The 2016 election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was one of the most controversial in history. A lot of it has to do with this history on immigration and how to deal with it. The debate between Trump and Clinton was mainly regarding immigrants like Muslims and Mexicans. Just like how it was in 1890 with the Jewish and Italian immigrants. The immigration situations today are having the same outcome but with different groups of people.
Italian immigrants to the United States from 1890 onward became a part of what is known as “New Immigration,” which is the third and largest wave of immigration from Europe and consisted of Slavs, Jews, and Italians. Both these populations were the largest immigrant groups in their respective cities. Both groups were overwhelmingly working-class and maintained close connections to their homelands though that relationship differed: many Italians desired to return one day to Italy, viewing their sojourn to America as temporary, whereas few Jews envisioned returning to the Pale of Settlement. Immigrant Jews, both female and male, arrived in America with considerable experience of urban life in a capitalist economy. Even though the mass migration of Jews from Eastern Europe was a “family migration,” the process of leaving the Old World for the New often temporarily disrupted families. Jews engaged in chain migration, in which one member of an extended family secured a place in the new country and then bought a ticket for siblings so that they could settle in America.
Americans did not like how the immigrants were invading their land. A lot of they feared that their jobs would be taken away and over population of the country. The economic-caused hostility derived from Italian immigrants’ roles as “strikebreakers” and “wage cutters” from 1870 onward. American workers feared the new machinery introduced to multiple industries, therefore they held strikes and the Italians filled their jobs as scabs. More and more immigrant started to work in factories in the US and also work skilled jobs. Americans did not like this because it was taking away jobs from them. This is one of the main reasons why immigration is such a big conflict today.
In the early 2000’s, the number of Mexican immigrants were increasing from 4 billion and since then they have increased more. They come here looking for better opportunity and a better life. But when they come here how will they live a life without money? They need jobs but according to President Donald Trump, “they’re taking our jobs. They’re taking our manufacturing jobs. They’re taking our money.” He thinks they will steal the jobs that American people have so has decided to build a wall. Trump has made comments about building it along the border of Mexico and the US. He wanted to stop the immigration problem so he thought the way to do it was building a wall. Trump said he “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.” Rumors say it will stretch to about 2,000 miles long and be around 55 feet high. On top of that, he wanted Mexico to pay for it. He did not want the Mexican immigrants to take the American citizens jobs or have any illegal action made by them. He also did not want a bunch of illegal people over populating the country. As you can see, our president is doing the same thing that we did in 1980 to make ourselves “better.”
He even made a law called the “travel ban” which bans Muslims to travel into the United States. Not every muslim is affected by this but a large majority of this includes “all travellers who have nationality of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen” which “are not permitted to enter the US for 90 days, or be issued an immigrant or non-immigrant visa.” This was after the consideration of all the terrorist attacks and he made the law to make America safer. Again, he did it out of fear for himself and the people in the United States. Even though it is not fair to ban the whole country, he is just trying to make it safer for everyone. But when he did this, Americans became racist and very exclusive towards them. There were racial remarks, assumptions that every terrorist attack was made by a Muslim group, and protests. The Muslim people living in America must feel like they are treated unfairly and maybe even felt awkward. His decision affected many people in the country and some parts of the world.
We have repeated history because of fear and it has affected many people all of the world. Just like in the 1980’s, we are excluding certain ethnicities because of fear. Just because we are afraid of a certain group people over populating our country, it does not give us right to exclude them because they are humans too.
Article by Hailey Honaker and Kelcie Bonal