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, 08-02-2015 at 08:24 AM (3213 Views)
More than 100 years ago, at the turn of the 20th century, an Austrian politician by the name of Karl Lueger was elected mayor of Vienna by making anti-Semitic speeches and promising to enact measures aimed against the unpopular Jewish minority. Adolf Hitler claimed to have been inspired by Lueger, and more than a century after Lueger's death, in 2012, he was still creating a controversy when the Viennese authorities finally removed his name from one of the city's major boulevards.
However, in his personal life, Lueger was said to have many Jewish friends and to be free from prejudice.
One of his Jewish friends was said to have criticized Lueger for his reputed opportunism. According to the story (which may well have been apocryphal), Lueger's Jewish friend told him that he would have had more respect for Lueger if he really had hated Jews instead of just pretending to do for political advantage.
Which category does Donald Trump belong in, genuine hater or hypocrite? First, he attacked all Mexican immigrants, without distinguishing between those here legally and those who are here without legal status. In what have now become famous words, (as quoted by publications too numerous to mention within the past three weeks) Trump said:
"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists."
On July 11, Trump attempted to qualify this by saying that his remarks applied only to illegal Mexicans. But the damage had still been done, and the qualification was no more accurate than his original comments. Few of even the most committed immigration opponents would deny that the great majority of Mexican immigrants who are here without legal status came in order to look for jobs or to reunite with their families, many of which include American spouses or children, not to bring drugs or commit violent crimes.
Now, according to Reuters on July 31, it turns out that Trump's own companies have legally brought 1,100 immigrants, most of them from Mexico, into America, mainly as cooks, waitresses and vineyard workers in the H-2B program. While these people may no doubt belonged to the relatively few "good" Mexicans that Trump mentioned in his speech, if Trump had really believed that Mexican immigrants tend to be as dangerous as he is now claiming, why would he have been so willing to bring large numbers of them in? See:
Would Trump not have had reason to worry that even if these legal immigrants had clean records at the time of entry in the US, they might turn into "drug dealers, criminals and rapists" after arrival in this country? At the very least, based on his stated negative views about Mexican immigrants now, should he not have been concerned that the temporary workers he sponsored might stay in the US and fail to return home after their legal status expired?
How many of them have in fact returned to Mexico rather than overstaying their status? If Mexican immigrants have as little respect for the law as Donald Trump has been claiming, then is it not possible that he brought hundreds of people into the country who are now illegal immigrants, if not violent criminals?
What was Trump most interested in protecting? The safety of America, or the profits of his own business empire?
And if Trump did not in fact believe that Mexican immigrants are more likely to become violent criminals, drug traffickers or immigration violators than anyone else, and is now just saying this for political advantage, then he should reach back in time to the beginning of the last century and shake hands with his fellow hypocrite, Vienna Mayor Karl Lueger.
(Trump, of course, differs from Lueger in one important respect; he certainly does not share Lueger's anti-Semitism.)
Either way, it would be instructive to find out how many, if any, of the Mexican immigrants whom Trump sponsored for visas later went on to commit violent or drug related crimes in this country, or failed to return home. Perhaps some immigrant restrictionist group such as the Heritage Foundation, FAIR, or the Center for Immigration Studies would be willing to do a follow-up and issue a report.
Roger Algase is New York lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been helping primarily professional and skilled immigrants obtain work visas and green cards for more than 30 years. Roger's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org