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THOMPSON: Trump needs to be held accountable, now

September 09, 2019 - 12:00 PM

Last month, Donald Trump’s ongoing war on immigration - legal or not - sank to a new low.

With not so much as a whisper to the public, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) targeted for deportation hundreds of immigrants in the United States for treatment of rare life-threatening diseases.

On August 7, USCIS sent letters to immigrants with “deferred action” status - a temporary humanitarian relief that allows medical treatment in the U.S. not otherwise available - that they would be subject to deportation in 33 days.

You don’t have to be much of a criminal investigator to find Stephen Miller’s fingerprints all over this draconian and Dystopian scheme. Miller, Trump’s senior advisor on policy, is hawkish on immigration…even legal immigration. But once stories of children given death sentences hit the public eye…Trump had to reign the policy fronting his runaway disdain for immigrants, especially people of colour.

So, last week the Trump administration appeared to reverse its policy…saying the agency will reopen the pending cases of immigrants rather than simply deporting them. I say “appeared to reverse” for good reason. All you have to do is look at the Trump administration’s record of walking back anything or reversing policies…it would embarrass decent people.

Remember Trump’s policy of separating children from parents at the Southern border? After nearly 3,000 kids were taken from parents during Trump’s reign, a court order forced the president to sign an executive order in June of 2018 to end the practice. Of course, he lied about the policy from day one…falsely claiming that President Obama started the separations. Not true.

Kirsten Nielsen, Trump’s former Secretary of Homeland Security until Stephen Miller got her fired, famously claimed the week before that "We do not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period." She, like Trump, is a liar.

By the way, just for the record and definitive proof, a Trump policy reversal isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on, kids are still being separated from parents at the Southern border…at least 911 of them since Trump’s immigration policy reversal in June 2018.

Just how evil is the Trump administration? Some 678 of the 911 family separations in the last 14 months - when by law there should have been none - were based on allegations of the parents’ criminal conduct. Allegations…not convictions. The most typical criminal conduct? A motor vehicle traffic violation.

So, as a parent of a child being treated in the U.S. for a life-threatening disease, would you trust the Trump administration to do the right thing and approve your “deferred action” or believe they would once again…lie?

Consider Maria Isabel Bueso’s situation. She left her home in Guatemala 17 years ago as a seven-year-old after doctors invited her to California for clinical trials that led to a drug now approved by the Food and Drug Administration that has taken her years beyond her life expectancy.

Maria has mucopolysaccharidosis type VI, a genetic disorder that affects about one out of 100,000 births worldwide. Those who inherit it lack an enzyme that allows the body to break down certain sugars.

Maria’s father - who has a visa and works in the U.S. - pays taxes and supports the family, including his 24-year-old daughter. Like most of the children and adult immigrants getting treatment in the U.S., Maria doesn’t cost taxpayers anything.

And because of Maria’s participation in clinical trials, she and other immigrants play a key role in developing effective treatments for others…including American citizens. Maria, for example, helped make Naglazyme a reality…which she takes intravenously every week, along with thousands of others. You might say, Maria and others have already paid it forward.

I doubt that will make much difference to Trump and his minions. He and Stephen Miller are bigots…and there’s little doubt that as soon as the public heat dies this reversal will - like children torn from parents - give way to death sentences for immigrants…children and adults.

Look, I’ve said this for two-and-a-half-years now. Trump lies as other people breathe. He and his policies are hurting America and the world at large. Immigrants know it. Coal workers know it. Farmers know it. Climate scientists know it. Trading partners know it. Democrats know it.

This sorry excuse for a president will be defeated at the ballot box…but that’s next November.

Donald Trump’s reckless disregard for almost everything that otherwise defines America could reach a point of no return in another 14 months.

I’m not over stupid Americans that still support this lamebrain…a man who suggests coal is coming back and thinks A-bombing a hurricane is a good thing. Forget for a moment his morally bankrupt behaviour.

Instead of draining the swamp in Washington, he’s flooded it…there are dozens of former unqualified lobbyists heading agencies under Trump. He’s a loose cannon…and those who believe he’s good for America need a good slap upside the head. As a good American…I volunteer.

He needs to be held accountable…now. Impeach him…and change the laws so that no other man or woman - Republican or Democrat - can ever lead America and the world down the paths toward so many catastrophic disasters.

— Don Thompson, an American awaiting Canadian citizenship, lives in Vernon and in Florida. In a career that spans more than 40 years, Don has been a working journalist, a speechwriter and the CEO of an advertising and public relations firm. A passionate and compassionate man, he loves the written word as much as fine dinners with great wines. His essays are a blend of news reporting and opinion.

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