As published in Immigration Daily on January 16, 2018.
I sit here on Martin Luther King Day wondering what to write and what good it will do. This past week has shown the President of the United States to be an out and out racist. Anyone with an ounce of brain matter knew that he was an inveterate liar second or first to Mr. Putin, but everyone hoped against hope that he was not a racist. That hope was blasted by Mr. Trump’s private White House immigration meeting on a Dreamer (“DACA”) compromise negotiation that included a bipartisan group of lawmakers. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, he asked why the U. S. would want to admit people from Africa, the source of many visa lottery applicants, and said “Why do we want all these people from these shithole countries here? We should have people from places like Norway” according to 2 people; and he also expressed dismay with granting legal status in particular to people from Haiti, saying “What do we want Haitians here for?” according to another person. The juxtaposition of his wishes to have people from Norway, an overwhelmingly white country, and his disdain for people of color as coming from shithole countries of Africa proves the case of racism coupled with his support of the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, weak response to the disaster in Puerto Rico characterizing the American Latino islanders a burden and cavalierly lobbing paper towels like footballs to its desperate people, painting Mexicans as rapists and drug carriers, ending temporary protected status (TPS) programs for Haitians, El Salvadorans, Nicaraguans, and soon Hondurans, attempting mass deportations of people of color and hoping their U. S. family members follow, and saying previously that the Haitians in the U. S. “all have AIDS” and Nigerian immigrants would never “go back to their huts” in Africa once they had seen the United States. Although Mr. Trump attempted weakly to deny that he said “shithole countries” with backing from his sycophantic immigration hardline senators David Purdue (R-GA) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) after a day of no denial by the White House, the words cannot be walked back, and more truthful senators like Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) stated the truth of what he said.
Where does that leave us? Unfortunately for the country, in a terrible place. It does no good to admonish Mr. Trump and tell him that he is wrecking the country when all he seems to care about is taking care of the wealthy and making the country not “great again” but “white again.” The Dreamers have received a short reprieve from a California federal judge’s ruling in the past week that DACA recipients must retain their work permits and protection from deportation while their lawsuit challenging the decision to end the program progresses. U.S.C.I.S.’s website on January 13, 2018, stated the procedure under which the agency would resume accepting requests to renew a grant of deferred action and that the DACA policy would be operated on the terms in place before it was rescinded on September 5, 2017. In the meantime, Mr. Trump tweeted the next day that DACA is probably dead and blamed the Democratic lawmakers for it. What should Democratic legislators do at this time? The answer is to meet force with force. Today they have leverage to shut down the government on January 19th as Republicans need Democratic support to keep the government running. Kicking the can down the road to March, the Trump administration deadline for DACA, is an exercise in futility as the Republicans even now attempt to undermine the present negotiators with a second set of mainly hardline negotiators.
For everyone else not blinded by his false promises, the country under Trump is becoming a slow-motion avalanche to disaster in which the inequality of income between top and bottom under his recent tax bill will expand greatly risking momentous social upheaval; the monies borrowed for funding the federal budget will be crippling especially in light of the anticipated giveaways to the military, recent tax bill deficit, monies for infrastructure spending, payments for weather disasters, and no curbing of the Social Security program; the deportation and threat of deportation that are causing many to hide leaving a huge hole in the profits of U. S. companies which will not be able to sell goods and services, especially large purchases of homes, cars, and large appliances, to the 11 million undocumented in this country; the real estate market that will begin to tank with urban blight in many cities because of overbuilding, the tax bill ending state and local tax deductions and capping mortgage deductions, and lack of immigrants buying and leaving the cities; the many jobs in hurting industries that are now and will continue to go wanting simply because they are very hard and Americans born here have been trained by TV to see themselves as stars rather than hard laborers; the 4.1% low rate of unemployment meaning that Americans can basically pick and choose from open jobs; the inflation that will come roaring back as the government begins running the printing presses wildly to cover the deficit spending; and the cost of goods that will skyrocket making any wage gains by the middle class passé as items like hamburger meat sell for $10 a pound and a loaf of bread for $12. On top of that, Mr. Trump has made the U. S. and American companies unpalatable to the African continent, which translates into less U. S. business with a continent rich in natural resources and providing no counterweight to China, which has made Africa a focal point of its foreign-policy. The U. S. State Department diplomatic corps will not be able to assist as it has been tremendously weakened by the slashing and other leaving of personnel and the constant undermining of Secretary of State Tillerson by Mr. Trump so that many doubt that he speaks for the Administration.
While Mr. Trump may have recently passed his medical, no information was available on the tests administered, much less whether any were given pertaining to his mental state. His temperamental attitude, constantly repeated phrases, and continual vacillation on decision-making are tremendously worrisome to many professionals in mental health, and especially as he has his finger on the nuclear football and has made outlandish threats against North Korea for its missile launches.
In this writer’s opinion, there will soon be a tipping point for America in which the momentum will be too great to stop the rolling catastrophe. The 2018 midterm elections offer the nation a chance to tell the Republicans that they should separate themselves from Mr. Trump as it appears that the party is in thrall to him and the red state base that he brings. Is that the solution? No, but at least it’s a start.