Where President Trump went wrong

Sunday, January 14, 2018

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Whether you think he is stable or a genius, and whether you like what he says or not, you know exactly what he is thinking because President Donald Trump speaks his mind. This makes life very simple because it obviates the need to decipher the message and there is no need to parse any obscure diplomatic language.

Migration is a sensitive issue in every country, and every society has its preferences and prejudices about who enters their country. Every society has a psychological limit to the number of foreigners it will let into its boundaries. When this real or imagined limit is perceived to be breached, it sets in motion a political reaction to limit or even stop migrants. The first targets are migrants who are different in race, colour, culture, religion, and language. The reaction is more virulent if recent migrants do not want to be assimilated but want to retain their separate and distinctive identities.

No human being has the right to illegally enter a foreign country and demand to stay in that country and regard the privileges of citizenship as an entitlement. It is the right of any country to decide who and how many foreigners/migrants to allow in. They have the right to decide what qualities and qualifications immigrants must have before being admitted on either a temporary or permanent basis.

President Trump's migration policy has the components of (1) limiting the number of people entering the United States, particularly illegal migrants; (2) repatriation of those that are not citizens or permanent residents, including the so-called “Dreamers”; and (3) the right to choose who can legally migrate to the US.

The policy is based on the view that there are too many migrants, and that they are taking jobs from American citizens and many are involved in crime or are suffering from certain diseases.

President Trump, make no mistake, speaks for many more Americans than will publicly admit it. He, in an unfortunate choice of words, stated the preferred migrant is white, western European and educated.

Since last Thursday when he is reported to have made a very offensive reference to immigrants from African nations, Haiti, and El Salvador, Mr Trump has, understandably, been getting worldwide criticism.

The fact that the White House did not deny the highly inflammatory remarks only served to make matters worse, and Mr Trump's eventual denial via Twitter Friday that he never used “derogatory” terms has not been convincing.

The reported comments are not the kind we would expect from any head of government, especially from the president of the United States — a country that prides itself in embracing peoples of all nationalities, cultures and religions, and which has a long and proud record of assisting and protecting poor and marginalised people across the world.

We hope that the firestorm triggered by this unfortunate issue will be a lesson to all that there is no place for rhetoric that is simply not civil.

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