The GOP’s Immigration Contest

Trump Immigration Statue of Liberty Cartoon

Immigration might become a game of points. How many points does a single Guatemalan mother of three deserve versus a young Scottish man just out of college? The GOP might be prepared to give us that answer with a new immigration bill supported by the White House.

The bill would implement a points-based system for immigrants who wish to become legal permanent residents. Applicants who speak English, have job offers, and can financially support themselves would be favored.

Donald Trump and the GOP are playing to their base. They know immigrants do not pose a real threat to The United States. The claim that immigrants are dumb or crime-prone is false. A large portion of new immigrants are actually “more likely than U.S. born to have earned a degree” according to Pew Research Center. One study, that examined fifty studies done between 1994 and 2014, found that immigration did not correlate with higher crime and sometimes had a crime-suppressing effect. Trump and Republicans are not fearful of immigrants, they are fearful of losing their power so they play to people’s fear and ignorance for votes.

History is cyclical. We’ve had waves of immigration in the past. Groups such as the Irish, Germans, Jews, Catholics, and many others faced a very negative reaction when they arrived to America. They were accused of being uneducated, lazy, and sometimes sinister or inferior. There was a fear that American culture (whatever that meant at the time) would be corrupted.

However, The United States became stronger because of these immigrants. We kept our values and adopted some aspects from the cultures of our new neighbors. Our population grew, production skyrocketed, and culture flourished.

If the US wishes to lead and maintain its ‘exceptionalism’, we must not block ourselves off from the world and the advantages immigrants gave us in the past. We should embrace our global community and all people regardless of language, economic status, religion, etc.


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