During MSNBC’s coverage of President Trump’s speech before Congress, Cristina Beltrán, the Director of Latino Studies at NYU, argued President Trump’s idea of merit “is clearly kind of oddly racialized here,” while discussing Trump’s reference to merit-based immigration.
After hearing a clip from the speech where Trump talked about a merit-based immigration system, Beltrán said, “[T]his idea of characterizing merit, and merit is clearly kind of oddly racialized here, right? So that merit constitutes those who are deserving, and there’s clearly a language here that says that people of color and the logics that we have in this country, people are not deserving, right? So, there’s this sort of the merit-based logic is — as opposed to family reunification, or all the other policies that go into doing immigration policy in the US. So, I think it is this logic — I think that’s exactly right, that it’s a logic that’s trying to racialize, and kind of imagine a new America that is no longer populated by as many Asian-Americans, Latino immigrants, and those from Muslim countries.”
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