The Best And The Worst Of American Immigration Policy

statue-of-liberty-better

The best of American immigration policy is described in the inscription on the Statue of Liberty, found in New York City harbor. You will find that inscription   further down in this post. You will also find a modern revision of that inscription which shows how it applies to the current situation.

The two immigration policies, probably tied for the worst policies in our nation’s history, are:

1. Donald Trump’s policy on Muslim refugees
2. Our nation’s policy regarding Jewish refugees in the 1940s.

However, the policy of the Know Nothing Party (Also known as the American Party), in the 1840s and 1850s, was pretty bad as well.

The Worst Policies

Donald Trump has ordered that:

– No immigrants from any nation may enter this country for 120 days.
– No immigrants from Syria will be allowed in for an indefinite period.
– No immigrants from any of 7 Muslim Majority countries may come here for 90 days.

This puts a lot of innocent refugees at risk of death at he hands of their governments, or radical groups in their countries, or even from just plain starvation. It is a disgraceful policy.

In the 1940s:

Boatloads of Jewish refugees came to the US to escape the Nazis. Many Americans feared there were Nazi spies among them. So our government wouldn’t let the boats land. They were forced to return to Europe where many of the Jews died in Nazi prison camps.

Ann Frank and her family were among those refused admission. She and most of her family died in the Nazi death camps. Only her father survived.

The Know Nothing Party:

In the 1840s and 1850s this party opposed the admission of any Catholic immigrants. They feared these immigrants would take over the country and put it under the control of the Pope. They also complained that Catholic immigrants would take jobs away from “ real Americans”. (Sound familiar?)

The Best Policy

Here is the immigration policy found in the inscription at the base of the Statue of Liberty:

“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-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Here is a modern rendition of this inscription showing how it might apply to today’s realities.

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled Syrians yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of Syria’s teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed of Syria to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

I hope we can get back to the noble immigration policy expressed by the Statue of Liberty.

America’s Hypocritical Double Standard

President Trump has announced several measures designed to prevent new immigrants from entering the country and to deport immigrants, already here, who don’t have specific legal permission to enter the country. He, and many of his supporters, justify these measures by saying, the USA is our country and we have the absolute right to determine who, if anyone, can enter the country. Anyone who wants to enter the country must first get our permission.

Strictly speaking, US lastatue_of_liberty_7w provides a firm basis for that point of view. But that view imposes a cruel double standard on those who want to come here now to make a better life for themselves.

Did our ancestors get permission of the current residents of what is now the USA to come here? Absolutely not!

Most of us are European American in ancestry. The first American settlement in the US was established at Jamestown, Virginia in 1607. The second was at Plymouth, Massachusetts, starting in 1620. In neither case did the Europeans ask permission to move in of the current owners of the land.

After those two colonies Europeans began flooding into Native American lands. If they met resistance from the original owners of the land, the Europeans just attacked them and beat them into submission.

In 1804 the US bought most of the land west of the Mississippi river from France for $15 million. None of the Native Americans living there had agreed to sell their land to France in the first place. And those Natives certainly did not get a share of the profit from the sale of their land to the United States.

In some cases Europeans simply drove all the residents out of areas the Europeans wanted. In 1838 and 1839, as part of Andrew Jackson’s Indian removal policy, 16,000 Cherokees were forced to give up their lands east of the Mississippi River and to march to an area in present-day Oklahoma. Four thousand of them died of cold, hunger, and disease on their way to the western lands. Again, no one paid the Cherokees for their land.

The onward pressure of Europeans moving westward continued through most of the 1800ds. From the 1850s to the 1870s European Americans made war on the wester plains Indians because the Indians refused to get out of the way. Often the Americans slaughtered huge numbers of Buffalo, the Indian’s main food source, to starve the Indians into submission.

Given our history, it is pretty hypocritical to say that anyone else who wants to come here must have documented permission to be here, and anyone without such permission must leave.

Should ObamaCare Be Overturned?

doctor-taking-pulseFrankly, I do think ObamaCare should be overturned. And I think it should be replaced by “Medicare For All” as suggested by Bernie Sanders.

In this blog post, I will explain why my own experience leads me to that conclusion. I would welcome hearing your views on this subject (particularly those of you who are on Medicare, but anyone is welcome to comment).

From everything I hear, getting insurance under Obama Care (The Affordable Care Act,ACA) is very complicated. Larry and I signed up for Medicare in a simple, quick process. It took us about 20 minutes each.

I should note, as with the ACA, under Medicare the doctor’s and other medical bills are still paid by private insurance companies and health care services plans. You would still need to find a company that has the most complete coverage for doctors, medicine, lab work, ex-rays and preventive medicine care. But the price would be the same wherever you go.

You also would want to explore the co-pays each company requires for any of these services. I get my Medicare through the Kaiser Health Plan. I have no co-pay for lab work, ex-rays or preventive care. I pay just $10 per doctors visit. My highest medicine co-pay was $75, but most of the medicine co-pays range from $15 to $30.

And then there are the premium charges for health insurance under ObamaCare.

Federal officials have announced that premiums for ObamaCare will rise an average of 22%, just in 2017. My Medicare premium increase in 2017 will be just 0.3% according to the Social Security Administration (Which administers Medicare). According to my records, my Medicare premiums have been rising by an average of just 1.31% per year over the past 11 years.

I’ve been unable to find any specific information on average ObamaCare premiums, but I gather $400 to $500 premiums are common. In 2017, my husband, Larry and I will pay just $108 per month, each, for Medicare.

One thing causing high premiums for ObamaCare has been that relatively few young people have been signing up for it. In the traditional health insurance model, health insurance programs depend on young people to help reduce the premiums for older people. Young people are much less likely to need health care. As a result it costs less to provide health care to young people than the premiums paid by those young people. Older people need more care. The cost of caring for them is often more than they pay in premiums. The losses on older people are made up from the profits from insuring young people. With so few young people enrolling in ObamaCare insurers have had no choice but to greatly increase the premiums on everyone who does enroll.

By contrast, if everyone, of all ages, were covered by Medicare, and everyone paid premiums for it, the premium per person for Medicare could be even lower than it is now.

There is one more thing that could lower Medicare premiums. Current federal law prohibits Medicare from bargaining with drug companies over the price of drugs. Medicare must pay whatever the drug companies demand for their products. If Medicare was permitted to bargain over drug prices it probably could lower its overall costs for drugs. That, in turn would allow them to lower Medicare premiums.

I think ObamaCare should be scrapped and replaced with Medicare for all.

Israel’s Illegal Army Of Occupation Must Be Withdrawn From Palestine

israeli-flagNote: I gave up blogging a while back because it appeared that few were reading them and fewer still were discussing them. However, I like expressing my opinions on public issues and so will resume periodic blog posts. If no one reads them, that’s their loss, not mine.

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Recently the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2334 which states that Israel’s settlement activity in Palestine constitutes a “flagrant violation” of international law and has “no legal validity”. The resolution demands that Israel stop such activity and fulfill its obligation as an occupying power under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

I agree wholeheartedly with this resolution. But I would have taken it one step further. I believe Israel should be required to remove it’s army of occupation from Palestine IMMEDIATELY.

Here’s why. In 1967 the Palestinians and other Arab countries attacked Israel. Within a few weeks Israel defeated her enemies. Israel then put an army of occupation in Palestine. Now, half a century later, the occupation army is still there. Still worse, Israelis have been moving to Palestine, taking homes and land from Palestinians (often without paying for them) and building Israeli settlements on that land.

To help you understand how that feels to the Palestinians, consider the following. Suppose Germany had won World War II and then put an army occupation in the United States. Suppose that occupying force was still here. And, finally, suppose Gerrmans came here and took your home, and the homes of your neighbors, forcing you out and moving in to your and your neighbors homes. That would be manifestly unjust. So is what Israel is doing to the nation of Palestine.

Some of the Jewish settlers justify their settlements by saying Palestine, historically was part of Israel that had been called Judea and Samaria. The fact is those were separate kingdoms since at least the nine hundreds BC. That’s nearly 3,000 years ago. Calling Palestine part of Israel, based on history, just doesn’t work.

Israel’s army of occupation in the nation of Palestine is illegal. Israel should be required to remove those occupying forces. Our nation’s continuing support of Israel should be conditioned on their doing that. Unfortunately, that is not likely to happen soon.

A Point By Point Response To The Objections To the Marijuana Initiative (Prop. 64)

Black Votes Count Too
Black Votes Count Too!

In the California official voter information guide the opponents of Prop. 64 list 5 objections to Prop 64. The following is an item by item response to those objections.

Continue reading “A Point By Point Response To The Objections To the Marijuana Initiative (Prop. 64)”

Here Is Why You Should Vote For Proposition 54

Proposition 54 Gives Power To the People

Here is what Proposition 54 would do.

Black Votes Count Too
Black Votes Count Too!

1. It would prohibit the California Legislature from enacting any law unless it has been in print, and published on the Internet for at least 72 hours, except in cases of public emergency.

 

2. Proposition 54 would also require the legislature to record all of its meetings, except closed door meetings and post them on the Internet. A closed door meeting, for example, could be meetings to discuss security at the State Capitol.

3. Proposition 54 would also authorize anyone (even you and me) to record all legislative meetings, except closed door meetings.

So what is so good about Proposition 54?

Continue reading “Here Is Why You Should Vote For Proposition 54”

With Sadness I oppose Proposition 61

Here is what Proposition 61 would do.

Black Votes Count Too
Black Votes Count Too!

It would prohibit all state agencies from buying prescription medications at any price higher than the lowest price paid, for the same drug, by the US Department of Veterans Affairs. This rule would apply to drugs bought directly by the state agency, or when the agency is the ultimate payer for the medication, even if the agency does not directly buy the medication.

This sure seems like a good idea. According to the Non-Partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office (an agency housed in the state legislature) the state of California spent $3.8 billion on prescription medications in fiscal year 2014-2015. The savings to the state could be considerable, although the Legislative Analyst’s Office said it was unable to estimate just how much at this time.

So, why shouldn’t we vote for proposition 61?

Continue reading “With Sadness I oppose Proposition 61”