Dear Mr. Donald Trump,
Though I've never been one to write open letters - much less to aspiring politicians - after listening to your presidential announcement speech, I felt compelled to address a few points you made. Before I begin, though, I'll reiterate some of the things you said, just in case they have, for whatever reason, left your mind:
Our country is in serious trouble. We don't have victories anymore. We used to have victories - but we don't have them. When was the last time someone saw us beating, let's say China, in a trading deal? They kill us. I beat China all the time...When do we beat Mexico, at the border? They're laughing at us, at our stupidity. And now they're beating us economically. They are not our friends, believe me, but they're killing us economically...
When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you...They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists, and some, I assume, are good people, but I speak to border guards, and they tell us what we're getting, and it only makes common sense...They're sending us not the right people. It's coming from more than Mexico. It's coming from all over South and Latin America. It's coming probably, probably from the Middle East, but we don't know 'cause we have no protection, and we have no competence...
Mr. Trump, while I respect the empire you've built for yourself, it's safe to say you're letting your ego get the best of you. To say that we as a country cannot beat China but that you have is, among other things, egotistical. You speak of China beating us, but haven't we reached out to China for cheap labor? Why do you feel we must surpass other countries in order to be deemed powerful? Would it not make more sense to work with them?
Still, the predominant issue with your presidential speech remains to be addressed: Mexico does not send its people, nor does any other country. Mexico, like any other country, has no say in what personalities choose to migrate in order to build a better future. Many of the people who do migrate work to build a life in the United States.
In fact, they have to work to support themselves and their families because, unlike many Americans, they are not entitled to government benefits, despite the fact that, according to The Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), a research organization that works on tax policies, undocumented immigrants paid an estimate of $10.6 billion to state and local taxes in 2010.
In addition to this, through its research, the ITEP has determined that allowing certain immigrants - presumably those who prove to be hardworking - to stay in the country and work legally would increase state and local tax contributions by $2 billion a year, reducing the deficits you mention throughout your speech.
And as if that's not impactful enough, undocumented immigrants are also paying about $15 billion a year into Social Security with no chance of ever collecting. Stephen Goss, chief actuary of the SSA, shared the following with CNNMoney: "Without the estimated 3.1 million undocumented immigrants paying into the system, Social Security would have entered persistent shortfall of revenue to cover payouts starting in 2009."
In short, many immigrants are taking on the meager jobs in order to help their families here and abroad. They are the ones doing the dirty, underpaid work that some Americans refuse to do. Hence, your assumptions are without merit and serve as proof that your reasons for running have very little to do with us.
Furthermore, as actor Cristian de la Fuenta so succinctly stated: "It is unacceptable to launch a presidential candidacy creating a rhetoric of hatred and discrimination in calling Mexicans drug dealers and rapists."
Mr. Trump, you spoke with Telemundo and stated that your speech wasn't referring to all Mexicans, yet you made disrespectful and painful generalizations that depict everything that is already wrong with our nation. If your intentions were not to offend but simply to state the truth, why didn't you mention the criminals who are not immigrants? Why, instead of aiming to blame a specific demographic for the shortcomings of our government, did you not address crime in its entirety? Is that not what a true leader would do, as opposed to segregating?
We do not need a president who will build stronger walls. What we need is a president who will look well beyond those walls and work instead to dismantle erroneous separations.
After all, we are the United States of America.
How will Donald Trump’s first 100 days impact YOU? Subscribe, choose the community that you most identify with or want to learn more about and we’ll send you the news that matters most once a week throughout Trump’s first 100 days in office. Learn more