It’s Always the “Innocent” Bystander Who Suffers!

It’s Always the “Innocent” Bystander Who Suffers!

© David Burton 2019

Trade Wars

     An immutable law of nature seems to be that: It’s always the “innocent” bystander who suffers the consequences of other people’s bad decisions, actions and choices.

     As a well-publicized case in point, “A mix-up and a bad photo contributed to a gunman shooting retired Red Sox player David Ortiz by mistake, instead of his intended target in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic.
     “Surveillance video from the evening of June 9 shows a man who approaches Ortiz, a legend in his native Dominican Republic, and shoots him in the back at close range as Ortiz sits at a bar's outdoor table in the country's capital.
     “Next to Ortiz was his friend Sixto David Fernández, who was the actual target . . .” (Ref. 1)

     The imbroglio over DACA is one more example of innocent bystanders suffering. DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is “a federal government program created in 2012 under Barack Obama to allow people brought to the US illegally as children the temporary right to live, study and work in America. Those applying are vetted for any criminal history or threat to national security and must be students or have completed school or military service. If they pass vetting, action to deport them is deferred for two years, with a chance to renew, and they become eligible for basics like a driving license, college enrollment or a work permit.” (Ref. 2)

     In September 2017, President Trump and his administration announced that it planned to scrap DACA. As a consequence, some 800,000 young people who came under the protection of DACA faced the possibility of deportation as illegal aliens. Nearly all of these 800,000 young people are as American as you or I. They have grown up here in the U.S., gone to school here in the U.S. and now live and work here. They have become innocent bystanders in the vicious war between Trump (and his supporters) and the Trump haters (Democrats and liberals). They now live in a day-to-day limbo, not knowing if they will be thrown out of the only country they know. They are the innocent victims of the Trump/Democrats war over illegal immigration.

     Uncertainty is rampant - Democratic leaders in Congress said they had agreed with Donald Trump to protect such people, known as Dreamers, via legislation and increased spending on border security. But the status of that deal was contested by Trump when he told reporters: “We’re working on a plan for DACA.”

     “Those protected under Daca are known as ‘Dreamers’ – by the time Trump announced his decision to rescind the program, 787,580 had been granted approval. To apply, they must have been younger than 31 on 15 June 2012, when the program began, and ‘undocumented’, lacking legal immigration status. They must have arrived in the US before turning 16 and lived there continuously since June 2007. Most Dreamers are from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras and the largest numbers live in California, Texas, Florida and New York. They range in age from 15 to 36 . . .
     “The Daca program was a compromise devised by the Obama administration after Congress failed to pass the so-called Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (Dream) Act, which would have offered those who had arrived illegally as children the chance of permanent legal residency. The bipartisan act was introduced in 2001 and has repeatedly failed to pass.
     “During {the 2016} divisive election, Trump promised to rip up Daca immediately and make the deportation of the US’s estimated 11 million undocumented persons a top priority, along with his threats to ban all Muslims from entering the US and to build a wall along the border with Mexico. He has not yet successfully executed any of these threats.
     “The {Trump} administration announced {in 2017} that it would begin ‘an orderly, lawful wind down’ of Daca, including ‘the cancellation of the memo that authorized this program’, which was sent from homeland security secretary Janet Napolitano to immigration chiefs in 2012, telling them not to enforce deportation of Dreamers. Trump gave Congress six months to come up with a legislative solution. Because Obama created the Daca program as an executive policy decision, Trump had the power simply to reverse the policy. . .” (Ref. 2)

     “Over the past decade, Congress has tried and failed to tackle the issue of immigration reform. The result has been a years-long fight over the legality of executive programs instituted by the Obama administration, such as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
     “As Democrats and Republicans battle in the courtroom, 800,000 young people all across the country fear for their futures. In 2017, the Trump administration took executive action to rescind DACA, and as court injunctions maintain a precarious status quo for DACA recipients for the time being, these young people are being left in limbo.
     “This uncertainty has left {these young people} living in constant fear that they could be torn away from the only life they’ve ever known and sent to a place they have no memory of, with no guarantee of a place to live, work, or go to school, all while often being unable to even speak or read the language of the country where they would be sent.
     “. . . this is unconscionable. How can we tell these young women and men, so many of whom are the embodiment of the American Dream, that we don’t want them here any longer? What could motivate someone to look at these hardworking people who are Americans in every way but their legal status and decide that they do not belong in the only country they’ve ever called home?” (Ref. 3)

     The truth of the matter seems to be that Donald Trump has no real empathy for immigrants, legal or illegal. To him, immigrants are just another chip to be used to prove how great he is. By Trump logic, he can ban them from coming to America; he can use them to obtain funds for a border wall that no one else wants; he can use their plight in a blatant attempt to give him the money he wants for his wall.

     But, in truth, Trump haters, and the Democratic Party both are using asylum seekers in their unholy war against Donald Trump. The illegal immigrant problem began long before Trumps was elected. The Democrats never took action to solve the problem with meaningful and realistic legislation. Today, they use the situation at our southern border as a cudgel with which to beat Trump over the head. In truth, the situation has persisted unabated through previous Democratic and Republican administrations. Rather than pass meaningful immigration legislation and appropriate adequate funds to address the problem, they parade to the border to deplore the conditions at immigration facilities that they were responsible for creating. Photo-ops are so much more important than doing one’s jobs.

     While illegal immigrants and their children are detained at our borders, let’s not believe the lies and political propaganda polluting our news media. They are not being held in concentration camps. Despite the political diatribes of vote-seeking politicians and Trump haters, they are being treated with as much fairness and compassion as the laws and budgets established by Congress allow.

     As I previously stated (Ref. 4): “Donald Trump has started the process that previous presidents and administrations should have addressed long ago – he is enforcing America’s immigration laws and taking action against illegal immigrants. Trump ordered that federal laws, in place well before he came to office, be enforced, including the separation of children from their law-breaking parents. The law requires that the children, many of them actually arriving without parents, be interviewed to ensure they are not being abused or trafficked into the United States. Federal law also required that children be placed under government care until the issue of immigration was resolved - Presidents Bush and Obama previously separated children from their supposed parents while their cases were under investigation. In fact, it was the Clinton administration settlement agreement that doesn’t allow juvenile aliens to stay with their parents who have been detained for unlawful entry into the country. Donald Trump has simply been enforcing existing law! [5]
     “FACT: Under Donald Trump, border security has improved. ‘Border crossings have already plummeted, suggesting that rhetoric making it clear to immigrants that they are not welcome is effective in its own right. Customs and Border Protections report that apprehensions of unauthorized people are down nearly 20 percent from the same time in 2016. . .’ (Ref. 6)

     Our politicians aren’t the only ones to rake advantage of a bad situation. In an unbelievably stupid and irresponsible action, a number of employees at Wayfair company - a supplier of furniture to America’s immigration service for use in temporarily housing illegal immigrants – went on strike to protest the company doing business with the immigration service. Would someone please explain to me how denying the illegal immigrants beds on which to sleep or furniture for their rooms makes their situation any better? Would they be better off by having to sleep on cement floors, by not having tables on which to eat, or not having chairs on which to site? Read on.

     “Hundreds of employees at Boston-based online furniture retailer Wayfair staged a walkout Wednesday over the company's decision to sell furniture to shelters for detained migrant children.
     “Employees and supporters gathered in front of Trinity Church on Wednesday afternoon holding signs that read ‘A prison with a bed is still a prison’ and ‘ workers say no to child detention!’
     “The protesters also chanted ‘Hey Hey! Ho Ho! ICE contracts have got to go!’ . . .” (Ref. 7)

     According to the distorted logic of these protestors, it’s better for the U.S. to be flooded with illegal immigrants and for the children of those caught to have to sleep on the ground if the company paying their salaries refused to sell beds to ICE.

     “In a letter signed by 500 employees and shared on social media, the protesters expressed concern about Wayfair processing a $200,000 order for bedroom furniture from non-profit BCFS Health and Human Services to be sent to a migrant child detention facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas.” (Ref. 5)

     While we’re assigning blame for the illegal immigration situation, let’s not forget a few others who need to shoulder responsibility. The blame for the forced separation of parent and child falls, to a large extent, on the parent(s). It is the parent who is violating the laws of the United States of America and, consequently, is being detained by our law enforcement agencies. Here in America, when a criminal parent is apprehended, parent and child are held separately. It matters not one iota whether the parent is a U.S. citizen or not.

     The border situation is not a humanitarian crisis, it’s a political crisis, fed by the democrats in Congress and those Democrats seeking the presidency in 2020. “The Democratic Party’s position on immigration is most recently personified in 2020 presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, who tweeted this week about his trip across the border to help five migrant women with their asylum claims.
     “The thread is light on details as to whether or not these women actually have valid legal claims to asylum in the United States, and heavy on unsubstantiated and dramatic details of the cruelty of the process at the American border.
     “What Booker and the rest of his party refuse to acknowledge is that the process is made more cruel by a system that is being overused, abused and stretched to the breaking point by a massive increase of spurious claims and illegal crossings.
     “This increase is driven by the encouragement of Democratic lawmakers like Booker who are doing everything in their power to bring more migrants into the country, further straining the underfunded legal and humanitarian resources available to them at the border. [Emphasis mine]
     “With the promise that sitting senators will be showing up at their asylum hearings to get them into the country, who wouldn’t be trying to make the trip? To keep people out of detention centers and united with their families, Congress should get serious about discouraging lawless immigration and reforming what is obviously a failing system.
     “There needs to be an expedited legal process to reject baseless asylum claims and send illegal immigrants home with efficiency and dignity.
     “The urgency should be apparent to both parties, but unfortunately it seems that Democrats are doing whatever they can to undermine the rule of law and foment the very chaos they claim to be opposing.
     “The cynical use of this ongoing crisis to score political points while failing to act to solve the problem at hand is reprehensible.” [Emphasis mine] (Ref. 8)

     And what about blaming the previous presidents (and Congress) whose actions have encouraged foreign citizens to attack our borders? President Obama’s actions – DACA, etc. – sent a message to would-be border crossers that, (a) if they could get across the border and have a baby, that baby would be allowed to remain in the U.S., (b) by claiming to be asylum seekers, they would be released into the U.S. while their case was being considered and then they could disappear and remain as one more illegal immigrant. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to comprehend that such policies would act as magnet in attracting a foreign horde to our somewhat porous borders.

     Those of you who believe that raising tariffs on Chines goods is a good thing and that it will only punish the evil Chinese who are stealing our trade secrets and unfairly taking lucrative business away from American companies, THINK AGAIN! AMERICAN CONSUMERS AND AMERICAN BUSINESSES WILL ALSO SUFFER, BOTH FROM THE AMERICAN IMPOSED TARIFFS AND THE TARIFFS IMPOSED BY CHINA IN RETALIATION. The effects of the trade war with China are already being felt by some innocent Americans. Here’s what is happening to some New England lobstermen.

     “The burgeoning trade war might be hitting local lobstermen after all.
     “Wholesale prices on lobsters — mostly soft shell — have abruptly plummeted in the last two weeks {of July 2018}, less than a month after China imposed a 25 percent tariff on US products including the popular crustacean in retaliation for President Trump’s own round of tariffs against Chinese goods.
     “Shore prices — what dealers pay lobstermen for their catch — {had} dropped to about $3.75 to $3.80 a pound, compared with $5 to $5.25 a pound about two weeks {earlier} . . .‘
     “ ‘The dealers are dropping the price because of China and we’re getting the hit,’ ” said . . . a veteran lobsterman in Gloucester {Massachusetts}.
     “{A} Rockport {Maine} lobsterman echoed that sentiment. ‘It’s like any other crop or harvest with supply and demand. . . ‘It’s always the farmer or the fisherman who ends up paying.’
      - - -
     “In June, many US lobster dealers were hopeful that the new tariffs would not be enough to sidetrack China’s huge and growing appetite for the New England staple. Instead, it appears Chinese buyers have begun favoring Canadian lobsters.
      - - -
     “. . . Canadian lobster dealers are reaping the benefits. . . inquiries {to Canadian lobstermen} from China have increased since the tariffs took effect.” (Ref. 9)

     As President Trump swaggers, threatens, bullies and takes unilateral action with regard to trade negotiations, it becomes clearer that the foreign countries he is railing against are not the only parties who will suffer under increased tariffs – so too will innocent Americans.

     U.S. businesses have been imploring President Donald Trump not to expand his tariffs to $300 billion in goods from China that have so far been spared in his trade war with Beijing.

     “These companies warn that the additional tariffs would drive up prices for consumers, squeeze profits and leave U.S. companies at a competitive disadvantage to foreign rivals that aren’t subject to higher taxes on the components they buy from China.
      - - -

     “American businesses are telling the Trump administration that an escalating trade war with China will hurt the U.S. economy. This comes as public hearings are being held to consider extending the 25% tariffs to practically all Chinese imports. . .
     “A common theme in their pleas is that American businesses — not China, as Trump often asserts — must pay the import taxes the president is imposing on Chinese goods. And in the end, many of these companies will pass their higher costs on to their customers.
      - - -

     “Lawmakers from both political parties have been increasingly inclined to speak out against Trump’s aggressive use of tariffs.
     “They were especially alarmed last month when Trump unexpectedly threatened to impose crippling tariffs on Mexico in a push to stop the flow of Central American migrants into the United States. Trump dropped the tariff threat after Mexico agreed to do more to block the migrants.
     “But the combat with China continues. And Chinese companies are being bruised. {The founder and CEO of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei} . . . likened his company to a ‘badly damaged plane’ because of the U.S. actions against it.
      - - -
     “The action against Huawei marked an escalation in a yearlong dispute with China. Trump’s earlier tariffs largely spared American consumers by focusing on industrial goods that don’t show up directly in the mall or big-box stores. But the new round would inflict financial pain on ordinary households because it will affect many consumer goods, from cellphones and computers to shoes and silk scarves.
      - - -
     “If Trump does expand his tariffs to all remaining goods from China, though, it could prove costly. A report commissioned by the National Retail Federation found that American consumers would pay an additional $4.4 billion a year for clothing, $2.5 billion more for shoes and $1.6 billion more for household appliances.
     “More broadly, economists say the tariffs could weaken a U.S. economy that appears to be on shakier footing. {The} chief economist at Moody’s Analytics said the higher import taxes would leave the United States with 900,000 fewer jobs than it would have had otherwise. [Emphasis mine]
      - - -
     “Bracing for the new tariffs, Yedi Houseware, a Los Angeles family business, has postponed plans to hire and move into a bigger warehouse.  . . . a company executive, echoed a common complaint: The administration is taxing products — in his case, things like air fryers — that aren’t made by American companies. They must be imported. So no U.S. producer benefits from the tariffs; U.S. importers just get socked with a tax.” (Ref. 4)

     Refusing to comply with federal laws and refusing to support federal law enforcement officials in implementing these laws can have serious unintended consequences.

     “All across this country, states and cities are refusing to cooperate with Federal immigration authorities. The result is that innocent Americans are being killed. At least five innocent people were killed {in February 2017} alone because of local sanctuary city policies.
     “In Denver, the County Sheriff refused to hand an illegal alien car thief . . . over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). They gave Federal agents a 26-minute warning before they let this illegal alien criminal out of jail, which wasn’t nearly enough time.
     “A month and a half later, Valles {was} back behind bars and charged with murder. He allegedly shot and killed a man on a train platform during a botched robbery.
     “{In Connecticut, the Governor} ordered his state’s police officers to ignore any Federal requests for assistance on immigration enforcement. The Governor . . . declared Connecticut to be a sanctuary state.
     “Two days after his order, a previously deported illegal alien criminal . . . killed his girlfriend and abducted her six-year-old daughter. {The illegal alien had} violent felonies on his record, yet the Governor had determined he posed no threat.
      - - -
     “. . . in Indiana, an illegal alien without a driver’s license got into an accident on the highway and killed a man. She was driving drunk.  . . . She was previously caught driving without a license, insurance, or registration but let go under the district's sanctuary city policy.
     “. . . four illegal aliens were arrested in Virginia {in} connection {with} a savage gang-related killing of a 15-year-old girl. The Governor just vetoed a bill that would have outlawed sanctuary cities in Virginia.
     “In Texas, a previously deported illegal alien from Honduras brutally beat a 56-year-old Navy Veteran and stole his car. The victim has since succumbed to his injuries and passed away and his killer is now in custody awaiting capital murder charges.
     “The list literally goes on and on.
     In just five weeks, at least five innocent people were killed at the hands of illegal aliens. All of the perpetrators had prior records. They all were known to police. Every single crime occurred in a ‘sanctuary city’ where local police refuse to help the Feds enforce immigration law.” (Ref. 10)

     In another case of innocent bystanders suffering because of the actions or failure to take action of others, we have the recent case of seven motorcycle riders being killed in New Hampshire by a Massachusetts truck driver. It has turned out that the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles had failed to suspend the license of the truck driver when the state of Connecticut had previously notified Massachusetts of the driver’s arrest for drunk driver – a charge that should have automatically called for the revocation of his Massachusetts commercial driver's license.

     But that’s not all. “In addition to failing to suspend the license of {the} driver who allegedly killed {the} seven motorcyclists . . . the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles also ignored written out-of-state violation reports for at least 16 months, leaving tens of thousands of warnings about Massachusetts drivers to build up in a . . . storage room . . .
      - - -
     “{According to the governor of Massachusetts:} ‘The RMV failed to act on critically important information that had been previously communicated by another state.’ . . .
      - - -
     “{An} internal review found 365 additional commercial license notices reflecting serious offenses . . . had never been processed. . .’ (Ref. 11)

     As the leader of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club, which lost seven members in the devastating crash in New Hampshire said: “the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles needs to clean up its act or these tragedies will happen ‘again and again and again.’
      - - -
     “ ‘Obviously someone’s dropping the ball,’ the Jarheads MC president said. ‘It clearly needs to be resolved, or it’s gonna happen again and again and again. It’s just awful.’ ” (Ref. 12) Seven innocent people paid the price for the failure of the Massachusetts RMV to do the job they are tasked and paid to do.

     As I reported back in 2015, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) has long been infamous for its lack of service and its gross inefficiency. Thousands of users have complained about the poor service to no avail.

     “At the end of July 2015, I needed to renew my Massachusetts driver’s license. Being 78 years of age, I was required to go a Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) office for an eye test to obtain my new license. I completed all the paperwork on-line. At the Revere RMV, I waited 30 minutes in line just to obtain a sequence number. The slip they gave me with my sequence number said the estimated wait time was 1 hour and 36 minutes. HA! I then had to wait some 3 solid hours – fortunately seated – until my sequence number was finally called. The actual eye test took only 30 seconds, followed by another 30 seconds to pay the $50 fee with my credit card. In summary, I had to wait some 3-˝ hours for a 1 minute transaction! Totally ridiculous! Many of the other hundreds of people at the RMV office during the time I was there were similarly incensed and grousing about the obscene wait times.
     “ I decided to see if my experience was an abnormality. I went online and gathered . . . recent complaints about service at Massachusetts RMV offices. . . the number of people complaining far outweighed the number of people giving praise for RMV service . . .” (Ref. 13)

     The complaints were numerous, detailed and decidedly similar in their description of service as “nonexistent”, “unfriendly”, “poor”, “lacking”, etc. There were the horror stories of interminable waits, and having to make repeat trips to RMV offices. “Can you envision any private sector company staying in business with this kind of customer service? Does anybody in state government have any concept of quality control? Have they ever watched Undercover Boss on television? Does anybody in state government really care about serving the public? Are there any incentives for RMV employees to provide good or superior service, or is this just another government agency with a ‘do the bare minimum to keep your job until you can retire with a generous pension philosophy?’ “ (Ref. 13)


  1. David Ortiz Shooting Was A Case Of Mistaken Identity, Dominican Officials Say, Amy Held, npr News,
    20 June 2019.
  2. What is Daca and who are the Dreamers?, Joanna Walters, The Guardian, 14 September 2017.
  3. Guest opinion: We need the DREAM and Promise Act, Jennifer Wexton, Prince William Times, 6 June 2019.
  4. Why US-China trade war risks hurting firms in both countries, Paul Wiseman, AP News, 17 June 2019.
  5. Trump Has Quietly Accomplished More Than It Appears, David A. Graham, The Atlantic, 2 August 2017.
  6. Donald Trump – Jekyll and Hyde, David Burton, Son of Eliyahu: Article 333, 31 August 2018.
  7. Illegal Immigration and Demagoguery, David Burton, Son of Eliyahu: Article 328, 4 July 2018.
  8. Booker, Dems shameless at border, Editorial, Boston Herald, Page 10, 6 July 2019.
  9. Lobster prices plummet after tariffs take effect, Alex Gailey, Boston Globe, 20 July 20 2018.
  10. Heartbreak: Sanctuary Cities Killed At Least 5 People This Month, Joe Otto, conservativedaily, 28 February 2017.
  11. 'Tens Of Thousands' Of Warnings On MA Drivers In RMV Bins: Probe, State House News Service, News Partner, Patch, 1 July 2019.
  12. Service is Our Least Important Product, David Burton, Boston Herald, Page 4, 2 July 2019.
  13. Service is Our Least Important Product, David Burton, Son of Eliyahu: Article 231, 10 August 2015.

  24 July 2019 {Article 370; Politics_46}    
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