Everyone has been so worried about Donald Trump and his plan to rid the country of Latinos and Muslims and whoever else he hates lately that we tend to forget that mass deportation is already happening. And it’s been happening under a Democratic administration.
A Democratic administration that is about to ramp it’s mass deportation process up.
The Obama administration has already deported more than 2 million people during its tenure. Compare that to the 2 million Mexicans “repatriated” during the 1930’s – only recently being recognized as the great tragedy that it was.
While the Democratic presidential candidates are trying to win the Latino vote in token ways with talks of abuelas and endorsements and photo ops with Latino politicians and celebrities, the Obama administration is set to deport another 100,000 refugee families. Churches are already beginning to offer sanctuary and preparing for the attack.
In August, a federal judge ordered the release of refugee families being held in detention by the Obama administration. These planned deportation raids are in part the Obama administrations response to that order.
It is also partly a continued expansion of the Obama administration’s targeted attack against Central American refugees. In violation of international law and refusing to recognize the right of these refugees in need of asylum, the Obama administration has set in place fast track removal proceedings (with no right to appeal, no access to legal counsel, and no access to an immigration judge) for people fleeing violence in Latin America. According to the Human Rights Watch’s report ‘You Have No Rights Here’:US Border Screening and Returns of Central Americans to Risk of Serious Harm,” refugees are being sent back to countries where they may be murdered. In a recent piece, the Guardian investigated the deaths of some of these refugees.
The Obama administration seems to be all too happy to enact Trump’s deportation plans. Which Trump is basking in and openly taking credit for, of course.
Following in the wake of Trump’s anti-Muslim hysteria. Obama’s administration is also currently revoking the visas of Muslims attempting to enter the United States, by the way.
The strategy of the Democratic Party this election so far is to try to win the Latino vote with empty promises and tone deaf cultural references while courting the white supremacist vote by continuing their deportation pogrom. The Democrats engage in superficial outreach to the Latino community while continuing to be able to claim they are “tough on immigration.”
Their strategy seems to be to convince us that the Republicans are the ones who really want to hurt the Latino community, while enacting the very policies that will harm us. Oh, but it will be worse with Republicans in charge we’re assured. Look at Trump – isn’t he scary?
And we are left having to choose between having a few hundred thousand members of our communities removed or 11 million. The lesser of two evils is not much of a choice at all. Certainly not one that improves or helps our communities in any way. The Democrats seem to expect the Latino vote to be driven by fear, but some of us already live our lives in fear constantly and we are tired of it. We’re supposed to be scared that things will get worse if Republicans win, but they keep getting worse and worse with Democrats in office. It was Bill Clinton in the 1990’s who signed IRAIRA, the ten year bar that keeps many immigrants from being able to leave the country to see family members abroad without risking being torn apart from family members in the US for a decade. It was Hillary Clinton who supported Obama’s detention and deportation of child refugees from Central America.
How can we be asked to vote for Democrats when they are already doing Trump’s job before he even gets chosen as the Republican Party’s candidate?
We are tired of La Hillary’s shtick trying to prove she’s down with the brown folks. Bernie pays lip service to immigration reform, but has expressed xenophobic views about the effects of immigrant labor on American workers. Although he is finally addressing #BlackLivesMatter, his voter base still largely seems to be of the kind of liberal who is pro-union, pro-gay marriage, but anti-brown people stealing their jobs. (UPDATE 12/27/15 1:13 PM: Bernie Sanders courts “angry” Trump supporters in videotaped interview.) Though he’s far behind in the polls, Martin O’Malley seems to be the only candidate who actually has experience reviving an economy through his immigration reform efforts in Maryland. But his zero tolerance approach to policing while mayor of Baltimore, including enacting mass arrests for loitering, doesn’t give the impression that on a larger scale, our Brown and Black communities would be any safer from him from other types of raids.
We didn’t have very many Democratic candidates in the 2014 election cycle that either paid attention to immigration reform as an issue or had a strong record of supporting it and it cost the Democratic Party control of the Senate. Latino voter turn out saw a significant drop. Many think this was because of lackluster engagement efforts on the part of candidates. But when the Democratic Party continues to enact draconian policies that target our communities, I think it’s far more likely that many of us don’t feel much of a motivation to vote for either party.
Which is why these Trumpian raids planned by the Obama administration would cost the Democratic Party dearly. We don’t have to vote for the Democratic Party candidate – whether it’s Clinton, Sanders, or O’Malley – just because they aren’t Trump. Unfortunately, as 2014 showed, some of us may simply choose not to vote at all. And the Democratic Party cannot win without us.
If the Democratic candidates really want to do some serious fucking outreach to the Latino communities, they need to stop with the photo-ops and call on Obama to stop these raids and empty out the detention centers. Whoever wins the Latino vote won’t be the one who posts the cutest Latino meme on social media or the one who gets a photo with celebrities we haven’t cared about since the early 2000s.
The only Democrat we will give a shit about is the one who finally gets the rest of the Democrats to stop attacking our community.