Note: Tom Toles is one of my favorite cartoonists. This is from the Washington Post. Trump later said he might send up to 15,000 troops to the border, when the caravan was 900 miles away, and the participants, many mothers with their children, looked very weary.
Immigration is a hot button issue. There are a lot of folks, who are either unemployed or struggling with low paying jobs, who blame everything on immigrants, particularly Mexicans. Add a bit of bigotry into this mix, and irrational fears of the caravan approaching the US borders, and Trump has created an energized constituency that will vote straight Republican in the next election.
What Trump can not do, nor any president, is take away any of our constitutional rights, through Executive Orders. Headlines in CNN this morning, reads “Trump claims he can defy Constitution and end birthright citizenship.” Any executive order would typically be routed through the Department of Justice, and they would not give their blessing. An executive order is effective until a court issues an injunction. The injunction would happen very quickly. The Fourteenth Amendment states: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.” My guess is that Trump isn’t that stupid to sign such an Executive Order.
It has succeeded. Trump wanted more media coverage. He sure as hell got it. It is only a desperation ploy, given early voting in the mid-term elections has started.
Next is the caravan. I’ll go as far as saying Trump’s characterization of the caravan as being an invading force is pure fiction. Now, the truth is, there is widespread chaos in Honduras. According to the New York Times:
Trump has consistently conflated Central American migrants with members of gangs like MS-13, even though many Hondurans joined the caravan precisely to escape the gangs. And while migrants have a right under both international and U.S. law to seek asylum at the border, Trump has continuously voiced his opposition to their arrival. He urged Mexican authorities to prevent the caravan from reaching the United States, called for 4,000 members of the National Guard to be deployed to the border and urged U.S. lawmakers to vote for stricter immigration laws.
Immigration stories by bloggers, are almost all false. Unfortunately even Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, joined with them, spreading false stories:
There are billboards in Central America in the Northern Triangle countries advertising how to grab a kid to get into the United States illegally. Because that loophole is so big. Billboards,” Nielsen said during a July 19 interview with NBC’s Peter Alexander at the Aspen Security Forum.
Politifact labels her statement “false” as there has been no evidence of any billboards. The US during the Obama administration, did help support billboards to help prevent illegal immigration, not promote it. See link at the bottom.
Just as I went to post this blog, Trump double down on his false claims:
The Democrats want to invite caravan after caravan of illegal aliens into our country. And they want to sign them up for free health care, free welfare, free education, and for the right to vote.”
The statement is false in every aspect. See link below. In fact, Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schummer, got it right responding to Donald Trump’s actions as simply trying to distract attention from other issues, many health care. Further Pelosi added:
Pelosi reiterated that message in another statement: “Despite Republicans’ fear-mongering, this group of families may not even make it to the U.S. border, and those migrating for economic reasons will not qualify for asylum.”
The qualifications for asylum are based on the rules of Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS). Trump doesn’t have the authority to unilaterally change the rules. The Department of Justice, and AG Jeff Sessions will be involved in any changes. The courts will likely decide if it is within the executive branch’s authority to make changes.
The false claims on the caravan are too long to discuss all of them. The caravan has existed since 2008. The people are poor. Many are women with children. Many are fleeing gang violence in their countries. George Soros, a billionaire and strong Democratic supporter, is not funding the caravan. In fact, just about every claim against Soros, spread through social media is untrue.
The mid-term election might turn the House of Representatives to Democrat. That’s what this heated rhetoric on immigration is about.
At this point, Trump would light a school bus on fire if he could get an extra 5 minutes of air time. And distract the electorate from horrible policies – ranging from pulling out of the Paris climate accord, eliminating many rules governing clear air and water, and the attempted elimination of health care for Americans with pre-existing conditions.
Unfortunate there will be a slew of more lies as we get to Nov 6. VOTE!