Exclusionary views have no place in a country built by immigrants

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Clara Freitas, Staff Writer

   It isn’t hard to imagine Donald Trump sitting in his favorite chair, staring knowingly and thinking about what the future holds for America. What senators and the Secretary of State couldn’t solve for 30 years, he solved in minutes. What the Congress took months to write, he wrote in 140 characters. No wonder he built himself an empire- with a brilliant mind like his, who even needs a small loan of one million dollars? He was asked what he could do to make America great again. His answer was quite simple.

   “[Illegal immigrants] are bringing drugs, they are bringing crime. They’re rapists,” Trump said.

   “Somebody’s doing the raping. The thing is women being raped, well then who’s doing the raping?” I don’t know about raping, but maybe Jessica Leads, one of Trump’s accusers, knows something about sexual assault.

   Trump’s plan may appeal to some Americans who are looking for anything or anyone to blame for their problems, but that doesn’t make it right. Immigrants are not the cause of everything bad in the United States. Deporting all of them and building a wall won’t solve anything, and it goes against the values that this country is founded on.

   Immigration is not ideal. No one should have to leave his or her home to have a better life. When people shout “go back to where you came from,” many immigrants bitterly and nostalgically wish they could. When politicians argue that the immigrants’ country should take care of them, not the U.S., it’s safe to say that they agree.

    It is because of this neglect that I’ve seen wealthy people give everything up, lock their house and fly to America. It is because day by day, they see institutions falling apart– no literary device used. Because, although there is a public system, parents that are way under the poverty line do what it takes to put their children in a private high school, intending to break the cycle. Each one of them carries the American dream in their heart– not even aware of its outdatedness because their own country is a century behind.

    The people that I’ve seen come are risk-takers and hard workers. I’ve seen a mother and a father who left their jobs to work in an underground economy so that their children could have a better education. I’ve seen a journalist leave her state newspaper, after more than two decades, to start again in California to study English. I’ve seen my own parents, after building an entire career in a national institute of research in Brazil, give up on the Brazilian scientific field and give everything they have in their new job in America. And, every day, I work my hardest in class and in my community. Isn’t that what America has always pledged to be?

   In a globalized era, where the world is tied by dead knots, it isn’t possible to isolate and to believe that a foreign problem will not affect the West. The partition and colonization of Africa, a major reason for the continent’s underdevelopment, brought the high immigration rates that Europe is facing today.

   The idea of building a wall no longer makes sense in the 21st century. If made before any interventions, wars and invasions, it would be debatable. Today, immigration needs a more delicate and wise approach. As Ronald Reagan said in 1980, “Rather than making them, of talking about putting up a fence, why don’t we work out some recognition of our mutual problems, make it possible for them to come here legally with a work permit, and then, while they’re working and earning here, they pay taxes here.”

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