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Category Archives: immigration

America for Sale

While the United States pounds on countries in the Caribbean for their Citizenship-by-Investment (CBI) programs, the Kushner family – yes, THAT Kushner family – seems to have no problem selling American visas to the Chinese. That’s the message Jared Kushner’s sister delivered to a ballroom filled with wealthy Chinese investors.

Over several hours of slide shows and presentations, representatives from the Kushner family business urged Chinese citizens gathered at a Ritz-Carlton hotel to consider investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in a New Jersey luxury apartment complex that would help them secure what’s known as an investor visa.

The CBI programs in the Caribbean are particularly problematic, rife with corruption and fraud, and permissive as long as you have the cash. Countries such as St. Kitts and Nevis (SKN), Grenada, Antigua & Barbuda, and Dominica afford rich foreigners an opportunity to invest in their economies, whether through real estate or an investment in a business, government, or “development fund.” Once an investor plops down several hundred thousand dollars, they can be issued a passport, enjoy visa-free travel to nations in the Schengen Zone or the United States, and other perks – sometimes with very little scrutiny.

Care to guess how much fraud is involved, especially since many of these island nations compete among one another for potential investors, and millions of dollars? Care to guess how much due diligence really goes on when millions of dollars in investments are at stake?

SKN, for example, came under scrutiny a couple of years ago after some Iranian sanctions evaders got visas, allowing them to travel to Canada. Care to guess how easy it is to cross the border from Canada to the United States?

The United States expressed concern about the Caribbean CBI programs as recently as last year, urging these nations to exercise due diligence to ensure that sanctions evaders, transnational organized crime members, and terrorists don’t use their programs to obtain passports and visas.

Hell, one of the relatives of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is Antigua’s representative in Syria, and the nation’s nutjob Prime Minister Browne admitted to CBS this year that “Syria is one of the areas in which we have had some concerns but did not place it on a restricted list.”

So while the United States expresses concerns about sketchy characters buying Caribbean passports for visa-free travel, the family of the President’s Senior Advisor is selling them to China. The tagline on a brochure for the investor event in Beijing, according to the Post was, “Invest $500,000 and immigrate to the United States.”

And worse yet, Kushner’s sister was actually touting the White House connection at the conference!

The tone deafness of this woman is unreal!

I’m fairly sure she didn’t come right out and say that if these wealthy Chinese invest half a million bucks into Kushner properties, they’d have an in – a Kushner family member in the White House. I’m sure that’s not what she meant. I hope.

But when you trumpet the fact that the CEO of your company is currently a senior advisor in the White House, what else is one supposed to think?

Damn straight, there are ethical implications when the sister of the company’s CEO, whether intentionally or not, uses her connections to the White House to attract business!

And damn straight, it’s problematic when the EB-5 visa program that allows wealthy investors to essentially buy their way into the United States was set to expire last month, was extended with the President’s signature until the end of the fiscal year, and is promoted by the President’s in-laws, urging Chinese investors to quickly buy into it before its expiration!

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly is currently considering changes to the program. The former SOUTHCOM Commander, I am sure, is very aware of the types of problems CBI programs faced in the Caribbean, given the fact that the region falls squarely in SOUTHCOM’s area of responsibility. I’m sure Secretary Kelly is aware of the corruption that makes the CBI programs very lucrative for the governments of those countries and keep due diligence down to a minimum, if not absent at all.

So how is it that the Kushner family didn’t see their actions as a problem?

How is it that they didn’t view promoting their personal business by touting an obviously and publicly problematic program, and bragging about their White House connections to Chinese investors, while barring the press from attending the event, as troublesome in any way?

How is it that while the United States issues public warnings about CBI programs elsewhere, the Kushners are hypocritically using their White House connections to sell America to the Chinese?

How is it that they didn’t see a problem with selling American immigration to rich investors from a country that engaged in egregious hacking activities against the United States?

We are living in Animal Farm, people, and the media is focused on how much ice cream 45 eats. Good lord!

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A Day Without Immigrants

So apparently today was supposed to be some kind of statement – a “Day Without Immigrants.”

Washington, D.C., will experience a “Day Without Immigrants” along with a number of other major cities across the country on Thursday. The grassroots movement is calling for immigrants not to go to work or make purchases on Feb. 16 to show President Trump ho [sic.] much legal and illegal immigrants contribute to the economy.

2017-02-15-day-without-immigrants_0Let’s put aside the obvious economic ignorance exhibited here. One day without a fairly small percentage of the population working and making purchases will hurt no one except maybe their employers who seem more than happy to virtue signal their support for immigration, which no one has proposed to ban writ large, by giving their foreign-born workers a paid day off. Those same immigrants staging this protest and not buying anything, will purchase what they need tomorrow… or the next day. No harm, no foul. Any money “lost” from any sale today, will be made up tomorrow or the next day, because ultimately people need what they need.

Second, just how many illegal immigrants do we have working in the DC area? Do they really make such a huge impact on the local economy? And also, will it honestly impact the President, who I’m pretty sure isn’t going out to Bub & Pop’s to get a sandwich or picking up street food at a cart today.

I wouldn’t even have known this was going on if I hadn’t come across it in a news feed.

Local restaurants – if they support this “boycott” – closed. So what? This immigrant brings her own lunch to work.

The employees of those establishments that do not support this empty action and who decided not to show up for work today anyway, could find themselves shitcanned in favor of someone who will actually work. And if not, they’re simply not going to get paid for that day, unless they have earned leave. Who loses? They do.

Smoke & Barrel in Washington DC had the following up on their Facebook page two days ago.

As a Latino business owner I stand in solidarity with all of my immigrant staff. Therefore, we will close our kitchen this Thursday in support of our immigrant staff’s desire and right to protest the evolving state of immigration policies in our country. Our bars will remain open and our guests are welcome to BYOF (bring your own food.) -John Andrade, owner

OK, so they’ll still sell booze, and they’ll allow people to bring their own food, because they can’t possibly lose the profits! But yay, solidarity! No sacrifice. No business lost. So what is it, exactly, that they’re trying to impact?

Boycott school? Really? The one place that should educate and give them something of value, they’re encouraged to skip. What, exactly, will that do to the school? The teachers will continue teaching. The other students will continue learning. And the illegal immigrant kids who are skipping school are only shooting themselves in the foot.

Methinks these people have a much inflated view of their own value.

The flyer claims that without them the country is “paralyzed.”

Well, this immigrant is at work today, and for once, I didn’t experience metro fuckery. Correlation, of course, does not equal causation, but the 20 minute commute was pretty darn good today.

I bring my own lunch, and I don’t eat at the restaurants that are participating in this “boycott” anyway. (We ate at Pupatella in Arlington once, and the service was so shitty after an hour and a half wait, that I swore never to go there again. The food wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t even remotely worth it.)

I don’t plan on going shopping, because most days I work 10-11 hours, and I’m too tired to do anything but go home and go to sleep.

When I need to go shopping, it will be on a weekend, so the “boycott” ultimately means nothing to me.

If the purpose of this action was to “paralyze” the country, the organizers might want to learn economics first.

Outrage of the Day

Some friends shared yesterday’s blog entry about immigration. Of course, there was screeching outrageary on both sides. Here’s how the day went.

Friend was debating leftard on some immigration thread. Cites my blog – since I’m an immigrant and all , and I work in national security, so I might know a little about it.

Leftard: that site is BS!

Friend: did you read the article?

Leftard: …

Cretin automatically assumed that since my friend did not agree with her refugee stance and cited my blog to support her contention, that the site was bullshit.

Later today.

Another friend shared my blog on her page. The link previews the first couple of sentences.

As many of you know, I’m an immigrant. My parents and I came here as refugees from the Soviet Union in 1980, so this weekend’s Executive Order “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States” hits close to home.

Trumpanzee: Legally, I assume. Again, I’m all for LEGAL immigration. But why should we continue to look the other way at ILLEGAL immigration?

Me: You obviously haven’t read the piece. It has nothing to do with illegal immigration.

Because my immigration status has anything to do with whether or not the piece has merit, right?

And even later today.

Follower shares blog entry on Twitter.

Retard replies with the following:

Another one who obviously hasn’t read the blog, but decided that since I’m an immigrant, I must be a proponent of a flood of radical Islamist illegals coming into our country!

People are idiots.

So as I was trying to figure out what to write about today, I came across this little tidbit from Starbucks – an announcement that Starbucks would hire 10,000 refugees.

There was immediate outrage from my conservative friends that ranged from scoffing and ridicule to promises never to buy Starbucks again. Why?

They obviously didn’t read the release.

Hiring Refugees: We have a long history of hiring young people looking for opportunities and a pathway to a new life around the world. This is why we are doubling down on this commitment by working with our equity market employees as well as joint venture and licensed market partners in a concerted effort to welcome and seek opportunities for those fleeing war, violence, persecution and discrimination.  There are more than 65 million citizens of the world recognized as refugees by the United Nations, and we are developing plans to hire 10,000 of them over five years in the 75 countries around the world where Starbucks does business.  And we will start this effort here in the U.S. by making the initial focus of our hiring efforts on those individuals who have served with U.S. troops as interpreters and support personnel in the various countries where our military has asked for such support.

starbucksThey’re not defying the law. They’re not hiring refugees, while discriminating against others. Ten thousand over five years in 75 countries is not all that many. And here in the United States, they’re focusing on deserving people who are here legally, and who have helped the U.S. military during our missions worldwide.

This is what you’re protesting?

This is what you’re condemning?

This is why you’re boycotting the company?

Because they dared to say they will be providing opportunities to people who have escaped death and destruction, who have been granted refugee status, and who have provided support to our troops?

What the fuck is wrong with some people? I guess they’d rather have these people, who in many cases have helped our service members, sitting around their apartments, sucking on the government’s teat, and getting bennies at taxpayer expense, than see them get decent pay in exchange for providing a service?

This is not a reason to boycott Starbucks.

Do I agree with all their policies? It doesn’t matter. Yes, they provide health care to their employees. Yes, they support ObamaCare. Yes, they plan on continuing doing business in Mexico, where they have a ton of business. Yes, they support illegal immigrants who were brought here as young kids by reimbursing them for the biennial fee they must pay to stay in the program.

It doesn’t matter if I agree with them or not. It’s their business and they obviously do well with it. Their business is none of mine.

Am I going to get upset or boycott them because they have stated that they will work to hire people here legally who have helped American service members? Sorry, I’m just not that much of an asshole.

But I guess some people will get outraged at anything, even a stupid cup.

Immigration

As many of you know, I’m an immigrant. My parents and I came here as refugees from the Soviet Union in 1980, so this weekend’s Executive Order “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States” hits close to home.

First of all, let’s get something straight: this isn’t anything new. President Obama in 2011 all but halted visas for Iraqis after two Iraqi immigrants were arrested in Kentucky on suspicion of terrorist ties. Further back, the Chinese Exclusion Act was the first piece of American legislation meant to prevent a specific ethnic group from entering the United States. The left’s Patron Deity of Statist Assery FDR in 1942 turned away hundreds of desperate Jewish refugees on the SS Drottningholm, claiming they were a threat to national security.

It’s a shitty history, but I don’t see the pearl-clutching condemners of Trump’s recent Executive Order mentioning it in their current outrage about the halt to immigration.

There’s some good analysis here, although I’m loath to ascribe malevolence to this order, as the author of the blog does. When analyzing any piece of information it is inadvisable to make an assessment on the state of mind of the subject, unless it’s blatantly obvious. It is not here. The text of the Executive Order says nothing about Islam or Muslims, and 45’s calls for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” provide context into one possible motivation. Alternatively, he could be just keeping a campaign promise, or trying to examine what is needed to improve our visa system before he allows any more refugees into the country. It does not necessarily imply malevolence.

To be sure, the executive order does not say anything as crass as: “Sec. 14. Burdening Muslim Lives to Make Political Point.” It doesn’t need to. There’s simply no reason in reading it to ignore everything Trump said during the campaign, during which he repeatedly called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States.

So, no, I’m not going to assess malice, where so little evidence for it exists.

Additionally, despite the screeching about Muslim countries where Trump has business interests not being included in the ban, the logic behind including the countries it did include is a bit more complex than that. The list of countries enumerated in the EO was apparently based on one signed into law by the former Obama administration in late 2015. The Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act was part of an omnibus spending bill, and the ACLU and NIAC Action — the sister organization of the National Iranian American Council — both opposed the act, which passed despite their protestations.

That said, the author of the blog is correct in that it should be worrisome that the EO, which usually undergoes a rigorous interagency process to ensure it is correctly written and reduce any chance of the order being misinterpreted in any way, was not coordinated with the relevant agencies.

I will leave it to others to make the hefty assessments about the efficacy of the new EO. I’m not an expert on border security, but there’s a part of me that wonders how the hell green card holders, who have already been living and working in this country without problems, all of a sudden represent a threat to national security.

Yeah, this is me. In my Russian school uniform in first grade.

Yeah, this is me. In my Russian school uniform in first grade.

I will say this, however. As an immigrant, I remember how grateful, how honored we were to enter this country! We were vetted – meticulously so – given the fact that we entered this country at the height of the Cold War from a nation that was the primary national security threat to the United States. We waited around in Italy, filling out paperwork and our backgrounds being investigated for more than a month. And the debriefings continued months and months after we crossed the border into the country.

Being allowed into America was always a privilege for us. It was an honor, and we worked hard to pay this country back for its kindness, its freedoms, and the opportunities it afforded us to work, achieve, and succeed. We were willing to do everything possible to be allowed to enter, stay, and ultimately become citizens.

Our first apartment in Brooklyn, NY was smelly and roach infested. No matter how much the building management sprayed, the roaches were everywhere. I woke up in the middle of the night once to get some milk, walked into the kitchen, turned on the light, and found my hand was covered in cockroaches. We raided trash on our neighbors’ curbs for clothing and furniture. The public school I attended had me in a class of 40 kids with no ESL classes, so I sat there day after day, not understanding a word of what was being taught.

Maybe I’m crazy, but there seems to be a certain amount of entitlement to today’s refugees. They expect to be processed quickly, regardless of whether or not the resources exist to vet them properly. They’re entitled to benefits, assistance to needy families, housing, and Medicaid. And yet, some sue because the schools aren’t good enough. They are detained at the airport? Outrage. There’s a temporary ban placed on their entry? Outrage. It’s like they’re entitled to be here. Like they’re entitled to enter because off their plight, regardless of the threat – no matter how insignificant – to our own people.

It strikes me as a bit… presumptive. It’s like their plight gives them the right to come here. Coming here should be an ultimate honor – a privilege granted to those who are trusted to enter, not an entitlement.

Now, I really do have the utmost sympathy for refugees striving to escape violence and bloodshed. My heart bleeds for them, and I would like nothing more than to see these people safe – far away from Asad’s atrocities and Russian bombs. But at the same time, I’ve always said that need is not a claim check, and as someone who has dedicated her life to ensuring this country and her people are safe, our first priority should always be our own people.

To say that I’m torn on the topic is… well.. an understatement.

But as a former refugee, a naturalized citizen, a military veteran, and someone who took an oath to protect this country – someone who understands the desperation of abused, persecuted, and hurt people  – I also have to remind myself that the security of this country should always come first.

If it doesn’t, these poor, abused people will have no country to escape to.

Ohio State Stabbing (UPDATED – Aaaaaaaand its terrorism)

As I was scanning my news feed this morning, I read that there was an active shooter incident at Ohio State University. Knowing that initial reports are nearly always wrong, I waited to find out what really happened on the sprawling campus. I was right to do so. The only person who was shot was a “Somali refugee” who plowed his vehicle into a crowd of  Ohio State Students, and proceeded to go on a stabbing rampage, injuring at least nine before a police officer ventilated the bastard.

A police officer was on the scene within a minute and killed the assailant. “He engaged the suspect and eliminated the threat,” OSU Police Chief Craig Stone said.

[…]

The motive was unknown, but officials said the attack was clearly deliberate and may have been planned in advance.

“This was done on purpose,” Stone said.

grabbersWhile I and a number of news outlets that actually try to be responsible journalists waited for the details to come out, gun grabbing, sniveling fucktards such as Shannon Watts and Sheila Jackson Lee wasted no time calling for more gun control.

Oops!

The school forbids guns on its campus, so the only recourse for students was to cower and barricade their classrooms.

But that didn’t stop these overly-excited, froth-flecked opponents of your rights from signalling their “concern” for the safety of all involved by screeching about our “lax” gun laws. I suppose if you call completely banning guns on campus “lax,” Shannon the Idiot Bloomberg Fellator Watts™ is right. Most of us with half a functioning brain, however, understand there’s nothing “lax” about a total ban on effective tools of self defense on campus.

It certainly didn’t stop the stabber, identified as 20-year-old Abdul Razak Ali Artan, from using a vehicle and a knife to attack his fellow students.

Note: Unlike other news clickbait sites, I will refrain from calling this a terrorist attack quite yet until I get more facts, although it does bear the marks. After all, both ISIS and al-Qaida have publicly called for supporters to use vehicles as weapons. (See: Terrorist attack in Nice, France)

The initial reports about the dead slime bag have already been shown to have been wrong. Initially, he was identified as Ali Muhammad. Gateway Pundit immediately jumped in with a helpful photo of the alleged perp, gotten from some guy on Twitter, who ostensibly got the profile picture from Facebook. There are still Internet rumors out there that the car is registered to Muhammad, which would mean Artan either stole it, or Muhammad was an accomplice, which makes me think “terrorist plot” rather than “odd crime of passion” or “mental illness.”

We do know he was in the country legally and lived in Pakistan for a while before coming to the United States. We know he was a student at OSU, that he was in his third year there studying logistics management, and that he was pretty religious, per his own words.

artan

And reports vary as to the type of blade used to slash the victims. One media outlet said Artan wielded a machete.

However, if you want to see world’s stupidest headline, I’ve got the screen cap from the link above, which has since been changed to reflect less stupid.

No, seriously. WAT?

No, seriously. WAT?

Are we seriously so desperate to blame guns, that we are willing to publish this fuckery?

To their credit, they did remove the idiot headline shortly after I captured it, but really… What the hell?

In any case, the investigation is ongoing, and updates are rolling in, as more and more details emerge.

How much longer before we hear rumblings of “He was traumatized by Trump’s election and thought he would be deported, prompting him to attack his fellow students”?

But for now, my thoughts are with the victims. Here’s hoping everyone recovers.

UPDATE: It’s interesting to note my prediction of Trump Derangement Syndrome above. I was close. The Daily Beast didn’t disappoint with its “poor, scared Muslim” narrative.

Artan described himself as a pious and scared Muslim in an interview with the Ohio State student newspaper in August.

“I wanted to pray in the open, but I was scared with everything going on in the media,” he told The Lantern after transfering from Columbus State Community College. “I’m a Muslim, it’s not what the media portrays me to be. If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don’t know what they’re going to think, what’s going to happen. But, I don’t blame them. It’s the media that put that picture in their heads so they’re going to just have it and it, it’s going to make them feel uncomfortable. I was kind of scared right now. But I just did it. I relied on God. I went over to the corner and just prayed.”

NBC News’s Pete Williams reported on-air that Artan made a Facebook post lamenting the treatment of Muslims worldwide just before the attack on Monday morning.

Poor, scared, sad, cupcake! He was scared to be a Muslim! It wasn’t his fault, you see. He was just all traumatized because RACISM!

Stand by. The Trump Derangement Syndrome may be coming as a defense yet!

UPDATE 2: Welp… it sure smells like terrorism.

Authorities are investigating an anti-U.S. rant posted on Facebook just minutes before the Ohio State University attack today that is believed to be linked to suspect Abdul Razak Ali Artan, sources told ABC News.

Appearing three minutes before the beginning of the rampage that left 11 people injured, the post reads: “I can’t take it anymore. America! Stop interfering with other countries, especially the Muslim Ummah. We are not weak. We are not weak, remember that.”

The post also invokes the name Anwar Al-Awlaki, a radical American-born al-Qaeda cleric, describing him as a “hero.” Al-Awlaki was killed in 2011 but his propaganda has been linked to several domestic terrorist attacks in the years after his death.

“If you want us Muslims to stop carrying lone wolf attacks, then make peace,” the post reads. “We will not let you sleep unless you give peace to the Muslims.”

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