Tika Sumpter sat down with her brother recently to talk about immigration and common misconceptions surrounding the topic in the United States’ political discourse.
As most know, ever since Donald Trump first began campaigning for the presidency, the politician stirred controversy for a number of different topics: his views on immigration, US-China foreign policy, American manufacturing jobs, and Islamic terrorism.
During the 2016 campaign, Trump became easily the most influential and talked about man in the United States. However, what many people don’t understand is the way in which immigration actually works in the US. According to Tika’s brother, there are many immigrants who cross the border illegally into the United States from South and Central America.
But for the most part, illegal immigrants are usually in the United States because they came on a Work or Student Visa and are still in the country, illegally.
Sumpter suggests that NAFTA was created by Bill Clinton in the 1990’s as a way of ensuring jobs would go to Mexico so that the South American country would no longer “send” illegal migrants across the border.
Sumpter added that it was an implicit assumption between the United States and Mexico that by opening factories in Mexico, the nation wouldn’t have to send people across the border anymore.
The idea being that the Spanish-speaking country’s leaders could stop migrants if they wanted to. Mr. Sumpter alludes to the 1980’s when Ronald Reagan granted amnesty to all of the illegal immigrants in the nation.
At that time, explained Sumpter, Reagan said if all illegal immigrants came out, he and his government wouldn’t deport them, they would just have to identify themselves, and then begin paying taxes.
Sumpter says that this incentivized bad behavior, as the NAFTA agreement, which was supposed to thwart illegal immigration, actually had no such effect, and following Reagan’s granting of amnesty, more migrants came across the border.
Whether his interpretation of political history is correct, is up for debate. However, Donald Trump clearly hit a note when he spoke candidly about immigration during the 2016 election. It was a topic no one else was willing to talk about in the way that he did.