Trump’s Vision of America is Founded on Exclusion

Phoebe Kuo, Contributing Writer

Donald Trump marched into the political scene last year and claimed he is going to “Make America Great Again.” The theme revolves around one question: who is the real American? In other words, Trump is trying to draw a clear line between his supposed rightful Americans — who deserve proper access to the Bill of Rights — and the unfavorable cast-offs of American society. Trump’s idea of a great America is to cut off and reject those he deems unfit. It seems to be ridiculous, but just ridiculous enough to hit a sweet spot with an increasingly ridiculous voting populace.

Political theorist Carl Schmitt opened his landmark “Political Theology” with the phrase “Sovereignty is about exception.” Trump’s campaign is about making exceptions, too. He argued that immigrants are the root of unemployment in the United States and the H1-B visa program is importing foreign labor at lower costs and therefore steals American job opportunity. Trump actually voices of the opinions of some Americans who feel marginalized in labor markets and hold unfair grudges against immigrants. These Americans believe that as the rightful citizens of the nation, they are entitled to protection and security, and therefore the U.S. government should exempt them from competition.

It is a dangerous perception. First of all, there’s no such thing as a real American. The residents in America, other than Indian-Americans, are all, ironically, immigrants. From the age of English Separatists to the modern day, immigrants built America. Political refugees played an important role in advancing the United States’ position during World War II, and nowadays, immigrants still provide the United States intellectual and labor input. Immigrant history and American history are inextricably and indispensably intertwined.

The labor market is a different story. In the job market, the job openings that are filled by illegal immigrants are the unwanted jobs left by Americans. They are therefore forced to work in dangerous and unprotected working environments for low wages.


Legal immigrants who hold occupations did not obtain their jobs by stealing, but rather filling mandatory voids left by unwilling Americans. Because the U.S. labor market is often short on human resources, employers must resort to hiring international students and sponsoring the H1-B visa. If the employers had choice, they would still give priority to Americans who would save them the time of completing paperwork that is required for immigrant workers. American government has due diligence in H1-B and by no means do work visas turn the labor market an unfair playing field.

Trump may have fooled his voters, but he has not fooled those who are willing to inform themselves politically. His policies are dangerous, and they are now becoming a real possibility. America was great because it embraced its citizens unconditionally and provided all kinds of possibilities. Trump is not making America great again. Trump is dividing America by stirring hatred and racism, but we, the voters, should not be deceived by his empty promises.

Opinions expressed on the editorial pages are not necessarily those of WSN, and our publication of opinions is not an endorsement of them.

Email Phoebe Kuo at [email protected]



  1. I will begin my comment by saying that I in no way support Trump’s candidacy for President of the United States. In fact, I view him as a very dangerous person. Moreover, I must say that I am not anti-immigrant. My father came to this country from Europe at the age of 16 with just a few belongings and very little money. He worked hard and was able to raise a family of four in a middle class standard of living. My wife came to the United States in the 1990s to flee her oppressive communist country, got a masters degree, became a US citizen and contributes to what makes America great.

    That being said, however, I must clear up some things you said about the H-1B visa and labor shortages.

    The latest GAO report on the H-1B visa discusses at some length the fact that the vast majority of H-1B workers are hired into entry-level positions. In fact, most are at “Level I”, which is officially defined by the Dept. of Labor as those who have a “basic understanding of duties and perform routine tasks requiring limited judgment”. Moreover, the GAO found that a mere 6% of H-1B workers are at “Level IV”, which is officially defined by the US Dept. of Labor as those who are “fully competent”. This belies the industry lobbyists’ claims that H-1B workers are hired because they are experts that can’t be found among the U.S. workforce. Source: GAO-11-26: H-1B VISA PROGRAM – Reforms Are Needed to Minimize the Risks and Costs of Current Program

    So this means one of two things: either companies are looking for entry-level workers (in which case, their rhetoric about needing PhDs and “the best and brightest” is meaningless), or they’re looking for more experienced workers but only paying them at the Level I, entry-level pay scale. In my opinion, corporations are using the H-1B visa to engage in legalized age discrimination, as the vast majority of H-1B workers are under the age of 35, especially those at the Level I and Level II categories.

    Any way you slice it, it amounts to H-1B visa abuse, all facilitated and with the blessings of the US government.

    The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has never shown a sharp upward trend of Computer Science graduate starting salaries, which would indicate a labor shortage (the vast majority of H-1B visas are for computer-related occupations). In fact, according to their current survey for Fall 2015, starting salaries for CS grads went down by 4% from the prior year. This is particularly interesting in that salaries overall rose 5.2%.
    Source: NACE Fall 2015 Salary Survey, NACE Salary Survey – September 2014 Executive Summary


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