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Bulletin Editor
Don Shoecraft
Every moment is a fresh beginning — T.S. Eliot
All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them — Walt Disney
Light tomorrow with today — Elizabeth Barret Browning
Today’s Thought — Nicole Cherok
Dr. Bill Hing
Professor of Law and Immigration Studies
University of San Francisco
As if we needed additional proof that the current hoo-ha about immigration emanating from the White House is anything but political claptrap designed to get a President re-elected in 2020, Professor Hing presented a carefully-documented, objective and detailed account that dated the whole shebang to a disagreement between George Washington and Benjamin Franklin.
Washington was all for open borders and free immigration while Franklin was paranoid and anti-immigrant because everyone in Pennsylvania spoke German.
When John Adams came along, anti-French fervor, stoked by the bloody French revolution, was the rage. Adams crafted the first anti-terrorism legislation in the country's history, the Anti-Sedition Act, which remains on the books.
When Dr. Hing began his academic career Gov. Ronald Reagan was inflaming the state about Mexican immigrants because he didn't have control of the actors in the fight, i.e., the state legislature, and the state had no immigration policy.
The question people usually don't ask and should is 'why are these people coming here?'
In the Regan era it was civil wars in El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua.
Really, if you're on one particular side or the other on this idiotic issue you can just shut down now and send a nasty email, but here's the facts according to Professor Hing.
• President Reagan opened the door to all Cubans but said only one percent of Haitians could immigrate.
• In 1986 the national policy known as IRCA granted legalization of up to 10 million undocumented immigrants because they were cheap labor we couldn't do without.
• Under NAFTA Canada gained the most jobs and Mexico lost the most compared to the U.S., which gained as many jobs in the professions as it lost in agriculture.
• Tariffs on corn and subsidies to American corn farmers have eliminated corn farming in Mexico and have converted all the agricultural land in Iowa to subsidized corn. Consequently, you cannot buy Mexican corn in the United States, which makes American corn more expensive, which is great for those with high disposable income but not so great for middle-, low- and very-low-income folks who count their hard-earned pennies. Corn farmers in Iowa are happy on the taxpayer dole, however.
• With Operation Gatekeeper Bill Clinton militarized the Mexican border. He didn't veto the legislation because he said he was facing a unified Congress that might have overridden his veto.
• Gatekeeper closed off the easiest illegal border crossings, which didn't work to stem the tide of crossings. "You can mine the border," Professor Hing said, "but people who are hungry will try." The result is one death per day, every day, of people trying to cross in the most dangerous places. Witness the recent deaths of two immigrant children in ICE custody.
• Why do undocumented immigrants stay, rather than do as they used to and move back and forth across the border for work? Because Clinton created the 10-year bar, meaning if you are here more than one year illegally and are sent back to your homeland, and if you try to come back at any time in 10 years, even legally, you are barred. "After 1996 it made people criminals for trying to stay here."
• 9/11 changed everything. Up until that very day Mexican President Vicente Fox and President George Bush were agreed on the complete legalization of undocumented immigrants. The attacks of 9/11 sent everyone scurrying to the corners and there was a backlash, the most notorious incident of which was the nation-wide raid on all Swift meatpacking plants, which rounded up 3,000 people for deportation.
• DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, lost by five votes in the Senate under Barack Obama's watch, but he countermanded it with a 'Dreamers' policy. Trump signed an order terminating DACA, which is tied up in court.
• Up until the 2014 'surge' in prosecutions, 99 percent of undocumented immigrants showed up for their deportation hearings. President Obama responded to criticism of his immigration policy by creating Family Detention Centers, the consequences of which we are seeing today.
• As a result of President Trump's Muslim ban, unleashing of ICE, militarization of border enforcement, challenges to local sanctuary ordinances, cancellation of DACA, booting out of those nations covered under Temporary Protection Status and zero-tolerance policy, decisions about what to do about immigrants has fallen to local officials.
There is no national guidance for how to handle illegal immigrants.
• 'They're all criminals.' Under law it is a misdemeanor for anyone to enter the county "without inspection." Previously Border Patrol did not send these misdemeanor cases to court, choosing instead to register and release. Beginning last spring, every one of these cases is prosecuted, which means anyone caught now has a criminal record. If you're caught trying again with a criminal record, it's a five-year felony. That's what Trump means when he says 'they're all criminals.' Presumably.
• Border crossings are not the imminent danger they're cracked up to be. Half of 12 million undocumented immigrants are people who over-stayed their visas.
• 30,000 to 40,000 affected by Trump's attempted elimination of Temporary Protected Status live in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Message to take away: "People would rather stay home if there was work and they could be safe."
Some cool New Year's resolutions from Tony Villanueva: Write someone a love letter. Persuade a spouse or companion to get a tattoo. Grow a mustache. Learn something you wished you knew how to do as a child. Ride the scariest roller coaster. Get a six-pack. Learn a language. Go a week without a phone. Start a business.
Tom Bormes introduced his grandson, who was visiting from Australia. Bo Whitehill introduced the distinguished advocate Norm Book.
Visiting Rotarians
Marilyn Orr got two introductions, one as a Rotarian and one as a guest, with Mike Peterson and Rich Orr vying for her attention. She ignored them equally.
President Bruce gave up popcorn and Raisonettes.
Mike Peterson put out the call for volunteers to help label a few hundred dictionaries this Friday at San Mateo-Foster City School District offices, 1170 Chess Dr., Foster City. He also needs volunteers to help distribute them to San Mateo third graders in coming weeks.
It's pretty light and rewarding duty, handing out big dictionaries to kids. You can make them feel like they're going home with a treasure and, who knows?, some of them will treasure them for the rest of their lives.
Poster Boy
Tom Door was fined for being Sutter Health's repeat poster boy for his miraculous recovery at Peninsula Medical Center after a stroke a couple years ago. It all made him very happy to be able to contribute to PB's PC.
President Bruce Bean
Jan. 1! Only 6 Left!
Upcoming Speakers
Jan 10, 2019
Changing Work from the Inside Out
Jan 17, 2019
San Mateo Mayor Program; Development and Traffic
Jan 24, 2019
The Effect of British Colonization on India
Jan 31, 2019
Feb 07, 2019
Stanford Athletic Department
Feb 14, 2019
Feb 21, 2019
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