Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Undocumented in the age of Donald Trump

The shrill campaign trail populism of Donald Trump has revived the issue of illegal immigration. Lars Gesing reports from Denver, Colorado, how understanding life as an undocumented could help fix the issue.

By Lars Gesing, Deutsche Welle
July 19, 2016

With every step little Cristian Solano took, a flash of light interrupted the old sewer canal's damp darkness. At age three, Cristian was just little enough to be the only one walking among the group of Mexican emigres who crawled behind him. The shoes shone a light on the path to what they were sure would be a bright future in the United States of America.

I met Cristian, now 24, in Denver in early May, almost a year after a man named Donald Trump escalatored onto the Republican presidential primary stage with tirades against undocumented immigrants particularly from Mexico as well as obscure plans to build a 2000-mile (3219-kilometer) wall along the southern border.

The consensus is that neither the Great Wall of Trump nor rounding up and deporting the roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants - of which only about half are from Mexico - is practically or fiscally feasible. Deporting 11 million people alone, so the conservative projection goes, will cost taxpayers $400 billion (362 billion euros). And 72 percent of Americans actually favor a right to stay for the undocumented.[...]

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