“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
– Martin Luther King 1963
American constitution gives the guarantee to each American to be treated equally and fairly in the political, legal and economic arena.
Martin Luther King lived for a dream to make American truly democratic and when Barack Obama was elected, the dream seemed to have come true. But, recent election campaigns seem to be regressive and America is drifting away from the principles of democracy. Elections campaigns in the USA look boorish, populist and are picking on the issue of immigrants due to its situational advantage. They have no sincere purpose of addressing the challenge thus, misleading people of America into believing that immigrants are horrible for the future of Americans.
I am referring to Donald Trump’s inconsistent statements. Before delving into the opportunist or populist approach that Trump has reflected through his statements, let’s look at immigration law along with its pros and cons.
The U.S. immigration law.
The Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA), is the US governing body for immigration policy. It limits worldwide 675,000 permanent immigrants annually, with some exception of close family members.
Lawful permanent residency gives the privilege for a foreign national to work, live lawfully in the US. Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) are allowed to apply almost for all jobs and can live in the country in spite of being unemployed. The country also allows some amount of non-citizens on temporary basis annually.
Immigration is based on the following principles:
- Reunification of families.
- Immigrants who are valuable for the US economy as they have special skills to contribute.
- Promoting diversity.
Pros and cons of immigration.
- Immigrants contribute to the culture and economy of a country. They enrich cultural diversity.
- They bring in new ideas, innovation, and skills thus, contributing to the progress of a country.
- Young workers pay taxes and thus, contribute to the pension fund for senior citizens, and therefore, economy.
- A high number of immigrants places stress on the infrastructure and services of the host country.
- Immigrants have a challenge settling, adjusting to new laws and cultural background along with linguistic challenges. For the host country, it is difficult to assimilate them into the mainstream society and provide support.
- It increases labour force and at times it can be a threat through illegal immigration. The constant threat of terrorism is the new face of immigration.
Immigrants are looking out for better opportunities for future life. They move due to the poor standard of living, low wages, lack of educational facilities and slow job market in their own country.
Donald Trump, a real estate baron and billionaire businessman, now, the Presidential candidate of Republican Party is rather too erratic and unconstitutional to be trusted. Why do we say so?
Apparently, Donald Trump is here to make America like it always was;
“Let’s make America great again”. “Let’s build a wall.”
He makes loose statements and there is a furor of reaction from supporters and media. Everyone seems to laud his bold and undemocratic statements. There is a need to understand what Trump promises to Americans if he becomes the President.
What are the issues Trump is discussing on his website?
He believes that decades of harmful trade deals and immigration policies have destroyed American middle class. Around 40% of black teenagers face the wrath of unemployment. He says on his website that foreign workers in the country pull salaries down, keeping unemployment high, making life tougher for poor, middle-class Americans and for immigrants too. Nearly half of immigrants and their children live in poverty with 60% of Hispanic immigrants.
Trump says that every year America includes 2 million new immigrants, dependents, refugees and guest workers. So he believes that America needs to control low earning workers.
America has to stop legal immigrant visas to harmful people like 9/11 hijackers, Boston Bombers, and immigration system is used to attack America.
To achieve this, he has proposed many policies and can be find here.
If Donald Trump comes to power,
- It would be harder for immigrants to enter the US legally. American companies will find it tough to get visas for immigrant workers.
- He plans to triple the deportation force so the capacity to deport would be high.
- Illegal immigrants who left the US cannot return back for 3 to 10 years or maybe even barred permanently from applying for re-entry.
His stand is obviously starkly different from other Republicans but little can we trust his words as this billionaire businessman and real estate King keeps reversing his stand.
Why can’t Trump be trusted?
In early December 2015, for the first time, he proposed a total ban on overseas Muslims from entering the USA, soon after the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif.
In January 2016, Trump clearly stated that he doesn’t want to reverse on this statement. And said, he wanted to stop political correctness and create a country where terrorist attacks won’t happen. Later, he went on to say that Islam hates us.
In June 2016, after being nominated he was willing to soften his position and stated that Muslim ban is just a suggestion and he is quite open to other ideas. After the Orlando club attack, he made an appeal for a temporary ban until they find out what is going on with certain people from states where terrorism prevails (by saying ‘you know what those places are”). He said the ban would be lifted once the system specializes in screening people who come to the US so that the country is safe.
Later, during his different visits, he made immature and contradictory statements. He says at one point he is O.K. with Muslims based in Scotland or the UK coming to the USA and later tweeted to clarify that immigration from regions linked to terrorism should stop until the vetting process in the country is put in place.
Hillary Clinton is the candidate for Democratic Party for the President of the USA and has a more democratic view about immigration. She said in 2009, more than 55 million Americans were immigrants or their children. They were either first or second generation Americans who had some connect with their home countries but contributed significantly to the US economy, culture, and politics. It helped the US have a young population at a time when many other countries had an ageing population. She finds Trump’s view of banning people from entering America based on religion, un-American and not in sync with the American values.
American constitution cherishes democratic values of freedom and equality. It has time and again convinced and sometimes ironically forced countries to adopt democratic government. Any kind of discrimination is anti-democratic, and Donald Trump who cares less about democratic values and more about winning elections is clearly the insignificant choice Americans can make for the Presidentship.
And now, just imagine, what if Trump becomes the U.S. President? Maybe this strikes to the mind!
(Disclaimer: This is an opinionated article to reflect a viewpoint on the subject).
Cover Image Source.