Friday, June 08, 2018

The Tweet Diversion

Two of the many Trump dog whistles in April included

It is because of tweets like these, though on a variety of subjects, that human weathervane Paul Ryan on May 2 told an audience of business leaders and investors "we definitely could do with a few less tweets. The President and I have had that conversation more times than I can count. Later in the month- one in which he tweeted 259 times- a survey found that 72% of registered voters believe the President's use of the platform is excessive.

Still, the President's policies toward immigrants and refugees may demonstrate that this habit contributes toward his political popularity.

Politifact has explained that once the US Department of Health and Human Services receives an "illegal entry referral" from the Department of Homeland Security, it "is responsible for placing the child with a sponsor as the child’s immigration case is resolved." As a professor of immigration law and national security remarked, "Previous administrations felt broad use of the 'prosecute-first' option was needlessly harsh."

The Trump Administration is referring far more individuals for prosecution, thus ruthlessly separating parents and children. While some voters- even some conservatives- are discomfited by views of children locked in cages, Trump's tweets divert attention from them and toward Mexico, Mexicans, border security, and the general resentment which fuels the popular base.

And away even from immigration policy.  We learned recently from Tracy Jan of the Washington Post

Despite his administration’s "Hire American” stance, Trump and the GOP leadership have gone quiet on mandating E-Verify, draining momentum from a top policy goal of grass-roots Republicans.

“The president has been very weak on this subject,” said Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA, an organization that has campaigned for a national E-Verify mandate since 1996 in its quest for reduced immigration. “Even though he’s not pushing hard for it and even though the Republican leadership has been really sluggish on this, the Republican Party as a whole is overwhelmingly for this.”

Three days later, Nick Miroff of the Post reported

The Department of Homeland Security said Friday it will issue 15,000 additional guest worker visas for 2018, facing an outcry from business owners who say they’re being hurt by the country’s labor squeeze.

It was the second year in a row that DHS agreed to allocate an extra 15,000 guest worker visas, on top of the 66,000 annual cap established by Congress. Lawmakers have granted DHS the authority to exceed the cap, and in recent weeks they have urged Nielsen to allow more foreigners to alleviate the tight labor market, with the unemployment rate at 3.9 percent.

The H-2B visas are for foreigners who take seasonal jobs in seafood, tourism, landscaping, construction and others industries — but not farmworkers. Critics of the guest worker program say such jobs should pay more to attract more teenagers and American workers who have dropped out of the labor force.

Lest we think that the Administration has undergone a compassion transplant and is concerned about immigrants

In a statement, DHS said Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen determined that not enough “qualified, U.S. workers [were] available . . . to satisfy the needs of American businesses.”

“The limitations on H-2B visas were originally meant to protect American workers, but when we enter a situation where the program unintentionally harms American businesses it needs to be reformed,” said Nielsen, whose statement urged lawmakers to pass legislation to establish an appropriate number of seasonal visas....

It was a near-repeat of what happened last year under then-Secretary John F. Kelly. At that time, DHS described its decision to allocate 15,000 extra visas as a “one-time” increase. There was no such wording in Friday’s statement.

Critics of illegal immigration would do well to remember that parents everywhere tell their children "choose your friends carefully":

“It shouldn’t become a habit, but I’m afraid it will,” said Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies, who has written articles in recent weeks praising the labor shortages as a sign of the success of Trump’s immigration crackdown.

Krikorian said he was not surprised at the visa increase because Trump is not an opponent of the guest worker system, and has hired seasonal foreign labor for his golf courses and resorts.

“The President is for H-2B visas, so this is one area where his ‘Buy American, Hire American’ doesn’t apply — it’s hire foreign,” said Krikorian.

Trump has used the H-2B visa program to hire workers at his golf resorts in Palm Beach, Fla., and Jupiter, Fla., saying he “could not get help” during the tourist high season.

“Everybody agrees with me on that,” Trump said during a 2015 presidential debate. “They were part-time jobs. You needed them, or we just might as well close the doors, because you couldn’t get help in those hot, hot sections of Florida.”

Donald Trump has insisted he knows nothing about David Duke; Chicago has the strongest gun laws in the nation; terrorism is so rare it's ignored by the media; he won the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election amid "serious voter fraud" in Virginia, North Carolina, and California; Obama "actively supported" Al Qaeda and "founded" ISIS; and made dozens of other assertions rated "pants on fire" by Politifact. 

It's nearly as absurd that Trump would be forced to hire immigrants on visas for his properties in Florida, when there are (or were) unemployed Americans everywhere who would have moved there for a job, rather than to Wyoming, the Dakotas, Minnesota, or Maine, or elsewhere deep in the snow  belt.  However, if he can keep on tweeting, people will never remember when he said wages are "too high"- and in a rarity, meant what he said.

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