The Trump administration would like for their voters to believe that every undocumented immigrant who enters the country are likely to be violent criminals or parasites looking to leach off the American taxpayer. There is a very good reason that every conversation about immigration reform includes a lecture on MS-13, who comprise a total of 0.0008 percent of all undocumented immigrants, from the president, and why the term “animals” are being used to describe them.
White House doubles down on Pres. Trump's MS-13 "animals" label, following social media backlash to the comment made during last week's immigration roundtable. https://t.co/TTnXJSCpz5 pic.twitter.com/71cKs4rcS4
— ABC News (@ABC) May 21, 2018
In Texas, an example of why Trump’s anti-immigrant message is so dangerous is being reported. 29-year-old Mirian, a mother who fled to the U.S. from Honduras in search of refuge for herself and her 18-month-old son, is being kept in a detention center in Taylor, Texas while her son is kept in San Antonio. Removing this child from his mother, who committed no crime other than trying to save her own life and the life of her child, is inhuman.
According to the ACLU:
‘Fleeing government violence in Honduras, Mirian came to the U.S. with her young son on Feb. 20, 2018, presenting herself to immigration authorities and asking for asylum. During her interview, Mirian gave the immigration officers her Honduran ID card and several identification documents for her child, including his birth certificate and his hospital birth record, both of which list her as his mother.
‘However, once the interview was over, the officers said that they were going to take her son away from her. She repeatedly asked why they couldn’t stay together, but she was not given a reason. The officers then made her carry her 18-month-old child outside where a government car was waiting. As she placed him in the car seat, he began to cry. Without giving her a moment to comfort him or say goodbye, the officers shut the door and drove away.
John Kelly's comments about "foster care or whatever" would be cruel even if it weren’t the case that more than 1,000 migrant children placed by the government last year went missing. https://t.co/VdCm60a6GH
— Vox (@voxdotcom) May 14, 2018
Mirian’s story is neither an isolated incident nor even a rare one. When Trump’s chief of staff, John Kelly, was interviewed about the current immigration policy, he dismissed concerns about removing children from their parents by saying the children would be taken care of in “foster care, or whatever.” Immigration officials insist that they’re acting in the “best interests of the child,” but there is no evidence that suggests that traumatizing a child by removing them from a non-abusive parent is in anyone’s best interest.
There's a reason Trump is doubling down on this rhetoric. He is using the fear of MS-13 to justify policies which hurt all immigrants. pic.twitter.com/UhcpxguslM
— ACLU (@ACLU) May 21, 2018
Dehumanizing immigrants is an unnecessary piece in addressing immigration reform in the United States and the best way for Trump and the GOP to justify it is by dehumanizing those people who come here for survival and to save their children. There are no indications that the practice is helpful to anyone, while much evidence exists to show how harmful it is.
These are the consequences of giving racism a pass when electing a man who appeals to the worst tendencies among his xenophobic voters.
Featured image via Getty/NurPhoto