The burden of excessive xenophobia

The danger of American President Donald J. Trump’s almost bigoted policy on immigrants and refugees is that it ignores America’s legacy of liberal democracy and that the growth of America has been significantly oiled by the entry of the best people from other nations into her shores.

People are beginning to see Trump’s policies here as almost xenophobic (hatred for anything foreign), an ultranationalist stance pushed to its extreme.

First, there was a 120-day freeze on the entry of refugees and then a ban on immigrants coming from seven Muslim-majority nations into America.

Now, there will reportedly be another executive order requiring the American Department of Homeland Security to have an upgraded twice-a-year report of foreign-born workers, whether legal. Likewise, an alleged plan to revoke the visas of foreign-born nationals whose jobs are deemed “not in the national interest”. True?

Trump’s “America for Americans” could be more than that. It would seem, in fact, that if there is anyone in the world today who brings the dreaded prophecy that the world would end with the “final clash of civilizations” between the free world and Islam, it would be the man in the White House.

Because some people think that Trump’s stringent policies turns off many Muslims. But American relation with allied nations could be used as propaganda material by extremists that America is, indeed, anti-Islam.

The White House argues it has legal basis on the claim that the president, in consultation with Congress, can make laws affecting immigration, as certified by the Office of the Legal Counsel and the Justice Department. The good thing is that the American judicial system does not dance to the baton of Washington all the time.

Opposition men have pointed out if Trump’s main tack is to contain radical terrorism, then why not include in the ban Saudi Arabia from whom most of the 9-11 suicide bombers came from?

According to Time Magazine, America has allowed entry to 3 million refugees from political, religious and the racially discriminated the world over since 1980 and that none of these fellows ever committed any terrorist act in their country of refuge in the last 36 years.

According to Cato Institute, there is, therefore, a one in 3.6 billion chance that an American will be killed by a terrorist refugee. Or one has less than half a chance of being “killed by a falling asteroid”.

Maybe the US president is too rich to have experienced the benefits accorded by millions of immigrants to America.

For instance, the latest migration figures show a pro-female trend. This is because career and entrepreneurial women in the US do not want or do not have the time to tend to their children, the elderly and the sick as nannies and caregivers are paid about $11 an hour.

Two-thirds of US nannies, housekeepers and caregivers are originally from other nations.

If pushed really hard, America could possibly suffer from a brain drain. An unofficial count in Silicon Valley, for instance, disclosed that 70 percent of the CEOs there are Asians. One other large company cited is Google, whose CEO Sundar Pichai, is an Indian immigrant. So is the COO Marwan Fawaz of a Google subsidiary, while Sergey Brin himself is an immigrant from Russia and one of the company’s founders.

One magazine asked how the American health and health-care systems could possibly thrive if they deport all foreign-born nurses, doctors and researchers.

On the matter of refugees, many celebrities in America have refugee parents, including two famous actors Andy Garcia and Jerry Springer. The late Steve Jobs, one of America’s brightest minds and CEO at Apple had a Syrian refugee father.

America, indeed, rose to stardom on the backs of some of the best immigrants and refugees. Why is Trump averse to this? For what noble reason, Trump?

In Manila the 2017 Miss Universe and Miss France, Iris Mittenaere, recently said that her country has chosen to open its borders to refugees despite having scores of its citizens having killed by terrorists.

France was founded on the ideals of Liberte. Whatever happened to the US, once the greatest refuge of nations, under Trump?


Bingo Dejaresco, former banker, is lifetime member and chairman of the Professional Development and Broadcast Media of Finex. His views here, however, are personal and do not necessarily reflect those of Finex.


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