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Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

 

Trump has routinely made clear that he wants to crack down on not only undocumented immigration but documented immigration as well. He has particular contempt for what he called “chain migration,” a derogatory term for what is better known as family reunification: the practice of allowing immigrants to sponsor members of their family to live and work in the United States.

He has proposed plans to sharply limit the practice and has proclaimed on Twitter that it is “NOT ACCEPTABLE!”

But it is apparently perfectly acceptable for his wife.

Today, First Lady Melania Trump’s parents, Viktor and Amalija Knavs, officially became naturalized U.S. citizens after having moved from their native Slovenia several years ago. According to the New York Times, their attorney Michael Wildes said he “suppose[d]” they entered the country as a result of “chain migration.”

Wildes insists they have satisfied the requirements for naturalization and have not received any special treatment from their ties to the Trump family. Nonetheless, they have still come in through a process that Trump himself has claimed lets in “truly evil” people and must end “for the love of country.”

Asked about the Knavses, the First Lady’s communications director Stephanie Grisham said, “I’m not commenting on them.”

The disconnect was not lost on many people, including Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA).

The truth is that family reunification is, as with Melania’s parents, a perfectly benign affair. There are already stringent regulations on the practice that generally mean families have to wait years to reunify. Furthermore, allowing immigrants to sponsor their families is an essential feature of attracting high-skilled workers to our country in the first place — workers that Trump ostensibly claims he wants the immigration system to prioritize. Our country will not be attractive to workers if we force them to choose between working here and staying with their family.

The fact that Trump cannot understand the need for people to stay with their families, when that is the experience of his own wife, is remarkable.

Matthew Chapman is a video game designer, science fiction author, and political reporter from Austin, TX. Follow him on Twitter @fawfulfan.

Photo by Mediamodifier from Pixabay

Reprinted with permission from TomDispatch

When it rains, pieces of glass, pottery, and metal rise through the mud in the hills surrounding my Maryland home. The other day, I walked outside barefoot to fetch one of my kid's shoes and a pottery shard stabbed me in the heel. Nursing a minor infection, I wondered how long that fragment dated back.

A neighbor of mine found what he said looked like a cartridge case from an old percussion-cap rifle in his pumpkin patch. He told us that the battle of Monocacy had been fought on these grounds in July 1864, with 1,300 Union and 900 Confederate troops killed or wounded here. The stuff that surfaces in my fields when it storms may or may not be battle artifacts, but it does remind me that the past lingers and that modern America was formed in a civil war.

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