The best ways to keep up with US domestic policy, at least in terms of immigrants, is to follow Trump’s tweets and then read some of the official press releases from Homeland Security in tandem with them, especially those about combating irregular migration patterns, counterterrorism efforts, managing foreign terrorist fighters, etc.
Soon one will realize that these two sources have much in common, much too much. Why even bother to read official press releases when you can see the policy spelled out in simple language in tweets?
If even that is not enough, just read what the flagships of the American media write, the NYTs and Washington Posts. It is not hard to understand what they write, and how they respond to Trump, with their learned and not-so-learned commentary attacking him, falls right into Trump’s hands.
It is also interesting to see that even in press releases where the US is discussing the plight of children and families, and how they are trying to address the use of the internet by terrorists and violent extremists, officials representing Twitter, Facebook, Google and Microsoft take up a significant portion of the quoting.
We know the source of much terrorism, and certain US political establishment figures just need to look in the mirror and they will see the real terrorists looking back. But we need not go there today. What we need to be aware of is that even those who attack Trump are all of a piece with him, his policies, the press releases and the leaders of the military-industrial complex who have been roped in as advisors – if you can’t trust one, you can’t trust any of them.
It is especially revealing what details we can learn from tweets.
Take this one for instance, “Sanctuary Cities released at least 142 Gang Members across the United States, making it easy for them to commit all forms of violent crimes where none would have existed. We are doing a great job of law enforcement, but things such as this make safety in America difficult!”
The detail here isn’t the number quoted. It is the presumption behind quoting it – that Sanctuary Cities are the source of crime which would not otherwise have occurred. This tells us that Trump is, as usual, trying to blame all the ills of the country on a policy measure he thinks he can change, as if only the things he thinks will show him in the brest light, in his own estimation, have any effect on people’s lives, and everything else is a conspiracy even he cannot confound.
On April 13, the Tweeter in Chief made his latest policy statement.
“The USA has the absolute legal right to have apprehended illegal immigrants transferred to Sanctuary Cities. We hereby demand that they be taken care of at the highest level, especially by the State of California, which is well known or its poor management & high taxes!”
The day before Donald J. Trump had written on his Twitter account that “Democrats must change the Immigration Laws FAST. If not, Sanctuary Cities must immediately ACT to take care of the Illegal Immigrants – and this includes Gang Members, Drug Dealers, Human Traffickers, and Criminals of all shapes, sizes and kinds. CHANGE THE LAWS NOW!
….So interesting to see the Mayor of Oakland and other Sanctuary Cities NOT WANT our currently “detained immigrants” after release due to the ridiculous court ordered 20 day rule. If they don’t want to serve our Nation by taking care of them, why should other cities & towns?”
It is nice in some ways to see that there is no need for a Public Affairs Officer anymore, as policy in the making can be accessed directly – in its raw form, in the Presidential response to what the so-called MSM is saying.
However policy needs more than slogans. It must be exactly formulated to achieve the end it desires without negative consequences – and making policy in this direct and ill-thought out way, without addressing how or when, just makes it harder for details to be brought into line with rhetoric and expectation, meaning the exercise is doomed before it starts.
Trump commented that the The New York Times Sanctuary Cities/Immigration story today, [not sure which one, as so many] … “was knowingly wrong on almost every fact. They never call to check for truth. Their sources often don’t even exist, a fraud. They will lie & cheat anyway possible to make me look bad. In 6 years they will be gone….”
Trump does get it right on many things, and with a smile. I could not have said that better. However, what is really going on here? The President knows how to hit where it hurts the most. By releasing detained illegal immigrants into the sanctuary cities he would be giving payback to many Democrats who don’t want to go along with his border wall.
These cities, which are designated as safe havens for illegal immigrants, mandate that their law enforcement units not cooperate with federal immigration authorities. But why should they do this? Do states not have rights anymore or cities within those states?
What escapes critical attention is that America was built on immigration, as was once taught in schools, citing now-inconvenient things like historical facts. I remember the chapter on the Statue of Liberty and Give Us Your Huddled Masses. Of all the countries on earth, the United States is the last one which can complain about immigration, because it is the only one which wouldn’t exist without it.
But it seems those days are gone, and the lessons learned from them but moot. What is being done now has little to do with immigration policy or stemming the flow of illegal aliens, but more to do with getting reelected. Services for immigrants only work if they are adapted to the needs of the immigrants and the state providing them. When the negative press is designed simply to help “this or that politician” win an election, we are all in trouble.
Trump has to pander to his base of support. He is doing that well, and he knows where the votes he can rely on are – in those states which have suffered the most from the wrath of the WTO, aka globalization, and seeing their jobs exported and local plants shut down. For them, “somewhere else” is the enemy. Cities and states which vote differently, and have different demographic profiles, have to be punished for it so the ones which house Trump supporters can get their own back on the world.
The cities that could be affected by the Sanctuary Cities policy are mostly Democratic strongholds. Their mayors are Democrats, and often celebrity ones who are the first to attack Trump. In a city like New York immigrants come close to accounting for half of the population. Trump knows that these cities are not where he will find his base of support, so good riddance to their complaints, as their voting records speaks for themselves.
If the headline of the NYT is true, “U.S. Mayors Decry Trump Sanctuary City Threat, Prepared to Welcome’ Migrants”—nothing could be better, as Trump knows exactly what has happened in Europe as a result of the supposedly massive flow of immigrants. The political and demographic realities of many EU countries are changing, and this has political, security and social costs.
Trump fully understands that mainstream America, once called the silent majority, has not opened its arms to newcomers. It does not want what is happening in Europe to happen here. What the so called voice of America, the BIG media, must understand is that “those in key states make the difference in the Electoral College.” Many of those living in BIG Cities, even native born citizens, are not even considered real Americans by many in the heartland.
This is how Trump is hoping to get re-elected with a landslide. This is why there is now so much talk in some political circles about trying to change the rules of American presidential elections and killing the role of the Electoral College in deciding who sits in the Oval Office.
You will notice that NOT Detroit, Cleveland or Lima Ohio are lining up to immigrants, and it is not hard to understand why they are not opened armed.
Henry Kamens, columnist, expert on Central Asia and Caucasus, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.