On Trump, the State of the Union, and Immigration

During his state-of-the-union address, President Trump said he wants to establish an immigration policy that

…admits people who are skilled, who want to work, who will contribute to our society and who will love and respect our country.

Since there seems to be little question that those who enter the U.S., whether legally or illegally, want to work and will love and respect our country, this statement is clearly about welcoming people with what HE thinks are useful skills or trades and closing our borders to those who lack them and the personal qualities that, in his eyes, would make someone a good American.

The Curmudgeon doesn’t know anything about his father’s side of the family but he knows his mother’s side and therefore knows that based on these criteria his grandparents, who came to the U.S. in the 1920s, never would have been admitted under Trump’s proposed criteria. They were, strictly speaking, peasants who lacked what we today would call “job skills.”

Yet they managed to support themselves and buy a home and pay their taxes every year and raise two children, who in turn had five kids, all of whom have turned out well and one of whom is The Curmudgeon.

But The Curmudgeon also knows that, unlike the president and his family, no one in his family ever refused to pay people who performed services for them.

No one in his family ever built a business by denying services to customers who didn’t happen to be the same race as them.

No one in his family ever took a business into bankruptcy, let alone did so four times.

No one in his family ever sought deferral from a military draft and the call to serve their country.

No one in his family ever had sex with an actress while their wife was pregnant and then paid her not to tell anyone about it.

No one in his family ever started a business that’s only purpose was to systematically defraud customers of their money.

No one in his family ever boasted publicly about how they mistreat women.

No one in his family ever referred to racist protesters as “good people.”

No one in his family ever made false, cruel public statements about people or events even when they knew those statements were not true.

No one in his family ever showed nude photos of a spouse to friends.

No one in his family ever solicited special tax breaks from the government.

Is he anyone’s idea of a good person? Is he someone you’d want as a neighbor?

No one in his family ever married someone whose father went to jail.

So when Donald Trump says that he wants immigrants “who will contribute to our society and who will love and respect our country” you have to wonder whether what he has in mind is what he and his family have done and experienced – and whether that’s something you think we all really want and need: more Americans like the Trumps.

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