Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.”
—Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
In an interview earlier this week, Trump administration official Ken Cuccinelli made the above statement — a bastardized version of the Emma Lazarus poem on the Statue of Liberty — in response to questions about Trump’s new proposal to keep non-wealthy migrants from legally immigrating to the U.S.
Trump’s new proposal will require anyone wanting to legally immigrate to the U.S. to already have their own health insurance and prove they have plenty of money before they get here.
Call me crazy, but that sure seems like it’s gonna make getting agricultural workers here legally to pick our crops a bit challenging. Despite being cruel and stupid, this latest manifestation of Trump’s racism and pandering to white fraidy-cats is going to hit everybody in their pocketbooks and actually lead to even more illegal immigration.
Research shows that without being subsidized by migrant labor, a head of lettuce would cost about $7 and other hand-harvested crops even more. And that’s if we can even get them harvested without our immigrant friends. Without migrant labor we’ll have to rely on our nation’s unemployed caucasians — you know, the ones hellbent on keeping brown workers out of our fields — to go out there and break their white backs picking our food crops. Good luck with that. They’re way too busy drinking Bud, blame shifting responsibility for their low economic status and shooting guns at Obama targets to actually do something resembling hard work.
But why stop there? Instead of just not letting people without insurance and money in, why not pass a law kicking out all the people without insurance, a high-school education and enough money to never need food stamps, subsidized housing or any other form of social welfare?
Oh wait, that won’t work. Even Trump knows better than to kick out the majority of his base of supporters.
Better start saving up for that lettuce wrap. The price is going up if Trump gets his way.
And just in case you missed the real moral of this story: We need immigrants. The vast majority of those coming here are good, kind people who work hard and just want a better life for their family. That’s what this nation has always been about, and I hope we never let the likes of Trump and his fearful followers destroy that.