Why don't we just go home?
In terms of public discourse, the last couple of years have been tough for US immigrants. President Trump has not found himself short of cruel things to say about us and our nations of origin – we are “bringing drugs” and “bringing crime” from our “shithole countries.” As he continues to hurl insults, he empowers his followers to do the same.
The hostility toward immigrants has gone beyond rhetoric and has manifested itself in policy action and implementation. Since Trump’s inauguration, there has been a three-fold increase in non-criminal arrest of immigrants by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. Additionally, thousands of people wait to hear of their fate as members of Congress play political games over the Differed Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protective Status (TPS) programs. Our stress levels are high.
All this got me thinking, why are we here enduring the verbal and emotional abuse? Why don’t we go home?
For historical and contemporary reasons too numerous to detail in a blog post, global economic inequality is extremely high. The US and other European nations have spent decades intervening in the political, social, and economic destinies of other countries. Many have buckled under the pressure of these interventions. Most immigrants, who are not fleeing physical danger in our home countries, are here to increase our chances at economic mobility. We are here to work, it’s just that simple.
My awareness of that reality inspired this month’s databyte. If we are here seeking economic advancement, how are we doing? And are there places more or less conducive to the economic advancement we seek?