Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Chaldeans Blame Trump For Deportations

I don't have a tremendous amount of sympathy for resident adult non-citizens who break the law in any serious way and then receive a deportation order. I have even less pity for a group of people who voted for Trump and are shocked when he turns on them. It's who he is. It's what he does. Perhaps for the next election people might consider looking a little more deeply into a candidate's background and history or maybe even think about voting for something greater than their own narrow perceived self-interest. You can't or rather shouldn't identify as a "conservative" and then get p*****d off when someone enforces the law against you. If you can't do the time, don't do the crime. Stop resisting. Follow the rules and you'll have nothing to worry about. Obey the law. Isn't that what self-righteous conservatives tell blacks other people who complain about selective, harsh, or inflexible law enforcement? Well okay then. When he talked about immigrants who were breaking the law with impunity and causing havoc across the land President Trump apparently wasn't, despite what some Chaldean immigrants thought, only talking about Mexicans.

Standing in the living room of her brother's home in Sterling Heights, Lina Denha wipes away tears with a tissue as she recalls how federal agents arrested him early one Sunday morning this month. 
"To just come and grab him in front of his kids and family — that's not right," she said of the June 11 detention of Haydar Butris, 38, one of 114 Iraqi immigrants with criminal records arrested in Michigan.  "He's been here most of his life. He did a mistake. He paid for it. Now, he is a good father, has kids, a family. He works, pays taxes and everything. And you just come knock on the door, come out of nowhere and grab him? That's not right."

Denha's sadness turns to frustration as she expresses disappointment with President Donald Trump, whom she and some other Iraqi-American Christians in Michigan had supported. Denha's sense of betrayal is echoed across metro Detroit among some Iraqi-American Christians who voted for Trump because they hoped he would be sympathetic to their community abroad, where they are a religious minority, and in the U.S. 
"We voted for Trump," Denha said. "That's what we get from him? ... Obama is better than him, 100 times."


During the campaign, some Iraqi-American Christian leaders met with Trump and his campaign officials, ultimately endorsing him and encouraging others to vote for him. "Chaldeans for Trump" signs appeared at Trump rallies in Michigan, referring to Iraqi Catholics. Now some Iraqi Christians say that Trump has failed to keep his promises and is actually worse than former President Barack Obama, whose administration in 2010 stopped the deportation of Iraq immigrants with criminal records after considering complaints from Chaldean leaders.
In contrast this month, U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) is strongly defending its recent roundup of 199 Iraqi immigrants nationally (114 of them in metro Detroit) with criminal records. They said the Iraqis arrested were already facing final orders of removal from a judge and all but two were convicted of crimes, ranging from homicide and assault to less serious crimes like marijuana possession in the case of Butris.

Of the 199 Iraqi nationals arrested nationwide, "the overwhelming majority ... had criminal convictions for crimes including homicide, rape, aggravated assault, kidnapping, burglary, drug trafficking, robbery, sex assault, weapons violations and other offenses," Walls of ICE said. "Two individuals (from metro Detroit) did not have criminal convictions but have pending criminal charges for drug trafficking, receiving stolen property and multiple arrests for domestic violence. One individual (outside Michigan) is a non-criminal with a final order of removal."

In Macomb and Oakland counties, where the Iraqi Christian population is more likely to be concentrated, many Chaldeans were enthusiastic for Trump, said Joseph Kassab, founder and president of the Iraqi Christians Advocacy and Empowerment Institute in West Bloomfield. Trump defeated Clinton in Macomb County by 53.6% to 42.1% while Clinton defeated Trump in Oakland County by 51.3% to 43.2%. "We supported him big time," said Kassab, who was part of the American-MidEast Coalition for Donald Trump. "First of all, we are conservative and conservatives are Republicans. And he said he will protect the Christians."

Kassab said given the close election in Michigan, the votes of Middle Eastern Christians could have made a difference. Michigan has the highest percentage of Arab-Americans among states in the U.S., many of whom are Christian. 
"The people who voted for Donald Trump, they are very disappointed," said Dr. Jacoub Mansour of West Bloomfield, a longtime leader in the Chaldean community. "They didn't expect him to do that. I don't think in future elections, they will vote for him."

Mike Sarafa, a Chaldean advocate from Bloomfield Hills, said that some in the Chaldean community who backed Trump thought the administration would not target them for deportations. "The community largely supported Trump and sometimes, you get what you asked for," Sarafa said. "When somebody has kind of reactionary tendencies, they're not bound by anything. So why people would have thought he would have targeted only Mexicans and Muslims, I'm not sure."

Boo freaking hoo. Suck it up buttercup. Enforcing the law against criminal illegal aliens or criminal immigrants doesn't mean that everyone else except you runs the risk of being deported. There's evidently enough room on the deportation train for Chaldeans too. If you voted for Trump you should be happy that Trump is keeping his campaign promise, at least on this issue. Otherwise Trump would be picking and choosing which laws to enforce, which is what conservatives claimed they opposed when President Obama tried to carve out space for deportation orders to be delayed or ignored. Oh, I guess some people thought that they were special, that they weren't like those other people of slightly browner hue. Well I guess they aren't that special after all. Food for thought. Win some lose some. None of my relatives are non-citizens or have committed homicides, rapes, or assaults so I'm not seeing how ICE's actions impact me or mine or why I should care. 

Maybe, just maybe, if people built diverse coalitions and worked respectfully with other groups to ensure that everyone's most important common interests are addressed, then things like this would be less likely to happen. You show up at my protests and I'll show up at yours. But that would mean that people would have to show some concern about events or communities beyond their immediate self-interest. Like the old joke goes, a conservative is a liberal who just got mugged but a liberal is a conservative who just got arrested.
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