La Opinión (Editorial)
March 1, 2017
A glimpse of hope appeared on Tuesday afternoon when President Donald Trump said to be willing to consider immigration reform that included legalizing undocumented people. The great disappointment came in the evening, when the leader mercilessly attacked these immigrants and compared them to murderers during his message to Congress.
What kind of game is he playing?
It is possible that Trump, a master of media manipulation, may have held an unusual lunch with a handful of TV journalists to drop a bombshell that sparked interest in his following speech. It would not be the first time that this type of trick is played on the media.
It may have been a Machiavellian maneuver to underhandedly insert the topic of legalization with the purpose of seeing the reaction of Congress. It is hard to imagine that the nationalists at the White House could make a u-turn of that sort so early in the administration.
Or it could be that thing people keep saying about Trump: that he tells people what they want to hear just to look good in that moment. It would not be the first time he contradicts himself in this manner either.
Knowing the way he acts, we believe that Trump’s motives had to do with creating suspense for his own benefit in complete disregard for the suffering of others.
In any case, if at some point yesterday the president had a moment of humanity towards undocumented people, it quickly vanished. His speech could not have been any more virulent against those immigrants.
He first accused them of bringing wages down, causing unemployment, costing billions of dollars and putting communities at risk.
Later, when he spoke about the issue of crime in general, Trump mentioned the creation of the office of Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) within the Department of Homeland Security.
The existence of VOICE institutionalizes the relationship between crime and immigration, guaranteeing the perpetuation of a stigma that is as aberrant as it is inaccurate.
Everything that was said yesterday about immigrants can be summarized as a cruel joke. He is playing with the tragedy of thousands of families being separated from their loved ones, who committed no crime whatsoever.
The president’s message was well-received in general because he did not insult anyone and he read out of the teleprompter without ad-libbing. However, its contents on immigration were venomous. The rhetoric of resentment seeking out scapegoats was more present than ever.
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