In likely final immigration rant as president, Trump worries about his wall being taken down

Donald Trump, set to be the first president to have been impeached twice, went to the U.S./Mexico border Tuesday to do exactly what we said he’d do. While there was of course a bunch of self-congratulation for the border fencing built with stolen U.S. taxpayer funds because Mexico never did end up paying for it, Trump ended his final border visit as president the same way he kicked off his racist campaign in 2015.

“President Trump traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border on Tuesday and recited a bunch of old claims about immigrants and crime that we’ve long rated false or misleading,” The Washington Post reported. “Our practice is not to award Pinocchios when we round up multiple claims, but Trump as usual butchered the facts with his spin about immigrants, ending his term as it began.” Immigrant rights advocacy group RAICES noted that networks didn’t broadcast his bullshit live, either.

Some racist lies uttered by Trump in Texas I’m not going to go into here because after five years I’m sick and tired of having to justify the humanity of immigrants following some disgusting speech he made somewhere. While I’m sure this man will remain a boil on the butt of humanity post Jan. 20, I hope this is the final time I ever have to address his racist remarks as president. If you want to read exactly what he said in Texas, here’s The Post’s roundup. 

We should however address some of his lies about policy, because this is damage that President-elect Biden can immediately begin to reverse after he takes office next week.

“One of the biggest loopholes we closed was asylum fraud under the old broken system,” Trump falsely claimed on Tuesday. “If you merely requested asylum, you were released into the country. The most ridiculous thing anyone’s ever seen. And we were taking in some people that you didn’t want to have in your country. We instituted a series of historic policy changes to shut down asylum fraud, and that’s what we did.”

“Wrong on multiple levels,” The Post corrected. Or as I immediately thought, bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.

What Trump has done is shut down the U.S. asylum system to just about everybody, through dangerous and unlawful policies like Migrant Protection Protocols, or Remain in Mexico, and the politically motivated Stephen Miller order using the novel coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to quickly expel thousands of asylum-seekers, including children.

“As of Jan 2020 (1 yr ago) @humanrights1st had tracked at least 816 public reports of murder, torture, rape, kidnapping, and other violent attacks against asylum-seekers and migrants returned to Mexico under MPP,” RAICES tweeted. “Trump's take: ‘MPP saved countless lives from crime.’” In shocking audio obtained by CNN last year, the Trump administration in fact admitted the policy was dangerous after having publicly defended it as having “successfully provided protections” to asylum seekers.

Parents forced to wait for their U.S. immigration court dates in Mexico under the policy have become so desperate, that they’ve been forced to send their children to the U.S. by themselves, resulting in another form of family separation. Among those parents has been Alexis Martinez, who recounted to NPR in late 2019 watching his children, 5-year-old Benjamin and 7-year-old Osiel, holding hands as they crossed into the U.S. alone. 

”All in all, today's appearance was a victory lap (if you can even call it that) of the only thing in his presidency Trump was able to accomplish: dismantle our immigration system as we know it,” RAICES continued. The organization noted that Trump spent time praising the out-of-control agents of Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, something that “reeks of danger. These agencies were already vile & during the last 4 years the Trump admin fostered an already rampant racism & xenophobia within them.”

But in the end, Vox reports that Trump’s main concern wasn’t the lives he’s destroyed through his policies or the enduring damage policies like Remain in Mexico has created, but instead about his precious, stupid wall. “We can’t let the next administration even think about taking it down,” he said according to the report. President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to stop building when he takes office next week. He needs to knock the motherfucker down too.

Trump to end presidency the same way he kicked off run, by attacking immigrants

Soon-to-be-twice impeached Donald Trump is ending his white supremacist presidency the same way he started his campaign more than five years ago: racist, anti-immigrant fearmongering. Having basically gone into hiding after inciting a violent mob of seditionist supporters who ransacked the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election results—and resulted in numerous deaths, including of a police officer—Trump is traveling to Texas on Tuesday to bluster about the border wall that Mexico never did end up paying for.

The Associated Press reports that missing from the visit will be unlawfully appointed acting DHS Sec. Chad Wolf, who resigned Monday. But following the D.C. attack (nice job securing the “homeland” there, Chad), elected officials, editorial boards, and border communities are demanding Trump stay away too. "Normally we would welcome a presidential visit to our state. Not now,” the American-Statesman Editorial Board wrote. “Not by a president who is unhinged and unrepentant for the violent mob he sent last week to the Capitol."

“The stated reason for Trump’s visit to Alamo is to tout his administration’s work on the border wall and immigration,” the American-Statesman Editorial Board continued. “Indeed, Trump is wrapping up his term on the same note that he launched his political career, stoking fear about immigrants and exaggerating his accomplishments.”

June 16, 2015, will always live in infamy as the day he launched his presidential campaign by descending the escalators at Trump Tower to call Mexican immigrants criminals and rapists. ”When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” he said. “They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

His comments were blatantly racist and disqualifying, but too many in the mainstream media were afraid to say so and instead merely labeled them “controversial.” Worse yet, others dismissed them as a joke. It wasn’t a joke or “controversial” to Mexicans and Mexican-Americans like me. He was talking about us. He talking about my parents and two older sisters, all born in Mexico. He was talking about me, the son of Mexican immigrants.

“Trump acts as if his legacy along the border will be construction of a ‘beautiful’ wall,” American-Statesman continued. “In truth, his legacy is one of destruction: Crying children pulled from their parents’ arms as part of his shocking family separation policy, with hundreds of kids still waiting to be reunited. Migrant kids dying in U.S. custody for lack of proper care. A shameful humanitarian crisis just south of the border as the U.S. turned its back on those who are lawfully seeking asylum. A degradation of America’s values and standing in the world.”

Now having incited a violent mob that my colleague David Neiwert writes was “intent on taking hostages and murdering them” and is now leading to an unprecedented second impeachment, Trump is returning to what he always goes to when desperate or in need of an ego boost: attacking immigrants (and doing it as likely his final trip in office).

“Rather than spend his last days in the Oval Office addressing the pressing Covid-19 pandemic and ensuring an orderly transition, Trump is doubling down on his xenophobic, white supremacist agenda,” Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR) executive director Fernando García said in a statement received by Daily Kos. Indeed, the City of Alamo said in a statement it hasn’t even been contacted about Trump’s visit.

“His presence at the borderland is a provocation, and an act of violence in and of itself,” García continued. “Border communities are calling for the dismantlement of the wall of shame, racism and white supremacy. The wall and all it represents have no place in our society, and Trump must be held accountable.”

President-elect Joe Biden’s victory and our wins in Georgia provide an opportunity to take both executive and legislative action to protect undocumented communities attacked by the outgoing administration. I hope Trump has the time of his wretched life at his precious wall Tuesday because Biden has also pledged to not build another foot of it—and because it was built using swindled funds and has caused “incalculable” harm in the borderlands, there’s a strong case for knocking the motherfucker down. The human costs of Trump’s racism, however, the fomenting of violence and the unleashing of white supremacist forces, will not be so easy to scale back. That’s the “legacy” he’s leaving us. 

“It is a presidency that has prioritized sowing division, undermining our institutions and norms, and working tirelessly to marginalize the ‘other,’” American Immigration Council policy counsel Aaron Reichlin-Melnick writes. “For Trump, there were no people more “other” than those who came to our border and asked for our help.” He writes that that to truly “defeat Trumpism, as a nation we must embrace a more humane approach toward those who are different from us, one that respects the law and our obligations to the most vulnerable.”

“The Biden administration can start by restoring humanitarian protection, and finally moving away from the deterrence-based mindsets of the past decades and create a truly welcoming process at the border,” Reichlin-Melnick continued.