Rachel Maddow called out Donald Trump on Monday for trying to enact a new policy that will essentially destroy what has been the American dream for more than 240 years: that anyone – rich or poor – can come to the United States and make it if they work for it.
During her program, the MSNBC host tore into the Trump administration’s new rule that seeks to punish poor immigrants who are applying for permanent residence in the United States.
As The New York Times reported on Monday, “Starting in October, the government’s decision will be based on an aggressive wealth test to determine whether those immigrants have the means to support themselves.”
In other words, the phrase etched into the Statue of Liberty – “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” – is no longer operative in Donald Trump’s America.
“Most people I know think of the American dream as this idea of hard-working people overcoming adversity, coming here maybe with nothing but believing in this country, believing they can make it here,” Maddow said.
“Just getting rid of even the pretense of that and saying we’re only taking rich immigrants from here on out … that’s not trying to make America great again. That’s trying to make America into a whole new country,” she added.
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) August 13, 2019
Most people I know think of the American dream as this idea of hard-working people overcoming adversity, coming here maybe with nothing but believing in this country, believing they can make it here because of freedom and opportunity and the rule of law in this country so they can build something here for themselves and their families and the next generations of their families who will come after them because hard work here is rewarded, because you can make it here because this is a country that is fair and that has opportunity and no, we do not always live up to that dream but that’s the dream, right? That’s the whole story of this country. Just getting rid of even the pretense of that and saying we’re only taking rich immigrants from here on out, who do you know who came here as an immigrant, who do you know whose parent or grandparent or great grandparent came here as an immigrant who came here with plenty of money? I mean, that’s going to be the new rule? They say within 60 days that’s going to be the new rule. That’s not trying to make America great again. That’s trying to make America into a whole new country we have never been before in all of the 243 years that we have existed.
Trump doesn’t believe in the American story
At the end of the day, it’s clear that Donald Trump doesn’t believe in the American story because he’s never had to actually live it.
This is a man who, from day one, has been given everything in life and then some. He started off on third base, and he still turned out to be a failed businessman and an even worse president.
This sense of entitlement combined with his well-documented history as a racist makes Trump’s latest immigration move – and his entire immigration agenda as a whole – pretty predictable, even as it chips away at the fabric of this country.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.