Donald Trump has set the following conditions for approving the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program: Congress must approve full funding for completing the construction of a wall along the southern border; legal immigration must be reduced by creating a system that approves only qualified immigrants; the number of resident permits for family members of those who already live in the U.S. must be reduced; the cost of visas must be increased to fund border security; and 10,000 agents for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and 300 additional federal prosecutors must be hired.
The first thing we must ask ourselves is what the point is of this new attack against immigrants. According to Trump, his objective is to make admission into the country secure and legal, and he wants to defend the country's security and protect U.S. workers and taxpayers. Obviously, this rant which blames immigrants for the lack of security has nothing to do with them. If admission to the country is not secure and legal, it is because it is not in the interest of the U.S. or a significant portion of its businesspeople to grant visas to workers in the poultry, meat and seafood industries, or in agriculture, greenhouses, construction, the service industry, etc., since this is a way to keep them extremely vulnerable, which results in big profits for those businesspeople.
On the other hand, defending the country's security should include changing the circumstances under which a man can have 32 high-caliber weapons in his home, kill 59 people, and injure more than 500 of his fellow citizens from a hotel window. And finally, protecting U.S. taxpayers and workers should include keeping an immigrant workforce that pays taxes and, thanks to those taxes, pensions and institutions like Medicaid and Medicare can stay afloat for U.S. workers who have reached retirement age. According to the Pew Research Center, undocumented immigrants use 8 percent of their income to pay taxes, while 1 percent of the major taxpayers in the U.S. pay close to 5.4 percent. The truth is, this rhetoric is only promoting greater instability among all those workers to the profit of the U.S. and its institutions.
Trump also uses this racist, xenophobic, ignorant and dangerous discourse in order to stay half afloat in the midst of his low approval ratings. He has realized that this rhetoric is very useful when it comes to firing up his voters, overshadowing the terrible performance of his administration and creating an environment in which he feels safe. To be honest, if it were not for how dangerous it is and the terrible damage it could cause, it would feel like we are watching a bad Western in which Trump plays both the bad and the ugly.
However, immigrants are not only a solution to many of the problems that the countries that receive them are facing but also a solution for their countries of origin. For example, Mexican immigrants and their remittances, which will reach an impressive $30 billion this year, are a foundation for public finance. This amount is higher than the one generated by tourism and close to direct foreign investment and oil. Moreover, the Mexican government insists on presenting its low levels of unemployment as an achievement because it is not accounting for all the people who do casual work and all the millions of workers who have had to immigrate because of the lack of conditions in their own country. What is the government doing? Nothing, because Mexican negotiators haven't even been able to incorporate workers as an issue in the NAFTA negotiations lest the conditions change and remittances stop.
It is clear that immigrant workers have been useful to both the countries they are leaving and the countries that receive them without receiving any type of recognition. It is a great injustice, but here are the DACA recipients who are becoming the new activists for immigrant rights, with their fight and their dreams, giving lessons in dignity and nobility.