Donald Trump’s repellent complaint about too many immigrants from “s-hole” countries is more than a window into his racist soul. His hate speech must be heard as a call to action to the public to defend the most fundamental pillars of our democracy.
Immigration is a feminist issue. Women and their children comprise approximately three-quarters of people migrating to the United States each year. Seventy percent of immigrant women attain legal status through a family-based visa, but the backlog is so severe that about four million people are currently waiting to be reunited with their families — some have already waited decades. Moreover, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender immigrants are not allowed to sponsor their partners or children for residency despite raising children and owning homes together.
We already know that Donald Trump disrespects women and treats them with contempt in his private life. Now we see that Trump’s misogynist, racist worldview props up his ruthless determination to defame, shame and discriminate against immigrant women as a matter of national policy.
Our nation has a shameful history of powerful politicians who encourage and enable bigotry. But we have also risen up to oppose racists and fascists, whether they wear white sheets or whether they spew hatred from the Oval Office.
We need an immigration process that treats women fairly and humanely, and recognizes the value of their contributions to the U.S. economy and society.
Donald Trump has spoken his truth and revealed his core failings not only as a leader, but as a human being. Now, it’s up to us to rise up and speak our truth. Silence is not an option.