Who Says Trump Doesn’t Love Immigrants?

Donald trump loves immigrants.

And he is generously willing to acknowledge the contributions immigrants have made to this great country, that is if they hew to the immigrants portrayal of his youth. Like his wives, Trump likes his immigrants to be of the European model.

Fixated in that dated, mythical all white place he grew up in, the place and time when America was so great, Trump never advanced beyond 1965 when immigration policies  changed the face of America. He is still stuck back in the school book pages of his childhood where white Europeans were the majority of immigrants

A look at an illustration from a 1954 World Book  encyclopedia that purports to celebrate  American Diversity  and the Immigrant’s contribution to our greatness,  appears to be a page straight out of Trumps policy book

Immigrants Come From Many Lands

Vintage illustration World Book Encyclopedia 1954 Map of Immigrant contributions

“How Immigrants Helped to Build The United States”  is the headline to this illustrated map citing  typical contributions made by the various national groups to American industry and culture. The depiction of a multi racial ,multicultural society is sorely lacking, other than an occasional nod to Mexican farmers, and Chinese railroad workers. Naturally they  note the happy Negro “immigrant’s “ varied contributions such as spirituals and sugar cane growing, whereas the English proudly gave us theories of government.

To people raised in the 1950s,  encyclopedias not unlike  like American history textbooks were the truth of things. They carried the weight of authority.

They were or so it seemed the permanent expression of mass culture in America.

Vintage advertisement World Book Encyclopedia .

Vintage advertisement World Book Encyclopedia .

These heavy set of  books that predate Wikipedia offered knowledge at your fingertips, that like the history books we read at school contained the demeanor more than any other books of authority. Teachers treated then with respect.

Inside the covers of theses weighty tomes the histories were seamless. . American heroes were white. As were the ingredients of our melting pot. The society was a regular patchwork of nations as long as you were European. “ Real” Americans were of “European descent. The browning of America  that would occur later changed the recipes  which was not to many people’s liking. Like KFC  they wanted to stay with the original recipe.

The mass of poor immigrants who arrived at the end of the 19th century were “they” to these books  – aliens whom “we” had to assimilate and mold into citizenship. Lest they become an indigestible and undigested element in the “melting pot” recipe and a menace to our free institutions.

Many People From Many Lands

Vintage illustration World Book Encyclopedia 1954 Map of Immigrant contributions

By the publication of this 1954 World Book Encyclopedia  1950s immigrants are fine people      because their decision to come to the US proves that this is a land of liberty; the fact that they were not turned away- by the Statue of Liberty- proves that Americans are uniquely generous. Then in order to prove that American generosity had not been squandered, the texts list “contributions: that individual immigrants have made to America.”

Vintage illustration World Book Encyclopedia 1954 Map of Immigrant contributions

“By 1900 many people from many lands had settled in America. Through the years these people had built farms and villages and cities across the breadth of the country. They had conquered the wilderness “from sea to shining sea” They had come, most of them because of a dream. It is sometimes called the American Dream.”

 

“And so they came through the years people from many lands in search of a better way of life. About 1 million came from Norway. More than 10 million came from Italy. Millions of others came from the British Isles, from Germany and many other countries. “

A classic original recipes people didn’t want tampered with.

“For many of them the first sights they saw was the statue of liberty It stood at the gateway to the New World . It reminded the immigrants of the dream that led them to America – freedom justice and a better way of life. These people from many lands built the America we know today. We and our sons and daughters will continue to build, for the story of America goes on.

The story did continue.

The 1965 immigration law changed the country in dramatic ways by  abolishing long implemented preferences for immigrants from Northern and Western Europe over African Asians and other developing world nations. Trump would love a return to pre 1965 policies that give preferences to highly educated usually white Europeans.

Though most of us have turned the page on these dated notions, Trump is stuck  on that page.

 

© Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

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One comment

  1. Part of the mythologizing of the American Dream of Immigration is the ignoring of the strongly anti Catholic bias that existed since the turn of the 20th c. There was a negative label for any Italian or Irish person who dared to interact with any WASP. Being white was no ticket to being treated with respect. JFK’s Catholicism was viewed as a political liability, with hysterical WASPs arguing he would be loyal first to the Pope and then to his country. It was JFK’s election that slowly paved the way towards the acceptance of Catholics within the American social and political fabric.

    Liked by 1 person

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