“Conditions Are Deteriorating ...
What Comes Next Is Utterly Terrifying” —
The Trump Regime’s Escalating, Nazi-like War on Immigrants and Refugees

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Their stories are different, but the same: Lucia Gomez and her eight-year-old son Johan ran from Guerrero, Mexico, after her husband and father-in-law were murdered in front of them. Carmen Vargas grabbed her 13-year-old Christophe and fled Honduras when a drug cartel put a hit on her, leaving behind a refrigerator full of food. Jacqueline Salgado and her kids trekked north from southern Mexico after her brother was kidnapped and killed.

They are among the tens of thousands risking everything to keep their children alive and fed, housed and schooled. They are escaping from countries whose economies and social structures have been devastated by U.S. economic policies, and by oppressive governments that have often been imposed on them via U.S.-backed coups or wars.

They have never been welcomed by the U.S. government, except to be exploited as cheap labor. Obama broke all records for deportations. But now they face something different—a relentless, murderous, multi-faceted drive to seal the borders against new immigrants (unless they are white Europeans), and to uproot people who have been in the U.S. for decades.

This cruel, Nazi-like assault—a major part of Trump’s “Make America White Again” program—has been gathering momentum for four years, and if this regime remains in power, it is poised to take horrific leaps.

Following are some components of Trump’s ethnic cleansing campaign:

“Deterrence”—Stealing People’s Children; Driving Immigrants to Death in the Desert

In the face of the horrors people are fleeing, the Trump regime’s strategy is to “deter” immigration by subjecting people to even worse terror.

So it was U.S. policy to separate children from their parents, even breastfeeding infants! A Department of Justice (DOJ) official told prosecutors that “it did not matter how young the children were,” because this would “create a more effective deterrent.” In 2017, at least 5,000 kids were separated, put in cages, and then dispersed to foster homes or detention centers around the country, their parents often deported. And now the government admits that the parents of at least 545 of these children still have not been located!

It is U.S. policy to force immigrants onto desert terrain, to stalk them for days as the desert sun beats down, to destroy water jugs left for them by humanitarian groups, and to launch armed attacks on centers that provide medical care and shelter. And it’s “working”—deaths are soaring. In just one area (a remote crossing in Pima, Arizona) remains of 181 migrants were recovered from the Sonoran Desert in just the first eight months of 2020. At least 47 people have also died as a result of encounters with the Border Patrol since Trump took office, 50 percent more than the previous four years.

This two-year-old was traveling with his parents from Mexico. Here, he waits with other families who were stopped by the Border Patrol near McAllen, Texas. (Photo: AP)

Immigrants held under a bridge in El Paso, Texas, April 2019. Photo: @IGD_news

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Deportation Without Due Process; Imprisoning Immigrants or Forcing Them into Inhuman Conditions

“Remain in Mexico”: Under U.S. law, any foreign national on U.S. soil at an official port of entry can request asylum (due to fear of violence or persecution in their homeland). After that request, they cannot be deported without legal process.

To get around this, in 2018 the regime instituted “Remain in Mexico” (officially, “Migrant Protection Protocols”), forcing asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for their hearings. The regime also instituted a policy (known as “metering”) of accepting only a trickle of applications each day, so refugees must wait weeks or months even to apply, and then months or years more for the legal process to conclude. At least 60,000 people have been turned back—and forced into squalid refugee camps in Mexico.

The New York Times reported on a crowded tent city, sometimes flooded by raw sewage, across the Rio Grande from Brownsville, Texas. Six hundred people, lacking safe food or water, and preyed upon by criminal gangs, are stranded there. Nine bodies have washed ashore in the last two months—some killed by gangs, others drowned trying to swim to the U.S. “[C]hronically sick with flu-like viruses and stomach bugs ... with respiratory problems aggravated by the dusty air.... Many walk around the camp with bloodshot eyes, constantly on the brink of tears, or in a zombielike state.”

In the isolated town of Sasabe, Mexico, population 2,500, activists say, “We’ve got hungry people being dumped into this community by the hundreds” (some having spent weeks in the desert) by the U.S. Border Patrol. The town’s tiny immigration office has virtually no resources to help. Drug cartels rule the surrounding areas.

Families have to choose between living like this, perhaps for years, and returning home, possibly to a violent death for themselves or their children. A Sasabe activist summed up the situation like this: “Conditions are deteriorating ... what comes next is utterly terrifying.”

In the isolated town of Sasabe, Mexico, population 2,500, activists say, “We’ve got hungry people being dumped into this community by the hundreds” (some having spent weeks in the dessert) by the U.S. Border Patrol. These men were arrested in Arizona, and dropped in Sasabe, October 21. (Photo: Screengrab @Sandra Sanchez)

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“Detention Centers”/Concentration Camps in the U.S.

Discarding past U.S. practice of releasing immigrants accused of lacking proper legal status to await their hearings (which the great majority showed up for), the Trump/Pence regime started holding undocumented immigrants in “detention centers” for long stretches.

These centers are more and more like concentration camps. Children in freezing cold cages with the lights on 24 hours a day. “Dangerous and unhealthy conditions” throughout the detention system, along with inadequate medical care helped trigger a mumps epidemic that infected 700, and led to several influenza deaths after immigration authorities refused to vaccinate detainees.

And things are getting worse. As coronavirus spread, public health officials pleaded with the government to release the majority of detainees (who posed no public threat) from these centers to avoid creating COVID hotspots. The government refused, and the pandemic spread widely, with at least 6,000 cases) among the 40,000-plus detainees.

Then in September, a nurse/whistleblower at a Georgia detention center reported that some inmates were being given hysterectomies and other procedures without their consent and/or knowledge. Because of lack of oversight, no one really knows how many women have been subjected to crimes like this at the 200 immigration detention centers in the U.S.

Detention Center, Weslaco, Texas, June 11, 2019. Photo: Office of Inspector General, Dept of Homeland Security

The Ursula detention facility in McAllen, Texas, June 2018. Photo: U.S Customs and Border Patrol/PAP/EPA.

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Asylum Cooperative Agreements

Initiated in 2019 (and then suspended a few months later during the COVID epidemic), Asylum Cooperative Agreements were agreements with multiple governments that people fleeing El Salvador or Honduras must apply in Guatemala for asylum in the U.S. If already in the U.S., they would be flown, without any due process, to Guatemala. In the first few months, 97 percent of people sent to Guatemala were quickly deported to their home countries—this process became known as “deportation with a layover.”

And now on top of that, U.S. Homeland Security agents are operating  inside Guatemala, seizing migrants—including children—from Honduras and take them back across the border. So the U.S. is now treating the border between Honduras and Guatemala as the U.S. “southern border”!

On October 23, Stephen Miller, one of the top White House advisors for Trump and the architect of the Trump/Pence immigration policy, told the Associated Press that he wanted to expand these agreements to Asia and Africa—the obvious objective is to “cleanse” the U.S. of all dark-skinned immigrants.

Immigrants from Mexico seeking asylum are turned back at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Immigrants from Mexico seeking asylum are turned back at the U.S.-Mexico border. Photo: AP

Asylum seekers wear masks to a mandatory immigration court hearing in El Paso, March 16. Photo: AP

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COVID Expulsions

In April, the Border Patrol began expelling huge numbers of immigrants—without hearings, without serious examination of their legal status, and without testing for COVID—under Title 42 of the U.S. code, to “prevent spread of communicable diseases.” As if the U.S.—the epicenter of the worldwide pandemic—was getting the disease from Mexico (which at that time had a much lower infection rate.) Sometimes these deportations take only hours. More than 147,000 immigrants have been expelled in this way.

Guatemalan deportees with children are greeted by immigration officials at La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City, March 12. Hugo Monroy, the health minister for Guatemala, said on one flight from the U.S. 75% of the passengers tested positive for COVID-19 upon landing. Photo: AP

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Accelerating Attacks on Immigrants in the U.S.

The regime is also accelerating attacks on immigrants in the U.S., seeking to deport people who have been here for decades, including many with legal status.

  • Stepped-Up ICE raids: Alicia Flores Gonzalez, a single mother of four, was dropping off her daughter at daycare on her way to work, when she was surrounded at gunpoint by six ICE agents, shackled, and within 24 hours deported to Mexico. She had been living in the U.S. for 27 years. Her only “crime” was being undocumented. Since July, agents in major immigrant neighborhoods have been stalking, seizing, and deporting people—at least 2,000 so far—most of whom have established jobs and families in the U.S. ICE claims they are getting “dangerous criminals” off the street, but the Baltimore Sun reports that “analysis of the totality of the government’s own data shows that the administration is arresting large numbers of immigrants whose crimes are minor or who have not committed any crime at all. They are easier to locate and remove precisely because they are not trying to evade law enforcement.”

    These raids are particularly aimed at sanctuary cities (like Los Angeles)—where local governments have limited cooperation between local authorities and ICE/Border Patrol operations. Stephen Miller (in his interview with the AP) said the government would use its “full power, resources and authority” to carry out a broader offensive against people in these jurisdictions if Trump remains in power.
  • Wielding the Public Charge Rule to block poor immigrants from the U.S. This is an immigration law provision that says that people who may be an economic drain on society (for instance, people with serious chronic illness) cannot attain citizenship or other permanent legal status. It is a hideously cruel rule to begin with, but now the Trump regime is wielding it to block most poor immigrants. Under the regime’s interpretation—which has been allowed (so far at least) by the U.S. Supreme Court, and supported by Trump’s new appointee, Amy Coney Barrett—anyone who hit a hard patch and needed help could be deemed a “public charge.” For instance, if someone lost their job and received food stamps, cash assistance and rent support for four months (within a three-year period)—that would be “disqualifying”.

U.S. immigration officials raided several Mississippi food processing plants in 2019. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

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All of these measures and policies, and many more that we have not gotten into, constitute blatant ethnic cleansing, completely in line with Trump’s statement that he didn’t want immigrants from “shit-hole countries” like Haiti or “Africa.” They are already causing widespread suffering and death among millions of desperate people, and if Trump remains in power, they have already told us that things will get much worse. Stephen Miller says ICE raids will escalate, sanctuary cities will be targeted, the Asylum Cooperative Agreements will be expanded worldwide.

And as the AP noted, Trump “has openly toyed with trying to repeal a constitutional right to citizenship for anyone born in the United States,” which would throw into question the citizenship of millions of people who were born here.



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