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Every year, as the State of the Union address looms, both parties make a big to-do about who they’re inviting as guests.
I’ll admit I’ve come to loathe this inexorable, meretricious process, even when the Republicans were sticking it to President Barack Obama, although their choices were usually better.
Take 2016, for instance, when then-Speaker Paul Ryan invited the Little Sisters of the Poor — the Catholic group at the center of a challenge to Obamacare’s birth control requirements — to sit in his box during the address.
This year, the takeaway from the Democrats is that they’re prioritizing those who broke the law to enter or stay in the country to work — provided, of course, those individuals worked somewhere in the Trump Organization.
“A New Jersey Democrat has invited a surprising guest to President Trump’s State of the Union address: an illegal immigrant who was fired from the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster,” Fox News reported Thursday.
“Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman said Wednesday that she extended the invitation to Victorina Morales, a Guatemala-born woman who was fired from the golf property where she worked as a housekeeper for five years.”
It’s worth noting that Morales wasn’t actually fired from the club, according to The Washington Post — she merely didn’t return to work on the advice of her lawyer after going public as an illegal immigrant. (As a side note, how many housekeepers have attorneys advising them on their every move? It’s almost like this was carefully orchestrated by someone. But I digress.)
However, at least 12 illegal immigrants were fired by the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County, New York. The Trump Organization has pledged to use E-verify in the future.
Watson Coleman, meanwhile, claimed this was proof the president had made his fortune off the backs of what seems to be a handful of illegal immigrants.
“President Trump justified shutting the government down for five weeks by demonizing immigrants as the scourge of the country and the root of our nation’s crime and insecurity,” she said in a statement.
“Meanwhile, CEO Trump led a company that has relied extensively on the hard work of undocumented immigrants like my constituent Victorina to keep his resorts clean and his putting greens trimmed. Donald Trump wants to build silly walls to stop the same immigrants that he’s made a career and a fortune from exploiting. …
“I hope that in his State of the Union address, Donald Trump will finally acknowledge the real face of immigrants in this country — women and children fleeing violence, law-abiding, tax-paying people who would do almost anything to be Americans.
“And if he can’t, I’ve invited Victorina so that he may look her in her eyes to tell his lies to a familiar face.”
Even for a member of Congress — a body where lying and demagogy are the rule and not the exception, particularly on the fringes — that dumpster conflagration of tired Democrat tropes and naked sentimentality is unique in just how wrong and how maudlin it manages to be in so few words.
First the erroneous: Trump obviously didn’t hire Morales, nor did any of his children or his top lieutenants or anyone who knows them. The idea that she would be “a familiar face” is an absurdity. We don’t know that Morales was fleeing violence, and most illegal immigrants aren’t.
As for the “law-abiding” part, the reason we call illegal aliens illegal is that they’ve broken a law; whether or not Watson Coleman agrees with that law is irrelevant in the matter. Conflating illegal immigrants with immigrants as a whole — notice when Watson Coleman implies that Morales is “the real face of immigrants in this country” — is an insult to immigrants who follow the law.
Oh, and at present, the number of fired illegal immigrants from the Trump Organization seems to be 12 — 13, if you count Morales’ resignation. To say that the president “made a career and a fortune from exploiting” illegal immigrants is farcical.
Merriam-Webster might also quibble with Coleman’s use of the word “constituent,” as it defines the word (at least in terms of its relation to a polity) as “a body of citizens entitled to elect a representative (as to a legislative or executive position)” or “the residents in an electoral district.” Morales cannot vote nor be a resident in a strict sense in the district, although she can be said to physically be there (and, since this is New Jersey, be in absolutely no danger of being removed).
All this proves is that, like many establishments in the service industry, the Trump Organization wasn’t as stringent about E-verify as it should have been. That appears to have changed, if under pressure.
As for the Democrats, they were for those “silly walls” before they were against them, and the shift was mostly due to identity politics becoming the official creed of the political left.
This entire statement was designed to obfuscate the fact Morales broke the law by coming into this country and that Americans, by in large, support the law she broke.
And that’s the object lesson of this gesture: The Democrats support the lawbreakers. It’s an empty gesture, as these invitations always are, but it’s a telling one.