Las Vegas Sun

January 16, 2019

Currently: 51° — Complete forecast

Guest column:

Latino migrants a threat? No, Donald Trump is the threat

It’s ludicrous that President Donald Trump wants Americans to believe that building a wall to stop migrant children and their parents will make the nation safer, and that these poor migrants who desire a better life are a threat to our security.

In fact, the biggest threat to Americans is President Trump himself and the extremists who are among his base of loyalists.

As an American, I am concerned about the threat of nuclear proliferation with Russia. I’m concerned about the the rise of China as a global leader and Chinese hacking of our databases. I am concerned about reports that North Korean has not stopped building nuclear weapons.

I am concerned that across the country, mass gun murders at schools, churches and concerts are happening on a regular basis, mostly at the hands of white men. About 800,000 Americans were injured by firearms this year — unheard of in other first world countries. For the past two years, there has been a rise of hate crimes by white supremacists.

Beyond these flesh-and-blood dangers, climate change is a pressing crisis that is putting Americans’ health, environment and economy at great risk. Yet Trump has ignored the science and recent research findings by numerous federal agencies about this real threat.

In California, thousands of people’s lives have been destroyed by monster wildfires due to climate change. All across the nation there is a homeless crisis with no end in sight. In some parts of Boston, 45 percent of the homeless population are children. And then there is the opioid epidemic in mainly poor states that voted heavily for Trump.

Don’t forget the rollercoaster drama we’ve gone through these past two years with Trump and Russia: first with the Russian meddling in the elections to get Trump in office, then the Robert Mueller probe on that Russian election interference and then some of Trump’s closest allies going to jail.

So with all of these happening, stop and think: Are the most vulnerable of Latin American descent a real threat to American security. Or is it really President Trump?

Why does Trump have this fantasy that poor Latin Americans are such a national security threat that he sent the military to the Mexican border to intimidate the migrants?

And why are these families continuing to be torn apart when they arrive at the border after a grueling journey?

On Christmas Eve in New Mexico, 10-year-old Felip Gomez Alonso became the second child in recent weeks to die in the hands of Custom Border Patrol. These tragic deaths must be investigated, and anyone convicted of wrongdoing must be punished to the fullest extent.

And it’s not just at the border where children are being separated from parents seeking a hard-working life in the U.S. It’s happening right in our own neighborhoods, as ICE and other federal officials persecuting residents with brown skin.

During the 2018 election, U.S. Latinos sent a message and a major blow to the Republican Party by coming out to vote in an unprecedented manner.

This is the type of action all of us must take to make sure President Trump’s wall never gets a dime.

We Latinos must not forget our roots. We are innovators who have helped keep the U.S. moving forward. We are 60 million strong, we’ve spent over $2 trillion in goods and services and we are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the nation.

We must protect the U.S. against Trump by voting him out, by speaking out and being strong in ways we can be best for our country.

Luis Alfredo Vasquez-Ajmac is an activist, entrepreneur and principle of LAVA, a Latinx national communications consultancy. He lives in Southern California.