President Donald Trump has apparently had a change of heart regarding open immigration following a massive corporate lobbying push to import more foreign workers into the US that would boost multinational profits at the expense of US workers.
“We want to have a very strong border, but we want to have a lot of people coming in,” Trump said at a White House summit this week with the corporate elite. “A lot of people don’t understand that. They think we’re shutting it out. We’re not shutting it out. We want people to come in, but they have to come in through a process.”
Trump credits his marvelous economy, sitting currently at about 3.6 percent, for why all this foreign labor is necessary.
“We’re going to let a lot of people come in because we need workers,” Trump said yesterday. “We have to have workers. These are low numbers, and in one way I love it, but in another way I don’t want to make it hard for you to get those companies rolling … with really great people.”
While Trump acts like this is a sudden change of heart spurred by the fact that his economy is doing well, it is more likely that his flip-flop has come as the result of a well-funded globalist lobbying campaign engineered by Trump’s son-in-law and international poster child for the dangers of nepotism, Jared Kushner.
McClatchy DC reported on Kushner’s scheming with individuals from the Koch-affiliated Libre Initiative, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and other open border groups as he exploited the government shutdown crisis to push amnesty:
“Top White House adviser Jared Kushner told members of Latino advocacy organizations on Thursday that President Donald Trump was willing to give 1.8 million Dreamers permanent protections from deportation and to reopen the government in exchange for $25 billion in border security, including some wall funding, LULAC President Domingo Garcia said.
Officials from the League of United Latin American Citizens, Libre Initiative and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce met with President Donald Trump’s son-in-law — and briefly, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen — on Thursday to discuss ways to find a compromise in order to reopen the government…
Garcia said Kushner spent an hour with the group and was very engaged. Kushner cited Trump’s State of the Union address in 2017 where he indicated his support for a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers…
Garcia said Kushner made it clear that this was their opening bid and they were asking for the Democrats to come back with a counter, but they had not heard anything.”
The situation worsened in February when Kushner allowed globalist organizations to dominate talks on immigration reform. Breitbart News exposed organizations such as the Heritage Foundation, Americans for Prosperity, George W. Bush Center, and several trade groups pushing for cheap labor were given seats at the table while patriotic, ‘America First’ organizations were sidelined from discussions. As the lobbying continued, Trump’s rhetoric has gotten weaker and weaker on immigration.
“We need an immigration policy that helps all Americans thrive, flourish, prosper. We need an immigration policy that’s going to be great for our corporations and our great companies,” Trump said during an address to the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday. “We need an immigration policy where people coming into our country can love our country and love our fellow citizens.”
This is a far cry from what Trump was saying in 2017 when he supported the RAISE Act. Introduced by Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue’s (R-GA), that legislation would have reduced legal immigration limits by half to give higher-waged employment to American workers rather than undercutting them for corporate profits.
With President Kushner firmly in control over immigration, the Trump of 2017 is a distant, fading memory. More capitulations are to be expected in the months to come, as Trump wants big business firmly in his corner heading into what is sure to be a brutal 2020 election cycle.
Not all Shi’a-Majority Nations are the Same
The recent alleged arson attack on the Tomb of Esther and Mordechai, a Jewish holy site in Iran, was indicative of the ever-rising rate of anti-Semitism and broader religious intolerance in the Islamic Republic. The recently released United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) annual report had highlighted Iran’s anti-Semitic targeting of its small Jewish population as well as other minorities including followers of the Baha’i faith; the most persecuted faith in Iran.
The USCIRF described that it documented “a particular uptick in the persecution of Baha’is and local government officials who supported them in 2019. Iran’s government blamed Baha’is —without evidence — for widespread popular protests, accusing the community of collaboration with Israel, where the Baha’i World Centre is located. Iran’s government also continued to promote hatred against Baha’is and other religious minorities on traditional and social media channels.”
U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Elan Carr has said that “anti-Semitism isn’t ancillary to the ideology of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is a central foundational component of the ideology of that regime, and we have to be clear about it, and we have to confront it and call it out for what it is.” After the Tomb of Esther and Mordechai was set ablaze last weekend, Carr reiterated these statements and called Iran the “world’s chief state sponsor of anti-Semitism.”
In 2016 I wrote, “According to Articles 12 and 13 of the Iranian Constitution, all branches of Islam and Christianity have the right to worship, as do Jews and Zoroastrians, within the limits of the law there. However, converting away from Islam to any other religion is considered haram, or forbidden, and in many cases, could result in execution.”
Anti-Semitism is a historical reality in Iran’s strict brand of Shi’a Islam, which emphasizes the separation between believers and non-believers, expressed in terms of purity versus impurity. The Jewish People Policy Planning Institute explains that in Iran, “under the influence of Zoroastrian traditions, the Jews were considered physically impure and untouchable (najasa). Jews were also prohibited from inheriting from Shiites, whereas the opposite was allowed. A Jew who converted to Islam was entitled to the entire inheritance. Shiites were not allowed to marry Jewish women, except for in temporary marriage (mut’a), which is an inferior and exploitative type of concubinage.”
It is also a little-known fact that the country name of Iran is derived from the ancient Persian word Arya, a linguistic predecessor of the modern European term Aryan. Further, Armenian Nazi collaborator Garegin Nzhdeh (1886-1955) is the founder of the racist Tseghakronism movement, whose ideology is reminiscent of the Aryan supremacy espoused by Nzhdeh’s Nazi comrades. Today, Nzhdeh’s brand of Aryan and anti-Semitic ideology is palpable in both Armenia and Iran, neighboring countries where the Anti-Defamation League has documented that more than half of the populations hold a series of anti-Semitic views — at even higher rate in Armenia (58 percent) than in Iran (56 percent).
At the same time, it is important to note that the majority of Iranians are secular and the regime does not necessarily represent them, or their values. In fact, the Iranian government persecutes its Azerbaijani, Arab, and other citizens from minority populations.
Yet a stark contrast with Iran is found in its Shi’a-majority neighbor, Azerbaijan, which has strong relations with Israel and protects its Jewish citizens as well as other religious and ethnic minorities.
Southern California-based evangelical pastor Johnnie Moore has elaborated on the telling differences in the realm of religious tolerance between Azerbaijan and Iran, noting that Azerbaijan is “a country where Sunni and Shi’a clerics pray together, where Evangelical and Russian Orthodox Christians serve together, and where thriving Jewish communities enjoy freedom and total security in their almost entirely Islamic country.” He has also called Azerbaijan “a model for peaceful coexistence between religions.”
During my own visit to Azerbaijan, I observed and documented this first-hand. I believe that Azerbaijan is a nation that bears the torch, and burden, of bringing religious freedom to its less tolerant neighbors in the region, like Iran.
Perhaps the most dramatic indicator of Azerbaijani tolerance is the post-Soviet state’s special relationship with its Jewish community and with Israel. Last November, Azerbaijan unveiled a statue in honor of the nation’s Jewish war hero Albert Agarunov (1969-1992). Although Agarunov was killed in battle, his legacy remains a powerful symbol of Jewish integration and pride for his Muslim-majority country.
Israel and Azerbaijan have closely cooperated for more than a decade in the realms of security, energy, and tourism. Most recently, Azerbaijan sent its Finance Minister Samir Sharifov to this year’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference, where Sharifov said that the country’s “cooperation with Israel is not limited to oil supply; we are interested in widening cooperation in defense and the transfer of technology.”
Sharifov also read remarks from a letter to AIPAC by Mehriban Aliyeva, the first vice president of Azerbaijan, who wrote, “It is gratifying that our former compatriots of Jewish origin, living nowadays in the United States and Israel, have maintained close ties with Azerbaijan and contribute to the strengthening of our relations with these countries. We are grateful to them.”
How can Azerbaijan govern and act so differently from its Shi’a neighbor? Iran is a theocracy that mixes religion and state more thoroughly than any other country in the world. In contrast, Azerbaijan’s constitution affirms the country as a secular state and ensures religious freedom for its citizens. Azerbaijan is also facing its own human rights issues and working on progressing as a nation. However, the fact of the matter remains, though Iran and Azerbaijan share a border, the similarities between their governments largely end there. Not all Shi’a-majority nations are the same.
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