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Immigration comments affect So-Cal voters

A Presidential candidate’s immigration comments create tension among Southern Californian families. | Infographic by Emily Hayashida/THE CHIMES

 

Southern California immigrants and their families feel the effects of hyper-opinionated comments on immigration made by this year’s presidential candidates.

A Heavy Topic

Approximately 2.67 million immigrants resided in California in 2013, according to the Public Policy Institute of California’s study. California has nearly 25 percent of all illegal immigrants in the nation, 68 percent originating from Mexico. Having over 500 international students, immigration to the US is a heavy topic on Biola’s campus.

This year’s presidential hopeful Donald Trump, a well-known businessman and republican, made several comments regarding the immigration “problem” in America, and many of his approval ratings have plummeted as a result.

Dissatisfaction

Trump hosted the popular nighttime parody show Saturday Night Live on Nov. 7, and the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda expressed dissatisfaction with the show at allowing this publicity, as they believe it is enabling his “hate speech.”

Beginning a presidential campaign that has captivated America for months, Donald Trump brought to light several facets of the U.S. government he believed had to change. In Trump’s presidential announcement, he made claims regarding immigration reform and Mexican immigrants.

“When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people,” said Trump in his presidential announcement speech on June 16.

Boycotts and Protests

Latinos have responded to these comments by openly boycotting Nov. 7’s Saturday Night Live showing. Leaders of America’s National Hispanic Leadership Agenda have expressed direct objection to Trump’s hosting by planning the protest march along SNL’s venue walk.

While Trump’s immigration comments are examined rigorously by both sides of the immigration argument, the simple truth is that a majority of Mexican immigrants, as a whole, are non-felons.

The Outcomes of Mindsets

Senior sociology major Alisha Kerr implements her sociology knowledge in predicting possible outcomes a negative mindset on immigration can have on the nation. No longer viewing people as human beings can be detrimental to our nation’s growth as well as our understanding of human worth.

“If people adopt that mentality of anybody who comes from Mexico is obviously from the bottom of the barrel...that affects the way you treat other people, you treat them as less valuable if you hear that they're from a certain place,” Kerr said. “Then in turn, someone who is Mexican and that’s what they hear their entire life, people tend to meet standards.”

Contribution

The problem many people have is the increasing amount of undocumented immigrants who are paid for work under the table and are not giving back to the country via taxes. Welfare, as defined by the United States Welfare System Information website, is an initiative created to help Americans in the Great Depression get back on their feet financially. The problem with this system is the amount of people who are not contributing to taxes due to non-citizenship and receive federal help from tax-funded operations.

Alan McMahan, associate professor of Intercultural Studies and program director of undergraduate studies in the Cook school of Intercultural Studies, spoke primarily on the ways in which America’s worldwide view is affected by such unfiltered comments. He mentioned that since many people do wait in line and go through the legality process, those who overstay their visas cause frustration.

A Broad Brushstroke

“I think Trump has gained part of his traction because he has tapped into the anger of a lot of people feeling like their government disregards things that they're concerned about. But obviously his comments are inflammatory,” McMahan said. “Trump has made some broad and unfiltered comments. When you listen to that, I think a lot of us are offended by what he says because it seems to paint people with a broad brush.”

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