The Trump/Pence regime is rapidly escalating its war on immigrants. Trump has ramped up his hateful rhetoric, preparing the ground for murderous and genocidal policies, while operatives of the regime either scramble to keep up or are ousted for not being fascist enough.
All of this is happening in the context of chaos and upheaval: the Mueller report failing to bring any high-level indictments; the Democrats trying to “hold the center” for 2020; an upsurge of migrants fleeing their homelands out of desperation; and Trump’s national emergency declaration to take funds without congressional approval for his border wall.
But there is an intolerable lack of mass resistance, let alone determined, non-violent action commensurate with what is going on.
These are some recent developments:
- Trump issued the first veto of his presidency of a congressional resolution that tried to stop his emergency declaration. There were not enough votes to override his veto. (source)
- Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was forced to resign because she refused to close the ports of entry along the southern border and stop asylum seekers from entering the country. Nielsen oversaw the separation of families and caging of migrant children in horrendous conditions, but even this was not fascist enough for this bloodthirsty regime. (source)
- Stephen Miller, who is pushing to formally reinstate the barbaric policy of tearing children from their parents, and who is an “immigration hard-liner” in a regime already waging a ferocious war on immigrants, seems to have been put in charge of the immigration policy. (source)
- The State Department under Trump’s orders has cut off aid to El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, seemingly in retaliation for allowing migrants to leave their countries. (source)
- Trump withdrew his nomination of Ron Vitiello, a vocal critic of sanctuary cities who ramped up arrests of undocumented people around the country to lead ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) because “we’re going in a tougher direction.” (source)
- Trump said he is going to have to call up more military at the border, and complained that because of “horrible laws,” as he called them, “Our military, don’t forget, can’t act like they would normally act because if they got a little rough, everybody would go crazy.” (source)
- Trump mocked asylum seekers and called the asylum program a “scam;” “Some of the roughest people you have ever seen. People that look like they should be fighting for the UFC.” Trump ridiculed an asylum seeker: “‘I am very fearful for my life. I am very worried that I will be accosted if I am sent back home,'” Trump said. “No, no. He’ll do the accosting.” (source)
- When visiting Calexico, California, Trump told Customs and Border Patrol agents to defy the law and court orders, and refuse to allow migrants through the border to apply for asylum. (source)
- Trump has threatened repeatedly to shut down the border between Mexico and the U.S. to pressure Mexico to stop the flow of migrants: “If they don’t stop them, we are closing the border. We’ll close it. And we’ll keep it closed for a long time. I’m not playing games.” (source)
- Trump called the Democrats “treasonous” for what he calls their weakness on immigration while inciting hysteria about immigrants. “Let’s have an open border! They’ll flood your houses, they’ll shoot you, they’ll take over your house,” the U.S. leader continued, appearing to turn his attention to asylum seekers. “They’ll take your car and they’ll probably stay there. Why not. Nice place, right?” (source)
- Trump threatened to send migrants to sanctuary cities to punish them for not falling in line with his attacks on immigrants: “We’ll give them more people. We can give them a lot. We can give them an unlimited supply, and let’s see if they’re so happy.” (source)
Right now people in this country are tolerating a regime that is allowing immigrants to be sent back to deadly conditions or caged in concentration camps. And the assault on immigrants is the linchpin and battering ram of this regime’s whole fascist program, galvanizing millions into a white supremacist base that is prepared to endorse and carry out horrific actions.
There needs to be genuine, determined resistance in the streets (and the courts). But even when the regime is set back for a moment, it regroups and comes back more vicious. There is no real answer to this while this regime remains in power. Calls to abolish ICE will not stop it. Congressional questioning of “immigration hard-liner” Stephen Miller will not stop it. Winning temporary injunctions through the courts will not stop it. The Muslim travel ban is our shameful lesson that we must not stop protesting in order to work within “acceptable” channels.
Immigrants are full human beings, not criminals to be demonized, hunted down, terrorized, locked up, and thrown out. There is only one way to stop this horror on a path to genocide. We must show our determination, in our millions, to stand up for our immigrant brothers and sisters through sustained, non-violent protest, raising one unifying demand: This nightmare must end! The Trump Pence regime must go!