Many Americans worry that current immigration policies could turn America into a police state. Everyone always mentions that deportations continued without a break during President Obama’s administration and that is true. Obama abided by the laws that govern the USA. But what is going on in the administration of Trump is different in tone, visibility, invasiveness, and in terms of sheer numbers.
The way Trump deports people cannot help but remind us of similar pogroms in Europe and not just in Germany. There were pogroms in Russia and other nations also. Although the target of these pogroms in those times were Jewish people, the rationalization was that they were somehow inferior because they were not white enough or blond enough; they were not Arians. Sometimes, too, it almost seems that Jewish people were hated because they were successful and overly religious, and this seems like a factor in modern America also.
And although Jewish people are not the target of Trump’s campaigns against “illegal” immigrants, potential immigrants, “chain migration,” and even, as described in a new article out today, legal immigrants who use public benefits, the idea that America needs only immigrants who are whiter, smarter, richer is not that far from the Arian ideal of Adolf Hitler.
This is part of why the Trump take on deportation bothers us. It is against everything we fought for in the second world war. It is against everything America is supposed to stand for (but never actually has). It is blatantly racist because it embraces white supremacy without apology. Trump’s reasoning seems to be that all people of color are inferior to unpigmented people and he asks us to consider the nations they come from, their dysfunction, their poverty, their chaos. He does not take into account that America is responsible for some of that chaos, or that these nations each had thriving cultures at one time. He does not take into account that once people are removed from an environment of deprivation they often become very productive members of their newly adopted countries.
It is clear that Trump believes what he spouts. Look at the way he has embraced Steve Bannon and Steven Miller, two known white supremacists. This campaign represents Trump’s reasoning (if thoughts inspired by fear and a fascist reaction to fear can be called reasoning), concretized before he entered the oval office, about terrorism and his take on the roots of terrorism, and his plan for how to keep America absolutely safe from terrorism. Banning immigrants who do not look European is sort of Trump’s version of child seats, air bags, and seat belts, of the Great Wall of China, and even the Iron Curtain. He is a white supremacist but he is also kind of a chicken, (considering that much American terrorism has been domestic terrorism).
He also is so beloved by his base because he is not agreeing with their ideas on this matter for political reasons. He actually feels the same way his base does. He thinks these immigrants are sucking America dry and costing tax dollars in terms of reliance on public benefits which he begrudges them. A slew of Americans agree with him although the data does not really back them up. They blame immigrants for high “mainstream” American unemployment, for big government, for using tax dollars which are suddenly scarcer than they once were and for destroying the longevity of benefits which are supposed to help “real” Americans. Both Trump and Trumpers like that he will not refrain from using his cudgel mentality to do the deed and that he will not care one bit about the optics.
The dreamers are a special case in this whole deplorable campaign. John Kelly said that many dreamers did not apply for DACA because they were either scared or lazy. Well I go with scared and it looks like we can also go with smart. Dreamers who did sign up handed their personal information including addresses and telephone numbers to the American government because they trusted Obama and they were not looking ahead to who might have the office next. One thing we know for sure about Hillary is that the dreamers would have been safe with her. Now they are not safe and if they stay in school or keep their job the government knows where to find them. They are on a convenient checklist that ICE can use to round them all up. If I were a dreamer I would definitely feel betrayed and frightened, and I would be angry. The Dems are their only hope but right now the Dems don’t have many plays and the ones they do have are not good plays.
What follows is a summary of some of the most visible deportations and some of the tactics ICE and ICE police are using to deport people. Some tactics have been continued from Obama’s administration but have been expanded under Trump. They were questionable when used under Obama and they are still questionable under Trump. Hunting people down, who have taken refuge in America, at places where they are required to be, such as a job, or a courthouse makes us feel that we are living in a police state and is likely to increase sympathy for the plight of these folks. Americans are used to fighting for underdogs, not against them. We worry that what feels like a police state might actually turn into a police state.
A man is detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in Los Angeles on October 14, 2015.
n 2016, the Immigrant Defense Project documented 11 arrests or attempted arrests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents around the state. This year the number has spiked by 900%, with most in New York City.
(JOHN MOORE/GETTY IMAGES)
California Labor Commissioner Julie Su says a rise in worker claims of threatened deportation was likely due to employers becoming more empowered to wield ICE as a weapon. (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)
ICE raids 7 Elevens
Border Patrol aboard Amtrak trains to ask question about citizenship
When deportation is a death sentence
ICE agents apprehended Jose Mares in California in 2017 before he was deported to Mexico. Mares had entered the U.S. illegally when he was 8 years old.
Erika Pinheiro/Courtesy of Jose Mares
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents swooped into Central Jersey around 8 a.m. Thursday morning and arrested two Indonesians, Gunawan Liem of Piscataway and Roby Sanger of Metuchen, said Kaper-Dale, who also runs the Deportation and Immigration Response Equipo that tries to intervene in ICE raids.
Raymond Torres is seen in an image posted to a GoFundMe page.
(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune) Vicky Chavez talks to The Salt Lake Tribune through translators Wednesday at the First Unitarian Church in Salt Lake City, where she and her two daughters seek sanctuary against deportation to her native Honduras.
Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos (left) and her son, Angel Rayos Garcia, and her daughter, Jacqueline Rayos Garcia arrive for a press conference Feb. 9, 2018, at the Kino Border Initiative in Nogales, Sonora. (Photo: Mark Henle/The Republic)
Judges: ICE Can’t Deport 100 Christians to Indonesia (Yet)
Immigrants in New Hampshire and New Jersey ‘fear persecution and torture’ back home.
Deetje Patty lives in New Hampshire, where she and fellow Indonesian Christians moved 20 years ago to flee persecution. (2/6/18)
Amer Adi falls to his knees as he reunites with his mother for the first time in 20 years.
“At the same time, I feel so sad of what happened to me. I’m so sorry to tell you what happened is unjust, not right, and everyone back there knows that. What the Trump administration is doing is — you can’t even explain it,” said Adi.
Adi lived in America for nearly 40 years. He has a wife who is a US citizen, and four daughters who are also US citizens. He owns several businesses in his adopted hometown of Youngstown, Ohio. A week ago, he was deported.