One of the most difficult issues to address during any discussion about the immigration issue is its tendency to devolve into a discussion about racism. I have no doubt that much of the debate about immigration is driven by racism, or the color of people’s skin. However, and this is important, not all of the Donald Trump and Ann Coulter supporters are racist. Rather, they are attracted to the extreme immigration rhetoric for reasons, like economics, because of an Anglo-centric viewpoint that causes them to lose sight of the distortions by extremists. Others focus on Trump’s persona that he has carefully constructed on not being a politician. “Woodpecker” commented on Thursday’s blog about Jorge Ramos that some support Trump because he is the voice of “many disfranchised taxpayers and voters solidly irate at the Washington crowd.” There are, of course, those xenophobes that gravitate to his nativist rhetoric.
Many of you get upset with me when I use the term “Anglo” and even more now that I am using it when writing about the immigration issue. For me, using the word “racist” is improper when generally discussing the immigration problem. This is because I do not believe that all of the anti-immigrant fervor is racist, as in the color of the skin or the origin of the individual being described.
Rather the nativist movement is driven by many different issues. Among them are cultural displacement, language conflict and economics. It is not racist to want higher wages and blame immigrants for pressuring the wages lower.
However, as I discuss immigration with many individuals invariably the issue of racism distracts away from the central issue towards a topic that inflames passions. To avoid that, I have been trying to develop a discussion point that addresses the issue of selective immigration policies while avoiding the topic of racism. It is difficult because invariably when I bring up the “white” or “Anglo” viewpoint as an underlining problem, rather than focus on the viewpoint, the discussion devolves into racism.
As an example, consider the following.
Donald Trump is popular to a specific constituency because of his rhetoric about closing the borders and deporting millions of individuals. Many of those supporting his rhetoric are not racist. They support him because they have an “Anglo-centric” viewpoint that makes their perception.
You see someone who really wants immigration control to safeguard jobs, wages or the security of the nation wants to control all immigration. In other words, shut all of the borders down until the wage situation is addressed, or the security of the country has been addressed.
The problem with Donald Trump’s immigration platform is not that he wants to close the borders down or that he wants to deport millions of people, but rather that he wants to close one border down and deport people from the south of the border. Yes, Trump has pointed out Asians as another group he sometimes dislikes, although he vacillates back and forth about them.
However, one of largest labor disrupters are the numbers of programmers coming into the United States from India. No, I am not advocating that Indian labor be excluded, I am just pointing out that Donald Trump hasn’t being picking on them as immigrants he wants out of the country. That is because the technology sector has a strong lobby that reminds everyone that Indian programmers keeps technology affordable.
Do not forget that Trump has liked, at least two immigrants, well enough to marry them. Ivana Trump (Ivana Marie Zelnickova: 1977-1992) and his current wife, Melania Trump (Melanija Knavs changed to Melania Knauss: 2005-) are the two wives that didn’t exactly immigrate, as they should have. Ivana Trump, born in Czechoslovakia took 11 years, after marrying Trump, to become a US citizen. As a matter of fact, she has admitted to marrying an Austrian citizen in order to get a passport to leave her birth country. Some would call that immigration fraud. Melania Trump, for her part, lived in the United States for about 20 years before becoming a US citizen. She did not become a US citizen, until about a year after marrying Trump. Those that understand the immigration bureaucracy for the United States can clearly see how the marriage likely helped her become a US citizen. Both women lived and worked in the United States without becoming US citizens. It is unclear under what visas they were in the United States under, however, the fact is that it took them at least a decade, and only after marrying Trump, to become citizens.
Trump’s rhetoric, when viewed without the Anglo-centric viewpoint, clearly shows that Donald Trump is not anti-immigrant but rather anti-immigrant about a select group of immigrants.
I do not have a problem with those that advocate expelling all immigrants (documented or undocumented), shutting down all immigration into the country or sealing shut all borders into the United States.
Picking on only one group, the southern border, as Donald Trump has is selective immigration reform. It little nothing to do with job growth, taxes or the security of the nation and it has everything to do with keeping certain groups of people out of the country.
That makes Donald Trump a racist.
However, that does not make all of his supporters’ racist. That is an important distinction to keep in mind.
By keeping that distinction in mind then allows us to discuss immigration in a more rational way.
If someone wants to end or change immigration to the United States because of economic or security then the call to action should be to end immigration from all parts of the world. Likewise, if the call to arms is to close the borders, then it should be two close both the northern and the southern borders.
I realize that using the term “Anglo” bothers some of you but I cannot think of a better way to describe the viewpoint that drives much of the debate. If you know of a better word to use I would be happy to adopt it.
In the meantime, as you listen to Donald Trump’s rhetoric about immigration, stop for a moment and ask yourself, is Donald Trump talking about all immigrants or only a select few?
Understanding that distinction then allows us to delve deeper into the discussion about immigration.
In the coming months I will be delving deeper into the immigration issue and will refer anyone trying to turn the debate into an issue of racism to this post. This will allow us the opportunity to constructively discuss immigration from the perspective of economics, security, cultural displacement and even the need to keep the US as a nation of US-centered values and culture. You will notice that I seldom use the word “America” because the fact is that everyone in the Americas is American. Therefore, let’s keep that distinction in place.