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Trump’s border problem

Written By: - Date published: 8:45 am, April 16th, 2019 - 30 comments
Categories: Donald Trump, immigration, International, racism, us politics - Tags:

Donald Trump has a border problem.  The number of arrests of undocumented immigrants on the Souther border in March was 92,000, up from 37,390 in March last year,  For a president who campaigned on closing the border he is not doing so well.

He recently took the extraordinary step of firing former Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen.  Because he did not think she was being tough enough.  This is hard to understand given some of the really evil policies she oversaw like splitting kids away from their parents, locking them in cages and not bothering to keep track of where their parents were.

As said by Richard Woolf in the Guardian:

Of all the charlatans, sycophants and moral sellouts surrounding Donald Trump, no one comes close to Kirstjen Nielsen.

Not Steve Bannon, the neo-fascist strategist who glued a thin veneer of ideology on top of the particle board flakes that fill the cranium of a bankrupt property developer.

Not Paul Manafort, the ostrich jacket-loving former campaign chairman now serving seven years for being a liar and fraud after servicing a motley crew of tyrants.

Not even Mike Pence, the “evangelical Catholic” vice-president who set a new land-speed record for praising this genital-grabbing, porn star hush money president.Advertisement

No, there is no one quite like the departing secretary of homeland security, who forced some of the world’s most vulnerable people to pay any price and bear any burden to assure the survival of her own career.

In Trump’s ninth circle of hell, there may be more ideological hardliners than Nielsen and there certainly are more wingnut sociopaths.

But Nielsen has deployed all the skills of a careerist technocrat to oversee the two greatest scandals of the entire human misfortune that is the Trump presidency: a death toll of more than 3,000 in the criminally negligent aftermath of Hurricane Maria, and tens of thousands of children illegally imprisoned and forcibly separated from their parents at the southern border.

Nielsen’s final sin appears to be opposing Trump’s crazy idea of closing the El Paso port as well as resuming family separation and denying entry to asylum seekers.  From CNN:

Two Thursdays ago, in a meeting at the Oval Office with top officials — including Nielsen, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, top aides Jared Kushner, Mercedes Schlapp and Dan Scavino, White House counsel Pat Cipollone and more — the President, according to one attendee, was “ranting and raving, saying border security was his issue.” Senior administration officials say that Trump then ordered Nielsen and Pompeo to shut down the port of El Paso the next day, Friday, March 22, at noon. The plan was that in subsequent days the Trump administration would shut down other ports.

Nielsen told Trump that would be a bad and even dangerous idea, and that the governor of Texas, Republican Greg Abbott, has been very supportive of the President. She proposed an alternative plan that would slow down entries at legal ports. She argued that if you close all the ports of entry all you would be doing is ending legal trade and travel, but migrants will just go between ports. According to two people in the room, the President said: “I don’t care.”

Ultimately, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney seemed to have been able to talk the President out of closing the port of El Paso. Trump, however, was insistent that his administration begin taking another action — denying asylum seekers entry. Nielsen tried to explain to the President that the asylum laws allow migrants from Central America to come to the US and gain entry. She talked to the White House counsel to see if there were any exceptions, but he told her that her reading of the law was correct.

And lurking in the background is Stephen Miller.  His uncle called him an immigration hypocrite and said this:

I have watched with dismay and increasing horror as my nephew, an educated man who is well aware of his heritage, has become the architect of immigration policies that repudiate the very foundation of our family’s life in this country.

I shudder at the thought of what would have become of [his ancestors] the Glossers had the same policies Stephen so coolly espouses— the travel ban, the radical decrease in refugees, the separation of children from their parents, and even talk of limiting citizenship for legal immigrants — been in effect when Wolf-Leib made his desperate bid for freedom. The Glossers came to the U.S. just a few years before the fear and prejudice of the “America first” nativists of the day closed U.S. borders to Jewish refugees. Had Wolf-Leib waited, his family likely would have been murdered by the Nazis along with all but seven of the 2,000 Jews who remained in Antopol. I would encourage Stephen to ask himself if the chanting, torch-bearing Nazis of Charlottesville, whose support his boss seems to court so cavalierly, do not envision a similar fate for him.

Nielsen’s firing is part of a consolidation of power for Miller’s benefit.  Which should fill us all full of dread. From Lawrence Douglas in the Guardian:

Miller has been able to consolidate and expand his power because he is at once an extremely accomplished operator, able to successfully negotiate a highly toxic environment, and an ingratiating sycophant, who has mastered the art of telling his master what he wants to hear. If the president describes himself in a tweet as a certifiable genius, Miller can be counted on to go on national television to offer vociferous support of the truth of the description. Like a minister of propaganda, he is skilled at repeating, distilling and amplifying his master’s messages.

Alas, there is no denying the crisis on the southern border. It is estimated that as many as a million people will try to enter the United States through that border this year, many fleeing conditions of extreme poverty and violence. But rather than address this humanitarian crisis, the president and his trusted satrap seek only to exacerbate it for political gain.

With Miller in charge expect even more inhumane treatment of desperate people and continuous legal challenges designed to sap challengers of the will to keep fighting for their rights.  The basic problem is that Trump and his crew have neither the intellectual ability to work out how best to deal with the crisis nor the humanity to deal with the issue compassionately.  And his continued political support amongst the Trump rump is at stake. 

30 comments on “Trump’s border problem ”

  1. Andre 1

    You didn’t even mention the SuperCallousFragileRacistSexistNaziPOTUS threat to round up and release all the hopeful immigrants and release them in sanctuary cities. Just to trigger the libs.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      I have written the post in my head a few times in the past couple of weeks. It got worse and worse …

      There is also the allegation that Trump offered a presidential pardon to the head of Immigration if they broke the law. People were not sure if he was joking or not. He subsequently denied that he said it but I am not so sure.

      • Andre 1.1.1

        Of the norms and expectations the Spraytan Stalin has trashed, it strikes me that an offer to pardon one of his subordinates is one of the most serious. It clearly signals utter contempt for the rule of law, that the only thing that matters is the exercise of power.

        Along with the way Barr has clearly signaled he intends to use his role to protect the Kremlin’s Gremlin, rather than do his sworn duty to uphold and enforce the laws without fear or favour on behalf of the entire people of the nation.

        Fuck me, even if there’s a Dem House and Senate after 2021, it’ll take damn near a full two terms just to undo the damage and make sure this kind of shit never happens again. Let alone trying to implement any actually progressive policies.

        • Macro

          Totally agree – what is happening in Paris today is symbolic of the wrecking ball that these vandals are currently carrying out in the US. A total culture up in flames and nothing to replace it. His consistent attacks on Rep. Ilhan Omar are unbelievably disgusting and abhorrent – and yet Mitch and his lily livered crew stand by and do nothing.

          • Andre

            As far as I’m concerned, Yertle McConnell actually bears most of the responsibility for the current Repug utter disregard for trying to govern for the entire country, and to just exercise their power for their own narrowest interests.

            It was Yertle that declared a decade ago that the only Repug goal was for Obama to be a one-term president. And he spent most of his time as leader doing everything he could to just be obstructive. Including his clearly impeachable refusal to fulfill his constitutional obligation to consider Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court. That was long before Drumpf Brulee vomited himself onto the political scene as an actual contender.

  2. bwaghorn 2

    How would you stop 10s of thousands of people flooding the us . ??
    Thank fuck we have an ocean .

    • Macro 2.1

      Instead of cutting aid to these “Shithole” countries you would do something about ensuring and improving social justice, so that these people are not forced to flee from their homes and loved ones who cannot make the journey.

      BTW there are around 150,000 people living in the Pacific to whom NZ has a direct responsibility, and are currently facing eventual eviction from the homes due to rising seas. So I’m not so sure that we are as immune as you suggest.

    • Andre 2.2

      The best way is to improve the conditions in the would-be migrants’ home countries. More higher paid jobs in Mexico as a result of NAFTA is the main reason for the dramatic drop in illegal immigration that started in about 1998. Honduras and El Salvador are going through a particularly bad rough patch at the moment, spurring the sudden increase in people desperate to get to somewhere better.

      • bwaghorn 2.2.1

        Most of the ones ive seen on te tele look feed and clothed . Are they being persecuted or murdered? Because if not maybe they shoud fix their country rather than sheepishly follow the herd to suppossedly better pastures.

        • Andre

          Fed and clothed is a pretty low bar.

          Persecuted and murdered – yes the risk of both of those is extremely high. Honduras is also a caricature of extreme privatisation in the same way that Venezuela is an extreme caricature of socialism.



        • Macro

          I think you need to do a bit more research into just what is happening in Latin America. These are now some of the countries with the highest rates of homicide

          • greywarshark

            South Africa was said to be pretty violent but I see Jamaica even more so,
            Virgin Islands up, and El Salvador at the top. The poor people there, what a horrible thing for them.

            El Salvador (The Saviour, The Deliverer!)
            Compared to other developing countries, El Salvador has experienced relatively low rates of GDP growth. … One problem that the Salvadoran economy faces is the inequality in the distribution of income.

            The World Bank info:
            Poverty and extreme poverty are predominantly rural. Sixty one percent of all the country’s poor and 67 percent of the extremely poor live in rural areas. The incidence of poverty is lowest in the San Salvador Metropolitan Area with 24 percent of the country’s poor and 14 percent of the extremely poor.
            The World Bank

            The neo lib – ‘freedom’ view:
            El Salvador’s economic freedom score is 61.8, making its economy the 84th freest in the 2019 Index. Its overall score has decreased by 1.4 points, with declines in judicial effectiveness, trade freedom, and investment freedom far outweighing an increase in fiscal health. El Salvador is ranked 17th among 32 countries in the Americas region, and its overall score is slightly above the regional and world averages.

            The more objective view:
            El Salvador’s economy was predominantly agricultural until industry rapidly expanded in the 1960s and ’70s. Despite its traditional concentration on agriculture, the country is not self-sufficient and must import food. At the root of this problem is the disproportionate distribution of land, which favours commercial crops and leaves many peasants landless and unable to grow subsistence crops.

            During the civil war years, in the 1980s and the early 1990s, the U.S. government supplied El Salvador with large amounts of military and economic aid in order to counter the leftist parties and guerrilla units that had formed in response to the actions of the governing junta. A decade after it began, the war had destroyed the country’s economy and infrastructure, and neither side was winning.

        • Stuart Munro.

          There are now issues besides the longstanding political interference in South America https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-link-between-americas-lax-gun-laws-and-the-violence-that-fuels-immigration

          We may be dodging a bullet by acting to curtail some of that in response to Chch.

          • greywarshark

            Here is a philosophic opinion that would be outside the ken of the Don.

            “When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence.

            So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.”

            ― Jiddu Krishnamurti

            • Stuart Munro.

              Interesting. I’m something of a pantheist myself, which means that although I take an interest in religions, I’m rather unlikely to join any particular one.

              We see something of this difficulty in understanding with respect to the Chch event. Some interpret it in terms of local racial antipathy or intolerance, some as the tentacles of provocateur groups, some as an expression of the fringe of the masses impoverished by neoliberalism, or marginalized by other processes.

              Krishnamurti’s perspective seems a little like that of Tagore, “those of us who stand outside time”.

              • gsays

                Outside of time = now.
                In the now there is no ‘other’.

                • Dennis Frank

                  Now & then. Be here now was the dictum followed by us hippies, in generational solidarity with the beat generation preceding us, with Neal Casady as secondary bridge (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neal_Cassady).

                  Ram Dass, who made `be here now’ famous, was the tertiary bridge (Kesey was primary). Fixation on the future did a lot of damage to progressive folk in those days. Goal-orientation. We invested so much psychic energy into the better world we were trying to co-create that our present situation was neglected too much. Psychological problems ensued, big-time.

                  Evolving an outlook that anchored us in the now, while using then as context, was the solution to the problem. Define then as the entire temporal context outside the now. It’s what civilisation must do, to induce the mind-set that encompasses long-range solving of social problems…

                  • Stuart Munro.

                    Thanks for that – I didn’t perhaps go as deeply into the beats as they deserve – I’ve often argued the hippies’ case, without really having explored it in detail. I felt they did rather well with the hand they were dealt, and imposed change peacefully on a society that had become almost addicted to war.

                  • patricia bremner

                    Now we call it mindfulness.

                • Stuart Munro.

                  I might have to read up on Krishnamurti – my impression was of detachment, which is almost antithetical to the immediacy that often surrounds the use of ‘now’.

          • Dennis Frank

            A very relevant report, that! Suggests that the problems arising from economic stasis are being compounded by the arms industry. So the toxicity of culture in those countries is due to export of both guns and gun-culture by the US. Trump could never solve that problem on his own, but he could trial a bipartisan solution. Sensible to wait for the Democrats to give him a basis for the trial? I’d rather he were to become proactive – call for it.

            Status quo defenders argue that violence is endemic in human society, so arms are essential for security. However countries like ours that positively discriminate against such traditionalism provide a positive alternative!

        • Gabby

          Are you thik waggers? Getting the fuk out is how you end up not dead.

          • bwaghorn

            Im a busy boy , i ask the dumb questions so as to get a basic answer . I dont need all the ins and outs

    • Gabby 2.3

      I’d stop fucking up their governments waggers, asswat I’d do.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    as many as a million people will try to enter the United States through that border this year, many fleeing conditions of extreme poverty and violence. But rather than address this humanitarian crisis, the president and his trusted satrap seek only to exacerbate it for political gain.”

    Actually, they are doing what their electoral support base put them in power to do. What part of democracy do you find so hard to understand?? But I do agree that he ought not to be so partisan.

    He seems incapable of the dimension of political leadership that trends toward statesmanship: seeing the big picture, identifying the source of the problem, and organising a stakeholder-designed solution. The media keeps failing to ask the migrants why they want to be exploited by capitalists and ruled by Trump simultaneously. If they did, we would have the opportunity to identify common factors. If they all said “staying home would be worse” then the question becomes `why is that so?’.

    A statesman president would use his peer group as a resource: call in Obama. Trump: “You’re an expert in this social justice thing. Let’s organise a fact-finding mission to discover why these ethnic folk think their own culture is more toxic than ours. I want you to head down there with a team of top economists & trouble-shooters to solve the problem. You know, guys like Krugman & Chomsky who think they know better. Give them a chance to prove it!” Obama: “Great idea. Eight years of being president with nothing to show for it has left me itching to actually get something done. Let’s do this!!”

    • Gabby 3.1

      Makes no sense franko, unless you mean chumpie’s inviting him to do more nothing.You know, I reckon you were just having a dig at Obama, you sly old roguey rogue.

      • Dennis Frank 3.1.1

        Any dig at Obama you may happen to perceive is incidental to context: past presidents are often used in geopolitics by current presidents for regional problem-solving via diplomacy.

        So I’m really having a dig at Trump’s lack of interest in getting to the crux of the issue. Could also reflect on his revolving-door policy re usage of political advisors. I bet some conservatives have already thought of solving the problem via this method. Untold think-tanks operate in the US to do just that kind of thing.

  4. I wonder if the average American, struggling with fallen wages, housing stress, health care, education costs, really rates this as an issue to vote on?

    And more importantly, what the Dems are up to to take control from the Orange Wonder?

    That’s right, they are embracing the increasingly popular Progressive candidates..


    Can you blame the Commies when you lose twice in a row to The Orange One..

    And don’t bother with polls showing Trumps plummeting popularity..he’s the guy who couldn’t possibly win the last election remember…till those uber effective facebook posts from the Ruskies pushed him forward. Though, hilariously given the media obsession…”The majority of registered voters describe 11 of the 12 issues tested as extremely or very important to their vote — the only exception being the investigation into Russia and the 2016 election.”


  5. Jenny - How to get there? 5

    Undesirable Aliens in the Wiemar Republic

    This is how it starts….

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