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Day 454 – Her Name is Rosa Sabido, Mr. President. She Has Lived Here For Decades. And She Should Not Have To Fear Deportation.

Day 454 – Her Name is Rosa Sabido, Mr. President. She Has Lived Here For Decades. And She Should Not Have To Fear Deportation.

Image from The LATimes

Mr. President,

There was a story in the Washington Post recently that really deserves a portion of your otherwise miniscule attention span. (It does require reading, but I am sure someone would be more than happy to help you with the big words.) It concerns Ms. Rosa Sabido, an undocumented resident in Colorado, and her efforts and reasons to remain in the U.S.

This isn’t just a Colorado story, nor is it a merely inspirational story about a brave woman’s fight to be what she always has been, except on paper: an American. No, this is the American dream – not just wealth, fame or fortune, not just a new home or apple pie or all sorts of patriotism.

Rosa Sabido is, or should be, the poster girl for what we need to fix as far as immigration enforcement goes. ICE, for whatever reason (to please you, I think, but it may just be bloody-minded bigotry) seems dead-set on deporting the least dangerous or undesirable undocumented Americans: Ms. Sabido, fathers who have ages-old misdemeanors, men and women who have honorably served in the U.S. military, DACA recipients who live in fear of being sent to a place they’ve never known, honest, clean-living, productive and tax-paying residents who want to part of this country. In other words, the very sort of people who built this nation.

The government has no business being so aggressive in their enforcement against people like Ms. Sabido; no business trying so desperately to deplete what is probably one of the greatest hopes to truly keep America great. Like it or not, Mr. President, we are a nation of immigrants. We are rapidly becoming a more diverse and cosmopolitan nation and society; that is our history and future.

It is far past time for you to acknowledge this and abandon your xenophobic attitudes about immigration. We need to drastically revise current law, not in the restrictive sense that you and your GOP seem to favor – that is counterproductive to the American dream. Rather, we need looser, up-to-date laws that allow good people to settle here with a reasonable path to citizenship.

And the sooner, the better. Get busy Mr. President, and lead for a change.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

 

Day 391 – Letter to Fellow Americans: Are You Feeling the Love From Donny T? Yes? No? Bleh?

Day 391 – Letter to Fellow Americans: Are You Feeling the Love From Donny T? Yes? No? Bleh?

Image from Across the Margin

Dear fellow Americans,

Happy Valentine’s Day!  We wonder how many of you are feeling the love from President Trump? In honor of the day, we made a list (nowhere near complete) of those who might be feeling it and those who are probably not.

Feeling the love

Oil and gas companies:  got a nice permit to drill in the Alaskan Wilderness Refuge and approval to drill offshore along both coasts (although some states are challenging it)

Florida: got an exemption from the off shore drilling approval because the Republican governor asked for it and Trump has urged him to run for Senate next year

Scott Pruitt: Secretary of the EPA spends a great deal of our money on his always first class flights, some on charter or military planes, mostly to tout Trump’s gutting of the EPA; a few examples: $1,641 DC to NY City; $36,068 from NYC to Rome, Italy; $40,000 for a trip to Morocco to increase exports of natural gas, which does not even fall within EPA mission

The Very Rich: under the new tax code, the very rich (those who earn one million or more) will see their taxes for 2019 cut by 80%

The Wall: still in the running for the $18 billion estimate it will cost to build it

Neo Nazis: empowered by Trump’s comment that there are good people among their ranks

ICEImmigration and Customs Enforcement: arresting and deporting immigrants at twice the rate of the previous administration

Ex Sheriff Arpaio: pardoned by Trump for his conviction of criminal contempt, and running for Senate

Vladimir Putin: since Trump has said that he believes Putin’s denials about meddling in our 2016 election, in spite of all the evidence that proves it, and has avoided putting the sanctions against Russia into place that Congress required him to do last summer, Putin can and will continue to undermine our democracy

Not feeling the love

Native American tribes: including the Hopi, Navajo, Ute, and Zuni who call the Bears Ears Monument sacred and who are seeing the lands which contain ancient artifacts and  burial grounds diminished by 85%

Rob Porter’s ex wives: who claim that he assaulted them and have compelling evidence to prove it and were dismissed by Trump who defends and praises his close aide Porter as a fine man who says he is innocent

States and cities: told they will be assuming the major financial burden for Trump’s $1.5 trillion dollar infrastructure plan even as they struggle to meet their own budget needs

Jorge Garcia: Michigan husband and father of two who lived in this country for 30 law abiding, hard working years but was deported to Mexico because he came here at age 10, one year before he could qualify for DACA

Medicaid and Food Stamp: facing deep funding cuts from Trump and his allies, diminishing programs designed to help the poor, disabled, and elderly

Malcolm Jenkins, Chris Long, Torrey Smith: Philadelphia Eagles players who will not attend a traditional  meeting in the White House to honor the teams’ Super Bowl victory because Long says Trump is sexist and racist and because, as Jenkins says, there are more effective ways to advance the social justice work that representatives from all NFL teams are supporting than to attend a photo op with this president

Transgender members of the military: banned by Trump from serving their country (ban has been put on hold by members of the judiciary)

Believers in climate change (a.k.a. believers in science): as a candidate Trump said climate change is a hoax; as president he has indicated that it is not real- as in “why would we be getting so much cold weather if there is global warming”

The Truth, the Constitution, our democracy: all under attack by this president

So, on this Valentine’s Day, 2018, may we all have someone who loves us, may we exhibit individual acts of kindness and grace, and may we continue to RESIST Donald Trump and his allies.

Sincerely,

Trudy J Schulze, Joseph R Schulze

And Letters2Trump

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 377 – You Know Nothing About the Immigrants in Our Country, Mr. President. Nothing.

Day 377 – You Know Nothing About the Immigrants in Our Country, Mr. President. Nothing.

Image from the Southern Poverty Law Center

Mr. President,

I forced myself to listen to your speech last night while running on a treadmill in the gym. I had no other choice, every screen in that gym had your face on it. In attempts to make it more palatable, I simultaneously read #SOTU hashtagged tweets on Twitter.com. It was scary, sad, but also hopeful and reassuring to see the reactions of individuals from all over the world furiously popping up on my iPad screen. I was severely disappointed, yet not at all surprised, to hear your typical approach of fear-mongering, especially around the issue of immigration.

The issue of immigration is a topic I hold dear to my heart. My mother and father came to the United States from South America by plane. This happened many years before I was born, some 44 plus years ago. I am not sure about my dad, for I did not grow up with him long after my parents’ divorce, but my mom overstayed her visa and lived as an undocumented citizen in the U.S. for many years. Finally, in the early 90’s, after years and years of what seemed like never ending paperwork, she finally became a U.S. citizen. The issue of immigration is also dear to my heart for I grew up in a Latino neighborhood in Jamaica, Queens in New York City. Living in Queens, I knew, loved and was friends with many people who lived, worked and paid taxes to the U.S., while all along being undocumented. None of these people were rapists, murderers or gang members. None of these people had any other intention besides the single finite goal of helping out their families, whether they were here or abroad. One thing I know for sure they were is “hard working.” When one comes to America with a dream of “making it,” one comes emotionally armed to work harder than anyone or ever before in order to realize that dream; it is an unrelentingly brutal path for all who come, but a path one consciously chooses with resolve and determination. From experience, I know very well that oftentimes “working hard” required working while ill, working long dreary hours, or even working in physically unsafe situations and of course, doing all of it for very, very little pay. To this day, I don’t recall my mother ever taking a vacation; it was just not part of her world, not part of the life she set out to live for herself. First generation immigrants like her just cannot afford to be replaced at their jobs, so work is all they know.

Last night, at your State of The Union address, you deliberately chose to show the face of immigration as a bunch of murderers, rapists or gang members. While my heart cried and prayed for the poor parents of the girls, Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens, savagely murdered by six members of the MS13 gang (of whom you spoke about in your speech), these evil murderers are by no means a representative sample of the immigrants that live in America today. Of course, I agree, no family should ever have to lose a loved one in such an evil, senseless way and I hope the two families find peace, if not justice, in this lifetime. Yet, the undocumented immigrants I grew up around were not murderers, rapists or gang members. Devastatingly, murders do happen every day but lots more of these murders are actually committed by United States citizens, Mr. President. A tweet from @tcurrais last night best describes this stating that, “Las Vegas shooter: Not an immigrant. Sandy Hook Shooter: Not an immigrant, Charleston Church Shooter: Not an immigrant. Aurora Movie Theatre Shooter: Not an immigrant. Texas Church Shooter: Not an immigrant. Columbine Shooter. Not an immigrant.” To be fair, Mr. President, shouldn’t you have also mentioned the larger threat of domestic terror or perhaps any of the many other numerous threats to our safety, from domestic abuse to police brutality, or maybe even lack of health insurance, poverty….and on and on?

Mr. President, your sinister not-so-subtle attempts at brainwashing the citizenry and villainizing all immigrants with this one horrific double murder of these young lives is manipulative and plain evil. With your use of just this one example I am more than ever convinced you have no interest in closing the great divide that now plagues our country. Instead, you are attempting to capitalize on our emotional reactions to your carefully chosen examples in order to create an even wider separation among us. I just hope most of us are aware enough to see through your tactic.

Sincerely,

Hopeful in Springfield, Va. and Letters2Trump

Day 374 – Letter to the Democratic Party: The Wall = A Carrot for President Tiny Hands.

Day 374 – Letter to the Democratic Party: The Wall = A Carrot for President Tiny Hands.

Image from the Courier Journal

Dear Democratic Party,

I’m liberal. I always have been. And like many liberals, I’m stubborn about taking the moral high ground. But recently, I’ve had a change of heart regarding Trump’s number one campaign promise, and I’m writing to you to in hopes of changing your minds and coming on board with me.

     THE WALL  

I think we should go ahead and give the egomaniac his wall. Yes, I realize that it will be a colossal waste of tax payer money. It will not help secure our borders—the drug dealers it’s meant to keep out prefer tunnels. And it will very likely cause irreparable damage to the ecological balance of the Sonoran Desert.

However, it will also create some short-term jobs. People will earn money. That has to be good for the country, right? And the $18 billion price tag won’t be paid on the first day, so really, the money won’t be going anywhere.

Oh, you just noted that I qualified “jobs” as being “short-term.” Well, duh. Every intelligent person knows that it will be years, YEARS, before any real construction can begin.

There are 1,900 miles to cover, people. Somewhere around 700 miles already have some sort of barrier in place—this began in 2006 with the Secure Fence Act. At the same time, Trump was hoping for the real estate market to crash and announced, big surprise, that he likes nepotism. However, much of the remaining 1,200 miles cuts through privately owned property. Texan property. Eminent domain aside, the Trump Administration should prepare for a battle. Remember the Alamo?

So, yes, years and years before the wall can be built. In the meantime, surveyors, assayers, transportation specialists—you can’t just drive anywhere in the Sonoran Desert—guides, and a slew of both technical and non-technical workers will be hired. And the logistics: hotels, restaurants, service providers—I see no end to the possibilities.

But most importantly, dear Democratic Party, think what giving the wall to Trump will do for you. DACA, for one. I would caution to not cede to Trump the entire wall in one fell swoop, give him just enough until we need something else from him. Keep it dangling under his nose like a carrot.

And while he’s bragging about how big his wall is with his tiny, tiny hands, maybe he’ll be distracted and not do anymore damage to the country. Even if his term lasts a full four years, he will never see the wall’s completion because, as soon as we retake our government, we can begin the dismantling of his policies and his wall.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

 

Day 363 – Letter to Americans: His Name is Jorge Garcia and America is His Home.

Day 363 – Letter to Americans: His Name is Jorge Garcia and America is His Home.

Image from NBC News

Dear Americans,

On Monday, January 15th, Jorge Garcia was deported from the United States to Mexico. Garcia was brought here as a 10-year-old child by an uncle and grew up in America, where he eventually worked as a landscaper in Michigan. Like Lourdes Salazar Bautista before him, Garcia was a model citizen who paid taxes and had no run-ins with the law. Despite this, Garcia was forced to leave behind his wife of 15 years and two children to return to a country which he had not been to since he was in primary school.

When I shared this story on my Facebook page, I was not surprised to see resistance to it. I grew up in a small town (96.5% white by the last census – an improvement from when I was there), and I keep in touch with a number of former classmates through social media. It is a community that talks and behaves in the way that one might imagine when describing “the forgotten men and women of America,” where folks blast country music singing the praises of American and bemoan those “others” from “shithole countries.” Many of them, especially the ones who remained near our hometown, voted for Trump. According to the county clerk, Trump took 71% of the vote on election night. These are not people who care about Jorge Garcia, in other words.

I was in middle school when I first heard that particularly disgusting racial slur, leveled at my best friend’s foster-sister while riding home on the bus. I felt my stomach twist in  Stknots, unsure of what to do, until she stood up and started beating the absolute snot out of the kid. When I used to tell this story, I would play up my shock and laughter at realizing this racist jerk was getting his comeuppance at the hands of his victim. I also downplayed my fear and my inability to stand up for my friend. Unchecked by the rest of the community, this kind of hatred continued to fester and grow in the schoolyard taunts and off-color jokes told around lockers. Every time it happened folks would look around, make sure that nobody was calling them out, and feel affirmed. No need to worry about the consequences of what we were saying, hearing, and doing.

At the time of this letter, Ded Rranxburgaj has recently announced his intention to seek refuge from ICE in Central United Methodist Church. An undocumented immigrant from Albania, Rranxburgaj has lived in Michigan for the last 17 years. He is the primary caretaker of his wife Flora, also an Albanian immigrant, who suffers from multiple sclerosis. He and Flora have two children, both attending schools in the area. Like Garcia and Bautista, Rranxburgaj has no criminal record and works as a cook for a local Coney Island. Once again, I plan to share Ded Rranxburgaj’s story. I fully expect the resistance to it from people I grew up with. But I have a responsibility to share these stories and hold others to account. I no longer want to be that kid on the bus, too scared to call out morally wrong acts by people like me. I want to make sure that everyone in my social circle are unable to hide behind literal ignorance. My hope is that by doing this and challenging every person who tries to allege that the deportations are fair, reasonable, or “making America Great,” I might encourage these “forgotten Americans” I grew up with to interrogate their own complicity by electing Trump.

To be sure, Obama was no saint when it came to deportations. Neither should we be holding immigrants to ridiculous standards by which we judge whether they “deserve” to be deported by how saintly they behaved here, which stories like Bautista, Garcia, and Rranxburgaj’s always carry the risk of becoming. Their stories are simply illustrations of how vicious our immigration enforcement has become – that if they are going after people like Garcia and Bautista, then clearly the system has run amok and is in need of a complete reexamination. To fix this problem we need to first look among ourselves and into our communities, especially those in “forgotten America.” But by electing Trump, we unleashed ICE on a population who live among us and who are not deserving of the attention ICE has focused on them; it is our responsibility to set that right by challenging those around us to be better.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

 

Day 359 – You are a Racist, Mr. President.

Day 359 – You are a Racist, Mr. President.

Image from Fine Art

Mr. President,

I no longer have any doubt that you are a racist, but your comments from the Oval Office at your much ballyhooed meeting on immigration reek of Hitler. To wit: “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” You then suggested that the United States should bring more people from countries like Norway. The “shithole countries” to which you referred are Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries. Apparently you got frustrated when lawmakers suggested restoring protection for immigrants from these countries, immigrants who have suffered from devastating earthquakes, famine, war. Thus your comments. You have denied using the widely reported vulgarities, but Senator Durbin was in the room and has gone on record to state that you said them several times during the immigration discussion. Easy to choose between the word of a well respected Senator and a pathological liar. Even the White House spokespersons have not denied that you said them.

People around the world have been dismayed, disheartened, and alarmed by your words. 54 African states have demanded an apology. Perhaps the only good thing to have come out of this is that now more and more journalists, representatives of other countries including our allies, and even politicians are boldly using the word “racist” to describe you. UN Human Rights spokesman Rupert Colville, “I’m sorry but there’s no other word one can use but racist.

Hitler extolled the virtues of the Caucasian race and denigrated people of color. Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries have a majority of people of color. Norway is approximately 92 percent Caucasian. Hitler envisioned a country of “superior” white people. Since you say you are “very smart, a genius” you should be able to make the connection between Hitler’s racist views and your own, even though you are notoriously unable to self-reflect. But then again maybe you see nothing wrong with a comparison between you and the most infamous Nazi who ever lived.

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, the tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” You probably don’t even recognize these words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty, the icon welcoming immigrants to our country. But do notice that they do not include the word Caucasian as in “your huddled Caucasian masses”.

Sincerely,

Letters2trump

 

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