One Equal World

Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric of Republican Candidates Spurs Increased Immigration

Posted on: March 8, 2016

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

As Donald Trump continues to lead the pack of Republican candidates for the presidential nomination, he continues to use inflammatory, anti-immigrant rhetoric to maintain the lead. He has so tipped the Republican talking points against immigration that his chief rivals have had to get on board and make similar claims. At the point, both he and Ted Cruz have sworn to deport all of the estimated 11 million “illegal” immigrants in the country, and Trump wants to ban Muslims from entering the country as well.

The result has, somewhat ironically, been a significant increase in attempts to cross the border into the United States from Mexico and other Central American countries. A number of factors, such as droughts and gang violence, have been pushing Central Americans north for years, and those factors are generally getting worse. But now, some people who fear that the Republicans will win the White House in November have adopted a “now or never” mentality as it pertains to immigration.

The number of people caught trying to cross the border between October and February was up 24% from the previous year, and the number of unaccompanied minors doing the same is up over 100%. Many people are convinced that crossing now would be easier than crossing after November, and if they get here before Trump wins, they might have a better chance of staying.

The issue is one of constant discussion in Central America, where many people expect that a Republican win would be devastating to both immigration and to those people already living in the United States “illegally.” Despite all this, the U.S. is still a tempting destination for people wishing to escape the poverty and violence of their current homes. Illegally crossing the border poses a lot of dangers to migrants, but historically they have been deemed worth the risk. Even as those dangers are increasing, they still seem worth it.

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