To the Editor,
Trump doesn’t have the political temperament to deal effectively with the kind of politics that inevitably emerge when the country struggles to move from an established era to a new and often frightening new day. As to why Trump keeps clinging to the wall, Republican strategist Alex Conant said the wall was a “political promise” Trump’s famous for. “It’s harder to run for re-election when you haven’t delivered on your biggest promises.” Trump’s action is the culmination of a months-long battle in the U.S. government over the aid program, which grew substantially under the Obama administration and was intended to address the root causes of migration and violence, a lack of jobs and poverty.
Trump said: “Mass, uncontrolled immigration is especially unfair to the many wonderful, law-abiding immigrants already living here who followed the rules and waited their turn. Some have been waiting for many years. Some have been waiting for a long time. They’ve done everything perfectly. And they’re going to come in. At some point, they’re going to come in. In many cases, very soon. We need them to come in because we have companies coming into our country; they need workers. But they have to come in on a merit basis, and they will come in on a merit basis.”
Trump’s stopping funds have changed prospects for 3 countries: Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. Lack of economic opportunities, insecurity, and gang violence in Central America’s Northern Triangle are forcing migrants to leave at record numbers, with growing apprehensions at the US-Mexico border renewing attention towards US engagement with the region. Just last month, the current administration moved to cut almost $500 million in foreign aid to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
The claim baffled development officials and Salvadorans, who saw the country’s cooperation with the United States on security, civil society and economic development as a success story, inasmuch as it achieved the Trump administration’s goal of slowing the flow of migrants heading north to the United States. “The decision to cut funding contradicts the results of what we have accomplished together,” Raül Lépez, El Salvador’s vice minister of justice, commented official from Salvador. “The fact is that migration from El Salvador is declining, thanks to our work.”
The United States has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years on programs aimed at bringing stability to one of the world’s most dangerous countries. Money has been spent to train police officers„ fund after-school programs and improve local governance. U.S. officials argued repeatedly that those programs were successful, and they offered the crime and migration statistics that they said proved their claim.
But when Trump needs workers who do turn to? The New Times reported in December, “that several undocumented immigrants were employed at, Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, NJ. The organization also reportedly hired undocumented immigrants to work in hotel and resort properties in Philadelphia, Westchester County, NY, and Jupiter, Florida.”
The Opportunity Agenda wrote; “It is clear that transformative change is still possible and a collective future based on the shared values of diversity and inclusion is still very much within reach. However, central to our success will be understanding how to effectively reach persuadable audiences, and help them distinguish between legitimate policy concerns and the fearmongering that has come to characterize the Trump era. This requires a nuanced understanding of how Americans are currently thinking and talking about immigration, diversity, and demographic change.”
The Trump administration has been making changes both small and drastic to U.S. immigration policies. While Trump’s cruel policies at the border and his ramping up of deportations and ICE raids have garnered the most attention and outrage, his other efforts to transform legal immigration have been no less radical. Attacks on immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and others serve an aggressive white nationalist agenda. Trump is targeting everyone: naturalized, legal, native-born, and undocumented alike. And none of us are safe while any of us are under threat. Tell Congress that we are a better nation when we accept with open arms those fleeing violence and poverty.
This is no way to make America great.