By: Talia Bloom
What’s The Big Deal?
The main opposition to accepting immigrants into the U.S. derives from the effects that the millions of newcomers have upon the United States economy. The people who support this argument fearfully claim that taxpayer sources, lost employment spaces, deflating wages, and increasing crime rates are all results of the 11 million undocumented immigrants settled in the United States. Some further validate this claim by pointing out that the U.S. spent a whopping $113 billion on undocumented immigrants in 2014.
It is also argued that the high rate of incarcerated black people is due to undocumented immigrants filling up the minimum wage employment opportunities that American minorities are competing for. Similar opinions voice depleting public funds and services, including education and healthcare. Some people who back this claim propose an enforcement of mass deportation of all undocumented immigrants. They argue that these immigrants broke the law by illegally entering into a country that is not their own and taking up space that dramatically and negatively affects the economy. Therefore, the appropriate punishment, as they claim, is to send them back to where they came from.
Who’s On The Inside, and Why
Donald Trump is one of the more well known politicians advocating for mass deportation, as a Republican candidate running for the United States presidency. He is a billionaire businessman of real estate. After inheriting his father’s business, Trump expanded his connections and field to become a reality television host, investor, and author. Though he was affiliated in politics and elections before the 2016 candidacy, Trump claims that his popularity increased with the reality TV show The Apprentice. His reputation had taken a positive spin, and Trump decided, after several considerations in past years, to run for president. This position has put him even more so in the spotlight, and he has utilized his attention by criticizing Barack Obama’s presidency and the racial and ethnic factors of refugees and undocumented immigrants entering the country.
As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump seeks to win voters through his alienation of non-white people residing in America. His value of power going into the hands of very specific groups of people comes into light as he blames the lost American Dream to be the result of the effects of black people and foreigners upon the country. His goals are to make America bigger and greater that it is is now, so that it may become the America that he grew up in. Therefore, it can be assumed that Trump values wealth being spread amongst white Americans, as it did for him, so that, ironically, the “American Dream” may only be accessible to them.
Trump spreads his influence far and wide among Republican voters and does so by enforcing a concept of ownership among his supporters; he addresses his beliefs to a group of people who similarly believe that America’s greatness is absent due to people who are unlike them, and that they should bring their country back in a way that serves them best. Trump also utilizes and manifests his influence through his wealth and connections. For instance, when he was questioned about being able to change the 14th Amendment, he claimed that he would talk to some lawyers that he knew.
Trump spreads his influence further with his outlook on the American Dream. When asked to elaborate upon why he claimed near the end of his speech to his supporters that “the American Dream is dead”, he partially accused Obama and Black Lives Matter protesters for the reasoning behind his assertion. He continues to apply his scare tactics upon a group of Americans when he claims that the American Dream is becoming weaker, unless he, if elected president, makes it stronger again- though this economic greatness and strength that Trump speaks of generally only appears in U.S. history through oppressive white domination.
Trump manipulates his potential voters by projecting his values through bold, declaratory and undefiled promises and claims, so that his plan may seem powerful, willful, and therefore simple to carry out.
Dwight Eisenhower (informally known as “Ike”) was another person associated with mass deportation, and was president of the U.S. from 1953 to 1961. nearing the end of World War II, Eisenhower commanded troops in Africa of 1942 and in France of 1944. With such a militaristic background, Eisenhower employed his influence to attempt to reduce tension in the Cold War. During his second term, he desegregated the U.S. armed forces.
Dissatisfied with the settlement of the undocumented immigrant population after the Korean War, Eisenhower forcefully deported undocumented immigrants as well as national Mexicans from the United States. While Eisenhower was passionate about world peace, he was also adamant that Mexicans and Mexican Americans taking up space in the United States was destructive, and his attempts to force them out were hasty, violent, and inhumane. His influences were majorly militaristic, and the immigrant deportation was conducted by his friend and hard-core military man Joseph Swing. This deportation program was called “Operation Wetback”, named after the racially derogatory slur, “wetback ” targeting Mexican immigrants crossing the Rio Grande river to the United States.
Deportation History of America: Who Knew?
A similar enforcement took place between Mexico and the United States further back in history. The First World War became, not unlike World War II (1914-1918), the cause of America’s draining labor force. Similarly, the U.S. brought in Mexican workers to fill in the jobs that the states so badly needed taken. In the 1920s, 62,000 Mexicans entered the U.S. legally and 100,000 entered illegally per year. Though Mexico badly needed agricultural workers, the United States employed these undocumented laborers in order to expand a thriving labor force. When the war came to an end, and the Great Depression arrived in 1929, unemployment and poverty set in. With the stock market crashed, there was such little money throughout the nation that undocumented immigrants were turned against as the source of such poverty, and 300,000 Mexican laborers with their families, including American-born children, were removed from the U.S. in a mass deportation procedure.
A second enforcement of mass deportation in United States history took place as part of the aftermath of World War II. During World War II, the United States labor force was once again depleted and they were in strong need of cheap labor to support the economic and agricultural systems. They therefore allowed four to five million immigrants to cross the border into the United States. Mexico then made an agreement with the U.S. which asserted that if Mexico would continue allowing workers to enter the U.S. in order to work for specific periods of time to support the American labor force, than the U.S. would tighten border security and deportation enforcement in order to prevent more undocumented immigrants needed to support Mexico’s economy from immigrating.. This agreement was called the Bracero program. It proved to be successful to an extent- two million braceros participated- though the flow of illegal immigration did not slow enough for Mexico’s stability, and the American farmers often ignored the agreed benefits that Mexican laborers were supposed to obtain entering the U.S. as legal workers. American agriculture workers continued to employ illegal Mexican immigrants seeking better wages and lives than they had in Mexico. Border security problems and the United States’ wariness of potential communist immigrants from the Korean War tightened surveillance, and the new program Operation Wetback arose as a compromise between Mexico and America to further control the flow of illegal immigrants. In 1954, the first year it took place, the program arrested over one million people, though its failure became evident with its eventual decline in number (1955 produced over 240,000 apprehensions) until 1962 brought a slight increase. The deportation system comprised of locating, processing, and transporting people out of the U.S. was rapid and inhumane. The major mistreatment of undocumented immigrants was the deportation of families to unfamiliar places, from where people were left lost and unsupported.
Our Current Standpoint…
Currently, the United States is wavering in the 2016 elections, and the front runner of the Republican nominee polls is Donald Trump. If Donald Trump wins the election, it is possible that he will attempt to carry out the massive job of deportation of millions, within a timespan of 18 months to two years, as he claims. Another mass deportation plan that the United States is presently implementing is a new mass deportation procedure of hundreds of Central American families who have not listened to the final warning that they must leave the U.S. themselves. The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is attempting to remove them, as they believe that this will decrease national and border security threats. In America, mass deportation is a continuously controversial solution and issue with the needs and fears of Americans advocating for its necessity, and its enforcement having been historically inhumane.