For all the bellyaching about undocumented immigrants, we can solve the problem if we perp walk Donald Trump and other CEO’s who benefit the most from their labor.
Donald Trump doesn’t like it when he’s called a racist. We’ve seen him deny it – even trying to argue with a straight face that he’s the least racist person in the world.
He complained to the press about how hard life is as a privileged white guy, with more power than any human being in the world, on his way to yet another vacation, where his undocumented staff will cook his food and clean up after him. And while the world knows Trump routinely hires undocumented workers, ICE’s dedication to upholding immigration law will fall short of raiding a Trump resort.
His defenders argue that he isn’t racist because black unemployment is down. Well, actually the black unemployment rate is still disproportionately higher than that of whites, though lower than Hispanics.
Then there’s the old saw, he isn’t a racist in his heart. After all, he dated black women and he used to meet with Al Sharpton.
All of that is beside the point; whatever may be in Donald Trump’s alleged heart is immaterial. He acts like a racist and he talks like one.
He uses racist tropes like spears through the hearts of their targets. There are so many documented examples of Trump’s racist statements that even most Republicans know he’s a racist.
Any argument one can use to detract from the proposition that Trump is racist went out the window when one of his supporters drove 10 hours to an El Paso Walmart so that he could gun down Mexicans.
The shooter admitted it. His online screed posted at a white supremacist website used the same language as we saw Donald Trump use at his rallies.
If you subscribe to the Maddow theory of watching what they do, not what they say, again there is more than enough evidence.
The most recent examples are the raid at Koch foods — six hundred plus immigrants, some wearing security ankle bracelets — and Ken Cucinelli’s latest hate bomb.
During these raids, human beings are rounded up as if they are the hardened criminals Trump calls all immigrants from south of the border.
Like most jobs that undocumented immigrant do, the work of processing chicken is back-breaking, the pay is below minimum wage and the conditions would be unacceptable to anyone born in America.
These immigrants pick our fruit, turn that chicken breast into nuggets. They clean at several of Trump’s clubs and hotels. Wait, what? Yes. Trump still employs undocumented immigrants because if you know how to build the way Trump likes it, papers don’t matter. According to the women who worked for his modelling agency, if you were profitable, you earned your status.
So let me break this down. In exchange for doing back-breaking work that even unskilled Americans won’t do, immigrants are in effect paid less than minimum wages. Trump serves them as red meat to his base at their grievance sessions. When Trump wants to do a grand gesture for his base, he has ICE do a raid – leaving American children alone on the street, terrified because they don’t know where their parents are.
Cucinelli’s latest measure builds on an evil he’d already laid down. If you’re undocumented and you get sick, you go without health insurance because it isn’t provided by your employer and you can’t afford to get it on your own. If you accept a subsidy via Obamacare, you’re long term status is compromised.
Today, Cucinelli went lower. He decreed that in sixty days, if you accept food stamps or Medicaid, you will be denied permanent status. If you get a subsidy for housing or heat, you will lose status. Thus, immigrants working for less than minimum wage without benefits must choose between food and the permanent status that gives them more legal protections against wage theft and other abuses that go with working as an undocumented laborer. Cucinelli had the gall to suggest this latest attack on all immigrants was really about assuring that immigrants learn personal responsibility. The irony is palpable.
It isn’t hard to figure out that Trump’s America only wants rich white immigrants, if there must be any immigrants at all.
Even though they work for sub-human wages, immigrants pay more in income tax than Donald Trump. That’s definitely true of documented immigrants who pay the same tax rates as American citizens earning comparable incomes. But, they aren’t eligible for a litany of the benefits Americans are entitled to.
So here’s a hard fact: immigrants are providing corporations with cheap labor and paying taxes so Americans can enjoy the benefits they have.
Here’s another fact: if Trump really was interested in stopping undocumented immigration, his business plan wouldn’t rely on undocumented labor. He would do raids to arrest the CEO’s of companies that, like Trump, depend on undocumented labor for those healthy bottom lines.
In other words, Trump and his rich friends are financially dependent on immigrants. And Trump’s base may be aware of the fact that it’s the immigrant who gets ripped off in that arrangement. Maybe that’s why,after one of Trump’s raids, they aren’t lining up for miles to take the jobs immigrants do.
Trump’s history of using immigrants was known when his supporters voted for him in 2016. Remember that brief moment when it looked like Marco Rubio might be growing a spine – and he called Trump out for stealing wages from undocumented workers who built Trump Towers.
So when someone calls Trump a racist, it’s not only because of his toxic rhetoric about s hole countries, or when he calls entire national groups rapists and criminals.
We saw a less toxic version seep into the primaries, when Tim Ryan claimed to Chris Matthews, that oh no undocumented workers can’t have healthcare because how would that look to white men in Ohio who work so hard to put food on the table.
I’ll bet that however hard they work, it’s not as hard as what it takes for an immigrant to take home a lot less to put on the table.
What Trump is doing is a disgrace. But, if we’re honest with ourselves, it’s a matter of degree. Corporate America has amnesty while it exploits immigrants. Its bottom line depends on exploiting immigrants.
If we really, honestly, want to fix the problem of undocumented immigration, perp walk the CEO of a corporation that illegally hires undocumented immigrants. Watch the rest of them stop recruiting people who are undocumented. Watch the undocumented stop coming because there are no jobs.
We know for a fact that undocumented immigrants won’t come if there are no jobs for them because the one time they stopped coming was during the great recession.
Ms. Woodbury has a graduate degree in political science, with a minor in law. She is a qualified expert on political theory with a specific interest in the nexus between political theories and models and human rights.
Based on her interest in human rights and the threats that authoritarian regimes are to them, Ms. Woodbury’s masters thesis examined the influence of politics on the enforcement of international criminal law was cited in several academic studies.
Published work includes case summaries for the War Crimes Research Office.
She has an extensive background doing legal research in international and domestic law.
Ms. Woodbury’s work for politicusUSA includes articles on voting rights, the right to asylum and other civil/human rights.