Tag: immigration

Republic of Ireland PM slams Trump’s xenophobia in Trump’s presence

Since today is St. Patrick’s Day, a national holiday in the Republic of Ireland, I’ll share with you what the Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland, Enda Kenny, thinks of U.S. President Donald Trump’s anti-immigration policies:

“It’s fitting that we gather here each year to celebrate St. Patrick and his legacy,” Kenny said. “He, too, was an immigrant. And even though he is, of course, the patron saint of Ireland, for many people around the globe, he is also the symbol of — indeed, the patron of — immigrants.”

Kenny went on to explain that in past centuries, the Irish were “the retched refuse on the teeming shore,” who nonetheless “believed in the shelter of America, in the compassion of America, in the opportunity of America.”

Kenny said that while standing right next to Trump inside the White House:

Yes, Kenny’s claim of Saint Patrick being an immigrant is correct. Those who celebrate St. Patrick’s Day are celebrating a holiday named after an immigrant. Remember that.

The Resistance comes to GOP town halls in Iowa

AUTHOR’S NOTE: The topic of this blog post was chosen in a Twitter poll, although only one person voted in the poll.


Both of Iowa’s U.S. Senators, Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst (both Republicans), held town hall events in their home states yesterday. Needless to say, the people of Iowa were not impressed with Grassley and Ernst siding with the Donald Trump agenda to destroy America, and they had serious concerns about a wide range of issues, including immigration and foreign influence in U.S. elections.

During Grassley’s town hall in Iowa Falls, Grassley was asked by Zalmay Niazy, an Afgan man who assisted U.S. forces as a translator and is now in the U.S., about Trump’s Muslim ban:

At a town hall in Iowa Falls, Iowa, Tuesday, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley received a question from an Afghan man who asked him for help to stay in the US in the face of the Trump administration’s immigration executive order.

Multiple federal courts across the country have granted requests to temporarily halt enforcement of the order, which bars foreign nationals from Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Iraq and Yemen from entering the country for 90 days, all refugees for 120 days and all refugees from Syria indefinitely.

[…]

“Who is going to save me?” he asked Grassley. “I am a person from a Muslim country and I am a Muslim. Who is going to save me here? Who is going to stand behind me?”

In Maquoketa, Ernst was asked a question by a U.S. Army Reserves veteran about Donald Trump’s ties to Vladimir Putin and the Russian government:

Trinity Ray, a 41-year-old veteran from Iowa City who spent eight years in the Army Reserves, pressed Ernst to investigate Trump’s ties to Russia and alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 American election.

“I appreciate that a lot, because I have said repeatedly that Russia is not our friend,” Ernst said, as Ray yelled that she should “say it louder.” She added that Trump “needs to stand up against Vladimir Putin.”

Ray wasn’t satisfied.

“If you were serious about this situation, you wouldn’t rest until you had an answer,” he said afterward. “We swore to defend against enemies domestic and foreign.”

Ernst refused to support a special congressional committee to investigate Russian influence in the November 2016 U.S. elections.

Rural America is beginning to realize that Trump and his Republican cohorts are not acting in the best interests of Greater America. People who are attending town halls in an attempt to let their voices be heard are not paid protesters. They’re ordinary people.

Donald Trump’s new anti-immigration policy would ban Canadians from the U.S.

While Republican party bosses and the corporate media want to convince you that presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is softening his hard-line Islamophobic rhetoric, the reality is that Trump’s new Islamophobic proposals are, in some ways, even more absurd than the Islamophobic proposals that Trump ran on while campaigning for the Republican nomination:

Donald Trump may be finally gearing up to do what many Republican leaders have hoped: soften his rhetoric and pivot to the center.

He hasn’t done that yet. But there are growing signs that the presumptive Republican nominee is aiming to make his campaign more palatable to a general election audience.

His campaign is putting the finishing touches on a policy memo that would change his proposed ban on Muslim immigration to the United States. Instead of focusing the ban on Muslims, Trump would ban immigrants coming from countries with known terrorism links, training and equipment.

(emphasis mine)

“Countries with known terrorism links, training, and equipment” is a very broad characterization of countries. By that standard, people from first-world countries with mostly non-violent, law-abiding people, but have a small minority of people that engage in terrorism of either the Islamic fundamentalist variety or any other variety, would be subject to Trump’s immigration bans. Even the Republic of Ireland and Canada, both of which have a relatively recent history of terrorism not associated in any way with an Islamic fundamentalist ideology (in the Republic of Ireland’s case, Irish republican terrorism, and, in Canada’s case, Quebec seperatist terrorism), would qualify as a “country with known terrorism links, training, and equipment”.

Banning Canadians from entering the U.S. is just plain ridiculous policy. In the past two centuries, we’ve had very few problems with Canada (and its predecessor, British North America) being a neighbor of the United States. In fact, in Vermont, there are some places where streets and buildings are partially in Vermont (and, therefore, partially in the United States) and partially in Quebec (and, therefor, partially in Canada). Trump’s policy would result in entire communities being walled off. On a related note, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was the first high-profile Republican presidential candidate who was forced to end his campaign after he publicly supported building a wall on the U.S.-Canada border.

Donald Trump isn’t pivoting to the political center. Instead, he’s finding even more bizarre ways to embarrass America.

Donald Trump uses imagery of Russian soldiers in campaign ad, retweets a neo-Nazi

In the last couple of days, Donald Trump has done two things to prove how awful his candidacy for president truly is.

First, Trump took to Facebook and used imagery of Russian soldiers to claim that undocumented immigrants in the United States are treated better than American veterans:

Donald Trump put a new veteran-focused campaign ad up on Facebook today, but it was pulled down before most anyone could see it after commenters pointed out that the footage clearly depicted Russian veterans wearing the distinctive St. George ribbon and pins with the Communist hammer and sickle.

…“Our great veterans are being treated terribly,” Trump intones his most serious voice. “The corruption in the Veteran’s administration, the incompetence is beyond. We will stop that.” The ad then cuts away from Trump sitting at his desk and to footage of faceless decorated veterans who happen to be wearing a distinctive orange-and-black ribbon.

That is absolutely disgusting, and, sadly, it’s something along the lines of what Trump has done in the past. When Trump ran his first television ad of the campaign, he used a video of Moroccans trying to enter Melilla, a Spanish city on the African continent.

Second, Trump retweeted a picture of Jeb Bush that was originally posted by a neo-Nazi who uses a “white genocide” Twitter handle:

Donald Trump’s penchant for retweets once again raised eyebrows, after he recirculated a tweet on Friday from a user with the handle “WhiteGenocideTM.”

The profile — with about 2,300 followers — used the name “Donald Trumpovitz,” linked to a website containing a pro-Adolf Hitler documentary, featured a background photo with red lettering saying “Get the F— Out of My Country” and had a location of “Jewmerica.” The account also includes a photo of George Lincoln Rockwell, founder of the American Nazi Party.

The account’s Twitter feed was largely a collection of retweets about violence allegedly committed by African-American suspects and anti-Arab posts.

The truth of the matter is that there is no genocide of white people either ongoing or imminent. Furthermore, the fact that Trump would retweet anything from someone with overtly racist views is just the latest example of how much of a danger Trump is to America.

Donald Trump doesn’t believe in America

Make no mistake about it, Donald Trump’s virulent racism and fearmongering about immigrants is downright unpatriotic.

One of America’s most recognizable symbols is the Statue of Liberty, which sits on a small island at the mouth of the Hudson River in New York City. The Statue of Liberty symbolizes America’s history as a nation of immigrants. In fact, just upstream at Ellis Island, millions of immigrants began their lives as residents of this great country by being processed by immigration officials on Ellis Island.

I live in a much lesser-known symbol of America’s history as a nation of immigrants: the village of Westville, Illinois, located in the east-central part of the state. In the early 20th century, immigrants, mostly from Eastern Europe, came to work in the coal mines that once surrounded Westville. At one time, Westville could boast of having people of over three dozen nationalities living in its immediate area. Throughout America’s history, immigrants built cities and communities across this country.

Donald Trump is running one of the most anti-American presidential campaigns in American history.

Bernie Sanders strongly criticizes Donald Trump’s hateful rhetoric

From Bernie himself, via a recent campaign email:

I want to say a few things about Donald Trump and specifically about his comments tonight that we should ban all Muslims from coming to the United States, even American Muslims returning home from overseas.

It’s fun for the political media to treat Donald Trump like he’s the lead character in a soap opera or the star player on a baseball team. But the truth is his language is dangerous, especially as it empowers his supporters to act out against Muslims, Latinos, and African-Americans.

Poll after poll shows that I am the candidate best suited to take on Donald Trump and every other Republican running for president.

With multiple opinion polls showing Bernie being the most electable Democratic presidential candidate in hypothetical matchups against Trump, it’s clear that we need to do everything possible to help Bernie to win the Democratic nomination. One thing you can do is vote for Bernie Sanders in the Democracy for America (DfA) online poll. Should Bernie get at least two-thirds of the vote in the online poll, DfA will endorse Bernie.

Madison, Wisconsin leads the way when it comes to welcoming Syrian refugees

AUTHOR’S NOTE: An Arabic-language translation of this English-language article is included below the English-language article. Translation is courtesy of an online translation service. Due to the online translation service not being able to translate part of the name of a member of the Madison, Wisconsin Common Council into Arabic script, she is referred to in the Arabic translation by the elected office that she holds.

يتم تضمين ترجمة عربية-لغة هذه المادة باللغة الإنجليزية تحت المادة باللغة الإنجليزية: المؤلف ملاحظة. الترجمة هي من باب المجاملة خدمة الترجمة على الإنترنت. يرجع ذلك إلى خدمة الترجمة الفورية لعدم تمكنه من ترجمة جزء من اسم عضوا في ماديسون، المجلس المشترك ولاية ويسكونسن في الكتابة العربية، وقالت انها المشار إليها في الترجمة العربية من قبل المكتب المنتخبين أنها تحمل.


 

The Common Council of the City of Madison, Wisconsin unanimously passed a non-binding resolution saying that Wisconsin’s second-largest city will welcome Syrian refugees:

…The Madison Common Council sent a unanimous message Tuesday that the city will accept Syrian refugees.

[…]

The resolution is meant to send a message that is in line with the city’s long history of accepting refugees. The resolution comes a couple weeks after Gov. Scott Walker said any new Syrian refugees would not be welcome in Wisconsin.

[…]

“I think it’s just to send a message about who we are as a Madison,” Alderwoman Shiva Bidar-Sielaff said. “Regardless of the redirect from anybody else, I think it’s just a statement about us and Madison and what we stand for.”

While far-right conservatives pander to Islamophobic bigots, Madison leads the way when it comes to human decency and upholding the American tradition of welcoming immigrants to this great country.


أصدر مجلس المشترك لمدينة ماديسون ويسكونسن بالإجماع على قرار غير ملزم قائلا ان ثاني أكبر مدينة في ولاية ويسكونسن سيرحبون اللاجئين السوريين:

… أرسل مجلس المشترك ماديسون رسالة بالإجماع الثلاثاء أن المدينة لن تقبل اللاجئين السوريين.

[…]

ويهدف القرار لإرسال رسالة مفادها أن يتماشى مع تاريخ المدينة الطويل في قبول اللاجئين. ويأتي القرار بعد بضعة أسابيع وقال محافظ سكوت ووكر أن أي لاجئ سوري الجديد لن يكون موضع ترحيب في ولاية ويسكونسن.

[…]

واضاف “اعتقد انها مجرد لإرسال رسالة حول ما نحن عليه باعتباره ماديسون”، وعضو المجلس المشترك من جناح الخامس قال. “بغض النظر عن إعادة توجيه من أي شخص آخر، وأعتقد أنه مجرد بيان عنا وماديسون وما نمثله.”

في حين المحافظين اليميني المتطرف باندر لالمتعصبين ضد الإسلام والتخويف، ماديسون سباقة عندما يتعلق الأمر اللياقة البشري والحفاظ على التقاليد الأميركية الترحيب المهاجرين إلى هذا البلد العظيم.

47 House Dems side with ISIS and Nazi-like bigotry from the GOP

47 House Dems side with ISIS and Nazi-like bigotry from the GOP

A total of 47 Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted for anti-Syrian refugee legislation straight out of a Nazi Germany mindset. Here are the House Democrats who voted for the legislation:

Pete Aguilar California 31st
Brad Ashford Nebraska 2nd
Ami Bera California 7th
Sanford Bishop, Jr. Georgia 2nd
Julia Brownley California 26th
Cheri Bustos Illinois 17th
John Carney Delaware At-large
Gerry Connolly Virginia 11th
Jim Cooper Tennessee 5th
Jim Costa California 16th
Joe Courtney Connecticut 2nd
Henry Cuellar Texas 28th
John Delaney Maryland 6th
Lloyd Doggett Texas 35th
Tulsi Gabbard Hawaii 2nd
John Garamendi California 3rd
Gwen Graham Florida 2nd
Gene Green Texas 29th
Janice Hahn California 44th
Jim Himes Connecticut 4th
Steve Israel New York 3rd
Marcy Kaptur Ohio 9th
Bill Keating Massachusetts 9th
Ron Kind Wisconsin 3rd
Ann McLane Kuster New Hampshire 2nd
Jim Langevin Rhode Island 2nd
Dan Lipinski Illinois 3rd
Dave Loebsack Iowa 2nd
Stephen Lynch Massachusetts 8th
Sean Patrick Maloney New York 18th
Patrick Murphy Florida 18th
Rick Nolan Minnesota 8th
Donald Norcross New Jersey 1st
Scott Peters California 52nd
Collin Peterson Minnesota 7th
Jared Polis Colorado 2nd
Kathleen Rice New York 4th
Raul Ruiz California 36th
Tim Ryan Ohio 13th
Kurt Schrader Oregon 5th
David Scott Georgia 13th
Terri Sewell Alabama 7th
Kyrsten Sinema Arizona 9th
Louise Slaughter New York 25th
Marc Veasey Texas 33rd
Filemon Vela Texas 34th
Tim Walz Minnesota 1st

When I say that these 47 Democratic traitors sided with ISIS, I mean that they are effectively fueling ISIS propaganda by refusing to take in the very people who have been oppressed by ISIS and the Syrian dictatorship of Bashir al-Assad. When I say that this legislation is straight out of a Nazi Germany mindset, I’m referring to public opposition here in the U.S. to accepting Jewish refugees who were fleeing the Holocaust and the Nazi Germany regime of Adolf Hitler in the late 1930’s.

It’s not just moderate and conservative “Democrats” who are effectively siding with ISIS and repeating the history of the Nazis by opposing Syrian refugees. Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ben Carson have used racist, Nazi-like language to stir up fear of Syrian refugees among white racist Americans.

Here’s what Trump recently said, courtesy of Yahoo! News:

“We’re going to have to do things that we never did before. And some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule,” Trump said. “And certain things will be done that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy. And so we’re going to have to do certain things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago.”

Yahoo News asked Trump whether this level of tracking might require registering Muslims in a database or giving them a form of special identification that noted their religion. He wouldn’t rule it out.

“We’re going to have to — we’re going to have to look at a lot of things very closely,” Trump said when presented with the idea. “We’re going to have to look at the mosques. We’re going to have to look very, very carefully.”

Here’s what Carson recently said, courtesy of NBC News:

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson on Thursday suggested that concerns about Syrian refugees in the United States are akin to a parent’s concerns about “mad dogs.”

“If there’s a rabid dog running around in your neighborhood, you’re probably not going to assume something good about that dog, and you’re probably going to put your children out of the way,” he said during remarks in Mobile, Alabama. “[It] doesn’t mean that you hate all dogs, by any stretch of the imagination, but you’re putting your intellect into motion and you’re thinking ‘How do I protect my children? At the same time, I love dogs and I’m gonna call the humane society and hopefully they can come take this dog away and create a safe environment once again.'”

Any Democrat who voted for the anti-Syrian refugee legislation has effectively sided with right-wing racists like Donald Trump and Ben Carson, who are using Nazi Germany-like language in opposition to allowing Syrian refugees to enter the United States. Supporting requiring that Muslims have special identification is eerily reminiscent of the Nazis forcibly tattooing identification numbers onto Jewish people in concentration camps, and comparing Syrian refugees fleeing war and terrorism to mad dogs is eerily reminiscent of Nazi propaganda comparing Jewish people to rats (in fact, at least one British newspaper, the Daily Mail, actually compared Syrian refugees to rats). Normally, I’m not a fan of Nazi comparisons, but, if there’s actual historical context behind a Nazi comparison, then I’m all for it.

One last thing, I find it ironic that the number of House Democrats who voted for the anti-Syrian refugee bill (47) equals the number of Senate Republicans who signed a letter to Iranian leaders in an attempt to undermine diplomacy in efforts to stop a nuclear deal designed to keep Iran from producing nuclear weapons (47), as well as the percentage of Americans that 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney claimed were dependent on the government (47).

My letter to Bruce Rauner on Syrian refugee resettlement in Illinois

AUTHOR’S NOTE: The following blog post is a letter that I sent to Gov. Bruce Rauner (R-IL) via the contact page on the Illinois state government website for the governor’s office.


Governor Rauner,

This is Aaron Camp, a resident of the Village of Westville in Vermilion County. I am writing to you in regards to resettlement of Syrian refugees in Illinois, which I support. I am strongly critical of your opposition to resettlement of Syrian refugees here in Illinois.

Just a few days ago, terrorists launched multiple coordinated attacks in Paris, France, and the Islamic fundamentalist terror group that is commonly known as ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks. While there needs to be proper screening in place to make sure that terrorists don’t migrate here to the United States among the refugees who are fleeing the terrorists, I believe that Illinois, and the United States as a whole, is more than capable of accepting Syrian refugees who are fleeing war and oppression.

America is a nation of immigrants. In fact, my hometown of Westville was settled by immigrants from dozens of countries many, many years before I was born. In fact, at one time, Westville once had people of 37 different nationalities living in the community. Many other Illinois communities were shaped by immigrants at some point in their histories.

For you to say no to accepting Syrian refugees is, in a way, doing what ISIS wants. One of ISIS’s goals is to terrorize politicians in our state and our country into making reactionary decisions with negative consequences. The negative consequences of not accepting Syrian refugees are numerous, although one of them is that the refusal of American politicians to accept Syrian refugees would likely be used in ISIS propaganda to recruit more ISIS terrorists, which is something that the U.S. and our nation’s allies simply cannot afford.

Sincerely,
Aaron Camp

My thoughts about the first Democratic presidential debate

Having watched last night’s Democratic presidential debate, I’ll begin by saying that I believe that Bernie Sanders won the debate, with Martin O’Malley having the second-best performance, followed by Hillary Clinton, Jim Webb, and Lincoln Chafee.

My thoughts about Bernie Sanders’s performance

The Good – He upstaged Hillary Clinton on an issue directly affecting HRC (the private email server “scandal” that has been concocted by the GOP). He also defended himself very well, especially on gun safety and on the Veterans’ Affairs health system scandal.

The Bad – He mentioned his campaign website twice during the debate.

My thoughts about Martin O’Malley’s performance

The Good – He came across as the strongest candidate on gun safety, invoking the story of a family who lost one of their own in the Aurora, Colorado theater massacre.

The Bad – He tried to defend his zero-tolerance policing policy from his tenure as Mayor of Baltimore, Maryland, which was one of several factors that have led to distrust between the police and the public in Baltimore.

My thoughts about Hillary Clinton’s performance

The Good – She came across as very professional during the debate without coming across as scripted or boring. She also cracked a joke at a very inappropriate remark from lead moderator Anderson Cooper about her bathroom usage.

The Bad – She twice invoked the fact that she’s a woman during the debate. She also gave weak answers on a number of issues, most notably marijuana legalization and financial regulation.

My thoughts about Jim Webb’s performance

The Good – He used his wife’s story on immigration very well.

The Bad – He used the NRA’s talking points on guns.

My thoughts about Lincoln Chafee’s performance

The Good – Nothing about his debate performance was especially good.

The Bad – He blamed his father’s death on his vote for the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in the late 1990’s. Furthermore, he made an odd remark comparing himself to a block of granite at one point in the debate.

The big winners (other than the five Democratic presidential candidates debating)

The Democratic Party – All in all, the debate was a great showing that Democrats can have an intelligent, civil discussion about actual political issues between candidates representing various factions of the party.

Civic engagement – CNN’s telecast of the debate received the most viewers of any Democratic presidential primary/caucus debate in television history.

The internet – For the first time since the 1960 presidential general election debates, there appears to be a major disconnect between two media platforms on debate performance. In 1960, it was between radio (whose listeners viewed Richard Nixon as the debate winner) and television (whose viewers viewed John F. Kennedy as the debate winner). This time, it’s between television (which has been trying to spin a Hillary Clinton debate victory) and the internet (most people on social media view Bernie Sanders as the debate victor). I’d expect the newer platform (in this case, the internet) to come out on top.

The big losers (other than the five Democratic presidential candidates debating)

Anderson Cooper – Cooper, CNN’s lead moderator for the debate, tried to use his position to smear Bernie Sanders on a number of GOP talking points against him and failed, and he also made a very inappropriate remark about Hillary Clinton’s bathroom usage after one of the commercial breaks.

The mainstream media – See my remarks about the internet being a big winner above.

Mike Huckabee – Huckabee, one of many Republican presidential candidates, took to Twitter during the debate and made downright racist remarks about Korean people while attacking Bernie Sanders.

Joe Biden – With Hillary Clinton giving a strong enough debate performance to calm down those in the establishment who were fretting about Hillary, and Bernie Sanders solidifying the progressive base of the party, there’s not really a path to victory for Biden if he were to enter the race for the Democratic nomination.

Debate fairness – CNN shut out Lawrence Lessig from participating in the debate despite the fact that Lessig is a Democratic candidate for president.