The Daily Aztec

Trump says immigrants are criminals. If that’s the case, it’s the United States that’s responsible

by Jasmine Mouzon, Staff Writer

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The 45th President has made it his mantra to make it known that immigrants are at the root of the problems in America.

The president says, “they’re criminals, drug dealers and rapists.”

As someone who comes from a family of Mexican immigrants, I can confirm immigrants are not who they are portrayed to be.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with immigrants from Central America and have had the opportunity to survey them and ask about their journey to the U.S. as well as why they’ve decided to come to America.

One of the questions I ask them is if they fear returning to their country — a majority of them say yes.

The main reason they fear returning to countries such as Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala is because of the violence, poverty and corruption.

Interestingly enough, the U.S. government has played a role in the demise of these countries.

In Honduras, the government is very weak and has become known as one of the most dangerous countries in the world.

According to The Guardian, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton admitted to contributing to the plan of weakening the Honduran government.

Not only did the U.S. interfering lead to more corruption, but it also led to higher rates of murder and crime.

The Honduran government is so broken that crime is what rules the nation — there is rarely any order.  

When a community is already living in poverty, and one adds a weak power structure, it creates a hostile environment.

As far as Guatemala, in 1954, socialist Jacobo Árbenz was elected president in 1954.

Árbenz gave land to the U.S.-based United Fruit Company and created an education system for the lower class.

However, during this time, the U.S. was focusing on communism due to the Cold War and noticed that Árbenz wasn’t focused on the same thing.

He legalized the Communist Party in Guatemala and of course, the U.S. didn’t like it.

Therefore, in order to maintain their power status, the U.S government orchestrated a plan to overthrow Árbenz and replace him with a dictator.

Due to this intervention by the CIA, the people of Guatemala turned against one another as a way to overturn the newly reformed government.

The military and leftists were constantly at war and the military killed anyone who opposed them.

The U.S also helped fund the war despite having full knowledge of everything the Guatemalan military was doing to its people.

Our government literally aided the destruction of Guatemala.

El Salvador is also one of the most dangerous countries in the world due to its poverty, gang violence and lack of democracy.

Similar to what took place in Guatemala, the U.S. funded the Salvadoran military to block communist influence. Salvadorans began fleeing to the U.S. due to ongoing violence in the 1970s and ’80s.

One of the most prominent international gangs, Mara Salvatrucha — better known as MS-13 — was formed from some of these Salvadoran expatriates, originating in Los Angeles, California.  

When members of this gang were arrested, they were often deported back to El Salvador, going on to spread the gang culture back to their native country, adding to the violence and contributing to MS-13’s growth into a criminal force transcending national borders..

All three of these countries have the same thing in common: violence, lack of democracy and interference by the U.S. government.

These countries have become so unbearable to live in, people are dying every day at the hands of gangs and their own government.

And no one is helping them.

When they flee to the U.S. and plead asylum, they’re not coming here to “steal jobs” or “live off of the government.”

They’re coming here to try to live a normal life instead of living in constant fear of being murdered for being in the wrong neighborhood at the wrong time, or being killed for disagreeing with certain political parties.

When I see these broken families who emigrate to the U.S, I see people who genuinely want to work and earn their living in our country.

They live in poor conditions, unemployment rates are at an all-time high and daily survival is a focus.

They know the way they’re going about it is illegal, but when one has nowhere to go because the place they call home in unlivable, they take drastic measures.

A quick reminder to those who insist we need to “protect our borders” because immigrants are coming to take over: our government has a history of meddling in areas that don’t concern them because our leaders have been power hungry.

Therefore, I find ironic how our government insists on dehumanizing the people from countries they themselves helped destroy.

If the U.S has played a part in ruining other countries, it’s only fair they help in taking immigrants in and helping them live a decent life. It’s the least they can do for getting involved in governments due to their own selfish needs

With that being said, we need to stand against racist, xenophobic people who continue to push the narrative that immigrants are “lazy criminals who come to take over.

As one of the richest countries in the world, it’s beyond selfish to watch people suffer and die simply because of false narratives.

Everyone should have access to basic human rights.

We need to treat migrants the way we would want to be treated if we were in their shoes.

If they want a shot at working hard toward the “American dream,” why not let them?

As Cesar Chavez said, “History will judge societies and governments- and their institutions- not by how big they are or how well they serve the rich and the powerful, but by how effectively they respond to the needs of the poor and the helpless.”

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