What Trump’s Presidency Means for the Latino Community

Danny Montdesdeoca, Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Nov. 8, 2016 will not be a day that is soon forgotten in U.S. history. It was the day that Donald J. Trump became the President-Elect, supported by the racist and misogynistic side of America, and those who have the luxury of not letting racism and sexism be a deciding factor. It was the day that many minorities watched in complete disbelief that a man who openly encouraged supporters to use violence, who ludicrously generalized all Mexicans as rapists and criminals, who proposed an outright ban on our Muslim brothers and sisters and who has blatantly disrespected women, veterans and the disabled, became the elected leader of our country.

As outrageous as Trump’s campaign has been, what has been a shock to many of us is since Nov. 8 is how he’s doubled back on some of his statements.

The proposed wall along our southern border is no longer being planned as the big 35 to 50 feet high and made of precast concrete. Now, it’s being planned as a 2,000 mile long, double-layered fence, according to a report by Reuters. That doesn’t mean, however, that this double-layered fence is better than the originally proposed wall. The fence is still an unnecessary expense, but a more realistic one for Trump’s administrations and the GOP super majority in Congress.

Though his original plan for a wall has changed, what hasn’t is his desire to deport undocumented immigrants from the U.S.

Trump’s absurd generalization of all Mexicans, and Latina/os, being rapists and criminals has him wanting to deport two to three million undocumented immigrants who have criminal backgrounds, as he said in an interview with 60 Minutes on Nov. 13.

According to the Pew Research Center, there are an estimated 11.2 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. today. This number is down from its peak in 2007 where there were an estimated 12.2 million undocumented immigrants. This estimated of 11.2 million accounts for only four percent of the total U.S. population.

According to a report done by the Bureau of Judicial Statistics, of these 11.2 million only 73,665 of them are undocumented immigrants that are in state or federal prisons. Our total prison population stands at 2.2 million.

 

73,665 out of 2,220,330.

 

That’s three percent. Three percent of our state and federal prison population is made up of undocumented immigrants.

There aren’t even enough convicted undocumented immigrants that amount to the total that Trump wants to deport, though this is not counting the population in private prisons.

But the way Trump describes the people he wants to deport is ambiguous. Criminal. That word encompasses quite a number of offenses including some that, quite frankly, aren’t even that big of a deal to be deemed “criminal.” Driving without a license, possession and use of cannabis, possession and use of other drugs and other nonviolent offenses. Exactly what kind of criminals is Trump going to deport?

Trump’s election in the presidency provides us with a number of uneasy uncertainties. The best-case scenario, which isn’t good, is that he doesn’t turn out to the fascist he painted himself to be. The worst-case scenario is that most of that rhetoric isn’t just rhetoric and with a Republican super-majority in Congress, they will work together to put America in a state of regression.

Trump has plans to deregulate carbon emissions, handicap the Environmental Protection Agency, cut taxes on the one percent. The GOP has long wanted a way to get and maintain political power, and now they have the executive, legislative and judicial branch. Money in politics doesn’t seem like it’s going to stop, but continue. Methods of voter suppression might manifest itself again as it did during the Jim Crow era of the South.

But we are the solution. As Alan Moore said in V for Vendetta, “People shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.”

Now, more than ever, we must unite. We must rid ourselves of the internalized oppression that the Latina/o community has in order to get over our petty differences and realize we are one. There is no Mexican, Puerto Rican, Guatemalan, Venezuelan, Ecuadorian, Costa Rican or Dominican. There is only us.