America is uniting for immigrants

Labor unions, women’s movements, muslims and more are marching together to stand with their immigrant friends and relatives to show support against an antagonistic President who has recently enacted an unjust travel ban, ended Michelle Obama’s “Let Girls Learn” program and has just begun a push to build his oppressive and highly un-neighborly Wall.

The president seems to be trying very hard to disassociate America from so many of the people that make up this country one has to imagine what country he thinks he is the president of.

And the people of this nation are rising up against his idea of what makes America Great.

If you look at the makeup of people who are uniting against him, one thing is going to be certain; making America great will mean getting a new president.

The Problem with Travel Bans

I read an article on Forbes about Trump’s travel ban and what struck me most is how people are looking at this issue. These lawyers are arguing about how it can be legal or what the legal problems are. Unfortunately, if you’ve ever had to deal with the courts you will understand that lawyers can remove all the humanity of an issue in short order.

Why is nobody looking at the usefulness of the order or how it affects people?

By broadly discriminating against a religious group the effect is obvious. If we are to believe most terrorists are Muslims, why are we not also telling Catholic priests they cannot work with children? I know to Christians that sounds like a horrendous proposition. The Muslim travel ban would sound equally as despicable if you were Muslim. We know not all Catholic priests are pedophiles, so we don’t even talk about such an idea, yet how can we so easily talk about Muslims like we are with this travel ban? I personally know many, many muslims and I know they are not terrorists. Many are some of the nicest, most generous people I know. A travel ban based on a religious basis is most incredibly insulting, insensitive and ultimately non-productive.

Many people are also discussing how it is NOT a discriminatory edict by reflecting on many Muslim nations that are not on the ban list, yet within all of the countries on the ban list we are clearly targeting Muslims. Saying we are not targeting Muslims from Pakistan so therefore we are not targeting Muslims is senseless. Why are Pakistan and Iraq NOT on the list? We know many terrorists train or are funded by some Pakistanis and ISIS is based mainly in Iraq and Syria. This makes no sense at all. We are targeting Muslim majority countries in conflict, yet we are not including Pakistan and Iraq, two of the most violent and troubled nations on earth? Clearly we are making this stuff up as we go along and trying to justify our actions based on not including a few very controversial nations. If we are just trying to make America safe, shouldn’t we also have a ban against white supremacists in public schools and movie theaters?

And since most people on earth are not terrorists, because if they were there would be terrorist events happening in every country every day, how is this affecting people and families who are not terrorists trying to come to this country, or especially those trying to flee the conflicts in their own home nations? It could be devastating for many very innocent people.

Then there are those who say people with citizenship, dual citizenship, visas, green cards, etc in the countries on the list are not affected. Why not? The people who flew into the twin towers had American visas. In England, many of the terrorists were citizens or had visas too. In the most recent attack in England, Khalid Masood was an English citizen. Why is England not on the no fly list? He could have flown here and committed his crimes. Look at France, Belgium and Germany. Citizens, visas all.

This brings up the usefulness of such a ban. We know that religion is not the perpetrator of terrorism. Christians and Muslims are listed in atrocities all over the globe, yet because we are a “Christian” nation, we are focusing only on the Muslims. This is blatantly discriminatory. You cannot argue otherwise without omitting many obvious and convenient facts.

Terrorists are Zealots. They are willing to go to extremes to get their message across. They use whatever facts they wish to use to carry their anger and hate to a broader audience. If we truly want to make the world safer, we need to work with all communities to disarm the hate, and disarm the individuals who would harm innocent people.

A real war on terrorism would put a ban on installing dictators and government that persecute their citizens in other countries just because they would work favorably with us. This would go far in removing hate against a nation because of how they are being treated by us. We also need to persecute organizations, companies and the very laws that make it easy for them to acquire weapons and the tools to carry out their crimes.

We need to reduce  the access to weapons as well as the ammunition of hate. This would be more effective than a travel ban. Unfortunately we love our easy access to weapons, and our greed keeps us producing hate around the world. We should stop blaming others for our problems and start taking the blame ourselves. Only then can we work towards making our nation and the world safer.

Stars and stripes on gun

3 easy steps for a better immigration system

Alex Nowrasteh   wrote a piece for USnews.com outlining 3 easy steps for a better immigration system that the next president could do to help with our highly problematic  system. It is a wonderful article, but I wonder about the third suggestion of having states create their own visa programs. He makes several wonderful points about states having differing needs for guest workers, and therefore would be in position to create the most beneficial types of visas for the industries that need guest workers most and that are not currently offered by the federal immigration visa system, but you have to wonder about competing visa programs and how difficult it would make  it for guest workers to change jobs, move to another state, or transfer when a company moves and the new state does not offer the same kind of visa program. This could be fodder for new problems and a more difficult situation for companies and immigrant families.

Still, it is a wonderful article and well thought out, and at least somebody is looking at positive ways to mend our broken immigration system. Please take a look for yourself and let me know what you think.

http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2016-11-01/three-steps-to-immigration-reform

The Immigration Force

FWD.US gives us a peek into what would it look like to have an immigration force rounding up people and disrupting businesses, familes and society in general.

 

The battle for the 14th Amendment

For as long as our constitution has been around, certain members of our community and their hired guns in Washington have tried to change our immigration laws in an effort to “keep our country white.” The 14th amendment has been under attack since it’s inception during the civil war.

This infographic helps to demonstrate the effects on such an attack.

14th Amendment2

H1b visa caps hinder our economy

Borui applied for an H-1B visa this year after creating his own company Polarr and hiring 3 Americans. Last week, he brought his story to Capitol Hill to advocate directly for immigration reform.

Posted by FWD.us on Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Is Obama like Lincoln?

Is Obama similar to Abe Lincoln?

lincoln-obama

If Obama comes out with an executive order to help a marginalized and highly oppressed portion of our society gain legal status to live in the US, then, yes, he will be.

On January 1, 1863 Abraham Lincoln issued an executive order to free Slaves in Confederate held lands. It did not free all the slaves.  This executive order was issued without Congress voting on it, and gave slaves the right to create their own destinies, free from the fear that they could be captured and returned to previous owners.

The people who wanted the white man to always have dominion over the inferior black man, were very hateful and vocal about their anger over this issue. So much so that Lincoln would later be killed by one such person.

This is very similar to what Obama will be introducing in the next few days. His executive order is expected to give some 5 million undocumented immigrants (not all of them) permission to live within our borders without fear of being captured and sent back to their former country.

Let us also not forget that Abe Lincoln was a Republican, which should make the loud, hateful Republicans pause, but of course, it does not. Anything that Barack Obama wants, these guys want the opposite–even if it’s in their own best interest. Their hate can  be read in every immigration article’s comment section online.

So let’s hope our  Conservative lawmakers and their supporters don’t get their panties in a bunch over what will inevitably be another step in our country’s racial evolution. History truly does repeat itself. This has already happened, and it is happening again.

Get over it.

In a World. . . where Republicans rule supreme.

Where Democrats don’t have much say in government and are left to sit on the sidelines and complain about what could have been.

 

A young man gets shot by someone who bought a gun and some ammo at recent gun show and robbed him of his cell phone and wallet. The hospital bill is in the tens of thousands of dollars, even though he was released that same day, because the Affordable Health Care Act was repealed and Medicare has been gutted to barely care for some of the necessities of senior citizens who cannot afford their own private medical insurance.

He goes home and fixes the same thing he eats every day—Ramen noodles. Sometimes, for a special occasion, he will add a few Ketchup packets he boosts from the fast food restaurant he started working at, ever since all the immigrants got deported, creating a vacuum in the economy and causing chain layoffs as companies lost people who could afford their products. Job choices are slim since many other college graduates have flooded the foodservice, hospitality, homecare and other menial job markets.

This bright, intelligent, 26 year old man is thinking it might not be too late to join the military, the only healthy industry left after the Republican dominated government cut all the “parasitic social services” in order to create tax breaks for the rich and reduce spending to balance the budget, not to mention motivate those people “addicted to government subsidies.” Balancing the budget was supposed to be the main goal, but with all the other problems with the economy and the new wars breaking out with the Russians, Chinese, Chechens, Iraqis, Syrians, Iranians, Afghans and those pesky Pakistanis. America understands it’s hard to think about the budget at times like these, so they will wait until times are better and they can afford to focus on such things. Until then they will support an ever growing military budget and still find room to blame our overspending on the few remaining social programs that are struggling for survival.

A woman he met at a party a few weeks ago comes to his home and informs him she’s pregnant, having lost any access to birth control services she previously used, and since abortion is outlawed, they must have the baby. They both struggle to figure out how they are going to be able to support their child, let alone each other.

The day is not a total loss as they are both invited to a going away party for two of the young woman’s gay friends who are leaving for Europe, where Gay relationships are not so harshly punished and they will even be able to get married and enjoy family benefits. They are both excited at the prospect of possibly scoring some food at the party, or at least a few beers.

At the party, the main discussion makes its way to the usual topic of late; life in America and how it changed so much in just a few years.

With his wallet gone, he’s without a license, so he won’t be able to vote in next week’s elections. Everyone at the party agrees they would vote for someone other than a Republican, except they keep producing these great video promos that play all the time and really convince everybody that things will get better and we, as a society, are returning to a better, more “pure” America, just like in the good ol’ days.

Everyone can hardly wait.

An American Iron Curtain

We are creating an American Iron Curtain

US Mexico border fence with barbed wire

When I was a boy growing up in the sixties and seventies, the only places we got our news was radio, TV & the newspaper. Being young, I wasn’t much on reading because I was having a difficult time learning the language. English is not the easiest language in the world to learn. Some of the rules still don’t make much sense, so, as a kid, I mainly just stuck with TV, and even then I wasn’t much interested in the news. Grown-up TV was scary.

The John F. Kennedy assassination, then the Bobby Kennedy assasination, Martin Luther King & Malcolm X murdered too, the Vietnam war, Watergate, the civil rights riots, the Black Painters.

And that was just in this country.

The news coming out of Russia was even scarier. People who disagreed with the government disappeared, the KGB was out to get everyone, The Gulag or forced labor and torture camps sounded like hell on earth,  their highly censored media, and severely restricted travel and career paths. Our freedoms were as countless as the stars at night and you could thank heaven for growing up in this wonderful country.

For a long time (all throughout the Cold War) it seemed as if our whole national identity revolved around how superior we were to the Soviet Union, the number 2 world power at the time. We compared ourselves to Russia in almost everything: who had the most gold medals in the olympics, the first man in space, the first satellite in orbit, the first man on the moon, the most nuclear weapons. . . and of course, we compared our cultures; we had freedom– they didn’t.

In America, you could go anywhere you wish, freely, and without restriction.  In the USSR,  you needed travel papers before leaving your state, or entering another. In the USSR if you were born into a farmer’s family, you would grow up to be a farmer too. In America you could grow up to be whatever you wanted to be.

In America our society thrived on diversity. We imported some of the best minds from around the globe and became a super power because of it. In the USSR their lack of diversity, and their rigid control of everything, kept growth, innovation, and prosperity to a minimum.

berlinwall

In the USSR there were very scary structures like the Berlin wall, that symbolized their leader’s fear of freedom and transparency.

This wall served two physical purposes:

  1. To keep their own people in,
  2. To keep meddling westerners and their ideas out.

The wall had social, emotional, psychological and philosophical effects on those living on both sides of the border too. Families were separated, many people were unable to return to their jobs or their homes, and the desire to leave grew more intense for those who found themselves trapped within.

In the USA we can come and go as we see fit. The world is our playground.

iron-curtain-europeIn the sixties and seventies we were told, in school and in the news, that people trying to get in or out through the Berlin wall were shot and killed by guards in towers. They had bright search lights to find people trying to get in or out in the dark of night. The images we were shown were cold and loveless and this wall, as well as all the other walls set up to segregate the west from the USSR, were given a cold and loveless name, “The Iron Curtain.” Just the sound of it coming out of the TV was enough to create nightmares in your dark and silent room at night. This was definitely something we would never do to our people.  This wall was evil, and so were the controlling ideologies behind it.

It was something that should be stopped.

Growing up in the USA may have given me a slightly biased point of view regarding much of what we were told and shown, but many of the facts were quite visible; such as the Berlin Wall itself, its guard towers, search lights, and armed guards, barbed wire, dogs, minefields. A lot of thought, time, energy and money went into the creating and maintaining of this security system.

Today I find the news equally as disturbing as when I was a child. Millions of Americans are living nightmares that we are creating for ourselves. We are building a fence between our country and Mexico for many of the same reasons the Russians did in East Germany and all along the Soviet Union’s borders with NATO countries. Today we are deploying more than just armed border agents, some dogs and a big fence. We also have ground sensors, spotlights, double walls separated by many yards of open space, barbed wire, and even drones. There is talk of sending the National Guard to the border. The techniques of the past with the weapons of today.

We are spending more per year on border security than in any other single government agency. We aim to keep people out of our more prosperous nation and protect ourselves from the percieved negative influences of Mexico and beyond.

us-iron-curtain

We, too, are dividing families and communities that once moved freely back and forth from Mexico to the US and back again. Many migrant workers who used to come north during harvest season and go back home to Mexico when the harvesting is done, are now forced to either stay here in the US for fear of not being able to return to work when the picking seasons start up again, or stay in Mexico and search for new places to live and new means of sustaining the family.

Going back to the early sixties and seventies and the Berlin wall, even with all of the money and effort and labor that went into that fortification, it was far from 100% effective. It is said there were around 2,000 people who escaped through the wall. There were always people looking for ways to get something in, or smuggle something out. It is estimated that around 200 people were killed trying to escape.

So far, aside from the anonymous postings of hateful cowards, few people have publicly said they were in favor of shooting people trying to immigrate to the United States like they did in Germany and in various other countries in the Soviet bloc. “Joe the Plumber”  is a notable exception, and some so-called Patriots on the Mexico-American border. Herman Cain spoke of electrifying the border fence, but he quickly back-pedaled when called on it.

Someone should tell Joe, Herman, and all those “Patriot” nuts at the border that the Berlin wall has come down. It was viewed as a testament to the failure of Communism as well as the relentless attraction of Democracy, a sign that all men seek freedom and self-determination as a meaningful and important part of human nature that cannot be separated from us by any man made object.

President Ronald Reagan gave a speech shortly before the wall was taken down. He criticized the wall and pushed for its destruction. In that speech was a simple philosophy behind such idea:

“We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace.”

6/12/87 President Ronald Reagan

That would also mean it would be analogous to say prohibiting human liberty would be anathema to world peace, too.

Are the anti-immigration reform people opposed to World Peace, because a good part of their platform doesn’t seem to support that idea very much.

The old Soviet Union is far from the only country that tried and failed to overly control it’s citizens. There are many other examples of a failed fortified stance against immigration/emigration.

Every day there are news reports of security breaches in the Israel-Gaza wall, the Egypt-Gaza wall, and once in a while someone infiltrates or escapes from North Korea.

No wall ever built has been 100% effective at keeping people in or out.

berlin-wall-soldier

The great wall of China, arguably the largest, longest living, and most expensive border security barrier ever built, failed to keep many invaders out. It is a living testament for the entire world that erecting barriers to keep people out of one area or another does not work, and it stands as proof positive that you can spend all the money you want and take centuries to build something, but you still won’t prevent the entry of people who are determined to get in. Not even the walls and moats surrounding relatively tiny pieces of real estate, such as castles and forts kept people out who were highly motivated to get in. We have tried for aeons to fence things off and keep people out or keep them in. Prisons have escapees. Alcatraz was hugely successful, having a strong current and  hundreds of yards of bay surrounding their fences and guard towers, yet a few people escaped from there too.

Even if we were to figure out how to build an Alcatraz like system all along the 2000 miles of border between the US and Mexico, and even if we had the money to build it, that is not the only access point that is vulnerable to people wanting in or out of our country. We have airports, shipping ports, thousands of miles of coastlands, as well as our border to the north with Canada, and our Hawaiian Islands as well as the thousands of Islands in and around our country. It would take generations of Americans working full-time and many trillions of tax dollars to fortify all of our access points. It would take untold billions of dollars to install security systems capable of monitoring every person’s movement, and billions to install devices on each citizen or visitor within our country to ensure they have a right to be here.

Which brings up a very important question: What would a 100% secure America look like? Prison? East Germany? The Gaza strip? Israel? Would you want your children to grow up in a place like this? Would you want to live in even a colorful, sunshiny prison? Where would we vacation, on a beautiful sandy beach surrounded by high fences with concertina wire and armed guards in towers with spotlights at night?

If the old USSR isn’t a good enough reminder for us that isolation is a nation killer, we will surely follow in their footsteps, walling off our nation and isolating ourselves from much of the outside world, stifling innovation, killing our economy and relegating us to the land “formerly known as the USA.” We will have to watch as a new super power emerges to lead us into the 21st or 22nd century.

Is this the legacy we want to leave behind?

us-medico-border-barbed-wire

Do we want to be known as the generation that lead to the end of our status as the leader of the free world?

If you would like to prevent this from happening, please enter your email address and become a part of the movement that seeks to end this un-American ideal. Join me and the thousands of other people working to ensure we leave a healthy, vibrant country to our children and grandchildren. They will thank us for it.

 

California State Trust Act- making our communities safer

The California Trust Act that Gov Jerry Brown signed into effect in May 2013 is having a very positive response from law enforcement.

Monterey County Sheriff Scott Miller and Salinas police Chief Kelly McMillin are stating publicly their intention to opt out of any detentions and arrests based solely on a person’s immigration status, whether known or unknown.

So why would such high ranking law enforcement officers take such a stand? For many reasons:

  • It makes our jails less crowded.
  • It makes the judges calendars less crowded, affording them to take more time and consideration when reviewing cases, reducing errors in sentencing due to rapid pace hearings.
  • It enables law enforcement to focus on solving crimes rather than assisting ICE in doing their jobs.
  • It helps immigrants trust law enforcement, not having to fear getting deported just for reporting a crime.
  • Increases in crime reporting reduces actual crime numbers by letting would-be criminals they are not just going to be given a blank check to do whatever they want without fear of justice.
  • It keeps more bad guys off the street by apprehending more criminals instead of undocumented immigrants.
  • IT makes our neighborhoods safer.

When all is said and done, having law enforcement focusing on law enforcement instead of spending much of their time on immigration enforcement, helps our communities where we really need it.