Donald Trump's Immigration Rhetoric

6453 words (26 pages) Essay

7th Feb 2019 Human Rights Reference this

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Immigration has always been a controversial subject in the United States. As a new administration begins its four-year reign, many illegal immigrants are worried about their positions within the U.S. For centuries, immigrants have migrated to the U.S. in hopes of obtaining the “American Dream.” However, when Trump announced his intention to run for the presidency, the American Dream seemed to become inaccessible for many hopeful Mexican and Muslim immigrants. Trump’s campaign rhetoric hit home for many Americans, and his ideals made him a forerunner for the Republican party. His fear mongering resonated with what so many white, Midwestern and Southern Americans believe: illegal Mexican immigrants are coming into America to rape our women, murder us, and take away jobs from hardworking citizens and Muslim immigrants are coming here to create terror. This led him to propose the building of a wall between the U.S. and Mexican border. He also proposed a travel ban on people from six majority Muslim countries. These, he deemed were a safety measure. As Trump continuously utilized institutional racism to grow his popularity among U.S. voters, Mexican and Muslim immigrants’ fears heightened. His controversial election shocked the world, leading many world leaders to welcome immigrants into their countries with open arms. Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, especially pushed back against Trump’s proposed bills. Throughout this dark time in American politics, Canada has continuously led by example as to how immigrants should be treated.

Recently, the Trump administration executed a mass-deportation of many illegal immigrants back to Mexico. With tensions already heightened between Mexico and the U.S., this angered the Mexican government. Throughout Trump’s campaign, he ignorantly stated that Mexico would be paying for a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border. However, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has continuously stated that Mexico would not pay for such an extravagant measure. Further, Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray has said that he will vigorously fight the deportations of undocumented immigrants back to Mexico, as well as refuse to accept any non-Mexicans sent across the border (Agren and Stanglin). Videgaray has also said that the treatment of Mexican migrants in the United States will top Mexico’s agenda when President Nieto meets with the U.S. Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security. This announcement came shortly after Trump’s administration unveiled its tough new guidelines for enforcing immigration laws (Agren and Stanglin). The Trump Administration’s new guidelines are an example of the bullying that was prevalent during his campaign, and that is continuing well into his presidency. The Mexican government has even suggested it will go to the United Nations to defend the rights of its migrants (Agren and Stanglin).

Trump gained popularity because of his so-called tough-on-crime platform, however, he incessantly forces his political ideals on the world, straining U.S.-World relations. Mexico is an important ally, but Trump’s unfair proposals are further damaging an important relationship, as well as potentially hurting the American economy. Although the Department of Homeland Security has said the new directives focus on criminals and those who pose a threat to the U.S., they expand the authority of federal agents to deport most of the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States (Agren and Stanglin).

Mexican immigrants are not the only ones who Trump attacked on the campaign trail. He also proposed a ban on Muslims. The Muslim ban is an extremely offensive and racist directive, as it is like that of Adolf Hitler’s when he terrorized Germany’s Jewish community. The Muslim ban is yet another example of Trump’s use of ones’ identity to instill unnecessary hatred. Recently in the news, many immigrants from seven majority Muslim countries have been stopped at airports upon entering the U.S.  Many of these Muslims work for U.S. companies or are students, teachers, and people trying to visit their family members.

On January 31st, 2017, Trump signed an executive order that indefinitely suspends admissions of Syrian refugees and limits the flow of other refugees in a process he has coined as “extreme vetting.” This executive order was a way to make good on one of his campaign promises to tighten border security and halt certain refugees from entering the U.S. According to CNN, the order bars all persons from certain "terror-prone" countries from entering the United States for 90 days and suspends the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days until it is reinstated "only for nationals of countries for whom" members of Trump's Cabinet deem can be properly vetted. The countries impacted by this hurtful ban are Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia. His order also set out to cancel the Visa Interview Waiver Program, which once allowed repeat travelers to the United States to be able to forgo an in-person interview to renew their visa (Merica). Under the new order, these travelers will now have to have in-person interviews.

Fortunately, Democrats across the country vigorously fought this unlawful ban. A Washington state federal judge issued a temporary nationwide restraining order which stopped President Trump's executive order banning citizens of seven countries from entering the United States (Seipel). The travel ban unfairly targets Muslims and violates the constitutional rights of immigrants and their families. Just like Mexican immigrants, Muslims have been targeted by Trump and racially profiled.

After Trump was elected as the 45th President of the United States, Canada began to prepare itself for a surge in Mexican migrants. Canada reportedly lifted the visa requirement amid the uncertainty of Donald Trump’s promises to crack down on undocumented immigrants. Mexican visitors will now no longer need visas to enter Canada. This momentous move has Canada anticipating an influx in Mexican tourists and business travelers. The visa was enacted in 2009, by Canada’s previous Conservative government to address an increase in “bogus” refugee claims (The Guardian). This visa lift, instated right after Trump’s vows to expel millions of illegal immigrants, could cause a substantial increase in Mexican asylum seekers.

According to The Guardian, between the years 2005 and 2008, refugee claims from Mexico nearly tripled. This made Mexico the number one source country for claims, with more than 9,400 claims filed by Mexicans in 2008. However, only 11% were accepted (The Guardian). The previously Conservative Canadian government embraced the visa as a means of border control. However, the Canadian government was pressured by Mexico to end the policy after the number of asylum seekers plummeted in 2015. Justin Trudeau, the current Canadian prime minister agreed to get rid of the visa in exchange for Mexico expanding its imports of Canadian beef (The Guardian). In an interview, Justin Trudeau stated that this move would make it easier for Canada’s Mexican friends to visit while helping grow Canada’s local economies and strengthen their communities. During the time the visa lift was announced, no one believed that Trump stood a real chance of winning the presidency against Hillary Clinton, the popular democratic candidate especially after his vows to build the wall along the shared border of the U.S. and Mexico.  Although Canada lifted the visa requirement for Mexican travelers without anticipating Trump’s presidency, it came at a time when Mexican migrants needed it the most. Canada has proven itself to be a leader and a friend in a difficult time for immigrants worldwide.

An immigration lawyer in Toronto, Lorne Waldman, said that the lifting of the visa requirement is going to be a major factor attracting people to come to Canada. Anticipating an influx of migrants, Waldman compared it to the wave of Muslims that entered Canada after 9/11. As Muslims saw a significant crackdown on immigrants entering the U.S. from the Middle East, there was increase in the number of people who crossed the border from the U.S. into Canada at that time.

Since day one of his campaign, Trump has used racist lingo. In his first speech, back in 2015, he labeled Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals. He also went on to say that Mexico is not sending their best people, rather they’re sending people with lots of problems. He further stated that Mexican immigrants were bringing in drugs and bringing in crime. A few weeks later, he labeled Mexican immigrants as “killers.” Trump’s continuous use of hateful rhetoric is damaging. By labeling these people, he is instilling fear in the American people of a group of individuals, who for the most part, just want to create better lives for themselves. Trump even went so far as to say that the Mexican government was purposely sending us criminals because they don’t want to deal with them. By making false accusations, Trump is creating an unnecessary hatred of a group of people who are in the United States to obtain the American Dream that for over two hundred years, we have proudly represented as a core American value.

By 2016, President Trump had made numerous racist remarks about people with Mexican heritage. He criticized a federal judge who presided over a fraud case against Trump University. He angrily suggested that the court ruling wouldn’t be fair because the jurist was Mexican. Curiel, an Indiana native, refused to dismiss the civil lawsuits Trump was facing. At many of his rallies, supporters chanted “build the wall,” a rallying cry of thinly vailed racism.  His hurtful rhetoric promotes racism.

NPR published an article on Trump’s CPAC appearance. President Donald Trump made the claim that while he was speaking, immigration officers were out finding gang members, drug dealers and criminal aliens and throwing them out. Trump’s claims falsely create assumptions of the type of people coming the United States. As a third-generation American, I find these to be incredibly hurtful. My great grandparents fled from Nazi Germany to Colombia in hopes of a better life. From Colombia, they traveled to the United States. My great grandparents, just like so many other immigrants, came to the United States to follow the American Dream. The United States provides hope for so many people, and Trump has continuously made offensive statements that tarnish the American ideals.

Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau weighed in on Trump’s controversial immigrant ban. He tweeted that Canada would welcome immigrants and refugees fleeing from persecution. He mentioned that diversity is where Canada’s strength lies. He also tweeted a #CanadianIsACanadian.” It is leaders like this who better the world. Trump has continuously bullied people and shamed them for their identity. He claims that refugees want to hurt Americans, however most of them just want to escape the war-torn countries they come from. Canada has also announced that they will continue to accept asylum seekers who are crossing the U.S.-Canada border. The number of refugees crossing the border into Canada has increased in recent weeks amid fears that President Trump will crack down on illegal immigrants.

Trudeau told parliament that Canada remains an open country because Canadians trust their immigration system and the integrity of their borders and the help they provide for people looking for safety (Reuters). Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen also said Canada would continue to honor the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement (Reuters). This agreement requires Canada to turn back refugees if they make asylum claims at Canadian border crossings with the United States. However, Amnesty International and other groups are worried that the United States is not safe for refugees and are pressuring the Canadian government to abandon the agreement. The United States has always been considered the home of the free which is why it is such an attractive location for immigrants.

Trump has made it okay for people to be openly racist. White nationalist groups across the country have voiced their support for his presidency and Trump has not denounced them. Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, is chairman of the alt-right website Breitbart News. Bannon’s ex-wife has accused him of being anti-Semitic. Bannon’s nomination was controversial as he is known to be racist. It is choices like these that make minorities feel unwelcome in the United States. Former president Barack Obama touted the United States as an accepting nation of people from all walks of life. He championed the U.S. as a provider of hope for immigrants worldwide, and as a country which allows immigrants to celebrate their heritage. Trump is leading America down a different path, a path that only celebrates white Americans, and leaves minorities flailing and feeling like they don’t belong.

Recently a Kansas man shot and killed an Indian engineer, injured another and also an American. He reportedly yelled “get out of my country” and was making racial slurs prior to the incident. This is not the first time a racially-motivated act of violence has been perpetrated in recent months. When Trump began campaigning for his presidency, racist white Americans were reported to have committed hate crimes more than once. In some areas of the United States, Nazi propaganda has popped up, a seemingly common trend as Trump became president which has made immigrants, refugees, people of color, and the like uncomfortable. In fact, many people are starting to feel unsafe leaving their homes due to the horrific acts of violence that are taking place.

Geana Javier, a columnist for the Daily Evergreen, recently wrote an article on hate speech abusing free speech rights. She acknowledged that we have reached a time where political divisiveness has attained extreme levels (Javier). It seems that since Donald Trump’s election, people have used the right to freedom of speech as a shield to protect hate speech.  As previously mentioned, Trump stated that Mexico is not sending the U.S. its “best people,” but instead rapists and drug dealers.  Geana Javier states that these comments target an entire ethnic group and paints them in a negative light. Through these sorts of statements, Trump has disguised his racist opinions as immigration policies. Trump is instilling fear in the American people of an entire ethnic group who, for the most part, are good people. Immigrants have not contributed any more to crime than was already happening in the United States. It is deeply distressing that intolerant social views are reflected in current political policy.

Yahya Abu Romman, a 22-year-old language major, does not feel welcome in the United States. He is a Jordanian citizen, but Syrian born. Upon his college graduation, he planned a six-week trip to the United States to celebrate. He landed in O’Hare International Airport a few days after Trump’s travel ban was instated. It was there and then that the positive impression of the U.S. which his father had instilled in him evaporated (Arraf). Romman’s father was a graduate from the University of Illinois. He’d always told Abu that America is the land of justice, opportunity, generosity and kindness (Arraf). Upon landing at O’Hare, however, a border officer could not understand why Romman did not have a Syrian passport. Discussion ensued about his brother who had lived illegally in the U.S. and overstayed a visa before becoming a citizen (Arraf). Emails were found by the border guards on Romman’s phone to flight schools he’d applied to in the U.S. The officer was not convinced that he was not planning to stay in the U.S. after flight school. This led to Romman’s visa being cancelled. When he wanted to call the Embassy before signing the papers agreeing to being deported, he was threatened by the border officer and told that if he did not sign, he’d be banned from entering the U.S. ever again. Romman had visited the U.S. before and felt that the people were welcoming. At the present time, however, he feels that is not the case.  In his opinion, he is safer remaining in Jordan: "America was an opportunity for people here before. But now, no one is actually thinking about the United States for a future place to live (Arraf)." It is experiences like these that make many people wary of Americans. Trump has made it clear that if you are not white and a native-born American, you are not worthy of respect.

A cinematographer was barred from entering the United States to attend the Oscars after his film was nominated for an academy award. The 21-year-old worked on the harrowing film of his home country’s civil war, The White Helmets, according to TIME Magazine. The Department of Homeland Security decided at the last minute to block Khaled Khateeb from traveling to Los Angeles for the Oscars (Katz). Because Khateeb was travelling from one of the Muslim majority countries which Trump had banned, he was barred entrance into the United States. This is just another example of how Trump is using immigration laws to promote his racist agenda. His ban affects many people from all over the world who have legitimate reasons for travelling to the United States.

Khaled Almilaji is yet another victim of Trump’s controversial ban. He has been stranded in Turkey since January 2017. His wife, who is pregnant with their first child, patiently awaits his return to Rhode Island. A student at Brown University, Almilaji has worked feverishly to keep up with his classes from overseas. After a federal judge froze Trump’s ban, Almilaji had hope of returning to his wife. Unfortunately, his hopes were dashed as he realized the new reality for Syrians trying to study in the United States. Khaled Almilaji has said that now Canada is looking like a better option.

Paul Davidson, the president of Universities Canada, has said they have seen an influx of applications from international students. The Universities Canada website, dedicated to providing information about schools in the country, has doubled in views since November (Students Turn to Canada in Trump Immigration Era). Canada’s most elite universities including McGill, McMaster and the University of Toronto saw large increases in applications from students in the United States. Rebekah Robinson, a senior at a predominantly white school in Maryland mentioned she was attracted to the University of Toronto because of the diversity of its student body (Students Turn to Canada in Trump Immigration Era). Robinson, who did not support Donald Trump in the recent presidential election, said that his nomination made Canada even more appealing. This is not an uncommon story in recent months. Typically, the flow of students has been greater from north of the border rather than south, however that it is changing as tensions in the United States continue to grow. Because of the recent changes in immigration policies in Canada, it is easier for international students to study there and stay upon graduation.

When students were asked why they were interested in the University of Toronto, many reasons were cited, most notably that the University of Toronto is ranked among the top five public universities internationally and that it is a globally friendly college in a globally friendly country (Students Turn to Canada in Trump Immigration Era). Over the years, Canada has made attracting talent from around the world a focal point. The University of Toronto is no different, and proudly boasts that its doors are open to the world. The United States, however, is the opposite. Unlike Canada, the United States is now a dangerous place for many foreign nationals to be. President Donald Trump has continuously used demeaning terminology and racial slurs during his campaign and his presidency which has led many people of color to question their safety in a country which has for so long championed itself as the land of the free. Donald Trump’s hateful rhetoric makes it okay for people to be openly racist, and even worse, express it.

Trump’s hate speech does not only affect Muslims and Mexicans.  Since the election, more than 1,000 hate crimes have been recorded. The Southern Poverty Law Center indicated that these numbers were normally expected over a six-month period. Further, there have been at least sixteen attacks on synagogues and other Jewish centers. Donald Trump, unfortunately, has kept relatively quiet about many of these anti-Semitic episodes. When reporters pressed him on it, Trump repeatedly stated that he was not racist, nor was he anti-Semitic. He even went so far as to say that any anti-Semitic behavior was the work of his political opponents (Memoli). There has been a surge in racist and anti-Semitic graffiti and vandalism since Trump's election, including the use of Nazi imagery. According to CNN, an astounding forty-eight Jewish Community Centers reported bomb threats in the month of January alone. Trump, who claims to love Jewish people, is under scrutiny for his lack of action and his indifference to these hate crimes perpetrated on the Jewish community.

Trump’s Muslim ban is a prime example of his racist agenda and a measure that Canada has openly opposed. After Trump announced his plans to propose a ban, Justin Trudeau tweeted that Canada would be a welcoming place to all. Universities Canada has also expressed their support of internationals fleeing persecution, by welcoming students, faculty, and staff from around the world to its campuses. Unlike the United States, Canada proclaims that international immigrants bring new knowledge, talent, and skills to higher education, research, and innovation to the benefit of all Canadians (Students Turn to Canada in Trump Immigration Era). Some Canadian schools even offered to waive application fees for students who were affected by the order, and to consider transcripts of those hoping to complete academic work in Canada (Students Turn to Canada in Trump Immigration Era). Trump’s ban is an impediment to the free flow of people and ideas and the values of diversity and inclusion, which are of the utmost importance in a strong society.

ATTN Video posted a video on Facebook which addressed how the economy would suffer without immigrants. According to ATTN Video, America would lose up to 70% of its farm workers, which would lead to skyrocketing food prices. Agricultural production could lose as much as sixty billion dollars. Job creation would also decrease as immigrants contribute to population growth which in turn increases the demand for workers. To say that the reason people don’t have jobs because of immigrants is untrue and ignorant. Without immigrants, social security would take a serious hit because not enough taxes would be paid in. In 2010, undocumented workers alone contributed 13 billion dollars to the fund. Experts say that increasing immigration could actually save social security. Instead of helping “make America great again,” Trump’s views and policies on immigration which are not based in fact, not only promote racism, but hurt the economy and ruin relations between the U.S. and other countries.

Canada has said it will allow 300,000 immigrants to enter the country in 2017. Although this target is unchanged from that of 2016’s plan, it is well above the average number of immigrants who were admitted from 2011 to 2015. John McCallum, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, has said that making 300,000 the permanent target will lead to economic growth. Canada, which has an aging population and needs a younger population to boost its economy, is hoping that robust immigration will help address this problem.  And, over the next five years, Canada is hoping to increase the number of immigrants they accept to 450,000.

Donald Trump wants to impose laws against immigrants which will be detrimental to the United States’ economic growth. The United States is a nation full of immigrants. Without these hardworking individuals, the economy will suffer. Immigrants start businesses and are thirty percent more likely to do so than people who are non-immigrants.  In fact, immigrants comprise eighteen percent of all small business owners in the United States today. Immigrant-owned businesses also create jobs for American citizens. The Fiscal Policy Institute did a study in 2007 on businesses owned by immigrants and found that 4.7 million people are employed by immigrants who own businesses. Not only do immigrants create jobs for millions of Americans, they are also more likely to create jobs for other immigrants. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 7.5 percent of the foreign born are self-employed compared to 6.6 percent among the native-born (Furman and Gray). Immigrants are an important part of the American economy. They offer innovative thinking, which in turn helps the United States develop cutting-edge technology. Donald Trump would like the American people to believe that we do not need immigrants and has continuously promoted the idea that immigrants are dangerous to the United States and to its people. He would like people to believe that Mexican immigrants are drug dealers, murderers, rapists and other criminals and that Muslim ones are more likely to be terrorists than non-Muslim American citizens.

Fortunately, not all Americans hold the same beliefs as our current President.  At least thirty-seven cities across the United States have indicated that they will not comply with Trump’s aggressive immigration policies. These cities, known as “sanctuary cities,” tend to be located in some of the more liberal areas of the United States. Cities including San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, and New York have stood in defiance against the new President of the United States. In retaliation, President Trump has stated that he will cancel federal funding directed to these cities, which may limit this act of federal disobedience.

Donald Trump has made good on many of his promises regarding immigration through the many executive orders he has issued. These radical actions against immigration have made many feel less secure, and in some cases, downright terrorized. Trump has signed two executive orders that direct the Department of Homeland Security to start building the wall along the border with Mexico. This promise was a cornerstone of his campaign. Many are concerned that it will ramp up the repression of the undocumented and anyone who is suspected of being undocumented to a whole new level. His travel ban, another executive order Trump hoped to pass, targeted Muslims and singled them out as being more likely to commit terrorist acts and therefore, they must all be kept out. This ignorant belief highlights the fact that racism is still prevalent in the United States. It is astounding that a nation which is so diverse, voted for a man like Donald Trump. The hate and ignorance at the core of his political agenda, which is directed at some of the most vulnerable groups of people in the United States and the world, is clear.

Among the provisions within Trump’s executive orders for his so-called wall is the instruction to detain every single undocumented immigrant. This also includes families with children who have been captured by the Border Patrol and who are held in a facility. His executive order would get rid of agents’ discretion to "detain and release" people under the condition that they appear for an asylum interview or court date (Katch). This means that detainees will have a much harder time obtaining legal representation and gathering evidence and witnesses to make their cases in court. Trump also gave the Border Patrol the ability to deport detainees who are waiting for their court dates. Another one of his executive orders will revive a program that was shelved by the Obama administration. This Secure Communities program allows for people who are processed in local jails to be checked against immigration databases. If any matches turn up, ICE is able to ask local law enforcement to hand over their prisoners for deportation (Katch). Both these orders tighten regulations on border crossing and immigrants. Most of the people migrating from Mexico to the United States do so to escape the hardships they face living in Mexico.  Their goal is to earn money to send home. Trump’s initiatives are yet another example of his distaste for immigrants. The fear immigrants harbor is well-founded. Trump has openly made hateful forms of Islamophobia and xenophobia central to his message from the beginning, and even though the campaign has ended, he has yet to back down. His racial rhetoric was made as an attempt to appeal to middle-class and working-class white Americans who harbor resentment towards a perceived “rigged system” which Trump has claimed numerous times benefits not only the rich, but the “line-jumping” immigrants who take jobs ahead of those who were born in the United States (Katch). He has maintained that these U.S. born Americans “played by the rules.”

Throughout his campaign and presidency, Donald Trump has used hate speech and racist rhetoric to paint hard-working immigrants in a negative light.  He has continuously spoken negatively about minorities who are the backbone of the United States.  Our country, which has always prided itself on being the land of the free, is suddenly not so. The United States is now an unsafe place for people of color to settle. Donald Trump has employed well-known racists in his cabinet, and has yet to address the racially-motivated hate crimes that are occurring nationwide.  As a result, people have come to believe that under his presidency, hatred and racism is allowed. For years, people have flocked to the United States in hopes of attaining the American Dream. With Donald Trump as president, fewer people feel comfortable settling here. He has used racial slurs to tarnish the identity of millions of people and has made an effort to demonize them. Throughout this dark time in the United States, Canada has lead with the utmost grace. Canada has welcomed thousands of people into their country, and has let the world know that diversity is welcomed and wanted. Unlike Donald Trump, who seems to be advocating for a white America, Canada has graciously accepted immigrants and treated them with respect. The current president has lost sight of what it truly means to be an American. The United States, once a place where anyone could pursue their dreams, is now a place where many people are unsure of their future. In this dark time in American politics, Canada has led by example of how immigrants should be treated. Donald Trump and the American people could stand to learn a thing or two from our neighbors in Canada.

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