Many of President Donald Trump’s core political supporters had a simple message on Sunday for the fiercest opponents of his immigration ban: Calm down.
The relaxed reaction among the kind of voters who drove Trump’s historic upset victory - working- and middle-class residents of Midwest and the South - provided a striking contrast to the uproar that has gripped major coastal cities, where thousands of protesters flocked to airports where immigrants had been detained.
In the St. Louis suburb of Manchester, Missouri, 72-year-old Jo Ann Tieken characterized the president as bringing reason into an overheated debate.
“Somebody has to stand up, be the grown up and see what we can do better to check on people coming in,” she said. “I’m all for everybody to stop and take a breath … Just give it a chance.”
Well, I’m a NYer, so I am in a different position. To be honest, if you live in the heartland, you are probably at a lower risk of a terror attack than those in major coastal cities. And yet, those in the major cities don’t support the ban.
But here is the rub… if there was a proposal to place 10,000 or more refugees in Manhattan; would people still be saying the same thing?
The refugees are often (not always) sent to more rural areas of the United States in order to work in farms, etc. and where there is room to create new settlements (if needed). And locals are usually not informed, nor have any say.
While the cities face a higher risk of a coordinated terror attack, areas with large numbers of refugees have to deal with culture shock issues in their communities.
People don’t like the culture & character of their towns to change overnight, esp if they have lived there for generations.
As someone who grew up in small town America, lived in Philadelphia, and currently lives in the Philly suburbs; I have spent 1/2 my life in both scenarios.
The needs of urban & suburban America (which have a lot more police protection) is very different from the needs of rural America (where it’s not uncommon for police stations to be 20/30 miles or more away).
The truth is pretty simply: whether they are right or wrong, rural America is sick and tired of being ignored by urban/suburban America. And rural America sees this as another example.
There is some truth to this. Right now there are two groups of refugees in Springfield, Missouri, and nobody knows quite what to do with them. A “charitable” (?) agency received government money to resettle and acclimate them. So, the agency sent them to Springfield, received quite a bit of government money, but it is now my understanding the resources have become inadequate to support them at all, let alone teach them English, how to function in this country, etc.
So no, it’s not just the coasts.
Having seen this, I really do wonder whether the moving spirits behind all of this refugee importing are, in addition to the prior administration, private agencies that get a lot of money from the government up front, but are later unable (or perhaps unwilling) to provide the resources these people really require.
In short, is it one of those ideology-and-money games that don’t seem to turn out well for anyone other than those who get the government grants?
And no, there is no farm work for them. Some of them have been bussed or sent to smaller towns in the region to work in meat-processing plants, but for many or most of them, there’s nothing at all.
So, for the present, they’re just charges on the good will of the City of Springfield, which never asked for them in the first place, or had any choice in the matter. And most definitely the City did not receive the federal grant money.
Well, actually, they’d probably be placed in Queens, which has a large Muslim population (I’m thinking of Little India, in Jackson Heights, which has a large Pakistani contingent, and Little Egypt, in Astoria, and a couple of other neighborhoods. There’s even an Ahmedi community (Ahmedis are a Muslim subset, kind of the Protestants of Islam, who are considered apostates by mainstream Islam). Everyone gets along quite well, with each other and with the larger community. The same is true of the Middle Eastern community in Brooklyn (I live in the heart of it).
But yes, New Yorkers would generally say the same thing. That’s my perception, anyway.
Now, that said, the issue of economic segregation in New York City is a very real one, and a huge problem, and it’s unlikely that refugees would be settled in Manhattan, at least below 110th Street.
I agree. In Queens, the influx of refugees would hardly be noticed since the borough is the most culturally diverse in the U.S., what with Indians, Pakistani, Russians, Orthodox Jews, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Latinos, Africans, Poles, Italians, and Irish. In Manhattan, they would also hardly be noticed because of the sheer number of people, most of whom wear headphones and are totally oblivious to their surroundings.
Yes… I agree that they would most likely be placed in Queens. But that was not what I said. I said what if they were placed in Manhattan, below 110th Street?
Or what if they were placed in Jericho, NY (Long Island), a community and school district that is over 90% white, Jewish (that’s where my Jewish wife is from)?
I know every well from my Father-in-law that if a large number of Islamic refugees were placed in a community along the North Shore of Nassau County, Long Island, people would go nuts. And that area is very liberal, but it’s also the most segregated place in the United States.
NOTE: I’m am not condoning what I believe their actions to be. However, I simply feel it is hypocritical. Yes, Manhattanites do risk an increase in potential terrorism, but Manhattanites do not risk changes in their communities, especially those who own co-ops where they are allowed to review income tax records, bank accounts, etc to determine who is allowed to purchase an apartment, even if the mortgage company has already approved the loan.
I think Manhattanites would be generally OK with accepting refugees for settlement, but the economics of the situation are such that it’s not going to happen.
As to Jericho, and the North Shore of the Island, I don’t know what the reaction would be out there. Nassau County is mostly a Republican stronghold, unlike New York City, which generally goes Democratic (except for Staten Island and the Orthodox Jewish communities of Brooklyn).