Republican candidate and colossal hypocrite Donald Trump has responded to a recent video by an undocumented Mexican immigrant who works at a restaurant in a Trump hotel by saying that he “does a good job.” But despite this mild expression of support, Trump’s proposals for immigration would have him deported anyway.
Ricardo Aca is a 24-year-old Mexican immigrant who entered the country illegally at age 14, and now works as a busboy at the sushi restaurant Koi SoHo, which is located in the Trump SoHo hotel. Aca is licensed to work under the Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), which was initiated by the Obama administration in 2012. This program states that “certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal.”
Although DACA permits work authorization, it “does not provide lawful status.” Therefore, status is precarious for those who are granted permission to work, and their protections might be revoked if the Republicans were to win the presidency. As Aca states: “I consider myself an undocumented immigrant still because it could just be taken away from me at any time.” Trump has proposed especially harsh measures attacking immigrants.
Trump’s primary initiative in fighting illegal immigration is to build a “great, great wall” along the Mexican border, which would be paid for by Mexico. He also intends to put an end to birthright citizenship, which grants citizenship status to children of illegal immigrants born in this country, as protected by the 14th Amendment. Obama’s DACA program would certainly be one of the first things to go.
This once again exposes the hypocrisy of the Republican frontrunner – while employing people like Ricardo Aca and saying they do a “good job,” he has made it a focus of his campaign to rid the nation of hard-working people he describes as “rapists” and “drug dealers.” In response to such comments, Aca said in an interview, “I was offended because this is not who we are, this is not who I am, this is not anybody I know who is an immigrant.”
Much of Trump’s empire has been built on the backs of undocumented immigrants. A suit filed in 1983, and settled finally in 1999, showed that Trump hired 200 undocumented Polish immigrants in clearing the ground for Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue. In addition, a mason at the construction site of the Trump International Hotel in downtown Washington recently said, “The majority of us are Hispanics, many who came illegally.” These hard workers who are helping to expand the Trump empire are in constant fear of losing their jobs, especially after Trump’s remarks on the campaign trail.
These actions show that even Trump doesn’t believe the things he says about immigrants; why else would he rely so heavily on “rapists” and “drug dealers” in conducting his business? Nevertheless, his stance on immigration is radical and terrifying. Ricardo Aca was brave enough to risk his livelihood in stating the truth, and his message has resonated widely, with his video drawing over 300,000 views in 24 hours. “It’s important to stand up for what I believe in and to be able to defend myself,” said Aca.
The racist and xenophobic comments made by Trump and other Republicans is totally out of line with reality and even with their own behavior. Trump’s businesses, as well as the U.S. economy in general, relies heavily on the contributions made by immigrants of all statuses. There is no place for such hate mongering in our current political discourse.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.