As I’m sure you’ve all heard over the past year, ICE has been separating many families that have undocumented immigrants and deporting such immigrants at a much higher rate over the past few years. Is this all necessary, though? Is our country really in danger or is Trump trying to find a scapegoat to blame his issues on?
Although this situation on its own is horrible, I find it important to state that this is absolutely not Trump’s first controversy related to immigration. Here is an excerpt of a speech he gave on June 16, 2015 that gives us a pretty clear glimpse into his views on immigration:
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” (Washington Post)
I’d like to put some emphasis on, “And some, I assume, are good people.” Why does Trump automatically assume that most immigrants coming are criminals? It’s not even remotely reasonable for him to come up with a claim that only “some” of the millions of undocumented immigrants are “good people” when there is evidence that refutes his claim, which I will get into later. Regardless, I brought this speech up because it ties in very well with his administration’s current actions today. ICE is unjustly ripping apart families trying to make a living. Regardless of one’s legal status, there is a fine line between “securing our country” and throwing people out because of their ethnicity and/or race.
“But Most Undocumented Immigrants ARE Criminals!”
No, they aren’t. On the contrary, both documented and undocumented immigrants have been noted to have lower crime rates than U.S. citizens. A study in 2015 over crime rates of undocumented immigrants in the state of Texas showed that the criminal conviction rate of undocumented immigrants was 50% below native-born Americans; documented immigrants had a criminal conviction rate that was 66% below native-born Americans (Cato Institute). Immigrants come to the U.S. to make a living and work to support their families, not commit crimes. Trump’s statement is not only inflammatory but also factually incorrect.
Why does this matter?
Not only are undocumented immigrants being taken by ICE, but documented immigrants are being taken as well for minor and old infractions. Jose Luis Garcia’s case is a great example; he received a domestic violence misdemeanor in 2001 (which was later described by Garcia’s spouse as a “minor dispute”) and had served 25 days in jail as well as three years of probation as a result of the charge. Garcia was grabbed by ICE in 2018 just before he was about to start his day job of driving for Uber (Los Angeles Times). A whole 17 years later and now ICE decides to throw him out for something seemingly so minor? That seems fairly suspicious if you ask me. Nobody deserves to be ripped from their families if they’re just trying to get by; ICE is just power-hungry and looking for anyone to remove from the country.