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Ask Tito Mike by Michael Scott  

Trump’s America under review: Immigrants beware

by Michael Scott

I remember a conversation I had with several Filipino overseas workers from Neepawa, Manitoba. The group were dedicated readers of the Pilipino Express and they asked that I write only about the changes in immigration. Their concern was a real one because they need up-to-date information and guidance about changes in Canadian immigration policies, practices, etc. They said as a group, “Please Tito Mike, no more politics.” I thanked them for their honest feedback and have resisted the temptation to editorialize. But today I find myself over exposed to information coming from south of the border and reaching the end of my patience with Donald Trump.

The news over the past few days has been dire for our American neighbours. The country is experiencing a deep increase in viral infection rates and, yes, there is a strong chance that these numbers will not go away, but rather transition into deaths. As of July 10, 30,000 plus have died in the United States from COVID-19 and the total infection numbers are over 3,000,000 with 50,000 being added daily. President Trump has mismanaged the entire response and the United States, which represents roughly four per cent of the world’s total population, has suffered over 25 per cent of the deaths and over 25 per cent of the total infections in the world. The United States, at Trump’s insistence, opened up its economy, by individual states, too early and contrary to the best advice of the scientific community. The President assured the American people he was his own best metric, by pointing to his head, to determine how and when the country should reopen. The result of this misinformed action was that while most countries in the world have controlled the viral infections, including Canada, the infection rates in the United States and Brazil continue to rise out of control.

There is nothing to suggest that the Americans, neither the President nor the GOP, have learned from their error. In the case of Trump he does not appear to ever accept that he makes mistakes but he always looks for someone else to blame. In the past he blamed the Chinese for the viral infection even when COVID-19 appears to have entered the United States from other places such as Western Europe. He continues to ignore the advice of his science experts and depends mainly on his political instincts to guide him. His concern is not what helps the country but what benefits him personally. An earlier President Truman said of the presidential office, the “buck stops here.” His maxim has been re-written by Trump to say that the “buck stops anywhere but here.” The bad guys in Trump’s estimation are the “others” who protest in the streets that “Black lives matter,” or immigrants such as the Dreamers and international students who he sees as different from him. There is not a nice way of saying that he only cares about those who look like him and vote for him. His appeal is limited to the 30 per cent who ignore social distancing rules and common sense to gather at his ill-timed rallies to shout out their support for his applause lines. His support appears to be decreasing but there is still damage he can do.

He has decided that in the midst of rising infection rates and the spectre of more deaths that it is time to reopen the schools. He is concerned that the United States looks bad compared to the countries in Europe who are planning to reopen. Of course, their infections rates are way down and COVID-19 is managed, but this does not matter to Trump. He has decided that normally a functioning America is paramount. His solution is not to control the infection rates, or the testing, or the provision of necessary medical supplies but rather the appearance. If the states cannot meet the safe CDC guidelines to re-open, just change the guidelines. If the children are infected or infect their families, then the CDC is to blame, not Donald Trump.

The Trump plan to reopen the schools seems to pay more attention to the appearance of an opening rather than a safe opening. The universities and all responsible institutions are looking for a safe way to reopen while protecting students and staff alike. Donald Trump has decided that distance education is not the same. He wants to see classes filled with students, presumably not socially distanced and without masks. He warned the schools that have international students that they could have their study permits revoked unless they attend classes in person. Trump is apparently not interested in the economic viability of the schools based on keeping a portion of international students who pay higher fees nor the health of the student body or teachers. It is a good chance to kick out foreigners, the “others”, and parade the deportation numbers to his rabid supporters. Target the “others” and “Keep American ––t.” You are invited to complete the slogan.

Michael Scott is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC, R525678) who has 30 years of experience with Canada Immigration and the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program. He currently works as a licensed consultant with R.B. Global Immigration Consultants Ltd. 204-691-1166 or 204-227-0292. E-mail: mscott.ici@gmail.com.

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