July 4, 2022- Several recent supreme-court decisions have affirmed specific articles in our Bill of Rights. We ‘celebrated’ Independence Day with a discussion of that ‘document’ – how it came to be, why we have it, its relevance today and the forces allied against it. And we explored reasons why it seems to be so little regarded, not just by those in positions of power, but also by so many Americans whose rights the Declaration is guaranteeing.
Where have we gone wrong, and what should we be doing about it?Listen to the Interview:Podcast - July 4, 2022
May 3, 2022- Planned to discuss recent blog (Lifeboat Ethics As Regards Immigration - Part II), but we first talked about Roe v Wade; breaking news that reported leak of SCOTUS draft decision indicates present law will be knocked down. We don’t know who the leaker is, or whether content of leak is correct. But protests of the reported decision are already starting, which was likely the intent of the leaker. They probably won’t change the final decision, but they’ll likely give a head start to related violence.
America needs more immigrants (partly because of Roe v Wade?), but we face tough choices. Opening our borders to all comers would swamp our systems – up to 160 million would come here if they could. Lower-income Americans would be most hurt; the political class and other wealthy Americans would be hurt very little or not at all. But limiting immigration to the two million or so annually needed to compensate for our depressed birth (fertility) rate means shutting the doors to millions of people.Listen to the Interview:Podcast - May 3, 2022
April 4, 2022- Putin in Ukraine and Xi around the world – we can see adamant aggressors all around us. We also see Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy standing up to Putin, and getting real support from most of the free world, including the United States.
But too many Americans view what’s happening in Ukraine as “over there.” Many applaud shutting down our energy independence and re-focusing our military onto pronouns and universal vaccinations. And too many Americans shrug off violations of the very values upon which America was founded.
We need to direct a constant stream of e-mails, letters and phone calls to our representatives and senators demanding that they really stand up for America and against those forces that would bring us down.Listen to the Interview:Podcast - April 4, 2022
January 13, 2022- We talked about lack of government transparency as regards immigration stats – DHS has not yet released the ICE report of FY2021 Enforcement and Removal Operations, usually out in December. But we know from other sources that the number of foreign-born residents stands at 46.2 million, 14.2% of the population. This includes illegal migrants, which DHS estimated in 2018 at 11.4 million. Apprehensions at the southern border have risen to all-time highs; those escaping capture may number more than a million/year! Numbers in the ERO report are widely expected to be embarrassing to the Administration.
Covid is blamed for delays in reporting, and for a sharp decline in processing of legal immigrant applications, fewer than half a million approved in 2021 despite millions in queue.
We need more legal immigrants than we’re allowing in – probably up to two million/year. We also need to clearly articulate the national purpose they are to serve. And, to protect our existing immigrant communities, we need to keep criminal elements like MS13 out! It isn’t going to happen unless and until we make major changes in the ruling classes … at the ballot box.Listen to the Interview:Podcast - January 13, 2022
November 24, 2021- The “Build Back Better” bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives contains relatively obscure, and certainly undebated, provisions dealing with immigration. Several of them amount to a quasi-legalization of millions of migrants living in America illegally, and a couple provisions would nearly double the number of authorized legal immigrants. Nothing in the bill would improve border security. These provisions are being promoted as “immigration reform.”
The provisions relating to illegal aliens would grant them ten years as Legal Permanent Residents providing they or some sponsoring person pay relatively nominal fees. The bill is silent as to what happens at the end of ten years. These provisions will benefit employers, especially big tech.
The provisions for almost doubling this year’s quota of new immigrants is presented as “recapturing” prior years’ unused visas. There was no discussion about what the number of immigrants should be. In fact, it would add up to 800,000+ new immigrants to this years immigration.
Immigration deserves to be thoroughly discussed in an open manner. Instead, these immigration provisions were inserted quietly into the BBB bill to appease special interests.Listen to the Interview:Podcast - November 24, 2021
October 26, 2021- A new caravan of migrants is on its way north from Central America, as portended by Gallup polls showing that 42-million adults from Central and South America would move to the United States if they could. The current caravan overwhelmed (some might say breezed by) Mexican border forces to cross that country’s southern border and will soon be at America’s southern border. They know the magic word (“asylum”) that lets them pass into America on their way to de facto permanent residency.
Many or most of these migrants grew up in environments where laws are routinely broken by both citizens and officials, and they don’t get the citizenship training given legal immigrants. They don’t have the respect for law-enforcement officials that is taken for granted among most Americans. Some of them believe they have an historic ‘right’ to live undisturbed in California and Texas.
Bill is dismayed “at the incredible stupidity” at the top levels of our government that allows this border crisis to continue. While agreeing there is some of that, I opined that much of it is not stupidity; it’s intentional.Listen to the Interview:Podcast - October 26, 2021
October 19, 2021- Talked about immigration mess at southern border, why it’s happening and what we can do about it. Our border-control resources are overwhelmed. Apprehensions of persons crossing illegally is more than quadruple last year’s. Those caught are now released after being requested (not ordered) to appear for hearings when notified in the future. Many of these are transported at taxpayer expense to locations all over the country.
“How can this administration be so inept, don’t they know what they’re doing?” is asked over and over. But that’s not the right question. The people behind these things, both inside and outside of our government, are not stupid; they know what they’re doing. A better question is “why?” But we won’t get answers to that from our present government. So we’re left to speculate, as Bill and I did for much of the segment.Listen to the Interview:Podcast - October 19, 2021
August 2, 2021- Conversation ranged from actions of Biden Administration and Democrats that undermine the essence of our American democratic republic to their reflection re January 6 capitol events, immigration, and how can ordinary citizens have any impact. I referenced the 1952 immigration law that codified “alien” as “any person not a citizen … of the United States” and the Biden administration directive that immigration judges no longer use “illegal alien” or even “alien” when referring to persons crossing the southern border illegally. The order specified several alternatives such as variations of “undocumented noncitizen,” all examples of terms that tend to obfuscate reality.
The American culture is being systematically altered through speech control. Using terms such as illegal, alien and assimilation when discussing immigration, or biologically-specific pronouns when discussing sex/gender, or honorific terms when referring to America’s founders now may be costly in many settings.
Most of us can do little to affect what’s going on in Washington. But Bill and I strongly agreed each American has power at the local level. And that’s where change starts.Listen to the Interview:Podcast - August 2, 2021
July 9, 2021- We began talking about the crisis at the Southern border in the form of migrants overwhelming our border patrol and taking advantage of our laws honoring those saying they seek asylum. Thousands are apprehended and then released (jails in the border area can’t hold them all), often enjoying government-provided transportation to other parts of America. But an estimated 1,000 illegal aliens/per day are not stopped. They come across the home properties of Americans living near the border, sometimes damaging or destroying or even threatening residents; some residents have actually moved out of their homes!
Many say it makes no sense for politicians and pundits to support what’s going on; I responded that it makes perfect sense within the reality that it’s all a tool to gain more power. I related a mind-opening family experience on July 4 as a relative watched 1776, a musical about the Declaration of Independence. American parents should probe into what their children are being taught and, when they don’t like it, go to their schools/school boards and complain.Listen to the Interview:Podcast - July 9, 2021
May 3, 2021- In discussing the state/nature of our government system we covered relentless media disparagement of all things ‘Trump’, coupled with alliance of virtually all politicians to control the people, suppress dissent and maintain power and privilege. Such is reflected in unheard of levels of peacetime government spending, weaponizing all manner of government programs to squash dissent, and a relentless increase in dishonest teaching in our schools. And too many of the American people just go along, or they decline to speak up for fear of subtle or not-so-subtle retaliation.
Political and media reaction to the the recent spate of mass shootings has been to use these tragedies as rationale for furthering their agenda of gun control; there’s almost no mention of addressing motives or mental health in any significant or substantial way. What can we do? We agreed that as individuals we must be intolerant of corruption and attacks on individual freedoms, and we must do all we can to educate our children and others about how our government functions.Listen to the Interview:Podcast - May 3, 2021
March 18, 2021- Surge of migrants at southern border is at a level not seen in years. It’s a crisis in all but name (President Biden denies there’s any crisis). We agreed this is happening because the message from America has changed from “only those who follow our legal immigration process will be allowed to stay in America” to “if you come to the border you’ll get in.”
The President has declared that his policy is to “make things better”, and the 'proof' of that is the reversing of most Trump immigration policies. Our political leaders are not stupid, so it follows that they know what’s going on, and they approve! But it weakens America’s credibility throughout the world … if we won’t secure our own border and immigration laws, what else may we not push back on?Listen to the Interview:Podcast - March 18, 2021
March 5, 2021- Effective censorship by social media, on-line retail giants and schools is becoming more pervasive and more blatant. Recent examples include refusing to even carry Trump’s speech to CPAC, blocking Giuliani's and other tweets about election regularities, de-listing books on Amazon and eBay, removing classics from library shelves and school reading lists, and more. The people behind this canceling of significant chunks of American history and culture have no appreciation for diversity of ideas. They don’t feel bound by the concept of free speech expressed in our Constitution. They believe that the American people should be ‘protected’ from any communications not approved by them. And social media are protected by Section 230 from any liability or accountability for their actions.
The arrogance and hubris displayed by those who head these companies is generating a growing backlash among people and politicians. But we must take care to see that reactions are faithful to America’s founding values.Listen to the Interview:Podcast - March 5, 2021
November 24, 2020- Talked about presidential election, medias’ calling it all over, constitutional issues still to be resolved, corruption in the process, etc. And hubris of big tech and social media.
Bill referenced HST blogs noting new term – presentism, and I commented on 10/31 blog about judging historical figures by today’s standards. Many like to see people ‘above’ them pulled down to their level, and that’s been especially so lately with America’s historical icons like Washington and Jefferson and others associated with historical American values. Bill observed that those in the ‘club’ are forgiven anything they’ve said or done, while outsiders are vilified for even minor or imagined missteps. But the ‘club’ will quickly turn on its own if it feels need to protect itself.
We agreed that Americans need to get reacquainted with the Constitution, and we may get that chance over the next several weeks.Listen to the Interview:Podcast - November 24, 2020
September 30, 2020- Interview included discussion of the importance of assimilation to unity in America. Bill recounted his family’s immigration history and his father’s emphasizing how important it was that they assimilate into American society. Americans are a mixture of hundreds of races and ethnicities, and our founders recognized that assimilation is crucial as a unifying ‘glue’.
Attacks on assimilation from many directions constitute a significant threat to American unity. These are especially evident in efforts to get Americans to identify as various “others” – Black Americans, African Americans, Native Americans, White Americans, Muslim Americans, Mexican Americans, etc. We must bring an end to such ‘hyphenation” of Americans by requiring that our schools teach American history and civics in ways that honor America, its freedoms and its unity as one people.Listen to the Interview:Podcast - September 30, 2020
August 10, 2020- Organized violence has been going on in American cities for more than two months. Homicides are up 24 percent in our 50 largest cities, and even more in the cities where police have been restrained from blocking rioting. This past weekend saw a continuation of the destruction and intimidation in Portland, and ‘peaceful’ demonstrators moved onto Chicago’s magnificent mile to damage and loot stores.
Many Americans are realizing they can no longer rely on local governments and police to protect them, so they’re buying guns. Gun sales through July almost equal sales for all of 2019, and a substantial number of these sales are to first-time gun owners.
America is unique in that our written constitution enshrines the right of American citizens to ‘keep and bear arms’. Guns are a part of our culture, which will become much more visible as individual Americans feel a need to protect themselves.
The pattern of unrest and many politicians’ and government leaders’ response to it is seen by growing gun sales numbers as more than just symptomatic of the crumbling of our founding values; it is seen as a natural progression of systematic attacks on those values extending back many decades.Listen to the Interview:Podcast - August 10, 2020
February 10, 2020- We talked about several current matters – Bloomberg and his money approach to elections, Trump, Democrat nominations, state of the nation, etc. Bill asked how I came to write of Gun Mania. I wrote it to address our obsession with guns, often used as a ‘straw man’ to simply knock down with a new law -- a totally ineffective approach. We need to understand that directing efforts toward eliminating guns hasn't, doesn't and won't work in America. It's a waste of resources that should be directed toward the motivations and circumstances causing people to kill themselves or others. Vastly more lives would be saved. Listen to the Interview:Podcast - February 10, 2020
August 12, 2019- We referenced mass shootings last week in El Paso and Dayton, and how many politicians and media almost instantly blamed presumed white supremacists, conservatives, Republicans, gun advocates, the far right, the NRA, Trump, etc.
We talked about the ICE raids on Mississippi employers of illegal aliens, which have been condemned by pundits and politicians as heartless and nativist, supported by the photo of a young girl crying to be reunited with her father (which, within hours, she was). Spent a few minutes on the history and legal basis of this type of ICE action, including a brief summary of the two-year investigation leading up to these raids.
Bill and I agreed that much of the dissonance in American society goes back to consistent progressive attacks on founding values, implemented through their growing control over education, the media and, increasingly, speech and expression in America. Listen to the Interview:Podcast - August 12, 2019
June 7, 2019- We remembered D-day 75 years ago; discussed the images and juxtaposed them with images of thousands of people ‘invading’ America at our southern border. And no lives are being lost; we’re taking them captive – 175,000 last month alone. But wait … that’s what they want. That’s victory for them, because our laws make it so. We can’t stop this invasion with walls or thousands more border agents. What we really need is just 515 people to do their job. Congress has caused this mess, and only Congress can fix it.
The first guideline for successful immigration policy is to make immigration support a clearly-articulated national interest. America’s declining birth rate is certainly one such interest. Since 1972 it has been too low to maintain a stable population level. And, too low to support our Social Security system. Immigration has partly compensated, but unfocused immigration won’t replace the number of highly skilled and qualified workers needed but not being born. We desperately need a new and well-thought-out immigration policy.
Each time they meet with a reporter or a constituent, every U.S. Representative and Senator should be asked whether she or he accepts personal responsibility for our immigration fiasco … and what, specifically, are they doing to fix it. Listen to the Interview:Podcast - June 7, 2019
April 18, 2019- One sign that an immigration system is collapsing is when a country admits more migrants who violate immigration rules than it does those who follow the rules. We’re on a path to achieve that this year or next. Legal immigrants come in at the rate of about a million per year. We’re on track to actually admit 650,000 “asylum seekers” by the end of FY 2019, and the number of other illegal aliens probably exceeds that number.
It costs hundreds of millions of dollars to bring these masses of people to our southern border. Who’s paying? Who benefits? Adamant aggressors will use any weakness to attack us. We may be seeing that at the border. President Trump is applying band-aids as best he can, but only Congress can provide the cure through new laws and funding. And Congress resists meaningful action; too many in Congress either deny the seriousness of the problem or see it as politically advantageous. What will move them to action? Keeping the border in the headlines? Sending masses of migrants to sanctuary cities? Posting the costs in lives and money? It’s up to ‘we the people!’ Listen to the Interview:Podcast - April 18, 2019
March 5, 2019- Through his performance last week at the summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Il, President Trump exhibited some understanding of how to deal with an adamant aggressor. Through their post-summit commentary, most of the politicians and pundits and press show that their interest is limited to finding fault with Trump.
The first rule in dealing with an adamant aggressor is to understand the adversary’s goal which, in the case of North Korea’s Kim family, is to rule over all of Korea, North and South. Meaningful negotiators with Kim Jong Un must realize at all times that North Korea is a Kim personality cult, and anything that causes Kim to lose face slams the door on agreement. So when a reporter asked Trump a gotcha question about whether he believes Kim’s assertion that he was unaware of the harsh treatment meted out to an American student, Trump was faced with sinking the negotiations by calling Kim a liar, or accepting heat at home.
Trump also had to make sure that Kim knows he’ll get no easy concessions so, when it seemed clear the North Koreans weren’t ready to make meaningful offers, Trump walked out. Listen to the Interview:Podcast - March 5, 2019
January 7, 2019- When will the partial government shutdown end? Strip away the posturing, and it’s all about hatred of Trump by the Democrats and DC insiders. They’ll do anything to prevent his reelection in 2020. Nothing comes ahead of that. Not border security, not immigration reform, not even DACA. The only thing that may soften their approach may be a perception that it is going to hurt them at the polls in 2020.
The Secure Fence Act passed in 2006 authorized 850 miles of border fencing, but only 36 miles around Yuma AZ was ever built. Nevertheless, apprehensions in that district dropped 96 percent from 2005 – 2014. Border barriers, call it what you will, are effective, and even more so when coupled with unambiguous immigration policy.
So it’s unlikely that a border deal will be made very soon. Trump has nothing to gain and lots to lose if he gives up his position. Pelosi and the Democrats have much to lose if Americans turn against them in 2020, but such is not evident now. So the shutdown will continue until someone blinks. Listen to the Interview:Podcast - January 7, 2019
December 3, 2018- We talked about George H.W. Bush, his accomplishments, his background, his persona. Noted some comparisons to present political leaders, including President Trump.
Discussed current border ‘crisis’ with thousands of migrants in Tijuana seeking “asylum” status in the United States and how, under the Refugee Act of 1980, most of them do not qualify. That 'problem' does not lend itself to the simplistic solutions urged by many.
We lamented unwillingness of the Washington political establishment to apply historical lessons to tough issues like immigration. Listen to the Interview:Podcast - December 3, 2018
October 22, 2018- Adamant Aggressors was the major topic, and Saudi Arabia is in the news. We agreed that country has never been a real friend of the United States. The Saud family’s funding of Wahhabism around the world and in America is a clear form of adamant aggression. We tend to close our eyes to this threat because of economic reasons, but recent events are forcing us to at least consider reality.
The newly-released Adamant Aggressor books use five historical figures to demonstrate the need for identifying current adamant aggressors, and for applying proven principles in dealing with them. Historically, we’ve been very bad at doing this, but I hope these Kindle booklets will make more people aware.
Bill argued that the ‘deep state’ and like-minded non-government entities within our country are adamant aggressors intent on bringing America down, and I agreed. They want a different America than they can achieve under the Constitution, and they’ve demonstrated willingness to use any means to achieve their ends – constitutional law when they can; regulations, activist judges, character assassinations, riots, mobs and more when the Constitution doesn’t support their ends. The current caravan of Hondurans intent on ‘breaking into’ the United States may be an example. Listen to the Interview:Podcast - October 22, 2018
September 17, 2018- We talked about threats to the security and future of America, both within and from without. Internally, the obsession among many with a perception of equality in outcomes continues to erode the freedom-centered values that have made us exceptional and great. Externally, we and our allies are confronted with adamant aggressors with long-term goals that are existentially dangerous to us.
An adamant aggressor is different than other adversaries or even enemies. These latter tend more to be opportunists who will seize on perceived weaknesses to gain whatever may be available. But an adamant aggressor is obsessed with a single, long-term goal that is, at best, damaging to our interests. An adamant aggressor will use any means, and will break any treaties or other agreements as soon as it's clear they won’t be enforced. Time is of the essence. So we need to deal with the likes of Kim Jong Un, Ayatollah Khamenei, and Vladimir Putin as if they were adamant aggressors, which they probably are. Listen to the Interview:Podcast - September 17, 2018
July 17, 2018- Yesterday, President Trump met with Russian President Putin. They talked privately for hours then, after a working lunch with their advisers, they answered questions from the press. Media reports and commentary give the impression that the entire meeting was about Russian meddling in U.S. elections, and Trump’s performance was inept or worse. But while meddling in our elections is a real concern, and Trump’s dismissive response to questions was upsetting, much more substantive issues were probably discussed by the two leaders.
Russia’s Putin and North Korea’s Kim are not ordinary adversaries. They need to be dealt with as adamant aggressors. Their personal obsessions and related national goals must be identified and related to our national interests. If there’s a conflict, we must prevent them from realizing their goals, or we must forgo our own. We must deal from strength. They will exploit our weaknesses, including political divisiveness and identity politics. Media reports such because it’s news, and opponents of President Trump trumpet it because it suits their agendas.
Words are important. But Trump should resist obsessing over perceived personal attack. Actions are much more important, and accomplishments so far in his presidency provide confidence that results of his negotiations with Putin will be positive. Listen to the Interview:Podcast - July 17, 2018
June 25, 2018- News photos of children at the border elicit sympathy from almost anyone who sees them, but it will take more than sympathy to solve our problems at the southern border. Under U.S. law, these children are “illegal aliens” (‘undocumented immigrants’ is the socially-preferred term). They are refugees seeking asylum in America (a request they articulate with precisely uniform words). Under the Refugee Act of 1980 asylum is granted to any such alien whose “life or freedom would be threatened on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.” Such “credible threat” must be found as relates to each individual (not group) seeking asylum, or that person must be deported.
The evolving process of adjudication has been in place during the administration of six U.S. presidents, but in the last decade annual asylum claims have risen from about 1,000 to more than 65,000. Many believe the surge has been fueled by the Obama administration’s policy of “catch and release” whereby claimants have been quickly released into American society and rarely appear for scheduled hearings to determine whether probable cause exists. The current rhetoric seems more involved with the short-term interests of the speaker/writer than with long-term national interests of the country. Listen to the Interview:Podcast - June 25, 2018
March 22, 2018- The country and Congress are so polarized that significant immigration legislation is unlikely. We get a constant stream of immigration-related positions and acronyms, most of which reflect some particular agenda or special interest. There is no national or bi-partisan consensus, and most proposed changes to immigration law are merely tinkering. They can’t even stand on their own; they have to be attached to some unrelated legislation. These days, “bi-partisan” means getting a handful of the minority to go along.
History of the Hart-Celler Immigration Reform Act of 1965 illustrates what it will take to get significant reform. In 1952, President Truman ordered a blue-ribbon panel to study immigration policy. The report came out a year later and, ultimately, proposed much of what became law in 1965. In the interim, President Eisenhower raised broad public awareness by vigorously enforcing immigration law, President Kennedy responded to outcries against racial bias by proposing civil rights and immigration reform, and President Johnson pushed Hart-Celler through the 89th Congress. Even though the Democrats had an overwhelming majority of both houses, passage required bi-partisan support; the Act got 85% of the Republican vote.
History seems to suggest we won’t see significant changes to immigration law very soon. Listen to the Interview:Podcast - March 22, 2018
January 10, 2018- Observed that yesterday's White House meeting on immigration included discussion of chain migration, the core element of our current system. This is significant because, even though it's the most problematic element, discussion of chain migration has been absent from political discussion until just a few months ago.
In addition to chain migration, the meeting addressed three other matters for priority action - resolving the plight of DREAMERS before scheduled cancelation of DACA, funding the wall (euphemism for strengthened southern border security), and ending the Diversity Immigration Lottery that issues 50,000 green cards each year to randomly-chosen people whose only qualification is that they don't qualify under other provisions of immigration laws.
Of significance, too, is what was not discussed - the RAISE ACT covers all these issues and more, but it's buried in House and Senate committees: Sanctuary Cities openly violate federal laws and thus weaken the Union, but congress will not enact direct legislation this election year. Listen to the Interview:Podcast - January 10, 2018
November 16, 2017- Discussed status of immigration; focused on sanctuary cities’ reactions to Trump’s threat to withhold federal funds if they don’t cooperate with ICE re detainers. Many/most sanctuary jurisdictions have doubled down (SAFE Cities Network has been established to “provide legal representation to immigrants facing deportation”). They argue that they must resist the enforcement of federal laws to protect immigrant rights, and to maintain cooperation between their immigrant communities and local law enforcement.
We examined how such represents more of the identity politics that are dividing our country. The reason is money and power; entrenched interests don’t want to give up either, so they’re resisting/blocking every Trump change initiative they can. Congress hasn’t acted on 98.2% of the immigration bills introduced this year; only three innocuous bills have become law. And they won’t. So Trump can only improve the immigration situation with executive tools including enforcing existing laws.
Court challenges have slowed down high-profile efforts, and considerable successes (at the southern border and elsewhere) are largely unreported. The outlook for next year is more of the same; Congress won’t act to reform immigration, resolve DACA, or aid enforcement in sanctuary jurisdictions. Listen to the Interview:Podcast - November 16, 2017
September 18, 2017- We talked about DACA and how it’s being used for political purposes; President Obama used it as a political football for enhanced political position after he couldn’t get Congress to act on immigration, and President Trump is using it as leverage to get Congress to act. Properly considered, the status of DACA youths – DREAMERS – should be resolved after a new comprehensive immigration policy is enacted. Four bills in Congress would advance that goal, but all have been ‘referred’ to committee.
It’s understandable that DACA youth and the millions other illegal aliens want to be in this country; more people worldwide are attracted to the ‘shining light’ that is America than to any other country. But we need to fix our entire immigration system, control who comes here, then resolve the status of those already here illegally … in that order. Call for everybody to contact representatives and senators to make that happen! Listen to the Interview:Podcast - September 18, 2017
August 31, 2017- Bill and Bruce talked about the RAISE Act (Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy) recently endorsed by President Trump. Ran down its main provisions that would cut the number of ‘green cards’ by about half in a few years: Elimination of the diversity lottery, cap number of refugees and limit family preference to spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens. A skills-based points system would prioritize potential immigrants based on education, English literacy, age, technical skills and experience, etc. Prospects for passage of such reform are not good; too many politicians and others seem to like things the way they are, and the noise from media focus on other issues drowns out sustained interest in immigration reform.
Also talked about Rise and Decline and how its call for action to revitalize America over the long run often falls on deaf ears. Listen to the Interview:Podcast - August 31, 2017
July 11, 2017- Bill and Bruce talked about sanctuary cities – the Naturalize NOW / sanctuary cities effort to naturalize 1,000,000 immigrants this year, and the new Texas law banning sanctuary cities in Texas. Recent news headlines that 21 sanctuary cities intend to naturalize a million illegal immigrants are incorrect and misleading. The Naturalize NOW campaign is nationwide. It aims to naturalize a million qualified immigrants, not illegals; the word ‘illegal’ was inserted into the story by some reporter or editor a few days after the original announcement. Recent naturalization numbers run a bit over 700,000 per year, so the 1,000,000 goal may be a bit of a stretch. Mayors of sanctuary cities support the campaign for various reasons including, no doubt, the value of a favorable political image among immigrants in their cities.
A jurisdiction acquires ‘sanctuary’ status by formally declaring that it will not cooperate with ICE in enforcement of immigration laws. Though the federal government is taking action to pressure sanctuary cities by withholding federal funds where it can, existing law and court challenges limit that initiative; real effectiveness will require new legislation. But Texas has enacted a law (SB4) that effectively bans sanctuary cities by requiring all law enforcement officials in Texas to honor ICE detainers for “violent criminals”. SB4 imposes penalties ranging from significant fines, jail time and removal from office for officials who refuse to comply. Listen to the Interview:Podcast - July 11, 2017
May 22, 2017- Bill Martinez introduced the new book, and we summarized its scope. The title Rise and Decline declares that all nations go through a cycle of birth-ascendance-maturity-decline and extinction. The subtitle Where We Are and What We Can Do About It brings that reality home to America. I listed the cases in the book that show how a nation’s founding principles are existentially critical to its rising, and how nations decline as their citizens get away from those principles. And I pointed out that the United Kingdom and United States are in decline.
Bill closed the first segment with an assertion that the United States was founded on Christian values, and we discussed that for most of the second segment. I referred to the words of the preamble to the Declaration of Independence: … all men are created equal … endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And I referenced the U.S. Constitution’s preamble: We the People … in order to establish justice … and secure the Blessings of Liberty. We listed some of the conditions that are eroding these principles, especially in our educational system and in our political preference for equality over liberty. Listen to the Interview:Podcast - May 22, 2017
March 8, 2017- Trump’s revised executive order on suspension of visas from middle-east countries is little changed from the one blocked by a judge. Iraq is no longer included in the temporary suspension, and present holders of visas are exempted. After a brief explanation of why it may be necessary for security reasons, I suggested it looks like just one part of President Trump’s immigration ‘deal’, the bottom line of which is comprehensive immigration reform.
During the second segment we discussed how we may be about to see a loosening of government control over our lives. The progressive mission manifests in disregard for founding values. We see it among citizens on the streets and in our institutions. We see it in the actions of teachers, professors and university administrators who go along with, and sometimes foment, demands to suppress points of view different than their own. We the people are the problem; we’ve let it happen. And we the people can change. But it won’t be a quick fix; it’ll take generations. Listen to the Interview:Podcast - March 8, 2017
January 27, 2017- We talked about Trump’s executive orders on immigration – they’re consistent with the policy displayed on his website, and with points made in his speech of 8-31-16. They cancel several orders and directions promulgated by Obama, and they activate or re-activate several Congressional provisions that had been set aside or ignored. They give a strong indication that laws will be enforced; specific existing law is cited for each action in these executive orders. We also talked about the populist ideas represented by these actions. They’re a turn away from the globalism and open borders pushed by progressives and liberals, toward the nationalism at the base of our founding principles. We agreed that we need immigrants, immigrants who accept our values and seek to assimilate into our society. Listen to the Interview:Podcast - January 27, 2017
November 29, 2016- We talked about the look of immigration under the Trump administration, and how it would be portrayed by liberal/progressive opponents. I suggested that enforcement of the law will redound to the benefit of all legal residents. We’ll see some of this very soon at the southern border with enhanced barriers (wall, fence, patrols, electronic) and the end of catch-and-release. We’ll also see it as regards faster removal of criminal aliens, sanctions on Sanctuary Cities that don’t cooperate and action on Kate’s Law. And we’ll see it with increased focus on and expulsion of visa overstayers, and actions against employers of illegal aliens. Listen to the Interview:Podcast - November 29, 2016
September 6, 2016- We discussed the immigration positions of Clinton and Trump, within the framework of three principles for successful immigration policy. Clinton is “committed to the immigrant rights community”; Trump says “immigration … must improve jobs, wages and security for all Americans”. Of the bullet points on the Clinton website, more than half (five) focus on improving the situation for illegal aliens (she doesn’t use that term). Of the ten points articulated in Trump’s policy speech of last week, eight focus on measures to end the illegal immigration problem. Neither have a lot to say about assimilation, but Clinton would “support immigrant integration” (she doesn’t use the word “assimilation) by creating a National Office of Immigrant Affairs. Trump says “we have an obligation to our (legal) immigrants and to their children to control future immigration … to ensure … assimilation, integration and upward mobility…” We agreed the two positions are starkly different, and that Americans must get out and vote. Listen to the Interview:Podcast - September 6, 2016
April 29, 2016- The Trump and Clinton positions on immigration are starkly different. Quoting from her web page, Clinton calls for “comprehensive reform with a pathway to citizenship”. From his web page, Trump wants comprehensive reform with a wall along the southern border. But his plan proceeds from an explicit national interest – “Any immigration plan must improve jobs, wages and security for all Americans” – and then insists that we must be a nation of laws; he lists 14 specific initiatives in support of that interest. Clinton’s list of what she will do in seven areas is more nuanced and focuses on the needs/interests of immigrants, both legal and illegal. Bill and I agreed that we must become again a nation of law; it will be painful, but it must be done. Listen to the Interview:Podcast - April 29, 2016
January 4, 2016- Donald Trump’s campaign just put out ads about immigration policy that indicate immigration should support a specific national interest – it must improve jobs, wages and security. Most campaign rhetoric on the right links immigration with security, insisting that borders be secured and existing laws be enforced before passing new laws. Perhaps in response, DHS has announced plans to begin deportation of hundreds (not thousands) of families who entered illegally last year and have been ordered deported by immigration judges. Obama’s plan to shield up to five million illegal aliens from deportation was the impetus for the huge surge of border crossing last year. That plan, challenged in court by Texas and 25 other states, was blocked in the courts. The Government appealed on technical grounds, and lost. Case will likely be heard by the Supreme Court this year. Listen to the Interview:Podcast - January 4, 2016
October 5, 2015- President Obama has announced plans to take in hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees under provisions of the Refugee Act of 1980. We talked about America’s response to these refugees. Donald Trump has charged (referring to Mexico) that ‘they send’ mostly undesirables. However, most refugees are good people seeking a better life … most, but not all. Our experience with the Vietnamese in the ‘70s shows that educated refugees who speak English and want to adopt American ways will assimilate rapidly. But many or most of the Syrian refugees are poorly educated, don’t speak English, and have no familiarity with free societies. Their numbers will include radical Islamists. So we should carefully vet them before they come, using skilled teams of Arabic speakers to select healthy, educated individuals with some English skills while rejecting higher-risk individuals. But we probably won’t. Listen to the Interview:Podcast - October 5, 2015
September 1, 2015- We talked about current political dialog on immigration, Donald Trump has opened the way to discussion of basic issues by refusing politically-correct limitations on his comments. The 'core principles' of his immigration plan include "A Nation that does not serve its own citizens is not a nation", and that’s very close to the first principle for successful immigration policy in my book. Immigration is becoming a prominent part of current political discussion beyond just illegal immigration. I mentioned that Bobby Jindal just yesterday stated firmly that immigrants must assimilate – another principle of successful immigration policy. We talked about how recent attacks on police officers flows from national disrespect for law, and we were in concert with our hope that this trend will soon be reversed. Listen to the Interview:Podcast - September 1, 2015
July 23, 2015- Discussion during first segment covered failures of elected officials to enforce immigration laws. I noted that reps and senators seeking re-election drone on how current system is broken, followed by some prescription to fix (part of) it. But nothing changes … of 101 bills introduced in congress this year, only 7 have been reported out of committee, and only 2 of those (both inconsequential) have come up for vote in the senate. We agreed that we have a culture of disrespect for the law, with ominous ramifications for the future of this country. In the second segment, we talked about what we, the people, can/should do. Change requires each of us to take responsibility for upholding the law. We must consistently obey it ourselves – don’t hire illegals, don’t look the other way when companies hire them, hold officials accountable when they ignore the law, even using the courts, etc. – and that isn’t always easy. And we must exact promises to uphold/fix the law from every official wanting our vote in 2016 then, if they don’t keep their promise, vote ‘em out in the next election. We wrapped up with expressions of hope that America will be preserved for our children and grandchildren. Listen to the Interview:Podcast - July 23, 2015
November 20, 2014- Show opened with discussion on President Obama's upcoming announcement of executive order to grant amnesty to 3-5 million illegal immigrants and issue them green cards. I posed question "why is he doing this?" and pointed out that existing naturalization law already provides for most of what he'll be ordering (but exluding criminal and security risks). Bill asked what Republicans should be doing. I opined they will fight it with the purse strings in the continuing resolution that will be needed by December 12. Bill hopes for legal action, and I pointed out Boehner has said he will initiate such, but not impeachment. We finished with commentary on Obama's narcissistic motivation. Listen to the Interview: Podcast - November 20, 2014
July 30, 2014- Bill summarized the immigration principles laid down in IMMIGRATION. Then he lamented that we refuse to look to these principles when considering our own immigration problems. I opined that a major reason we get caught up in the humanitarian aspects of the immigration mess is that we are humanitarian people; America has taken in more refugees than all other nations combined. Bill offered that we get so caught up that we don't consider the harm we're doing to Americans and immigrants in the longer run. After the commercial break we talked about the state of the nation as our leaders refuse to meaningfully address immigration and so many other serious events in the world. I observed that every policy does exactly what it's designed to do, whether intended or not. Our leaders refuse to change the total immigration policy, so they must want the current conditions to continue. Bill envisions a huge broom sweeping all elected officials out of Washington this fall. Listen to the Interview:Podcast - July 30, 2014
June 19, 2014- In the first segment, Bill and Bruce talked about the minors flooding across the border, what’s motivating them and some things that might be done about it – meaningful messages that they won’t be allowed to stay, then back them up with prompt actions, negotiate with Mexican President Nieto to get Mexican cooperation. After the commercial, we discussed what’s needed to fix the overall immigration policy. Bill quoted three principles from IMMIGRATION, then we discussed why this isn’t happening and the responsibility of our political leaders to make it happen. Bruce maintained we need a president who will get seriously engaged to bring about a joint committee of the House and Senate. The first order of business must be hearings on what national interests(s) are to be served by immigration. Listen to the Interview:Podcast - June 19, 2014
April 10, 2014- Bill and Bruce talked about respect for the law and deleterious impact of government actions flaunting the law. Covered Jeb Bush remarks – they reflect natural tendency to focus on micro matters and empathize with individuals’ situations. Introduced concept of macro focus and governments’ responsibility to the 300-million citizens as a whole. Mentioned Meyer Burstein’s quote, “Immigration mistakes are big mistakes. They don’t go away. They only get bigger.” Stressed need to have a national discussion of macro issues including family vs economic, asylum/refugees vs economic/security, immigration role vis-à-vis America’s declining birth rate. We sympathized with the emotional stress felt by immigration/border patrol officers. And we agreed that all focus now goes through filters of perceived political advantage … nothing of substance will get done until after elections – 2014 & maybe 2016 … by which time the problems will all be bigger. Listen to the Interview: Podcast - April 10, 2014
October 24, 2013- We noted President Obama's upcoming address on immigration, and whether it will reveal intention to work with Republicans ... or whether motivation is to deflect public attention away from problems with Obamacare. Also discussed Obama's agenda to fundamentally change the country, referencing Madison and de Tocqueville. I suggested constitutional convention to impose term limits is needed to limit DC obsession with re-election. Concluded with hopes for genuine and effective immigration reform. Listen to the Interview: Podcast - October 24, 2013
July 18, 2013- Bill and Bruce talked about democrat strategy of using immigration to gain votes, and why it works. We agreed SB.744 is dead, and that’s good; no action at all may be best outcome for 2013. Four bills approved by House Judiciary are good/gutsy, but almost certainly will die in Senate if they get that far. Talked about sanctuary cities as example of how we announce to the world that we do not enforce immigration laws … also how House bill would withhold federal funds from sanctuary cities. Listen to the Interview:Podcast - July 18, 2013
June 19, 2013- Talked about S.744 as not comprehensive – doesn’t significantly change the numbers or types of immigrants, includes some good elements (STEM, guest/agri workers, new merit-based preference, elimination of diversity lottery, DREAM), but farcical re enforcement. Biggest flaws remain (chain immigration, no education-skills-English requirements for most immigrants, no constraints on radical Islam entrants). Listen to the Interview: Podcast - June 19, 2013
May 10, 2013- Talked about S.744 – fuzzy national interests, increasing numbers of employment-based immigrants & total immigrants, lack of provisions to reduce ‘carrots’ for future illegals, politicizing immigration, attitudes of American Hispanics, etc. Listen to the Interview: Podcast - May 10, 2013
February 6, 2013- Bill and Bruce discussed the Senate ‘gang of 8’ proposal, House proposal, and unwillingness to address really tough elements of immigration policy to make it work for sincere immigrants. Listen to the Interview:Podcast - February 6, 2013
January 16, 2013- Bill Martinez and Bruce Thatcher talked about history of immigration in U.S. and problems with current system, including partisan rhetoric in Washington. Focused on need to make immigration policy serve national economic interests. Discussed assimilation and burdens placed on society from non-qualified immigrants. Listen to the Interview: Podcast - January 16, 2013
Check out general information on Bruce Thatcher, award-winning author of Gun Mania: What We Must Do To Reduce Shootings, Homicides and Suicides in America, Rise and Decline: Where We Are and What We Can Do About It, Immigration: How to Avoid its Perils and Make it Work, and Adamant Aggressors: How to Recognize and Deal With Them.
You can also read a more detailed biography of him here, 'In His Words'.