tags: AVES Feature, Press Releases

Biden and Trump’s Old West-style “migration duel” over the border

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Washington, DC – Below is a column by Maribel Hastings from America’s Voice en Español translated to English from Spanish. It ran in several Spanish-language media outlets earlier this week: 

With his victory over Nikki Haley in the South Carolina Republican presidential primary on Saturday, Donald Trump comes ever-closer to the Republican presidential nomination. And if he beats Joe Biden in November, the excesses of his first term will pale in comparison to the chaos that a second Trump administration will generate, particularly when it comes to immigration.

And if the Trump threat on immigration issues wasn’t enough, President Joe Biden, facing the political pressure of an election year with a chaotic border and thousands of refugees in Democratic cities, is considering executive orders that would allow him to, among other things, close the border if the number of irregular crossings climbs above a certain amount, as well as conducting expedited deportations, and hardening the criteria to apply for asylum.

In fact, in a sort of Old West-style duel, Biden and Trump will visit the border between Texas and Mexico this Thursday. Biden will go to Brownsville and Trump to Eagle Pass. Press reports indicate that Biden is planning to point at Republicans for rejecting their own proposal for border security in the Senate. Trump, for his part, will look to exploit violent incidents involving immigrants in recent weeks.

Trump has made the border and immigration his central campaign issue in order to rally the MAGA base. The warning of a “purge” of migrants; detention camps for undocumented people; and massive deportations are not empty threats. Proponents of these policies, like the Machiavellian Trump advisor Stephen Miller, have had the last four years to perfect their evilness, looking for mechanisms that permit them to implement these proposals without being stopped in the courts. 

They are attempts to follow the model of President Ike Eisenhower and his “Operation Wetback” of the 1950s, which removed more than a million Mexican people from the country, including U.S. citizens. But they’re also proposing the return of Title 42; canceling TPS, which would affect 700,000 beneficiaries; the return of Zero Tolerance; denying citizenship to children born in the United States to undocumented parents; and imposing an ideological test on people seeking visas, among other things.

Many of these proposals are contained in the Heritage Foundation’s 2025 Project. A Niskanen Center analysis about Project 2025 concludes, “It isn’t simply a refresh of first-term ideas, dusted off and ready to be re-implemented. Rather, it reflects a meticulously orchestrated, comprehensive plan to drive immigration levels to unprecedented lows and increase the federal government’s power to the states’ detriment. These proposals circumvent Congress and the courts and are specifically engineered to dismantle the foundations of our immigration system.” 

And it’s not only about immigrants. The rights of the rest of the United States, in diverse areas, are also at play. Trump had the opportunity to nominate like-minded judges in various tribunals including the Supreme Court, stacking the deck in his favor in his attempt to implement extremist policies. He also made it clear that he is rearing for vengeance from officials and Democratic politicians, whom he accuses of having persecuted and defamed him because, in Trump’s world, the 91 charges that he faces in four criminal cases, are “fabricated.”

In his incoherent speech before the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this Saturday, Trump launched a threat, saying that when he wins the presidency it will be a “Judgment Day” for his enemies and critics. Among those “enemies,” apart from Democratic functionaries and politicians, are immigrants and the very democracy that he attacked when promoting the assault on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, in order to impede the certification of Biden’s win in the 2020 elections. 

Trump has shown what he is capable of. We cannot minimize his rhetoric, nor his threats. 

The original Spanish version is here.