Politics, United States

2016 Election: Revisited

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

One Comment

  1. It is true that the third wave of immigrants from Europe were viewed differently than the rest of the nations inhabitants, but what is important to note is the reason why. The previous group of immigrants had largely been from Northern and Eastern Europe, were majority protestant and many spoke English. This group is referred to commonly as the Old Immigrants; they were widely more accepted(with the exception of the Irish) because they could assimilate easier. The New Immigrants were from Southern and Eastern Europe, in areas were English fluency was much less common, most practiced Catholicism or Judaism and had darker skin tones. This made the New Immigrants stand out much more than the old ones socially, linguistically and racially. Like mentioned in this article much animosity was directed at the New Immigrants for taking jobs of native workers, however unlike their name, discrimination against immigrants for taking jobs was nothing new. This discrimination dates back to the Gold Rush with the Chinese Exclusion Act to name one example. During the Gold Rush fines and fees were levied on immigrant miners by the native miners who wanted to force them off their claims. One could even trace the first signs of legal action to enforce tighter restrictions on immigrants to the Alien and Sedition Acts. However now the legal codes of our day have been mostly purged of racial prejudice and been rooted out by civil rights movements as they should. The immigrants that come to America often have positive effects and immigration helps build the American melting pot, one of the things that makes America great. However there is a process that must be followed to gain membership in the great American experiment and it is neither fair nor moral for these laws to be disregarded. America is a nation of laws and those laws need to be followed because they have been enacted by the representatives of the people who have been delegated the authority to act on such matters and to usurp them would be to usurp our democracy. “You don’t get to join the political destiny of a country by entering it illegally” is a quote from Charles Krauthammer that affirms his position that illegal immigrants should not be automatically granted citizenship but be required to go through the same process everyone else has too. President Trump’s position is not anti-immigration as portrayed in this article by not acknowledging that his statements about job stealing are directed towards illegal immigrants. His decision to build the wall is not solely based on economic reasons either, but on upholding the rule of law and securing the border. And contrary to the report that the wall is rumored to be 55 feet high, the tallest prototypes up for construction are 30 feet tall. Additionally the wall will not run along the entire border and the Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly has stated that it will not be 2,000 miles long but will be shorter with natural barriers making up the difference. As for the travel ban the words Islam or Muslim were not mentioned once in the executive order putting down the argument that this order was motivated by any supposed bigotry on the part of President Trump. Additionally the list of banned nations was a list compiled under the Obama administration and was recommended by US intelligence agencies. The order further distances itself from bigotry and hatred by declaring:”the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including “honor” killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.” As to any argument that states that the banning of any travel from these nations is illegal or unconstitutional the President is allowed to make such regulations as provided to him by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq., and section 301 of title 3, United States Code and was recently upheld by the Supreme Court. As to the 1980’s act(to be more specific the IRCA of 1986), it was not out of fear nor due to ethnicity, it reformed and standardized the process of naturalization for all immigrants. And contrary to the 1986 act excluding people, it naturalized all of the illegal immigrants who had been in the nation since 1982. The travel ban does exclude people from certain nations from entering but to say it does this out of fear is an oversimplification. The countries on the list are places that are known to have political instability, terror groups among them who are actively plotting against the United States or have been recommended to have travel restrictions due to other security concerns. So yes in a very simple sense it could be said that the travel ban was enacted out of fear, but to use this same logic the reason we have a military would be out of fear. The reason we have missile defense systems is out of fear. The reason we conduct drone strikes on ISIS is out of fear. One of the primary goals of the US government is to protect the rights of the people it represents to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. So to say that the travel ban is created out of fear is not completely correct. A more adequate term would be concern, concern for the lives of its people. Concerned because some of its people have already fallen victim to terror like those lives lost in the 9/11 attacks and concerned about people who wish the American public ill entering the country. And to say that the travel ban caused “racial remarks, assumptions that every terrorist attack was made by a Muslim group, and protests” is a fallacy in itself as these things had been going on before any ban was made. It is also important to note that it is impossible to be racist towards Muslims as Muslims are not a single race or ethnicity. There are Muslims all over the world, in India, Indonesia, Europe, North Africa and in the United States as well. There are Muslims of many ethnicity as well, not just Arabs from the middle east, as they come from all of the aforementioned countries as well. People from all over the world are all human, no matter what country they live in. The United States welcomes immigrants who come within her borders legally and seek to become Americans the legal way. Regardless of race or religion people who come legally will be privileged to join the great American experiment. And regardless of race or religion people who come illegally will answer to the fullest extent of the law, because after all, that’s the law. Justice does not care what race or religion you are and all must be held accountable for their own actions. The United States also retains the right of a sovereign nation, and as one has the right to secure its borders and determine who enters them. Immigration to the United States is a privilege, not a right. And nobody has the right to demand entry. Immigration is what helps make America great, but we are also a nation of laws that we must uphold.