It’s been less than a week since Donald Trump won enough electoral votes to be declared “President-elect.” Every presidential election brings about a period of uncertainty, but Trump’s record of “off the cuff” statements has many individuals especially concerned.
At times, Trump has indicated that he will “jail or deport” thousands of illegal immigrants living in the US. It’s possible that these statements will terrify people into fleeing in the months before Trump gets sworn in.
It’s important to exercise caution in how Trump’s statements are interpreted. The act of deporting illegal immigrants has a very practical obstacle: it would be very expensive. The US is plagued by a crumbling infrastructure, and it seems only prudent that the first allocation of funds goes to reconstruct the bridges that form integral parts of major highways. After all, how can Trump send illegal immigrants away if all the roads are impassable?
But practical matters never seem to be much of an issue for Trump. The day where he’ll be expected to actually do something rather than bluster about doing things is rapidly approaching. In the meantime, Trump has the obstacle of a pending fraud case regarding the university that bore his name. Trump has petitioned to postpone the trial until he’s sworn in, but US District Judge Gonzalo Curiel will have the final word (Curiel’s advice was for Trump to settle, but Trump is unwilling to do so).
The fact that this case can be resolved with a settlement indicates it is not a tremendous obstacle in the way of Trump’s presidency. The fact that Trump persists in his unwillingness to settle, even though the case is clearly a distraction from his efforts to assemble a government, is perplexing.
Now is a moment of uncertainty for many minority groups living in the US. It’s possible that many people will elect to depart the US prior to the inauguration.
It’s sad to consider that many people who have come to the US, did so to escape situations of abuse or slavery–and that many of them are children. This is a period of tremendous upheaval for a lot of impoverished individuals who are going to suffer as a result of the current political climate.
Remember, according to section 1 of the 14th amendment, all persons residing in the US are protected by Constitutional rights:
No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
So remember, even if the political rhetoric from our elected officials or our media becomes extremely hostile, it is unlikely that undocumented individuals residing in the US will be subjected to inhumane treatment. The initial shock of this election result will take a bit of time to process, but after that we should be able to hope that some semblance of decency will prevail. But everyone must do what they feel is in the best interests of themselves and their families.