Republicans, led by Donald Trump have made undocumented immigrants the central issue of their primary campaign. In reality, Trump’s rhetoric and policy proposals target one specific, ethnic group – Mexicans. David Duke and people who express their “passion” for America by chanting “white Power” are embracing these policies. They’re lapping up everything from his claims that Mexico sends the “bad” immigrants to Mexico will pay for a Trump Wall. No doubt, these are people share Trump’s view that making America “great again” entails preserving white dominance and with it, a future for the Republican Party.
He wants to build a wall on the border with Mexico. Combine that with his ugly rhetoric about Mexican immigrants, it’s pretty obvious that Trumps other policies of mass deportation and ending birthright citizenship are intended to target Mexican immigrants and the American-born children of Mexican immigrants.
There is a name for policies like this. It’s called Ethnic Cleansing.
A simple of the definition of ethnic cleansing is the use of force or intimidation by a dominant ethnic group to remove people of a minority ethnic group or religious group from an area. As Roger Cohen observed in “Crimes of War” ethnic cleansing is a blanket term, and no specific crime goes by that name, but the practice covers a host of criminal offenses. The methods used range from mass deportations, to the most extreme of mass killings. In the end, the methods utilized are intended to intimidate the “undesirable” ethnic group out of an area.
As Roy Gutman points out, even the relatively mild method of mass deportations is a crime against humanity.
To hear Trump tell it, his version of ethnic cleansing is necessary because of all the bad things all of the undocumented immigrants from Mexico do. Throughout his campaign, Trump has built on the claim that Mexico sends all the “bad” illegal immigrants to America. He points to a single, albeit horrific case of an undocumented immigrant killing an American to justify his wall, mass deportation and radically redefining what it means to be an American citizen.
To hear Trump tell it Mexico sends “bad” illegal immigrants to the U.S. to provoke the uprising in Baltimore. The fact that yet another black man died in police custody had less to do with that uprising than those bad illegals the Mexican government sent.
Trump’s quest to “make America great again” entails a Berlin-type wall on the border with Mexico. He claims it won’t cost us a thing because he will force Mexico to pay for it. Since Ann Coulter, agrees with Trump on that just makes the claim all the more credible in circles where white is might.
He wants to round up and deport the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants. He wants to do the same with their native-born American children. To hear Trump tell it, the mothers of every one of the recorded 300,000 children born of undocumented immigrants, crossed from Mexico to America with precision timing so the child would be born in America and acquire American citizenship.
That’s why he proposes tearing up the 14th Amendment. However, a proper constitutional amendment takes too much time. Besides, according to Trump, the 14th amendment doesn’t cover children of undocumented immigrants who he calls “anchor babies.” Therefore, by Trump logic, if they aren’t covered under the 14th amendment, he can do an end run around the constitution with a legislative fix.
While some fringe legal scholars back up Trump’s claim, most experts opine that Trump’s proposal to radically redefine American citizenship would require a constitutional amendment.
After seeing Trump’s policies, Ben Carson raised the stakes with a proposal for drone strikes on border “caves.”
There has already been one hate crime, which according to one of the perps was “inspired” by Trump’s ” hate speech about Mexicans. Trump’s initial reaction to this vile and horrific crime was telling.
He really laid it on thick as he talked about the “passion” of his supporters. It took him a couple of days to figure out that maybe he should condemn violent hate crimes – even when perpetrated by “passionate” supporters doing their bit crack down on people who look like they might be “illegals” because they were homeless while brown.
Boston incident is terrible. We need energy and passion, but we must treat each other with respect. I would never condone violence.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 21, 2015
One doesn’t have to be an undocumented immigrant or the native-born American child of one to recognize these policies for what they are.
Even if one wishes to ignore the fact that Trump asserts making America “great again” entails ethnic cleansing, these policies are wrought with problems.
For all of Trump’s talk about the “bad” undocumented immigrants Mexico supposedly sends to cause uprisings and commit other crimes, our economy will take a devastating hit as a result of Trump’s mass deportation policy.
Deporting an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants and their American children is going to cost a lot of money. While Trump has dreams of Mexico paying for his wall with the pretty door, he hasn’t figured out where he’s going to finance mass deportations. According to some estimates, it would take 20 years and between $100 billion and $300 billion to arrest and remove all undocumented immigrants.
The economic benefits from undocumented workers would disappear with the mass deportation policy.
According to a Pew Poll in 2012, the American labor force would shrink by 8.1 million workers. Of course, undocumented immigrants are more likely to work in certain kinds of jobs. As noted, by Bloomberg,
Not only do undocumented immigrants make up a sizeable portion of the workforce, but they’re highly concentrated in certain jobs, the Pew analysis found. They’re much more likely than U.S. workers to work in service occupations—think maids, cooks and groundskeepers—and less present in professional, management, business and finance jobs. You can also find a greater portion of unauthorized workers in farming and construction. If the labor market saw a worker outflow, these job categories would bear the brunt.
Moreover, Trump doesn’t know how he’s going to go about identifying undocumented immigrants. Even without a mass deportation program, America has a history of erroneously deporting American citizens.
Even though Trump denies it, American born children of undocumented immigrants are American citizens. So no matter how he tries to soften this aspect of his ethnic cleansing program, the fact remains Trump intends to intentionally deport American citizens and it is inevitable that even more Americans will be erroneously deported.
Several of his opponents have jumped on the ethnic cleansing bandwagon. So even if the Republican Party’s romance with Donald Trump is a brief one, the broad acceptance of his policies within a party that equates American greatness with white supremacy is another matter.
Ms. Woodbury has a graduate degree in political science, with a minor in law. She is a qualified expert on political theory with a specific interest in the nexus between political theories and models and human rights.
Based on her interest in human rights and the threats that authoritarian regimes are to them, Ms. Woodbury’s masters thesis examined the influence of politics on the enforcement of international criminal law was cited in several academic studies.
Published work includes case summaries for the War Crimes Research Office.
She has an extensive background doing legal research in international and domestic law.
Ms. Woodbury’s work for politicusUSA includes articles on voting rights, the right to asylum and other civil/human rights.