Immigration and Donald Trump’s Lies
Immigrants play a huge role in the history of the United States. In fact, 12.7 percent of Americans were born in another country, as of 2010 (CSPAN Presentation), and the number continues to increase to this day. It is also important to point out that the original white population, pilgrims, were immigrants. The United States has had more than one million people obtaining lawful permanent resident status every year since 2005, except for 2013 when there were 990,553 (Homeland Security). In fact, according to the 2017 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, the number of immigrants has actually increased since Trump came into office (Homeland Security).
This would mean that all of Trump’s claims to be protecting the United States by reducing immigration have not come into play yet, as the opposite is actually happening. A study done by Cato Institute also concluded that no refugee has been involved in a fatal terrorist attack since the Refugee Act of 1980 was set up (Levenson).
Despite immigrants being so interwoven in America’s history, people’s opinions continue to clash on the issue of letting them in. A study done by D. Chavez, from the University of Chicago, looks very deeply into the opinions of Americans on immigration. According to this study, “A higher proportion of favorable opinions towards immigration is associated with higher levels of education.” (Chavez). The reason for this might be that people with higher education would be taught to evaluate sources and be more likely to look at reliable data and reasoning, instead of believing all they hear from local news sources and media. In this survey, Christians surveyed had much larger percentages of people wanting the number of immigrants in the U.S. to be reduced compared to Jews, atheists, and Eastern religions and Islam (Chavez). This bit of information might be surprising to many people, as Christianity is based on Jesus, who preaches a lot on serving others, loving neighbors, and accepting people of other countries and nationalities. This study also confirmed the generally well known observation that Democrats lean more towards accepting immigrants, while Republicans are more against it. 21.4% of the Democrats wished to reduce immigration, whereas for Republicans it was 32.0% (Chavez). Commonly known, one of the core stances of the democratic party is equal opportunity, regardless of race, gender, religion and more. On the other hand, the Republican party leans towards pressing individual responsibility and self liability within society, wishing for less government involvement to help and involvement in communities and people’s lives. The issue of different percentages for reduced immigration likely stems from these core values of the parties.
Attitudes toward immigration have of course, been greatly influenced by the current president of the United States: Donald J. Trump. The president persists in lying and twisting information to prove his points and please his supporters, namely the Republican party. As mentioned above, the Republican party is the forefront in the press for reduced immigration and acceptance of refugees. Furthermore, Trump has continually and without proof (self-acknowledged) described Central American migrant caravans to contain “criminals and unknown Middle Easterners” (Levenson). The Central American migrant caravan has not been found to carry any Middle Easterners to this day. The president has also been known to repeatedly stereotype and generalized entire populations, calling Mexicans “rapists” (Points if View Reference Center). and drug dealers. He often describes refugees as “so dangerous”, as seen on twitter and in interviews (Consumer Health Complete). Using this corrupt claim to back up his actions, he has set various laws, extremely limiting the amount of refugees accepted into the United States. However as mentioned before, no refugee has even been implied to have been involved in a fatal terrorist case since 1980, when the Refugee Act was set up (Levenson). This reasoning should be expected to reverse some of these laws limiting the aid and acceptance of refugees from war ridden countries, yet many continue to believe and support these actions.
Contrary to the president’s claims, immigrants have actually been proven to greatly aid in the growth and development of this country’s economy. In the United States, immigrants are 30 percent more likely to start a business than non-immigrants (Small Business Administration). The reasoning behind this could be that immigrants are more driven and are determined to make better lives for themselves, having moved to an entirely new country for these opportunities. Immigration also opens up more jobs (Peri), as businesses lead to increased opportunities for employment. Another reason that immigration opens up more jobs is in how adults immigrating to the U.S. generally have lower education, and they therefore take on different jobs (Peri) than citizens with higher education, as the United States government sets laws for the minimum education one must receive. These jobs include maids, housekeepers, construction workers, and janitors, the majority of these jobs being occupied by native born workers (Camarota and Zeigler). According to the Congressional Budget Office, “comprehensive immigration reform would increase GDP by between 0.8 percent and 1.3 percent from 2012 to 2016” (Furman and Gray). Comprehensive immigration reform is essentially a bill that creates a “tough, yet fair legislation for immigrant acceptance” (US Senate). Conclusively, these immigrant reforms have aided our country in opening up new opportunities and increasing net exports.