California is one of the largest states in the U.S., and it is no surprise that it comprises one of the most diverse populations in the country. California is particularly home to many Mexican immigrants whom President Trump has taken shots at during the election process and even during his presidency. One thing is for sure—Senator Kevin de Leon is not accepting Trump’s separatist conversation, and he boldly made this declaration during an event at University of California, Riverside amongst hundreds of college students.
Not only did Leon address how Trump’s conversations regarding economic policies is against the core values of Americans, but he highlighted how it is even against our own financial progression. Although Trump casually discusses his plan to deport thousands of undocumented immigrants and to build a wall to prevent Mexicans from crossing into the U.S., the reality is that his plan to deport hundreds of thousands of Americans would cost the country billions of dollars. The question then becomes, how are undocumented immigrants draining the U.S. economy and which situation would be more damaging to our long term financial success? It would appear as though having more hands to help shape the U.S. into its finer self would be beneficial than less hands. Senator Leon clearly agrees with this notion, yet, during his speech at UC Riverside, he was still met by a few Trump supporters who heckled him, even referring to him as a traitor. Leon has worked toward fighting against Trump’s administration for some time. He has even provided shelter for illegal immigrants.
Beyond Kevin de Leon fighting the force of President Trump, it is important to understand what is at stake for undocumented immigrants financially. Due to Trump’s threats of deportation, many immigrant families are living in preparation for the worst situation. Similar to Y2K when so many families stocked up on water and dry food supplies, many undocumented families are stocking up on all necessary supplies in case they are required to leave the country that they have come to value as home.
The promise of the pursuit of happiness is semi-crushed for many families in this predicament. Spending money on the luxuries of American living could be too costly, especially if that joy is soon to be taken away from family members. This is not just a case of less privileges for a community of people who must be more cost-conservative. This is a case of living on the edge of terror daily in fear that all that one has worked to create in a land of promise could be removed.
Trump’s deportation plan could be massively devastating for Riverside County. A recent data report showed that there are approximately 161,000 undocumented immigrants living in that region. Of those that are considered undocumented, 15,000 are between the ages of 3 and 17. Deportation could have a crippling effect on any person, particularly younger children whose identities have likely been largely formulated in the United States. Overall, we encourage readers to remain updated on how deportation and finances will work to the benefit or detriment of the economy because Trump’s plans appear counterintuitive.