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.