Donald Trump unveiled his immigration plan last week. The Trump immigration plant is a “white only” immigration plan. It is designed to encourage “white” immigrants and discourage dark-skinned people from coming to America.
Why is it a “white” only immigration policy?
There are three reasons. Donald Trump’s immigration plan envisions a “merit-based” immigration policy that wants highly-skilled immigrants to come and denies entry to the low-skilled workers that America needs. Although Trump has yet to define what the “merit-based” system requires, it likely includes the requirement that an immigrant hold a college degree, especially in STEM specialties.
Although India produces many immigrants with college degrees, many others from other countries would be excluded. Many of America’s immigrants fill much needed labor slots in farming and other service industries that do not require college degrees. Many of the immigrants come to America as “economic” immigrants because they lack education and are looking for labor-intensive jobs that America offers.
If we were to accept only the “merit-based” argument that American needs highly skilled immigrants, then an argument could be made that America is looking for immigrants that it needs and would make policy-sense for America.
But that ignores that America needs low skilled workers.
The reason that Trump’s immigration plan is xenophobic is because of the other two provisions it includes – the “learn English” requirement and the “civics test” requirement.
The “learn English” requirement for immigrants ignores two important facts.
The first is that there is no law in America that makes English the official language of the country. As such, U.S. citizens are not required to speak English by law. Making immigrants English-proficient before they can immigrate violates the Constitution’s “equal protection under the law” requirement.
The other fact that is conveniently ignored is that America is home to the second-largest population in the world that speaks Spanish, forcing us to question, why the speak English requirement does not include a speak Spanish provision considering how large the Spanish speaking population in America is.
That is unless, the speak English requirement is an excuse to encourage white protestant immigrants while discouraging brown immigrants.
But the xenophobia is more obvious in the other requirement that Trump wants in his immigration plan – the “civics” test.
Although there are no specific examples of what Trump’s proposed “civics” test would include, its ambiguity leaves open the possibility that it would include questions like “was America founded by God?”
Or, was Texas independence the result of Mexican aggression towards white settlers. Or, even questions about how the Pilgrims tamed the land of savages to create the foundation of the world’s civilized nations.
These three items in Donald Trump’s proposed immigration reform plan clearly demonstrates the xenophobic drive behind it. As if these examples are not enough, consider that Trump’s plan completely ignores the “dreamers” that have been a part of the national immigration debate in recent years.