Washington, DC – Below is a column by Maribel Hastings and David Torres from America’s Voice en Español translated to English from Spanish. It ran in several Spanish-language media outlets earlier this week:
The Houston Chronicle reported, in an exclusive, that as part of an initiative by the Governor of Texas, Republican Greg Abbott, to combat undocumented immigration, he ordered agents of the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to “push children and babies back into the Rio Grande” if they are intercepted at the border. Not only that, but to deny water to migrants, even in the middle of intense heat.
This new cruelty would join the long list of immoral attacks on migrants in recent years, which would completely embarrass a civilized and sensitive society due to the amount of human suffering. But it’s enough to realize that hate speech echoes so profoundly among an important segment of the population to conclude that, unfortunately, there are those who celebrate such barbarism—especially those for whom white supremacy is the principal refuge of their cowardice.
Basically, if it sounds inhumane and extremely cruel, that’s because it is. It’s about what you would imagine runs through the minds of politicians like Abbott and so many others of his kind: that is, the treatment of migrants as if they are sub-human. It’s as if the family separation policy of Donald J. Trump and his advisor, Stephen Miller, were taken to its maximum level of cruelty, allowing children and babies to drown.
The Chronicle story is based on an e-mail a DPS agent sent to his superiors that says, in part: “I believe we have stepped over a line to the inhumane.”
But if you really think about it, the line was crossed a while ago, with sending migrants and people seeking asylum on buses and flights from Texas and Florida to cities governed by Democrats, just to exploit the migration issue politically. The line has also been crossed, in the case of Texas, when it put razor wire in the Rio Grande to keep migrants from crossing onto land; or when it hanged useless buoys that only drive migrants to look for other, more dangerous routes, such as where the water is deeper.
That line has also been crossed when migrants die in federal custody, it’s even more painful when the victims are minors alone, like the four who have died this year alone; or when they give rotten food or contaminated water to migrants in ICE detention centers, as if they were less than human beings; or when thousands of children are separated from their parents by an absurd policy of “zero tolerance” at the border during the Trump administration.
The Chronicle story also mentions the gruesome story of a pregnant migrant who became trapped in the wire and suffered a spontaneous miscarriage.
The line of cruelty continued to be crossed a while ago by Florida, with the promulgation and implementation of the anti-immigrant law SB 1718, which has been generating a humanitarian and economic crisis in the state, all with the objective of giving Governor Ron DeSantis the opportunity to appeal to the most anti-immigrant Republican sector, in the quest for their vote.
And it’s there that everything that the fight for civil rights achieved in this country falls apart, since this rejection that makes no sense, has no solid arguments, or even that only shows the profound racism that still persists in the United States, is the echo of an anti-immigrant and xenophobic discourse that has devolved into massacres time and time again.
Therefore, it’s obvious that it will be initiatives like the monstrosity that the Texas newspaper reported that contribute to creating the crisis at the border that the Republicans are salivating for so much. Even the end of Title 42 at the border did not lead to the chaos that they anticipated, and at any rate they are continuing forward with their plans to remove both President Joe Biden and the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, from their posts, arguing that the border is “out of control” and they are “responsible” for the fentanyl crisis in the United States.
But if the Chronicle’s report is true, the only ones who are out of control are the Republicans who, to gain political advantage on the migration issue, are capable of doing the worst and the most sinister.
To read the Spanish version of this article click here.