To the Editor:
I was recently talking with my dad about how Donald Trump has scapegoated certain groups of immigrants for a supposed increase in crime (we are still in a 20 year low according to the FBI) and loss of manufacturing jobs. This got him some votes – but it’s also plain wrong.
My dad is a German immigrant and he worked in management in US machinery factories from 1973 -2007. He said, "The only immigrants we ever had were me and some engineers. I watched people lose their jobs to machines – robots. Why? Because robots are cheaper than people."
Many jobs move overseas for similar reasons – pay people less, make more money. Who benefits? American executives. People who look a lot like our President – elect. They make money however they can and everyone admires them for it. If you buck the system or step on somebody to get paid that just means you’re smart. Right? People seem to have forgotten that American executives have profited the most from automation and outsourcing of the jobs of American workers.
As for crime, a majority of studies in the U.S. have found lower crime rates among immigrants than among non-immigrants, and that higher concentrations of immigrants are associated with lower crime rates. Highly publicized single incidents of crime designed to appeal to the racialized fears of people who think of themselves as white do not reflect overall reality. They sure do boost traffic on internet "news" sites though.
The immigrants whom the president-elect blames for job loss and crime are primarily those from Mexico, Central, and South America. They are hardworking, family oriented people who come here legally or not because American businesses have jobs for them and want them here.
These are not the factory jobs that the President – elect is blaming them for taking. Who harvests the produce and works in the nurseries, who labors in physically demanding construction jobs? These immigrants. Farmers and contractors have told me they can’t find native born Americans who work as hard and efficiently as these immigrants in these fields. If they do find a few it’s never enough.
Now Mt. Juliet says it will not protect undocumented workers from deportation even if it tears families apart. This is wrong. Citizen children are living in fear that they will lose their parents. Children who have lived here as long as they can remember are afraid they will be sent someplace they never knew as home. People who work hard and fill jobs that others won’t need a path to citizenship, not intimidation that dehumanizes them and prevents them from being contributing members of society.
I know the people of Tennessee are more hospitable and compassionate than this. Please join me in letting the city of Mt. Juliet know this is not acceptable. They can be reached at 615-754-2552.one: 615-754-2552
DeKalb County resident