Things That Matter

Hanging Mexico’s Flag From Trump Tower Was Only The Beginning. Now He’s Dressing Up As Him

CREDIT: DIEGO SAUL REYNA / CBC / FACEBOOK

Back in April, Mexican-Canadian Diego Saul Reyna won the hearts of Trump haters and immigrants everywhere when he proudly displayed Mexico’s flag atop Trump Tower in Vancouver. For Reyna – originally from Chiapas, Mexico – flying the Mexican flag wasn’t about vandalism: it was an act of peaceful protest. To explain his reasons, Diego posted this message to his Facebook wall: “From the drywall to the concrete finish to the steel framing to the cleaning and the scrap, this building is standing here today thanks to [immigrants], to our hard work and out labor.”

These days, Reyna is still out protesting, but now he’s doing it dressed as Donald Trump. And Diego’s portrayal of Donald Trump is nothing like the real thing.

trumpimage
CREDIT: CBCDiego Saul Reyna / INSTAGRAM

Instead of acting like a loud mouthed ego driven buffoon, Diego’s Trump is a good samaritan. Dressed in nice pants, bright red suspenders, a button-up shirt, and a Trump mask, Diego’s Trump waters flowers, cleans up graffiti, sweeps away litter, and cleans off tables. He’s a regular boyscout.

The reactions people give to Diego’s Trump are often mixed.

diego2
CREDIT: DIEGOSAULREYNA / INSTAGRAM

Donald Trump isn’t the most popular person in Canada, so Diego knows there’s some risk involved.

Some congratulate Trump for doing something nice. Others aren’t so happy to see Trump roaming the streets of Canada.

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CREDIT: DIEGOSAULREYNA / INSTAGRAM

No matter how they respond, they all share a common reaction: they’re shocked when they see Trump doing something nice. That’s exactly the point Reyna is trying to make with this social experiment. “It reveals that it’s shocking that he’s doing anything positive, and it shouldn’t be.” Reyna added: “It shouldn’t be shocking that anybody does anything positive.”

In another social experiment, Reyna stood Seattle street corner to see if people would rather hug a Mexican or Donald Trump. Obvs, people loved them some Mexican hugs.

My first social experiment, Would Americans rather hug Donal Trump or a Mexican immigrant ???? watch till the end I was surprised to,

Prefiere la gente en USA habrazar a un imigrante Mexicano o a Donald Trump?? son todos rasistas ??? Fui a estados unidos a averiguar a quien prefiere la gente, veanlo hasta el final y gracias por compartir,
#TRUMP #DUMPTRUMP #KINDNESS #SOCIAL #EXPERIMENT #SEATLE

Posted by Diego Saul Reyna on Wednesday, September 21, 2016

CREDIT: DIEGO SAUL REYNA / FACEBOOK

All of Diego Reyna’s experiments are really about empowerment. When Trump first pointed the finger at immigrants, calling them “rapists and criminals,” Diego didn’t know what to do, telling CBC, “I really felt powerless that I’m not able to do anything against somebody so powerful. He’s unreachable.” By dressing up and getting his message out there, he’s been able to turn those feelings of helplessness into a positive experience. Diego left Mexico to find a better life, and all of ours are that much better because of his hard work. Diego really is the embodiment of the immigrant experience.

READ: This Mexican Construction Worker Proudly Displayed A Mexican Flag On Trump’s New Tower

With Reports Of Trump Employing Undocumented Workers, CBP Was Asked Why Trump’s Properties Have Not Been Raided

Things That Matter

With Reports Of Trump Employing Undocumented Workers, CBP Was Asked Why Trump’s Properties Have Not Been Raided

As president, Donald Trump’s platform has centered on anti-immigrant policies; however, as a real estate tycoon, his businesses have thrived on the labor of undocumented workers. With Immigration and Customs Enforcement carrying out massive raids across the country, some media are asking why the agency hasn’t busted any of Trump’s properties, despite its striking record of making unauthorized hires.

To be clear, outlets aren’t calling for more raids of undocumented workers but rather spotlighting the hypocrisy of a president who monetarily benefits from the very labor his administration controversially and violently resolves to stamp out.

When asked about Trump’s businesses seeming to be immune from investigation, CBP has remained silent on the issue.

During CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, host Jake Tapper asked acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan why ICE, which Morgan headed until last month, hadn’t conducted any raids or investigations into Trump’s clubs and hotels given multiple reports that the properties employ undocumented people.

“You really can’t say that for sure,” Morgan said, evading questions about the validity of the claims made against Trump’s businesses. “There are investigations going on all the time that you’re unaware of. … Of course, it’s going to jeopardize the investigation if I come on here and I talk to you about an investigation that’s going on.”

According to undocumented workers who have been employed by Trump, the president was aware of their immigration status.

Since 2015, when Trump announced his bid for presidency, journalists have reported on the mendacity of a then-candidate calling the people who built his real estate empire “rapists” and “drug-runners.” Since taking office, more news has circulated on the president’s use of undocumented immigrant labor. 

Last December, the New York Times interviewed undocumented housekeeper Victorina Morales, who had been working at Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. In the article, the Guatemalan woman disclosed that employers were aware of her immigration status when she was hired in 2013 and instructed her to use phony papers in an effort to swindle the system.

The news was particularly damning at the time as the president was calling for the expansion of E-Verify, an online tool by the federal government that checks whether employees are legally eligible to work. According to a later report by the Washington Postnot only were several of his properties not using the tool but they were also informing people on how to illegally fake documents to get hired.

In May, CNN spoke with 19 undocumented immigrants who previously worked for Trump and noted that the president was undoubtedly aware of their status and employment.

“Some of these employees were the most-trusted employees of the Trump family. They’ve been working there for 10, 15 years,” Anibal Romero, a lawyer representing 38 immigrants who were undocumented while working at the Trump property, said during the segment. “Some of my clients had the keys to Eric Trump’s house in Westchester, New York.”

More recently, the Washington Post reported that many construction crews at Trump properties were made up of undocumented workers. The news came not long after Eric Trump announced that the company was making a “broad effort” to fire unauthorized workers. In the article, one employee noted that his supervisor also told him how to buy fake paperwork on a street corner in New York.

The reason why businessman Trump participates in the “immigration problem” he rails against as president is simple: it gives his company a competitive advantage.

Not only are undocumented laborers paid less but they are also less likely to quit due to limited employment opportunities and not as likely to complain if they are being mistreated, as many are.

With evidence that employers are oftentimes very aware of the immigration status of their undocumented laborers, Tapper asked Morgan why companies who hire unauthorized workers are not punished along with the workers themselves. According to a Syracuse University report that the host cited, only 11 people and no companies were prosecuted for employing undocumented workers between the spring of 2018 and 2019. During the same time, 85,727 people were prosecuted for entering the US illegally.

Morgan responded that an investigation into at least one of the businesses that employs undocumented workers is ongoing.

The interview came days after ICE raided a Mississippi chicken processing plant. The massive bust, which arrested 680 people suspected of being undocumented workers and ripped apart hundreds of families, was the largest worksite takedown in US history. No employers have currently been arrested.

Read: Customs And Border Protections Chief Mark Morgan Defended The Mississippi Raids Despite Children Left Without Parents

El Paso And Dayton Welcome Trump With Chants Of “Go Back To Where You Came From” And “Words Matter”

Things That Matter

El Paso And Dayton Welcome Trump With Chants Of “Go Back To Where You Came From” And “Words Matter”

@kaylee_raines23 / Twitter

Days after two white terrorists sent shockwaves across the country with back to back attacks, Donald Trump is on tour of both Dayton and El Paso – where the shootings take place. He’s set out to play ‘consoler-in-chief’ but before the trip even started he was proving that wasn’t likely to happen.

Trump was expected to draw a chilly reception in both cities and although there have been a few groups of MAGA hat-wearing supporters, his visit has drawn sizable protests.

Trump started out the day in Dayton, Ohio where a gunman opened fire and killed nine on Aug. 4.

Outside a Dayton hospital that the president was scheduled to visit, protestors inflated a large balloon of Trump as a baby, with signs reading “you are why” and “words have consequences.” Another group of protestors gathered near the site of the shooting, chanting, “Do something.”

“His rhetoric has been painful for many in our community, and I think people should stand up and say they are not happy if they are not happy he’s coming,” Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley told reporters.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown met with Trump during his short visit. Both said they reiterated the importance of urgent action surrounding gun laws.

Brown said he put pressure on Trump to move faster on signing a bill that would put background checks in place, but suggested that the president’s response was passive.

“He only said that, ‘We will get things done,’” Sherrod said at a news conference following the meeting.

While in Dayton, the usually very public president didn’t allow himself to be photographed and didn’t make any public remarks.

Many thought it was a smart decision given his statements earlier in the day. His advisors probably didn’t want to risk him saying offensive while in a hospital that was treating victims of a terror attack.

But he didn’t stop himself from tweeting.

Just moments after leaving grieving victims and first responders, Trump took to Twitter to share his experience. He said there was “tremendous enthusiasm & even love.” Interesting choice of words.

Then he went on to attack his political opponents in typical Trump fashion.

Following Dayton, Trump traveled to El Paso where an alleged white nationalist gun downed 22 people and used the same anti-immigrant rhetoric as Trump.

As of late Tuesday afternoon, an ongoing letter campaign, drafted by immigration advocacy group Border Network For Human Rights, had collected the names of more than 19,000 people urging Trump not to come.  

“Stay home,” said Pablo Lucero, 59, directing his words to the president.  “Don’t use us as your photo op. Your words have done enough harm. You’re not welcome. If you really want to come, apologize first.”

El Paso, a city of more than 700,000, is a predominantly Mexican-American community and a Democratic stronghold. Top local, state and national Democrats — from U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-El Paso, to presidential candidate and Beto O’Rourke and others — have urged Trump to stay away from their hometown.

Dolores Guerrero, 60, told Dallas News, “We’re all very sad, shaken and feel directly targeted. He [Trump] has nothing to do here in El Paso. We don’t want him here, the same way he doesn’t want us here.” 

One woman who is being touted as a hero during the El Paso shooting had this message for Trump:

I think he should be careful of what he says, his words, because this is what happens,” she said, overlooking the Walmart parking lot where she spotted her vehicle. “You preach and say things and this is what happens. This is what happens to my hometown, to my people. This is what happens. No human should go through this. No human. No one needs to go through this.”  

Before Trump departed for Ohio, he defended his anti-immigrant rhetoric.

Trump defended his anti-immigration rhetoric on Wednesday, saying it was uniting the country, hours after slamming Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke for saying that the president’s “racism” was responsible for the recent mass shooting that left nearly two dozen people dead in O’Rourke’s hometown, El Paso, Texas.

“It brings people together,” Trump said of his language. “Our country is doing incredibly well.”

He continued to call illegal immigration a “terrible thing for our country” while saying he has toned down his rhetoric.

He also used the opportunity to attack Beto O’Rourke, a native Texan from El Paso.

O’Rourke, who is from El Paso, has been an outspoken critic of Trumps since the shooting on Saturday. It seems that his attacks have gotten under Trump’s skin because the president wasted no time firing back.

Except for Trump, he’s attacking a man whose hometown was just attacked by a white nationalist who wanted to kill Latinos.

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