11 August 2020 - 12:11
News ID: 450603
A
The US promised the ‘American Dream’ to many following the end of World War II, yet, today, the story is very different, with many people being pushed into forced labour or sexual exploitation.

Rasa - For those wanting to enter the US legally, hold jobs, and contribute to society, they too are finding themselves blocked, refused or discriminated against as the racist white lobbyists pile pressure on the US government to stop migration into the US, a policy that is duly lapped up by Trump at the White House.

To make matters worse, the US has undermined its credibility in the global drive to end human trafficking, giving itself top marks in its annual report on the crime, despite falling numbers of prosecutions against the traffickers themselves.

How it all began

Ever since President Donald Trump took office, travelling to the United States has become an arduous task, whether wishing to migrate permanently or merely for a visit.

One of the most controversial pieces of legislation seen in US Immigration history, Executive Order 13-769, the so called visa ban, saw 11 countries banned from obtaining visas to the US.

This is a ban on Muslims, no matter how anyone tries to explain it. National security cannot be used as an excuse for religious discrimination.

We believe it is unconstitutional and we are appalled that anyone on the Supreme Court would think otherwise.

Rama Issa Ibrahim, Arab American Association

The travel ban, for all intents and purposes, was actually a hidden ‘Muslim Ban’ as the majority of nations that were listed on Trump’s order were predominately Muslim countries.

With the so called Muslim Ban, Donald Trump has signed an executive order that bars 100’s of thousands of foreigners seeking jobs in the United States, by suspending worker visas. What was the rationale behind the ban? Well Trump argues that by bringing in workers, prospects for US workers are harmed in the process.

Who is affected?

One of the worst hit industries, which will suffer the most from the ban on imported labour, will be US based technology companies and outsourcing firms that bring in some 85,000 staff per year to the US. However, the exploitation of the workers is something that the companies thrive on, tying the workers to their jobs, and hence allowing the companies to pay them less than US employees.

There has been a steady rise in the number of people coming to the US on temporary working visas, also known at the H-1B, but, at no time has the permanent leave to remain visa, or ‘Green Card’ been increased, with only 140,000 employment based Green Cards issued each year, trapping some 1 million families in the US, unsure of their next step.

US visas and Green Cards

Many people from around the world see the possession of a US visa a crown jewel in their passports, with the vast majority of people managing to get one, doing so through the so-called Electronic System for Travel Authorization, or ESTA. A simple online form submitted with a small fee smoothed the process, making it an easy job for residents, of certain countries.

For those wishing to stay in the US, maybe as a permanent resident, or worker, the notion of obtaining a Green Card was the process, with the scheme being so famous, it even merited a film being made of the same title, telling the tale of how a French citizen married an American woman to get the card.

Furthermore, the US have for years run a ‘Green Card’ lottery, allowing a certain number of migrants to move to the US on a permanent basis, however, that too has now changed as the impact of Trump’s policies hit the immigration procedure.

The most controversial aspect of Trump’s policies was the so called Visa-Ban, which soon turned out to be labeled as nothing more than a Muslim Ban, as the names of the countries on the list were in the majority, predominantly Muslim countries, something that Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani claimed was a breach of human rights.

This ban violates the rights of all humans. They said: “We are committed to our obligations.” They are violating all principles and international obligations.

President Hassan Rouhani

Protests against Muslim Ban

The introduction of the visa ban led to multiple protests against the discrimination shown by Trump, and led to American’s themselves standing up and countering the measures.

We want to continue to stand up and speak out that this is not who we are.

Isra Chaker, Oxfam

The protests on the streets were further fortified by a legal battle to overturn the ban, with those responsible for taking the motion to court vowing to never give up the fight to end the racially and religiously aggravated decision by Trump.

We will continue to fight and challenge this executive order.

Betsy Fisher, Policy Director, IRAP

Trafficking and exploitation

With the ability to obtain a visa, work permit, or permanent leave to remain in the US becoming harder than ever, illegal entry, or trafficking is fast becoming a popular way into the United States. According to the Department of State, some 49,000 people have been reported to trafficking hotlines since 2007, with this number only being the ones they know about.

The increased difficulty in obtaining legal leave to enter or remain in the United States has led to a natural increase of trafficking people into the US. In particular, to feed the demand for certain kinds of employment, unfortunately through, the trafficking of people often leads to them being trapped in the most unpleasant of circumstances.

Domestic labour, sex workers, agricultural workers, and undeclared laborers are the norm when it comes to the kind of jobs people end up with in the US, with a huge percentage of them being thrown into sexual exploitation situations.

Many of them end up doing forced labour or find themselves in the sex industry.

67% of victims are locals. Most of them between the age of 12 and 18!

Kathy Anderson, Woman’s Fund Director

The internet is to blame

For the President of the United States, the problem of trafficking stems from what he believes is the internet, and not his policies of ever tighter immigration controls, nor the fact that illegal trafficking is still omnipresent in the US.

We are fighting every day to stop the tragedy of human trafficking... all along our southern border. Together we will end the scourge of modern day slavery,that because of the internet, is at levels that nobody can believe.

President Donald Trump

The most at risk from trafficking and its consequences are children, with 300,000 children in the US already at risk of being sexually exploited. There is such a worryingly high demand for sex workers in the US that around 50 to 60% of children at risk in the US are coming from the foster care system, where traffickers are now looking for targets.

The US has in fact undermined its own credibility by awarding itself top marks for fighting human trafficking, in spite of the country seeing an alarming decline in the numbers of people being indicted for the offence, raising the question as to just exactly how the US could maintain top ranking marks, as well as asking just what they are really doing to tackle the problem.

Reports by the US Department of State estimate that some 15,000 to 50,000 women and girls are trafficked into the US each year.

US Mexico border wall

Donald Trump it seems will not be happy until he turns the US into a Fortress United States, blocking off all entry into the country from anyone whom he deems to be undesirable.

One of his most audacious election promises was to fortify the southern border of the US with Mexico, hailing the building of a Trump Wall as the last line of defense against what Trump would surely label as unwanted migrants crossing into the US illegally.

It’s really foolproof, it’s solid steel.

President Donald Trump on the wall

For Trump, the building of the wall came with much controversy, as initially, he stated that Mexico itself would pay for the wall, which was designed to keep Mexicans out, proving to be an oxymoron on a monumental scale.

But can the wall deliver exactly what it was supposed to?

 It was designed to keep out waves of illegal immigrants into the US, in particular the wave of migrants that were arriving on foot from South America, according to Trump, an in order to justify his massive spending on the project, it did.

During the past two months we have seen the lowest number of illegal border crossings in many years. Illegal immigration is down 84% from this time last year. Illegal crossings from Central America are down 97%.

President Donald Trump

One can only wonder whether Trump stated that the wall was a success due to the fact that it was the US who paid for the wall in the end, unlike Mexico, who Trump stated would pay.

What happens to families at border control?

There is however a negative side to the creation of a wall, and the consequences of being caught illegally in the United States, namely, the separation of families, and the treatment of people detained in the camps created to hold illegal aliens.

My dad didn’t do nothing, he’s not a criminal.

Magdalena Gomez, separated from parents at border wall

The sheer heartlessness of the US department of immigration is demonstrated by separating children from their parents and leaving the children in the most unpleasant conditions.

The conditions are worsening because centres are becoming more crowded.

We see children sleeping on the floors, sleeping in cold temperatures, not given sufficient food and clothing.

Alan Shapiro, Senior Medical Director, Detention Centre

Tech Visas

Just about every highly developed nation has used the concept of migration as a means to a better future to their advantage, especially when dealing with matters involving technology, science and innovation.

The US is no exception to this rule, with the likes of Silicon Valley in California bursting with talented software engineers, boffins and computer scientists from all over the world, and in particular, from India, Russia and China.

However, the decision by Trump to potentially put an end to working visas for talented individuals from abroad, in the form of the H1B visa, could mean a shortage of staff in tech firms, and hence see the likes of China overtake the US as the world’s leading nation when it comes to technology.

Both American and Indian companies are being negatively impacted

Shivendra Sing, Vice President, Nasscom

The impact will also be felt by the large American based companies that rely on migrant talent, not only for their progress, but to best reflect the global market they are targeting, with the likes of Google, Amazon and more all using H1B visa holders to play a part in their companies.

Another branch of talent that the US relies on is foreign students, not only as a potential talent pool of future workers, but also due to the huge sums of money that they bring into the US college and university system through their tuition fees, often at costs much higher than for local students.

Trump attempted to subject foreign students to deportation if they did not show up to their classes on campus, a problem that posed a potential health risk due to the impact on the Coronavirus.

However, in a rare policy reversal, the Trump government bowed to pressure from various universities, potential employers in places such as Silicon Valley, and from 20 states, who all opposed the plan to deport their students and interns.

As mentioned, it appears that cost was the major factor that drove Trump to reverse the decision, as it was estimated that the loss of the students would have resulted in millions of dollars being lost, as well as jeopardizing the ability of US companies to employ talented graduates.

The American Dream Unravels

The US promised the ‘American Dream’ to many following the end of World War II, yet, today, the story is very different, with many people being pushed into forced labour or sexual exploitation.

To make matters worse, the US has undermined its credibility in the global drive to end human trafficking, giving itself top marks in its annual report on the crime, despite falling numbers of prosecutions against the traffickers themselves.

For those wanting to enter the US legally, hold jobs, and contribute to society, they too are finding themselves blocked, refused or discriminated against as the racist white lobbyists pile pressure on the US government to stop migration into the US, a policy that is duly lapped up by Trump at the White House.

Tags: US American Trump
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