NEW w/@nickmiroff: Trump has told immigration & Army Corps officials to ignore enviro regulations & seize land in rush to build wall, saying he would pardon those who follow. (Asked for comment, a White House official says pardons were joking.) https://t.co/eY6GsuGfNG— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) August 28, 2019
We're famously alleged to be a "nation of immigrants" and a "melting pot", per part of our quickly dissipating lore. "E Pluribus Unum", not "In God We Trust", was supposed to be our motto. Our bronze lady lifted her lamp beside the golden door to get the world's "tired, their poor, their wretched refuse" but now, Trump wants only the extremely employable to enter our country, which I guess is some kind of answer to the charge that "immigrants are taking all our jobs oh no!" But to be consistently wretched to immigrants, he's also penalizing the immigration status of people who need to utilize assistance programs because, for the time being, they are the poor and wretched. After all, why should anyone who takes the trouble to come here access the American dream, when those born here barely do, right? Why should foreign-born people come here for medical treatment and expect to be treated well, when our own folk ration their meds, or take prescriptions intended for animals?
(Or maybe we all should be able to expect these things.)
But Trump does not believe in the strength of this nation coming from our many parts. Why else would his administration challenge the immigration status of even vets who chose to serve this country and might need assistance? Why would he deny birthright citizenship to the children of US military and other government services living abroad? This seems to me to be a test-run at birthright citizenship itself, which Trump has recently gassed on about. My husband was the US-born child of two green-card holders. You better believe this means something to me--what's next? Make denying citizenship retroactive? Conditional upon being the "right kind" of citizen?
How about basing it upon political beliefs? Because this was in part, where Trump said he meant to go. There was the idea of a "Muslim ban" because of a belief that people from majority Islamic countries might have a propensity for anti-American thought, but in practice, this goes further than mere religious bigotry or racism. The idea of just who has unacceptable beliefs or practices becomes very subjective. This includes activists and journalists who once might have considered our commitment to the first amendment their own shield. This denies a future even to people who might have friends with "wrongthink".
This country should not be a place that privileges Trump's fake border disaster over real crises, or where we are discussing the validity of indefinite detention for young families whom we might otherwise merely have deported if we did not want them here, for what messed-up capitalist purpose I shudder to guess at. I mean, if we undo the 14th Amendment, what the hell prevents us from also going back to slavery, and if Trump can just pardon people after the fact for breaking laws, what the hell, what even are laws for?
Fuck this Trump era for every un and anti-American thing it stands for, for its lack of virtue and its meanness, for its carelessness with life and liberty, and its dismissal even of the Constitution which, even more than for the flag, we should stand. He is wrecking this country's future by denying it the immigration that has been our growth and the diversity that is our strength.
The Trump administration can pretend they are joking about their racist and bigoted policies, but we must bear witness to them all and must call them what they are.