When he disrespects our heritage, Trump demeans the nation
June is Immigrant Heritage Month, a time when the country should celebrate immigrants from all over the world whose quick minds and strong hands built this nation, sustaining it during bad times and pushing it forward during better ones.
Yet, words like gratitude, solidarity and compassion are absent from Donald Trump’s vocabulary. Ironically, the president of the U.S., a country where nearly everyone –him included-- has immigrant roots, far from celebrating their fundamental contributions, is waging a merciless war against foreign-born Americans. With shameless indecency, the trickster in the White House takes pride in insulting their character, debasing their humanity, and terrorizing their children.
It is a sad time when unabashed bigotry and cruelty become the country’s immigration policy, and the president himself opens society’s doors to white supremacists, Hitler admirers and all manners of racist scum encouraging them to “make America great again” by stepping on every decent tradition, dividing the people and fomenting hatred.
No, the moment is not one of celebration, but of fighting the atrocities inflicted upon immigrant families each day by the Trump administration.
It will be a hard fight. Even elected officials are being disrespected and ignored without regard for them or the people they represent, as Oregon Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley can attest.
When the senator tried to visit an immigration detention facility in Texas over the weekend, he was rejected at the building entrance raising suspicions about what’s really going on at the country’s detention facilities, particularly after the despicable “zero-tolerance” policy of taking children from their parents at the border was put in place.
According to an indignant Merkley, the Brownsville jail, a former Walmart whose windows appear to have been blacked out, houses as many as 1,000 of those children. “Police were called on us,” Merkley said in a tweet.
“The federal government, president Trump and team, Attorney General Sessions, Homeland Security, they do not want members of Congress or the public to know what's going on,” Merkley told CNN in a phone interview on Monday. “This is not zero tolerance. This is zero humanity. It's damaging children, putting them through a horrific experience in a land where they know no one, and they don't know where they're being sent, and they don't understand why they're being sent.”
His is not the only case. Closer to home, Senator Bob Menéndez (D-NJ) suffered a similar experience and is demanding an explanation from Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
“This is outrageous. Sec. Nielsen owes us answers. My team was also barred from touring a migrant processing facility where families are being separated,” Menéndez said in a tweet. “When the elected representatives of the people can't observe how our government is operating, we're in an upside-down world.”
Yes, we are, and we will continue to be as long as the White House is occupied by the mendacious, greedy and racist Donald Trump.
Immigrants have nothing to celebrate this month, but when voters finally throw Trump out along with the gang of sycophants, mental cases, white nationalists, greedy millionaires and aging former generals that surrounds him, we will have the most joyous fiesta in the whole wide world.