When President Donald J. Trump launched his presidential campaign in June 2015, he disparaged Mexican immigrants.
“When México sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists and some, I assume, are good people, but I speak to border guards and they’re telling us what we’re getting,” said Trump.
The president has gone downhill since when it comes to immigration, as demonstrated by his preference for Norwegian immigrants over those from Haiti and El Salvador in recent closed-door negotiations with Congressional leaders.
According to various people, Trump said: “What do we want Haitians here for? Why do we want all these people from Africa here? Why do we want all these people from shithole countries?”
He then added: “We should have people from places like Norway.”
So, it is no surprise Trump has been using Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients as a pawn in his effort to get a spending plan passed, despite assuring the Dreamers they had “nothing to worry about” when he ended the program last September.
In a meeting with Congressional leaders, Trump responded positively to Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s suggestion that a “clean” Dream Act be passed and that other immigration components can be dealt with later. Seconds later, after House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, mentioned that the border wall and other immigration issues needed to be included, the president changed his tune.
Now, Trump is demanding billions for a border wall, a stop to family reunification (Trump calls it a “horrible” system; others call it “chain migration”), and an end of a visa lottery system for new immigrants if a Dream Act is to pass.
Now, he is blaming the Democrats if the government shuts down at midnight Friday for lack of a spending plan.
It is no surprise that the Trump administration announced on Jan. 8 it will halt the Temporary Protected Status for Salvadorans who fled their country in the wake of a 2001 earthquake. The action will force about 200,000 Salvadorans to uproot from their homes and return to El Salvador by September 2019. The status had been extended several times by various presidents.
Pablo Alvarado, executive director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, was blunt in explaining Trump’s decision to Consortiumnews.com: “Their motivation is very clear: to reduce the number of non-white immigrants. They are scared of the changing demographics in our country. This is their way of slowing down the emergence of a new majority. They are no longer just going after undocumented people, they are taking away the papers of people with documents.”
It is no surprise the Trump administration has vowed to crack down on sanctuary cities and the sanctuary state of California, although that definition does not mean undocumented residents are free to flaunt the laws. It only means that local law enforcement, in an effort to gain the trust of the immigrant community in reporting and helping solve crimes, will not act as immigration agents.
We have often reported on the contributions of immigrants over the course of this country’s founding to today. Diversity has made the nation strong. Trump’s efforts to peel away that diversity is bad news.