Two weeks after starting his four-year term in government, the Donald Trump Administration has scored a success: Generating confusion, bewilderment, shock, and especially alarm in the population.
These feelings are justifiably replicated among the immigrant population. At this point, it would even be counterproductive to ask them to remain calm by suggesting that they should give the White House yet another chance.
The new government’s actions are manifested via press releases, edicts and a multitude of tweets from the new president. The avalanche of news draws a picture of a cabinet set to be filled with extremists, inept people, Machiavellians, or all of the above.
The challenge today is discerning what is true, false or speculation in the midst of the confrontational environment created by the government, who see the media as the political opposition. Trump and his team’s attitude, first seen during the campaign, has become worse now that they are in power.
The string of statements, counter-statements, accusations and controversies over the use of the word “ban,” applied by the leader and his people in the order limiting the entrance of one category of Muslims into the country, is an example of the confusion created by the government only to blame it on journalists later.
The situation surrounding the issue of immigration is disquieting. It was recently reported that the White House is considering two measures that would directly affect access to work and social services for immigrants. The chaotic manner in which the Muslims issue was handled, even to the detriment of legal residents, is bad enough to alarm other immigrants when rumors of actions against them begin to circulate.
It is hard to determine if this is a leak forwarded by someone intending to harm the government’s actions by revealing them before they happen, or if it is a trial balloon in which a measure is revealed beforehand to measure its impact, as governments often do.
The climate of uncertainty created by the Trump Administration with its actions, words and alleged confusion is unsettling. Trust will only return if our Latino community and its allies come together to defend immigrants and workers.