Viewpoint: Trump sees abuse of immigrant children as winning political strategy

Instead of pursuing a constructive, humanitarian solution to immigration reform, Donald Trump purposefully undertakes the cruelest, most brutal and destructive power-play – because he can.

Because he thinks this will fire up his base since they are getting wise that his tax “cut” is really a scam. And because he has dictator envy.

But while Trump moved with great urgency and speed to literally kidnap children from their parents in order to hold them for ransom to get his equally brutal and destructive immigration “reform” that would restrict even legal immigration (and $25 billion for a useless wall), his administration could care less about setting up the mechanisms to assure the children – moved hundreds and thousands of miles away – can be restored to their parents.

As it is, there are parents who are being immediately deported without their children, some too young to know their own name or speak, who are lost in a system.

It’s remarkable to contemplate (since the administration isn’t saying) how much money is being spent on this sadistic policy and who in the Trump orbit is pocketing the millions and millions of tax dollars.

If this really were about controlling illegal immigration, the Trump administration would have spent those millions staffing ports of entry, setting up immigration courts, and creating detention centers that could accommodate families.

They could release parents with an ankle bracelet (as they did under Obama) so they could be tracked; 99 percent of immigrants turn up to their court hearings.

Other presidents appropriately tried to deal with the problem at their source – the heinous violence (exported from Los Angeles) that has prompted these parents to flee with only what they could carry, taking their children on the most perilous 2,000-mile journey – with trade and aid to boost living standard and police action against gang violence.

Indeed, the numbers of those being apprehended at the border fell sharply from 1.6 million in 2001 to 300,000 in 2017 – hardly an invasion, or “infestation” or a “crisis” except by Trump’s own concoction.

Instead, Trump has said he would cut off aid to these countries, which would only exacerbate the desperation.

His fear-mongering, which mimics the propaganda campaign used by Nazis, brands immigrants as “animals,” “infestation,” “aliens” “invaders” stealing jobs and harming the economy in order to dehumanize them. In fact, immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than “native born,” have added $63 billion to the US economy over a 10-year period, and aren’t we constantly told that unemployment is at record lows?

These asylum-seekers violating laws? Actually, not.

It is Trump and his thugs who are violating the Constitution and international law and should be prosecuted for human rights abuses. And this only adds to the ever-growing list of Trump’s impeachable crimes: crimes against humanity.

Now he is insisting that these immigrants have no right to due process to make their claim in front of an immigration judge.

But let’s be reminded: the reason there are so many undocumented immigrants (11 million by some accounts) and so many thousands crossing “illegally” (though just 20% from the peak) is that the Republicans have effectively shut down legal immigration and refused to take up comprehensive immigration reform.

Recall Obama did have a compromise Comprehensive Immigration Bill passed the Senate in 2013, 68-32, but John Boehner blocked from a vote in the House, causing Obama to institute DACA; Trump, when it was only the 800,000 DACA recipients being held hostage, said he would accept any compromise out of “love” but then promptly betrayed every deal and torpedoed every bill proposed.

There may be a pernicious strategy to Trump’s Zero Tolerance policy, but its implementation is yet another example of the administration’s willful ineptitude, corruption and disdain for law and human rights that would have toppled any other administration and triggered impeachment.

Trump’s policy has made the country less safe – pulling resources from detaining actual drug-smugglers and criminals, further enraging and alienating allies, and making the US toothless in condemning human rights abuses anywhere in the world, turning the US into a rogue nation.

Moreover, its treatment of migrating mothers and small children are likely to be a recruitment tool for terrorists, just as Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo were. It’s no coincidence the US pulled out of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

But making the country safe was never the issue. Trump sees it as a winning political issue for those who fear more than anything, as Pat Buchanan warned, the loss of White Power and White Supremacy as America evolves into a minority-majority nation.

What do they fear from an “infestation?” That “these” people or their children, will someday vote, or at least be counted in a census determining representation in Congress.

But this extortionist style of “negotiation” has worked for Trump throughout his corrupt career and will only continue, especially if it works now.

What’s next?

Stepped up deportation raids? Strip nationalized Americans of their citizenship? Suspend due process? Purges and loyalty oaths for federal workers? Lock up journalists? Martial law? Cancel elections? Imprison political opponents? Extra-judicial killings? Because he can because nobody will stop him?

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