To the editor,
I wrote in late January regarding the president’s compulsion to build a border wall in the face of adverse public support. My two paragraphs drew a response from a Cambridge reader, RH, to which I have additional thoughts.
I suggested this obsession on the wall is a reflection of his narcissism. The president has been doing a masterful job of fear mongering, wagging the dog, creating a border crisis while actually driving a white nationalist agenda.
The president has repeatedly lied about the security at the southern border, portraying immigrants as rapists, gang member murderers, sex traffickers and drug smugglers. The numbers just don’t support his rhetorical claims.
In his State of the Union address he falsely claimed El Paso was one of America’s most dangerous cities before the wall was built there. FBI statistics show from 1985 to 2014 El Paso’s violent crime was “significantly” lower than other American cities of similar size.
RH suggested we consider the pain felt by relatives of those who have been killed by illegals. A New York Times article, “The Myth of the Criminal Immigrant” (2018) cited an increase in immigrant population of 118 percent since 1980 while the violent crime rate has decreased by 36 percent.
According to the Pew Research Center the number of unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S. is lower than anytime since 2004.
Obama’s record on deportation and deterring illegal immigration was consistent with the results of other presidents past and present.
It was suggested by RH that the Democrat Party was dependent upon immigrants from the southern border as a source of support at the polling place. Unauthorized immigrants do not have voting rights.
RH is upset that immigrants are a drain on our Federal budget citing an annual cost of $130 billion. The conservative Heritage Foundation concluded the number was $54.7 billion with the largest portion of that amount being used to educate immigrant children.
In conclusion, RH wrote, “Thank goodness the American voters saw the wisdom in electing a non-politician to finally enforce our laws and secure our borders.” I would remind RH that American voters favored Hillary Clinton by 3,000,000 votes. Trump garnered more elector votes to become president.
As a postscript, my grandparents were immigrants from Sweden, Norway and Germany. They were poor, were not proficient in the English language, but were determined to create a better life for themselves and they did. We are very much a country of immigrants.