In the new documentary Hate Rising, journalist Jorge Ramos attempts to gauge how much Donald Trump's rhetoric on the campaign trail has emboldened white supremacist groups like the Ku Klux Klan to no longer keep their hate speech behind closed doors. Ramos was ejected from a press conference in August 2015 by Trump, with the Republican nominee telling him to, "Go back to Univision." Ramos has said it was this incident that triggered his mission to "follow hate" around the United States for nine months to see how Trump's words were influencing others in the rest of the country.
The film also provides insight into the effects Trump's rhetoric has had on the groups being targeted. In one scene, Ramos sits with a group of Latino schoolchildren and asks them if they have fears of their families being separated. Most of the kids in the classroom, having been born in the United States but raised by relatives that were not, immediately tell Ramos that, yes, a split family is one of their frequent worries.
"My dad is from Mexico and if Donald Trump wins he's going back to Mexico and we're going to be separated," said one boy. When Ramos asks who would have to leave, almost all the students respond with either "my mom" or "my dad." Another boy starts crying after saying, "I don't want my grandma to go to Mexico because she really takes care of me."
Trump's talk of deporting immigrants and building a wall along the border, assuring his supporters that Mexico will pay the for the cost, has been arguably the most appealing part of his candidacy for those who plan on voting for him. In an interview with The New York Times, he even cited his wall as being all he's got to mention in order to excite supporters. "If it gets a little boring," he said, "if I see people starting to sort of, maybe thinking about leaving, I can sort of tell the audience, I just say, 'We will build the wall!' and they go nuts."
It's not surprising, therefore, that his immigration plan includes all sorts extreme measures, such as mass deportation. He's even suggested repealing birthright citizenship, which he mistakenly believes would not require changing the Constitution.
It's easy to see why this type of talk would frighten young Latino children whose families might be torn apart. What Trump doesn't seem to realize is that United States immigration laws don't make it possible for anyone who wants to apply to do so. If you haven't entered the country with the sponsorship of a company you're working for or a school you're attending, you must have a relative who is either a permanent resident or citizen to petition on your behalf. If you are fortunate enough to have a family member who can complete this step, you then have to wait for your status to be approved. The wait time varies depending on what country the immigrant comes from, but for many, this process can take decades.
With the high rate of Latino voters this election, Trump's divisive rhetoric will likely result in a clear lack of votes from these key communities.
Images: Fusion/YouTube (1)