ECLECTIC RANT: Trump continues his anti-immigrant politics

Ralph E. Stone
Friday June 14, 2019 - 06:36:00 PM

Continuing to play his anti-immigration politics, Trump announced a series of tariffs on Mexican goods starting at 5% and growing to 25% to compel Mexico to stem the flow of migrants to this country. It didn’t matter to him that the tariffs would disrupt a critical marketplace.  

At the eleventh hour, Trump suspended the tariffs saying that Mexico had agreed to new and broader concessions to curb migration, which included deployment of its National Guard throughout Mexico, giving priority to its southern border, and an expansion of a program to allow asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico while their legal cases proceed. 

In the announcement of the tariff suspension, Trump failed to disclose that Mexico had already agreed to these “new and broader” concessions last December. With much fanfare, Trump “solved” a problem that didn’t exist. His loyal supporters probably cheered anyway. 

Remember, Trump began his anti-immigrant politics during the 2016 presidential campaign when he promised voters a "big, beautiful" concrete wall along the southern border, that Mexico would pay for. He believes his anti-immigrant policies will help his chances for reelection in 2020.  

Trump calls the influx of undocumented immigrants an “invasion,” using one of the oldest anti-immigrant fear-mongering metaphors. Then it was employed to oppose Irish Catholics, Asians, Latinos, Germans, Jews and just about everyone except white Protestants of English ancestry.  

Trump uses the metaphor to oppose asylum-seekers from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua. Asylum-seekers are not “animals and criminals,” but individuals and families escaping poverty, drought, corrupt authoritarian governments, and gang violence. 

It doesn’t seem to matter to Trump that the best evidence of a lack of a threat to the nation at our Southern border with Mexico is the January 29, 2019, Worldwide Assessment of the Intelligence Community, which notably does not include any threat to the nation.  

We can only hope Trump’s fear-mongering anti-immigrant policies hurt, rather than help him in 2020.