Donald Trump is, once again, trying to use the bully pulpit to get Congress to take up immigration.
His Thursday afternoon speech in the Rose Garden is being spun by his advisors as an opportunity for Trump to set the record straight about what he really believes about immigration — and to launch a push for Congress to pass a plan for “merit-based” legal immigration.
In reality, it’s accomplishing half of one of those things.
The first idea — that this is a way for Trump to unveil a new immigration agenda — is absurd. “A lot of what people say is not reflective of what he says to his team and to us. What we have put together is the president’s immigration policy,” one White House official told Politico— as if Trump himself hasn’t been talking about immigration incessantly and elevated it as an administration priority since he took office.
The second idea is less wrong. This is a renewal of Trump’s effort to overhaul legal immigration by cutting family-based immigration, and focusing instead on the “merit-based” immigrants Trump does hypothetically want to allow to settle in the US. An administration official said Tuesday that this was a “proposal we can unite Republicans around” before discussing more contentious parts of the issue.
The positive-sounding “consensus” message about “merit-based immigration,” though, is running ahead of any actual legislative text for Trump to endorse. Indeed, even without seeing a proposal in writing, immigration restrictionists are already upset that Trump might back a bill that doesn’t cut overall immigration levels.
A consensus message risks leaving a lot of other things out, too.
Obviously, it omits the realities of Trump’s widespread executive-branch crackdown on legal and unauthorized immigration.
And it skirts any discussion of legalizing unauthorized immigrants currently in the US — including immigrants facing the loss of their deportation protections under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Perhaps most bafflingly, though, it requires Trump to pivot away from the idea that the US/Mexico border is in crisis and that Congress needs to spend all of its energy addressing the unprecedented numbers of families coming to the US without papers.
It’s difficult to build consensus while maintaining urgency. Trump’s effort to put forward a more positive message is also a way to pile more demands on a Congress that’s proven uninterested in meeting even more modest White House requests on immigration.
Trump’s latest “merit-based” proposal doesn’t actually exist yet
The administration is characterizing Trump’s speech as a launch of an immigration plan. But for a plan to become a law, it has to be written up as a bill first. And there’s no bill yet. Nor is it clear when there will be one.
First son-in-law Jared Kushner has reportedly been working on a policy proposal that Thursday’s speech is expected to preview and promote. It’s not clear when, or whether, Kushner’s proposal will turn into a bill. It’s also not clear how detailed Kushner’s proposal actually is; several Republican senators left Tuesday’s meeting complaining that Kushner had been unable to answer basic questions about his bill, and that senior policy adviser (and immigration hardliner-in-chief) Stephen Miller had stepped in on multiple occasions to answer the questions instead.
Some elements of a Trump “plan” for merit-based immigration have been disclosed to press before Trump’s speech:
- The plan would cut most categories of family-based immigration into the US — which is currently the main way that immigrants are allowed to get permanent residency (green cards) and, ultimately, US citizenship.
- Green cards would be allocated via a points system that would favor immigrants with high levels of education, English-language fluency and professional skill.
- There would be some sort of test of “patriotic assimilation” — to quote the Washington Post, “One administration official offered an example in which green-card applicants would be required to pass an exam based on a reading of George Washington’s farewell address or Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptist Association.” (It’s not clear whether this test would be a way to score points under the point system, or whether green-card applicants would have to pass it to qualify in addition to accumulating enough points.)
- The overall number of immigrants allowed to come to the US would not be reduced.
- There would also be some form of border security provisions, including funds to screen every pedestrian and vehicle entering the US (presumably at official border crossings).
Without an actual bill, though, it’s impossible to know whether Trump is insisting on all of these planks or just gently suggesting Congress consider them.
Even these few details are already generating some discomfort among immigration restrictionists — who feel it’s fundamentally important that legal immigration be not just overhauled, but reduced — and fervent opposition among Democrats, who don’t seem inclined to discuss immigration reform if legalization is off the table.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is generally much less interested in taking up immigration bills than President Trump would like him to be. In the past, immigration debates have been squeezed into a few days, and bills have been dispatched with quickly. It’s not clear why another crack at “merit-based” immigration would change that pattern.
Trump keeps giving speeches that run ahead of the immigration proposals they’re supposed to unveil
If you’re getting deja vu, you are not alone.
Donald Trump has been talking about immigration incessantly for the last four years. It is his signature issue. While he usually talks about immigration enforcement instead of changing legal immigration, he’s certainly spent plenty of time railing against “chain migration” and the diversity “visa lottery” — which are two things that any “merit-based immigration” proposal could be counted on to do.
But Trump has a history of giving immigration speeches that are supposed to unveil some sort of policy, and then don’t. In the runup to the midterm election in November, the administration promised a major immigration address from the Roosevelt Room — but the speech announced no new policies and was mostly an expansion of previous Trump riffs on caravans and the border.
In January, the administration asked the networks to air an address in prime time — which was originally expected to showcase Trump’s proposal to end the partial government shutdown he had caused in December. Instead, Trump gave a short and fiery speech about how immigrants are coming across the border to kill you.
Trump doesn’t have a terrific track record of discussing policy in detailed terms, or even accurate ones. The White House keeps acting as if Trump’s speeches will launch policy initiatives, because Trump speeches get attention, but that’s rarely how it ends up working in practice.
Trump is piling additional demands onto his requests for Congress to address the border crisis
When Trump does make immigration demands of Congress, furthermore, he has a lot of trouble choosing a few demands and sticking to them.
The last time Congress itself showed any appetite for passing an immigration bill — when Trump attempted to end the DACA program in fall 2017 — Trump kept moving the goalposts and then blaming Congress for not meeting them. The White House went out of its way to attack DACA bills that didn’t do enough in their minds to reduce “chain migration”; Trump’s preferred bill, which overhauled legal immigration and spent $25 billion on a border wall, was the least popular proposal the Senate considered.
Something similar happened during the shutdown debate: a fight that was originally about how much money to appropriate for a physical “wall” along the US/Mexico border briefly blossomed into a proposal to legalize DACA recipients (and provide permanent legal status to immigrants with Temporary Protected Status, who are also facing the loss of their protections thanks to Trump’s executive actions), while overhauling asylum law and restricting the president’s ability to protect groups of immigrants in future.
A few weeks ago, the administration submitted an “emergency” request for additional funding for agencies dealing with immigrants — with the warning that as tens of thousands of families a month keep entering the US without papers, the administration will run out of money before the end of the fiscal year on September 30 unless Congress authorized the extra money.
The Trump administration firmly believes that more money won’t help unless Congress changes the law to make it harder for people to seek asylum in the US, and easier to detain and deport those who do seek asylum. So it’s repeatedly asked Congress to override the Flores settlement that limits the time families can spend in immigration detention, and to allow unaccompanied children and teenagers from Central American countries to be deported without trial. It’s also voiced support for broader restrictions on asylum, like the ones Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is unveiling in a bill this week that would prevent Central Americans from seeking asylum in the US and force them to apply from within their home countries instead.
But changing the legal immigration system to a “merit-based” one doesn’t affect any of that. Even the border provisions being floated as part of Kushner’s plan — like increasing screening — would have no impact on the current flow of asylum-seekers.
This speech is not Donald Trump’s immigration policy
Republicans tend to bristle at the allegation that Donald Trump is anti-immigration. They insist either that he likes legal immigration, just not unauthorized immigration — which isn’t actually true, as Trump has railed against “chain migration” and the “visa lottery” with nearly as much bile as he’s railed against unauthorized migration.
Or they insist that he wants to make it easier for immigrants who will contribute to American society to come to the US, and harder for immigrants who won’t contribute. Thursday’s speech might at least provide some evidence of the latter.
But what Donald Trump ideally wants out of the immigration system in his heart of hearts is not Donald Trump’s immigration policy.
Immigration policy isn’t just about what bills Congress passes. It’s about what the executive branch does with its considerable leeway to direct enforcement of immigration law; set regulations for legal immigration, and levels for some visas and refugee admissions; and direct immigration judges on how to interpret statute;
Running the executive branch means making decisions (or appointing others to make decisions) about all of that. It’s impossible to be president without implementing an immigration policy through the executive branch. And the Trump administration has been unprecedentedly aggressive in using all of these means to restrict legal immigration and crack down on unauthorized migration.
As president, Donald Trump has slashed refugee admissions to the United States. Depending on the outcomes of court cases, he may be responsible for stripping deportation protections from over a million immigrants. He’s radically expanded the use of immigration detention and forced thousands (and counting) of asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico — with further asylum crackdowns potentially ahead. He has done so much more.
It is vanishingly unlikely that Donald Trump has finally, this time, figured out how to get Congress to take up a broad immigration overhaul by giving a speech. And anything short of a bill that passes and is enacted will matter less for immigration policy than everything Trump is already doing.
Digital Trends Live – 7.10.19 – Nintendo Switch Lite Confirmed + India May Ban Cryptocurrencies
On today’s episode: Nintendo officially announced the much rumored Switch Lite; WarnerMedia makes HBO Max official, launching with Friends in 2020; India to ban cryptocurrencies – could impact Facebook’s Libra; team sets out to topple the land speed record; Overtock.com President joins to talk about their new A.R. feature; The best CPUs and GPUs on the market; Passwords vulnerability discussion with Keeper Security CEO; If you make a ton of PPT decks, you likely need a CMS – Shufflrr has you covered; Gaming Editor Felicia Miranda takes the cover off the Switch Lite and the best Prime Day deals to watch out for.
View at DailyMotion
25 Users Showed How Different Instagram Is From Reality, and It Can Make You Way More Confident
According to the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), Instagram is the most harmful social media for psychological health. Every day, we are disappointed when we start comparing our lives to the photos online without even thinking about how these perfect pictures were created. Fortunately, there are users who are ready to reveal what their lives look like without photoshop and filters.
Bright Side is happy to show the photos that will not only give you confidence, but will also improve your mood.
Before and after taken about 30 seconds apart
Nobody looks good in the morning.
Everything depends on the angle.
Trash looks bad no matter where it is.
“I love taking photos on the beach.”
It’s not just bodies and faces that get tune-ups on Instagram. The locals would be amazed to see the photo on the left.
Each successful photo actually means there were hundreds of failed attempts.
The photos I share vs The photos I’m tagged in
A black eye given by a unicorn
It appears that the rainbow is fake.
This is what’s behind a perfect life.
It’s always like this.
If people posted their real photos from the gym
10 minutes after cleaning and 10 hours later
Mud baths are attractive.
Behind the stage of perfect photo
Just imagine what the process looked like.
On hot days, you really need water-resistant makeup.
Before the party / after the party
When you are too hungry to arrange the food in a beautiful way:
This is the same girl.
There is something wrong with this photo.
Some people look like aliens in their photos.
It should be prohibited to tag people in photos.
Instagram vs Real-life motherhood
Do you prefer to post real or idealized photos?
10 Powerful Sculptures That Tell a Story Better Than Any Novel Could
We often take sculptures that surround us for granted, thinking that their only message is the one in plain sight. But it turns out that many of them have a deeper meaning like an angel that is made of weapons given up by those who never want to commit crimes again or a group of ginormous figures that tell us how a new life is born. Sculptures have a whole lot of good stories to share if you’re willing to listen.
Come with Bright Side on a little journey around the globe to see 10 eloquent monuments and sculptures and learn the stories behind them.
1. Knife Angel by Alfie Bradley has persuaded hundreds of people to give up violence.
Alfie Bradley created this breathtaking 27-foot-high angel made of more than 100,000 knives. These weapons were surrendered to knife bins around the UK and were collected by the UK police, knife crime charities, action groups and other people who were affected by knife crimes in one way or another. The Knife Angel travels around the UK to educate people on how important the problem of knife crime is and how dangerous these weapons are. You can learn more about The Knife Angel, the process of its creation, and its current locations here.
2. The Passer-Through-Walls by Jean Marais illustrates the final scene from a famous French novel.
Le Passe-Muraille is a French novel by Marcel Aymé that tells the story of a modest office worker who one day discovers that he has a superpower — he can walk through walls! The hero uses his gift to the fullest to solve problems and becomes a burglar, gets into prison, and escapes until one day he loses his power right on his way through a wall and gets stuck in it. This monument is also quite interactive — the man’s hands are polished by thousands of people who try to help him get out of the wall.
3. Building Bridges by Lorenzo Quinn shares a recipe for a better world.
How do we make our world a better place to live in? Friendship, wisdom, help, faith, hope, and love — these are the ingredients to a better world and happier people according to Lorenzo Quinn, a famous Italian artist. These 6 virtues are embodied in the 6 pairs of hands that build a bridge together. This is one of the latest works by Quinn that was built for 2019’s Venice Art Biennale.
4. Corporate Head by Terry Allen tells us about the danger of being focused on profit at all costs.
The impressive life-sized bronze sculpture of a man who has buried his head in the building resides in Los Angeles, California in the US. The sculpture embodies a businessman who has devoted all his life to gaining profit for himself and the company he works for. He is separated from the office building only from his neck down, which means his thoughts have been completely absorbed by the establishment he works for.
The sculpture illustrates the modern pace of life where people have to carry an economic burden and spend their whole lives working in businesses, often missing out on things that are way more important than material wealth.
5. Sphere Within a Sphere by Arnaldo Pomodoro reminds us of how fragile our planet is.
This wonderful statue mesmerizes viewers with a complex structure of fractured spheres — the outer one and the inner one — and numerous intricate gears inside. The artist, Arnaldo Pomodoro, liked to study simple geometrical forms in his work and managed to hide deep meaning behind those simple forms. The Sphere Within a Sphere once again reminds us how everything in the universe is interconnected, how fragile our world is, and how easily it can be broken into pieces.
6. The Man Who Measures the Clouds by Jan Fabre speaks about the struggles of measuring the immeasurable.
This unique artwork with the gold leaf finishing touch is part of 2019’s Venice Art Biennale and it shows viewers a man rising to a height of 29.5 feet (9 meters) and trying to measure the clouds with a ruler. This sculpture can be interpreted as a person’s desperate attempt to make the impossible possible, as our never-ending striving to surpass ourselves as mankind, or as a nod to ancient philosophy that thought that human beings were the measure of all things.
7. Inertia and The Bankers by Jason Decaires Taylor tackle social issues and call for our responsibility.
The Bankers, Inertia and other marvelous underwater sculptures by Jason Decaires Taylor reveal the most acute problems of modern society, like being obsessed with material wealth and being exposed to mass media’s influence. But apart from that, these unbelievable works serve as homes for coral that are on the verge of extinction in many regions of our planet. By placing his masterpieces underwater in Mexico, the Bahamas, and other places, the artist tries to attract more attention to global climate changes and the things we can do to protect the earth.
8. Absorbed by Light by Gali Lucas and Karoline Hinz honestly tell us how obsessed we’ve become with gadgets and technology.
3 people sitting on a bench, absorbed by their smartphones so much so that they don’t even notice each other. What could illustrate our era better? The installation that was part of the Amsterdam Light Festival symbolizes how modern technology connects and disconnects us at the same time. When you walk at night next time, look around and you’ll see the same picture — dozens of people all around with their faces lit up by their mobile phones. We actually are absorbed by these lights, aren’t we?
9. Trains to Life — Trains to Death by Frank Meisler commemorates children whose lives were saved and taken during the Holocaust.
The impressive work by Frank Meisler is located in Berlin, Germany, and it has 2 parts — 5 figures of boys and girls in dark bronze on one side, and a boy and a girl made of light bronze on the other side. The kids in these 2 parts of the monument gaze into different directions and symbolize 2 different outcomes that awaited children during the Holocaust. The group of 5 figures commemorates the 1.6 million Jewish kids that were sent to concentration camps and were killed, while 2 other kids pay tribute to those 10,000 children that were saved and transported to England.
10. The Miraculous Journey by Damien Hirst shows the stages of a baby’s growth in the womb.
This amazing monument located outside the Sidra Medical and Research Centre in Doha, Qatar, consists of 14 large-scale bronze sculptures, each of them showing a stage of an embryo’s growth in the womb from conception to birth. Being extremely explicit and bold, The Miraculous Journey evoked controversial feelings in the eastern audience and was even covered from public view for some time.
Here’s what Damien Hirst, the creator of the monument said about the ideas he addressed in his work: “Ultimately, the journey a baby goes through before birth is bigger than anything it will experience in its human life. I hope the sculpture will instill in the viewer a sense of awe and wonder at this extraordinary human process, which will soon be occurring in the Sidra Medical Center, as well as every second all across the globe.”
Which of these monuments would you like to see with your own eyes? Can you share with us a picture of a sculpture or a monument that impressed you?
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