By Salma Valadez
Mr. Trump, you are my brother!
As cliche as this may sound, America is like a large, dysfunctional family.
For example, we have the grandparents whose outdated ideas have left the younger generations a legacy of sexism, racism, debt, and much more to deal with. We have the rich aunts and uncles who own 10 times the amount of wealth than the average family member. We have sons and daughters adopted by Mother Liberty, and older siblings who struggle to accept their brothers and sisters.
You and I, Mr. Trump, are two pieces of a 318.9-million-piece puzzle called the United States.
It may seem as if we have nothing in common: You are a 69-year-old TV personality running for president, while I am an 18-year-old college freshman, who happens to be a descendant of Mexican immigrants.
However, our families share a common ancestor. At some point, both your Scottish and German grandparents and my beloved family followed Gatsby’s “green light” that led to the United States. Our common ancestor is Lady Liberty herself. Just like two puzzle pieces, we cannot be who we are without each other.
You would not be “The Donald” if it were not for your immigrant grandparents, and I would not be molded into the person I am today if it had not been for bigots who simply don’t understand our common ancestor. I have come to the conclusion that you, Mr. Trump, are my brother.
When you were so sure that Mexican immigrants were “rapists” who are “bringing crime” and “drugs,” I held my tongue. However, I did not appreciate you referring to my siblings and others like me as “anchor babies.”
Not only is this term dehumanizing, but it also feeds the notion that undocumented parents of U.S. citizens are automatically safe from deportation and live cushioned all-American lives. According to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, 46,000 parents of U.S. citizens were deported and another 21,860 were ordered to leave in the first six months of 2011.
Also, your campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, made a comment to CNN in regard to “anchor babies” that “there are 400,000 of those taking place on a yearly basis.” As your more enlightened sister, I feel it is my duty to correct you. According to PEW Research Center, 295,000 births in 2013 were undocumented immigrants. There are in fact not 400,000 of “those.”
In the spirit of familial rivalry, would it not be fair for me to refer to your marriage with your Slovenian-born wife, Melania, as an anchor spouse situation? No, that would be distasteful and ignorant of me; I would never objectify my brother’s wife! As you mentioned in an interview with CNN, the road to becoming a citizen for her must have been “very tough.” You, Melania and I, we’re all equally American.
As for your plan to deport 11 million immigrants in only 18-24 months, I’m still wondering how you would accomplish that. As Jorge Ramos conveniently put, this means you would need to deport 15,277 people per day.
However, while you’re working out the details of your plan, for the sake of patriotism and brotherhood why don’t we get ourselves a pinata modeled after yourself, hang it from one of the spikes on Lady Liberty’s crown, whack to our hearts’ content, and watch as the candy of freedom and dreams scatters along our America from sea to shining sea?
Salma Valadez studies Spanish. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @AliSchultzzz.