Donald Trump’s Assault on Lady Liberty

By: Frank Calviño - @FrankCalvino - Nov 15, 2016, 8:36 am

Statue of Liberty seen from the Circle Line ferry, Manhattan, New York
Statue of Liberty in New York, New York (wikimedia)

In New York there is a beautiful, internationally renowned lady — and it’s not Ivanka Trump.

It’s the stoic green titan that’s stood silently in front of Ellis Island giving us courage and solace through America’s worsts times. Lady Liberty, The Mother of Exiles: The Statue of Liberty.

That’s right, Mr. President-elect Donald Trump, she’s called the “Mother of Exiles,” not “¡Migra córrele córrele!

On her pedestal, these words are engraved:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

The United States of America is the home of the brave and the land of the free — and that goes for immigrants and refugees as well. To deny this is to betray 240 years of sacrifices made to uphold the nation’s core values — to defend a certain brand of freedom arguably unmatched anywhere else.

To deny this is to deny everything that makes the United States of America one of the greatest nations on Earth, a land worthy of admiration and praise.

Trump seems oblivious to all of this. He talks about policies that seem impossible logistically, economically or in the framework of international politics.

Let us assume that The Donald follows through on each and every one of his promises. The wall is built — paid for by Mexico, of course — and Obamacare is eliminated, mass deportations are carried out and a volatile approach to foreign relations becomes the new doctrine.


If these policies become a reality, Americans will have to face a massive dilemma. Trump’s policies, though legally possible, are fundamentally at odds with the country’s founding values. If they come true, the idea of America as we know it will cease to exist.

If Trump builds the wall, he might as well take down Lady Liberty too. Otherwise, it’s like hanging a welcome sign on a closed door.

Trump’s ideals are clearly anti-American. Compare his bombastic statements about “Mexican rapists” with Abraham Lincoln’s last annual message to Congress on December 6, 1864: “I regard our immigrants as one of the replenishing streams appointed by providence to repair the ravages of internal war and its waste of national strength and health.”

Yes, times were different: a war had ravaged the country and a cheap and reliable workforce was sorely needed. But has America not always been the land of immigrants?

The Times, They Are A-Changin’

Obliviousness to the country’s ideals are not exclusive to Donald Trump. This election has shown us that around half of Americans feel similar to the way Trump does.

Does this mean that Trump represents America? No. He rather stands for a new idea of America.

There is dissent within the Republican party. One can find all kinds of people who truly believe and represent American values. Unfortunately, they were overrun by the “real politics” of Trump’s popularity.

Trump is not a consequence of Republican ideology; rather he is a political consequence of unchecked mass media. Despite what they might have you believe, Trump is not the “candidate of the idiots” but the candidate of the masses — the politically uneducated, scared and desperate masses.

The masses usually end up supporting anyone able to produce a coherent excuse for their problems rather than someone who wants to tackle things with real policymaking.

In his speeches, Trump firmly reinforced placing the blame on others: Latinos, the Chinese, Muslims. The truth is that Mexicans and other immigrants are willing to work hard and for cheap — that the US economic decline can be explained by the boated government and consumer debt.

America’s failures are America’s own doing. The Pedros and Pablos are not to blame. The Lees and Sakuras aren’t either, nor the Mohammeds and Fatimas.

The terrifying fact is that Trump convinced the majority of the United States that these people are to blame. And so Lady Liberty might need to register for a name change. Perhaps Mother of Deportations, or Mother of Oppression.

Frank Calviño Frank Calviño

Frank Calviño is a journalist, activist, and writer who chronicles the struggles of Venezuela's working class. A literary critic for Venezuelan newspapers, he also specializes in 2.0 media and online marketing. Follow @FrankCalvino.

Despite Cries of Xenophobia, Argentina Looks to Tighten Immigration Control

By: Raquel García - @venturaG79 - Nov 15, 2016, 7:22 am
The measures about migration controls was approved by president Mauricio Macri and is being evaluated by the Argentinean chancellor (Nexofin)

EspañolAs Argentina looks to tighten immigration control laws, it is clear that the United States isn't the only country about to crack down on its immigration policies. The country is preparing a decree that will tighten regulations of its immigration law, including investment in infrastructure at border crossings, among other things. The initiative is reportedly spearheaded by the country's Ministries of Security and Interior, with the approval of President Mauricio Macri. The initiative could see investment in more up-to-date computers and improvements in systems for detecting criminal records and capture orders, as well as more stringent questionnaires, implementation of transit cards for crossing the border, acceleration of the expulsion of immigrants and the authorization of detention centers for holding immigrants until deportation. Read more: Argentina's Macri Rethinks US Relations after Backing Clinton Read more: Argentina and US Officials Meet to Discuss Free Trade Agreement "What the President wants is to go toward a path where people of good will can enter and stay, not criminals," official sources told the Argentine newspaper Clarín. Some officials have said they want to prevent these measures, as they consider them xenophobic — a concern that is reportedly on high alert for many in politics after the victory of Donald Trump in the United States, and after Argentinian Senator Miguel Angel Pichetto's controversial statement regarding Peruvians and Bolivians living abroad. According to Clarín, one of the main objectives of the new policies will be to streamline the processes that are currently in place so as to detect people with a history of serious crime, or who present false documents. Over the last 10 years, 2.3 million requests for deportation were made, 15,000 expulsion orders were issued and 70 were materialized, according to the Ministry of Interior. "That system does not work," one official said. "We are going to look for those that have a criminal conviction and those that have been convicted can not re-enter," the official told Clarín. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); Officials said they are also looking into the implementation of more complex questionnaires that probe for the reason people are entering the country, whether it be work, study or tourism, and the accommodations each person has while staying. The Ministry of the Interior reportedly warned that the questionnaire is in direct contradiction of the agreements established by Mercosur. The Argentinean Foreign Ministry is reportedly evaluating all alternatives to the policy. Since 2002, there have been no improvements to border-crossing infrastructure, according to government officials. Source: Clarín.

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