The immigration argument has become rather heated in recent days. Of course, Trump has been race-baiting for quite some time, but many of us on the coasts have ignored him because his rhetoric is just too stupid. Now, instead of his failed attempt to ban travelers from select foreign countries, he is refusing to do anything about DREAMers while focusing on “chain migration” and a wall that is see-through.
Last week, immigration reform got tied up in a budgetary conflict after Republicans and Donald Trump broke their promise to protect the roughly 800,000 young people who are American in every way but one. The government shut down and then started up again after Democrats lost that particular battle by caving in on DREAMers for the time being.
While the GOP tried to blame their broken promises on the “desperate” need for “border security, it has become apparent that the real problem is their rampant racism, xenophobia and complete ignorance about what it takes to become a citizen.
During his presidential campaign, Trump called Mexicans “rapists and murderers.” His entire platform was based on the idea that people from South of the border are criminals and Muslim refugees are terrorists. Long before Trump ran for and became president, many in the Republican Party espoused the same ideals. Rep. Steve King, for instance, once compared immigrants to dogs. Rep. Louie Gohmert declared war on immigrant children and Republican favorite, Joe Arpaio, repeatedly violated the civil rights of Hispanics in his quest to rid his county of brown people.
So, it is unsurprising that these people have embraced a man who referred to other countries as “shitholes” while exclaiming we need more immigrants from Norway.
The other problem the GOP has is that they and their “uneducated” voters have no idea how difficult it is to get into this country. Are there war-torn countries from which people need an escape? Yes. Are there people who want to create a better life? Yes. Are these people necessarily anathema? No. These people want to live. They want to contribute and they want to do it legally, but sometimes that is impossible.
I know first-hand how hard it is because my brother married a wonderful Filipina when he was living in Grand Cayman. My brother is a U.S. citizen and it took years to get her green card, even though she married a U.S. citizen. The only reason she finally obtained permission to come to the States was Hurricane Ivan and my mother’s persistence in calling congressional representatives until she got a “yes.” Immigrants are not just given citizenship when they marry an American like some on the right seem to think.
So why does the right hate immigrants so much? The real issue seems to be an oldie but a goodie: They only want white people here.
We know this is true because when they talk about a wall, they don’t want to build a wall on the Northern border with Canada. Canadians are, amazingly…white. They want to build a wall on the Southern border so brown people cannot easily enter.
A Southern border wall is a farce. We already have one and it turns out it can easily be scaled. There are some areas where all that exists is 3-4.5 meter high fence with barb wire in places, but that really makes no difference in the grand scheme of things.
Our country was founded by immigrants. Forget about all the African Americans that we literally stole from their own countries and brought here to work cotton fields. Disregard our disregard for Native Americans from whom we stole this country. Forget about how diversity makes a nation stronger. How it creates a better future. How it educates us. Because Trump loves the uneducated. I wonder why.
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free,” does not matter anymore. What matters is making America white again. And as a World War II buff who has studied the rise of Hitler in detail, the whole thing gives me goosebumps. Our saving grace is that this too shall pass.