Not a Ray of Light in Trump Immigration Speech by Thomas Martin Saturday


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Within hours of looking somewhat presidential while visiting Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump unloaded over a one hour barrage of anti-immigrant hate. Trump’s ten point plan included a number of items the U.S. is already doing, though Trump’s version of those points were lodged in extreme rhetoric concerning immediately deporting two million immigrant criminals. The impression left on the listener had to be that illegal immigrants commit the lion’s share of the crime and murder in the United States. Mass deportations and that of breaking up immigrant families are on as strong as ever.

His “softening” policy of reaching out to Latinos fell shattering throughout the hall in Phoenix as supporters yelled “U.S.A!” repeatedly. This morning several of the Hispanic Advisory Committee Members resigned in the knowledge they had been misled. Their impression is the accurate one. They’d been used as well.

While the speech included a few lines of plausible deniability reassuring undocumented persons in the United States that only after all the criminals were removed, and the border fully secured, would his administration turn to deciding what to do with them. He also said that any undocumented person was subject to immediate deportation if discovered making such assurances meaningless.

While in the afternoon in Mexico he made the comment that Mexican immigration into the United States was a major humanitarian crisis suggesting wisely that the two nations work together on the issue. But in Phoenix just hours later he made clear that the humanitarian concerns for undocumented immigrants would be unimportant, and not part of his immigration policy at all. He stated that all undocumented persons in the United States must leave and then they might seek legal entrance at some future time.

It was a true Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde day. Presidents do not completely contradict their policies within 24 hours. That is totally un-presidential. The Trump Campaign has admitted to the media that the visit in Mexico was a mere photo op.

Trump called for tripling the number of ICE deportation officers, building the wall, making Mexico pay for it, even though the President of Mexico made it clear his nation would not pay for it. Trump snarkily said “they just have not realized it yet.”

But it was a reference to the year 1965 as the beginning of where in letting in 59 million immigrants into the nation up until 2015 things went wrong that is sinister. My historians’ brain suddenly was ringing the alarm bells. What happened in 1965 that was so wrong you ask?

The Lyndon Johnson Administration passed the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, abolishing the old National Origins Act of 1924, setting an exceedingly strict quota for immigration and excluding people from Southern and Eastern Europe. From this year the United States saw more immigration from Latin America and Asia, places that were previously severely limited and reflecting America’s xenophobia following World War I.

The 1924 law set such limited quota’s (a certain number) of new immigrants that immigration to the United States fell dramatically. Notable also in what John Higham, a historian of the period calls “the tribal twenties,” was a surge in new membership in the KKK. Startlingly, Trump’s proposed return to a strict quota system does include a resurgence of the Alternate Right, heavily populated with xenophobes, Trump’s main base of support. These people today are like the 1920’s white nationalists or in other words white supremacists.

Worse still is Trump’s proposed ideological test for immigrants to see if they love us enough, share our values (whoever the “our” are) and who will on merit be let into the nation. It is but a small step to begin deporting Muslim American citizens, as well as some actual citizens who are Latino. No American citizen is safe from severe vetting and an ideological test.

This is a prescription for white immigrants only, and with the obvious removal of some 11 million undocumented immigrants, overwhelmingly of color, it is a prescription also for a distinct whitening of America in the coming years. One key white nationalist even said this morning that it was a clear return to the policy of 1924. It is. David Duke is ecstatic.

So if you are an independent voter, a white woman, a reluctant Trump supporter due to fears he might be a racist; your fears are now fully justified no matter what antics he engages in from here on. Donald J. Trump, is a white nationalist racist running as a Republican, a demagogue with a narcissistic authoritarian mind, unconcerned for our Constitution and its Bill of Rights, and feeling he will dictate what happens in the nation from hereon. That ought to scare any voter other than the most racist haters who love him so much.

The immigration policy speech was yelled in a rant of policy points and filled with racist xenophobic venom. Trump has confirmed even more how he is unfit to serve as the President of one of the largest democracies in the world.

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