Immigration crisis: an alarming step in the wrong direction

Immigration crisis: an alarming step in the wrong direction

Immigration crisis: an alarming step in the wrong direction
June 28
12:00 2018

President Trump’s zero tolerance policy on immigration has elevated the problem at the border from an immigration crisis to a humanitarian one.

Children of all ages — some barely even toddlers — are being separated from their families at the Texas-Mexico border and placed into “detention” camps. Does this remind you of another leader from the past?

The logic behind the separation of these families is that the parents broke the law in crossing the border illegally, which is true — just as stealing bread when you are hungry is also breaking the law; just as it was illegal to hide Jewish people in your house in Nazi-occupied countries during WWII.

Mexican immigrants crossing the border illegally are not criminals and rapists like Trump would like you to believe. Most are ordinary people just trying to give their families and their children the opportunity for a better life, and they are being ripped from each other at the border. Isn’t the American dream one of hope for a better future, and isn’t that exactly what these people are chasing in coming here?

Trump also wants to skip constitutionally required due process and immediately deport any immigrants crossing the border illegally. Why is our president doing everything in his power to dehumanize them?

This adds to an already steaming political climate with acts of racism like Gov. Mike Huckabee criticizing Nancy Pelosi on Twitter and using the first image that’s prompted by a Google image search of “Mexican gangs.”

Trump also brought families of victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants to the white house, a tactic also used by Hitler to demonize Jewish people. I think it is apparent where Trump is drawing inspiration from. He even signed pictures of the victims the families brought.

Perhaps the most alarming part of the detention camps and dehumanization of the immigrants is that these are both stages on Gregory Stanton’s “10 Stages of Genocide.” And they aren’t at the beginning of the process, either: these are steps 5 and 6. The next step is preparation, i.e., the creation of a plan to eliminate the discriminated peoples by higher party authorities.

Seeing these similarities doesn’t necessarily indicate that there will be any killings, but it is the closest America has been to genocide since the Japanese internment camps during WWII, and that is alarming.

These camps aren’t safe, especially for children. The Huffington Post reported one child’s punishment as being, “strapped to a chair with a bag over the head,” for acting out and even solitary confinement. Accounts of self-harm and suicide attempts by children were reported. About 2,000 children are separated from their parents, and there is no plan to reunite them, much less keep them safe.

How can we be complacent while this is happening?

There are many organizations you can support and donate to, such as the Texas-based group RAICES which provides inexpensive legal defense to immigrant families. Al Otro Lado is a group in Tijuana, Mexico that provides legal services to immigrants and deportees.

Another way to help is by contacting your local representative  — or even the federal government — to make them aware of your opposition toward these inhumane camps and the way immigration is being handled. Something must be done, because it seems like we are heading down a dark path.

Featured Illustration by Elizabeth Rhoden

About Author

Nicholas Stiltner

Nicholas Stiltner

NT Daily Opinion Writer

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