Donald Trump somehow manages to pin the blame for a majority of America’s economic and societal problems on illegal immigrants in his blog post titled “Immigration Reform That Will Make America Great Again”. In it, Trump plays on his audience’s fears by stating the “facts” about the crimes and negative economic effects of immigrants while committing some serious logical fallacies.
Trump uses graphic descriptions of a singular event to paint all illegal immigrants as murdering criminals. In his post, he tells his readers of “an illegal immigrant from Mexico, with a long arrest record... charged with breaking into a 64 year-old woman’s home, crushing her skull and eye sockets with a hammer, raping her, and murdering her”. Obviously, this is an obscene thing, and in no way should be allowed in the United States or anywhere else. However, instead of providing solid facts about crimes committed by immigrants (which would be a bit of an exercise in futility. Studies show that illegal immigrants are actually less likely to commit crime) Trump decides to pick out one horrifying event and scare everyone with it, appealing to their pathos. Instead of using actual evidence, Donald Trump picks out one event to scare his audience into voting for him and his anti-immigration policies.
While Trump does bring up some very real economic problems, he commits a logical fallacy by assuming that correlation implies causation. He is correct that we have large amounts of illegal immigrants, and that our economy is definitely not in the best shape. He even supports both of these statements with relatively well-sourced facts. However, at no point does Trump actually connect our economic problems with the large amounts of illegal immigrants. Based off the facts provided connecting the two statistics (none), I could just as easily say that our economy’s problems stem from the increased number of vaccinations our kids are getting. Obviously that doesn’t make sense. Neither does blaming our financial failings on immigrants with the information that Trump provides. No matter the “truth” of Trump’s findings, he effectively tells his audience that unless they vote for him and get these immigrants out, all of their jobs are going to get stolen and they’re going to die in poverty. He especially focuses on blacks and hispanics, as those are generally two of his worst demographics.
By drumming up fear of illegal immigrants, Trump tries to create a need for someone who will do what it takes to kick them all out. Unsurprisingly, that person is him.