Trump and the Swedish Question

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, it got worse.  However, it was a great way for Mr. Trump to celebrate Independence Day.

For many months the “land of the free and the home of the brave” has celebrated its heritage by separating children from parents who are seeking asylum in the United States. When asked about this policy Mr. Trump said parents who didn’t want to be separated from their children should think twice before trying to enter the country illegally.

Dealing harshly with non-citizens has not been limited to breaking up families trying to enter the United States.  It has been extended to those already living here under the temporary status program.  That program is designed to help families living in countries afflicted with wars and natural disasters, to obtain refuge in this country-a country that has long been known for the inscription on the Statue of Liberty welcoming new arrivals. that says: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free. . . .”

Under the temporary status program, more than 335,000 people from ten countries have obtained protected status.  Some have lived here for more than 20 years and established homes, businesses, and created families.  In January, the administration announced that it was ending protective status for those citizens who had been beneficiaries of the program.  It is forcing them to return to countries with which, in some cases, they have had no contact for many years.

Affected by the new policy are 89,000 Hondurans who arrived after their country was devastated by a hurricane, 9,000 Nepalis who arrived after a massive earthquake devastated their towns,  200,000 Salvadorans who arrived after their country was devastated by a massive earthquake, 45,000 Haitians who arrived following a devastating earthquake, and 2,500 Nicaraguans who arrived after their country was affected by severe hurricane damage.

Ever creative in figuring out how to get rid of people living in the United States, Mr. Trump has now come up with yet another plan. In June 2018, a task force was created by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.  Its charge is to identify and strip citizenship from naturalized citizens who are found to have lied on their citizenship applications.  Reportedly, dozens of lawyers have been hired to examine possible fraudulent applications.  It is unclear how the lawyers determine whose applications to examine, but in a befuddled explanation of the new process, Michael Bars, a spokesman for the agency, said the agency was moving against “individuals who had been ordered removed and intentionally used multiple identities in order to defraud the government. . . to obtain citizenship.” How the government determined who those individuals are was not explained, since if their identity was already known it is unclear why a new entity was required to establish their fraud.  Whatever.

The administration was pleased (I assume), to let it be known that there could be a few thousand people who lied on their applications.  When their lies are uncovered, they will be denaturalized and immediately deported.

Once this new process was announced, a number of readers wrote asking whether there was any chance that Mr. Trump might be denaturalized, removed from office, and immediately deported.  The reason that question was posed is that Mr. Trump, as well as his father, have consistently lied about what country they are from.

Mr. Trump’s father, Fred, was German but, according to reports, tried to hide the fact that he was the son of German immigrants, because of the anti-German sentiment sparked by World War II. He believed that if people knew he was of German descent it would hurt his business and, accordingly, told people that he was of Swedish descent.

In Mr. Trump’s book, The Art of the Deal, Mr. Trump said his grandfather had come to this country from Sweden as a young boy. In an interview with the Boston Globe, Mr. Trump was asked why he perpetuated the lie of his grandfather’s citizenship.  He explained: “It was never really something discussed.  My father spent a lot of time there.  But it was never really something really discussed very much.”

To those who wrote asking whether the earlier lies told by his father and grandfather, and for a while by Mr. Trump himself, might, somehow, imperil Mr. Trump’s presidency and residency in the United States, the answer is it will not. Mr. Trump was born in the United States and by itself that is enough to guarantee that he can retain his presidency and his citizenship, irrespective of whether in his grandfather’s application it was fraudulently stated that the boy immigrating into the United States was from Sweden.  And, of course, Mr. Trump’s earlier claims to be of Swedish descent are nothing more than the kind of empty puffery we have come to expect from the blond haired bag of wind that resides in the White House.  A pity, that.

More articles by:

Weekend Edition
March 22, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Henry Giroux
The Ghost of Fascism in the Post-Truth Era
Gabriel Rockhill
Spectacular Violence as a Weapon of War Against the Yellow Vests
H. Bruce Franklin
Trump vs. McCain: an American Horror Story
Paul Street
A Pox on the Houses of Trump and McCain, Huxleyan Media, and the Myth of “The Vietnam War”
Andrew Levine
Why Not Impeach?
Bruce E. Levine
Right-Wing Psychiatry, Love-Me Liberals and the Anti-Authoritarian Left
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Darn That (American) Dream
Charles Pierson
Rick Perry, the Saudis and a Dangerous Nuclear Deal
Moshe Adler
American Workers Should Want to Transfer Technology to China
David Rosen
Trafficking or Commercial Sex? What Recent Exposés Reveal
Nick Pemberton
The Real Parallels Between Donald Trump and George Orwell
Binoy Kampmark
Reading Manifestos: Restricting Brenton Tarrant’s The Great Replacement
Brian Cloughley
NATO’s Expensive Anniversaries
Ron Jacobs
Donald Cox: Tale of a Panther
Joseph Grosso
New York’s Hudson Yards: The Revanchist City Lives On
Is It Really So Shocking?
Bob Lord
There’s Plenty of Wealth to Go Around, But It Doesn’t
John W. Whitehead
The Growing Epidemic of Cops Shooting Family Dogs
Jeff Cohen
Let’s Not Restore or Mythologize Obama 
Christy Rodgers
Achieving Escape Velocity
Monika Zgustova
The Masculinity of the Future
Jessicah Pierre
The Real College Admissions Scandal
Peter Mayo
US Higher Education Influence Takes a Different Turn
Martha Rosenberg
New Study Confirms That Eggs are a Stroke in a Shell
Ted Rall
The Greatest Projects I Never Mad
George Wuerthner
Saving the Big Wild: Why Aren’t More Conservationists Supporting NREPA?
Norman Solomon
Reinventing Beto: How a GOP Accessory Became a Top Democratic Contender for President
Ralph Nader
Greedy Boeing’s Avoidable Design and Software Time Bombs
Tracey L. Rogers
White Supremacy is a Global Threat
Nyla Ali Khan
Intersectionalities of Gender and Politics in Indian-Administered Kashmir
Karen J. Greenberg
Citizenship in the Age of Trump: Death by a Thousand Cuts
Jill Richardson
Getting It Right on What Stuff Costs
Matthew Stevenson
Pacific Odyssey: Puddle Jumping in New Britain
Matt Johnson
The Rich Are No Smarter Than You
Julian Vigo
College Scams and the Ills of Capitalist-Driven Education
Brian Wakamo
It’s March Madness, Unionize the NCAA!
Beth Porter
Paper Receipts Could be the Next Plastic Straws
Christopher Brauchli
Eric the Heartbroken
Louis Proyect
Rebuilding a Revolutionary Left in the USA
Sarah Piepenburg
Small Businesses Like Mine Need Paid Family and Medical Leave
Robert Koehler
Putting Our Better Angels to Work
Peter A. Coclanis
The Gray Lady is Increasingly Tone-Deaf
David Yearsley
Elliot Sperber
Aunt Anna’s Antenna
March 21, 2019
Daniel Warner
And Now Algeria