Fascist immigration policy and the boss from hell

Apr 15, 2019 by

Fascist immigration policy and the boss from hell

A lot of people got worked up when U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib used the worst obscenity in the English language to refer to President Donald Trump. Republicans reacted with bogus indignation. Even some Democrats came down on her for “lack of civility.” Really?

Donald Trump constantly insults people, institutions, countries, even entire races in profane and vile ways. Tlaib’s verbal jab is a tiny pebble at a target who, every day, proffers a torrent of abuse against everyone and everything.

The idea that a word uttered by a freshman member of the House of Representatives can put even a minuscule scratch on the tough skin of T-Rex, the most fearsome man in the whole Republican Jurassic Park, the most powerful person on the planet, is ludicrous. Where was the GOP’s outrage when Trump was insulting every American ally and when the president used a savage profanity to dehumanize the people of dozens of countries describing them as shitholes? Civility, anyone.

Despite Trump’s vicious rhetoric, it’s his policies and actions and not his words that are the bigger insult against human dignity. Actions do speak louder than words, cliché or not.

How is this for civility? The Trump administration has separated tens of thousands of immigrant children from their parents, literally tearing kids from their parents’ arms. Then the administration neglected to keep track of the parents or their children.

The neglect was willful; it is unimaginable that a bureaucracy with the size and the resources of the United States could not have kept track had it wanted to. No attempt was made simply because family separation was intended as the harshest of punishments, calculated to deter immigrants from ever seeking asylum in the United States.

How is this for civility? Routinely putting parents in a “Sophie’s Choice” type of predicament—go back and be killed or try to stay and be forcibly separated from your offspring for an undefined amount of time. That’s the height of cruelty and the zero point of civility. And it’s not just the result of this government’s monumental incompetence. The cruelty is an essential component of the policy of zero tolerance.

The consequences of this planned cruelty are devastating. Family separation results in psychological trauma in the children, increases the incidence of illness, and exposes them to physical and sexual abuse. Is this America? 

It is under Donald Trump.

But there is another America. The ACLU and the other immigrant advocates who have successfully battled the administration in the courts represent an America where most people are still decent. These lawyers have bedeviled the administration, beating it in court at every turn, a sign of how outrageous the policy is.

One of the most significant court rulings ordered the administration to reunite the separated families quickly. In response, the administration now says that it cannot meet the judicial mandate, citing flimsy excuses, and claiming that reunification might require up to two years. That’s absurd, it could be done in much less time. The point of a punishment meant to terrify and deter, however, is to make it as long and painful as possible.

There is a long and shameful history of forced family separation in many parts of the world, including the United States. The victims then were Native Americans, African Americans, and Australian aborigines, among others. Now, for the first time this monstrous policy is being carried out against immigrants by the government of “a country of immigrants” and “the American Dream.” To pile transgression upon abuse, zero tolerance is being carried out in defiance of the laws and the Constitution.

But this is not enough for Donald Trump. His frustration with reality, with the fact that it is hard to deter desperate people and that he cannot succeed in his exclusionary immigration project within the law finally exploded last weekend. He fired the Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, who has executed the President’s atrocious immigration policy almost to a ’t.’

For good measure, Trump also fired the head of the Secret Service and the incoming director of Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE). ICE is the spearpoint of the ant-immigrant offensive and under Trump its agents have been given more authority to execute a more aggressive function than under the Obama administration. But that’s not good enough for Trump.

This administration has had more cabinet secretaries in a little over two years than Obama had in eight. The turnover rate in top positions under Trump has been astronomical. Which begs the question, if as Trump promised he filled his administration with only the best people, why has he fired so many of them in record time and had so many others quit in disgust? Trump clearly enjoyed his role on the reality TV show “The Apprentice”, the mantra of which, was “you’re fired.” It’s one yet one more expression of his cruelty.

Trump surrounded himself with the worst xenophobes, like former Attorney-General Jeff Sessions, the first Senator to endorse candidate Trump. But even Sessions could not carry out an immigration policy rabid enough or be loyal enough for Donald Trump.

Trump is the worst president in United States history. His lead increases by the day.

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