Gipson: New immigration policy closes a door on opportunity


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President Donald Trump develops plans for his new immigration policy.

David Gipson, Staff Writer

America: the land of opportunity…or is it? 

Recently, the Trump administration put forth a policy to wealth-test all green card applicants. The so-called “public charge” rule would deny any immigration applications if the applicant would require public assistance, such as Medicaid or food stamps. This comes as no surprise due to Trump’s history of xenophobic views, like wanting to build a wall across the Mexican border. The problem with this specific policy is that it goes against what America stands for and was built upon: a second chance for immigrants.

America is a nation built on immigrants. News flash to xenophobes and white supremacists: this is stolen land. The absolute lack of care for immigrants these days is shocking, considering almost every American has ancestors who were at one point  immigrants to this country. For example, Donald Trump’s own grandfather immigrated from Germany in 1885. The problem is that Donald Trump is a racist loudmouth, and this whole thing is about keeping people of color out of America, specifically Hispanic peoples. Trump has repeatedly expressed a distaste for immigrants, calling immigrants animals, acting as if they’re infesting our country. This is Trump’s America now; we’re slowly shying away from the values from which this great nation was built upon.

In the Declaration of Independence,  Thomas Jefferson writes, “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are the Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Look at how we’re treating those inalienable rights. We’re locking children and families in cages, raiding their workplaces, and deporting them en masse. 

As a wealthy country founded by immigrants, we should accept people seeking refuge for their life and liberty so that they can have the opportunity to pursue happiness. However, it seems this only applies to you if you match the color of the people who wrote the Declaration. For centuries, America has oppressed people of color. While some might say this is an economic policy, it’s clearly about keeping people of color out of our country. 

While Trump definitely could argue that this is a purely economic policy, he hasn’t done so well with his other economic policies. The budget deficit, for example, is on a path to $1 trillion under Trump’s presidency. It’s a simple fact that nowadays that if you are not rich and white, you will constantly be overlooked by our federal government. What’s to make anyone believe this policy would be effective for any other purpose than to satiate the white supremacists and xenophobes? The new immigration policy is just another obstacle put forth by the Trump admin to try to push their racist agenda.

The new immigration policy bars immigrants from having a chance. With this new rule, thousands of people could be barred from a better life just because they needed a little push to rise up. In the 1900s, thousands of Europeans were accepted to immigrate into the US to escape from wars and poverty. Now, it’s time that we extend that same opportunity to Latin America and other areas of the world. It’s time to look past racial bias and see these people as they are: human beings who need help. As a country with a past steeped in racism and xenophobia, I want to believe that we can do better. I want to believe that we can make up for the sins of our ancestors. Why not start by helping people that are in need and welcoming them into our country with open arms?