Mr. President, build bridges, not walls

Opinion: Columns

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By Harriet Hausman

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I am joining the millions who were devastated by President Trump's decision to deploy "the Dreamers Act." Former President Obama, by executive order, allowed children who had crossed the Mexican border illegally to remain in America. (All who entered were thoroughly vetted and screened against any family criminality.) Today those 800,000-plus youngsters have become working, taxpaying, integrated, valuable members of our society. As a result of Trump's cruel presidential decision, they could be deported to their birthplaces, areas most have never known.

This un-American bigoted act is the final proof for me that our president is a racist, white supremacist who is determined to lead our nation in the wrong direction. The Mexican border wall he desires is certainly a bigoted act. He has not proposed such a border control on our Canadian border, but the immigrants traveling from Canada are, for the most part, white — not muslim, brown, black, or Hispanic people.

I have been unrealistic in my judgment of President Trump being influenced by racist Steve Bannon, bigoted Jeff Sessions, and the alt-right white supremacists. His other advisors, his cabinet choices and super-wealthy, shallow friends were like-minded Trump supporters. He is the ultimate racist. More evidence of their conclusion is demonstrated in his statements following the tragic events of Charlottesville and his outrageous pardoning of the racist felon Joe Arpaio.

England's King George said the rebellious colonies could never succeed in becoming a unified country because only farmers and fools would lead them. We can proudly pronounce him wrong. We have had many brilliant leaders and statesmen who established our democratic vision. The immigrants of each generation brought diversity and more knowledge to our nation. The universality of races, creeds, faiths, and cultures all added dimensions of strength to our "United States."

President Trump seems to have a different vision of our nation and does not appreciate our Constitution and particularly the Bill of Rights established for all of us. Our past leaders had flaws and made mistakes, but each leader added enrichment to our nation by respecting and expanding on the accomplishments of their predecessors. 

By contrast, it is sad to observe that President Trump has rescinded progressive resolutions set forth by former administrations. Mr. Trump has distanced our nation from foreign alliances and has a preference for isolationist policies. He has reversed necessary regulations to preserve our environment and natural resources and seems determined to be a nationalist leader with no restraint. He desires a kingdom instead of a democracy!

This is not America, whether you were a part of his 35% followers or the 65% challengers. The America we all respect was demonstrated by the volunteers who risked their lives to save others during Hurricane Harvey. No one concerned themselves as to someone's creed or faith when they rescued a family.

We are a nation of people who appreciate our diversity. We desire progress, not retreat. We want to be a nation that is a part of the world community. And certainly, we have far more love among us than hate. 

Mr. President, please acknowledge what a great nation we are and build bridges, not walls.

Only then can we continue to prove King George wrong!

Harriet Hausman is a longtime River Forest resident.

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Barbara Joan  

Posted: September 22nd, 2017 3:13 PM

PREACH!..."They are just trying to make better lives - Aren't we all? The difference is that most of us understand that we don't have a right to acquire by illegal means those things that we find difficult to acquire by legal means. And we certainly don't have the right to do it in a foreign country"

Ramona Lopez  

Posted: September 22nd, 2017 10:22 AM

As a legal immigrant the argument for illegal immigration is misguided: 1. They do work Americans won't do - Not true. They do work Americans won't do for $5 an hour (especially if Americans can collect welfare and unemployment forever). Of course, if you got rid of the undocumented, the jobs wouldn't pay $5 an hour. The people who wanted the work done would have to pay a wage that was attractive enough to get Americans to do the work. 2. They work & contribute to our society - So do I. And if I break the law and commit crimes, I can expect to pay a penalty of some kind. Anything from a small fine to the death penalty. I do NOT get rewarded. This argument makes no sense 3. They are just trying to make better lives - Aren't we all? The difference is that most of us understand that we don't have a right to acquire by illegal means those things that we find difficult to acquire by legal means. And we certainly don't have the right to do it in a foreign country 4. ) It is impossible to round up and deport the illegals - We don't have to. All we have to do is remove the incentives that brought them here in the first place. No jobs. No housing. No services. No benefits 5. ) Immigration control is racist - This is just another play of the race card by people who have no other cards to play. Immigration control is the world-wide status quo. There is nothing racist about it. Furthermore, the USA welcomes LEGAL immigrants of all races and ethnicity from all over the world who have gone through the legal immigration process. 6. They are people. We must treat them humanely - Yes & yes. But lets not pretend like they are victims who were dragged here kicking and screaming against their will. Nothing could be further from the truth. They came of their own free will and for their own benefit and they broke the law to do it. . People should not be rewarded for breaking laws. Sending them home is the right thing to do. It is not racist or draconian in the least bi

Ken Stucken  

Posted: September 22nd, 2017 9:25 AM

But, but, but... Trump!

Alice Bethany  

Posted: September 22nd, 2017 9:05 AM

First off, Obama deported aliens 1.5 times that of Dubya. The fact that he signed that executive order was that these young people are a political football to be tossed around to suit the politicians. So don't give me that crap that he cared soooo much about them if he was willing to up the deportations of their own parents. By the way, your characterization of their plight going to a country they have never visited is absurd. What have their parents done? That very thing. They are in a better position going back there because they do speak English as well as Spanish. Also Mexico has free college so it seems a better situation in general. At least 30% of Hispanics voted for Trump because unlike you, their lives are much more impacted by illegal immigration. Their schools are flooded with extra kids, their jobs now have cheaper labor as competition. You don''t live in their world so you can wax poetic about unicorns and fuzzy kittens. Just remember that you are on the side of this issue with Ronald Reagan. It was during his tenure that America went from being the #1 producer in the world to the #1 consumer we are today. In addition to jobs going overseas (or across the border), amnesty lured many Mexican workers way before NAFTA was signed. So sit with all that for a moment.

Ray Simpson  

Posted: September 22nd, 2017 8:46 AM

I find it interesting that Ms Hausman considers bringing an unconstitutional action by BHO into legal compliance with the US constitution to be a "Bigoted anti-American" action. President Trump directed congress to put the "dreamers" status into real constitutional law. The Dreamers will probably come out of this with legal residency status without an automatic path to citizenship. My sense is that the majority of them do not want to give up the citizenship of their home country. Our government hesitates to making this a legal resolution because they collect billions in withholding taxes that they know will never be repaid in retirement benefits. Congress has six months to make a constitutional resolution to the "Dreamers" status. If they fail how will it prove that President Trump is a bigot? How is using a border fence wrong? Mexico has a very large wall on their southern border and have immigration laws that are draconian. They also enforce their laws, often brutally. How is it that this community is so invested in hatred for one human being, we are blinded to simple reasonable explanations? But then, we do put those silly "Hatred has no place" signs on the front yard so it is all OK!

Ray Simpson  

Posted: September 22nd, 2017 7:05 AM

The dishonesty in this letter is mind boggling! What President Trump did was to take an unconstitutional act by Pres. Obama and told congress that they had 6 months to create a LAW to legalize BHO's illegal action, which he said he would sign. A possible outcome probably will be a legal residency status with no possible citizenship. To obtain citizenship the individual would be required to return to his/her legal home and apply the established way. Our government is not anxious to create this new status since they collect billions in employment taxes knowing they will never be required to pay out retirement benefits. The bottom line here is that we maybe on a path to allowing Dreamers to stay as long as they like without the fear of deportation and without the responsibilities of citizenship nor citizenship's benefits. Politicians are mostly interested in what they perceive as a solid voting block in their pocket. If you know a dreamer, ask them if they have any desire for citizenship? You might be shocked at their response.

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