Recently in the news, we have seen a lot about the arguments between parties and members in the same party about the ending or the keeping of DACA. The most recent government shutdown that lasted about 2 days in January was caused by the disagreement of parties on the pressing subject. Trump and the Republican party compromised with the Democratic party that he would legalize all under DACA if Democrats would agree to fund the wall and end the visa lottery and “chain migration”. When presented with two compromises to the bill, 37 Republicans voted for legalization of “Dreamers”, more border security, and reduction of legal immigration. However, only 8 voted for not legalizing Dreamers, more border security, and more legal immigration.

There is an irony in Trump’s compromises and in his ideals of immigration. By legalizing “Dreamers”, who are undocumented, he is lowering the immigration of legal, documented immigrants. Furthermore, Trump never actually uses the term illegal/undocumented immigrants when talking about immigrants. However, he sure has a lot to say about where they come from. His controversial statements about Mexico and Latinos are just one example of the racism behind this irony and confusion of immigration under the administration; the Muslim ban is another. The administration does not support immigration of any kind, legal or illegal, of people (mostly darker-skinned) from developing countries, such as those in predominantly Muslim or Latin-American countries. “Trump replaced the legal-illegal distinction with one that turned out to have more resonance on the activist right: The distinction between white Christian immigrants and non-white, and non-Christian ones.”

In a book called “White Backlash”, the writers cite a poll that shows that 61% of Americans believe “illegal immigrant” is only referring to those of Latin-American descent, however, statistics show, only a quarter of Latino immigrants are undocumented. In a research study conducted by Public Religion Research Institute, “it found that Republicans were only three points more likely than Democrats to want to reduce immigration from “predominantly Christian countries” and only seven points more likely to want to reduce immigration from Europe. By contrast, they were 33 points more likely to support reducing immigration from Mexico and Central America and 41 points more likely to support reducing immigration from ‘predominantly Muslim countries.'” The findings behind this clearly show that the issues behind the arguments of illegal immigration in today’s society can be rooted and based on racism and xenophobia.


CC BY-SA 4.0 “Legal Good, Illegal Bad” by Sophie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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