Washington, DC – Below is a column by Maribel Hastings from America’s Voice en Español translated into English.
Based on recent events on different issues, from immigration to the right to vote and to have an abortion, it seems like the handiwork of Donad Trump and his Republican accomplices has been victorious, even though they control neither the White House nor Congress.
Just as COVID-19 mutates into variants that are all the more contagious and difficult to control, the virus that Trump injected into policy and society—at the state and national level—continues to spread, with the possibility of terrible consequences.
On the immigration issue, for example, although some of the most onerous administrative measures from Trump have been reversed by President Joe Biden, others have remained. Last month a federal district court judge in Texas, Matthew Kacsmaryk, appointed by Trump, forced the administration to restart the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program, also known as “Remain in Mexico,” which makes asylum seekers remain in this neighboring country until their petitions are processed. The case that led to the ruling was brought by the Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, a Trump ally and accused fraudster. Many asylum seekers have been subjected to assault, rape, kidnapping, and some have even died. The judge ruled that terminating the program was illegal and now the Biden administration is searching for the balance between respecting the judicial order and following through on a campaign promise, especially since the future of immigration reform in this current Congress remains unknown.
Trump, his lieutenants like the poisonous Stephen Miller, and his Republican minions in Congress have to be celebrating the survival of their hateful immigration policies.
And to that we have to add recent events on other issues.
Nationwide, measures that attempt to restrict the right to vote for minorities and put obstacles in their way continue to proliferate, all based on Trump’s Great Lie that he lost the elections in 2020 due to “fraud.” This lie degenerated into a riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, and the death toll continues to mount even months later, as some of the police officers attacked by Trump’s rioters ended up committing suicide. Since they didn’t win the general election, the Republican plan is to keep minorities from voting. The Texas law is one of the most damaging in this sense, although they have been spreading across the country like COVID.
The most recent example is the Texas law that restricts the right to have an abortion, a law that was blessed by the U.S. Supreme Court thanks to judges nominated by Trump, whose tentacles continue to cause damage even when he’s not in the White House.
Biden did not only inherit a country in the midst of a pandemic mismanaged by Trump and a beaten-down economy. Add to this the Afghanistan debacle, a withdrawal plan negotiated by Trump with the Taliban, which Biden had to implement and, upon doing so, committed grave miscalculations that have affected hundreds of thousands of Afghan people who helped the United States during the war.
Now the Democrats are also facing laws that directly affect voters who traditionally support them, like restricting the right to vote and an electoral group — women — concerned about their reproductive rights.
Not to mention that the promise of immigration reform continues to be difficult.
Just as we know that at some point COVID will be controlled, but it will take time, the virus and venom of Trump and the Republicans’ policies will continue infecting the political process. The question is, for how long and whether it can be counteracted.
Because there’s no vaccine for this.
Read the Spanish version of this column here.