EppsNet Archive: Immigration

Thomas Jefferson: Separating Babies and Mothers

My fellow Americans — Separation of families at the border was going to be a great election issue for Democrats until fate intervened in the form of Justice Kennedy announcing his retirement from the Supreme Court. Most of the people outraged by border separations are also afraid of losing a key Supreme Court swing vote, particularly on the issue of abortion. Unfortunately, Democrats have standardized on a needlessly violent metaphor — “ripping” — to talk about family separations. A representative example: As a career prosecutor, I actually went after gangs and transnational criminal organizations. That's being a leader on public safety. What is not, is ripping babies from their mothers. pic.twitter.com/WyyHU3U7jE — Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) July 2, 2018 Now that abortion has again become a leading national issue, the Republican talking points re “ripping babies from their mother” write themselves. Footnote: In apprehending and prosecuting people who committed crimes, one… Read more →

Thomas Jefferson Explains Family Separations

My fellow Americans — The reason families are separated at the border is that the United States, like many countries, has laws governing border crossings by non-residents. When an adult is apprehended crossing our border illegally, they go into the criminal justice system and are placed in a detention center. Keep in mind that an American citizen apprehended in the commission of a crime is not processed any differently. If you are placed in a detention center, I assure you that your children will not be in there with you. A note on rhetoric: A strong line of argument should not require violent metaphors and manufactured hysteria — families “ripped apart,” children “torn from their mother’s arms” — to be persuasive. Read the Declaration of Independence, for example. Read more →

Separation of Families Considered Harmful?

Here’s a photo showing two girls in a “cage” watching a World Cup match, amongst dozens of other kids who are for some reason wrapped in foil. I’ve seen this photo and others widely circulated online recently as evidence of the Trumpenfuhrer’s crimes against humanity. But guess what? The photos were taken in 2014, when some other guy was president. Many people have a single standard for evaluating political activity: Is it being carried out by Team Red or Team Blue. Nothing is good or bad on its own merits. I don’t remember anyone on Team Blue being outraged about kids in “cages” in 2014, but in 2018 it’s a humanitarian crisis has to be denounced mercilessly, even if the evidence has to be faked. I haven’t heard anyone propose a viable alternative to separating parents and children at the border. I’m not sure Team Blue wants to find a… Read more →

Fact Checking the Fact Checkers

PolitiFact has a article headlined “Donald Trump’s NRA speech, fact-checked”. Here’s a sample: “African-American unemployment has reached another all-time, in history, record low … And the same thing with Hispanic American unemployment, which is also at the lowest level in history — unemployment, lowest level in history. And women’s unemployment — women, many women — is at the lowest level in almost 20 years. Think of that.” The “fact check” starts out like this: As far as the numbers go, Trump is correct. It then goes on for another five paragraphs to say that Barack Obama deserves “at least as much” credit as Trump for low unemployment. That’s a fact check?! Trump didn’t even say anything about who deserves the credit, although the listener is invited to make a favorable inference. Had he added “. . . and I deserve all the credit,” it would be fair in that case… Read more →

Feb. 5, 1917: Immigration Act Passed Over Wilson’s Veto

On this date in 1917, Congress overrode President Woodrow Wilson’s veto of the previous week and passed the Immigration Act of 1917, which, among other provisions, introduced a period of near complete exclusion of Asian immigration to the United States. Not that life was a bed of roses for Asian immigrants before 1917. Asian laborers were sought out for demanding and dangerous railroad jobs involving explosives. The phrase “Chinaman’s chance,” meaning little to no chance at all, dates from this period. Asians were not allowed American citizenship and were frequent victims of hostility and violence with no legal recourse. For example, in 1854, George W. Hall was convicted of murdering a Chinese man. On appeal to the State Supreme Court the decision was overturned because all of the evidence against him was from Chinese individuals. According to the Supreme Court ruling, the Chinese “recogniz[ed] no laws … except through necessity,… Read more →

Nov. 12, 1954: Ellis Island Closes

Via History.com: On this day in 1954, Ellis Island, the gateway to America, shuts it doors after processing more than 12 million immigrants since opening in 1892. Today, an estimated 40 percent of all Americans can trace their roots through Ellis Island, located in New York Harbor off the New Jersey coast and named for merchant Samuel Ellis, who owned the land in the 1770s. On January 2, 1892, 15-year-old Annie Moore, from Ireland, became the first person to pass through the newly opened Ellis Island, which President Benjamin Harrison designated as America’s first federal immigration center in 1890. Before that time, the processing of immigrants had been handled by individual states.   With America’s entrance into World War I, immigration declined and Ellis Island was used as a detention center for suspected enemies. Following the war, Congress passed quota laws and the Immigration Act of 1924, which sharply reduced… Read more →