Donald Trump built his political career on anti-immigrant sentiment, often departing from reality in order to spread bias and hate in order to further his agenda. What he honed as a messaging strategy on the campaign trail has become a matter of policy, now that he’s in the White House, and his xenophobia permeates every aspect of government decision-making.
Today an internal document from the Trump administration was leaked, outlining the latest anti-immigrant moves.
According to the document, which was obtained by The Washington Post, the Trump administration plans to end a bipartisan program that has allowed over 300,000 immigrants to stay in the country legally. Many own businesses and pay taxes, and together they have an estimated 275,000 US-born children. The Trump administration does not care about any of this, instead aiming to deport them…just because, really.
There’s no good reason for it. Via WaPo:
‘More than 300,000 Central Americans and Haitians living in the United States under a form of temporary permission no longer need to be shielded from deportation, the State Department told Homeland Security officials this week, a few days ahead of a highly anticipated DHS announcement about whether to renew that protection.
‘On Tuesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sent a letter to acting DHS secretary Elaine Duke to inform her that conditions in Central America and Haiti that had been used to justify the protection no longer necessitate a reprieve for the migrants, some of whom have been allowed to live and work in the United States for 20 years under a program known as Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
‘“It is fair to say that this administration is interpreting the law, exactly as it is, which the previous one did not,” an administration official said.
‘The official acknowledged that the countries in question continue to suffer from problems of poverty, corruption and violence that, in many cases, have spurred illegal migration. But, the official said, those conditions should be addressed in other ways.
‘“The solution is going to require working with Congress and these countries,” the official said. “We are equally committed to finding that. There is no lack of empathy here.”
‘But “with this particular law,” the official said, “it is very clear to this administration what needs to be done.”’
Most of the immigrants in question, over 200,000, come from El Salvador. El Salvador has some of the most notoriously violent gangs in the world, an export of the American prison system. The state itself is not much better, with many reportedly more fearful of the soldiers than of gangsters.
Despite that, if the Trump administration moves forward on this plan, long-term residents of the United States with jobs and children may be rounded up for arrest and deportation. These are not criminals. These are desperate people, hungry for a shot at the American dream, who are being deported simply so Trump can deport people.
Make no mistake – this has no basis in empathy or reason. Trump wants to deport productive, working immigrants to crime-ridden and violent countries, leaving their children behind. What part of that is good policy?
That’s why as recently as a year and a half ago, the Department of Homeland Security maintained that ongoing conditions in many of the affected countries justified continued protected status.
It requires no action to allow the status quo to continue. If the true concern was the legality of the immigrants’ long-term status, rather than the immigrants themselves, Trump’s administration could pressure Congress to pass a law requiring long-term resolution of their status, allowing the status quo to continue in the meantime.
Instead, the Trump administration has made it clear that it does not want these individuals in the country at all. It’s not about criminal records. It’s not about contributions to society. It’s not about any of that – it is 100 percent based in anti-immigrant sentiment and racism.
Here’s a must-watch video about the impact of deportation:
Featured image via Alex Wong/Getty Images