Most of my coworkers are Latinos – most of those are El Salvadoran. So when we went out for lunch one day, it was only a matter of time before they found out I was leaning towards Trump.
Needless to say, it got awkward at first. First came the comments about his disparaging attacks on Latinos. Then his comments about Muslims. But after I wasn’t knuckling other to either one, since I honestly think both charges are bullshit, the silence led one of them to make an illuminating comment:
“Of course we need to have laws.”
We need to have laws. Indeed. That’s the crux of the Trump candidacy, and it’s the crux of the European electoral tumult.
I’ve been in politics a long time – since my naive days of Jerry Brown’s 1992 presidential campaign. I can say that the primaries are a brainstorming session for both parties – they let any comers shoot off any strange and unformed ideas they have, and see what sticks with the voters. It’s only towards the end of the primaries, heading into the convention, that they decide it’s time to close down the session and rally around a candidate they feel represents them.
Only sometimes it doesn’t quite work as planned. Like this year. This year has been a real popular backlash against ruling class policy – that of abolishing all immigration law, and allowing anybody on earth to move anywhere they want. We may have our “illegal immigrant” problem here at home (I’ll get to that in a bit). But it’s nothing compared to the brilliant EU loophole of allowing “refugee” status to people in any one country and then letting them in through that back door into any other country in Europe.
As Douglas Murray puts it “‘imagine there’s no countries’? We don’t have to imagine it, we’re seeing the real consequences of getting rid of borders, and that’s people blowing themselves up in the heart of Paris.”
It’s no stretch to say this is deliberate policy. And part of that policy is to smear anyone who criticises the scrapping of immigration law and borders as a bigot. This is happening both in European and American governments, both Democrat and Republican parties.
And that’s why when Trump comes in and says things like “build that wall” or “seal the borders” it’s a signal that he supports something THEY CANNOT ALLOW TO HAPPEN.
The remarks themselves aren’t even worth scrutinizing that much. In a brainstorming session, one wants provocative remarks like this, because they spur thought, reaction, debate. Nevermind if they’re unworkable or offensive, we have plenty of time to take those comments, see the direction they’re going in, and hammer them out into workable policy.
Like the “ban all Muslims” remark. Nevermind that they twisted what he said. Nevermind that there’s no way to ban based on religion. But there are bans based on country of origin. It’s not that hard to go from one to the other, and we did it to Iran after their hijackings.
But back to the American issue of immigration. If I make one point, it’s this. It’s okay to demand immigration be made legal. It’s okay to make sure those immigrating here legally can do so more easily than those who don’t. It’s okay to demand that those who pose a terrorism risk aren’t allowed in. The more voters who make these demands are made to feel like bigots, the more they will rally and solidify behind a man like Trump.
It’s in everyone’s interests that everyone in this country is here legally. The fact is, someone who is here working illegally is someone who is working with no rights. Are there issues with this? Of course. That’s a whole separate article.
But nobody’s saying “kick out all the Mexicans” or “Mexicans are criminals”. Those are just slanders. Trump’s main remark, time and again, is that we can’t just ignore our own laws and let people pour over without any record.
That’s a great starting point. If we’re short on workers, nobody has a problem with liberalizing immigration law. As my coworkers told me, and I suspected, poor Latin Americans can’t immigrate legally to USA. Only the rich can. Well, that’s a problem. And we can change that. With laws. Not by ignoring laws and ridiculing those that have a problem with it.
It’s no secret that America’s a nation of immigrants. My coworkers relay to me their parents’ stories of escaping violence and poverty to seek a better life in America, and honestly, it doesn’t sound too different from anybody else’s story. That’s why nobody’s doing themselves any favors by claiming the Trump campaign anti-immigrant. Because those who’ve been paying attention to Trump’s remarks realize it’s a “pro-law” campaign.
Because America is a nation of immigrants, but it’s also a nation of laws. And one doesn’t trump the other.