By Patrick Martin in the USA:
Republican candidate Trump backs deportation of millions
17 August 2015
Billionaire Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump issued his first position paper Sunday, calling for deporting all 11 million undocumented immigrants, as well as depriving their US-born children of citizenship.
Trump, who continues to lead in polls of likely Republican voters both nationally and in early primary and caucus states, appeared on several Sunday television talk shows to defend his fascistic attacks on immigrant workers. This included a full half-hour interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
The immigration plan expands on the racist denunciation of immigrants from Mexico that was the centerpiece of Trump’s campaign launch, in which he spoke of “tens of thousands of violent beatings, rapes and murders” by immigrants.
Trump calls for building a physical wall across the entire southern border of the United States, some 1,600 miles, and compelling Mexico to pay for the wall by seizing remissions from immigrants working in the United States to their families in Mexico. Virtually all of Trump’s rivals for the Republican nomination have backed the plan for a border wall, differing only on how to finance it.
The most radical element of his new plan is a tripling of the size of the Border Patrol force dedicated to enforcement and removal of immigrants, with the goal of rounding up and expelling every single undocumented worker in the United States. Immigrants who were detained for investigation of their legal status would be jailed, not released into the community. Although Trump did not spell this out, such a policy would require the creation of a network of concentration camps to jail immigrants and process them for deportation.
Trump further proposes to end birthright citizenship. Under the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, all children born in the United States are automatically citizens of the country. This amendment was enacted after the Civil War as part of the uprooting of the slave system, to guarantee citizenship for the freed slaves and their children. It naturally applies as well to the children of immigrants, regardless of the legal status of their parents at the time of birth.
It is a measure of the deeply reactionary character of American capitalist politics that most Republican politicians and some Democrats now support at least partial repeal of this 14th Amendment protection of basic democratic rights.
Trump attempts to cloak the ultra-reactionary character of his immigration plan with claims to be defending the jobs and living standards of American workers, making reference to the high unemployment prevailing among black and Hispanic workers, particularly teenagers.
In his television appearances Sunday, Trump reiterated that undocumented immigrants “have to go.” He claimed, “We’re going to keep the families together,” a pledge that apparently means that if even one member of a family is undocumented, all of them would be deported.
Trump declared, like all the other Republican candidates, that one of his first actions in the White House would be to rescind Obama’s executive order blocking deportations of the parents of US-born children and of children exempted from immigration arrest under the so-called Dream Act.
In fact, the Obama administration has deported more immigrants than ever before in US history, some four million since 2009—more than the Bush administration deported during its eight years in office. It has gone to court to uphold its policy of detaining undocumented women and children fleeing to the US from repressive regimes in Latin America.
The difference between the Republicans and the Democrats on immigration is largely a matter of rhetoric rather than performance. Both capitalist parties are committed to continued mass arrests and deportations, with most Republicans promising even more draconian measures while most Democrats posture as advocates of immigration “reform.”
Trump prepared the unveiling of his anti-immigrant program with a campaign swing through Michigan—not one of the early primary states—where he issued a typically vitriolic attack on China and alleged Chinese currency manipulation at a rally in Birch Run, situated between Flint and Saginaw in what was once a center of auto production in southeast Michigan. Denouncing the most recent devaluation of the yuan, Trump declaimed, “Devalue means suck the blood out of the United States.”
Two Democratic members of Michigan’s congressional delegation hailed Trump’s anti-Chinese rhetoric. Representative Dan Kildee, whose district was the location of the Trump rally, said the billionaire was voicing the sentiment of many auto workers and residents. Representative Debbie Dingell, whose district in Detroit’s downriver suburbs has long been based on auto and steel production, declared that Trump was “spot on” in his attack on China.
“Countries like China that cheat and don’t play by the rules hurt good-paying American jobs—like the ones we have right here in Michigan in the auto industry, and it needs to stop,” Dingell said in a statement. “I am pleased Mr. Trump made this point loudly and clearly when he visited Michigan.”
See also here.
From Talking Points Memo in the USA:
The GOP establishment has been plotting to consign Donald Trump to the electoral scrap heap ever since he entered the race. The question we should ask is why.
One hopes his enemies would be motivated by disgust for his sexist and racist remarks. But Trump has articulated positions that, however crude, are squarely in the party’s mainstream. Marco Rubio opposes abortion even if a pregnancy is the result of incest or rape. Jeb Bush sees no reason for the federal government to allocate a half billion dollars to women’s health, and urges workers to work harder as a part of the cure for our economic malaise. Trump’s statements on immigration are just more bombastic versions of his opponents who want to seal the border with Mexico and deny undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship.
And it can’t be because Trump displays a libertarian strain. His main antagonist, Rand Paul, a staunch libertarian, is tolerated by the war-mongering Republican leadership, even though he has expressed disagreement with the Bush administration’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
So why is Trump the enemy, really? The GOP will say it’s because he’s a clown, he has no experience, he can’t win, he’s more a celebrity than a politician. This might all be true. But there’s another big reason they’d rather not talk about.
At the debate and numerous public appearances, Trump has matter-of-factly stated that he is an equal opportunity donor to Republican and Democratic candidates—not for the purpose of civic duty or altruism, but in exchange for influence. He has openly deemed his gifts to politicians a business expense. He went so far as to declare, before 24 million viewers at the debate, that he uses his donations to obtain favors from legislators who are all too eager to bow to his requests. He not-so-subtly implies that politicians are bought and paid for by him and other financial moguls. And he expects a fair return for those dollars, measured in policy rewards like zoning adjustments, subsidies for building projects and long-term tax relief.
In short, he lets the cat out of the bag about something the political system has spent more than a century to disguise.
Representative democracy can only remain legitimate in the eyes of its citizens if they believe that those who seek and hold public office are independent actors. We have tolerated well-funded lobbying organizations, most of which get their money from rich donors and corporate investments. Hillary Clinton admits she receives huge contributions to her campaign from Wall Street titans. But she adamantly denies that these millions of dollars influence her political decisions.
It is an open secret that the overwhelming majority of U.S. senators and a substantial portion of members of the House of Representatives are rich. In some instances, like Trump, they enter politics as “independently wealthy” candidates. But in many if not most cases their money comes from high-end speakers fees from corporations and their non-profit foundations and institutions. Senators and Congresspeople often participate in insider trading, getting lucrative investment advice from Wall Streeters or congressional financial and economic staffers.
Many of us know all this. Yet we are still asked to hold up the myth that the government should be free of direct influence. Trump shatters this tacit agreement into a million pieces. This kind of honesty has no place in the political marketplace.
The Republicans have veered so far to the right that they will tolerate, even welcome, the ugly side effects of white American privilege. And with the help of the United States Supreme Court, they welcome unrestricted campaign contributions to candidates. But to nominate a figure who is frank about the intervention of big business in the political arena, who declares that money talks—that’s a gross violation of the illusion that propels government and politics, the presumption of political independence.
Of course, Trump’s blunt statements about the influence of money over politics are nothing new. Historians have amply documented the naked power of big business in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Figures like rail magnate Jay Gould, the energy king John D. Rockefeller and media mogul William Randolph Hearst were not shy about admitting their power over government. In the first decade of the 20th century, their power was challenged by populist and socialist movements and the fledgling labor movement. Congress and state governments passed laws to regulate business, and a significant minority of social reformers were elected to Congress. A scion of early American wealth, Franklin D. Roosevelt, joined the reformers during his first two White House terms.
But since the end of World War II, the reform impulse has ebbed, if not died. Beginning in the 1970s the Congresses and White Houses of both leading parties have watered down and even revoked business regulation. And politicians have lost the vestiges of independence they once wore proudly.
Trump’s remarks merely reflect a reality that has been with us for decades. Of course, there is still a tiny group of politicians—Vermont senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders, for instance, or Ohio’s progressive senator Sherrod Brown—who remain outside the money machine, but that group is shrinking. Even some of the most progressive candidates must rely on very rich donors if they expect to be elected; Elizabeth Warren, who has excoriated Wall Street and the government’s soft policies against flagrantly illegal bank shenanigans, had to accept big bucks from big donors to stay competitive during her victorious first election. The bare truth is that until we have mandatory public financing of political campaigns and rigorously prohibit private donations, democracy is likely to remain a utopian ideal. Even then, without aggressive enforcement, the old order is likely to return.
We should be grateful for Donald Trump, despite his silly, derogatory statements and obvious contempt for the process in which he has chosen to engage. He has opened the door to a new debate about what American democracy is actually about. His posture unintentionally parallels how Occupy Wall Street exposed the power of capital to rule our country.
In national elections, nearly half of registered voters stay home. The conventional explanation is apathy. But if people believe that politics is run by big money and have little faith that their vote can produce real change, they respond to someone who at least seems to be telling the truth. Trump is no saint, but we have to admit that he has tapped into a collective revulsion for politics as usual.
Mexico condemns Donald Trump’s ‘racist’ and ‘absurd’ immigration plan. ‘These comments reflect prejudice, racism or plain ignorance,’ Mexico’s foreign ministry says of Trump’s plan to make Mexico pay for a border wall: here.
Artists Transform Heartbreaking Letters From Detained Migrants Into Gripping Works Of Art. “Visions from the Inside is a project enlisting 15 artists from across the country to create a piece of art based off letters from women in detention. The initiative, a collaboration between CultureStrike, Mariposas Sin Fronteras and End Family Detention, illuminates the horrific realities of life inside some for-profit detention facilities in the U.S., as well as the resilient spirit that keeps the inmates going.” (Read more here)
In the wake of billionaire Donald Trump’s call for the repeal of birthright citizenship, several other Republican presidential candidates have joined in demanding the abrogation of this fundamental right guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution: here. From that:
Trump also expressed sympathy for the actions last week of two men in Boston who attacked a homeless Hispanic man, 58 years old, urinating on him and then beating him with a pole and their fists and breaking his nose because they believed him to be an undocumented immigrant. One of the two told the police, “Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported.”
Of this incident, Trump declared: “I will say that people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate.” Only later, after public criticism, did Trump say, via Twitter, that he “would never condone violence.”
TRUMP KICKS JORGE RAMOS OUT OF PRESS CONFERENCE Ramos, one of the most prolific Mexican-American journalists, was trying to ask Trump about his immigration plan. And CNN postponed its 10-year Katrina anniversary special for more Trump coverage. [Elise Foley, HuffPost]
Meet The Members Of Donald Trump’s White Supremacist Fan Club: here.