If racist bully Trump becomes president, God save legal immigrants.
By Sujeet Rajan
NEW YORK: Hearing the bombastic, pompous and irrational Donald Trump vent, gloat and hold forth on legal immigration, one wonders if he ever read the works of the late Swiss novelist Max Frisch, who said, “We asked for workers. We got people instead.”
The New York businessman and GOP frontrunner in the presidential nomination race swings like a pendulum when he opens his mouth on legal immigrants. His absurd position and stand on those issues changes in a jiffy like a chameleon changes colors. Or the Thar desert the shape of its dunes after a sand storm. Perhaps, Trump – with some awesome, dexterous yoga – at the last second, manages to direct some words from the other side of his mouth. Just for affect. Maybe.
How else to explain Trump’s spray of vitriol against legal immigrants one day, when he talks of ending or putting a moratorium on the H-1B visa program and banishing Green Cards for family reunification, to praise the next day Indian students on F-1 visa and the absolute need to keep them back in America after they graduate.
Because of course, ‘smart’ Indian students create jobs, reasoned Trump. Looking smug, he added for good measure, in an interview to Fox: “I think somebody that goes through years of college in this country we shouldn’t kick them out the day they graduate, which we do.”
He then added: “They go to Harvard, they are first in their class and they’re from India they go back to India and they set up companies and they make a fortune and they employ lots of people and all of that. Whether we like that or not, they pay, et cetera, et cetera but we educate a lot of people, very smart people. We need those people in the country.”
I can only commiserate with the misery of all those terrific Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Australian, African and who have you foreign students, who must have felt miserable and damned when they heard Trump’s verdict: castigated, inferior, left out.
Perhaps Trump thinks those 14-year-old Indian (American) students who win the Math, Spelling and Geography Bee are here on an F-1 visa? Well…who could be that absurd anyway?! But here’s the point. No, Donald, the US doesn’t do what you say. Not at all.
The US, in fact, under president Barack Obama, has just extended the Optional Practical Training (OPT) for all STEM students on F-1 visa who graduate with a degree, to a full three years. That means, from May 10, 2016, all those students get to work for three years in America after they graduate.
The extension even has additional time for students to stay in the US if they get sponsored for an H-1B visa by employers who want to retain them after the end of their OPT; to wait and see if they qualify under the lottery system for an H-1B visa. That same H-1B visa that you want to scrap, Donald. So, Donald, essentially, if you end the H-1B program or put a two-year moratorium on it, it would be YOU who would end up packing those same students to home shores immediately.
And Donald, you might want to check on your facts as to how many Indian students who ‘pay’ get into the Ivy League schools. Ahem, most of them get scholarships too, you know, and enroll mostly for graduate school, not for undergraduate programs. The ones who pay tuition are mostly second generation Indian Americans who can afford to, and who through sheer determination managed to get in, despite Affirmative Action.
When it comes to jobs creation by immigrants, perhaps Trump, born as he was with a $100 million dollar silver spoon, is not capable of realizing that his fellow business brethren in the hotel and hospitality industry, the Patels, Shahs and Mehtas who came from Gujarat without a degree now own most of the small motels and hotels in this country, as well as a healthy market share of franchises in the hospitality industry. They didn’t exactly attend Wharton Business School or get a stint at Harvard. Some of them started work at a grocery store or cleaning a hotel room.
But they, and other immigrants like them, have created more jobs for Americans and residents than the students who go on to launch start-ups in Silicon Valley. Perhaps, Trump, swathed in luxury as he is, forgets that most immigrants work hard their entire life so that their children make it further in life. More often than not, it’s those second generation Indian Americans who end up launching the next-gen start-ups, not the dad and mom who emigrated as students, slogged tirelessly at a job in America.
The point is, how many years will you give to these ‘smart’ Indian students whom you admire so much Donald? 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, before you kick them out? Or will you have the sensitivity and the sensibility to wait till their kids start the companies which will give jobs to those Americans who went to school and those who dropped out of school.
The reality is that the immigration system is so broken at present that somebody who applies for a Green Card today would probably get it after 30-40 years. Building a wall is not enough Donald. Breaking some barriers are important too.
So, Donald, are you going to throw out all those legal residents who have not gone to school in the US, but have as Frisch said, become “people” of this country, integrated themselves into communities, got a job, married, raised children, bought a house. But, they still wait for a Green Card. Yes, those people are not Americans. So, what about them, Donald? Are you going to throw out those Green Card holders who have not started a company? Who exactly is an American? How American should they be under your dictatorial rule Donald?
Dr. Amit Majmudar, an Indian American radiologist who is also the Poet Laureate of the state of Ohio, in his remarks at the Democratic Party presidential candidate Town Hall meeting held in Columbus, Ohio, on Sunday, said his family, his father and mother who emigrated from India, was getting increasingly worried about a Trump presidency.
“As a one per cent ethnic and religious minority, witnessing the rise of Donald Trump, for the first time, my family has started feeling a little uncomfortable here, and frankly, a little bit scared,” Majmudar, a Hindu, said. “And I very much hope that he understands that in a democracy, people should be allowed to go to anybody’s rally, peacefully demonstrate without fear of being beaten up”.
Majmudar added that his mission, in case Trump gets the GOP nomination, he would campaign to stop him from winning the elections in November, for the White House.
See Donald, these are the kind of immigrants you are pissing off. Maybe Majmudar’s parents might end up leaving America if you win. Maybe the physician too. You don’t have to throw such immigrants out. They are scared of you already and your supporters, like members of the Ku Klux Klan. Fear such supporters would beat up immigrants who don’t look White.
Trump may one day prefer only those foreigners who come in on EB-5 visa program, where they invest at least $500,000 on a project in exchange for a Green Card. Who knows, what else he has in mind to create the perfect American utopian society full of top class, rich immigrants. Who will create a 100 million jobs for the poor, working class Americans, who will work for those immigrants.
Trump might also twist Frisch’s words one day to this effect: “We never asked for people. We only want workers.”
(Sujeet Rajan is Editor-in-Chief, The American Bazaar. Follow him @SujeetRajan1)