Thursday, August 3, 2017

Slamming Shut The Golden Door

There’s immigration reform, but this seems particularly racist, vengeful, and ultimately counterproductive.

Trump embraced a proposal on Wednesday to slash legal immigration to the United States in half within a decade by sharply curtailing the ability of American citizens and legal residents to bring family members into the country.

The plan would enact the most far-reaching changes to the system of legal immigration in decades and represents the president’s latest effort to stem the flow of newcomers to the United States. Since taking office, he has barred many visitors from select Muslim-majority countries, limited the influx of refugees, increased immigration arrests and pressed to build a wall along the southern border.

In asking Congress to curb legal immigration, Mr. Trump intensified a debate about national identity, economic growth, worker fairness and American values that animated his campaign last year. Critics said the proposal would undercut the fundamental vision of the United States as a haven for the poor and huddled masses, while the president and his allies said the country had taken in too many low-skilled immigrants for too long to the detriment of American workers.

After listening to the White House’s version of a Josef Goebbels wanna-be in the person of Stephen Miller try to defend the new policy and denigrate the Statue of Liberty’s appeal to the tired, poor, and “tempest-tost” and lifting her lamp beside the Golden Door, Rep. Judy Chu (D-WA) had the most fitting response.

Throughout our history we have gone through fits and starts of trying to exclude immigrants; once it was the Chinese, then it was the Italians, then the Jews or the Central Europeans, usually based on some unfounded fear of losing jobs to them or infiltration by our enemies.  It’s based on racism and xenophobia and it has usually backfired.

Of all the nations on this planet, we are the last who should be shutting the door to people from other places and other languages.

I think that has something to do with this:

Trump has strained relations with a lot of people these days — members of his own party in Congress, the 55-plus percent of Americans who say they disapprove of his performance, his attorney general, his recently ousted communications director and chief of staff. But through all the drama and dismay, one group has never really wavered: the leaders of the conservative movement.

This is no accident. Mr. Trump and members of his administration have spent their first six months in office cultivating and strengthening ties to the movement’s key groups and players with a level of attention and care that stands out for a White House that often struggles with the most elementary tasks of politics and governing.

Their outreach extends to groups across the ideological spectrum — small government, tax-averse Tea Party followers; gun owners; abortion opponents; evangelical Christians and other culturally traditional voters. And it reflects the importance that Mr. Trump and his aides have placed on the movement politics of the right, which they recognize as the one base of support they cannot afford to alienate since conservatives, according to Gallup, are 36 percent of the electorate.

“You want the structures that deliver people, votes and enthusiasm — and he understands that,” said Grover Norquist, the veteran anti-tax activist who has been working with White House officials as they develop a tax legislation package.

After all his time in the real estate con/shell games — which he sucks at — he does know which pigeons to pluck.  They’re both parasitic to each other; Trump needs them to stay afloat, and he’s the only game in town for them.