“Have you no sense of decency sir?” 

“impatient, overly aggressive, overly dramatic, acting on impulse, neglecting to do important homework, and making challengeable statements.”

The title of this article and the above quote are from Roy Cohn Joseph Welch regarding Joseph McCarthy, an American megalomaniac in the 1950’s. Today we have President Donald Trump, obsessed with his own power and wreaking havoc with racist, xenophobic, and inhumane approaches to immigration. He self-created a crisis over North Korea (“fire and fury”) which he “solved’ with a brief, but vague meeting with Kim Jong-un. Then he went on to whip up his troops by ordering kids be ripped away from their parents at the border, only later to “solve” the problem saying he is rescinding the order but being equally vague and leaving no clarity about the next steps. Let there be no mistaking that his dual goals are to reduce immigration substantially and curry favor among his “America First” supporters.


The current crisis started in April when Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced his “zero tolerance” immigration policy “Our goal is to prosecute every case that is brought to us.” Over 2,000 children have been separated from families since then. Below are some of our responses.


Here are a few suggestions:

  • We would have liked a successful discharge petition that House Democrats and some politically vulnerable House Republicans had signed that might have brought a Democratic immigration bill to the floor. The Republican bills are unsatisfactory, even the “compromise” bill, which is only a compromise among Republicans and may be introduced next week. However with so much division and even fear on the part of some congresspeople toward Tump it seems unlikely any legislation will be generated. 
  • Nonetheless, after we show up in the streets this week, members of Congress will head home. They’ll be back, in your district, until July 8. That’s more than a week that to you have to meet with them in-person and let them know how you feel. (Left a demo in Rutherford)
  • Most immediately we want to force the administration to reunite parents and children quickly with a clear, compassionate plan, and to end incarceration of parents and kids crossing the border, particularly those seeking asylum with no criminal history.
  • Some people support disbanding ICE – an unlikely outcome. However, if our efforts to gain a majority in the House and/or Senate succeed, we could substantially reduce funding for ICE which would stymie Trump’s efforts. We could also decimate most of his desired monies for an ineffective Wall.
  • Dreamers and DACA recipients must be given a path toward citizenship.
  • There are many other actions pursued by A.G. Jeff Sessions, such as threats against Sanctuary cities and his insistence that immigration judges reject most asylum requests.
  • We must stop Trump’s racist merit-based immigration policy. Immigrants in the 1900’s were people seeking freedom and safety, and wanting to work here, like immigrants today, not just those who merited coming because of wealth, high skills or education. Indeed, most of us would not be alive today in the USA were immigration then based on merit.
  • in the longer term our government must work better with Central American countries providing aid and assistance. These folks will continue wanting to come here as long as massive corruption, severe violence, and local government inattention to its peoples’ needs continue. Many refugees feel they are safer even in a US jail than in their own country.

In summary we must stand up to the bully and say “Have you no decency sir?” It was statements like that which finally ended McCarthy’s reign of terror. 

Comment (1)

  1. James Curran

    The title quote, and, I assume, the subhead quote, were actually by Joseph Nye Welch, who was the chief counsel for the United States Army while it was under investigation for Communist activities by Senator McCarthy’s Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

    Roy Cohn was a lawyer who worked for McCarthy (and later, before his death in 1986, for Donald Trump)


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *