Editorial roundup

Oct. 11, The Boston Herald on the need to protect those brought to U.S. illegally as a child by their parents:

Well, so much for that bipartisan agreement President Trump insisted he wanted on immigration.

Sunday the White House released a laundry list of more than 70 specific immigration-related demands — items that would have to accompany any effort to grant permanent legal status to some 800,000 “Dreamers” — young people brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents.

“I have a love for these people,” Trump once said, “and now hopefully Congress will be able to help them and do it properly.”

A dinner with Democratic leaders “Chuck and Nancy” seemed to clinch the deal.

Now Trump has decided to hold those Dreamers hostage to a list of ridiculous demands the Democrats — and any Republicans with a smattering of sense about basic economics — will be forced to reject. That raises the question of how serious he was in the first place.

The list of Trump demands includes, of course, money for a border wall with Mexico — nothing sensible like a high-tech approach to security, but a real wall — a non-starter for Democrats.

And, of course, the 10,000 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to enforce all of these new laws. (Aren’t Republicans supposed to be in favor of smaller government?)

But the truly horrifying part is the demand that legal immigration be cut in half — which would constitute a devastating blow to the U.S. economy. Has no one the courage to explain to Trump that with virtual full employment, the real danger is a labor shortage.

Sure, there’s a case to be made for a merit-based system that would prioritize occupations that could contribute the most to the U.S. economy. But who then will manicure Trump golf courses or serve dinner at Mar-a-Lago.

Of course, the plan hasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of actually passing — which is a good thing. But that does raise the question of who will save the Dreamers? Surely there are enough sensible Democrats and Republicans left in the Congress who are capable of doing the right thing — even if the occupant of the White House hasn’t a clue what that is.


Oct. 9, China Daily on the necessity of dialogue between the United States and China:

That the relationship between China and the United States comes under strain from time to time is most often a result of one of them misinterpreting the other’s intentions.

That is why the four high-level dialogue mechanisms, which were agreed during President Xi Jinping’s visit to the U.S. in April, are both pragmatic and important, as they can help the two sides avoid any misunderstandings by enabling them to properly discuss and manage their differences and disputes.

The last of the first round of dialogues — on law enforcement and cybersecurity — was held on Friday in Washington, with the two sides agreeing to further cooperate on repatriating suspected criminals, and to work together to combat drug trafficking and strengthen cybersecurity — outcomes that reflect the call of Xi last month for countries to jointly tackle transnational crimes and cyber security challenges and advance common and comprehensive security.

It is natural that China and the U.S. do not see eye to eye on every issue. But so long as they take each other’s major interests into account and keep the channels of communication open, there is no reason why they cannot forge a strong and friendly bilateral relationship.

For instance, one of the reasons the cyber security dialogue was initiated was the hacking attacks on U.S. companies and government agencies, which, despite Beijing’s consistent and strong denials of any involvement, Washington alleged were sponsored by China.

These accusations have long been an irritant in bilateral relations. However, the dialogue last week served to clarify the situation and help end the altercation, as both sides pledged to jointly crack down on cybercrime and continue to implement their consensus on cybersecurity cooperation, including the agreement that neither side will conduct or support the cybertheft of intellectual property.

Likewise, the pledge of closer cooperation on repatriation will address China’s concerns that the U.S. could become a safe haven for corrupt Chinese officials who have fled the country.

It is heartening that such frank exchanges have been the hallmark of the first round of four dialogues between the U.S. and China, since building a truly cooperative partnership between the two sides requires mutual trust and respect, and these can only be established by talking sincerely with one another to dispel misperceptions and suspicions. Addressing their concerns head-on in their talks will enable each to better understand the other’s intentions.

And, after all, as President Xi put it, there are a thousand reasons to make the relationship work, and no reason to break it.