The rejection experienced firsthand by all of those officials or employees who, from near or far, have been connected to the current U.S. government is becoming an increasingly predictable trend. And not for nothing, owing to the insanity of these presidential whims, especially on the theme of migration.
Identified as part of the problem and not the solution when it comes to the topic of immigration, the executors of the endless list of prejudices and obstacles put in the way of migrant families —above all against asylum-seekers in recent times— have been fully exposed to all, without being free from derision or public condemnation.
Forever tied to this situation, some have vanished in the shadow of oblivion, while the boldest have tried to clean up their battered image and take a step back into the world with new jobs, different projects, or trying to participate in public forums or in entertainment media, as if nothing had happened. However, they have only been the objects of scorn in unlikely places, such as restaurants, conferences, or for the uniform they wear or the position they occupy or occupied.
One of the most recent cases was that of the former Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Kirstjen Nielsen, who had to decline her participation in the forum The Atlantic Ideas Festival, which brings together diverse personalities from politics and, above all, from the world of ideas, pressured by a series of critiques over her role as a member of an anti-immigrant cabinet and during whose tenure at the helm of DHS was unleashed the worst humanitarian crisis in recent United States history, with the separation of families, mistreatment of people in detention, and locking up children in cages.
In that sense, it is rather easy to understand, for example, the conclusion to which some members of the Border Patrol have come regarding the negative perception people have about their performance, to the point of understanding why people “actively hate” them. Recently interviewed by The New York Times, a group of Border Patrol agents and ex-agents had no recourse other than to be honest and admit that the functions they now perform are far from their original tasks, and that their treatment of migrants in detention centers is the central point of the attacks and condemnations that have hovered over them, a situation which has caused them to resign in some cases or exacerbate their diminished moral, or even ask themselves if it’s worth it to continue.
Already in his book The Line Becomes a River, the ex-Border Patrol agent Francisco Cantú had faithfully explained that politicians in the United States believe that if a mother or father are deported, the whole family will have to leave the country with them. But the reality is that those parents, who are trying to maintain the strongest family values, what they want is to stay here, and they will fight to return again and again, complicating their situation every time they encounter more legal and physical obstacles. “In that way,” Cantú says, “the United States makes delinquents out of those who could actually become their best citizens.”
But neither Kirstjen Nielsen nor Border Patrol agents have been the only ones to suffer the consequences of all that today’s leader mandates. A little bit ago it was also reported that Hope Hicks, the inflammatory former Communications Director of the White House had become a sort of “pariah” in Hollywood —where she had moved in order to work in a similar position, but this time for the Fox Corporation— owing to the fact that she is facing ostracism in one of the most liberal enclaves in the country and that she, herself, has been one of the most criticized figures emanating from today’s White House.
Needless to say that the ridiculousness to which former Press Secretary Sean Spicer subjected himself, upon participating in the program “Dancing With The Stars,” has been one of the most discussed in all forms of communication, including social networks and hallway whispers. His colorful outfit with ruffles on its sleeves added even more to the derision, seasoned with steps intertwining a salsa beat with a song by Spice Girls. Imagine what would happen if, after this whole anti-immigrant, xenophobic, and racist nightmare is over, Stephen Miller decided to do this in order to clean up his image, recording a ranchera album together with Corey Lewandowski.
No better luck has befallen Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who similarly resigned from the press position at the White House, after more than three years of being the most notorious face of this administration and whose job it was to justify the unjustifiable and defend the indefensible in front of representatives of the most prepared media since the days of Nixon. After her departure, it came to light that she had intentions of running to be governor of Arkansas, her native state, but it is difficult for her to achieve this right now, since Asa Hutchinson does not leave the post until 2023. Then it was believed she would join the Fox News Channel, a step more logical due to her ideological affinity than broad professional background.
In reality for many of them, including those who have not been so visible, it will be difficult or impossible to rearrange or reinvent themselves in their respective fields of expertise, paying for having gone along with someone who, now that the bells of political justice are tolling, will act the same as always, in service to himself without caring about mucking up his allies, who already have an indelible mark on their foreheads: the capital letter “T.”
You can find the Spanish-language version of this article here