Sanwar Ali: Donald Trump controversy over Naturalization ceremony


President Trump Participates in a Naturalization Ceremony 25 August 2020

White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian

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By Sanwar Ali:

Donald Trump’s use of a Naturalization ceremony on 25 August 2020 for political reasons as part of his election campaign has been heavily criticised.  He hosted a citizenship ceremony for five new US citizens, used as a photo opportunity, on the second day of the Republican National Convention.

Donald Trump has followed xenophobic anti-immigrant policy

Over the last three and half years since becoming President, Trump has followed a highly controversial immigration policy that has tried to blame immigrants for crime and for causing unemployment in the US.  Many Trump remarks are clearly completely untrue.

When Trump announced his previous Presidential campaign in Trump Tower in June 2015 he claimed that Mexicans were rapists.  Even many Republicans called him racist at the time. Trump made the following comments:

“The US has become a dumping ground for everybody else's problems. Thank you. It's true, and these are the best and the finest. When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

USCIS funding problems has caused delays for Naturalization applications

There have been arguments over funding of the USCIS that deal with Naturalization ceremonies for months.  Congress has not reached an agreement over this.  Apparently a furlough of staff has been avoided.  However, USCIS under immigration hardliner Ken Cuccinelli says that services will be affected.  Making sure that Naturalization applications are completed quickly does not seem to be a priority for Trump.  Probably most new citizens will vote Democrat!

Due to various “immigration bans” under the Trump administration families have been driven apart.  There have been the “muslim bans” and the “work visa bans”.  It is also extremely difficult for refugees fleeing persecution to claim asylum in the US. 

Controversy over Trump remarks about “shithole countries”

The immigrants who became US citizens are from Bolivia, Lebanon, India, Sudan, and Ghana.  Trump has in the past referred to a number of Countries including African Countries as being “shithole countries”.  In June 2018 there was a lawsuit challenging the revocation of Temporary Protected Status for 200,000 overseas nationals which was based to a great extent on these remarks made by Donald Trump.

Ahilan Arulanantham, legal director at the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and co-counsel for the plaintiffs had the following to say:

“The Trump administration’s decision to end TPS for people from these countries was motivated by its racism against non-white, non-Europeans immigrants.”

“That racist motivation was obvious from a number of statements that this president and others in the administration made, including about TPS holders specifically.”

Immigration Hardliner Chad Wolf, acting head of Homeland Security praises Trump 

Trump and controversial Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, was at the ceremony.  The Government Accountability Office had stated that Wolf had been appointed to his position illegally.  Wolf had the following to say:

“Mr. President, I want to again commend you for your dedication to the rule of law and for restoring integrity to our immigration system.”

“Thank you for hosting such a patriotic celebration here at the White House today.”

These remarks seem to be somewhat biased for a Government official.

Kathleen Clark, government ethics expert at the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, had the following to say:

“we just witnessed President Trump and DHS official Chad Wolf violate a criminal Hatch Act provision that prohibits anyone employed in ‘an administrative position’ from using his official authority to affect the nomination or election of any presidential candidate.”

“Breathtaking in their contempt for the law,” Clark added. can help with US employment-based visas

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