Minorities in the US under Trump's mandate - Maxicours

Minorities in the US under Trump's mandate

Objectif

Découvrir un aspect de la notion « Diversité et inclusion ».

Points clés
  • Les États-Unis d’Amérique sont considérés comme un melting pot, c’est-à-dire que différentes communautés cohabitent ensemble.
  • Cependant, en dépit d’une histoire marquée par l’immigration, les minorités sont discriminées aux États-Unis et, en particulier, la communauté noire, et ce même avec l’abolition de l’esclavage et le mouvement des droits civiques au XXe siècle.
  • L’ancien président des États-Unis Donald Trump a voulu renforcer le mur qui se trouve entre les États-Unis et le Mexique pour empêcher l’immigration illégale.
  • Cependant, les statistiques montrent que l’immigration illégale recule.
Pour bien comprendre

L'histoire des États-Unis et ses rapports avec les minorités

1. The United States of America: a melting pot

The United States of America has always known waves of immigration. When the Pilgrims arrived on the Mayflower, they met the only occupants of the country: the American Indians.

Remark
In 1620 a group of English puritans who were persecuted because of their religious beliefs (Calvinism) left England for the new world. They are known as the Pilgrims or the Pilgrim Fathers. They established their colony in Plymouth, Massachusetts on September 16, 1620.

Since then Irish, Jewish, Italian, Asian, Hispanic and other communities have settled in America. No wonder the country is compared to a melting pot.

Did the situation changed when Donald Trump was President (2017-2020)? How were the newcomers considered then?

2. The difficulty of being different in the US
a. Inequalities between Whites and non-Whites

To start with, we can unfortunately say that the Blacks in the US still do not have the same rights as the Whites. They even think that equality will never be reached and that there will always be differences. 40% say that the country has not made enough progress since the abolition of slavery 150 years ago.

And, according to 60% of Americans, the situation is getting worse since Trump was elected in 2017. And a few see race relations improving in a near future.
But what is more dramatic nowadays is that people (65%) do not hesitate to express racist views without any shame.
A lot of people – about 80% – allege that the black community still suffers from the burden of slavery which considerably affects them (racism, work discrimination, police brutality, etc.).

b. Trump made things worse

Like Afro-Americans (12%), Hispanics (17%) and Asians (5%), whose skin colour singles themselves out from the rest of the population, suffer from racism, too. They have difficulty finding a job or being integrated in the American society.
Unfortunately too many series convey a wrong message: non-Whites are often depicted as lower-class members who make a living as housemaids, janitors or… gang leaders!

Whereas 37% of American people thought Barack Obama had made progress on race relations when he was President (2009–2017), only 15% think Donald Trump had made progress towards improving the situation.
In fact, being white in America helps a lot when it comes to a person’s ability to get ahead and Trump, whose dream was to stop immigration, was not willing to make things better.

3. Trump's wall

During his 2016 election campaign, Trump argued that a bigger wall was needed between Mexico and the USA. In the beginning, the wall was supposed to cover the entire length, being almost 2,000 miles (3 kilometers). But he announced later he would cover only half of the distance, mountains and rivers taking care of the rest.

Remark
Since the end of the 1980s, barriers are built between the 2 countries to prevent illegal drugs transportation and immigration. In 2011 the Department of Homeland Security stated that the barriers are almost 650 miles length (almost 1 kilometre).

But why such a wall? And is there a crisis of legal immigration on the southern border? If we have a look at the figures, we must say no.
Indeed, in 2000, nearly 1.7 million people crossed the border whereas in 2015, before Trump was elected, the number had fallen to 400,000.

It is also important to note that, according to the Pew Research Center, the number of immigrants living in the US illegally has actually declined since 2007.

Pew Research Center is an American research center which provides information on social issues, public opinion and demographic trends.

And illegal border crossings are not limited to the southern border, migrants also try to enter the US through the Canadian border and the coastal border.

Most of the time, people trying to cross the border do it because they flee violence in their countries: poverty, gang violence, organised crime, corruption, murders, insecurity, etc. It was the case in 2007 when a caravan of 7,000 people from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador arrived at the border. And Donald Trump called it an invasion.

Even though only a part of the wall has been erected, harsh measures were taken to dissuade migrants from entering the US. Indeed, the authorities did not hesitate to separate the families and children were detained in squalid conditions.

This wall is unfortunately not an isolated case. We have to know that about 70 walls have been built in the world since the end of the Second World War.

There are good news though: even if nobody knows for sure how much the wall would cost, it is likely to be blocked by the Senate. And 58% of Americans are opposed to its construction.

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