Voters’ issue #1: Health care but Trump responds with lies and scare, hate & divide tactics about immigration

THE MIDTERM ELECTIONS is on Tuesday, Nov. 6 and the issue that voters are most worried about are health care and the economy, based on polls from Pew Research, Gallup and the Kaiser Family Foundation, among others.

People worry about not having health care coverage when they need it, and are concerned about what may happen to them and their family with pre-existing conditions.

Yet, President Donald Trump responded to this top concern with lies and scare tactics as his closing argument before voters cast their their sacred votes on November 6.

After polls reveal how important health care is to voters, and how popular the Affordable Care Act has been to this day, Trump and the Republican candidates are now saying in the campaign trail they will protect Americans with pre-existing conditions and blame the Democrats for the health care problems, conveniently covering up the fact that the Republican Party has been obsessed with repealing the Affordable Care Act passed by the Democrats in 2009, which has insured millions of Americans and have protected for the first time those with pre-existing conditions from being deprived insurance coverage or for going bankrupt because of exorbitant medical expenses.

While Trump touts about the booming U.S. economy, high GDP, and low jobless rates, these numbers do not translate to the concern of  ordinary hardworking Americans — not having a decent living wage to provide for the basic needs of their family. Wages have not caught up with the rising cost of living, and many Americans need to take double jobs to afford decent housing, health care, and help their children go to college.

WORSE, Trump has now been using scare and hate tactics to compel  his base and the Republicans to go out and vote, fabricating immigration crises, demonizing immigrants and the Democrats, and the news media to further sow division in America.

Trump wanted to shift the narrative to immigration, an issue that has mobilized his base to vote in 2016, and he is doing it again now using taxpayers money and without regard to the truth, the rule of law, and the life of people.

He said he will send 15,000 active duty troops to the southern border to stop the 3,500+  asylum seekers — families including children fleeing violence and hunger in Central America. He would scare people calling this an “invasion”, demonizing these asylum seekers to be criminals infiltrated by terrorist middle eastern people.

As ABC News reported, “For the first time, Trump also seemed to threaten the use of force against migrants at the border.

“They’re throwing rocks viciously and violently,” he claimed, referring to an encounter between the migrants and Mexican police. “They want to throw rocks at our military, our military is going to fight back.”

Trump said the White House is finalizing plans to require migrants to “present themselves lawfully at a point of entry,” changing the current law that allows immigrants to apply for asylum regardless of how they enter the country.

Refugees International said in reaction that the president’s plan violates a United Nations treaty that the U.S. ratified, which says applicants entering illegally should not be penalized if they present themselves without delay and show good cause for their illegal entry.

“President Trump did not announce an immigration policy this afternoon, but repeatedly lied about the asylum system, his family separation policy, and his largely unfunded wall. If he plans at some point to prohibit people from applying for asylum between the ports of entry, that plan is illegal,” Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, said in a statement as reported by ABC News.

Trump also announced that he will terminate birthright citizenship using an executive order, and this is in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment Chapter One of the U.S. Constitution. Only an Act of Congress has the power to do this, and despite attempts since this was adopted by the Constitution more than 200 years ago, no bill has progressed to amend this provision.

The Constitution mandates:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

This, of course Trump knew, but he reignited this issue again to make his base angry with women who come to the United States to give birth, and acquire US citizenship for the child and the family eventually as a result. “Anchor babies” the Republicans would call them, but according to Fil-Am community leader and immigration attorney, Atty. Lou Tancinco, there are already provisions in U.S. immigration laws to serve as safety nets against abuses.

The U.S.-born immigrant cannot petition his family until he reaches the age of majority and will have to prove he is qualified to support those he will be petitioning for immigration benefits, and that these family members should also meet requirements and qualifications to be approved.

Trump has also intensified his already toxic vilification of immigrants, Democrats, the news media based on lies. Just this week, he tweeted a shocking video that falsely compared members of a migrant caravan heading to the U.S. to an immigrant cop-killer, and falsely blamed Democrats for their letting this immigrant in, for setting him free for crimes he committed and for enabling him to return again.

The truth: this cop killer initially entered the U.S. illegally in 1993 and was deported in 1997 following a drug sentence. A year later, he was back in the US and was again arrested on another drug charge in Phoenix. However, as HuffPost reported, he “was released for “unknown reasons” under Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s custody and continued to live in the U.S. (Remember Arapio? He is an ardent Trump supporter whom he has endorsed to run for office.)

This cop killer immigrant was deported again following another drug charge in 2001 and returned soon after to marry in the U.S. during the Bush administration years, the Sacramento Bee reported. He killed the deputy and detective 13 years later.

Again, lies. And more lies from Trump. Just to win. And guess what? Even some people he endorsed like “Lyin'” Ted Cruz has used Trump’s playbook, using conspiracy theories against political opponents. Cruz suggested his popular Democratic opponent has been funding the migrant caravan with his campaign contributions. How low can they go?

This midterm elections, we all have the chance to regain back decency, the truth, and give the power back to “WE, the People.”

Exercise your right to vote. Protect our democracy and our democratic institutions by voting out people who condone and enable these dirty political tactics coming from the top. We deserve a better government.

Gel Santos Relos

Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of TFC’s “Balitang America.” Views and opinions expressed by the author in this column are solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to and

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