After leading Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump disparaged Mexican immigrants as “killers and rapists” in his campaign launch last month, the backlash has been widespread. NBC and Univision both cut ties with the embattled businessman, as have a number of companies that had branding deals with Trump, including Macy’s and Serta.
But with many on the right still refusing to condemn Trump’s ugly comments, from the Republican National Committee to the editor of the National Review, one Mexican laborer shed light on the GOP contender’s comments.
Watch the video from Youtube user Rafael Rivero:
Transcript provided in the video, with occasional curse words omitted:
INTERVIEWER: Hi. Can I ask you something? What do you think about that guy?
LABORER: Donald Trump? That son of a gun who says we’re all thieves? Look, bastard, how we rape…these stakes! [Sledgehammers a 2×4] How we work ourselves to death just to eat. I make $1,100/week and the government takes $350 to feed your lazy, unemployed drug addicts. Look at these guys, busting their butts in the sun. It’s 107 degrees Fahrenheit, it was 115 degrees earlier. Look at these guys, flooring a mile a minute. What rapists and criminals?
INTERVIEWER: Which drugs do you do?
LABORER: This is my drug, you bastard! [Holds up a sledgehammer] This one’s my drug and this one’s [holds up a hammer] my booze, fool!
Much like this laborer, most Mexican immigrants, documented or not, come to the United States to work. Foreign-born workers account for around 17 percent of the civilian labor force and are disproportionately represented in labor-intensive jobs like construction and the service industry. Even among the 11 million or so undocumented immigrants in the United States, over 8 million are working or seeking work, a far higher labor participation rate (72.3 percent) than in the country as a whole (62.6 percent).
In addition to their hard work, undocumented immigrants pay over $10 billion in taxes each year, contributing to a range of social services that are reserved only for citizens. Rather than immigrants being leechers, it’s American citizens who are on the receiving end of billions in free money.
Though Trump painted a picture of Mexican immigrants as criminals, studies actually show that native-born Americans are significantly more likely to commit a crime than recent immigrants. In reality, most Mexican immigrants are more like this laborer, working hard in adverse conditions and contributing to American society despite being treated worse than citizens.