Donald Trump’s masterful handling of an impatient, disrespectful Hispanic reporter from Univision illustrated perfectly Trump’s argument for stronger immigration policies.
Even before Trump took the podium at the press conference in Dubuque, Iowa, Univision anchor Jorge Ramos began shouting out, “Mr. Trump, I have a question! I have a question!”
Trump immediately dismissed him, telling him to sit down, that he wasn’t called.
“Go back to Univision,” Trump said. He then tried to continue his conversation with the first reporter he selected, but Ramos persisted in interrupting them.
“I am a citizen. I have a right to ask a question.”
“No, you don’t,” Trump responded curtly. “You haven’t been called.”
“I have a right to ask a question,” he insisted. “You cannot deport 11 million people.”
Trump denied knowing the reporter. But evidently he recognized his television network. Seconds later, security escorted Ramos out of the room. Afterwards, Trump remarked that he would have happily answered his questions, as long as Ramos waited his turn.
Eventually, the reporter was allowed back in. A testy exchange occurred between Trump and the reporter, who is known for his immigration activism and his support of La Raza, a controversial Hispanic organization that calls for open borders and a return of the American Southwest and California to Mexico.
Millions of illegal immigrants cross the southern border of the United States every year, knowing that they are committing a felony. Some are Mexican; some come from farther South. Millions of other potential new immigrants have been waiting their turn for years to enter this country. Poverty and joblessness are no excuses for violating our customs’ laws.
We were here first, an argument with which an activist like Ramos would debate, citing indigenous peoples who fought savagely against invaders themselves and lost.
Article 1, Section 8 – The Powers of Congress – grants Congress the power “to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization.” Furthermore, it permits Congress “to provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.”
Finding a legal loophole in the 14th Amendment – “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside” – illegal aliens (including Mexicans, South Americans, Asians, and Middle Easterners) have regularly flouted this law to have their babies born in the United States.
Chain Migration refers to the endless chains of foreign nationals who are allowed to immigrate because citizens and lawful permanent residents are allowed to bring in their non-nuclear family members.
Chain Migration is the primary mechanism that has caused legal immigration in this country to quadruple from about 250,000 per year in the 1950s and 1960s to more than 1 million annually since 1990. As such, it is one of the chief culprits in America’s current record-breaking population boom and all the attendant sprawl, congestion, and school overcrowding that damage Americans’ quality of life.
Chain Migration is about family reunification beyond the nuclear family. Until the late 1950s, America’s immigration tradition of family unity had only included spouses and minor children. But since then, the law has been changed to enable immigrants to also send for their siblings, parents and adult children. These non-nuclear family members actually get precedence over an immigrant’s nuclear family.
This ill-conceived system also encourages illegal immigration because adult relatives of legal residents are known to overstay their visas (becoming illegal aliens) hoping to become legal immigrants. The claim that chain migration is about “family reunification” ignores the fact that each U.S. immigrant “disunites” another family by leaving relatives behind.
While it is understandable that immigrants wish to live alongside many members of their extended families, it is simply impossible to accommodate all of them in the United States, given this country’s current high rate of unemployment and future liabilities for programs such as Social Security and Medicare.
The “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” bill from the 113th Congress (S. 744) exacerbated the chain migration problem by facilitating the movement of growing numbers of poor elderly immigrants to the United States, adding to the spiraling costs of Medicare and Medicaid. To address this problem, Marta Tienda, a professor of sociology and demography at Princeton University, has suggested strengthening requirements that Americans financially support their elderly parents “by enforcing those requirements currently on the books.”
Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) has introduced the Nuclear Family Priority Act (H.R. 604) for the current Congress. The bill would end Chain Migration by eliminating several of the family preference visa classes that allow adult relatives to receive legal permanent residency status in the United States. Parents of U.S. citizens would be eligible for a renewable visa provided the immigrant’s son or daughter can prove that they can financially support their parents and provide health insurance coverage.
Different groups of immigrants to the United States throughout its history have employed different strategies to enter, work, and live in the United States. Some groups, such as Eastern European Jews, emigrated in families en masse from the Russian and Austro-Hungarian Empires of the late 19th Century. Many groups have immigrated to the United States throughout history via chain migration. These social networks for migration are universal and not limited to specific nations, cultures, or crises.
Chain migration is an overarching theme of many of the immigration experiences in American history. One group of immigrants to the English colonies in North America (and later the United States) was African slaves brought over forcibly; the circumstances of their migration do not fit the criteria of chain migration of free labor.
Italian immigration in the late 19th and early 20th centuries relied on a system of both chain and return migration. Chain migration helped Italian men immigrate to the United States for work as migrant laborers. Italians generally left Italy due to dire economic conditions and returned wealthy by Italian standards after working in the United States for a number of years. Italian immigrants were called “ritorni” in Italy and grouped with other Southern and Eastern European migrant laborers under the term “birds of passage” in America.
However, after the passage of the Immigration Act of 1924, return migration was limited and led more Italians to become naturalized citizens. The networks that had been built up by information and money due to chain and return migration provided incentives for Italian permanent migration.
Mexican migration to the United States followed some of the same patterns as Italian immigration. The history of Mexican migrant labor in America and return migration to Mexico produced a network that allowed for chain migration once more restrictive legislation was passed hardening the border between the two nations.
Chain migration based on the knowledge gained from migrant labor experience and relationships with American residents or citizens again provided some ease of immigration. From 1942 to 1964, the American government sanctioned the Bracero Program, which allowed hundreds of thousands of Mexican migrant workers to assimilate into the American way of life.
After the Hart-Celler Act of 1965, which disbanded the Bracero Program, the incentives and effects of chain migration perpetuated undocumented immigration to the United States. Absent any of the economic incentives, the Mexican-American immigration relationship has a long-standing history and the effects of chain migration are pervasive, considering the number of Mexican-American citizens, legal residents, and illegal aliens. Social capital provided by chain migration has helped perpetuate Mexican migration, whether it is undocumented or legal.
While immigrants from European nations during the period before the McCarran–Walter Act of 1952 were able to immigrate legally if with relative levels of ease depending on country of origin, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 barred almost all Chinese from immigrating to the United States. Nonetheless, many Chinese immigrants arrived in America by obtaining false documents.
The Chinese Exclusion Act allowed Chinese-Americans already settled in America to stay and provided for limited numbers of family members to immigrate with the correct paperwork. This loophole and the fateful 1906 earthquake that destroyed San Francisco’s public records provided Chinese immigrants, almost entirely men, with the potential to immigrate with false documents stating their familial relationship to a Chinese American.
These Chinese immigrants were called “paper sons,” because of their false papers. “Paper sons” relied on networks built by chain migration to buy documentation, develop strategies for convincing authorities on Angel Island of their legal status, and for starting a life in America.
A sparsely-populated country will welcome immigrants, particularly those equipped with the skills or education to help build the nation. An already-flourishing nation with a sizeable native population that has an expectation of population growth will be less accommodating of immigrants. The standards for immigration will be stricter, but not necessarily exclusive.
A wealthy nation imprudent in its finances and expenses, lax in its educational standards, and myopic in its social policies and national security, becomes a target for invasive, predatory immigrants. Seeking largesse from the affluent but compromised population, with the help of socialist activists, they violate the nation’s borders, its laws, and its social customs.
Disrespect breeds anarchy. Trump was the schoolmaster bringing a nihilistic student back into line. The reporter was not seeking to ask a question but to make a declamation, which was not the purpose of the press conference.
Trump received accolades for his command of the situation from everyone except Hispanics and Hispanic groups agitating for open borders. His Republican opponent, Chris Christie did not receive the same consideration for doing the same thing at town hall meetings in New Jersey, even though the situations were identical.
The New Jersey Town Hall meetings were held for the specific purpose of allowing town residents to ask the governor relevant questions pertaining to their town and their relationship to the state government. Activists who tried to commandeer the meeting and expound upon their own agendas were, indeed, told by Gov. Christie to sit down – and shut up.
The Media never reported the overwhelming applause Christie received from his local audiences. The incidents were not isolated or rare; they were a regular habit with the activists and Christie soon acclimated himself to these disturbances. His popularity at New Jersey town hall meetings rose. Audiences were SRO – standing room only.
The only difference between Christie’s town hall meetings and Trump’s press conferences is that the town hall meetings were not televised. Had television cameras not been present, the Media would have given Trump the same moniker as Christie – “bully.”
Trump’s (and Christie’s) messages to out-of-line reporters and illegal immigrants: wait your turn.
Bully for Chris Christie! And bully for Donald Trump!