Donald Trump has become infamous for his racist, nativist statements about Mexican immigration and Mexico.
He tells us that “We are taking Mexico’s problems”!
The history of American immigration is that the United States has ALWAYS taken on the “problems” of other nations’ oppressed populations, with the image of America being the Statue of Liberty, that we welcome those who are denied economic opportunity, civil rights and civil liberties, and are trying to escape war in their homelands.
America is a land of immigrants, and not all of them have been “legal” or “documented”.
People have fled to the Unites States in desperation, to escape deprivation, crime, war, discrimination, prejudice, and hatred.
And each group that has come, there has been fear that some of those arriving might bring in crime, and a small percentage have done so.
But that does not mean that we should hold 98 percent of immigrants who are good people and just want a better life from coming in to America, as the land of opportunity.
If we had done that, our nation would not have been blessed with the major contributions made by millions of immigrants.
And for those who did not get special notice for their contributions, they were still law abiding citizens, bringing up their children to be Americans, and helping the economic growth of the American republic.
We had Irish gangs; Italian Mafia; Jewish gangsters; Chinese opium dealers; and bad elements from every ethnic and nationality group that has become part of the American fabric.
But the overwhelming positive accomplishments of America’s immigrants far outweigh the few cases of criminal elements, and we should not allow stereotyping of any immigrant group to be spread by hateful propaganda.
We have seen the discrimination and prejudice seen in the immigration laws in the 1920s against Jews, Italians, and others from post World War I Europe. We have seen the anti Oriental immigration laws against the Chinese in the 1880s and the Japanese in the 1920s; we have seen the riots and bloodshed against many different immigrant groups over time. We have seen the nativist movements that led to the Know Nothing Party in the 1850s, the anti Semitism of the 1930s and 1940s, and now the Islamophobia of the past decade.
The fact that we have Congressman Steve King of Iowa; former Congressman Tom Tancredo of Colorado; past Presidential contender Pat Buchanan; Islamophobe Pamela Geller; and a whole slew of right wing talk radio and Fox News Channel commentators who are nativists and racists, does not mean we should take it lying down.
We need to fight back vigorously against such hatemongers, and while we need to work on ending illegal immigration, we should welcome those who are here, and only deport those shown to be engaged in criminal conspiracies.