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Trump severs relationship with Latino community

With the recent rescinding of the DACA program, Trump has burned another bridge to establishing a relationship with Latinos.

Evelin+Hernandez%2C+27%2C+cries+as+she+holds+a+sign+reading+%22My+dreams+matter.+Don%27t+shatter+them%2C%22+during+a+protest+in+front+of+the+Hennepin+County+Jail+in+Minneapolis+after+President+Donald+Trump+announced+his+plans+to+rescind+DACA+on+Tuesday%2C+Sept.+5%2C+2017.+%28Renee+Jones+Schneider%2FMinneapolis+Star+Tribune%2FTNS%29
Evelin Hernandez, 27, cries as she holds a sign reading

Evelin Hernandez, 27, cries as she holds a sign reading "My dreams matter. Don't shatter them," during a protest in front of the Hennepin County Jail in Minneapolis after President Donald Trump announced his plans to rescind DACA on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017. (Renee Jones Schneider/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS)

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Evelin Hernandez, 27, cries as she holds a sign reading "My dreams matter. Don't shatter them," during a protest in front of the Hennepin County Jail in Minneapolis after President Donald Trump announced his plans to rescind DACA on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017. (Renee Jones Schneider/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS)

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While people may argue that it’s never too late for someone to change, Donald Trump has dug a deep grave for himself. Despite the Sept. 15 mark of Latino Heritage Month, I don’t see him mending the relationship with Latinos anytime soon.

Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program is the most recent ploy to threaten members of the Latino community.

Many opponents of DACA have claimed that the program is illegal because it circumvents Congress, but these same opponents were able to justify Trump’s Muslim ban under the guise of presidential power. We are all watching our president align his agenda with those who wish to harm minorities.

Part of that agenda includes marginalizing these groups as criminals. There are constant proclamations of Latinos and their criminal history; in regards to the program, however, the statistics tell the truth. Around one in three Americans have committed a criminal offense, while one in 400 DACA recipients have had a criminal history.

To put it into perspective, if you have ever driven under the influence, you have committed a more serious crime than most undocumented immigrants.

According to the law, unauthorized immigration falls under the category of civil violation while a DUI, in certain instances, is considered a criminal offense. This is especially true in cases where someone is either injured or killed by a driver under the influence.

To argue that those under the protection of this administrative program have done more harm than good for this country is a lie. And if someone is going to hold an undocumented immigrant to the highest standards of the law, the same must be true to the average citizen committing a crime.

The decision to rescind DACA is not the first blow Trump has dealt to Latinos. During a press conference in August 2015, two men were arrested for beating a homeless Latino man with a metal pipe and urinating on him. They were quick to cite Trump’s campaign promises of cracking down on undocumented immigrants as inspiration for the incident. Rather than fully condemn the gross event, Trump was quick to dismiss the hateful act, stating his fanbase is “very passionate. They love this country; they want this country to be great again.”

A presidential candidate who not only condones, but justifies such a heinous crime would lead anyone to believe that they could never make it in politics. Unfortunately, Trump’s rhetoric has inspired white nationalists to take off their masks and make their racism public, revealing just how attached to its racist roots America still is. The fact there are enough people willing to vote for a man who would use his powers to harm the people he was elected to protect shows how little progress we as a country have made to attaining our goals of equality.

One aspect that took many, including me, by surprise during the election was the amount of votes Trump managed to garner from the Latino community. The co-founder of “Latinos for Trump,” Denise Galvez, argued that many took Trump’s dangerous rhetoric too literal, saying that he never truly meant to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants.

“Everybody took him out of context,” Galvez said in an article by USA Today. “How everybody extrapolates that he hates all Mexicans and he hates all Hispanics and he hates all immigrants is absolutely ridiculous.”

Instead, Galvez believes that Trump’s statement was aimed at targeting undocumented immigrants with criminal records. For many Latinos who endured the process of obtaining legal citizenship, seeing others skip the line and entering the country illegally led them to direct their support toward Trump.

While I can understand the frustration those who came here legally might be feeling, allowing Trump to attack children who were too young to decide to come to the U.S. shows a severe lack of empathy. With minds clouded by misplaced anger, I believe they are failing to realize that in Trump’s eyes, legal or illegal, they are all considered a pest to him.

While a president is given a great deal of leeway in issuing pardons, it’s appalling that anyone could excuse somebody who has shown blatant disregard for the law in order to further his anti-immigration agenda. In fact, Trump’s political career has been based on burning any bridge he may have had establishing a relationship with the Latino community in order to appease his true fanbase of white nationalists.  

Even though Latino Heritage Month is about to begin, I will continue to hold my breath until Trump so much as recognizes the many contributions of the Latino community. Given his track record, I may be holding my breath for quite some time.

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