Josh Hawley, we are frequently reminded, went to Stanford and Yale. He’s supposed to be a smart man. He also claims to be a religious man and as such is supposed to be compassionate toward those who are needy and persecuted.
As a consequence, Hawley faces a serious dilemma. He clearly believes he has to stick to Trump like a burr lest the deplorables be aroused – no matter how absurd, dishonest, cruel, or destructive Trump reveals himself to be. This dilemma is especially evident when it comes to Trump’s favorite hobby, keeping dark complexioned people from sh*****e countries out of the U.S.
It’s obvious that it’s a difficult slog. When Trump announces that we must deport immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers “with no Judges or Court Cases,” Hawley does his best to evade the issue. He has refused to tell us whether or not he supports constitutionally mandated due process for immigrants, a question that ought to be a no-brainer for a guy with his background. In the words of one of his primary opponents, Austen Petersen, “Josh Hawley is an ivy-league educated, constitutional lawyer, who is either constitutionally illiterate, or too much of a coward to admit what he knows is true. The 14th Amendment is clear.”
When it comes to family separation, an almost universally denounced policy, Hawlely tried to deflect. A the Kansas City Star put it, he “stopped short of calling for the policy to end immediately and put the blame on McCaskill” (WTF!) Even Mr. Test-the-Wind Mumblecore himself, Roy Blunt, managed to do better than that.
Sad as it it, these efforts represent the extent of Hawley’s self-assertion – he’s mostly a good little Trump trooper. He calls for “securing the border and building the wall,” while blaming Claire McCaskill and by extension Democrats, for failing to fix a broken immigration system in a Congress totally dominated by risk-averse Republicans. Hawley evidently doesn’t seem to know that his fellow GOPers have refused again and again to consider bipartisan immigration efforts, including those in which McCaskill participated. As for that storied wall – the one that could cost billions and do little or nothing to protect the border, well, we all know baby knows better, but, hey, talk is cheap.
Seriously, though, isn’t it kind of sad to see a guy endorsed by that supposed moral arbiter, former Senator John Danforth, go along to get along? I guess Danforth’s hoping he’ll clean up good after the election. In case he can’t get it together, though, I offer the following list of what I have learned about immigration over the past couple of years. Perhaps, after he’s washed off the Trump filth, Hawley might find it informative:
- Conditions in the Central American Northern triangle and in the Middle East from which so many are fleeing are truly horrific.
- That horrific situation is in many respects the result of past actions by the United States:
- In the eighties the United States backed vicious right wing dictatorships in Central America and helped train death squads while we participated in or instigated civil wars that displaced thousands.
- Later, the U.S.-led war on drugs “succeeded” in South America by pushing violent cartels north, into Central America.
- Lax U.S. gun laws also factor into the levels of violence; an estimated 200,000 guns purchased in the U.S. are annually smuggled into Central America.
- The violent MS-13 gang that Trump uses to scare his immigrant-averse base was, in the words of one writer, “made in America” and exported to back to Central America.
- I’m pretty sure I don’t need to detail the role played by the U.S. in destabilizing the Middle East, an area from which another group of demonized immigrants hail?
- Immigrants do not contribute to crime in the U.S. at a higher level than native born citizens.
- The Washington Post notes that studies have shown that “states with larger shares of undocumented immigrants tended to have lower crime rates than states with smaller shares in the years 1990 through 2014.”
- Anecdotes about specific immigrant wrongdoers do not substantiate the assertion that an entire group is crime prone. Numbers tell the true story.
- Immigrants do not “take” jobs from native-born Americans.
- Currently, several industries are threatened by worker shortages that have resulted from the Trumpian anti-immigrant jihad (see here, here , here and here).
- Legal immigrants pay taxes.
- At least 50% of undocumented immigrants also pay state and federal income taxes and contribute to the Social Security trust funds – to the tune of billions of dollars.
- The taxes paid by immigrants help makeup the shortfall in tax revenues and Social Security reserves in the U.S. where the birth rate has been slowing for decades.
- Anti-immigrant sentiment has been highly racialized in response to political demagoguery – which has also encouraged already existing anti-immigrant, racist, hate groups.
Given the facts listed above, maybe Hawley ought to answer these questions next time he’s asked about one or another of Trump’s immigration tirades:
- As professed a Christian doesn’t Hawley have a moral responsibility to generously respond to “the least of these,” which today’s Central American and Middle Eastern refugees surely are?
- Wouldn’t Hawley, were he to be elected to a powerful national position, have an equally heavy moral responsibility to help clean up after foreign policy blunders and try to undo the harm we have done to these people?
- Wouldn’t Hwley be endangering our future by catering to racial and cultural fears and ignoring the important role immigrants play in our economy and could continue to play if he were to to act in good faith to try to “fix” our immigration policy?
- Does Hawley really want to be allied with white supremacists, neo-nazis and other hate groups?
How about it Josh Hawley?