Please Bus Migrants to Sanctuary Cities

New Orleans       Put your head in your hands for a second, because this is almost mind blowing.  Yes, we’re talking about the latest confusion about the Trump administration’s immigration policy or policies or whatever you would call this mayhem and mess.

Over recent days word slipped out that some of the rabid, mouth foaming aides, like Stephen Miller, wanted to put migrants and their families crossing the southern US border with Mexico onto buses and pack them out to so-called sanctuary cities.  This was supposed to be a punishment of some kind for these cities because of their unwillingness to act as an unpaid local police force for a fraught federal immigration policy.  Everyone involved at ICE, Homeland Security, and the White House then denied that this was a policy recommendation or anything more than some crazy spitballing fueled by too much caffeine.  Just fake news by a biased, liberal press.

In short, never a real proposal, just a wild hair, until…President Trump, who increasingly is infamous for never rejecting a bizarre proposal if it can divide and inflame his base, seized the idea as his own and started insisting that, yes, roll up the buses, and send the migrants from south Texas and southern Arizona to sanctuary cities.  At least do so for several news cycles.

Here’s what I say.  Call his bluff.  Please, please President Trump, send these desperate migrant families seeking asylum, opportunity, and safety to the cities of America, especially sanctuary cities, where they will finally be supported and cared for with the historically generous and open-handed spirit of the real America.  Get them out of tented detention centers, hot and dusty, or repurposed Walmart stores in south Texas, and let go where there are jobs, social services, and people who know that we need new workers and fresh blood to build America.  Let them come to the cities that have been built and welded together by immigrants for generations.  Let them go anywhere as long as you get them out of border detention camps!

Some mayors of US cities have the right idea and have condemned Trump’s attempt to use migrant families as political pawns in his bitter, hateful, demagogic campaign posturing.  Mayors in Chicago, Philadelphia, and other places like Montgomery County, Maryland, that have large immigrant populations have said, hey Mr. President, send them over here.

Cities and towns throughout the United States are crying for population to fill jobs, students for schools so they won’t have to close, customers for stores, and families to pay taxes.  How about putting the welcome sign on the city limits in these communities so that the Trump buses know where to pull in, stop, and unload families to a real home rather than a prison camp?

Make Trump do the right thing, even if it’s for the wrong reason.  Let sanctuary cities be real sanctuaries.  Please.


Second Acts are Everywhere in America – Hello, Tigers!

 (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

New Orleans       I’m not a fan of golf.  Very little about the game has every appealed to me, partially for class reasons.  As a kid, every blue moon we would make a couple of bucks retrieving balls in the watery ponds at the City Park course for a quarter a ball.  I once caddied for my uncle in Duncan, Oklahoma, on the hot, barren course there when I worked one summer in Velma as a roustabout after graduating from high school.  It was sport without any appeal and a lot of problems in my mind, not the least of which was that watching it was boring.

But, I’ll admit to rooting for Tiger Woods and his comeback for all of the same reasons, and was incredulous when I first saw the headline scroll across my phone that he had won the Masters, the biggest, whitest, richest professional tournament in the world.  It was too early in the day. This was probably fake news, clickbait.  The tournament couldn’t be over.  I had forgotten reading that there was an early start because of potential weather problems in Georgia.  I’ve now read every article about his victory in three or four papers this morning.  I couldn’t care less what it means for the game of golf or the oft repeated headline that this was a “victory for the ages.”  I like it because it puts another exclamation point on the fact that second acts are everywhere in America.

The author F. Scott Fitzgerald is famously quoted as saying “there are no second acts in America.”  Fitzgerald scholars’ wince that this line is a misreading of Fitzgerald and a flagrant misquote arguing that the phrase is out of context because the rest of his line went on to establish that in fact there were second acts.  Second, third, serial acts are hallmarks of American life with boundless examples in almost every field of endeavor including business, politics, show business, and on and on.  Think about serial bankruptcies and failed startups that still became successes.  Think about inventors who failed repeatedly.  Think about politicians who lost races but kept coming back to the voters until they won.  Think about actors, singers, and artists, who bombed terribly, and kept coming back.

Hey, even think about Tiger Woods who had a meteoric career from the age of 21 to 33 in golf with unparalleled victories, and then a front page, seemingly forever meltdown that included sex and drugs, capped off by even more failure as his back and body collapsed frequently, until this time he broke through, finally winning a tournament last season and contending, and then winning the Masters for the fifth time

The real story is not that there are no second acts.  There are millions.  The real story of America is never quitting, being willing to fail, dusting yourself off and getting back upon the horse, never say die, there’s always a next time.  That’s America, and for a change Tiger Woods displayed that the best of America is not natural talent or amazing gifts, but true grit.  Something we can all display every day.