Trump Immigration Policy Isn't a New Phenomenon

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WASHINGTON — Newly elected Donald Trump has been making headlines in what many consider controversial immigration policy objectives, but they are merely just an expansion and harder enforcement of what already existed, in terms of both attitude and the laws or political objectives themselves.

The agricultural communities will be hardest hit. They regularly employ thousands of undocumented Mexican, South American and other immigrant workers to cheaply work the fields to gather the affordable food we eat at the grocer or export to other countries. Much of the crops grown are also used for energy and manufactured goods (mostly corn, which can be turned into ethanol, plastic and a number of other goods). The Muslim communities around the U.S. are also worried about Trump's seemingly anti-Islamic policies.

These objectives are not new though. Even under Obama and Bush, illegal immigrants were targeted and many were deported. Immigrants in the U.S. have always faced these struggles with the law and the hardships they faced between two worlds: a country with little or no opportunity for a good life or a country that can provide just that but will jail you for not entering properly (which remains difficult for many, especially the unskilled or uneducated).

Refugees will face a monumental problem with the expansion of immigration enforcement policy as well as the proposed ban on certain majority Muslim nations, including Syria, a country with a mounting refugee crisis and little support round the world. Many will likely die or face horrendous problems. It will also likely create further complications in the future in terms of politics, culture and social issues.

The truth is that Trump's policies represent a particular shared philosophy among many Americans who call themselves by over-arching labels such as "conservative", "Republican", "patriotic" or "traditional". These are just catchphrases, mostly. The policy objectives to keep Mexican immigrants out of the country has been going on for more than a century. It has expanded over the years (along with the improvement of technology available to regular people) to include South and Central Americans like Cubans, Guatemalans, Panamanians, El Salvadorians and those fleeing chaos such as poverty in Cuba, drug cartel violence in Mexico and gangs/terrorism in Central/South America. Many who flee are small unaccompanied children. The U.S. has deported many of them. Many of the gangs that ravage El Salvador have roots in the United States. After El Salvadorian gang members in the U.S. were deported back to their home country, they brought the gang life with them and it exploded across the region, where people regularly face unthinkable violence in the public space.

Attempts at curbing immigration from south of the border have mostly failed and will continue to fail because the circumstances that brought immigrants here are the same as those that brought many of the grandparents of white Americans here (even those in support of hardened immigration policy like Trump's). Notice that nobody is proposing a wall to be constructed between the U.S. and Canada for instance, so there is a racial component as well. The U.S. has a longstanding history of racial problems in its society with a history of slavery, civil/human rights abuses and many other issues that could be discussed at length.

There is a built-in Us vs. Them mentality in America. It is reinforced by media, entertainment, art, culture and politics at every level. It is subtle but sometimes manifests itself as more direct in the case of the election. Democrats vs. Republicans. Whites vs. Blacks. Cowboys vs. Indians. Northern Union vs. Confederate South. West vs. East. Allied Powers vs. The Axis of Evil. Capitalism vs. Socialism. Bloods vs. Crips. Terrorists. Drugs. Hipsters. America always needs an enemy. It is a war culture, like many others on the planet, and profits from it. The problem may be that others are getting in on the major game of war and propaganda. That is why Russia is the latest enemy (again) for many politicians in the U.S. government who may be looking for another scapegoat or boogeyman as a means of deflection.

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