I’ve been torn about whether or not to comment on this controversy since, by its nature, the topic violates my own site rules about the use of profanity. Since it has now become so central to the debate over immigration, however, it’s impossible for me to ignore, since immigration is one of a few topics that lies at the core of my campaign against destructive population growth.
Let’s back up a bit and examine what it was that elicited such an angry response from Trump. In exchange for generously offering to not just change the temporary status of DACA immigrants (“deferred action childhood arrivals” – kids brought here by illegal aliens) to permanent status, but to even grant them a path to citizenship, Trump insisted on three additional things:
- an end to “chain migration,” the visa program that allows immigrants to apply for visas for family members, who then are eligible to bring in more family members – creating an endless and exponentially expanding flow of immigration,
- an end to the “diversity visa lottery” program, which brings in another 50,000 immigrants per year from countries who are “under-represented” in the general U.S. population,
- funding for the border wall, currently estimated at $18 billion.
These are reasonable immigration reforms that most Americans agree with. He had said that he was willing to sign any bill that met these criteria.
So here’s the bill that senators Dick Durbin (D) and Lindsey Graham (R) brought to him:
- DACA immigrants would be barred from the chain migration process. The 690,000 DACA “kids” would not be able to apply for re-entry for their parents. Otherwise, chain migration continues as usual for other immigrants, probably numbering somewhere around 25-30 million.
- The “diversity visa lottery” program would end, but the 50,000 immigrants would be reallocated to other visa programs.
- Only about 10% of the border wall funding was included, plus a little more funding for other “non-wall” border security.
- Extending “temporary protected status” to 437,000 immigrants from El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti, Nicaragua, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen.
In other words, Durbin and Graham tried to play Trump for a fool, offering him a bill that did absolutely nothing to rein in our out-of-control immigration, if anything making it worse. It’s no wonder that he was incensed enough to lapse into the use of a vulgarity in a “behind the doors” meeting. Most people would in that situation.
Durbin saw an opportunity to stir up hysteria, characterizing Trump’s remark as “racist.” It was nothing of the sort. While there is no formal definition of the word “shithole,” it’s clearly a vulgar term used to describe a foul place, not a person or people. In terms of poverty, political corruption, violence, extremism, a failure to meet basic human needs and a denial of human rights, these are foul places. Places like El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and others (unfortunately disproportionately represented by Africa) are, in fact, “shitholes.” That’s not meant to demean the people of those countries, but their unfortunate circumstances. If a country is so bad that no one – not even its own citizens – wants to live there, then it is a shithole.
Trump then reportedly went on to ask, “why don’t we bring in more people from places like Norway?” (Trump had just visited with the prime minister of Norway and, reportedly, was highly impressed.) It’s this contrasting of Norway with the aforementioned places that may have hinted at racism, a suspicion that has dogged Trump beginning with this comments about Mexican immigrants early in his campaign. Is Trump a racist? I don’t know. What I do know for sure is that Trump is a “money-ist.” He’s been all about money his whole life. So while African countries are black and Norway is snow-white, it’s also true that African countries generally rank right at the bottom in terms of GDP (gross domestic product) per capita while Norway ranks at the very top – well above the U.S. So was he really expressing a preference for wealthy, merit-based based immigrants or a preference for white immigrants over black immigrants? He has said all along that he wants a more merit-based immigration system. (By the way, just as an aside, Norway is one of many countries that does not have birthright citizenship, unlike the U.S. Just being born there doesn’t make you a citizen. Birthright citizenship is something else I’d like to see Trump address.)
Since the hysteria erupted over the “shithole” epithet, Lindsey Graham has characterized it as a “shithole show,” and has blamed Trump and his staff. Baloney. Graham and Durbin are to blame for pushing him over the edge when they tried to sucker him and play him for a fool. They tried to play the American people for fools, like they always do. They believe that if you polish a turd shiny enough to make it look like an apple, the American people will swallow anything. The American people elected Trump to put an end to this crap.
Now they’re trying to back Trump into a corner, threatening a government shutdown if he doesn’t agree to this immigration sham. I hope he doesn’t. It’s time to stand firm and force a real change in our out-of-control immigration policy. Let the government shut down. If Congress doesn’t want to reform immigration in exchange for Trump’s generous offer to give the DACA kids a path to citizenship, then they don’t really care about the DACA kids.