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Trump is no laughing matter

"Saturday Night Live" should cancel Donald Trump's appearance on its iconic show.

Trump has labeled Mexican immigrants as "drug dealers," "criminals" and "rapists." And, if elected, he plans to deport more than 11 million undocumented immigrants and strip their U.S.-born children of citizenship. When "Saturday Night Live" creator Lorne Michaels invited Trump to host the sketch-comedy show on Nov. 7, he and the network bosses legitimized these cruel labels.

For Latinos, Trump's proposals are no joke. In the 1930s and '50s, the U.S. government launched the mass deportation of Mexican-American citizens and non-citizens alike. During the Great Depression, under the so-called "Mexican Repatriation," American leaders found a convenient scapegoat in brown people to deflect the anger of white Americans experiencing extremely high levels of unemployment. In 1954, under "Operation Wetback," the U.S. government launched another deportation campaign.

Trump wishes to revisit these dark chapters in America's past. He is doubling down on his proposed "huge" U.S.-Mexico border wall, which the Mexican government will somehow miraculously pay for under his plan. Trump has actually likened his wall with a "big beautiful door" to the Great Wall of China.

Americans everywhere need to speak out against Trump's verbal abuse regarding people of Mexican descent. This large ethnic group has done nothing to deserve his disdain and hatred or that of his followers.

Workers of Mexican descent helped build this country with their labor and determination. Mexican-Americans have made innumerable contributions in areas ranging from architecture, art and food to theater, film and literature. And, let's not forget the strong work ethic, entrepreneurial spirit and family oriented values of this community.

As the proud son of Mexican immigrants and a scholar of urban planning and ethnic studies, I need not say more.

When influential television programs such as "Saturday Night Live" provide Trump with a platform, they only reinforce vicious attacks targeting "los de abajo," those at the bottom of American society.

— Alvaro Huerta is an assistant professor of urban and regional planning and ethnic and women's studies at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He is the author of "Reframing the Latino Immigration Debate: Towards a Humanistic Paradigm."

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