Emil Guillermo: Trump keeps pushing the limits of American Whiteness
February 14, 2018 4:09 PM

Forget the orange hair. Donald Trump wants to get his white on. Or at least keep it where it's at.

There is no other way to look at it.

Trump's immigration agenda is all about stopping the inevitable in the U.S.

Every reputable demographic study knows the reality. At some point by mid century, around 2050 or so, earlier in some places, the minority will become the majority in this country.

That's just a short generation away. Barron Trump's world.

I know many Asian Americans, like Filipinos for one, have issues with the broader term "Asian American." But it is the umbrella in our political cocktail.

Without it, we're all smaller than small. With it, we're part of a group 21 million large--and growing.

In 2015, the Pew Research Center said Asian Americans will be the largest immigrant group in America, if current trends and policies continue. 
As I wrote in a previous post, this is the trend predicted by Pew that shows our dramatic rise as a community, from less than one percent in 1965, to six percent in 2015, to more than double again--14 percent of the total U.S. population by 2065. 

But you don't have to wait 40 years to celebrate. You can start celebrating now.

So consider what all the talk in the Senate over the recipients of DACA (Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals) specifically, and on immigration in general, is really about.

Anti-immigrant Trumpsters and Republicans so desperately wanting to stop the inevitable. 

They don't really care about the DACA crowd. But they do care about so-called "chain migration and the visa lottery.

And they want that $25 billion wall, as if that will help. If anything, it will build a symbolic anti-Statue of Liberty.

The spitting image of "We don't want your kind."

It's hateful, but Republicans have the majority and it looks like Democrats are reluctantly agreeing to some border security spending--but not a border wall--in order to protect the 700,000 or so covered by DACA and provide the compromise "pathway to citizenship."

The tougher issue is the proposed end to petitioning for mothers, fathers, or older siblings.

This is exactly how Asian American families, especially my own Filipino immediate family, built our toehold in America.

And now they want to end that?  

Even after some of us are being forced to wait for 20 years or more for visas to become available? 

Fortunately, a democracy has checks and balances.

The courts continue to block Trump on all his questionable moves against people of color and minorities. Rights are no small thing.

From the travel ban to DACA, the Trump pattern is clear. Trump tries to reverse commonly accepted norms by executive order or legislative bullying, but then gets stopped by a court's last-minute sense of judicial sanity.

We saw it again this week. 

Trump's dump of DACA was declared a no go by U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis in Brooklyn, who ruled that DACA cannot end in March as the Republican administration had planned.


Garaufis didn't say Trump couldn't eventually shut down DACA, but said the administration's reasons last September were too arbitrary. The judge then ordered the administration to continue processing DACA renewal applications as it had before the Trump action.

The decision is similar to a Jan. 9 ruling by U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco that DACA must remain in place while litigation challenging Trump's decision continues.

The legal battle to save DACA has been mounted by attorneys general from California, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, the University of California, New York, and DACA recipients. Trump can, as they say, hold his horses, while those cases keep fighting for the Dreamers. 

The Trump administration curtailed accepting renewal applications last year on Oct. 5. But Judge Alsop's ruling allowed anyone with DACA status on Sept. 5 the right to renew. 

That's the key point for all you DACA recipients reading this. Keep applying while you still can, as if Trump did nothing last September.

Because the wheels of justice on this issue are turning.

The Supreme Court on Friday is due to consider whether to take up the administration's appeal of the San Francisco ruling. 

The court could announce as soon as Friday afternoon whether it will hear the case. And, of course, the Supreme Court now has another conservative justice with Trump appointee Neil Gorsuch.

So where does that leave us?

Crossing our fingers. And remembering history.

There was a reason the 1965 immigration law was passed 53 years ago.

There was a moral sense of duty to do the right thing.

Quite simply, the 1965 law was the immigration reform that redefined America, eliminating the racist quotas based on national origin that allowed immigration from all parts of Europe but put a strict cap from Asia and Africa.

It was our "Come on in" moment. Why should only white immigrants be allowed to have all the fun?

And just think about how relatively easy it was to pass this immigration bill. The House vote was 320-70; the Senate vote 76-18. In all, 74 percent of Democrats and 85 percent of Republicans voted for the bill.

When do you get that kind of partisanship for anything these days? The naming of a post office?

After the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, society was opening up. And America was ready to change its racist immigration laws.

America was always good at race control through immigration. The hand was always tight on the spigot. Chinese immigrants, mostly male laborers, had been the largest foreign-born group in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Nevada in 1880. But the Chinese Exclusion Act changed all that in 1882.

When Filipinos, as colonized U.S. nationals, flooded the fields in California during the Depression, it was the same thing. Brought over as a male labor force, they took jobs from whites, and because there were few Filipinas, they married white women. It started an anti-Filipino fervor that led to the Tydings-McDuffie Act, which rebranded the Filipinos as aliens and subjected them to repatriation.

Racist laws are nothing new in America.

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 was the way to make up for all that, ending the artificially repressed generations of Asian Americans.

And no one seems to have expected what would happen.

President Johnson was telling folks when he signed the bill that it would not alter America. Sen. Ted Kennedy on the Senate floor downplayed it: "[T]he ethnic mix of this country will not be upset."

They had no idea.

When you put an end to "immigration interruptus," we exploded.

Just look at America's population if the 1965 law had not passed:

Whites: 75 percent 
Blacks: 4 percent 
Hispanics: 8 percent 
Asians: Less than 1 percent 

That sounds like an America for the people who talk about a not-so-great wall and use the term "illegal immigrant" as an act of defiance.

If that's you, note that there are seven states where pre-1965 conditions exist at 1 percent or less Asian, according to the 2010 Census.

There's Maine and North Dakota at 1 percent; Mississippi and South Dakota at .9 percent; Wyoming, .8 percent; West Virginia at .7 percent; and Montana at the bottom with .6 percent.

Imagine the visitor bureau slogans: Go to the Dakotas, where it's still 1965 for Asian Americans!

That's where Trump and the Republicans want to take us, including our Anglo-American friends. (Thanks AG Jeff Sessions for that ad lib this week.)

If Obama's critics wanted everything undone because we were in post-racial America, Trump is heralding a new phenomenon---"pre-racial America."

Whatever you want to call Trump's vision, or anything being debated in Congress now, it is just in denial for what America has become in 2018 and beyond. 

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Emil Guillermo is an independent journalist/commentator.
Updates at www.amok.com. Follow Emil on Twitter, and like his Facebook page.
The views expressed in his blog do not necessarily represent AALDEF's views or policies.

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Emil Guillermo: Lunar new year dinner to avert constitutional crisis?
February 6, 2018 5:00 PM

Preet Bharara knows what it's like to deal with Donald Trump. 

The former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York--who made it to the cover of Time magazine for going after Wall Street criminals with a vengeance--was asked personally by President-elect Trump to stay on after the Obama Administration. 


Bharara even met him briefly, but thought it odd when Trump asked him for his personal contact information. After all, Obama never called him, perhaps to avoid any appearance of conflict. Why would Trump want to talk directly to a sitting U.S. Attorney? 

Trump while president-elect called Bharara twice, and Bharara took those calls, which he described as "genial." But when the third call came in on March 9, Trump was president, and Bharara chose not to take the call. 

Twenty hours later, Bharara was asked to resign. He didn't get to hear those infamous words, "You're fired."

But he was, and still doesn't know why, and he's come to this understanding of the situation, which he made public last September on his podcast: "I believe based on the information that we have on the president talking to Jim Comey relating to Michael Flynn, the information about the president talking to Jeff Sessions about the case of Joe Arpaio, and how he wanted both of those cases to go away -- that had I not been fired, and had Donald Trump continued to cultivate a direct personal relationship with me, it's my strong belief that at some point, given the history, the President of the United States would have asked me to do something inappropriate."

Bharara was able to avoid his own constitutional crisis of conscience. But it forced him to take a principled stand for the truth. And it cost him the job he loved. 

That's just one of the reasons he's being honored with a Justice in Action award at the annual AALDEF Lunar New Year Gala on February 15.  He'll be joined by honorees New York Times journalist and commentator Linda Greenhouse, and Chan Lee, general counsel North America of Sanofi.

Bharara's dilemma seems to be what the entire country is facing now. 

Get your tickets before the whole country has a constitutional crisis.

Last May, I was in Washington, DC to give two speeches during Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month when the news hit. The city did not disappoint.  FBI Director James Comey was testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the final straw in a showdown with the White House, which had asked Comey to back off the investigation of former national security advisor Michael Flynn. Trump then fired Comey, which set off the appointment of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller to investigate the connections between Trump, his campaign, and Russia.

Some friends of mine who remember Watergate were wondering aloud if we were seeing the makings of an obstruction case against Trump. That's when I first thought about a constitutional crisis.

The consensus was that it was bad, but too soon to say.

But there was Robert Post, Yale Law professor, a member of the American Philosophical Society and the American Law Institute, commenting in Politico about how the president had a complete disregard for appearances.

"If the president continues to act this way, we shall rapidly descend into a terrifying state of social dissolution," Post said. "The rule of law will disintegrate. That will endanger everyone who cares about this country. If ever there was a time for politicians to put the interests of the nation above those of partisan self-interest, it is now."

Nine months later, are we at full obstruction yet? 

Has Trump's ego totally eclipsed our democracy?

Trump continues to act in his own special way with the truth, calling the Russia investigation a "witch hunt" and a "hoax." He reportedly was close to firing Mueller but backed off, all while continuing to bash the FBI, DOJ, and intelligence communities involved in the investigation. And then just last week, he declassified and released a bit of propaganda known as the Nunes memo ,which the president claims "vindicates" him. 

It does not, but in Trump Court, it's case closed. Why even bother speaking to Mueller now?

The New York Times reports that the Trump legal team won't let him speak to Mueller. Maybe they'll let him tweet at them?

When you put Donald Trump under oath, who knows what he'll say?

We may not be quite to a full constitutional crisis, but we do have a truth crisis.

On Monday, as the market crashed, Trump was in Cincinnati, a rabid hotbed of Trumpism.  There he was talking trash in rally mode and doing what he could to foster even more confusion.

He went after the Democrats, especially how they reacted to his State of the Union Address where the clap-happy Trump boasted of his tax plan and the economy, among other things. 

"Honestly, it was bad energy," Mr. High Energy said of the Democrats who mostly listened silently.  "You're up there. You have half the room going totally, crazy wild, they loved everything, they want to do something great for our country, but the other side. Even on positive news, really positive news like that, they were like death. And un-American. Un-American. Somebody said treasonous, I mean, I guess, why not? (crowd laughs) Can we call that treason, why not? I mean, they certainly didn't seem to love our country very much."

Maybe Trump is tired of being president and would rather be treated like "Little Rocket Man," who has North Korean politicians in the Supreme People's Assembly applauding his every platitude?  

Maybe he'd like to be known as  "Big Rocket Man."

The whole thing is distressing as Congress scrambles to put together a bipartisan bill  this week to keep the government open. 

But it's also a race because Sen. Mitch McConnell promised to get another bill to the floor by Feb. 8 to address the fate of the 800,000 recipients of DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Can a bipartisan bill be brought together that even approaches Trump's demand for $25 billion to build a wall? 

March 5, the deadline Trump set for the end of DACA, is approaching. And as I write, White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly just told reporters that Trump isn't expected to extend the DACA deadline when the protection for Dreamers expires and deportations can begin. Will Dreamers be a low priority? Do you trust the White House on anything?

It could all be a ploy to put pressure on Congress to act. The House has already come up with a bipartisan approach that calls for a study of the wall and about $110 million for five years for border security. It's good enough to draw together traditional partisans like Asian American leader Rep. Judy Chu and New York Rep. Peter King, a rarity.

But that still may not be enough fpr Trump.

With the Senate expected to duplicate the House proposal, lawmakers and the president aren't even close. 

And while Kelly set the hard line on any extension, he attempted to show how generous Trump was being by extending the pathway to citizenship for those who didn't even bother to sign up for DACA.

They were either "too afraid" or "too lazy," Kelly said, using stereotypical language, perhaps to let the base know Trump wasn't going soft. The truth, however, could be that some didn't have the money for DACA fees or were shut out by age limits. Remember, it's a truth optional White House.

Meanwhile, the president denigrates everything in his way as one big joke to his base. 

"Treasonous" Democrats?  As long as Trump plays base politics, he'll have half the country cheering LOL, while the other half goes WTF. 

This is what our country is like when one man apparently thinks he's above it all. It's the signal for all partisans to come together and put country first. And even then, people like the Dreamers will be caught in the middle, as will many others.

When you are faced with your very own personal constitutional crisis, a bonafide PCC, what will you do?

In these Trump times. Preet Bharara can stand up for himself. But too often, others in our community can't. Too often, their only resort is to turn to an organization like AALDEF.

Come hear Bharara and support AALDEF at the lunar new year gala and Justice in Action Awards presentation on Feb. 15.

YODogInvite2018W.jpg*     *     *
Emil Guillermo is an independent journalist/commentator.
Updates at www.amok.com. Follow Emil on Twitter, and like his Facebook page.
The views expressed in his blog do not necessarily represent AALDEF's views or policies.

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Emil Guillermo: State of the Union? Truthfully--chaotic, unless Trump says this
January 26, 2018 1:34 PM

When Donald Trump gives his first actual State of the Union address, what the country really needs is a confessional, not fake news.

We need the president to come clean. Did he attempt to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller at the start of the Russia investigation last summer? The president doesn't deny it, and just says "fake news." 

But those who believe in the rule of law will require something more. Because as more news organizations confirm that Trump's attempt to fire Mueller was halted by White House attorney Don McGahn, then we have a pathway to impeachment.

Was Trump's intent to obstruct justice? What was Trump trying to hide by firing the Special Counsel to end the investigation into Russia's influence in the Trump campaign? And what of the endless statements by Trump and his toadies that there was no attempt to fire Mueller?

A State of the Union Confessional.  #SOTUC.  That's what we need.


But why stop there?

With the American public watching, Trump could also come clean on DACA. Discard the statement from a former Bannon lackey who has become the lead Trump whisperer. 

A pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million undocumented Dreamers in exchange for a $25 billion Border Wall was the headline. But the plan strikes at the heart of American immigration values. 

Family values are supposed to matter to conservative immigration hardliners. But this plan would end family visas for parents and siblings and restrict immigration to spouses and children.

It's the way many of our Asian American families have been built for generations. In immigration terms, we don't have family trees so much as a strong family unit in the multi-generational homes we build in America.

But in these hateful and xenophobic times, "chain migration" is seen as the devil's work.

The new plan also pushes the parents of Dreamers deeper into the shadows. When Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA--the parent version of DACA) was blocked by the courts, undocumented parents had no recourse.

In this new Trump deal, kids stay, parents go home. Can you hear Reality Show Don say, "Goodbye?" 

That's the "rule of law" Trump believes in. His rules. 

Maybe the State of the Union will give Trump a pathway to the truth.

But I doubt it.

That's why it's best if he just keeps it short. Short lies are better than long ones.

Maybe he should just address us in his preferred mode.

Imagine a "State of the Union Tweet."

#SOTUT would be short, not necessarily sweet, yet somewhat kingly-- at least the "tut" part. Very fitting for the "very stable genius" who is "like, really smart."

Unfortunately, protocol and ego probably won't allow Trump to skip his first real State of the Union address. (Last year's technically was just a speech before the full Congress).

But if President Trump is honest on Tuesday (don't hold your breath), he'd at least say these words:

"The state of the union is chaotic because I am a president the likes of which the world has never seen! I caused the shutdown. I promised to sign whatever came before me, but I am not a man of my word. So sue me. My word is still worth more than Stormy Daniels' word, and my lawyers under a fake name paid her $130,000 to shut up. Did she? How can you trust a porn star?

"So we had a shutdown, but thank goodness the shutdown didn't cause the cancellation of this speech. Because even when I gave last year's speech, which wasn't really a SOTU, I knocked it out of the park. 47 million viewers! Higher ratings than Obama!"

Fantasy? Then imagine Alec Baldwin playing DJT. There's truth in satire.

Still, after the recent government shutdown, Trump in his first State of the Union address has a special opportunity to show real leadership. 

Trump should acknowledge that all our rancorous issues on border security and DACA are fixable. 

He could say something like, "It will only happen if we work together. It will only happen if we can have rational, constructive debates. It will only happen if we fix our politics.

"A better politics doesn't mean we have to agree on everything....But democracy does require basic bonds of trust between its citizens. It doesn't work if we think the people who disagree with us are all motivated by malice, or that our political opponents are unpatriotic. Democracy grinds to a halt without a willingness to compromise; or when even basic facts are contested, and we listen only to those who agree with us. Our public life withers when only the most extreme voices get attention. Most of all, democracy breaks down when the average person feels their voice doesn't matter; that the system is rigged in favor of the rich or the powerful or some narrow interest.

"Too many Americans feel that way right now. It's one of the few regrets of my presidency--that the rancor and suspicion between the parties has gotten worse instead of better. There's no doubt a president with the gifts of Lincoln or Roosevelt might have better bridged the divide, and I guarantee I'll keep trying to be better so long as I hold this office.

"But, my fellow Americans, this cannot be my task-- or any President's--alone. There are a whole lot of folks in this chamber who would like to see more cooperation, a more elevated debate in Washington, but feel trapped by the demands of getting elected. I know; you've told me. And if we want a better politics, it's not enough to just change a Congressman or a Senator or even a President; we have to change the system to reflect our better selves."

Trump could say that. If he stuck to the prompter.

But then he'd be plagiarizing President Obama, who said it first in his very last State of the Union in 2016.

Trump could also say he understands diversity and say he's inspired by "voices that help us see ourselves not first and foremost as black or white or Asian or Latino, not as gay or straight, immigrant or native born; not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Americans first, bound by a common creed. Voices Dr. King believed would have the final word--voices of unarmed truth and unconditional love."

Why not? A few weeks ago, Trump talked about DACA being vital and his wanting to sign a "bill of love."

Wouldn't it be great if Trump talked about love in his first State of the Union. He could stop talking about the stock market rising, and focus instead of his rising hopes for all of us, the American people to come together as one. 

Maybe Trump could describe a vision of an ideal American: "Clear-eyed. Big-hearted. Optimistic that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word. That's what makes me so hopeful about our future. Because of you. I believe in you. That's why I stand here confident that the State of our Union is strong."

Once again, those are all Obama's words in his last SOTU. 

What a difference an administration makes.

Obama's words are exactly what the country needs to hear on Tuesday. Something to unite us all.

Sure, it would be great to hear that kind of rhetoric again: Hopeful, inclusive, forward-looking. Not about the stock market's rise. But a deep message about how we as a nation are together as a people with a common purpose.

But that's not what we'll get from the Big Birther.

Because in these Trump times, division is a virtue and the state of the union is chaotic.

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Emil Guillermo is an independent journalist/commentator.
Updates at www.amok.com. Follow Emil on Twitter, and like his Facebook page.
The views expressed in his blog do not necessarily represent AALDEF's views or policies.

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Emil Guillermo: Why did Donald Trump make DACA/Dreamers his political football?
January 21, 2018 6:59 PM

Cheska Perez is a Filipina who was brought to the U.S. by her parents when she was just six years old. It's the standard story. She didn't have a choice.  

She didn't know the U.S. government would shut down because of her.

Perez entered legally when her father, like so many others from the Philippines, couldn't find work to support his family there. So he found a job in America and brought the family to America legally on a work visa.  But when he left his job, his visa ran out, and so did the legal protections for Perez and her family.

Because of DACA, Perez has been on her own since age 18 and has lived the life of a Dreamer. She developed an app to help young people find college scholarships. Does it work? She's her own best example. She found a scholarship program that gave her a full scholarship to a school on the east coast that cost more than $50,000 a year to attend and is ranked among the Top 40 national liberal arts colleges in America by U.S. News and World Report


Why do Trump and other hardline anti-immigrant Republicans want to kick her out of the country?

Cheska Perez is one Asian American who is making America great again.

I've known Perez for the last year, and as the federal government was about to shut down on Friday, I was on the phone with her. 

She was pretty calm considering that she and the other nearly 800,000 recipients of the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrival program had become Washington's new political football.

She was true to her dream, hopeful.

"There's a lot of momentum," Cheska Perez said by phone. "It's really up to Congress now to ensure that there is protection for Dreamers. Everyone is doing all they can to ensure that happens tonight."

Well, now we know they didn't.

And if you've been following the negotiating process, we already know why.  

A year into the lowest rated presidency in modern history, this we know to be true: Donald Trump may know the art of the deal, but when it comes to politics, he doesn't know diddly.

Not when it comes to running the government, or building a political coalition.  Trump is so outside of his "expertise," it's no longer funny that he is taking down the office of the presidency, our country, and our democracy with him.

Hyperbole? Just look at how this DACA embarrassment unfolded.

You'll recall the meeting a few weeks ago when Trump brought that bipartisan group of Congressional lawmakers into the Oval Office. 

"You folks are going to have to come up with a solution. And if you do, I'm going to sign that solution," Trump said. 

Trump was practically gushing while the media cameras were allowed to roll overtime. Why not? To counteract that tell-all book by Michael Wolff, "Fire and Fury," Trump seemed to decide it was time to make us all veritable flies on the wall so we could see for ourselves. 

For the first time, he was saying things that made him sound vaguely presidential, especially on DACA.

"I feel having the Democrats in with us is absolutely vital, as it should be a bipartisan bill, it should be a bill of love, truly it has to be a bill of love," Trump said.

Trump even said he'd agree to a "clean DACA" bill separate from other issues that make up comprehensive immigration reform, such as "chain migration," the ugly rhetorical phrase conservatives use to condemn what humane folks have called "family reunification" for deacdes.

But Trump still wants that border wall and bragged that as a builder, he can get it done for less than $18 billion.

Trump was remaining the optimist.

"If we do the right bill. . .you're not so far away from comprehensive immigration reform," Trump said. "And if you want to take it that further step, I'll take the heat. I don't care. I'll take all the heat you want to give me. And I'll the heat off both the Democrats and the Republicans."

Those were the words by "Mr. I'll Take The Heat" that began the negotiation that lawmakers on both sides trusted. 

When I wrote about it on Jan. 10, I wondered if it was real or just a set-up. 

Now we know it was the latter, and that the president is not a man of his word.

We saw that days after the lovefest, when Trump referred to Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries as "s**tholes." 

Then he denied it, despite what others said they heard.

And now we see the rhetoric change about DACA mid-negotiation.  

Trump's love? Maybe it was like the love he felt for Stormy Daniels, because now the word thrown around in negotiations is "amnesty," as in "No Amnesty," for the DACA Dreamers.  And back we go into the political quicksand.

At this point the saving grace is the action from U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco, who issued a nationwide preliminary injunction that blocked Trump from killing off DACA before several lawsuits challenging the program--by state attorneys from California, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, the University of California, and DACA recipients--were resolved. 

Judge Alsop's ruling allows anyone who had DACA status on Sept. 5 the right to renew. And it buys a little more time for Congress to bring Trump up to speed and get a deal done.

For now, the best advice may come from UC President Janet Napolitano, who knows a thing or two about DACA. She helped write the law.

"Enroll now, reapply now," Napolitano said at a press event last week. She's especially sure that DACA will stand up in court. "We were very careful in crafting DACA," said Napolitano, who helped create DACA when she headed up Homeland Security in the Obama administration. "It complies with federal law. It complies with Supreme Court precedent, and it complies with our values as a country."

She knows more than the president of the whole country, who seems to believe the last person he talks to. He's not talking to Cheska Perez.

But now we also know how to evaluate Trump. One year into his presidency, the shutdown exercise exposes the true value of the president's words. Zero.

Trump should have learned by now, the United States is no reality show. We didn't need another cliffhanger on DACA.

In the meantime, Cheska Perez waits for sanity, for someone to stand up to the bully Trump. Or for the bully to come to his senses. 

Perez continues to do what she can. She protests and goes to Washington to lobby Congress. 

She's at the max and can't reapply for any more extensions. But her papers are good through the midterm elections. She's not giving up.

Will she be forced back to a Philippines she left 14 years ago when she was six?  

Her reality, her future, shouldn't be based on Trump's whim.

"The administration is targeting any and all undocumented individuals," Perez told me. "That's frightening when you're counting down the days you have left on DACA." 

Cheska says she's not giving up now and stands strong with her fellow Dreamers. How can they quit now? Trump has just told them they are powerful enough to shut down the U.S. government.

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Emil Guillermo is an independent journalist/commentator.
Updates at www.amok.com. Follow Emil on Twitter, and like his Facebook page.
The views expressed in his blog do not necessarily represent AALDEF's views or policies.

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Emil Guillermo: "J" is for "Jawdrop"-- Time for the censure of President Donald J. Trump
January 12, 2018 12:14 PM

If his pussy grabbing rhetoric wasn't enough to sink his candidacy in 2016, why do you think Trump's talking about immigrants from Africa and Haiti as coming from  "shithole" countries will phase him? 

But now, the president has gone too far. His racism cannot be excused.

Trump has made it a practice to nuke the truth with his own rhetorical style. 

Art of the deal? Not when it comes to the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. 

But Trump does have the art of the jaw-dropping comment down cold.

He is, after all, the guy who started the birther movement questioning the legitimacy of President Obama's birth certificate. Ultimately, in the face of the truth, Trump finally had to apologize. But even here, he recently began to raise his doubts among friends.

When it comes to race, Trump has a major problem. 

It's all well documented in his past. From the practice of refusing to rent to people of color in the family business to his reaction in the Central Park 5 case.

During his campaign and as president, Trump's carried on. He's called Mexican immigrants rapists. 

He disparaged a Mexican American judge presiding on the case against Trump University a "so-called judge." 

When Trump dangerously baits North Korea's Kim Jong Un, there's more than a hint of racism when Trump says he has a bigger button than Kim.

And then there is Trump's response after white nationalists rioted in Charlottesville last year, when he defended the "very fine people on both sides."

Clearly, Trump has a white comfort zone. And a problem with people of color.

At yesterday's meeting when the fecal language was used, Trump suggested he'd be open to more immigrants from predominantly white Norway. Yes, he had just met its president the day before. He could have also mentioned First Lady Melania from Slovenia. Does merit-based immigration mean "supermodels only"?

At the same meeting, Trump also referred positively to immigrants from Asian countries because he said they'd help the U.S. economically. It's the stereotype, sure. But what about the Asian immigrants from Nepal? What will he say about them when it's their turn for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) renewal?

It won't be positive for Asians.

White nationalist Richard Spencer described Trump this way in Michael Wolff's book, "Fire and Fury": "He is a nationalist and he is a racialist. His movement is a white movement. Duh....We give him a kind of permission."

And that is why Trump feels immune to the jaw drop, as he speaks to white nationalists like Spencer, who have long stood in shame and now have gone mainstream. 

Trump can always explain it all away with what has become the hallmark of the Trump Administration:  the morning Mea Tweeta.
Trump's official explanation, not quite an apology, came more than 12 hours after the Washington Post broke the original story about Trump's frustration at the bipartisan group of lawmakers who presented him with a compromise on DACA.

Trump had said early in the week that he would sign anything that the legislators gave him, and that he would "take the heat."

Those were his words.

But when the bipartisan compromise presented to him on Thursday wasn't good enough, Trump reacted true to Trump, the vulgar racist.

"Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here," Trump said, according to people in the meeting.

The Washington Post verified and reported it. And then so did other news organizations. Fake news? When what should be the moral leader of the free world makes an abhorrent racist comment, it's news.

This morning, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) went on the record. He was at both DACA meetings, the one where Trump urged a compromise, and then the one where Trump used the term "shithole."

"I have seen the comments in the press, I have not read one of them that's inaccurate," Durbin told media, as reported in USA Today

"In the course of [Trump's] comments, he said things that were hate-filled, vile and racist," Durbin said. "I cannot believe that in the history of the White House, in that Oval Office, any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president speak yesterday."

But the president continued to tweet:
Trumptweet2.jpgNo, Mr. President, there is no trust. And no faith. You do not have permission to represent our country in such a boldly racist way.

Fortunately, we don't have to climb the impeachment mountain, not yet. Nor do we need a psychiatric evaluation to spur a 25th Amendment removal.

What's called for now is to finish the steps taken by Congress last August after Charlottesville.
The president must be censured.

Based on Trump's own words, the government must use censure to express the people's disapproval.

Censure is merely a strong institutional statement of rebuke when acceptable standards have been breached.

Trump, who prides himself as having a presidency the likes of which no one has never seen, may have topped himself with his "shithole" comment.

Censure, used once successfully back in 1834 when Andrew Jackson was reprimanded in connection to his defunding the Bank of the United States, would make Trump unique. 

Jackson's was expunged in 1837. I don't know if Trump would be so lucky.

Since then, censure has been tried and has failed a number of times. Most recently, there was a move to censure Clinton after the Lewinsky scandal. And again last August against Trump after Charlottesville. That attempt had more than 130 co-signers and was left in committee.

But now is the time for all good Republicans and Democrats to stand up and speak out, and renew the move to censure the president. This time for his "shithole" comments.

For the sake of our country, our people, and the world, Congress must take strong bipartisan action to formally decry the jaw-dropping racist words of Donald J. Trump.

It must do what the president seems incapable of doing. Congress must do what's right.

The censure of the president may be the only way to overcome and endure an ironic celebration of our national Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

*     *     *
Emil Guillermo is an independent journalist/commentator.
Updates at www.amok.com. Follow Emil on Twitter, and like his Facebook page.
The views expressed in his blog do not necessarily represent AALDEF's views or policies

Posted by:Emil Guillermo | 0 comments


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