Joe Keeble: Proud to be a criminal |

Joe Keeble: Proud to be a criminal

I’m a criminal, according to Trump, along with the other 56 percent of voting Americans who also think Trump’s wall is totally unnecessary and the justification the administration is foisting upon us bogus.

Illegal border crossings are on the decline. In fact, more people are in the country because they overstayed their legal visas than those who crossed the borders without documents.

According to Border Patrol statistics, in 2000, there were 1.6 million border apprehensions. In 2017, they were down to 310,000. A 2017 Homeland Security report found the number of undocumented immigrants who actually made it into the country, called “known got aways,” in 2006 was over 600,000. By 2016 that number had dropped to about 106,000.

According to the Center for Migration Studies, the number of people who have overstayed their visas since 2007 has almost doubled and represents two-thirds of those who are now in the country illegally.

I always pictured invasions as involving hostile armies, not poor people seeking a better life. The “invasion” is nothing more than scare tactics. Trump recently stated with regard to the number of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. that, “It’s probably 30, 35 million.” At a House hearing last month, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen put the number at “somewhere between 11 million and 22 million.” The nonpartisan Pew Research Center pegs the number at 10.7 million.

Then there is the claim that thousands of terrorists are streaming across the border. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders recently stated on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, “We know that roughly nearly 4,000 known or suspected terrorists come into our country illegally, and we know that our most vulnerable point of entry is at our southern border.”

She was referring to 3,000 people that Homeland Security calls “special interest aliens” trying to enter the U.S. from the southern border that had been stopped by Border Patrol agents. What the administration isn’t telling you is that every person that comes from a country where a known terrorist has lived is considered a “special interest alien.”

They also aren’t telling you that most of the special interest people were stopped in airports not along the border. State Department reports cited by Wallace found “no credible evidence of any terrorist coming across the border from Mexico.”

“Who is going to pay” is the ever-changing saga. Never has Mexico said they would pay. Trump’s recent claim that Mexico is defacto paying for the wall because of the renegotiated NAFTA is voodoo economics. The agreement is not in force, and may never be, as it must first be ratified by the legislative bodies in each country first. That the economic growth created by the new trade deal will pay for the wall is pure hearsay. Trade experts say there is no credible way to foresee the effect of the deal on growth as trade depends on multiple factors like consumer tastes and exchange rates that cannot be predicted.

Trump’s latest plan to get his way by declaring a “national emergency” and using defense department funds is dictatorial and circumvents the very structure of our system of checks and balances.

In the meantime, the spoiled little rich kid, who due to his father’s (now under investigation for tax fraud) gifting practices, was a millionaire by age eight. Somehow Trump says he “can relate” to the pain of the 800,000 federal workers who can’t pay their bills. Perhaps this is because he has had to stiff so many creditors via bankruptcy.

But wait, according to Trump (without any evidence), “Many of those people that won’t be receiving a paycheck, many of those people agree 100 percent with what I’m doing.”

A Transportation Security Administration official put the issue into proper focus by saying, “Most of us live paycheck to paycheck and cannot afford to be unpaid and still go to work for long. It is not fair.” Yet, because the little people are just pawns, he is threatening to continue this charade for months or years, he says, to get his Great Wall of Trump.

The wall debacle is a calculated distraction. It is theater right out of reality TV. The story keeps changing with every tweet and all at the expense of the American people and the public servants who work for them.

Have you noticed that news about the multitude of investigations surrounding the administration have all but disappeared, for now?

So that is why I am proud to be a criminal, according to Trump.

Joe Keeble lives in Nevada City.

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