Sunday, September 22, 2019

What did Donald Trump do today?

He reminded Indian-American voters that he'd never treat them the way he treats the undocumented workers at his golf courses.

Trump appeared today at an event celebrating the Indian diaspora with its guest of honor, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi. Trump was in campaign mode, trying to appeal to an audience that included many American citizens of Indian descent—one of the few relatively large racial minorities in the country that he hasn't directly insulted while in office. 

His speech included most of the usual false and debunked talking points that Trump gives at rallies. Trump made a special point of contrasting Indian-Americans with "illegals" who he said were "pouring into our country" for free health care.

In reality, most undocumented workers who are illegally hired in the United States pay taxes and into Social Security and already cannot receive most public benefits. For example, this would include the dozens of undocumented workers hired by just one of Trump's luxury golf resorts. Trump businesses have only just now started using the government E-Verify system, after the sheer size of their illegally hired workforce started coming to light. Not using the E-Verify makes it easier to hire workers with fake credentials—and hiring workers that a company knows are undocumented makes it easier to steal wages from them, as Trump's businesses have.

It's hard to say if any Indian-American voters in the crowd were impressed by his bashing of other immigrant populations, but Trump had almost nothing to lose with them: he only won about 16% of their votes in 2016.

Why should I care about this?

  • Praising one racial minority doesn't make it okay to attack another.
  • If undocumented workers are such a problem, Trump could always make sure his businesses stop hiring them.