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.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...

8 replies on “The Anglo-centric Viewpoint to Immigration”

  1. Yea, Eastern European women are not “Anglo” or for that matter anybody not from England.

    You cannot call out Trump for using shorthand (or being racist) and then use it yourself.



  2. My father’s Korean born wife also took over 10 years to become a citizen because during the period she had a green card, the Mariel boat lift happened and as a green card holder in South Florida she had her final approval stretched out for years as what was then INS was overloaded processing both folks fleeing Cuba and the criminals Castro released from his jails. Your column totally ignores the fact that Trump focuses on illegal immigration not immigration in general. Nor does it focus on the social engineering program Mexican politicians and wealthy Mexican nationals like to brag about that encourages the hard to employ to move here and send remittances home (which both banks and the Mexican government make money on.) I support streamlining our immigration process to make it easier for legal immigrants to come here and become US citizens. I support the creation of a temporary worker status for industries that genuinely need to import labor, provided that employers pay comparable wages to what US employees are paid and an additional small tax that ensures imported workers cost a little more. That will keep the system honest. I think the temporary worker program is important because not all who come here really want to be US citizens–some just want to work. This would provide that path. But if we do all that, we also need to be as hard hearted to illegal aliens as Mexico is. No services, no school access, no birthright citizenship for those who are not documented to legally reside here and no medical care. If we make it easy for folks to have a path to come here legally, but impossible to live here illegally, people will obey the law and those already here illegally will be motivated to pursue one of the two legal options which should be open to them. I agree those rules should apply on all borders to everyone who would come here. People come here because our system of laws makes us a better place to live than countries where crime, corruption and poverty eliminate the possibility to advance socioeconomically. But if we fail to enforce those laws, we will become the country people are fleeing because everyone will be picking and choosing what laws are convenient for them to obey and our schools and support systems will get stretched beyond the abilities to provide reasonable levels of immigrant assistance.

  3. We are not being invaded by Asians or northern border migrants. We are being invaded by illegal aliens from Mexico and Central America. I do not believe that Americans should pay the price for the failed economies of failed states. Trump is the only candidate telling it like it is while the others dance around the issue with “comprehensive immigration reform” rhetoric, code for “do nothing.”

  4. First off not all whites are from Anglo decent. Max no all people from England are Anglo Saxons. Some of my ancestors and me would challenge you on that one ,hey some of us are Celtic no Anglos. Hey and some do take offence in being called as such. Then Martin is clearly coming from a Latin centric view point. Geeeez!

    1. Thomas,

      That’s what I meant and probably did not word correctly. That “Anglos” are from England. Hell, “England” is play on the word “Anglo”.



  5. The presumption is that only whites are for Border and Immigration controls. As one travels, talks or reads news. The proponents are diverse. For that matter, other countries, being overwhelmed with refugees or immigration, are having to erect fences, turn back or deport.

    It’s not an issue just in the US or whites. It’s an issue of economics and security. All the countries are bursting at the seams trying to help the immigrants. They are also being faced with groups that misunderstand how assimilation is supposed to work. They want the host country to change the culture and laws to accccomodate the immigrants. Would you want Uncle Fred, who has no where to stay, move in and tell you what the rules will be ?

    If fences are so terrible and anti-immigrant then why the main criticizer Mexico have a fence with guard towers on its southern border ? Why doesn’t Mexico enforce border laws at its Northern border? Why doesn’t Mexico assume responsibility first it’s people? Improve their living conditions? Is it because any improvement would cut into the mordida?

    Trump hasn’t singled out Mexicans, he has expressed repeatedly that all nations have people sneaking into the U.S. He has stated he wants the bad ones gone and identification of who is here. For some reason the liberal ignores those statements and focuses on edited versions that misrepresent his views. Should he take time to filter his statements, sure. But, then he is only expressing views that others whisper in private.

    Why doesn’t he go after Indians, well how often do you see Indians being homeless, applying for government benefits, refusing to assimilate? The Indians I see are educated or own a small business. I asked a Indian gas station owner how is it Indians do so well. He stated the family saves, sends one or two legally. They work seven days a week to save and buy the gas station. Then they start saving to bring someone else. The original ones go to school or start another business. I’m sure there are some Indians with issues, but we don’t see or hear much because it is such a small number. The same can be said for some of the immigrants,.

    I’m not saying Mexicans or Hispanics don’t do very well. There are many successful businesses, professionals, actors, writers, scientists, etc. Not everyone in the U.S. to include whites will not be successful for any number of reasons.

    Canada and the U.S. have a porous border, some out of the way places use an honor system because the border can be just crossing a street. They don’t stay because they have their thing going in Canada. It’s true that Canada has a liberal immigration policy and potential could be the source of attacks in the U.S. They are addressing the border issue but not as focused because there aren’t mass crossings.

    What might help is to reinstate the Bracero program and Mexico to enforce the border laws. However make sure the workers get paid directly lest the Mexican government steal their wages again. The Mexican has the solution but refuses to do anything except to demand open borders and U.S. Benefits for their people. They have to start reforming the economy,education, security, elections and services. Until that happens, it’s people will continue to leave. It’s much easier to make it someone else’s problem. Plus more money for greed. Can you image the outrage if US citizens started relocating to Mexico without permission and overwhelming their “so called social services”? I think we would start seeing fences with guard towers on its northern border as well.

    By the way, American is understood and acccepted internationally to mean the US.

  6. Martin be fair and speak how illegal immigrants are treated by the Mexican government and the abuse by the criminal element in Mexico. There are been reports of the illegal immigrant be executed by people in the government. Compared to a lot of countries in the world the U.S. has some of the most lax immigration enforcement in the world. Hey Martin go look a what is required to be legal immigrant to Mexico.

  7. I think that the liberal-centric perspective often mistakenly conflates the issue of legal versus illegal immigration. There is little, if any, credence to the notion that illegal immigration is a net benefit to the nation along numerous facets. However, in order to disparage opponents of wide open borders for any and all to come, liberals must try to paint adversaries into a corner. You either agree with their viewpoint, or you become a nationalist, or if they’re really desperate, a xenophob that is against any and all immigration. The truth is that many conservatives clearly understand the distinction. The vast majority agree with a healthy influx of foreign born individuals ready to assimilate with our political culture. The disagreement, though, stems from how to deal with those individuals whose first action in this country is to break its laws by entering illegally. The US has been very embracing of legal immigrants, even recently. In fact, the US currently has more foreign born citizens, as a proportion of its total population, than at any time in its history. And, the US has more foreign born citizens total than any other country, by far. US citizens, of all political and racial backgrounds, employ immigrants, buy goods and services from them, call them coworkers, call them neighbors. And, above all, we understand their struggle to live in this country productively, because it’s not easy. The difference between open borders advocates, and conservatives is that we would rather not see individuals trample over the sacrifices of others who have worked hard to become US citizens, the legal way. If you are to be intellectually honest, let us focus on the true centricities; namely, those that are open-border centric and those that are limited, legal-immigration centric. Any other distinction is just sensationalism, guised in faux compassion and empathy, for selfish purposes without concern for the greater good.

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