Send ‘em all to Mexico, or Trump’s plan to “other” people en masse

So, this was something that I hadn’t really seen much (if at all) online in the social media realm until recently, although it’s a few weeks old now in terms of newsy-ness: Trump and his cronies want to deport all the illegal immigrants to Mexico, whether they’re Mexican or not.

OK, that’s an overstatement; so far, I don’t think there are plans to send Europeans, Arabs (Muslim or otherwise) or Asians who’ve overstayed their visas or whatnot to Mexico. But the literal truth is still pretty awful.

Trump’s evil crew wants to deport immigrants who cross Mexico’s border illegally to Mexico, regardless of their nationality.

Now, for some of you (and I’m sure for most of the people who incorrectly think undocumented immigrants of all sorts are snatching up all the jobs and sucking up all the government welfare benefits), that might not seem so bad. They crossed over from Mexico, so send them back there.

But the fact is that you don’t generally deport people of one nationality to a country other than their native one unless you’re extraditing them because they need to face charges for a crime they are accused of committing in that country. And that’s the difference: deportation and extradition are similar in some ways but are two entirely different things.

Imagine crossing into some Western European nation on some grand tourist journey, right after you’ve been through Russia to grab some photos of their architecture and buy some good vodka, and then you overstay your visit in that European nation. And they say, “Hey, you were last in Russia, so we’re sending you back there.” So you, an American citizen, have now been deported to Russia, and God only knows what will happen to you and where you might be detained and how long before it’s all sorted out. If that thought doesn’t send any chills down your spine, there’s something wrong with you.

The idea that non-Mexicans who cross the border illegally would be sent back over and it would be Mexico’s responsibility to detain them if they’re asking the United States for asylum is ridiculous. OK, they cross illegally. They are in the United States in violation of our immigration laws. So, we should be detaining them until such time as we can arrange to send them back to their country of origin or hear their case for asylum.

If you catch you neighbor Al’s dog pooping on your lawn, you don’t take the dog over to your other neighbor Lisa’s house just because the dog is closer to it when he’s doing his business on your greenery.

Naturally, Mexico isn’t pleased with this and, much like asking them to pay for a wall that Trump wants to build on the border, they are sending up a great big south of the border middle finger, and God bless them for that.

One of the big problems with this plan, beyond the legalities and the common sense aspects, is how it so clearly is meant to “other” all people who are from Latin American/Hispanic nations. To make them one big block of “Mexicans” with no remote desire to actually treat them as individual people. It’s dehumanizing, and that’s so in line with what Trump and his people have been doing since he started campaigning to be president.

It reminds me of a story from several years back that made the news, in which a Puerto Rican man in Chicago had run afoul of the law. The authorities there were all set to send him to Mexico, despite his mother even intervening to provide proof of his identity, before U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez stepped in and things were sorted out.

Mind you, the worst thing about that story isn’t the idea of deportation to Mexico because the man “looked” to Chicago immigration agents like he “must” be Mexican (which is pretty damned bad).

What’s truly horrifying is the fact he was a U.S. citizen. Yes, people born in Puerto Rico are U.S. citizens. It’s a territory of the United States. Immigration agents almost deported a U.S. citizen to Mexico. That’s some peak white supremacy, bigotry and ignorance all wrapped up there.

And this was in 2010. Now we have Trump sounding the trumpet for all the bigots in America to look with suspicion and disdain on people who aren’t white and just maybe might not be American citizens. It’s not about illegal immigration. It’s about anyone whom the racists in power think…and the racists who voted for them think…doesn’t look like they should be here.

With Trump and his crew ready to try out mass roundups and deportations, one can only imagine whether…and how many…actual citizens might find themselves kicked out of their own country.
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