By VERONICA SANSUR
Donald Trump has a new obsession. It’s called “chain migration.” He wants to end the practice of immigrants, once legalized, bringing their relatives including children and secondary relatives to live with them in the United States. Chain migration is, in fact, a common occurrence around the world. For example, Cuban populations have been massive proponents for family reunification practices over the past few decades, helping to create their large exile community in South Florida. The President certainly likes to be with his family–well, immigrants do too. The 1965 Migratory Law, which is still in place, emphasizes family reunification and, therefore, has dramatically increased the number of immigrants coming from Asia and Latin America in the past years. According to the Migration Policy Institute, the United States is home to roughly 43 million immigrants, including both legal and illegal residents (but not including students), making the demographic 13.5 percent of the population in the U.S. The countries most immigrants hail from are: Mexico, India, China, Philippines, El Salvador, Vietnam, Cuba, Dominican Republic, South Korea and Guatemala.
However, it seems that President Donald Trump is unhappy about having cultural diversity in this country. As he said once, When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” he said in a speech last year. “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.” Likewise, in other occasion: “Chain migration is a disaster for this country and it is horrible,” he said in an interview with FoxNews. The majority of immigrants now days are from Latin America. Would Trump’s hateful comments exist if his ancestors were from Latin America or Asia or the Middle East and not Europe?
In his obsession to deport those without citizenship or visas with the belief that it will solve the problems of the United States, Donald Trump approved and signed an executive order last year that has the possibility of expelling from the United States no less than 11 million people.
“Many aliens who illegally enter the United States and those who overstay or otherwise violate the terms of their visas present a significant threat to national security and public safety,” the order states. “This is particularly so for aliens who engage in criminal conduct in the United States.” Moreover, this policy can create very difficult situations for almost three million children who are United States citizens but whose parents can be deported at any time. This means that children will be separated from their parents. Sadly, it is already happening. One case is that of Jorge Garcia, a man who lived in the United States for almost 30 years and now has been deported to Mexico. Garcia came to the United States with his family when he was 10 years old and has long tried to regularize his status. Under the Administration of Barack Obama, he managed to repeatedly avoid a deportation order that he faced since 2009. The deportation order came after beginning the procedures to legalize his situation in the U.S.
“The lawyer did not do the paperwork well and then he (Garcia) was in the process of deportation,” said Garcia’s wife, Cindy, in an interview with Univisión. Cindy also explained that the congressmen helped them to delay their deportation, but when the Trump Administration began, they told them that [Jorge García’s] time had ended.
With no criminal record, Garcia was deported last Monday and cannot return home for about a decade. According to The New York Times Garcia was informed last November of his expulsion. Pleas to democratic legislator Debbie Dingell managed to postpone his removal until after Christmas and New Year.
It is not fair for the Garcia family to be separated. He is leaving his 12 year old boy and 15 year old girl. Garcia doesn’t recognize Mexico as his home, but the United States. He has lived longer in the United States than in Mexico, and he practically is an American citizen without the paperwork. Garcia’s story is not the first of its kind and will certainly not be the last. This is not going to stop while Trump is president.
“We’re devastated. We’re sad, we’re depressed,” Cindy Garcia said to the New York Times. “We’re trying to be strong, pull ourselves together and tell our story.” Is this how the Trump administration is making America great again? I believe not. I believe that immigrants also make America, America. They are part of its essence.
Veronica Sansur can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org