Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump, has promised in speech after speech to make Mexico pay to build a wall to keep Mexicans out of the United States. Ironically, today it was Trump who was forced by protesters to abandon his motorcade on the highway and navigate around a wall to get into the Republican convention.
After hundreds of protesters descended on the Hyatt Regency and blocked the road in front of the hotel in protest of Trump’s anti-immigration vitriol, he was forced to pull off the road and cross, on foot, around an embankment. Trump and his entourage were then forced to enter through the back door. It was apparently the only way he could get to the hotel. Upon taking the stage, Trump joked “That was not the easiest entrance I’ve ever made, it felt like I was crossing the border.”
This isn’t the first time Trump’s big mouth and racism have provoked protests. On March 11th, Chicago turned out a massive anti-Trump protest causing him to cancel his appearance at UIC despite a sizable turnout in his favor. Thousands of protesters flooded the west side streets of Chicago in opposition to Trump and his largely racist following. Many even made it inside and chanted “Bernie” in response to the chants for Trump. But to the dismay of his supporters, “The Donald” never took the podium.
Trump’s incendiary rhetoric has infuriated many and has ranged from calling Mexicans rapists and murderers to implying that Muslims were like snakes. He has been quoted as saying “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best… They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” As for Muslims, specifically with regard to Syrian refugees, he has called for a complete and utter shutdown of Muslims coming to America.
Trump claims that his official immigration policy is based on three principles: that Mexico must pay for a wall along the U.S. border; that immigration laws must be strictly enforced; and that immigration plans must improve jobs, wages and security for Americans. If Mexico refuses to pay for the wall, Trump plans to charge Mexicans additional fees to come into the U.S. on both regular and work visas. He is also a proponent of deporting the children of undocumented immigrants even if they obtained citizenship by being born here. He speaks of immigration, as he does the presidency, as if it were nothing more than a business deal or project from The Apprentice.
While Trump tends to be a loudmouth demagogue, his policies aren’t terribly different than the policies of other GOP candidates. Ted Cruz, for example, a candidate who many deem to be more dangerous than Trump, called on law enforcement to “patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods” after the bombing in Brussels. Furthermore, Cruz’ foreign policy team includes people who suggest that all mosques across America be shut down and who have decried all Muslims to be “jihadists.”
The positions expressed by GOP Presidential candidates, Trump and Cruz, are arguably representative of the entire party with very few exceptions. Trump has the media’s attention because he is loud, unabashed, outrageous and the likely GOP nominee. But in any event, the irony of watching a notorious racist forced to pull over and climb a wall to go give a bigoted speech about building a wall, absolutely priceless!
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Athena is passionate about human and civil rights and social justice. She is an attorney and an activist by background and in the past has been an adjunct instructor as well as a writer.