Harsh rhetoric and scandals are common characteristics of a presidential campaign. Politics is indeed a rough sport.
But the 2016 presidential campaign will be remembered as one of the worst in modern political history. Statements have been made and positions outlined to such an extreme that it will take years, if not decades, to mend the wounds the candidates have inflicted upon one another.
But it is virtually beyond dispute that some of the things Donald Trump has said and the stereotypes he has pandered have severely crippled the nation’s political process. The political, racial, religious, and cultural divisions created by Trump’s “scorched earth” campaign style will pose serious problems for the next president on both the national and international stages, regardless of who is our new commander in chief.
Trump’s stances on immigration alone have created monolithic problems that will face the new president.
Trump made it clear from the outset that all immigrants—whether they are Mexicans, Muslim, or Syrians—are bringing crime into the country, and more efforts should be made to stop them from entering the U.S. (and in some cases, get immigrants and undocumented workers out).
Trump regales his supporters with a narrative of crime-wielding, dangerous immigrants – something that has produced xenophobia among the core of his supporters that will make virtually any path to American citizenship virtually impossible to achieve.
But are Trump’s comments painting an accurate picture?
Immigrants Are Making America Safe Again
Stone cold statistics tell a different narrative.
In fact, research shows that the number of immigrants who commit crimes is actually lower than native-born Americans. This is something that has been true for decades. For example, when immigration rates went up in the 1990s, crime rates went down.
Moreover, the areas where the most immigrants live have consistently experienced the fastest dip in violent crime rates. When immigrants move into lower-income or rundown areas of cities, they tend to improve the neighborhood and bring peace to the streets.
Let’s look at one example involving immigrants from Bangladesh in Buffalo, New York. Thousands of Bangladeshis, some first- and second-generation immigrants, began to move from New York City to Buffalo in 2015 for the low-cost housing and job opportunities.
Neglected homes in certain areas of the city were restored and renovated by the Bangladeshis, as were a number of areas around town. Businesses began to flourish. At the end of 2015, the Bangladeshi community planned to erect 30 new businesses in the areas of town they lived in.
Locals who had seen the areas formerly overrun with drug dealers and prostitutes were shocked to see how much safer and cleaner the areas have become. The communities saw crime rates plunge as much as 70%.
Has Trump mentioned these success stories in any of his speeches?
Consider as well, the role that immigrants play in making our streets safer and our citizens healthier. There are 25,000 immigrants working as police officers in America, 14,000 immigrants working as correctional or probation officers, and 70,000 immigrants working in private security.
Just like any population of people, there are going to be some bad eggs, sure, but there are certainly not as many bad eggs in the immigrant population as Trump is leading his supporters to believe.
How His “Trumped-Up” Rhetoric Unfairly Harms Immigrants
Trump’s comments on immigrants are not just offensive – they are harmful. They paint an inaccurate picture of everyday people who are coming to America to provide for their families and make a new life in a new country. But unless you know the statistics we detailed above, you may be prone to buy into Trump’s anti-immigrant narrative.
This creates an inaccurate and negative stereotype of immigrants, which can carry over into an immigrant’s everyday interactions, whether they’re on the street, trying to get a job, or looking for somewhere to live.
It’s also something that can carry over into how immigrants are treated by law enforcement and in the courtroom. We see the effects of mindsets like Trump’s in legislation that allows law enforcement officers to racially profile people who look like they could be immigrants.
Trump has helped to create a more hostile environment toward people who look like they could be immigrants, which increases the chance that they could be suspected of committing crimes they did not commit.
Prosecution for immigration crimes has actually been in decline over the past few months. But if Trump’s rhetoric is any indication, it may be on the rise again soon.
If you have not been granted citizenship, being accused or charged with a crime is a serious matter. A conviction could mean jail time, heavy fines, or worse –deportation. A conviction for either an aggravated felony or a crime of moral turpitude is considered grounds for deportation.
If you are accused of a crime and need a serious defense strategy to protect your rights and help you stay in the country you call home, contact a knowledgeable Texas immigration crimes lawyer today.