• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

ONE WEEK TO DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!

A generous CounterPuncher has offered a $25,000 matching grant. So for this week only, whatever you can donate will be doubled up to $25,000! If you have the means, please donate! If you already have done so, thank you for your support. All contributions are tax-deductible.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Fear of Immigrants (and Soros)

It’s just another one of those amazing coincidences and a harbinger of things to come in the United States.  It was the news that Democracy’s greatest champion in Europe, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a Trump wannabe, was presiding over a parliament last June that was drafting anti-immigrant legislation.

The parliament’s efforts were preceded by the Hungarian parliamentary election, that took place on April 8, 2018.  During that election, Mr. Orban ignored the problems in Hungary, such as corruption scandals, low wages, or the depressing state of health care. His campaign was focused exclusively on keeping immigrants out of Hungary.  The choice, he said when campaigning, was (a) a national government over which he would preside, or (b) a government formed by George Soros.

The legislation that was drafted, following the election,  was aimed at immigrants seeking asylum, and criminalized the activities of anyone giving them assistance. It was called the “Stop Soros Bill.”

Mr. Soros is the American-Hungarian billionaire who has had a large presence in Hungary.  The government was, however, accusing him of encouraging refugees to go to Hungary. According to Mr. Orban’s acolytes, NGOs financed by Mr. Soros operate as “a network to facilitate illegal migration.” In mid-June the Hungarian parliament passed the Stop Soros legislation.

The bill creates a crime called “promoting and supporting illegal migration.” It bans organization and individuals from giving any help to undocumented immigrants.  It is drafted in such a way that, as simple an act as providing food or shelter to an immigrant, would be a violation of the law.

Following the passage of the bill, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee issued a press release that said in part: “The primary aim of this legislation is to intimidate by means of criminal law those who fully, legitimately, assist asylum seekers or foreigners.  It threatens to jail those who support vulnerable people.”

Passage of the “Stop Soros” law was not Mr. Orban’s only anti-Soros triumph. On October 25, 2018, the Central European University (CEU) which is considered the best English language university in Budapest and, indeed, in the heart of Europe, will be moving most of its operations to Vienna, Austria.

CEU was founded more than 30 years ago by George Soros.  As its website explains, it is a graduate level “crossroads” university where “faculty and students come to engage in interdisciplinary education. . . . With approximately 1,400 students. . . from more than 130 countries, CEU is one of the most densely international universities in the world. . . .”  CEU has been in Budapest since its creation in 1991.  Beginning in the 2019-2020 academic year, incoming students for the masters and doctoral programs will study at a new campus in Vienna.  As the trustees of CEU explained, CEU is moving because of the Hungarian “government’s crackdown on academic freedom including a government ban on gender studies programs, the forced suspension of research related to migration, and punitive tax measures.”  It is a great victory for Viktor Orban.  And it is a wonderful model for the Trump who not only shares Mr. Orban’s hatred of immigrants, but his dislike for George Soros.

The Trump’s fear of immigrants is well known and is attested to by the deployment of troops to the border which, the Trump says, is designed to keep out the caravan that is filled with terrorists and other unsavory sorts intent on causing havoc in the United States as soon as they get in.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal on November 20, the Trump has been almost as successful in keeping out immigrants as Mr. Orban.  According to the report, at the border crossing in Yuma, Arizona, until very recently, 30 or more families were permitted entry every day.  In the last two weeks, at most one family a day has been permitted to enter.  As one immigration counsellor said: “It really seems like they are trying to discourage people from crossing to seek asylum legally . . . . It’s been bad for a couple weeks.”

As noted above, hostility towards immigrants is not the only tie that binds Messrs. Orban and Trump.  Dislike of Mr. Soros is the other.

During the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, one of the Republican senators conducting the hearings was confronted by two women in the Senate Office Building as he was entering the elevator.  They were expressing their dismay over the prospect of Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Commenting on the confrontation, the Trump tweeted: “The very rude elevator screamers are paid professionals only looking to make Senators look bad. Don’t fall for it! Also, look at all of the professionally made identical signs. Paid for by Soros and others. These are not signs made in the basement from love.”

On another occasion, in response to a question posed by a reporter who asked whether the Trump thought Soros was funding the migrant caravan whose advent the Trump warned of before the election, the Trump said: “I wouldn’t be surprised.  A lot of people say yes.”

Mr. Orban may wonder why the Trump has never expressed the sort of love for him that he has for Messrs. Kim or Putin. I want to reassure him that it is not for want of affection.  Indeed, it is nothing more than an oversight and on behalf of the United States I want to offer my apologies to Mr. Orban for the Trump’s rudeness.  He is not its only victim.

More articles by:
bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
October 16, 2019
Andrés Castro
Looking Normal in Kew Gardens
October 15, 2019
Victor Grossman
The Berlin Wall, Thirty Years Later
Raouf Halaby
Kurdish Massacres: One of Britain’s Many Original Sins
Robert Fisk
Trump and Erdogan have Much in Common – and the Kurds will be the Tragic Victims of Their Idiocy
Ron Jacobs
Betrayal in the Levant
Wilma Salgado
Ecuador: Lenin Moreno’s Government Sacrifices the Poor to Satisfy the IMF
Ralph Nader
The Congress Has to Draw the Line
William A. Cohn
The Don Fought the Law…
John W. Whitehead
One Man Against the Monster: John Lennon vs. the Deep State
Lara Merling – Leo Baunach
Sovereign Debt Restructuring: Not Falling Prey to Vultures
Norman Solomon
The More Joe Biden Stumbles, the More Corporate Democrats Freak Out
Jim Britell
The Problem With Partnerships and Roundtables
Howard Lisnoff
More Incitement to Violence by Trump’s Fellow Travelers
Binoy Kampmark
University Woes: the Managerial Class Gets Uppity
Joe Emersberger
Media Smears, Political Persecution Set the Stage for Austerity and the Backlash Against It in Ecuador
Thomas Mountain
Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed Wins Nobel Peace Prize, But It Takes Two to Make Peace
Wim Laven
Citizens Must Remove Trump From Office
October 14, 2019
Ann Robertson - Bill Leumer
Class Struggle is Still the Issue
Mike Miller
Global Climate Strike: From Protest To Power?
Patrick Cockburn
As Turkey Prepares to Slice Through Syria, the US has Cleared a New Breeding Ground for Isis
John Feffer
Trump’s Undeclared State of Emergency
Dean Baker
The Economics and Politics of Financial Transactions Taxes and Wealth Taxes
Jonah Raskin
What Evil Empire?
Nino Pagliccia
The Apotheosis of Emperors
Evaggelos Vallianatos
A Passion for Writing
Basav Sen
The Oil Despots
Brett Wilkins
‘No Friend But the Mountains’: A History of US Betrayal of the Kurds
John Kendall Hawkins
Assange: Enema of the State
Scott Owen
Truth, Justice and Life
Thomas Knapp
“The Grid” is the Problem, Not the Solution
Rob Kall
Republicans Are Going to Remove Trump Soon
Cesar Chelala
Lebanon, Dreamland
Weekend Edition
October 11, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Becky Grant
CounterPunch in Peril?
Anthony DiMaggio
Fake News in Trump’s America
Andrew Levine
Trump’s End Days
Jeffrey St. Clair
High Plains Grifter: the Life and Crimes of George W. Bush
Patrick Cockburn
Kurdish Fighters Always Feared Trump Would be a Treacherous Ally
Paul Street
On the TrumpenLeft and False Equivalence
Dave Lindorff
Sure Trump is ‘Betraying the Kurds!’ But What’s New about That?
Rob Urie
Democrats Impeach Joe Biden, Fiddle as the Planet Burns
Sam Pizzigati
Inequality is Literally Killing Us
Jill Richardson
What Life on the Margins Feels Like
Mitchell Zimmerman
IMPOTUS: Droit de seigneur at Mar-a-Lago
Robert Hunziker
Methane SOS
Lawrence Davidson
Donald Trump, the Christian Warrior
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail