“I will build a great wall–and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me–and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”
Those words were among the best that Donald Trump spilled at his famous, hilarious announcement of his 2016 presidential campaign. From a personal standpoint, I was doubled over in laughter for most of what I watched. Before he even descended down an escalator like a modern-day savior the American people, the “we want Trump!” demands radiating from the audience got me in tears.
In all honesty, though, Trump isn’t much of a laughing matter anymore– he’s more so just flat out scary.
The comments I laughed off were taken to heart by many, particularly Republicans. Nearly 56 percent of registered Republicans believe that Mexico is now a threat to the United States. An even larger number, 65 percent, would agree with building a fence to border off the U.S. from Mexico.
“We have people who are crooks, you could have terrorists, you can have Islamic terrorists, you can have anything coming across the border. We don’t do anything about it. If I run and when, I would start by building a powerful border again,” Trump preached. The new public enemy no. 1– Islamic crooks from over the border, at least if you ask the majority of Trump supporters.
While I’m laughing and others are cowering in fear, Trump’s still planning on forcing over 11 million people back out of the U.S., a move that’s on par with that of other authoritative dictators.
But Trump, of course, says he isn’t pushing the move as some kind of a nativist, racist movement. Instead, it’s a matter of safety and security. Trump’s argument is pretty basic: “[Immigrants] are bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.”
As for immigrants bringing crime, that’s not completely valid. Between 1990 and 2013, though immigration rates tripled, violent crime rates (meaning anything involving assault, rape, murder, etc.) dropped by 48 percent. I’ve talked about this before, but the arrest record in the U.S. of nearly 800 people per every 100 thousand doesn’t stay consistent when referring to immigrant populations- only 297 per every 100 thousand immigrants, regardless of nationality, is incarcerated.
As for immigrants not paying taxes, that’s just simply not true. Every worker in America is required to pay income tax– all immigrants included.
As for them taking jobs away from the economy, that’s also not true. Research shows that immigrants, particularly from countries such as China and India, have created thousands of jobs and billions in revenue.
So though Trump and his supporters can rail on about how the wall will make our country great again, I’m thinking the problems we’re facing may be more internal than they seem, and I hope others will too.