By: Emily Balogh, Contributor
It is no secret that one of President Trump’s biggest campaign promises was immigration reform. But Trump does not view immigrants, especially those of color, with empathy. Using rhetoric riddled with dangerous stereotypes, Trump called Mexican immigrants “rapists,” “drug dealers” and “animals.” In a divided America, calling on old, offensive ideologies is deplorable. Demonizing immigrants of color is creating an America that turns its back on the cries of mothers separated from their children, pleas of help from those seeking asylum from war-torn countries and families seeking a better life.
Before the era of Trump, immigrant children were only separated from their parents in extreme situations. Now, toddlers are being forcibly ripped from the arms of their parents. This can lead to long-term psychological damage of both child and parent. Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ “zero tolerance” policy has even targeted immigrants seeking asylum. Trump’s policies are jeopardizing the basic well-being of thousands of immigrants, and many Americans turn a blind eye; some even justify the inhumane treatment of immigrants on the grounds of laws that can, and should, be reversed.
Trump is also supplying additional funding to ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement Agency) by taking away from other agencies that promote a more benevolent world. Just last week news broke that Trump had redirected almost $10 million from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) to ICE. In the hours following Hurricane Florence and with much of Puerto Rico still lacking basic living essentials, cutting money from FEMA is a poor decision. Trump promised that border control was his number one concern, and he is following through with that promise, despite the cost to millions in desperate need of help.
When we often watch stories circulate of the horrific treatment of immigrants, when it is so easy to lose hope, we need to take our political efficacy seriously. Now is not the time to neglect yet another minority group in America. Now is the time to stand up for our brothers and sisters and advocate for the America we want to see. As the people who make up this country, our voice is strong. We must use our voice to fight for the protection of those who rightfully seek protection in the nation we take so much pride in.