Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Ideology Harms US Economy and Citizens

Elaina Martin, Opinions Editor

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The November five-hour San Ysidro border closing cost businesses in the area a total of 5.3 million in lost revenue ”

— -The San Diego Union-Tribune

  
US President Donald Trump has threatened over a string of tweets ranging from October 18 to November 26 that Mexico and other Central American countries can either stop the “Criminal elements and DRUGS pouring in” or he “will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!” (twitter.com).

   The President is known for his less-than-cohesive tweets and habit of running his mouth, so many have simply disregarded his words. However, after the recent San Ysidro border closing, Trump has vocally hinted through a recording by CNN  that he may close the entire southern border (cnn.com). Until then, he has given the armed forces and homeland security the “okay” to use weapons to combat the so-called hostility immigrants are showing the United States. Senior Aila Huxford said, “It definitely breaks my heart that they’re closing the border; the fact that they [may be harming] young children is wrong. It’s giving the United States a bad reputation.”

   Most citizens of the United States don’t live in border states, don’t know what really goes on in border cities, and don’t understand the people that inhabit those areas. So, when Trump hyper-dramatizes versions of events and creates negative caricatures of immigrants, they tend to believe it. This might lead to support of his opinions and the possibility that he might get away with the situation.

   This has consistently been one of Trump’s main arguments for increasing border security: claiming that Mexican immigrants are dangerous drug dealers and hardened criminals. Trump’s constant use of fear-mongering as a tactic for gaining support may have a devastating effect on many people in the United States, if history is any indicator.

   Think back to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the following travel ban and security increase–these actions heightened feelings of fear and thousands of people of Middle Eastern descent were and still are harshly discriminated against for a crime that they didn’t commit. This could be the case with the border closing: Trump’s claims that the people on the other side of the border are drug dealers and criminals are projected across the country and Latina/o-American people are in danger of further discrimination and possibly hate-crimes.

   Furthermore, closing the border permanently would severely impair the United States’ economy. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the November five-hour San Ysidro border closing cost businesses in the area a total of 5.3 million in lost revenue. The Union-Tribune added that about 90 percent of all California’s exports travel through the San Ysidro entryway (sandiegouniontribune.com). In addition, many people living in Tijuana legally work or go to school in San Diego and vice-versa. Their lives were interrupted with a short closing; they would be turned upside-down in the event of a permanent closure.

   If a five-hour closing can cause 5.3 million dollars in damage, a permanent closure on the southern US border would be devastating to the US economy. According to CNN, Mexico is the United States’ third-largest trading partner, worth around 586 billion USD (cnn.com). Theoretically, if Trump were to close the border permanently and cut off trade with Mexico, not only would all of that revenue be lost, but many businesses would meet an end. According to Forbes, Mexico and the US offset each other really well. “The two countries to effectively combine their individual comparative advantages into an ultra-competitive regional system, improving North America’s ability to compete on the global stage” (forbes.com). Trump isn’t a good businessman if he consciously cuts off Mexico from the United States.

   America cannot let Trump close the border. Doing so would disrupt the economy of not only border states, but that of the entire country. It would create a hostile environment for migrants while perpetuating negative stereotypes and encouraging Trump’s xenophobia. It would also disrupt the lives of thousands of Americans and Mexican people alike.

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