I recall a day when a colleague offered me a ride for a few blocks after work. Something was on his mind that he wanted to get off his chest, and he wanted to talk to someone who didn’t merely offer affirmation, but the allaying of guilt. He said he didn’t like Donald Trump’s attitude toward China, but although he didn’t think building a wall on the Mexican border was a “good” idea, nevertheless he agreed with a policy of mass deportation. The “surprising” thing about this was that this was not a white American, but an Asian immigrant speaking barely understandable English. Perhaps he thought that this “ethnic” person speaking Midwest English was not sympathetic to immigrants; unfortunately for him, he was seeking support for these views from the wrong person.
I told him that I believed that the focus on Hispanics was because they were the group most vulnerable to racism in this country (not blacks), and I found the failure to acknowledge the growing problem of illegal immigration from Asia an indicating the favoritism shown to them. Needless-to-say, these observations were contrary to what had been hoped for; if one sows the racist wind—especially someone from white America’s “preferred” immigrant group—they should expect their hypocrisy to fly back in their face; some "dogs" do bite back. Not surprisingly, I didn’t get any more offer of ride from him again.
It shouldn’t come as any surprise, then, that Trump’s rhetoric “inspires” even those who are also fall under the purview of his bigotry; those self-conscious of the attitude of the “natives” toward them find it convenient to insure that some more vulnerable group is the focus of prejudice. Interestingly, while an Internet search can come up with what seems like 1,000 to 1 stories that portray Hispanics negatively to positively, seemingly the opposite is true of Asian immigrants.
This is unfair beyond any logical explanation. More evidence that scapegoating of Hispanics is race-based is the revelations of a recent study released by the Migration Policy Institute. While the Obama administration is making mock of the Hispanics who voted for him, and his regime is stepping up deportations at an accelerated rate—exclusively targeting Hispanics—the Institute found the following to be the facts about immigration in this country:
Mexicans account for just over half of all illegal immigrants in this country, not “most” as many people assume, and their numbers have remained largely unchanged since 2000.
Because demand for manual labor is decreasing, it is likely that illegal immigration from Latin America has “topped out” and will continue to decrease.
On the other hand.
Illegal immigration from Africa has doubled since 2000.
Illegal immigration from Asian countries has more than tripled since 2000.
Illegal immigration from Asia has increased dramatically despite the fact that income and standards of living have increased sharply in the countries of their origin due to migration of manufacturing jobs to those countries; thus illegal immigration from China has increased 2 ½ times, and from South Korea 3 ½ times, since 2000. It is believed that higher income in those countries only made it easier to illegally immigrate to the U.S. from those countries, rather than stay. None of this is true in the case in Mexico or Central America (no thanks to NAFTA).
Today the number of foreign-born Asians is equal to the number of foreign born from Mexico.
Asians represent 14 percent of illegal immigrants in this country, and if current trends continue—including solely focusing on Hispanic immigrants, and allowing illegal immigrants from Asia to go unmolested despite being as “criminal” in accordance with current anti-immigrant rhetoric—they will likely at least equal or surpass the number of “illegal” Hispanics in the next few decades.
But while illegal immigration from Pacific Rim countries tend to be “out-of-sight, out-of-mind” in this country, that isn’t true of another Asian immigrant group, those from India.
In 1990 there were 28,000 illegal immigrants from India. Today there are 284,000 illegal aliens in the country from India—a 914 percent increase.
Over half of the recipients of H1-B and L visas are from India, and like immigrants from Asia generally, they receive preferential treatment in public and private programs that aid them in “getting ahead” in this country (unlike Hispanic immigrants, who just receive the prejudice “program”). These are not the impoverished people from the country with the largest concentration of poverty in the world, but that country’s better-off. They don’t come here to hone skills to use in their own country, but to stay here and make a lot of money. An amazing 10 percent of physicians in this country are from India, but they have no plans on returning home and addressing the needs of the half-billion impoverished in that country. Many simply overstay their visas and remain in the U.S. illegally, but no one is asking them what their legal status is, especially the ICE.
Still, you have to tip your hat to immigrants of India—whether legal or illegal—they know how to take advantage of a good thing, courtesy of white America’s desire to “prove” it’s not “prejudiced” against all “minorities,” which Indians probably would not consider themselves to be (even Adolf Hitler acknowledged them to be of “Aryan” origin). They have a massive presence in Silicon Valley (which explains why you have at least one Indian in tech-based comedy sitcoms), and Indian households possess nearly double the annual household income of the average American household (this isn’t of course, the case in India itself). All that money in their community must explain those frequent “conventions” at Kent’s Showare Center. I’m sure a lot of people notice how many convenience stores are run by Indians, but less obvious is their vast over-representation in ownership of “economy” motels and hotels. While I acknowledge that most of these people are courteous to customers, the discourtesy and contemptousness (especially to those who are not white) of some is particularly grating for a native-born citizen.
Of course, it isn’t just Asian immigrants who have taken advantage of programs designed to benefit only them; the Russian immigrant community also has established its own self-serving enclaves of privilege. Years ago I recall finding in a Laundromat a rather thick Russian-language version of the Yellow Pages; apparently they have significant private or government-sponsored resources available to them. While I was working at the airport I discovered that workers for another vender doing less demanding work actually made considerably more money than I did, and they weren’t even union; I discovered on a government website encouraging airport companies to employ immigrants from Africa and eastern Europe, for which these companies would receive subsidies to help pay the wages for those immigrant groups.
Meanwhile, just because Trump (and, unfortunately Bernie Sanders as well) don’t know the names of places like Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, the Philippines, Singapore, Macau and Pakistan as well as they do Mexico, it doesn’t mean that people should be allowed to be ignorant of the fact that this country has far higher trade imbalances with those aforementioned countries than it does with Mexico, because those are the countries where nearly all of the major manufacturing and apparel jobs have gone. It just means that people have anti-Mexico feelings imprinted on their brain, thanks mainly to the Right political decision to use it to excite its racist base.