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Monday, November 5, 2018

How Much Evil Can The Trump Administration Normalize?

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Recently, several children who’ve been put in immigrant detention centers were interviewed about their experiences by the World Socialist Website. What they described can undeniably be called cruel and unusual punishment. As the WSWS’ article states:

La Hielera means “the ice box” in Spanish. The term has become slang for the temporary holding cages in which immigrants are kept after being arrested. La Perrera stands for “doghouse” and is another holding cell comprised of chain link fence. Both are deliberately kept at frigid temperatures to make immigrants as uncomfortable as possible. Blaring lights are kept on 24/7 and inmates have no idea whether it is day or night.
“There were a ton of people in La Hielera,” Heidy said. “There were babies crying all the time. There were so many babies and they were not given food. Every so often, when people were trying to sleep, guards would come and count us, making us stand up and line up. We were all very hungry too. They gave us only a very tiny water bottle and an apple.”
The children also said that they’ve lost weight because of their being underfed, that they’ve been regularly given food that causes them stomach pain, that they were forbidden to talk about politics or the plight of immigrants in the U.S., that they were not allowed to touch anyone in the camp, that their few phone conversations with their parents are monitored by guards, and that they’ve been threatened by guards with punishment for crying. As the WSWS also reports, “One child reported that a bunkmate tried to hang herself in their room one night. Another child said she was checked into a hospital due to depression and was given many pills, the names of which she did not know.”
This is what Trump and his media propagandists are endorsing when they say they only want to “enforce our immigration laws.” They leave out the details of their “tough” immigration policies for a reason; underneath all the vapid slogans and racist propaganda, this administration is rounding up innocent people and torturing them.
I know that atrocities like these were happening long before Trump. The ACLU has assessed that “the border patrol was monstrous under Obama,” with immigration agents having been shown to threaten undocumented children with rape, migrant detention centers having regularly facilitated sexual abuse of prisoners, and Obama having deported more people than any other president.
But in the last two years, these abuses have been escalated and expanded. After it came into office, the Trump administration immediately removed the marginal restrictions on who ICE can target, with all undocumented people having become subject to potential deportation. As harassment and violence from ICE agents have increased, so has the extremity of the Trump administration’s moves to attack human rights.
In March, the White House started publishing a weekly list of crimes that undocumented people have been charged with; in April, the “zero tolerance” policy perverted existing laws by redefining unauthorized border crossings as a felony instead of a misdemeanor; in September, a report came out which revealed that 12,800 children are being kept in detention centers; and now Trump is sending troops to the border while attempting to subvert the constitution by ending birthright citizenship.
It’s one step after another. And Trump’s supporters are going to accept these changes as long as it feels believable that the atrocities are simply efforts to “protect the border.” But there are actions that we can take to stop the persecution of the undocumented, and the resources for immigration justice organizing are available for us to use. Let’s counter this before they try to take it even further.


  1. This is unbelievable. Some of the worst child abuse I've heard of in a very long time. I wish I knew how to put a stop to it. We are living under fascism, and there is no stronger evidence of it than this.

  2. Great work Riener keep it up brother. We need one hell of a nonpartisan anti-corruption movement the likes of which this country hasn't seen in decades.

  3. Ugh this Government has gone to shit.