Trump's War on Immigrants Continues Apace

[Content Note: Nativism; abuse.]

Donald Trump's war on immigrants — migrants, refugees, undocumented, documented, and naturalized citizens — continues to expand in scope with each passing day and is doing untold harm to countless immigrant families. Here is some of the latest news.

1. Last month, I wrote about the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) "launching an office that will focus on identifying Americans who are suspected of cheating to get their citizenship and seek to strip them of it." That project is now in full swing, with USCIS fixing to "hire dozens of lawyers and immigration officers in the coming weeks to find U.S. citizens they say should not have been naturalized, to revoke their citizenship, and then eventually deport them."

2. Martha Mendoza and Garance Burke at the AP: U.S. Army Quietly Discharging Immigrant Recruits. "Some immigrant U.S. Army reservists and recruits who enlisted in the military with a promised path to citizenship are being abruptly discharged, the Associated Press has learned. The AP was unable to quantify how many men and women who enlisted through the special recruitment program have been booted from the Army, but immigration attorneys say they know of more than 40 who have been discharged or whose status has become questionable, jeopardizing their futures." And, in some cases, their very lives:
An Iranian citizen who came to the U.S. for a graduate degree in engineering told the AP that he enlisted in the program hoping to gain medical training. He said he had felt proud that he was "pursuing everything legally and living an honorable life."

In recent weeks, he said, he learned that he'd been discharged.

"It's terrible because I put my life in the line for this country, but I feel like I'm being treated like trash," he said. "If I am not eligible to become a U.S. citizen, I am really scared to return to my country."

He spoke on condition of anonymity because of those fears.
Some of the most valuable military assets are immigrants whose service risks their lives in their countries of birth. They were promised U.S. citizenship in exchange for their service, and now we're not only breaking that promise, but potentially condemning them to death if they are forced to return to their countries of birth after serving in the U.S. military.

I don't even have adequate words to describe how this makes me feel. I am physically ill at the thought of what this country is doing to immigrants who swore their allegiance to us. I am so filthy angry, and so overwhelmed with grief and shame.

3. Caitlin Dickerson at the New York Times: Trump Administration in Chaotic Scramble to Reunify Migrant Families. "The family separations, part of an aggressive effort by the Trump administration to deter illegal immigration, have produced a chaotic scramble as officials now face political and judicial pressure to reunite families. Records linking children to their parents have disappeared, and in some cases have been destroyed, according to two officials of the Department of Homeland Security, leaving the authorities struggling to identify connections between family members."

Normally, destroying federal records is a crime, which is to say nothing of the aggressive indecency of being so lackadaisical about records keeping when family reunification is at stake.

It's a pretty pointed commentary on the fact that the Trump Regime never, ever, had any intention of reuniting families. And, to be frank, probably still doesn't. I highly doubt they are "scrambling." More like biding their time, waiting for some other atrocity to divert attention away from this one.

4. Samuel Gilbert at the Guardian: The Lasting Impact of Detention on Immigrant Children: 'He Relives It All Again'. This piece confirms what I anticipated would be the primary effect of Trump's executive order to "keep families together" — creating concentration camps to detain entire families indefinitely.
Last month, amid international outcry over his administration's "zero-tolerance" policy, which led to the separation of 2,300 children from their parents, Donald Trump issued an executive order to end family separation. But the move set the stage for another expansion of the U.S. family detention system. On 22 June, immigration authorities asked for 15,000 more beds to be ready for detained migrants in the next couple of weeks. One week later, the Trump administration announced its policy of holding families in detention for extended periods of time.
And the conditions in the existing camps, which were used to beta test family detentions, are awful:
"This is substituting one kind of trauma for another kind," says the 27-year-old Angelina Márquez, who fled El Salvador in 2014 with her six-year-old son and spent two months in the Artesia family detention center in New Mexico.

Márquez said that some of the women she met in Artesia had been there for months: "Nobody knew how long they would be there. Nobody knew to seek asylum. Nobody knew they could see a lawyer."

The detention center has been accused of rights abuses, poor living conditions, deficient medical and mental healthcare, and lack of detainee access to legal counsel.

Márquez described how families would sleep eight to a room. The food was often "raw and inedible," "not fit for humans," she said. The most upsetting thing to the mothers was the cruelty the guards showed to their children. When Márquez arrived, none of the guards spoke Spanish; when the detainees, including the children, asked for water, they would be denied it if they pronounced the English words incorrectly.
Again, this deserves sustained media attention, all day every day. I recall the political press covering Hillary Clinton's fucking email virtually every single day for 600 consecutive days, and I wonder where is that dedicated, tenacious energy when it comes to the horrors being perpetrated at the southern border.

5. Spencer Ackerman at the Daily Beast: Trump Ready to Turn Away Another 20,000 Refugees. "The Trump administration is likely to set the United States' ceiling for admitting refugees at approximately half of what it was last year, according to two knowledgeable former Trump administration officials and several refugee advocates familiar with internal debates. And last year's quota was the lowest level for refugees since 1980 — all while a migration crisis unfolds worldwide."

Although no official number has yet been disclosed by the administration, the expectation is that "next year's cap on refugee admissions will be between 20,000 and 25,000 people," which is "about half of the 45,000-refugee ceiling the Trump administration set last year, and four to five times lower than the Obama administration's final-year refugee ceiling of 110,000."

It is also colossally insufficient, given the scope of the need globally and the United States' capacity to absorb refugees.

This is nothing but white supremacist nativism, denying harbor to people of color, many of whom are Muslim, because the president and his party and their base are putrid scum with scorched ash where their humanity should be.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus