I will warn you ahead of time, this story angers me more than any I have written here.
“Immigrant U.S. Army reservists and recruits who enlisted in the military with a promised path to citizenship are being abruptly discharged, the Associated Press has learned.”
The AP could not find a precise number of service men and women who have been discharged under the program. The story did note that one attorney, just ONE, knew of 40 cases. If one attorney knows of that number, there must be many more (how many enlistees, non-officers or non-comms, can afford an attorney?). Really, though, even 40 is an outrage. So is one.
We also know that Trump is attempting to reverse the order allowing transgendered Americans to serve.
I never served. I never considered serving. I grew up in an upper middle class family where college was about as optional as 3rd grade, and only grad school was up for questioning. I will not even pretend to have the discipline and toughness required of those who serve our nation. I would be dishonoring them by pretending that I was/am anything but what I am, a big pus… never mind.
But I am capable of a great deal of anger when I see miscarriages of justice, and this is one that has my head near exploding.
I am an immigrant. I came at age 10, from Canada. I’m white, speak English, my dad is a medical doctor. We were welcomed with open arms. But, in every important way, I am them. They are me.
These immigrants made a choice to serve our nation during a time when we are shooting at people and people are shooting at us. Service in our military, a willingness to die for the United States of America, a willingness to die to help other Americans serving in the military, is one way to speed up getting one’s citizenship. Damn right it should be.
That is precisely why Trump is now kicking them out. “We’re closed!” he famously screamed at DHS Secretary Nielsen at a cabinet meeting that occurred suspiciously just prior to initiating the “separating children from parents” policy.
When the AP asked the military about the program, the military could not “comment” because “it is in litigation.” If there is a legitimate reason, there is no reason the military cannot comment on the issue, even if it is litigation.
This would be the perfect place to also note that Donald Trump would have had to go to Vietnam and do something beyond entertain his ego had he not had enough money to pay off a doctor to find a bone spur that made him 4-F, medically ineligible to fight. That bone spur that prohibited Trump from running and carrying things for his country seems counter to something Trump once bragged; “I was always the best athlete, people don’t know that. But I was successful at everything I ever did.”(“Except I bankrupted near the entire town of Atlantic City” Trump did not add.)
Last I checked, “athletes” generally can run and jump, are coordinated and strong. I have seen “athletes” play their sport after losing a tooth, or breaking a bone. They play through their pain out of love for their team and their friends. I hear stories of troops with worse injuries, far worse, fighting to save their brothers and sisters. Trump’s “bone spur” was never anything more than a letter saying “I am too rich to risk dying for my country and I don’t give a shit about it.”
But, what he will do, is kick out immigrants from the services, because he does not want any immigrants in this nation that he doesn’t pre-approve. For instance, as I wrote last week, Trump is just fine with Russians coming here as “birth tourists.” Many rich Russian women come to Trump properties in the Miami area, known as “little Russia,” at 7-8 months pregnant to have their child born in the United States, gaining automatic citizenship for the child. Oh, and Miami sure beats Moscow in January, some of the women mentioned. That policy is A-Okay with Trump.
But, not young men and women with Spanish or “brown-sounding” names, ones who are not “rich” and yet feel lucky to be in this nation:
“It was my dream to serve in the military,” said reservist Lucas Calixto, a Brazilian immigrant who filed a lawsuit against the Army last week. “Since this country has been so good to me, I thought it was the least I could do to give back to my adopted country and serve in the United States military.”
Some of the service members say they were not told why they were being discharged. Others who pressed for answers said the Army informed them they’d been labeled as security risks because they have relatives abroad or because the Defense Department had not completed background checks on them.
Lucas Calixto is a better American than me. It sounds to me like someone could stick a real spur in Calixto’s knee and he would fight for the right to serve his country. Lucas is also a better American than our president, who is far more interested in “undoing” 70 years of foreign policy built step by meticulous step by other presidents, ones like Ike, JFK, Carter, Bush, presidents who put the United States’ interests ahead of their own. Our president, according to Joe Scarborough and me, is a puppet owned by Vladimir Putin.
Calixto sounds exactly like the type of immigrant this country needs. He knows what it means to be an American, and appreciates what makes this country great. Does our president?
Oh, want to know who else served his country, even though he certainly could have gotten any deferment he wanted? Robert Mueller, who served in Vietnam and won several awards for bravery along with a purple heart. I don’t know why, but it seemed important to include that here.
***Please follow us on Twitter, we will be following this story and ones less infuriating, I promise. @MiciakZoom
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.