On the 9th of November, Donald Trump became the president elect of the United States. His victory came as a surprise to many but for others his victory was a continuation of similar nationalist rhetoric and victories that are being/ have been observed throughout the world.
Such rhetoric calls for citizens to ‘take back’ their country in order to show patriotism or nationalism is a ‘defense nationalism.’ This is nationalism that paints the picture of having to defend oneself from the threat of others such as foreign born people. As a 1.5 generation African (Guinean) immigrant, this is very problematic and troubling. 1.5 generation immigrants are those that are born in another country but, in my instance, grow up in the United States. As you can see from the above chart, the populations of foreign born people are increasing in many ‘developed’ countries, which has been leading to elections of persons such as president elect Donald Trump who advocate for the building of walls to stop (im)migration. Unlike Chancellor Merkel’s initiatives in Mali, Chad and Ethiopia, such elections are direct statements of anti (im)migration and othering of (im)migrant populations.
Putting it into perspective, many students in the United States who come from immigrant family backgrounds or who (im)migrated to the United States themselves, even more now, with the election of Donald Trump, are concerned about deportation. Understanding this concern, lawmakers in California are working on immigration policies that could counter possible policies from the Trump administration that target immigrant populations. California is working to have state funded attorneys for undocumented immigrants as well as making sure that colleges and university’s are sanctuary campuses. Recently, Trump himself has tried to ease the worry and division in relation to belonging in the US by saying that “it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division, it is time for us to come together as one united people.” The question though is if Trump wants to find unity and bridge wounds of division with undocument (im)migrants. Waiting for this answer already has many undocumented students and universities on edge resulting in further local municipal and institutional action.
- Barbaro, M and Flegenheimer, M. (2016, November 9). Donald trump is elected president in stunning repudiation of the establishment. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/09/us/politics/hillary-clinton-donald-trump-president.html?_r=1.
- Gallegos, S. (2016, November 17). California lawmakers look to fight trump’s immigration plans. ABC 10. Retrieved from http://www.abc10.com/news/politics/how-california-might-combat-trumps-immigration-proposals/351869457.
- The Economist. (2016, November 19). All around the world, nationalists are gaining ground, why. The Economist. Retrieved from http://www.economist.com/news/international/21710276-all-around-world-nationalists-are-gaining-ground-why-league-nationalists.