Donald Trump’s 10-Point Immigration Plan Criminalizes Undocumented Afro-Latinos, and Shows Racism in Immigration Policies
By Lechelle Barron
Hours after his trip to Mexico to meet with the Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump, outlined a 10-Point Immigration Reform Plan on August 31, in Phoenix, Arizona. A plan that would criminalize undocumented immigrants and overlooks one important fact that undocumented immigrants are racially profiled in the deportation processes that take place in the United States immigration system.
“I think that Mr. Trump’s plans would be deeply felt by the Afro-Latino community, the fact that current policing in our country has a strict racial bias and continues to criminalize the Black population, hiring more deportation officers, the majority of who will be white, will continue to criminalize black folks,” said Perea, Director of Programs and Communications for the AfroLatin@ Forum.
“Trump’s overgeneralizations of the immigrant population have been clearly based on race and ethnicity, these tactics he uses is very concerning, because he has been trying to divide the country on racial borders. I think we don’t consider immigrants, including those who are Mexican, are of diverse racial groups and ethnic makeups. We have a single idea of what a Central American looks like and because of that we fail to address issues of racism that have implications in immigration reform. We don’t include in these discussions people of African descent from different nations, including people from the continent of Africa. So, until we have a more holistic understanding of the diverse nature of the immigrant population, especially when thinking about those who immigrate and are deported, we’ll be unable to address those issues.”
Though most Afro-Hispanics disagree with Donald Trump’s ideas, some Afro-Latinos questioned how Mexicans can call Donald Trump a racist, when Mexico has denied the existence and discriminated against its own Black citizens (Afromexicanos) throughout history? “Mexico has systematically denied the Black population until this year, but that’s normal in many Latin American societies who choose to highlight indigenous heredity over any other. It’s a way to continue the pigmentocracy and colorism that is common in Latin America,” said Perea. “As a nation they have been racist, but, Mexicans are taking steps to heal that nationally, they have started to recognize Afro-Mexicans.”
“The census statistics from 2010 report that out of all Hispanics 2.5% identified themselves as Black or of African descent, and almost 1% of all Mexicans selected that. The census says that around 300,000 Mexicans in the US identified themselves as Black. However, the number of undocumented immigrants is difficult to ascertain due to the lack of accurate information on this population,” he adds.
Contrary to Donald Trump’s plan, Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton plans to introduce a comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to full and equal citizenship. “I think her plan would help Afro-Latino immigrants, but we have heard this before from Democratic candidates. President Obama, in my opinion has done as good a job as I could have expected, with the sole exception of his failure to ratify a plan for immigration reform, either by vote or by executive order. The reality is that the country’s immigrant population will always be here and it has been far too long a time for us as a nation to ratify immigration laws that are just,” Perea added.