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The new era of immigrants, in the eyes of history and the world

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It’s certainly symptomatic to see how the combined narratives on the topic of immigration show the true intentions of those addressing the situation of thousands of immigrants who, even in this century, consider the United States to be their only salvation.

The contrasts, of course, are evident, especially trying to resolve this problem from a humanitarian point of view, like now, and not with the blunt tool of xenophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment, as it was just a few months ago. Both positions clearly define the essence of their final objective.

It is obvious that we have entered into a new era—politically speaking and in immigration terms—without letting the echoes of the recent supremacist past that emanated from the White House during the prior administration, repeat themselves. And it’s also clear that this new turn of the screw that the current administration has begun is making the U.S. migration outlook change and has come to alleviate, to a large extent, the huge damage inflicted on migrant communities during the past four years. There is still much to be done, of course.

That’s why it is little wonder that the now-opposition is trying to distort the migration dynamic with a strategy for political newbies. Consider for example last week’s visit to the Mexican border of a group of Republican legislators, with the purpose of not just “witnessing,” but geographically marking the beginning of their campaign to try to inoculate in their followers’ consciences the idea of a “major crisis” at that place, to blame it on, of course, the current administration, as if the rest of the people, and they themselves, didn’t know that the eternal border problem was exacerbated during the presidency of Donald Trump.

Said Republican visit, at bottom, has also simultaneously been a type of insult to the nation’s intelligence, which now understands even better the real purpose of the so-called Trumpism/Neo- Republicanism; but above all has been an insult to the immigrants in need of a better life, especially the unaccompanied children, which they are beginning to use as a political bludgeon, which is expected to become even more drastic as days go on.

The misleading scenario in which said opposition is trying to re-introduce to their “four horsemen” of the Republican “apocalypse”—namely: xenophobia, racism, anti-immigrant sentiment, and supremacy—is nothing more than the bait with which they want to lure the Democratic side to incite a blame game that distracts attention from the real priorities (migrant children, Dreamers, the 11 million undocumented immigrants, essential workers, TPS beneficiaries, farmworkers, COVID-19 vaccines, et cetera) and from the ancient roots of the migration phenomenon, which has more to do with the socio-economic system that rules our lives than with an entirely border-focused problem.

In that sense, the current White House would actually do a disservice by dedicating too much time and effort to refuting an already well-worn rhetoric known for its cruelty and its failure; in any case, and with the goal of truly advancing and putting this new chapter of the pro-immigrant movement on the offense, intelligently, it would be much better to focus on a new philosophy of migration and being aware that defending this new generation of migrant children at the border, for example, is at the same time protecting in many ways the future of the United States: not only in demographic terms, but as that new impulse that every society needs in historic moments such as this.

Because if there are still those who believe in the United States as their life’s destiny, like these children, the country must learn from this demonstration of hope and courage to maintain an advanced society, right now and in the future.

Essentially, the border and the children who arrive there, just like other waves of immigrants, are telling us that this is not the end of the story, as Trumpism/Neo-Republicanism tries to convince its followers using the same insulting rhetoric. The presence of these migrants who are still arriving at the border tells us that that rhetoric no longer works in the 21st century, but belongs to a horrible past that no one, especially this country, wants to repeat.

And it is in this transition where the two positions embark on a clash of the titans, the result of which, of course, will determine the type of country the United States really wants to be.

But one doesn’t have to think too hard to realize that, regardless of the difficulties involved, it will always be more beneficial in the short, medium, and long term to continue being a welcoming nation in the eyes of the world and not a xenophobic and racist country in the eyes of history.

To read the Spanish version of this article click here.