America’s Anti-Immigrant ‘Atmosphere’

A hostile U.S. “atmosphere” toward a wide range of immigrants, not just Muslims, has followed President Trump’s travel ban aimed at six mostly Muslim countries, reports Dennis J Bernstein.
Dennis J Bernstein

Beyond the specific language of President Trump’s revised travel ban aimed at six predominantly Muslim countries, the executive order creates a climate of hostility toward a much larger number of immigrants, says Indian historian Vijay Prashad.

Following the roll-out of Trump’s executive order, I spoke with Professor Prashad, author of more than 15 books and nine anthologies, including most recently The Death of the Nation and the Future of the Arab Revolution and Arab Spring, Libyan Winter.

Donald Trump speaking with the media at a hangar at Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa, Arizona. Dec. 16, 2015. (Flickr Gage Skidmore)

We also spoke about allegations of Russian interference in the U.S. elections, and what a Trump presidency might mean for US-Israeli-Palestinian policies.

Dennis Bernstein: Let’s talk about some of Trump’s opening salvos and let’s come in through the travel door. You’ve been doing a lot of traveling lately.

Vijay Prashad: Well, you know, the new travel ban is out and I suppose narrower in its scope than the January 27th order. But it’s nonetheless quite significant, in that he has, President Trump has, decided that six countries, not seven–he’s removed Iraq from the list–must have its citizens be under further scrutiny if they want to come to the United States. And I think what people need to understand is that the actual letter of the travel ban, of the executive order, is less important than the atmosphere that such executive orders create.

The atmosphere of this executive order, for instance, has already created a great deal of sensitivity…shall I put it like that? Sensitivity among people who work for the Customs and Border service, at the border. And we’ve had, already, dozens of stories of people who come from none of these countries, none of these six named countries, people who are in fact nationals of countries such as Canada, being not only stopped at the border, but turned away.

So, I think it’s important to see the language of this particular executive order, not for itself–it shouldn’t be studied just for itself–but also the kind of atmosphere created. It’s almost anti… not only immigrant but xenophobic atmosphere. Hatred of strangers, hatred of different people, that seems to have entered quite publicly into American political discussion.

DB: And, we are, of course, now seeing some of the things that many of us feared in terms of the expanding sweeps, by the Department of Homeland Security, what’s taking place at the border. This is something that has changed, if you will, the character, the intensity, of life now at a certain point, in a certain way.

VP: Yes, and you are in California, where there is a preponderance of people who will easily be mistaken, let us say, by federal officials for being immigrants. An attitude has returned to the United States that there is something called “an American.” Somebody who is white, somebody who is perhaps, let’s even put it in a more narrow way, Dennis, somebody who is Anglo-Saxon, somebody who is, perhaps even narrower, Protestant. And this person has once again emerged as the actual, kind of, muscle of what it means to be an American. And everybody else is, in a sense, has to be considered outside that definition. I think this is very disturbing.

This is after a generation and a half of what was known as multiculturalism, an attempt to expand the concept of “American,” to be more inclusive. To allow, for instance, one’s imagination to accept that people who migrate to this country have title to it, they’re likely to feel comfortable in it. And, I think that the Trump movement, the very cruel populism of the Trump movement, has once more suffocated the idea of “American.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Washington, D.C. during the inauguration of Donald Trump. January 20, 2017. (Flickr U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

It’s taken the idea of “American” by the throat and it has garroted it. And it’s said that only a very narrow interpretation should be allowed. So, when one sees pictures of ICE agents at the jet-way as people are getting off domestic planes, asking to check out identification. This smells like this suffocated idea of “American.”

And I’m afraid the price for this is on the one side going to be paid, of course, by those who don’t look like “Americans,” but really the price for this is going to be paid by the United States in general, as people from around the world decide that they are not really looking forward to a holiday in the United States, and as people outside the country think, “I don’t want to go study there.”

And it’s almost as if Donald Trump has had kind of a syllable error. And rather than conducted a war against terrorism, he has decided to conduct a war against tourism. And the effects of that are going to be quite catastrophic.

DB: Let’s go to “the Russians are coming” again. Now … if you read it from the sort of corporate press and the Washington elite, and the intelligence community, it’s “Donald Trump is on the strings of Vladimir Putin.” In fact, through Donald Trump, Putin crashed the U.S. elections and made it possible for him to be the president. Do you buy that scenario?

VP: Well, let’s first say that if you were asleep for the last 40 years–[if] you were the 20th century Rip Van Winkle, and you woke up yesterday, or this month–you’d think that the Soviet Union had won the Cold War, and that the United States had been defeated. It’s extraordinary that there is this kind of paranoia about the reach of Russian power. It tells you a great deal, in a sense, about the anxiety inside the American ruling elites, that they believe that the Russians have such immense capacity, and that their capacity, therefore, is not as immense.

This is something that people should consider, particularly when you look, for instance, at the defense budget of the United States, now with a $54 billion increase by Donald Trump. Most likely the defense budget will go up to about $700 billion a year. By the way, that $54 billion increase of the U.S. budget, it’s the increase of the budget, that’s almost the total annual Russian military budget.

So Russia is actually a fragment, has a fragment of the power of the United States. And yet, the United States is somehow hyperventilating about Russia’s influence inside the United States. I think people really need to take a step back and consider this. Now, whether the Russians actually influenced the elections, that’s a separate matter. And, of course, that will require perhaps some kind of investigation of e-mail servers and things that are beyond my capacity.

But, clearly, there are some problems in American elections. And those problems may not have everything to do with the Russians. They may have to do with the desiccated nature of American politics in the first place.

Look at what the American electorate was offered. On the one side Hillary Clinton, who was carrying the flag of the status quo, and on the other side Donald Trump, with incredibly dangerous words coming out of his lips. That was hardly a choice for people. So there is a kind of very desiccated political environment. I think that’s one of the things that people need to take seriously about this election.

Jeff Sessions (R-AL) asks questions of a panel of Department of Homeland Security officials on January 20, 2016. (Flickr U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

The second thing they need to take seriously is this is the first presidential election after the withdrawal of the Voting Rights Act. So a very large numbers of people around the country were disenfranchised from the ballot box. I think that–the removal of the Voting Rights Act–is probably more consequential for the election results than any Russian meddling.

DB: And, of course, you have, added on to that, the elevation of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III to be the attorney general, who has spent a lifetime trying to disenfranchise black people from voting, if not actually supporting terrorism against them. It doesn’t look good at that level.

VP: Well, it’s an incredible moment, that he actually gave us. First, his entire name, a confederate name, if there ever was one. Jeff Sessions has, as you said rightly, spent his life suppressing not only the black vote, but the black imagination. At least trying to suppress the black imagination. And being largely unsuccessful because of the push back of the forces of black liberation movements, civil rights groups, etc.

But now, as those groups also have been largely atomized, broken up, or have become incorporated into the ruling structure, the power of those groups has been weakened. And it has allowed this kind of “revenge politics” of Mr. Session to be an important part of the coalition of Donald Trump.

Who would have imagined from, let’s say, the 1990’s that the American fascist movement, the Ku Klux Klan and others, would have representatives inside the White House? It was thought in the 1990’s that that kind of neoliberal[ism] didn’t require that kind of constituency to maintain their policy in this country. But, of course, now they are back in the guise of people like Steve Bannon.

And, by the way, these killings, and this is me just speaking personally now, these killings of South Asians, whether in Kansas or in South Carolina, people might say, “Well, these are just one-off incidents.” It’s very important to remember that Bannon has a very special antipathy to Asian workers in the high tech industry. And people in your listening area who work in the high tech industry should pay attention to this. In 2015 he wanted to scrap the H-1B visa. This is a visa for high tech workers.

And in an interview with then-candidate Donald Trump, when Bannon said this, Trump cautioned him and said “No, no, we want talented people inside the United States.” But it was Bannon’s views which prevailed. And then during the election campaign Trump campaigned repeatedly for the withdrawal of H1B, that is, for allowing high tech workers to enter the country. And it was Bannon who, in another interview in 2016, in talking about migration, said that these migrants shouldn’t be allowed in because, as he put it, “Jeffersonian democracy is not in their DNA.” This is very harsh language against sections of the population, very racialized language. And this is, of course, front and center now, in the White House.

DB: And, do you want to just say a word or two about this idea of putting in charge of each agency somebody who is there to dismantle the agency, and … that’s the structural program that’s being unfolded under Steve Bannon and Trump, right? This is to dismantle any attempt at regulation of corporate power.

An American flag with corporate logos replacing the Stars. (Photo by Chelsea Gilmour)

VP: One of the interesting features of this Trump movement from what you’re bringing up in terms of deregulation, is that there is an internal problem in this movement. This movement has promised people economic sovereignty. In other words, it said that we’ll put America first. Americans should get jobs first, etc…. and by the way, again, that word “American” as the modifier is very important. It refers back to what I said earlier. What do they mean by American?

So, at any rate, this idea of economic sovereignty has been the main plank. They’ve been banging on this plank saying they’re going to make sure Americans get jobs, etc. But they’re banking on the fact that if they both cut tax rates and they allow for massive deregulation this will somehow spur on American capitalists to invest money inside the United States.

There’s no evidence, in the last twenty years, that this sector of the American population is interested in massive investment inside the United States. In fact, I would argue that this section of the population has essentially gone on tax strike, and has withdrawn this massive amount of capital either overseas, or into Wall Street. It’s not been interested in making the kind of investments that create jobs.

But because, I think, Bannon and Trump recognize–they’re not stupid people–I think they recognize that the demand for economic sovereignty is not going to be met. In other words, they’re not going to be able to create the millions of jobs necessary to counter what they call “American carnage,” the destruction of the jobs in America. Because they won’t be able to do that, then they argue very quickly, from economic sovereignty, they argue for cultural sovereignty.

And that is why issues such as build a wall against Mexico, get Mexico to pay for it, stop the Muslims from coming into the country, stop H1B workers from coming in. These elements of so-called cultural sovereignty become more important for them. And these are going to create massive social strife in the country that is along so-called race lines.

What we’re going to get, instead of a class war to create economic sovereignty in the country, is a race war. It is going to target certain minorities for punishment. Whether it’s going to be people who look like Mexicans, who’ll be targeted by ICE agents, or it will be vigilante groups out there shooting Indians, going after Muslims, etc. I think we are on the precipice of some kind of race war. And I’m not sure the great resistance that is building up in the country recognizes this fully, and confronts it fully. I think this could be a very dangerous period for the United States.

DB: Let me focus you a bit on the Middle East, just two more areas there. Let’s start with, I guess you could call it, Trump’s new peace team for Israel. He’s got his son-in-law, who is a real Jew, we’ve been told that, excuse me. And we’ve got, well, the implications of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Your thoughts on this?

President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at joint press conference on Feb. 15. 2017. (Screen shot from Whitehouse.gov)

VP: Well, look, Dennis, this is an interesting moment. On the one side you have Trump moving with his very harsh, well-known position, “let’s go in and move the embassy, the U.S. embassy, to Jerusalem, and let’s … stick our finger in the face of the international consensus.” You have that on the one side.

On the other side, you have a very curious moment when Benjamin Netanyahu came to the United States. When Trump, in his very casual, folksy way… and I think he disarmed Netanyahu in this, [when he] said “You know, I don’t care what you do, one state, two state, as long as everybody is agreed, we’re behind it.” I mean, this is a curious moment. And Netanyahu sort of giggled his way out of it. I think he was really quite surprised to hear that.

DB: Yeah!

VP: And this idea of walking away from the two-state solution, which he proposed, within twelve hours his ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, had to quickly say that “No, no we’re still committed to the two-state solution.”

I think there is a great deal of incoherence and chaos in the Trump White House as far as foreign policy is concerned. I honestly don’t think they know what they are doing when they make some of their pronouncements. They’ve had to pull back on a number of them, including Trump’s statement about “Let’s go in there and take the oil,” as he was talking about Iraq. Then, quickly, his defense secretary had to come in and say “No, no he didn’t mean that.” So, I think there’s a great deal of incoherence in terms of world affairs. I really don’t think they know what they’re talking about.

I think that Trump’s statement that the United States needs to build twelve aircraft carriers… these are kind of the ramblings of somebody who doesn’t understand how the world works. At this point the United States has about one hundred times greater military power than any other country in the world. Russia barely has one aircraft carrier, China has one aircraft carrier, the United States has several. Why build six more aircraft carriers? [It would be an] enormous waste of the public resources that could be used towards schools, parks, etc. So, I think there’s a great deal of incoherence.

I think Trump likes an attitude of belligerence around foreign policy. But I think here the establishment that surrounds him is going to coax him through the consensus. This, of course, doesn’t mean, Dennis, that the consensus is good. The consensus is often terrible. So it’s not clear that this is a good thing.

For instance, the one area where I think some modulation is necessary as far as U.S. policy is concerned, is with regard to the great hostility against Russia. The attempt to engage Russia and China is not going to produce good dividends for the United States.

And you don’t have to take it from me. People can go and read Henry Kissinger, who, as you well know, is still alive. Henry Kissinger has been saying the same thing, that this kind of intensified rhetoric against China and Russia is really not productive. And even this strategy, of trying to separate out China and Russia, is not going to work. For in this one small area where Trump was saying a few interesting things, he was immediately closed down. So, I think that the establishment is going to prevail on foreign policy. And I think, of course, that is never a good idea.

President Barack Obama talks with President Vladimir Putin of Russia during a phone call in the Oval Office, July 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

DB: And, just to be clear, the point is that the bit of light coming through Trump policies was that, unlike Clinton, he wasn’t convinced that we needed a no-fly zone, all-out war [in Syria], we needed to push NATO onto the border of Russia, and that there might be another way. This is really what got him into trouble, right? Taking this on, and the sort of the… the permanent state, the neocons, and the new, hawk liberals just couldn’t put up with this.

VP: Well, exactly. Look, what did Obama’s policy of trying to isolate Russia… if you extrapolate from the elements of Obama’s Eurasia policy… the policy regarding Russia, Europe and China, what you can assume is Mr. Obama was attempting to isolate Russia, and somehow break its ties to China. You can extrapolate that from the kinds of things that they were doing. The Ukraine policy, the Syria policy to some extent, mainly the Ukraine policy.

So, if that was the case, it didn’t work. Because over the course of the Obama presidency, as Russia was further isolated out of Europe, it strengthened its ties with China. And, for instance, the Russians decided to pivot the economic, kind of, relationship, from trying to sell their natural gas and oil to Europe, to doing so with China. So, military ties increased between China and Russia, strategic ties increased, and economic ties increased.

So here comes Mr. Trump, and perhaps he was trying a newer strategy: befriend Russia and try to attack China. Once again, to break the link between the two. But if that was the game he was playing, it would not necessarily have worked. Because, by now, the Russians and the Chinese are quite integrated, in at least the strategic and military aspects, if not also the economic aspects.

But still, the kind of dialing down of the tension around Eurasia would have helped everybody, including the Europeans. But I think there is a sort of an old Cold War mentality that still strikes at the heart of the American establishment which is why it was so easy to conjure it up, around this thing that Russians are interfering in the United States.

It’s old Cold War feuds that have emerged in a new generation, not just in people who experienced and grew up in that era. So, yes, I think that there would have been something quite refreshing … with a rethinking about Russia-China-United States relations. It would have been good for the world to have had a dialing down of tensions. But, of course, that was not to be.

Dennis J Bernstein is a host of “Flashpoints” on the Pacifica radio network and the author of Special Ed: Voices from a Hidden Classroom. You can access the audio archives at www.flashpoints.net.

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17 comments for “America’s Anti-Immigrant ‘Atmosphere’

  1. Joe Tedesky
    March 10, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    So much for all the fluffy rhetoric I grew up with where ‘America was a melting pot’ and how about what’s written on the Statue of Liberty ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door’, all fluff, and with the Trump Adminstration all gone.

    The only reason Russia is now in the dog house, is because enough of us older folk are still around who were conditioned to fear and hate Russia. So let’s play it again Uncle Sam. God somebody please tell Rachel Maddow to quit with her Russian bashing. So the liberals fear Russia, and the Right is intimidated by the Hispanic…what psychology has driven our nation to develop such a hate?

    • Bill Bodden
      March 10, 2017 at 7:20 pm

      Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses …

      and we’ll play them off against the tired, poor, and huddled masses already here to keep them and their wages down.

      • Joe Tedesky
        March 10, 2017 at 7:43 pm

        Isn’t that the truth!

    • Realist
      March 11, 2017 at 4:24 am

      It took a long time, but eventually, basically following two world wars in which everyone had to serve together as cannon fodder, it became “okay” for Europeans from the Catholic countries of Southern and Eastern Europe to be melted into the ethnic alloy that America became. It’s still an act in progress, but not insurmountable, for many of the Orthodox Eastern Europeans. This amalgamation was possible mainly because all those folks were white.

      Most of the new arrivals are not only not Christians, they are not “white” (though many may, strictly speaking, be Caucasian, including Indians and all the Middle Easterners). Too much pigment and not enough Jesus raises bad ju-ju amongst the “Real Americans.” Moreover, the perceived invaders haven’t yet cut their reproduction rates back to the less-than-replacement level of American and European whites, which makes the American white population edgy knowing they will soon be just another minority group within this country and lose much of their political clout through dilution at the ballot box.

      This, of course, assumes that our elections are not just charades where we are made to believe that WE choose one or the other of two viable candidates hand-picked by the plutocracy. The plutocrats, with all the political power recently granted them by the Supreme Court (of corporations being people and money being speech), badly overreached in the latest election, rammed two obvious rejects down the public’s throats, and exposed the true nature of their own phony facsimile of democracy. Hence the angst and turmoil in its wake.

      But really, the ruling white aristocracy has little to fear for losing their power. They will simply follow the formula that has worked for five hundred years in Latin America where the Blancos generally reign supreme though representing just a tiny minority in most of its countries. That’s what all the voter suppression laws are about. That’s why getting one more arch-conservative on the Supreme Court was essential to maintaining a stacked deck. When the plutocracy plays its cards right, they can even arrange to have a token black elected president while they pull his strings behind the scenes. We’ve seen that in action.

      • Joe Tedesky
        March 11, 2017 at 3:03 pm

        I think we Americans think to highly of ourselves. Most countries I’ve been too the people native to that country spoke English alongside their own native tongue. We Americans on the other hand ignore the qualities of being bilingual, and with that this says a lot. We Americans should join the human race instead of destroying it.

  2. Greg
    March 10, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    “The latest rewrite of the immigration ban…is nothing more than a scheme to benefit the private prison industry wrapped in the false cloak of national security,” Paul Wright said. “The adminitration’s vilification of immigrant, fueling the recent alarming increase in deportation arrests, is a means to ensure inreased profits for the private, for-profit prisons used to house them.”

  3. Bill Bodden
    March 10, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    It’s extraordinary that there is this kind of paranoia about the reach of Russian power. It tells you a great deal, in a sense, about the anxiety inside the American ruling elites, that they believe that the Russians have such immense capacity, and that their capacity, therefore, is not as immense.

    First, thank you for this interview with Vijay Prashad, one of my favorite commentators. However, I’m not sure there is “anxiety inside the American ruling elites.” It may very well be the theatrics on their part suggesting fear of Russia are just another fear mongering scam.

  4. Bill Bodden
    March 10, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    And, we are, of course, now seeing some of the things that many of us feared in terms of the expanding sweeps, by the Department of Homeland Security, what’s taking place at the border.

    The callous arrests of parents, especially in front of their children, is a practice that is utterly despicable made much more barbarous by subsequent deportations. This contemptible activity may prove to be on the same scale and character as the rejection of 900 Jewish refugees on the SS St. Louis in 1939 – http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-27373131

  5. Zachary Smith
    March 10, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    It’s taken the idea of “American” by the throat and it has garroted it. And it’s said that only a very narrow interpretation should be allowed. So, when one sees pictures of ICE agents at the jet-way as people are getting off domestic planes, asking to check out identification. This smells like this suffocated idea of “American.”

    No, that smells like Police State. Mr. Bernstein’s repeated references to uniformed pinheads at the borders are valid ones. And kicking around tourists is stupid beyond words.

    And yet, the United States is somehow hyperventilating about Russia’s influence inside the United States.

    The Corporate Media ought not be identified with “the United States”.

    Look at what the American electorate was offered. On the one side Hillary Clinton, who was carrying the flag of the status quo, and on the other side Donald Trump, with incredibly dangerous words coming out of his lips.

    Hillary said she was going to impose a no-fly zone in Syria. She was going to force the passage of the “end of electoral democracy” TPP treaty and begin direct corporate rule. Neither was “status quo!

    It’s very important to remember that Bannon has a very special antipathy to Asian workers in the high tech industry.

    And precisely what is wrong with that? I doubt if either Dennis J Bernstein or Vijay Prashad knows anybody who was forced to break in his “high tech” imported replacement before losing his own job to that person.

    But because, I think, Bannon and Trump recognize–they’re not stupid people–I think they recognize that the demand for economic sovereignty is not going to be met. In other words, they’re not going to be able to create the millions of jobs necessary to counter what they call “American carnage,” the destruction of the jobs in America. Because they won’t be able to do that, then they argue very quickly, from economic sovereignty, they argue for cultural sovereignty.

    And that is why issues such as build a wall against Mexico, get Mexico to pay for it, stop the Muslims from coming into the country, stop H1B workers from coming in. These elements of so-called cultural sovereignty become more important for them. And these are going to create massive social strife in the country that is along so-called race lines.

    I’d call the Mexican Wall and Muslim Entry Restrictions a huge smoke screen to distract the Trump Base from the fact they’re not a bit better off than they were, and might still be in decline.

    I think that Trump’s statement that the United States needs to build twelve aircraft carriers… these are kind of the ramblings of somebody who doesn’t understand how the world works.

    Unfortunately, Trump’s advisers – the ones with all the braid and medals – don’t understand much of it either.

    People can go and read Henry Kissinger, who, as you well know, is still alive.

    It’s my default position that if Henry Kissinger says something, it is safest to go with the opposite of what he says.

    Taking this on, and the sort of the… the permanent state, the neocons, and the new, hawk liberals just couldn’t put up with this.

    Well said, though left unmentioned was the identity of the Puppet Master behind all of those agents – the murderous and thieving little apartheid state of Israel.

  6. Loup-Bouc
    March 10, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    Every nation possesses legal borders and a sovereign prerogative of guarding them against ALL trespass, including entry of aliens the nation did not invite. Most nations refuse to permit uninvited aliens to remain within their borders; they deport them.

    In 2014, the U.S. population was 318.9 million. Today it it markedly greater because of the growing influx of illegal aliens. The influx is very costly. Citizens and legal residents need that the influx cease and the costs diminish. Trump’s immigration policy is rational and wise.

    The illegal alien influx’s costs? Below follows an adumbration of SOME:

    The illegal alien will work for markedly lesser pay. So, unscrupulous employers will hire illegal aliens rather than legal aliens and citizens. Also, the illegal alien influx creates much greater labor force, hence much greater job-demand, which, in a static or diminishing job-market, will drive down wages for legal aliens and citizens. Such is irrefutable economic truth.

    Some “liberals” argue that because the illegal alien will work for low pay, “production” costs diminish, hence prices too; and, so, the general populace benefits. Nonsense: Tell that bullshit to the legal aliens and citizens who lose or cannot get jobs or must work for slave wages, because of the illegal aliens. Those legal aliens and citizens cannot buy the products priced lower because they either do not have jobs or can obtain only part-time employment or jobs that pay “minimum wage” or less.

    George Borjas (Center for Immigration Studies) found that, in California, from 1980 to 2000, Mexican and Central American immigrant influx (both legal and illegal) accounted for a 3.7% wage loss for American workers (4.5% for black Americans and 5% for Hispanic Americans) and wage depression was greatest for workers without a high school diploma (a 7.4% reduction) because these workers face the most direct competition with immigrants, legal and illegal. http://cis.org/articles/2004/back504.html

    That Borjas study did not segregate the illegal alien’s wage-loss-effect from the legal immigrant’s wage-loss-effect. But other studies have, and they have shown that the illegal alien’s effect is markedly greater.

    In February 2008, the national unemployment rate was 4.8 percent, but the unemployment rate for high school drop-out adults (over 25 years old) was 7.3 percent. For youth 16-19 years old, the unemployment rate was 16.8 percent and for young adults 20- 24 years old, 8.9 percent. These three main groups are the employees of low paid and low skilled jobs that are usually taken by illegal aliens. http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1025&context=briggstestimonies

    Those statistics UNDERSTATE the case, since they depend on Department of Labor data, which do not account even nearly the REAL unemployment level, but fail to account a huge segment of the unemployed. https://www.bls.gov/cps/cps_htgm.htm#employed Compare: https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t15.htm

    The IRS refutes the assertion that more than rather few illegal aliens pay federal taxes.

    Respecting the matter of illegal aliens’ consumption of public services, see
    https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/110th-congress-2007-2008/reports/12-6-immigration.pdf
    That Report rendered, among else, these conclusions:

    * State and local governments incur costs for providing services to illegal aliens and have limited options for avoiding or minimizing those costs.
    * Though illegal aliens GENERATE (not pay) tax revenues for state and local governments, those revenues do NOT offset the total cost of services provided those illegal aliens.
    * Federal aid programs offer resources to state and local governments that provide services to unauthorized immigrants, but those funds do not fully cover the costs of necessities.

    “Liberal” sources tend to claim that illegal aliens do not commit crimes more than others do. The claim is bullshit. Illegal aliens live in poverty and often in ignorance and must struggle more than others to survive. If one is poor, ignorant, and struggling intensely to survive and one feels one is losing the struggle, not unlikely, one will turn to crime to survive.

    The “liberal” “studies” stress the assertion that illegal aliens do not commit violent crimes more than others do. Those studies’ statistics are suspect.

    https://www.ice.gov/removal-statistics/2016

    https://ojp.gov/docs/ojpannualreport2011.pdf

    http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-11-187

    https://www.constitutionparty.com/illegal-alien-crime-and-violence-by-the-numbers-were-all-victims/

    http://cis.org/Immigration-Enforcement-Deportations-Decline-2016

    https://www.numbersusa.com/news/sanctuary-cities-released-over-2000-criminal-illegal-aliens-2016

    http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/07/illegal_aliens_murder_at_a_much_higher_rate_than_us_citizens_do.html

    http://www.dailywire.com/news/10155/9-things-you-need-know-about-illegal-immigration-aaron-bandler

    https://www.dhs.gov/news/2016/12/30/dhs-releases-end-year-fiscal-year-2016-statistics

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/apr/27/homland-security-releasaing-thousands-illegal-immi/

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/09/16/crime-wave-elusive-data-shows-frightening-toll-illegal-immigrant-criminals.html

    But suppose, FOR ARGUMENT, that, respecting VIOLENT crime rates, the “liberal” studies are not biased but well premised and statistically valid. Still, their assertion seeks to deflect attention from what is more relevant. The direly struggling illegal alien may not commit “violent” crime more than others do, but likely that illegal alien will commit some form of theft, criminal trespass, or criminal property damage more than others will.

    • Loup-Bouc
      March 11, 2017 at 3:09 pm

      CORRECTION

      In my comment’s second paragraph, the second sentence ought to be: “Today it is markedly greater because of the growing influx of illegal aliens.” [The second “it” changed to “is.”]

    • Realist
      March 11, 2017 at 4:12 pm

      Wow, that was more than just a comment. That was its own comprehensive article.

      • Loup-Bouc
        March 11, 2017 at 5:47 pm

        Yours, Realist: “That was its own comprehensive article.”

        Maybe. But it is astronomically shorter than the article regarding which it comments, and it is a (politically incorrect) show of truth, rather than a blathering of (politically correct) sick propaganda that bemoans an “Anti-Immigrant ‘Atmosphere’” that, I suppose, the article’s writer perceives as if it were akin an engulfment of methane. [Shall we feel pity for the article-writer’s olfactory discomfort?]

  7. Zachary Smith
    March 10, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    I think that Trump’s statement that the United States needs to build twelve aircraft carriers… these are kind of the ramblings of somebody who doesn’t understand how the world works.

    I’m revisiting the aircraft carrier business because right after making my last post, i ran into this at a Mil-Blog.

    “Iran successfully tests radar-guided anti-ship ballistic missile”

    Fox News cited US officials as saying Iran carried out two ASBM tests on 4-5 March, with the second successfully hitting a floating platform 155 miles (250 km) away. One US official said the tests involved a “Fateh-110 Mod 3” with a “new active seeker”.

    A small nation spending maybe 3% of what the US does on “Defense” has continued to refine a small and short-ranged missile to the point where it can hit an oversized raft at 155 miles. Since Iran has mastered the technique, is there any particular reason they can’t bolt the system onto one of their larger missiles – say the Shahab 3 – and deliver the same half-ton warhead out to 1,200 miles with the same precision?

    Of course a US carrier group could probably shoot down one of these missiles. It might destroy the next 17 of them too, but running out of ammunition could be an issue. What about the 38th attacking missile?

    China has a “ship killer” ICBM which makes Iran’s look like toys by comparison. How to target them? Perhaps submarines lurking on the horizon could radio back general coordinates. Or the missiles might home on the tremendous radio emissions associated with a carrier task force group. There is also the option of a long-range stealth drone. Fly it out to the general vicinity and stalk the carrier. It could provide precise information about the place for the missile to fly towards. Recall that Iran has a copy of one of those drones, and both Russia and China have learned how to do “stealth”. For all I know, Iran may be equally capable on a small scale like this.

    Building big carriers is stupid. It has been for a long time, but the inertia (and the money!) means it keeps going on. The next Ford-class carrier is supposed to be half finished, and they’re gathering parts for a third. Terrible waste of money, especially when carrier-killer weapons of all sorts continue to spread like wildfire.

  8. Chet Roman
    March 10, 2017 at 11:37 pm

    “This is after a generation and a half of what was known as multiculturalism, an attempt to expand the concept of “American,” to be more inclusive.”

    And when did the American population vote for this “globalist” agenda promoted a small elite clique? Let’s look at the approximate start of this “generation and a half” period of social engineering and at the sitting president’s comments on ILLEGAL immigration when he received a standing ovation from both parties:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3yesvvYEvs

    America is accepting about 1 million immigrants each year, if we want more I am quite happy to support it but it’s the open borders policy that has created the flood 11 million illegal immigrants, which, in part, gave Trump the issues that got him elected over the tone deaf and bungling Hillary. Ignore the masses at your peril.

    I am all for scrapping the H-1B visa. It’s been used to replace American workers with equally competent but significantly cheaper foreigners. A recent example is the law suit by employees against Disney that fired their American IT workers to employ H-1B visa holders. Just another corporate scam.

    • Loup-Bouc
      March 11, 2017 at 8:32 pm

      Ah, a whiff of sanity breaking through the smog of pseudo-liberalism.

  9. March 11, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Nuremberg: “Ich war nur nach Befehlen” has become “I am just doing my job”.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/mar/11/mexico-border-wall-hispanic-owned-construction-companies:

    “I think the wall is a waste of time and money,” said Patrick Balcazar, the owner of San Diego Project Management, PSC, a design-build construction firm in Puerto Rico that is listed as one of the Hispanic companies involved.

    “For environmental reasons, it’s dumb. From an economic point of view, it’s dumb.” But, he added, “I defend your right to be stupid. If you want to put up a wall, I’m going to put up the best wall I can and I’m going to pay my people.”

    Work has become the only ethic; particularly the devil’s work.

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