I’m sure we have all heard Donald Trump’s extravagant comments on the immigration issue in the USA over the past few months, as the Presidential race geared up for the final sprint. With comments such as ‘We need to build a wall’ and the suggestion that America couldn’t possibly take in any Syrian refugees because they ‘could be ISIS’, it is hard to believe that people are seriously considering electing him as President. With so many people seeming to support Trump’s drastic stance on immigration, it’s interesting to consider how such extreme views can be so popular in a country that’s so diverse.
I recently spent some time in New York City, and one thing that stood out at me was the variety of people living there. Different races and languages all seeming to work together under the guise of the ‘New-Yorker’.
Speaking to them, they were happy to tell me about their heritage, breaking down the percentages of their genetic makeup; the uncles, aunts and great grandparents they had dotted all over the globe, and yet they still made it very clear that they were proud to be an American. As more of these conversations took place, I began to question how genuine the anti-immigration claims made by Trump in the media actually were.
How is it that a country which is (according to the United States Census Bureau) 25.5% African American, 28.6% Latino, and 12.7% Asian, to name a few, can appear so hostile towards newcomers? We’re looking at a country whose whole population consisted of mostly immigrants when they became independent, with some of America’s Founding Fathers being immigrants themselves
Even today, it strikes me as odd that the United Nations Headquarters, based in New York, has to share a city with the likes of Trump Towers. How can an organisation set on bringing about equal opportunities to all, protecting human rights, and representing so many different places be in a country where a presidential candidate seems to have no interest in that ethos?
It seems as though this hypocrisy hasn’t gone over the heads of many, particularly in New York, given that walking past one of the many Trump Towers, you will never fail to see a less-than-complimentary photo being taken, with the building as the starring feature.