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The Antelope

Trump forgets who created this mess

Trump complains about immigration, ignoring his own policies are causing the chaos

BY Elliot Gonella

With the way immigration is discussed on the news and in politics today, one could easily mistake this as the only time in our history we have had to deal with the challenge of immigration. The rhetoric, wall to wall coverage, and social media fodder makes it seem like nothing of the sort has ever happened before.  

Trump certainly has been making a spectacle of it in the past few weeks, from threatening (and then walking back from those threats) about closing the border entirely to declaring America ‘full’. It seems less like policy for Trump and more like a distraction. However, since he is the one sitting in the Oval Office, anything he says has to be taken seriously even if it is something as delinquent as closing all of the border over the idea of illegal immigration.

While it is true that illegal immigration has reached a twelve year high, it still has come nowhere close to the peak of 2000. Another key difference is that these are not single individuals who are coming through the border or overstaying their visas, but whole families. 

And in an ironic twist, Trump and his ‘hardliner’ policies may actually be encouraging the rise of illegal immigration.

Think back to the family separation debacle that started almost a year ago. Remember the coverage along with the near universal and justified outrage of it all that spawned a rare public reversal from Trump regarding what he thought would serve as the perfect deterrent? 

Because of the chaos of his own design, Trump is actually encouraging the migrants to cross the border. The immigrants know that they will only be detained by ICE for a short time, if at all, far away from the border. In an effort to combat what he saw as a problem with a moniker he called catch and release, the practice has been expanded because offices and centers are overwhelmed with the number of people.

He does it for cheap political points with his base

There has not been any significant rise in crime, no mob of looters that are slowly working their way across the country, and no social service beyond immigration is cracking under the strain of just the immigrants. There is not a disaster at our border that Trump is suggesting. 

And one has to ask the question, why? Why is Trump making an issue out of this with so many resources when many of us can go home and look out the window to see an actual flood destroying lives and communities?

He does it for cheap political points with his base. It is playing into the nativist idea that immigrants, particularly those from ‘those’ countries are here to destroy our culture, bring crime, and take our jobs. The one about jobs is a dialogue that has been spoken a thousand times over, both in jest and in all seriousness. 

It is a fallacy to be fearful of immigrants from Central America or anywhere to come and take jobs away. Just by letting in immigrants or allowing asylum there are suddenly going to be no jobs for teachers, nurses, social workers, down to the supply chain managers? Overnight are all of the desirable middle class careers going to be filled and leave millions of Americans unable to do any work?

No, they are not. The economy, jobs, and immigration does not work that way. 

Trump is using the tactic of fearing the unknown, the alien, to rally his supporters and draw attention to a problem he is more than likely responsible for. Simple and idiotic, but it cannot be denied that it is effective. Unfortunately, so long as his supporters have someone to blame it will continue to work. 

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