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Detainees await their turn at the Fourth Avenue jail in Phoenix, Arizona. Changes in the policies of the controversial Joe Arpaio's successor at the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office in Arizona, Paul Penzone, are evident in the release of about thirty…

[OP-ED]: Scapegoating immigrants is now official policy

Yes, I know, this sounds scandalous

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Yes, I know, this sounds scandalous, but after watching the deplorable reaction of so many pundits and experts to Tuesday’s speech by the showman in the White House, I am beginning to understand why it has been so easy for him to demonize the press.

I mean, President Trump “forgot” to mention Russia, Putin and his own acolytes’ suspicious ties to Moscow –Jeff Sessions, his attorney general, is the latest case-- the biggest scandal of his first month in office. But he went out of his way to venomously paint a dark --and false-- picture of immigrants as outlaws who are to blame for all kinds of crimes and mayhem. Yet teleprompter Trump was mostly praised for the new “conciliatory” tone of his Fantasy Island speech, for sounding –listen to this—“presidential.” Seriously?

To say, as CNN’s political commentator Van Jones did, that Trump’s disgusting manipulation of fallen Navy SEAL Ryan Owens’s widow’s grief was “one of the most extraordinary moments you’ve ever seen in American politics. Period,” was as shameful as Trump’s exploitation of the tragic occurrence. “He became President of the United States in that moment. Period,” Jones, whose knees seem to have suddenly weakened, inexplicable stated.

Incredibly, one would be hard pressed to find a condemnation of such Trump’s manipulation of the truth in the journalistic pieces published about his “presidential” performance. Hell, forget condemnation, I’ll give you a shiny new dollar for every piece you find even questioning the reasons behind such double standard.

 Apparently, the fact that he was able to read a prepared speech and limit his lies and insults to the ones that had been written for him in that text, was enough to give a pass to the nation’s deceitful and bigoted president. And –forgive my frustration-- then we complain about journalism’s loss of prestige.  Give me a break…

The creation of an agency to make scapegoating immigrants official government policy should make the job of those intent on trying to make Trump’s actions look “normal” almost impossible.

“I have ordered the Department of Homeland Security to create an office to serve American Victims,” he said on Tuesday night. “The office is called VOICE — Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement. We are providing a voice to those who have been ignored by our media, and silenced by special interests.”

According to the president, murders committed by “aliens” were being kept quiet by “special interests”, so the new agency will put out a weekly list of all crimes committed by those "aliens", a term that, by the way, seems to include not only the undocumented, but anybody who has come to the U.S. from another country.

Facts, of course, have no bearing on Trump’s words or decisions, but prejudice and political opportunism do. As study after study has found, unauthorized immigrants commit crimes at a lower rate than the American population at large.

Clearly, the only reason to publicize crimes committed by “aliens”, and not do the same with those perpetrated by other groups, is to stigmatize them and exacerbate racism and hatred against immigrants, particularly Mexicans and all Latinos.

Yet, according to Van Jones and others in the media who should know better, the night Trump delivered his duplicitous and bigoted speech to Congress was when “he became President of the United States.” 

C’mon people, it’s time to show some …. yes, that, you know what I mean.

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