The Trump effect

By now everyone is aware of the complete buffoon Donald Trump is and that he is a racist, bigoted, small minded man. I can deal with that – he’s on the other side of the world and I don’t need to go to America in the next four years so I’ll never have to encounter his stupidity or the repercussions in society that his stupidity creates. However, I can’t deal with the fact that because he is now President of the United States (aka the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, the protector of democracy and the epitome of what it is to be an American) people that sought asylum and refuge in America, or went there looking for a better life, are now fleeing the country illegally to Canada because they no longer feel like the safety and opportunities they once had in America are secure and that fleeing is the only way to ensure their own safety.

On the 9th of March this year, The Washington Post published a chilling article highlighting the severity of Trump’s abdominal appointment as President as 17 migrants attempted to cross the Canadian border in a blizzard, but had to be rescued as temperatures dropped to only five degrees whilst winds blew at 50mph. Amongst these migrants that were rescued was a 1 year old and a heavily pregnant woman – clearly highlighting the urgency felt amongst migrants in the US to seek further safety for themselves as the Trump administration administers a crackdown on undocumented immigrants in the country. Now, before jumping to the assumption that because they are undocumented immigrants they should be reprimanded and dealt with accordingly, I want to implore you to put yourself in their shoes. It has recently emerged that the Syrian Regime has just committed a chemical weapons attack that has seriously injured over 72 people, Amnesty International estimates that since the Syrian Civil War began between 300,00 to 480,000 people have been killed, Aleppo – once one of Syria’s biggest cities – has been almost completely flattened, humanitarian access has been denied to the area and The UN Refugee Agency estimates that at least 4.9 million people have been forced to flee their homes because otherwise they would probably die. Syria is just one example of the experiences asylum seekers and refugees flee from; there is also a massive civil war raging on in Yemen that has so far created 10,000 dead and 40,000 wounded civilians since it began in 2015. So my question is; if you experienced all that conflict, death, starvation and fear then went to America to build yourself a more stable life (aka the American dream) – only for Trump to be elected, villanise all migrants and threaten your existence once more – would you not cross the border into Canada? I would.

It still surprises me that a nation built upon the hard work, intelligence and dedication of a network of migrants from around the world values the lives of those born into foreign nations so poorly. Border controls might be justified as a way to keep out terrorism, armed invaders or criminals. But, to use them to exclude so many poor and desperate people who want nothing more than to increase their social, political and economic state to give themselves a better life is completely appalling. My final thought asks everyone who reads this a question: how long can the Trump effect last before it completely obliterates the moral conscience of humans beings towards each other?

Lauren Walker

(Image courtesy of the Today Show)

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