Upon observing the second anniversary of the massacre in El Paso, Texas, a hate crime considered the worst attack on the Latino community in modern history, anti-immigrant rhetoric from Republican Party officials continues unabashedly.
The most recent example is the attack perpetrated by the Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, upon launching an executive order that limits the transportation of immigrants, giving authority to agents of the state’s Department of Public Safety to detain vehicles that they suspect contain people who have crossed the border without documents.
What, pray tell, is the criteria in this order that illuminates this specific profile of immigrants? Basically, color and origin. In other words: racism, pure and simple.
Not content to stop there, Abbott blatantly blames immigrants for “increasing” the propagation of COVID-19 cases, knowing that many are already vaccinated and it is actually the United States that has broken all world records of illness and deaths under the pandemic. This hypocrisy is all the more evident since Texas is one of the states that is the most reluctant to follow medical protocols to prevent the spread of the illness, starting with the use of masks.
Added to this type of incendiary rhetoric are the public policy initiatives through which the Republican Party is trying, among other things, to suppress the minority vote.
One of the main reasons is that the seeds of hate, prejudice, and discrimination sown by former President Donald Trump have germinated, and continue to bear nefarious fruits. Those who thought losing the presidency to the Democrat, Joe Biden, would mean the end of the most anti-immigrant and xenophobic president in recent U.S. history were mistaken.
Because the way that Trump has gone about reorganizing, ever more scandalously, leads one to believe that his bruised ego will continue producing poisonous rhetoric among the Republicans who still see, in him, the possibility of continuing to breathe politically, even if they have to show their most racist and hypocritical side.
Moreover, it was reported this weekend that in the first six months of this year, political committees associated with Trump accumulated $82 million and the former president has some $100 million already in his coffers, funds gathered by promoting the lie that the general elections in 2020 were “stolen.”
In addition, the Republican Party has decided to promote the farce of “electoral fraud” to win the support of Trump’s base and curry favor with the former president. Trump’s support is sought by Republican figures who even try to rewrite history to which we all were witnesses, this past January 6 at the federal Capitol Building, when a raging, pro-Trump mob violently broke into the building to try to prevent certification of Biden’s victory.
That which the entire world saw and has considered a clear attempted coup d’etat was the first example of the control Trump still has over that recalcitrant segment of society that betrays itself by rejecting the demographic and cultural reality of a nation of immigrants, constantly transforming to ensure its own survival.
Therefore, despite the dead and the wounded, Republican leadership has refused to investigate the facts and accept that it was Trump himself who agitated his followers, who even literally wanted to “hang” former Vice President Mike Pence.
The prejudice, racism, and division that defined the Trump presidency have only intensified on the Republican side, not only at the federal level in Congress but across the country with Republican governors and state legislatures, who are paving the way to voter suppression—and even changing the results of elections that are not in their favor.
The coming year, 2022, is the first test to see how far Trump’s tentacles extend, in the midterm elections which will determine if the Democrats keep or lose their slim majority in Congress. And in 2024, it’s possible that Trump could turn up and seek the presidential nomination again. After all, he has the money and support from his base and the Republican leadership, that has no moral compass.
To rile up this base, immigrants and minorities continue to be Republicans’ favorite scapegoats.
The El Paso massacre is a reminder of the effect that hate speech can have on sick minds. The January 6 assault on the Capitol was another reminder of this fact. Unfortunately, we have not seen the final chapter of the damage that this rhetoric, racism, and prejudice are capable of inflicting.
In the face of this threat of the resurgence of “Trumpism,” we can no longer delay a historic turn of the helm on the issue of migration so that, once and for all, the lives of millions of people who have lived, worked, and sacrificed for this country, even without documents, can change for the better. Their regularization is urgent, vital, necessary, and a moral duty that has no room for excuses.
To read the Spanish version of this article click here.