It’s no surprise that a recent Gallup poll recorded that 59 percent of Americans are worried about illegal immigration. But like everything else with this administration, Trump has managed to create an even greater divide among Americans on this issue.
Immigration has been a Trump talking point that, to borrow from another media outlet, Trump clings to like a “drunk to an empty gin bottle.”
Immigration isn’t just a hot-button political issue, but has evolved into a rallying cry evoking unprovoked violence against the victims of Trump’s exaggerated tirades. The Southern Poverty Law Center found that there was a rise in hate groups due to Trump’s rhetoric.
The rise in hate incidents has so many people worried that eleven organizations, representing African Americans, Latinos, Muslims, Arabs, women and the LGBTQ community, are collaborating under the umbrella Communities Against Hate and working with the Leadership Conference Education Fund and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law to establish a national database of hate crime incidents and a hotline for victims to call for legal help.
Yet, the GOP, as revealed in the poll, are the ones who feel under threat. Gallup found that since 2011, the GOP has had an elevated worry over the illegal immigration issue, while concern has actually fallen among Democrats and Independents.
As a result, the gap between Republicans and Democrats on the issue is at its widest, an average of 31 points — and it’s only growing.
As long as Trump, White House spokespeople and anti-immigrant congressional leaders purposely mislead the American people about the status of border security, the rate of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants and the role of undocumented migrants in US society, the 79 percent of Republicans (according to the Gallup poll) who worry about illegal immigration today will only worry more.
And when any constituent’s worries escalate he/she does what comes naturally — demands their government fixes it at any cost.
At that point, there’s not much room for compromise, compassion, and more importantly, comprehending the truth.