Columbus Day presents a useful reminder that unless you are a member of an indigenous tribe, you are an immigrant to the United States of America. This includes Donald Trump’s own grandparents, who under his own policies, would have been immediately deported (his grandfather was a draft dodger from Germany and died of Spanish flu, which actually began in the United States and was exported to Spain, Europe and the globe by World War I Doughboys. This includes refugee children from the Holocaust.
Indeed, Trump’s intention under his own Heinrich Himmler, Stephen Miller, is to cancel all immigration, illegal (a branding that he creates by effectively shutting down legal entry) as well as legal (except for his own near relations, like Melania’s parents, or those who pay $1.8 million to buy into businesses under the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program).
Immigration policy is Trump’s original sin of this fascistic dictator wannabe sociopath, the first and ongoing violation of his oath to follow the Constitution and laws of the land, who scapegoats immigrants as alien vermin invaders with the same hateful language used in Nazi Germany. To carry out illegal policies that violate U.S. law, including asylum law, the Constitution (due process, cruel and inhuman punishment), and international law (human rights, asylum), he has installed henchmen Chad Wolf and Ken Cuccinelli, who are occupying their offices illegally, without Senate confirmation (not to mention corrupt conflicts of interest and clearly no moral center).
But on Columbus Day, leading up to Election Day, let’s be reminded what Trump’s “immigration” policies have done:
An unprecedented 69,550 migrant children have been held in U.S. government custody over the past year (apnews.com/015702afdb4d4fbf85cf5070cd2c6824)
More than 5,400 children “separated” (kidnapped) from their family for the cynical purpose of “dissuading” families from fleeing violence in their home country to the “safety” of the USA; hundreds effectively orphaned and likely suffering permanent debilitating trauma. (www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/more-5400-children-split-border-according-new-count-n1071791)
Some 8,800 unaccompanied migrant children have been kicked out of the United States without court hearings under the Trump administration’s fabricated coronavirus restrictions at the border (cnn.com).
Tens of thousands are cramped into dangerous, unsanitary camps outside the U.S. under deals extorted Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, prey to criminals, gangs, rapists, and disease. (www.hrw.org/news/2020/04/02/us-covid-19-policies-risk-asylum-seekers-lives)
Conditions are not much better for the 50,000 immigrants held in DHS (for-profit) detention facilities on an average day (www.statista.com/chart/17977/number-of-detainees-in-facilities-of-dhs-immigration).
At least 24 immigrants have died in ICE custody during Trump’s occupation (that we know of). (www.aila.org/infonet/deaths-at-adult-detention-centers).
Now there are reports of migrant women, held in custody in the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia (and who knows where else), are being prey to forced sterilization without their knowledge or consent. (aol.com/article/news/2020/09/16/black-nurse-speaks-out-after-being-identified-as-ice-whistleblower/24622059/)
Trump and his thugs have shut down the legal process for immigration and closed the door even for legal immigration beyond those who can afford the $1.8 million investment in connected business ventures. Judges (who are not independent but part of the Executive Branch) have been given such impossible quotas, they are forced to give individuals who don’t speak English and have no legal representation mere minutes to plead their case, even 2-year-olds who are hauled into court.
The raids and deportations have not been mounted against actual criminals but people who have resided in the United States for decades, who have roots in the community and even have American-citizen children, but who are low-hanging fruit for roundups intended to inspire terror in immigrant communities – so much so that people don’t report criminal assaults or activity, domestic violence or rape and don’t seek care for COVID-19.
Ken Cuccinelli, his illegally acting director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration, even mocked Emma Lazarus’ poem at the base of the Statue of Liberty, when justifying weaponizing the public charge rule, saying, “Give me your tired, your poor who can stand on their own 2 feet.”
Now Trump is attacking Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who came to the U.S. at the age of 8 as a refugee from Somalia’s civil war. “Lock her up,” his rabid crowd of deplorables shriek, spreading COVID-19 with every chant.
This was the same Minnesota rally where Trump complimented his all-white rally-goers for having “good genes.”
Let’s be clear: there has not been a functioning legal immigration system since President Reagan, which is why there are in an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in shadows (yet still paying billions of taxes and more than Trump has paid in taxes in 15 years). Trump has gone further to criminalize asylum-seekers, refugees, and branded those who are undocumented as “illegal aliens” as if they were invaders from Mars, forcing them to live in constant terror.
Cruelty isn’t the “bug,” it is the feature.
Biden would restore rationality, morality, humanity and, frankly, American values to immigration policy.
Biden’s immigration plan starts with undoing all the harm that Trump has done: Biden would immediately end family separation, detrimental asylum policies and mismanagement of the asylum system. He would bring humanitarian resources to the border and foster public-private initiatives; end prolonged detention and reinvest in case management; reverse the public charge rule; end the fraudulent “national emergency” which Trump used to siphon federal money from the Defense Department to build his border wall; protect Dreamers and their families; rescind the un-American (and unconstitutional) travel and refugee (“Muslim”) bans; order an immediate review of Temporary Protected Status for vulnerable populations threatened by violence or disaster; insure ICE and Customs & Border Protection are held accountable for inhumane acts; protect and expand opportunities for people who join the military (a contract that Trump invalidated); restore and defend the naturalization process for green card holders; and revitalize the Task Force on New Americans who boost the economy through entrepreneurship.
Biden proposes to modernize America’s immigration system: create a roadmap to citizenship (or at least legal status) for the 11 million undocumented; reform visa programs; reassert America’s commitment to asylum-seekers and refugees; tackle the root causes of irregular migration and implement effective border screening. (See Biden’s full plan: https://joebiden.com/immigration/#)
And, oh yes, he picked Kamala Harris as his running mate – born in California of immigrants from India and Jamaica.