As controversy over Donald Trump's immigration executive order continues to swirl, in his first-ever joint speech to Congress, he addressed his personal guests Jamiel Shaw, Jessica Davis, and Susan Oliver — whose family members were killed by undocumented immigrants.

Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo/Getty Images

"To any in Congress who do not believe we should enforce our laws, I would ask you this one question," the president said. "What would you say to the American family that loses their jobs, their income, or their loved one because America refused to uphold its laws and defend its borders?"


It's impossible not to feel for those who have lost loved ones to senseless acts of violence.

The urge to make meaning and place blame in the wake of a tragedy is powerful. But for the president to exploit these families by grouping them together and focusing on the perpetrators' immigration status sends a dishonest and destructive message: that undocumented immigrants are inherently violent, criminal, and not to be trusted.

We can litigate this until we're blue in the face, but it won't change the fact that the president's message is not just damaging — it's wrong. Studies show that immigrants commit crimes at lower rates than U.S. citizens, and, more anecdotally, that the same goes for undocumented immigrants.

Not only are immigrant families touched by violent crime just as often as the families of those who are born in the U.S. — many are specifically targeted because of their immigrant status.

Srinivas Kuchibholta. Photo by Mahesh Kumar A/AP.

If President Trump truly wanted to use his first speech to Congress to honor families whose loved ones have died senselessly and tragically, he could have also invited...

1. The family of Srinivas Kuchibholta, an engineer from India who was murdered at a bar in Olathe, Kansas, last week.

His assailant allegedly yelled, "Get out of my country" before fatally shooting him.

Srinivas Kuchibholta's wife Sunayana Dumala. Photo by Orlin Wagner/AP.

2. The family of Luis Ramirez, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who was beaten to death by four high school football players in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, in 2008.

One purportedly told the 25-year-old factory and field worker to, "Tell your Mexican friends to get the fuck out of Shenandoah."

Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. Photo by Rick Smith/AP.

3. The family of Won-Joon Yoon, a Korean graduate student, who was murdered by a white supremacist while pursuing a computer science degree at Indiana University.

Won-Joon Yoon's parents. Photo by Michael Conroy/AP.

4. The family and friends of Hussain Saeed Alnahdi, a Saudi student at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, who died from his injuries after being attacked during a night out in October.

Students at UW-Stout hold a vigil for Hussain Saeed Alnahdi. Photo by Marisa Wojcik/The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram via AP.

5. The family of Marcelo Lucero, an Ecuadorian immigrant killed by teenagers in Patchogue, New York, in 2008, as part of a game called "beaner-hopping," where the group would hunt and beat local Latino men.

Photo by Craig Ruttle/AP.

6. The family of Arlindo Goncalves, a 72-year-old, homeless, Cape Verdean immigrant, who was killed by a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi, in 2009.

Anabela Fernandes, niece of Arlindo Goncalves. Photo by Tim Correira/The Enterprise.

7. The family of Joseph Ileto, a postal worker originally from the Philippines, who was killed by a white supremacist during a shooting spree at a Jewish Community Center.

Photo by Randi Lynn Beach/AP.

For President Trump to highlight the few heinous crimes committed by a vanishingly small number of undocumented immigrants while ignoring the violence committed against the broader immigrant community is shameful.

"As we speak tonight, we are removing gang members, drug dealers, and criminals that threaten our communities and prey on our very innocent citizens," President Trump declared. He went on to propose a new office — Victims of Immigration Crime Enforcement — to serve victims of violent crime committed by undocumented immigrants.

But immigrants, like the rest of us, aren't, for the most part, "gang members, drug dealers, and criminals" — they're just people. And just like U.S.-born citizens, a tiny fraction of them do horrible, unforgivable thingsthough, it bears repeating, at a lower rate than those who were born here.

Most immigrants go shopping, play basketball, go to work, fall in love, get bored, drink whisky, watch TV, hug their kids, and generally behave the way most normal human beings behave.

Relatives of Srinivas Kuchibholta attend his funeral. Photo by Mahesh Kumar A/AP.

Immigrants who commit deadly crimes don't represent the vast majority who just want to live their lives and raise their families in peace and security, and not be hassled — or worse — for it.

It's perfectly reasonable to argue for stronger enforcement of immigration laws — in a humane, fact-based manner.

It's not OK to implicitly label all undocumented immigrants "killers" and "thugs."

If President Trump truly wants to make America great, he can start by acknowledging that whether or not we were born here or came here with the right paperwork in order, we're all human. And we all deserve to feel safe.

That first car is a rite of passage into adulthood. Specifically, the hard-earned lesson of expectations versus reality. Though some of us are blessed with Teslas at 17, most teenagers receive a car that’s been … let’s say previously loved. And that’s probably a good thing, considering nearly half of first-year drivers end up in wrecks. Might as well get the dings on the lemon, right?

Of course, wrecks aside, buying a used car might end up costing more in the long run after needing repairs, breaking down and just a general slew of unexpected surprises. But hey, at least we can all look back and laugh.

My first car, for example, was a hand-me-down Toyota of some sort from my mother. I don’t recall the specific model, but I definitely remember getting into a fender bender within the first week of having it. She had forgotten to get the brakes fixed … isn’t that a fun story?

Jimmy Fallon recently asked his “Tonight Show” audience on Twitter to share their own worst car experiences. Some of them make my brake fiasco look like cakewalk (or cakedrive, in this case). Either way, these responses might make us all feel a little less alone. Or at the very least, give us a chuckle.

Here are 22 responses with the most horsepower:

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Bird-watching is in focus on a new National Geographic show.

You may remember the name Christian Cooper, but if you don't, this will jog your memory. In summer 2020, Cooper made the national news when a white woman, Amy Cooper (no relation), called the police, falsely accusing him of threatening her. Christian Cooper was out in the early morning at Central Park doing what he does often: bird-watching. It's a longtime hobby that, thanks to that unfortunate exposure, he's now taking to the next level and sharing with the world. Cooper recently finished filming six episodes of "Extraordinary Birder" for National Geographic.

"Whether braving stormy seas in Alaska for puffins, trekking into rainforests in Puerto Rico for parrots, or scaling a bridge in Manhattan for a peregrine falcon, he does whatever it takes to learn about these extraordinary feathered creatures and show us the remarkable world in the sky above," National Geographic wrote in a press release announcing its new slate of personality-driven exploration and adventure themed storytelling.

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TikTok about '80s childhood is a total Gen X flashback.

As a Gen X parent, it's weird to try to describe my childhood to my kids. We're the generation that didn't grow up with the internet or cell phones, yet are raising kids who have never known a world without them. That difference alone is enough to make our 1980s childhoods feel like a completely different planet, but there are other differences too that often get overlooked.

How do you explain the transition from the brown and orange aesthetic of the '70s to the dusty rose and forest green carpeting of the '80s if you didn't experience it? When I tell my kids there were smoking sections in restaurants and airplanes and ashtrays everywhere, they look horrified (and rightfully so—what were we thinking?!). The fact that we went places with our friends with no quick way to get ahold of our parents? Unbelievable.

One day I described the process of listening to the radio, waiting for my favorite song to come on so I could record it on my tape recorder, and how mad I would get when the deejay talked through the intro of the song until the lyrics started. My Spotify-spoiled kids didn't even understand half of the words I said.

And '80s hair? With the feathered bangs and the terrible perms and the crunchy hair spray? What, why and how?

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