We have become the barbarians at the gate
By Anna Daniels
As if ripping children from their parents’ arms, locking them up in cages or sending them to facilities on the other side of the country weren’t the absolute low point of the Trump administrations response to immigrants seeking asylum, we are now tear gassing children.
Let that sink in for a moment. We are tear gassing children, who were reported as running screaming and crying from the tear gas canisters shot into Mexico, a foreign country, by US Border Patrol. (Imagine this situation reversed, with Mexico lobbying canisters into the US.)
There is essentially no operative immigration policy in this country. The ACLU and others continue to bring suits against the government for violating existing laws; the Trump administration has ditched policy making for maximum chaos, empty posturing, and presidential edicts via daily tweets.
Mexico should move the flag waving Migrants, many of whom are stone cold criminals, back to their countries. Do it by plane, do it by bus, do it anyway you want, but they are NOT coming into the U.S.A. We will close the Border permanently if need be. Congress, fund the WALL!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 26, 2018
The resulting cruelty and terror are not some form of unfortunate collateral damage. They are the grotesque, sadistic wet dream of the soulless twisted ghoul Steven Miller, and by extension for Trump. The cruelty is just one more deterrent, wielded with alacrity, devoid of any shred of humanity.
Much of the mainstream media reporting yesterday was a dismal, stomach-churning failure. Too many outlets described “violence” taking place at the El Chaparral crossing not as the tear gassing of women and children but in terms of a group of five hundred people who saw an opportunity to push through the border–but weren’t successful. It was a scene of desperation, certainly. But violence on the part of the migrants? That is simply not true.
Too many outlets were stenographers for Trump’s lies that he had forged a deal with Mexico to hold asylum seekers on the Mexican side of the border until their claims could be processed. Mexico has not agreed.
Or they have accepted as fact that Trump unilaterally can close the border to all traffic. The million dollar question is whether Border Patrol and/or the military would do so, without congressional authorization. Chew on that one for a while. Does that have the taste of fascism?
What Mexico has decided to do is deport those whom they can identify as attempting yesterday’s incursion into the US. And while the Mexican government stated that jobs, housing and support would be offered to the migrants, Tijuana Mayor Gastum has responded that no federal funds have come to his city and they are turning to the United Nations for humanitarian assistance.
The militarization of our southern border before the November election was a political stunt pulled off by an autocrat seeking to cement his base in rural areas of the country and in red states which he had easily won in 2016.
It is naive and dangerous to think that we will not bear an enormous cost for this and I am not referring to the millions of our tax dollars used to deploy soldiers here. Perhaps Trump doesn’t have any desire to exert control over the chaos and cruelty. If so, escalation of the crisis seems inevitable–there are now close to five thousand migrants taking shelter in a sports arena in Tijuana and more are slated to arrive. Children there have told KPBS reporter Jean Guerrero that they are hungry. Rain is in the forecast. One hundred asylum cases are being handled on a daily basis.
If we do nothing about the human misery and violence that we are visiting upon a group of people already fleeing violence in their home country we will bear this for all the world to see for a very long time.
That is the cost to our souls, our sense of right and wrong, our belief in sharing and taking care of each other. A viable democracy embodies those values, provides a way for those responsibilities and benefits to accrue to all of us collectively.
We did not support Trump or vote for Trump, but none of us can escape from the horror playing out at the border. It is on us.
What are we going to do about it?
This is Trump’s America. pic.twitter.com/ZiI0oiyNfe
— Chris Shilling (@Chris_Shilling) November 25, 2018
Joni Halpern says
I agree with you. No matter whom we supported for President, this is on us. But what to do? We should all be talking about what to do.