The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Lane: Trump built a great wall on the southern border of his evidence

“Give me your tired, your poor / Your huddled masses yearning to breath free / The wretched refuse of your teeming shore / Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me / I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” Few U.S. citizens are not familiar with at least the first nine words of this passage.

This is the ending of the poem “The New Colossus,” inscribed at the base of the Statue of Liberty. And despite countless immigration reforms since France gave the statue to the United States in the 1870s, the ideals still stand strong. The United States is a nation built by individuals of all backgrounds, races, religions, and creeds.

Growing up, I was taught that stereotypes and prejudice were the tools of the ill-informed and the lazy. Hate was really just an ugly manifestation of ignorance. And people who made racist, anti-Semitic, or otherwise bigoted remarks was merely compensating for their own ignorance on a given culture and saying much more about her- or himself than he or she was about these people.

When Donald Trump announced his presidential bid a few weeks ago to a cheering crowd (allegedly bolstered with paid actors), he confirmed all of my education about bigotry. But it wasn’t until last week that Trump revealed just how far off he is on the facts.

It didn’t take a particularly high-level education to determine that Trump’s assertions about immigrants from Mexico and other areas of Latin America were textbook bigotry and probably naïveté. Trump argued in his announcement speech that “when Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best, they’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”

Is that so, Mr. Trump? Are you sure?

I hope he isn’t sure, because according to the Washington Post, momentarily setting aside his ignorance to the world around him, it turns out Trump is just flat-out wrong.

Interestingly, in the past 12 months, the Pew Research Center reports that “the crime rate among first-generation immigrants is significantly lower than the overall crime rate and that of the second generation.”

Yet Trump claims, according to CBS News, that he didn’t expect backlash to be this bad because as he puts it, “Why wouldn’t you talk about a problem? The crime is raging. It’s violent, and people don’t want to even talk about it. If you talk about it, you are a racist. I don’t understand it.”

But that’s the issue. The problem was made up by Trump, who claims to “speak to border guards.” As the Post notes, “There’s essentially now correlation between immigrants and violent crime,” and “Immigrants are underrepresented in California prisons compared with their representation in the overall population.”

The article further attacks Trump’s credibility, pointing out that he misinterpreted a statistic that was actually referring to immigrants being raped, as opposed to immigrants themselves perpetrating the crime.

Trump’s ignorance has become a major topic in national news lately because of its entertainment value — and nothing else. What Trump fails to see is the country laughing at his ignorance and questioning how he could have been so successful in business while living in world where “facts” are built on a foundation about as strong as his hairline.

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