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Donald Trump is using his power and our government to dehumanize people who aren't white  5 Days ago

Source:   USA Today  

Donald Trump’s immigration policies are having lethal consequences.

Marco Antonio Muñoz, a Honduran man seeking asylum in Texas, committed suicide in his padded cell after Border Patrol agents separated him from his wife and 3-year-old son. Manuel Antonio Cano Pacheco was murdered in Zacatecas, Mexico, where he was deported after he was convicted of two misdemeanors and lost his protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. 

These are two tragedies arising from the Trump administration’s insistence on making America’s already cruel immigration policies even more intolerable by cracking down on refugees and people brought to this country as kids.

How many more are there? Who knows?

No one knows how many noncriminals will die in countries they’ve never known as their deportations skyrocket. We have no possible way to account for all the suffering that will be endured because Attorney General Jeff Sessions has decreed that refugees fleeing domestic violence or gang warfare are no longer eligible for asylum.

And who can calculate the damage to children who are separated from their parents at the border due to the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy? All we can say is the effects of such toxic stress could be “lifelong,” says Colleen Kraft, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Today, right now, Puerto Rico’s morgue is overflowing with hundreds of unclaimed bodies, and there is nothing resembling the national outrage we saw during the botched response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

What connects the Trump administration’s sadistic immigration efforts to its disastrous failings in Puerto Rico? Both speak to Donald Trump’s sickest success — normalizing the use of government power to dehumanize nonwhite bodies. 

If Trump’s mocking accent when saying the words "Puerto Rico" at Hispanic Heritage event didn’t convince you that he sees the island in terms of race, just look at how his administration’s hurricane responses favored Texas over Puerto Rico.

This is actual “American carnage” and, unlike undocumented immigration and crime, which are near lows for this century, it will only get worse.

We know this is just the beginning, because this is exactly what Trump promised he’d do as a candidate. Now he’s ripping children away from their parents, both literally and seriously.

Trump’s career as a conservative politician began as a birther, but he didn’t become a real presidential contender until turned his venom on immigrants.

His viciousness matched the GOP base, but it constantly exceeded what most mainstream conservative politicians were willing to act out in public. And while his slurs against immigrants and his tone made some queasy, his lust to demand papers from millions of undocumented Americans was completely in line with a Republican Party that has been voting to deport DACA recipients for years.

POLICING THE USA: A look at race, justice, media

Three years after Donald Trump came down the escalator at Trump Tower to tell a crowd of actors that immigrants who arrive through our Southern border are a particularly criminal group of people, we know what birtherism — the belief that only white Americans deserve the basic presumptions of citizenship — looks like as an official policy.

It looks like screaming children, suicidal parents and overflowing morgues. Even worse, it looks like all-time high approval from the “pro-life” religious right that seems far more concerned with gay people being able to adopt kids than the prospect of “tent cities” rising to house migrant children who cross the border.

This is Trumpism in action, and it’s fully endorsed by the GOP.

Republicans in Congress haven’t taken up any legislation to try to rein in the administration on immigration and they’ve punted — again — even on voting on relief for DACA recipients.

America’s right has made the decision to target the most vulnerable people in our society while bestowing billions on the richest and all sorts of favors on polluters, cable companies and banks. It’s a strategy that suggests an inability to empathize with the least among us. And it’s a strategy that has a body count. But who knows what the costs of a strategy like this will ultimately be?

Trump and the GOP are inviting these miseries in the name of party and nation. But the consequences belong to all of us.

 

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