As many readers likely know, Donald Trump uses the immigration debacle and immigrants as fodder for his political base. The Trump base hears immigrants are bad and that Trump has closed the borders. The reality is that Donald Trump is relying on immigrants to get the country back on track after the pandemic ends.
Most readers likely believe that the Trump wall is blocking undocumented immigrants from coming to America. Some likely believe that the Green card ban is keeping new immigrants from coming to take American jobs away. Some even believe that the international borders have stopped immigrants on their tracks.
That is what Donald Trump wants everyone to believe as he ramps up his reelection campaign. And, unfortunately, many do believe the political rhetoric. But the truth is that immigrants are still coming in to save Americans from themselves.
Let’s start with Trump’s greatest political fodder – the undocumented immigrant. Americans have lost their jobs and many will not be returning to work after the stay-at-home orders are lifted. Almost twenty percent of the workforce are receiving unemployment benefits, almost as high are the number of unemployed during the Great Depression.
Yet, undocumented immigrants have been deemed “essential” workers by the federal government. Yes, the same federal government that Trump leads and deports immigrants regularly.
On April 2, 2020, The New York Times reported on Nancy Silva, an undocumented worker who picks the fruits that Americans are consuming today. According to the Times, Silva carries a letter identifying her “essential” because she is “critical to the food supply chain,” according to the Department of Homeland Security.
Additionally, officials at Immigration and Customs Enforcement put deportation operations on hold on March 18. The deportation department’s new directive is to stay away from health care facilities. In addition to undocumented immigrants working the fields, it is also an open secret that many undocumented and documented immigrants work providing healthcare services to Americans.
Although undocumented immigrants continue to fear being deported at a moment’s notice, the irony of being both “essential” and “illegal” makes the duplicity of the anti-immigrant posture ironic.
But the duplicity does not stop at just the undocumented immigrant.
In late April, Donald Trump announced with much fanfare that he was suspending Green Card processing for immigrants. He argued that he is protecting American jobs.
To the Trump supporters and anti-immigrants this is welcome news. It sounds like Trump is finally taking immigration seriously.
But as they say, the devil is in the details.
The anti-immigrants heard – Trump is stopping legal immigrants from coming for their jobs.
But the “ban” includes many important exemptions.
The 60-day immigration ban leaves intact the “hundreds of thousands” of temporary work visas issued each year to foreign workers coming to America to work, according to CNBC on April 22. Work permits are used by farm workers coming to pick fruits and vegetables for American tables and for those that work in hotels and restaurants. It also leaves untouched the processing of visas for doctors and nurses.
Donald Trump is arguing that by taking these measures he is working to protect American jobs, but he is not stopping immigrants from arriving to do the work that Americans need to survive.
Clearly, the duplicity is evident for those that still have critical thinking abilities.
But just in case the duplicity on immigration is still lost on some readers, here is a poignant detail missed by many.
Consider a key player in Trump’s latest gambit to take control away from the Covid-19 virus. It is dubbed Operation Warp Speed.
Operation Warp Speed is a federal program designed to “accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics,” according to the press release issued by the United States Department of Health and Human Services on May 15.
The HHS announcement names Moncef Slaoui as chief advisor and General Gustave F. Perna as the chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed. Slaoui was born in Agadir Morocco.
According to Fortune magazine, Slaoui is credited with developing the “world’s first malaria vaccine” after he won approval for it in 2015 in Europe. Moncef Slaoui previously was the head of GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) global vaccine business, according to CNN.
What many Trump supporters and anti-immigrants have likely missed is that Trump’s charge to develop a vaccine for Covid-19 is being led by an immigrant from Morocco.
So much for the idea that immigrants are a threat to the American way of life.