Tag Archives: Immigration

New Immigration Proposal is All Politics and Bad Policy

New Orleans    There used to be a saying about putting a new proposal in the circular file, meaning of course the trash basket in an office.  The White House equivalent of the circular basket seems to be to assign something to Trump advisor and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.  Once he gets his hands on a policy proposal, the country has nothing to fear but the worse itself.

This time it’s immigration.  The President went to the Rose Garden to present the plan, and it landed like a big shovel of manure on the flower beds.

No “huddled masses” were in this proposal.  Trump said the plan was developed by “our law-enforcement officials,” and that seems even a more dire prospect than saying my son-in-law.

Where presidents from George W. Bush to Barack Obama have tried to craft proposals working with Congress, this proposal’s only similarity to any of the more recent presidential efforts is that it doesn’t reduce the number.  The proposal shifts the emphasis away from reuniting families with existing visa holders and new citizens from the immigrant community to some vaguely defined “merit-based” system.  The “Build America Visa” is going to be for super special foreigners with talent to burn, workers with special skill-based vocations, read that as tech workers, and exceptional students, whatever that might mean.

Maybe you’re asking if this new immigration proposal deals with the ambitions of comprehensive efforts of the past or whether it is as mean-spirited and transactional as it seems, and maybe you’re not?  But if you were, unbelievably this proposal is totally silent on what to do about the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country other than that there continues to be some language about Trump’s Wall Folly.  The proposal is also silent on the Dreamers, where for years there has been an emerging bipartisan consensus that there needs to be path to citizenship and an upgrade and extension on the DACA plan now in effect thanks to Obama, the courts, and the Trump administration’s ineptness in changing it.

Trump claims this latest proposal is in line with other countries, but who knows where that notion comes from since aside from a few authoritarian countries, asylum seekers are still given immigration protection, which is counter to administration’s wishes as well.  Observers also note that the proposal as it stands also pits various interests against each other:  agriculture vs. tech, education against deep pockets, and so forth.

The name alone pretty much ends any guessing game about whether this has any chance of moving forward.  A “Build America Visa” is a campaign plank for Trump’s reelection effort, not a real policy proposal on dealing with immigration or immigrants.  Unsurprisingly, the Democrats saw it for what it was, and it seems to be dead-on-arrival were it to be introduced in Congress.  Not that there’s any such plan.  In the Rose Garden, Trump said he would get this passed after the election when he controls the House, Senate, and is reelected.

Like I said, it’s all politics and no policy.

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Todogucci, Juan Soto, and Running for Immigrant Support

New Orleans     Let’s face it from south Florida to the Rio Grande border between Mexico and the United States is a long haul, a minimum of 1500 miles, twenty or more hours in a car, and god only knows how long if you are running or walking, but, hey, who would do that?  It turns out that Juan Soto, a musician and artist from Fort Meyers, Florida would do exactly that.

Ok, so what’s going here?

I get a long message while on the road from someone named Faith with a 201, Jersey area code about some fool running from Florida to the border in solidarity with immigrants.  I can look at a website called Todogucci for more details.  They want to be interviewed on the radio at WAMF 90.3 in New Orleans when they run through.  Yes, you can’t make this stuff up either!

Juan Soto is a musician and artist.  He’s originally from Costa Rica and a legal immigrant.  He had a song named Todogucci, that gained some popularity in south Florida.  His website describes his epiphany:

When the song “TodoGucci” was first written the meaning was “everything is good” and it wasn’t intended or directed towards the realm of immigration, but the day he recorded the song, he had a personal conversation with a very close friend, who was arrested for not having a driver’s license and was facing a possible deportation issue. He said “Juan if I could only be legal in this country I would pay any amount of money, I have paid lawyers thousand dollars, I have American daughters, and own 3 cars paid off but yet I can’t even drive a car and have a legal job.” When he mentioned to Soto that he was on a deportation order process, Soto felt hit and sober because he had known this man for over 10 years and he works from 7 AM to 7 PM from Monday through Saturday, he spends the money he makes on his family, and community, and also saves to invest in his business in America, with the hope that he will have legal status one day.   Soto decided to reverse the song to “TODOGUCCI, NO WALLS NO WAR”. And with the immigration crisis and the immigrant caravan heading out of Honduras to the US Mexican border the time to raise awareness in America is now! We need to … act for immigration.  There is a decision to this crisis and Solo wants to share this solution with the world.  This music video and song “No Walls No War” is only a small portion of what we can do, and believe that we need to raise awareness with the youth in our communities not only with American Africans but Latinos and all other cultures and ethnic groups that made up the Great United States of America.

How could we say, no?  He’s running along the way.  He’s raising money to support services and legal aid for immigrants.  He’s trying to do his part.  He has a “mod squad” crew that rolls with him in a well-appointed van.  He’s doing a video and probably more while on the road.

Sure, this gets his name out, but that’s clearly not what this is about.  If it were only about building his “brand,” then the TodoGucci website wouldn’t misspell his name as Solo more often than Soto.  Look for them as they come through the south tier and into Texas.  Show them some love.

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