Diaspora News

Ted Rusk anchors congress run on Trump’s border wall

By Abner Galino

Couple Ted and Maria Monina Rusk. Photo © Abner Galino

TED Rusk is someone who thinks that acquiescing to President Donald Trump’s efforts to build a border wall is the way to secure green cards for the “non-criminal” undocumented immigrants.

Rusk, a contractor and one of the six Democrats challenging Rep. Ed Royce (R-Yorba Linda) to represent the 39th district of California in the US Congress, is anchoring his candidacy on this proposition.

“The reason why the Democrats don’t want to make a deal is because they want that border open,” insisted Rusk during an interview at his residence in Cerritos.

“All my friends back home in Indiana, all the immigrants that I talked to here, all say we got to have a secured border.”

Rusk’s position on immigration has not sit well with fellow Democrats. He has been yelled at as a racist during one of the fora that he has attended. And he was recently excluded in a forum organized by college Democrats.

But Rusk is actually here and there. While he agrees with Trump’s “pro-American” trade policies (which others view as protectionist policies), he also agrees with Senator Bernie Sanders’ universal health care.

Rusk is for ending the war in Afghanistan and is also for the repeal of the federal law that bans marijuana, obviously two positions that concur with fellow democrats.

But while Rusk seems to adhere to some of Trump’s ideas, he is actually convinced that the president’s “personality sucks.”

The congressional candidate from Cerritos said his mentality is the result of mostly of having grown in the Midwest, particularly in the state of Indiana, and living his contemporary years here in California.

Asked why he isn’t running as a Republican, Rusk said: The bigotry and hatred of the (Republican) party drove me away.

While Rusk is expecting to get votes from Republicans and Hispanics, his candidacy is buoyed up by Filipino Americans. It is not yet clear if this has to do with his ideas or to the fact that he is married to aspiring artist Filipina Maria Monina Francia Rusk.

“About 95 percent of my signatures came from Filipinos,” Rusk disclosed.

For the Filipino American voters, Rusk said he is willing support the Filipino Veterans Fairness Act of 2018 recently filed by senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).
The proposal has been read at the Senate floor and referred to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs.

The bipartisan legislation seeks to restore benefits due to Filipino World War II veterans that were unjustly taken away from them by the Rescission Act of 1946.

“Anybody who helped us out in WW II and Filipinos were right there with us, I’m not exactly sure what kind of American citizens they were back on those days, but they were citizens,” Rusk said.

The congressional candidate also said that he would support the retention of the family-based petition provided in the US immigration law.

Rusk added that while Filipino American voters in his district are not “heavy as those in West Covina, Carson or Cerritos,” they are substantial nevertheless to keep him up in the race.

“And they are very responsible people. They always vote. When they can vote, they do vote,” Rusk added.

Abner Galino
The author is a poet and a writer. He was a cultural worker before he became a reporter for Tinig ng Masa and Malaya Midday Edition during the Marcos regime. He later became a reporter of People's Tonight shortly after 1986 EDSA Revolution. He went on to become its Chief of Reporters, City Editor and News Editor. He retired after 15 years in the Journal Group of Publications. He now writes for Weekend Balita and the US Asian Post (USAP), weekly Filipino-American newspapers based in Los Angeles, California.

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