|Refugee children being warehoused compliments of Trump/Pence.|
One of America's shameful episodes - one of many that include genocide of Native Americans and slavery and then Jim Crow - is the manner in which Jewish refugees fleeing Hitler's Germany and areas it had conquered were refused admission to the United States. Many went back to Europe to their deaths in death camps or other forms of mass murder. Why were they refused entry? Simple. They were Jewish and "different." Fast forward to today and a similar cruelty is taking place along the U.S./Mexico border. Some who have been refused entry or deported have returned to their home countries and, like European Jews before them, have met their deaths - precisely what they said would happen to them and why they sought asylum in this country. Der Trumpenführer depicts them all as terrorists and criminals, a claim that like most things flowing from his mouth, is a lie. America and Americans are losing their souls and decent moral people (sorry, but that excludes evangelicals) should be very upset. A column at NBC News looks at the steady loss of America's soul. Here are highlights:
A bleak irony is emerging in Tijuana's border zone. For all the raging conservative rhetoric about how Central American migrants are lawbreakers who refuse to just “get in line” and enter the “legal” way, the asylum seekers are actually "getting in line” — or what passes for a line — by forming an ad hoc queue that Mexican authorities have improvised to maintain some social order.
Every day, migrants line up to be “processed” with a black number scrawled onto their arms — an informal label used to secure a “spot” on a theoretical waiting list. Yet, as they wait indefinitely for their number to be called, the basic institutions of due process they hope to invoke are disintegrating in a dysfunctional, backlogged immigration court system.
The White House remains hell bent on keeping them out, however, and the plan appears to be to warehouse asylum seekers in Mexico with the underlying aim of discouraging them from trying to cross at all. So a ragged encampment in Tijuana is slowly sinking into chaos as heavily militarized American border authorities block and repel refugees.
The situation is not “immigration enforcement” in any meaningful sense. Instead, it's a reprise of historical pattern of exclusion, displacement and oppression that has always surrounded the nation’s southern boundary — lines of class, race, gender and culture are deliberately drawn to police a social gateway to the country. And to
PresidentTrump, these refugees are the wrong kind of people.
Whether or not the migrants are ultimately admitted, the crisis at the border is not about who is coming, but who we are; their transgression of an arbitrarily-drawn border is dwarfed by the savagery the U.S. government commits in the name of “security.” The plight of asylum seekers reflects the flagging promise of America as a land of refuge; their suffering is our own self-sabotage.
[M]igrant rights advocates on the other side of the border see a side of crisis that Trump seems incapable understanding: They are desperate families fleeing for safety, they are survivors, they are refugees of social catastrophe. And Trump is right that they're unstoppable, but only because they are following international law and the basic moral principles enshrined in the constitution.
[R]ights advocates say this is a crisis of Trump’s own making. Michelle Brané, an advocate with the Women’s Refugee Commission, notes that, compared to Mexico, the U.S. asylum system has adequate resources for dealing with the influx of Central American migrants, but refuses to honor its obligations under domestic and international law to process their claims in U.S. courts.
Migrant women and youth are often the most excluded. Women are typically vulnerable to sexual violence, human trafficking, and other forms of gendered coercion and violence. So-called “unaccompanied minors” — young people who migrate alone — are exposed to gang violence and trafficking. Now Brané worries that desperate asylum seekers might eventually be forced to pay bribes, or to trade sex to secure a slot in line, and youth could get roped into trafficking rings.
Though they have narrowly escaped their hells to seek refuge at the border, Trump’s answer to their humanitarian appeal is to make America as inhumane as possible.
The migrants escaping Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala are not only connected to diaspora communities in the U.S. but, in many ways, their mass exodus stems from generations of U.S. military and political intervention. From Cold War-era political domination, to destabilizing “free trade” deals, to the violent policies of the War on Drugs, social disruption, fueled in large part by U.S. policy, has unraveled Central American societies, unleashing economic deprivation, crime, corruption and gender-based violence.
And now Trump is actively deploying state brutality as a deterrence tactic, imprisoning migrants in detention centers, and even systematically ripping children from their parents and leaving countless families traumatized.
The administration has argued that systematic violence against women and children is a mere private “misfortune,” too personal to merit humanitarian reprieve. Foreclosing those claims would keep countless women and youth from invoking well-established legal precedents for granting humanitarian protection.
Here during the Christmas season, the irony is that as evangelicals blather about the "war on Christmas," the real war on the values of Christmas and the gospel message is being waged by a foul regime that evangelicals strongly support (and, indeed, put in office). All they see is brown skin and refuse to see common humanity. Meanwhile, the real Jesus, if he existed, was a brown skinned man from Palestine, not the white Jesus of the evangelicals. America is losing its soul and the loss is being spearheaded by the false pious "godly folk" and the politicians they support.