending a young woman like Ayded Reyes to a country she does not know, to a place where she would be lost and away from her family and friends and the only life she has ever known and the country she loves, then you can and will go to hell.