A Trumpian $#!+ hole Over Immigration?

The overwhelming topic the last few days has been the claim that President Trump described a handful of countries as s.

This was “broken” in the Washington Post: Trump derides protections for immigrants from ‘shithole’ countries, but still has yet to be verified elsewhere.  One of the reported accusers, Dick Durbin, is the same guy who compared the U.S. military to Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin and Pol Pot.  Durbin also called Trump’s use of the term “chain migration” racist, as a callback to slavery… despite there being zero connection and despite Durbin himself using that term… and advocating for ending it… just a few years ago!  (Chain migration is when immigrants follow an anchor immigrant (family member) over.)

The media (excepting those who generally represent Trump-voters) and generally anti-Trump establishment seem incensed… as they are to anything he says or does… but there hasn’t been much outcry from the America that elected him.

What Should We Ask?

The core issue shouldn’t be whether some chunk of the population is offendedAll statements are offensive now.  What we should consider is:

  1. Who was it aimed at?  What was the actual disagreement?
  2. What does it mean? Is it true?
  3. Is it offensive?  Is it racist?

Unfortunately, who it was aimed at and what the actual intent was… doesn’t matter in today’s media.  At Reality Dispatch, Facts Still Matter.  In contrast, the “news”-media seems to be seeking a constant stream of victims as click-bait.

Quick Summary/Conclusion

Every single country President Trump was referring to… is on the Department of State’s Travel Advisory warning list.  Every one.  With at least a Level 2 warning.  The description of  was certainly not sensitive, but it is accurate according to the dictionary definition of the term.  And since it doesn’t reference race, it’s a stretch to call it racist although it may be offensive.

Canada (among others) restricts immigration to those who can show that they will not be a burden on the state.  The bill Trump was responding to did almost exactly the opposite, favoring immigrants from that list of war-torn places Americans are advised to avoid.

Middle America… the chunk that voted for him… probably approves.  Blue America… the chunk that disagrees now when he does what they wanted before… is incensed… but would be incensed no matter what he did.

This will die down as soon as the media has something new to be incensed about.

Who Was It About?

The context was, basically, where should we encourage and support immigration from?  Put another way, to MAGA, shouldn’t you encourage the best and brightest to come here, rather than the neediest?

The actual topic (which the media seems to have missed) was “TPS” or Temporary Protected Status immigration, and whether the rules should be changed to allow TPS immigrants to receive green cards.  As TPS applies to a specific set of countries (below), including Haiti, El Salvador and African Countries, those were the mentioned ones.  He contrasted it with a preference for economic immigration (which is what Canada does), giving the examples of Norway and Asia.

Are the Countries in Question That Bad?

Yes!  The purpose of TPS is to allow immigration from particularly hard-hit areas.  Which, current and recently, have been:

On the Heritage Economic Development ratings,

  • Canada is #7
  • United States is #17
  • Norway is #25
  • EL Salvador is #66
  • Nicaragua is #98
  • Honduras is #100
  • Nepal is #125
  • Haiti is #159
  • Sudan is #164
  • Syria, Somalia and Yemen have no economic freedom.

In the U.S. News “Best Countries” ratings,

  • Canada was #2
  • The U.S. was #7
  • Norway was #10
  • None of the countries Trump mentioned were in the top ten.
  • The list is 80 countries long. None of those countries were on the list at all!

Are any of these countries on your vacation list?  They are or were on TPS due to being hellholes.  Or, as Trump inelegantly put it, s. The description is accurate given the topic.

Is It Technically True?

According to Dictionary.com, it means “A disgusting place; shithouse: You must move out of this shithole(1960s+)”  Google defines it as “noun – vulgar slang : an extremely dirty, shabby, or otherwise unpleasant place.

In short, it is a description, perhaps an insulting one, to an area.  

Is it true?

This is unfortunately easy to answer.  The short answer is “Yes.”  Norway is at the top of economic and educational success.  The countries President Trump called out are at the very bottom.

Is it Offensive and/or Racist?

“Offensive” is a qualitative term, meaning there’s no actual definition.  “Racist” has a definition.  Trump did not mention a race.  Nor an ethnicity.  He mentioned political regions.  For example, Jamaica was not including with Haiti.

So, by the simple and technical definition, the reported statement was not racist.

However, in today’s culture, a fact can be both true and considered racist.  This is the crux of the current cultural debate.  And it does change.  30 years ago, only terms and direct prejudices were racist; now, reciting numerical statistics is, depending on the content, considered racist.

On this topic, The Washington Post lumped in “including attacks on protesting black athletes” as racist.  Trump never attacked the race of the protesters; he attacked (what he perceived) as disrespect to the National Anthem.  (Similarly, that same Washington Post article called calling for tougher punishment on crime “racist”.  That’s called “stretching“; pushing a term beyond where it technically applies.)

Example of Media Lying

The media is, predictably, lying about the actual debate.  Due to the length of this already, one firm example will suffice here; see our analysis of CNN’s coverage for more in-depth on this.

Slate has reversed the truth by claiming, 

” A merit-based system would accept or reject applicants based their own merits. Trump is saying that applicants should be accepted or rejected based on country of origin. He’s saying that the individual should be judged by the group. If you’re Haitian, you’re out.

But that isn’t what happened.  Trump wasn’t proposing excluding Haitians from the standard immigration system; he was objecting to continuing a special system of TPS (see above) for ravaged countries.

What Does Canada Do?

Reality Dispatch is about America.  The views of other countries in general aren’t relevant to the facts.  However, because this is an opinion issue, you may be wondering about the uproar from other countries.

We invite and request our readers to please point out in the comments below times when the majority of other countries have applauded President Trump for anythingTrump appears to have defused North Korea, righted the economy, seems to have had a positive impact on Iran and avoided the disasters they forecast.  Naming Jerusalem as Israeli capital has not resulted in an uptick in violence.  Warning Pakistan that he would cut their funding if they didn’t cooperate (and the same with Palestine) has not resulted in meltdowns in those areas.  Cutting U.N. funding has not cost us any measurable influence.  But all were met with gloom-and-doom proclamations from other countries.

So please add your references to leaders of other countries applauding something President Trump did.


Canada has stricter immigration requirements than we do.  So does Norway. But our media doesn’t fawn over Norway, so…

What Would Canada Do?

Canada’s policies have also been open to debate over the years.  Even prioritizing English speakers was called racist” by some in Canadian immigration debates.  That did not undo the policy though.

Canada’s Immigration by program and intent:

  • The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is the source for 81% of all economic migration.  Skilled workers must have at least one year of work experience in professional, managerial, or skilled trade/technical occupations in order to qualify for the program, and are evaluated based on other points-system criteria — education, age, proficiency in English or French, and adaptability.  The Canada-fawning media would probably call this program racist and genocidal if Trump proposed it.
  • The Arranged Employer Opinion (AEO) is a subset of the FSWP above, requiring the immigrant already have a job offer. It is specifically to attract high-skilled immigrants and is “focused on sustainability and long-term integration into Canadian society.”  Which again the U.S. media would likely call racist if Trump proposed.
  • The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) allows lower-skilled workers such as for oil fields, but still is aimed at productive workers with similar requirements.
  • Family Immigration, requiring an established present family in Canada to sponsor.
  • Humanitarian, including refugee.

These break down into:

165,089 skilled workers
63,400 direct family members and 3,122 indirect family members
28,626 humanitarian (including refugee) immigrants

In other words, Canada’s immigration is 89% skilled workers and rejoining families.  Which is not the narrative the media is attempting to portray.

Canada has requested that Salvadorans who lose TPS status in the United States to please not come north.  Oddly, the media has not mentioned that bit of “racism.”


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