23 Jan

Pence Defends Trump on Disparaging Comments About Africa

Jerusalem (AP) — U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Monday defended President Donald Trump over his recent comments disparaging immigration from Africa and Haiti, telling The Associated Press that the president’s “heart” is aimed at a merit-based system that is blind to immigrants’ “race or creed.”

Pence, in an interview with the AP from Jerusalem, said the president was intent on implementing a merit-based system that encourages immigration by those who will “contribute to a growing American economy and thriving communities.”

“I know the president’s heart and I know that what President Trump wants to do is reform immigration to make our system one that puts the interests of America first,” Pence said.

He added that immigrants should be considered on their merits, “regardless of what country they come from or what their race and creed is.”

He was responding to reports that Trump, in a private meeting with legislators earlier this month, challenged immigration from “shithole” African countries, disparaged Haiti and said the U.S. should welcome more immigrants from countries like Norway.

The vice president also dismissed an adult film star’s account of a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006, questioning its validity.

“I’m just not going to comment on the latest baseless allegations against the president,” Pence said. “My focus is on serving the president, advancing the priorities of the administration, advancing American interests and that’s where it will stay.”

The Wall Street Journal last week reported that Trump’s personal lawyer brokered a payment to pornographic actress Stormy Daniels in October 2016 to prohibit her from publicly discussing the alleged affair before the presidential election.

Daniels’ real name is Stephanie Clifford. Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen, has denied there was any relationship. He gave the Journal a statement from a person identified as Stormy Daniels denying receiving “hush money.”

The AP reported that a tabloid magazine held back from publishing her 2011 account of their relationship after Cohen threatened to sue.

To read the full article, click here.

17 Jan

Africa: Data On Canadian Immigrants From ‘Shithole’ Countries Might Surprise Trump

Defenders of Donald Trump say his “shithole countries” remark regarding people from Africa, Haiti and other nations was just Trump being Trump – the president may have used salty language, but it’s really just his way of saying the United States should have a merit-based immigration system like Canada’s.

A generous interpretation of Trump’s comments are that immigrants from certain so-called “shithole” countries — African nations, Haiti and El Salvador — are not typically highly skilled or economically self-reliant, and if admitted would need to depend on the state.

In fact, Trump apologists — and the president himself — might be surprised by what the economic data says about immigrants who come to Canada from the “shithole” countries.

John Fredericks, who was Trump’s campaign chair in Virginia, told CNN that immigrants from those countries “come into the United States and they do nothing to increase the prosperity of the American worker.

They lower wages or go on welfare and extend our entitlement system … . Australia and Canada have a merit-based system. You know why they do that? Because they want to bring people into their country who are going to enhance the prosperity of their citizens.

Trump himself tweeted a similar sentiment.

The conclusion we are expected to make, it seems, is that if the United States was to adopt a purely merit-based system, immigrants would not come from these countries — they would come from countries like Norway, and immigrants from these Norway-like countries would not put pressure on blue-collar U.S. workers because they would be highly skilled and, more importantly, they wouldn’t be a drain on the system because they would be economically self-reliant.

A merit-based system

Canada offers an opportunity to take a look at this hypothesis because our points-based immigration system screens immigrants on merit to a large degree. So when we screen immigrants on merit, who do we let in and how do they do?

To read the full article, click here.