Let’s consider the totality of Trump’s “policy” on immigration.
The people ICE is deporting are overwhelmingly people of color. Trump wants Muslims banned. That was the objective of his first “travel ban”, the second and the one that is currently winding its way through the courts.
He wants to reduce entry to the United States by people from “shit hole” countries, meaning countries that are mostly populated by people of color. He really longs for more Norwegians (preferably Nobel Laureates, super athletes and women with super grabbable p*ssies). It’s undeniable that Trump is saying when it comes to immigrating to America, only white people need apply, people with blond hair and blue eyes are preferred.
I apologize for the graphic description. I don’t apologize for the sentiment behind it because there is only one conclusion that can be drawn when one looks at the totality of Trump’s policies. If we look at Trump’s vision for “immigration reform” and we look at who is being picked up by ICE, we see the disturbing picture that reminds me of the ethnic cleansing that occurred in what used to be Yugoslavia. Muslims were the main target of the predominantly Slavic and mostly ethnic Serb country.
In varying degrees, Serbia, Croatia and the other former Yugoslav Republics tried to achieve ethnic purity through, mass deportations, and worse. The notable exception was Melania Trump’s native Slovenia, which was already all but ethnically “pure” before the Balkans wars and the subsequent break up Yugoslavia. Trivia Point: Russia used its power as a permanent member of the UNSC to run interference for Serbia.
While mass deportation of people based on race or ethnicity may appear to be more “humane” the objective is the same: it’s about destroying the community in whole or in part. So when a president establishes policies to deport virtually exclusively people of color and establish immigration policy that excludes them from lawfully immigrating here, there is only one conclusion that can be made. Trump is trying to ethnically cleanse people of color from America.
If the “merit based” immigration system Trump and other Republicans are heavily promoting was about merit, meaning achievement, Trump would welcome people of color, rather than calling them the worst of the worst sent by “shit hole” countries. The ratio of immigrants from Africa and Haiti who have post-secondary degrees is higher than the ratio of native born Americans with post-secondary degrees.
Facts show that Trump’s immigration policies have nothing to do with “merit.”
You can have multiple professional degrees, run a successful business, save lives or fight American wars. But if you are a person of color, no matter what you do, no matter what you accomplish, you aren’t welcomed in Trump’s America.
Immigrants are doctors, lawyers, writers, teachers, business people. They are also people who clean American houses; care for our children; pick our crops, build our buildings, roads and bridges; cook our meals and make our beds.
Immigrants are people and like any category of people they come with a diversity of characteristics, abilities, strengths and goals. This begs the question, who is going to fill the shoes of people that Trump et al claim contribute “nothing” to the economy, but who filled jobs Americans don’t want?
Like native born Americans, immigrants have goals and dreams, families they love and who love them. This isn’t rocket science, nor is it political correctness. It’s recognizing the fault lines between the real world and the evil fiction Trump is trying to make reality.
I won’t suggest that no immigrant in the history of America has ever committed a crime. But, in terms of “risk” an immigrant is more likely to be law abiding than a native born American.
It isn’t because one group of people is inherently good and the other is not. It’s because immigrants face higher stakes if they break the law. Even the tiniest infraction can result in deportation.
As I write, Dr. Lukasz R. Niec an internist who lived in Michigan for forty years, is in custody awaiting deportation proceedings. The “basis” on which he was arrested by ICE, minor legal infractions when he was seventeen.
Trump is deporting veterans. People who the white supremacists consider good enough to fight our wars, but not good enough to live here.
One such person is a Chicago resident, Miguel Perez jr. He was brought to the United States when he was eight years old. He served in Afghanistan twice. His two children are American citizens. But, the only thing that matters to serial draft dodger Trump is that Perez was convicted on drug charges. Deportation proceedings are on-going. Meanwhile, Perez is on a hunger strike and he’s seeking a pardon from the Governor of Illinois.
Or how about the couple ICE arrested at a hospital where their son was having surgery. Neither of them has a criminal record. What about the two fathers who were arrested dropping their kids off at a New Jersey school? The third father ICE was after took refuge at a church. Their story of coming to America, according to WPIX:
“WPIX reported that the three men entered the United States in the 1990s from Indonesia in an attempt to escape violence against Christians there. All three fathers’ children were born in the United States, thus making the children US citizens.”
In El Paso, Texas ICE officials arrested a woman at a court house. She was there to testify against her domestic abuser. Here’s the kicker. It’s possible her domestic abuser was the one who tipped ICE.
As a direct result of Trump policies, domestic violence reports by Latinas dropped by 10%. It also follows that this policy empowers domestic abusers more and further disempowers their victims. In other words, aside from being the Republican party’s rhetorical punching bag, undocumented immigrant women live with the very real fear that if they report domestic abuse, their abuser can turn them into ICE.
With the exception of Dr. Niec, the one thing the rest of the people I described have in common is they are people of color. Trump is ethnic cleansing America, under the pretense of “enforcing” immigration law.
One might assume that the life of hell that Trump created for immigrants with his rhetoric, his mass deportation program, his desire to establish a white nationalist immigration policy is deserved by human beings who are routinely dehumanized with labels like “illegals”, “criminal aliens”,“aliens” and related terminology.
It doesn’t end with the rhetoric and the deportations. Immigrants’ families can include American citizens, who suffer the consequences that come with policies designed to tear families apart. There is no escaping the fact that policies designed to dehumanize immigrants hurt the American citizens in their families too.
Trump’s idea of an immigration reform includes elimination or serious restrictions on family reunification. This amounts to telling present and future immigrants the price of coming to America includes permanently abandoning any hope of bringing your family with you. Contrary to the hairy, scary monster images conjured by the anti-immigrant crowd, we’re talking immediate family: parents, children, spouses.
If Trump was still a third rate reality show star, his hostility toward immigrants wouldn’t matter. But as the president, Trump is the face of America to the world – including future Nobel Prize Laureates and people who do work that is honorable but unappreciated in terms of its “contribution” to the economy.
I’m reminded of what Trump’s first wife, Ivana, said in 2016 in her attempt to defend the policies on immigration Trump hoped to achieve.
“As long as you come here legally and get a proper job … we need immigrants. Who’s going to vacuum our living rooms and clean up after us? Americans don’t like to do that,”
I doubt there will be many blond, blue-eyed Nobel Laureates who will abandon their dignity, along with their families, careers and quality of life so they can come here to “clean up after us.”