"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Even if you weren't in the room...

A fairly anodyne statement, right?  I mean, he didn't mention Norway v. Haiti or Africa, so protecting American workers and our national interest is a good thing, right?  Certainly not a racist thing.

What is also an important takeaway out of this message from Trump is that it takes us back to an earlier period, 1924, when the National Origins Act passed. Part of what it did was — and it had been done before — but part of what that reinforced is that the US wanted people from certain countries and not from others.

It gave a percentage of allowances for people to come, giving preference to Northern Europe, discriminating against Southern and Eastern Europe, and completely barring immigration from Asia. There were a few exceptions, but Asian immigration was, for the most part, barred.

In 1965, we moved away from this National Origins Act, and part of what it means to say “we don’t want people from these countries” is moving back to that very racist law that existed.
Just to put 1924 in perspective, some 35 statues and monuments to the Confederacy were erected or dedicated between 1900 and 1931.   And there is the context of more recent history to consider:

In 1986, Congress passed, and Reagan signed, this law called the Immigration Reform and Control Act, which basically does four things. It more heavily fortifies the border, so that immigrants can’t come illegally, or makes it harder. It creates or expands a guest worker program, known as the H-2A, and H-2B programs. It imposes employer sanctions on employers who knowingly hire unauthorized immigrants, and it legalized immigrants who have been here for over 90 days if they worked on a farm [between May 1985 and May 1986], or who had been here since 1982 — so for five years.

Whenever the right talks amnesty, that’s what they’re referring to because of this legalization part.

It wasn’t really an amnesty, because an amnesty would have been basically giving something for free. Immigrants had to show that they were a big part of society, and that they knew English, and they had to pay very heavy fees. So it wasn’t quite like it’s depicted, and not everyone could legalize their status at the time.

Reagan hailed [the law] as the one that would protect our borders and would solve the immigration problem. Of course, part of the way it was supposed to do that was by heavily fortifying the border. But as we know, heavily fortifying the border is not something that stops unauthorized migration. Unauthorized migration actually exploded after 1986.

The right is like, “See, this exploded because you gave the amnesty to all these people, and people kept coming and we didn’t really fortify the border.” The left is saying, “Look, all this fortification of the border didn’t stop the immigrants from coming, but people did start dying in very high numbers.” So both the left and the right are unhappy with IRCA, as it is known.
"Imbalance" is just another word for "Not Our Kind."  Which is just another form of racism, something at least some in the GOP would gladly return us to as public policy.

And to put the comments of the Senators on what the President didn't say in perspective:

“Following comments by the president, I said my piece directly to him yesterday," [Sen. Lindsay] Graham said.

"The president and all those attending the meeting know what I said and how I feel," he added. "I’ve always believed that America is an idea, not defined by its people but by its ideals."
Especially it's racist ideals; well, among some people.  Not all of us, even those of us from South Carolina. 


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home