Trump-Immigrants: Choosing the fox to guard the henhouse

Ronald W. Mortensen was nominated by Donald Trump as Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.

The nomination took place on May 24th.

Thus reported last Sunday, Los Angeles Times journalist Tracy Wilkinson.

Mortensen was a former U.S. Foreign Service officer and member of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS).

He has been characterized by his tough opposition to the entry of immigrants into United States.

Both Democrats and immigration advocates objected the nomination.

Moreover, Republicans, who have a majority in the Senate, should pronounce themselves about his nomination.

There, Mortensen could face troubles for his writings and statements attacking both immigrants and Republican senators, including John McCain, and even Marco Rubio.

In 2015, Ronald Mortensen, originally from Utah, told Marco Rubio: “You are either gullible or just plain dishonest on immigration issues.”

After Donald Trump took office in February 2017, Mortensen praised him for stepping up deportations of immigrants and banning some illegal entries.

In his blog, he referred to the success of the president “in destroying the myth of the noble, law-abiding illegal alien.”

The Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies, where he worked, has been listed as a hate group.

The theoretical aim of the aforementioned center is “to provide protection, ease suffering and resolve the plight of persecuted and uprooted people all over the world”.

However, in a post on March 10, 2017, Mortensen argued: “DACA grants amnesty to illegal aliens who are criminals and most of its recipients have committed multiple felonies to get jobs”.

According to Los Angeles Times, the number of DACA (Deffered Action for Childhood Arrivals) beneficiaries, known as Dreamers, who have been convicted of crimes is very low; all have been vetted to get their two-year permits to live in the United States.

According to official data, the crime rate among immigrants is lower than for the overall population of the northern country.

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-NY) said that “Mortensen’s racist, vile and dismissive comments against immigrants disqualified him for the post.”

Jennifer Quigley, an immigration advocate on Human Rights, termed Mortensen’s statements “extremist.”

She also added: “At a moment when the world is facing the worst displacement crisis since WWII, it is astounding President Trump would nominate an individual with a hostile attitude toward immigrants.”

Finally, she pointed out: “Mortensen’s nomination is like choosing the fox to guard the henhouse.”

CubaSi Translation Staff / Jorge Mesa Benjamin

Russia & allies test joint air defenses as over 100 aircraft, 130 command centers put on alert

Over 100 fighter jets, long-range bombers and combat helicopters have been scrambled at their bases across Russia and six post-Soviet states as the allies prepare to test their integrated air defense system in a massive military exercise.

More than 130 command and control centers have been put on alert in Russia and six former Soviet republics – Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

All the countries contribute to the integrated air defense system overseen by the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) – an alliance of former Soviet republics that emerged after the collapse of the USSR.

The large-scale military exercise is to train high-readiness forces in dealing with “airspace violations, including by hijacked aircraft” as well as “assisting crews of aircraft in distress,” the ministry added.

Some 100 aircraft, including Su-27, MiG-29 and MiG-31 fighter jets, Su-24 and Su-34 bombers, as well as Su-25 ground attack jets and combat helicopters provided by the allies, are expected to take part in the drill.

Troops from electronic warfare and surface-to-air missile units are also participating.

The exercise started at 8am Moscow time with Tu-160, Tu-95MS and Tu-22M3 aircraft given the roles of aggressor. The planes, simulating an adversary force, were spotted over Eastern European and Central Asian airspaces, the Russian military said.

All units are being coordinated from a Russian Air Force command center located outside Moscow.

The joint CIS air defense system, established in 1995, currently focuses on protecting the ex-Soviet countries’ airspace as well as providing air or missile strike early warnings and coordinated responses.

Russia contributes the bulk of the system’s early warning and air defense capacities, with short- and long-range radar stations monitoring the area.

Notably, the system does not have a single commander. It is collectively controlled by the chiefs of the air defense forces of the member states themselves.

Bilateral air defense systems between Russia and its neighbors have also been established in recent years. Last December, an air defense agreement between Russia and Armenia was signed by the two countries’ defense ministers, Sergey Shoigu and Seyran Oganyan, respectively.

In 2013 Moscow signed a separate treaty on a joint regional air defense system with Kazakhstan. Russian and Belarusian anti-aircraft missile forces have already been unified into an integrated system designed to contain any security threats in the European theater.

  • Published in World
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