Things That Matter

Jimmy Kimmel Celebrates Immigrants Of America, Welcomes New US Citizens In Huge Ceremony On TV

Every single late-night host has gone after President Donald Trump in some way shape or form. Making fun of people in the public eye, especially the president is their job after all. While they did poke fun on former President Barack Obama back in the day, they just have a lot more material to go after Trump. The late-night hosts, however, aren’t just making fun of Trump’s idiotic ways and unstable mentality (because that would be too easy), they’re also telling viewers around the world that the majority of people in the United States do not share his views. It’s important for the hosts to show the distinction between what the president does, says, or tweets, and how everyone else feels by firing back in clever and hilarious ways.  

One of the most vocal dissidents in late-night TV has to be Jimmy Kimmel. The comedian and host has attacked Trump in various ways. He’s gone after him on his inaction on gun reform, his slaughtering of healthcare in the U.S., and even the president’s misspelling of his name. Now Kimmel is taking his anti-Trump material to another inspirational level. 

In response to Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric, a group of immigrants celebrated their new citizenship to the United States with a heartwarming ceremony on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”

Credit: YouTube

“This is a very strange time in America,” Kimmel said on his show on Aug. 8. “Our President is building walls and telling people to go back where they came from. With all that happening it’s important to remember that many people still dream of becoming Americans. Every week immigrants from all around the world take the oath of citizenship.”

Kimmel then had six immigrants from various parts of the world come on stage to celebrate their U.S. citizenship, including Jose Alberto Sahagun Ruiz from Mexicali, Mexico. 

Credit: YouTube

Each person walked onstage, and national TV, by being introduced like rockstars by Los Angeles Kings announcer Dave Joseph, and they all held up their new citizenship document. It was really beautiful and inspiring to hear each person’s name be called and their home countries, which includes places such as the Philippines, Argentina, Poland, and others. They all walked out to Neil Diamond’s “We’re Coming To America” song played by Kimmel’s house band, Cleto and the Cletones. 

Then country singer Brad Paisley joined in on the fun by singing a little ballad about what life as an American means.

Credit: YouTube

Paisley kept it light by telling these new American citizens that they can pretty much get away with anything in the United States. But he did so through song.

 “Congratulations citizens,” he sang. “We’re happy that you’re here/ Come on in and take a load off/ Grab yourself an ice-cold beer. You can exercise your freedom of speech/ eat a sticka’ butter at a county fair/ Wear your Crocs with a pair of socks/ Go to Target in your underwear.”

He then finished the song by singing “My Country Tis of Thee.”

This isn’t the first time Kimmel has celebrated new Americans. Last year on Flag Day, he did the same beautiful thing. 

“Every week immigrants from all over the world take the oath of citizenship in courthouses, libraries, and auditoriums across the country, without much pomp or circumstance,” Kimmel said last year. “I think becoming an American shouldn’t feel like a visit to the DMV. It’s a big deal and we think it deserves a big deal.” 

Kimmel’s sidekick, Guillermo Rodriguez, then came out dressed like the United States bald eagle and had goody bags for all of them. 

Credit: YouTube

Guillermo gave each new American citizen a goody bag filled with American staples including a Pabst Blue Ribbon beer helmet, apple pies, and fireworks. Then someone dressed as Abraham Lincoln arrived to drive them all in a limo to IHOP, because there’s nothing as American as IHOP, right?

Here’s this year’s new batch of American citizens. Grab some tissue first!

We really hope this celebration of welcoming new Americans into this country becomes a regular segment on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” It’s important for people all over the world to know that people here in the United States are welcoming to newcomers, and this celebration also shows that becoming a citizen of America is a big deal. 

Thanks, Jimmy for making these people feel special and that becoming a U.S. citizen matters. Whatever you do, just don’t get fined for making jokes about Trump. Keep doing it, of course, just make sure it’s not costing you. 

READ: Last year, Jimmy Kimmel Brought DACA Opponents To Meet A DACA/Military Family And Here’s What Happened

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In Bombshell Report, ICE Agents Are Accused of ‘Torturing’ African Asylum-Seekers to Get Them to Sign Their Own Deportation Documents

Things That Matter

In Bombshell Report, ICE Agents Are Accused of ‘Torturing’ African Asylum-Seekers to Get Them to Sign Their Own Deportation Documents

Photo: Bryan Cox/Getty Images

A bombshell report published in The Guardian alleges that ICE officers are using torture to force Cameroonian asylum seekers to sign their own deportation orders. The report paints an even starker picture of Immigration and Customs Enforcement–an agency that is already widely criticized as corrupt and inhumane.

The deportation documents the immigrants have been forced to sign are called the Stipulated Orders of Removal. The documents waive asylum seekers’ rights to further immigration hearings and mean they consent to being deported.

The asylum seekers allege that the torture in ICE custody consisted of choking, beating, pepper-spraying, breaking fingers, and threats on their lives.

“I refused to sign,” recounted one Cameroonian asylum-seeker to The Guardian. “[The ICE officer] pressed my neck into the floor. I said, ‘Please, I can’t breathe.’ I lost my blood circulation. Then they took me inside with my hands at my back where there were no cameras.”

He continued: “They put me on my knees where they were torturing me and they said they were going to kill me. They took my arm and twisted it. They were putting their feet on my neck…They did get my fingerprint on my deportation document and took my picture.” Other witnesses recount similar violent experiences.

Experts believe that the escalation of deportations is directly related to the upcoming election and the possibility that ICE might soon be operated under a different administration. The theory is that ICE is coercively deporting “key witnesses” in order to “silence survivors and absolve ICE of legal liability.”

“In late September, early October of this year, we began to receive calls on our hotline from Cameroonian and Congolese immigrants detained in Ice prisons across the country. And they were being subjected to threats of deportation, often accompanied by physical abuse,” said Christina Fialho, executive director of Freedom for Immigrants, to The Guardian.

Many of the Cameroonians who are in the U.S. to seek asylum have legitimate claims to danger back in their home countries. Many of these Cameroonians come from an English-speaking minority in Cameroon that are violently target by the government there–some have died. The violence has been condemned by The United Nations and Amnesty International.

As with many immigrant stories of people who are seeking asylum, these immigrants’ lives are in danger in their home country. They are coming to the United States for a better life. But instead, they are faced with the agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, whom they claim brutally mistreat them.

According to report, the U.S. is deporting entire airplanes full of asylum-seekers back to their home countries–deportations that have not been given due process and have been authorized under duress.

An ICE spokesperson contacted by The Guardian called the reports “sensationalist” and “unsubstantiated” while roundly refuting the claims. “Ice is firmly committed to the safety and welfare of all those in its custody. Ice provides safe, humane, and appropriate conditions of confinement for individuals detained in its custody,” she said.

Read the entire report here.

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The Man Who Created ICE Is Now Releasing A Book To Honor Immigrants

Things That Matter

The Man Who Created ICE Is Now Releasing A Book To Honor Immigrants

George Bush Presidential Center

The 43rd president, the man who literally helped create Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is now releasing a book meant to honor immigrants to the U.S. Cue the massive eye rolls.

As president, Bush oversaw a massive expansion of the country’s deportation apparatus and his policies directly impacted the lives of millions of people in the United States, with and without documents.

So it was no surprise that as Bush announced the new book, social media was quick to point out the blatant hypocrisy and tone deaf messaging the former president is sending. It’s all nice and good that he may have had a change of heart on immigration – particularly after seeing the destructive policies of the current president – but many are pointing out Bush will be making potentially millions of dollars of the backs of the very people he once demonized.

George Bush is releasing a book highlighting stories of immigrants to the U.S.

A new book by former President George W. Bush will highlight an issue which now sets him apart from many of his fellow Republicans — immigration.

The book includes 43 portraits by the 43rd president, four-color paintings of immigrants he has come to know over the years, along with biographical essays he wrote about each of them.

“While I recognize that immigration can be an emotional issue, I reject the premise that it is a partisan issue. It is perhaps the most American of issues, and it should be one that unites us,” Bush writes in the new book’s introduction, noting that he did not want it to come out during the election season. Bush has not endorsed Trump or his presumptive Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.

“My hope is that this book will help focus our collective attention on the positive impacts that immigrants are making on our country.”

The book will serve as a companion to an upcoming exhibition at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas.

Credit: Penguin Random House

“Both ‘Out of Many, One’ and the exhibition of the same name will include bold, principle-based solutions that comprehensively address the current debate on immigration,” according to Crown. “At the heart of the recommendations is the belief that every year that passes without reforming the nation’s broken system means missed opportunities to ensure the future prosperity, vitality, and security of our country.”

Bush has become a dedicated portrait painter and best-selling author since leaving the White House. His memoir “Decision Points” has sold more than 3 million copies, and his other books include “41,” about his father, former President George H.W. Bush; and a collection of paintings of military veterans, “Portraits of Courage.”

He will donate a portion of his “Out Of Many, One” proceeds to organizations that help immigrants resettle.

Although he may be friends with the Obamas, Bush has a terrible record on immigration.

Credit: Tom Pennington / Getty Images

Apart from Donald Trump, few presidents were as intertwined with immigration than George Bush, which has led to swift blowback on social media. Critics have been quick to point out the blatant hypocrisy with the president’s new series, since his administration created US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, more commonly known as ICE, which has cracked down harshly on undocumented immigration under Trump.  

And although Bush has on occasion criticized the state of immigration policies under Trump, it doesn’t make up for his hurtful policies as president.

In 2018, on the day after the Trump administration issued guidance for asylum seekers at the border that threatened thousands of individuals with being turned away before they could plead their cases in court, Bush said he was “disturbed” by the immigration debate taking place in the United States. Bush has also praised the nation’s immigrant history as “a blessing” while calling for comprehensive reform.

Bush’s own record on immigration isn’t totally black and white either. Many point out that the former president did introduce a bill that would have included a pathway to citizenship for 17 million immigrants in the U.S. However, the bill was defeated with bipartisan support because many Democrats felt it didn’t offer enough protections and many Republicans said it was illegal amnesty.

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