Hotvedt column mug


Sgt. Joe Friday, in the old “Dragnet” TV series, used to say, “Just the facts, ma’am!” Today’s column is all about just the facts so you can decide.

Stephen Miller, a Trump advisor, wrote the Family Separation Plan, the Muslim Ban and is proposing a zero-immigration policy for 2020. Stephen’s great-grandfather escaped Russian extermination of Jews in 1908, traveled here with no money and speaking no English but through hard work became a successful businessman.

This is a story we hear repeatedly. Immigrants made our country great and unless you’re an American Indian, you too are from an immigrant family. Why is Stephen Miller so anti-immigration? Why is anyone? Where did anger, hate and fear concerning immigrants begin? 

America is held together by rules and principles of personal conduct. Immigrants are from underdeveloped countries with strict, often brutally enforced, laws, but few concerning civility, community responsibility or personal conduct.  Education isn’t encouraged and they arrive without knowing how to do things “our” way.

Social services are more cost effective than law enforcement for solving immigration issues. The Peace Corps can teach living skills to people in their home countries. A realistic view of living in America will eliminate migration based on rumors. Visa paperwork can be processed there rather than detaining immigrants at our borders.

Education and community support help immigrants but what about the other side of the problem? Like the oxygen mask on a plane, we need to check our breathing before helping others.

To be part of the solution instead of the problem means understanding and acceptance. Instead, we form a circle to keep out immigrants, consisting of our insecurity that manifests as fear then hate demonstrated through rumors, lies and violence, completing the circle. (Hate is macho and acceptable but fear is cowardly.) Knowledge, not rumor, eliminates misinformation and fear by developing understanding and trust.

Bipartisan, verifiable facts provide knowledge to put headlines in perspective and open the closed circle of fear.


  • · The white race will be the minority in 25 years;
  • · A non-white majority will change election results;
  • · Immigration is about elections, not people;
  • · ICE targets Mexican immigrants, not people from India, the Northern Triangle of Nations, China or the Middle East;
  • · Less than half of all immigrants are Mexican;
  • · Fifty-one percent of Mexican immigrants are illegal due to expired Green Cards, not crime;
  • · Sixty percent of farm labor in the United States is done by immigrants;
  • · Chinese, Middle Eastern and Indian immigrants don’t do farm work;
  • · More Mexican immigrants are leaving the U.S than are coming in;
  • · Mexico has a democratic government;
  • · India, China and the Middle East are ruled by power;
  • · Both Mexico and China replace U.S. manufacturing;
  • · China doesn’t have labor laws, therefore cheap production;
  • · Mexico, regulated by NAFTA, has labor laws;
  • · China trade is more lucrative to U.S;
  • · Several companies, including Fuling Global Manufacturing, left China the day tariffs were raised;
  • · Fuling Global is now operational in Mexico;
  • · India, better known as “America’s Offshore Communication Center,” provides cheap telephone and computer services for: healthcare and insurance industries, credit cards and collection agencies, communication and marketing companies, every annoying phone call you receive;
  • · All have big lobbies;
  • · India provides cheap labor;
  • · The U.S. has more immigrants from India than Mexico;
  • · Immigrants from China and India are tech savvy;
  • · Tech savvy gets jobs you want, not Mexicans.

In 1964, 1968 and 1972, George Wallace ran for president on a platform against integration and immigration, was booed off of the stage and received death threats. Americans thought he was a radical, one-of-a-kind politician whose popularity was isolated to a particular part of the South.

Today, racial slurs and radical behaviors are cheered and encouraged in every state. Stephen Miller’s anti-immigration tactics are accepted, while his great-grandfather and millions of other immigrants, plead with us, from beyond the grave, to hold government accountable for protecting freedom and civil rights.

I don’t have answers about why America has changed but my involvement with a Mobil Chemical project to train 300 Saudis, then with a Texas resettlement program for 5,000 Vietnamese and later, with a hospital in Africa, taught me, beneath skin color, everyone’s the same. Whether religious, corrupt, smart or ignorant, our laughter, pain, insecurity, fear and hate are equal opportunity emotions, always have been, always will be. People are just people! Americas strength lies in compassion for others, not force and fear.

Don’t let the Stephen Millers of the world define us.

Questions, comments, criticisms? Contact Dianne at or text (615) 924-2090.

Dianne Devoll Hotvedt is a motivational speaker and writer with 50 years in the field of health care. She lives happily in the woods with her husband and various critters.

Recommended for you