Trump may have something on immigration

Great Falls Tribune
Trump may have something on immigration

David Olen Cross 4 p.m. MDT August 5, 2015

Donald Trump, a resident of the state of New York, billionaire real-estate developer and current Republican candidate for president of the United States, made campaign kickoff remarks about illegal immigrants from Mexico.

This deserves some serious examination.

“The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best.

They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. . . .“They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists,” he said, adding, “And some, I assume, are good people.” – Donald Trump

Why would Trump, a man who was born in Queens, N.Y., who surely visited in his 69 years Liberty Island, home of the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island, America’s East Coast immigration processing center of the late 19th to mid 20th century, make such remarks about illegal immigrants from Mexico?

I can’t claim to know the heart of Trump, but I will speculate on Trump’s views on illegal immigrants.

Liberty and Ellis islands are on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places; they are and were symbolically the lighthouse of liberty beckoning and the entry port of legal immigration to America, particularly to a person like Trump who was raised in Queens, a borough of New York City. Queens is close enough for a man interested in the history of immigration to this country to make a short trip southwest down Long Island to Brooklyn and look west across Upper New York Bay at the iconic sites.

He most likely has taken the ferry ride to the Statue of Liberty and while touring the statue site he must have read the bronze plaque cast with 1883 sonnet written by Emma Lazarus, titled “The New Colossus.” Here is an often quoted passage from the sonnet:

“ ‘Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!’ cries she

With silent lips. ‘Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!’ ”

Trump, after reading Lazarus’ “The New Colossus,” would know as a student of circumstantial current and past immigration history that immigrants entering Upper New York Bay by boat is the legitimate gateway to America, while 5.9 million illegal Mexican immigrants sneaking across the country’s southern border with Mexico violate federal law and invade the nation’s sovereignty.

Trump, in preparation for his candidacy for president of the United States, very likely knows that the U.S Bureau of Prisons holds 33,108 Mexican nationals; they are 15.9 percent of the federal government’s prison inmates.

Furthermore, Trump is also likely aware that there are 18,307 federal prisoners incarcerated for immigration crimes, 9.3 percent of the federal prison population.

Recently, Trump met with families of victims of illegal immigrant crime in California; Trump knows the life-changing impact on families who have lost their loved ones killed by illegal immigrants from Mexico.

American’s should thank Donald Trump for speaking so frankly on the topic of illegal immigration and for making it one of the top campaign issues in the 2016 presidential election campaign.

Great Falls native David Olen Cross of Salem, Ore., writes on immigration issues and foreign national crime. He can be reached at or at

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