Trump’s raids and the art of the threat
No, there were no raids during the weekend. The abuse of the Trump Administration against immigrants is worse: it’s psychological.
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Thousands of immigrant families most likely spent the weekend locked up at home, trying to hide from a faceless threat.
After President Trump promised new waves of mass raids last week, terror has been the widespread feeling among the American immigrant community, fueled mainly by the images of detainees crammed into centers on the border.
It seems like the useful mechanism of "dissuasion" that the government argued at the time of separating families has got out of hand.
The operation planned by the Immigration and Customs Agency included not only door-to-door detentions but also "collateral deportations," described by officials as arrests of immigrants who "were on the scene, even if they were not the target of the raid," explained the New York Times.
"When possible, family members who are arrested together will be held in detention centers for families in Texas and Pennsylvania," the paper said. "But because of space limitations, some might end up staying in hotel rooms until their travel documents can be prepared. ICE’s goal is to deport families as quickly as possible."
And if those families see what detention conditions are like - such as those televised during Vice President Mike Pence's visit to a border detention center over the weekend - panic is the only possible feeling.
However, nothing happened over the weekend.
ICE's actions during these days "seemed closer to routine operations than to the massive raids promised by the president," the Washington Post explained.
Seen closely, the true intentions behind the president’s rhetoric are the threat that underlies his “go back to your countries” slogan, which would seem the ideal political strategy to counteract the severe criticism against the mistreatment of immigrants under his Administration’s custody.
"Trump can declare victory – he already scared the hell out of people," said Bill O. Hing, a law professor at the University of San Francisco, to the WaPo. "There has been so much drama all over the country."
But when it comes to campaigning, Donald Trump deftly ignores the limits.
On Sunday morning, his Twitter account was again the focus of attention, when the president attacked the new Democratic representatives of color in Congress, instigating them to "return to their countries."
So interesting to see “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2019
"So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run,” he wrote in his personal account.
“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done,” he added.
One way or another, the character of the "bully" candidate who served Trump so much four years ago seems to have returned to the fray, but this time with two and a half years of administrative disaster under his belt.