Donald Trump may not be a serious candidate for the US presidency, but he does represent an ignorant, hateful, and paranoid viewpoint on migration that is unfortunately defended all too often in some right-wing circles.
One point in particular that I wish to pick up on is Trump’s comment about “the worst elements in Mexico… being pushed into the United States by the Mexican government”. Now, civilians are indeed being pushed out of their communities by the neoliberal policies of dispossession that have been underway for many years in Mexico, but Trump’s classist slur on such migrants (horrific and erroneous as it is) distracts us from the real issue – that the ‘worst elements’ of the country have not been pushed out by the government but are actually IN the Mexican government, and they bend over consistently to powerful Western capitalists like Trump.
At the same time, the powerful drug cartels – which prey like parasites on the desperation of exploited communities in Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America (and are thus at the top of the list of ‘the worst elements in Mexico’ alongside the members of the Bad Government and the exploitative corporations which bankroll them) – are very much in Mexico to stay. After all, why would they leave when they have all the luxury they could ever want right where they currently live?
In short, if we are going to qualify societal elements with superlatives like ‘worst’ or ‘best’, it is very clear that the ‘worst elements’ of society are definitely not the ones fleeing across the Mexican border into the USA. In fact, any genuine analysis of migration from Mexico into the United States will show that migrants are almost always escaping from the aforementioned ‘worst elements’ – whether they manifest themselves as extortion, dispossession, or exploitation. Furthermore, as those who stand up and fight against the ills named above are often harassed, imprisoned, disappeared, or murdered, who can possibly blame innocent civilians for leaving their homes in search of a better life? Finally, when Latin American migrants arrive in the United States, they more often than not keep their heads down, work immensely hard (usually in the toughest of jobs and for the lowest of salaries), and save as much money as they can to send home to their families.
So, does Mr Trump consider humble, hopeful, and hardworking people the ‘worst elements’ in society? And does that mean he considers corrupt politicians, murderous cartels, and exploitative corporations to be the ‘best’?
The man is clearly not someone we should trust (or even listen to), but his ignorant comments must be consistently shot down for what they are – the reactionary ramblings of a manipulative megalomaniac.