No border crisis exists, no justification for partially shutting down government. What’s going on is a bipartisan political standoff unrelated to national security.
Trump, the GOP, and the Dems share blame. There’s plenty of it to go around in Washington, mostly on issues far more important than to build or not to build a border wall, fence, barrier, call it what you will, along the US-Mexico border, accomplishing nothing other than wasting billions of dollars if built.
The saying about when elephants fight, the grass gets trampled is relevant to the fallout from what’s going on – in its 19th day with no signs of resolution.
Hundreds of thousands of government workers with no dog in this fight are going unpaid. Around 40 million poor Americans, dependent on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) aid to feed their families, are cut off from receiving food stamps they vitally need.
If shutdown continues endlessly for weeks longer, they could be cut off entirely, perhaps a motive behind preventing resolution. Social justice in America eroded markedly since the neoliberal 90s, begun by the Clinton co-presidency, continued by Bush/Cheney, Obama and Trump.
At best, America’s poor and disadvantaged will face protracted delays in receiving SNAP and other aid needed NOW.
Border crossings by undocumented aliens are way down historically. People coming are largely desperate Central American families with children – fleeing state-sponsored and gang-related violence, repression, and deep poverty for lack of jobs and the absence of even modest social justice in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and elsewhere.
Central Americans and others are coming to survive, fleeing intolerable conditions in their home countries, US-supported despotic regimes running them.
Trump refuses to sign government funding legislation without over $5 billion for a southern border wall. The GOP-controlled Senate won’t address the funding issue until the current standoff is resolved.
What’s going on and much more shows Americans are ill-governed and ill-served by the vast majority of policymakers in Washington – uncaring about their fundamental rights and welfare.
That’s the deplorable state of the nation today, things worsening over time, worse than ever under Trump
Trump’s first ever prime time Tuesday Oval Office address was an exercise in hyperbole, hysteria, and racist fear-mongering, falsely portraying desperate families as threats to US national security – aired by all broadcast and cable TV channels.
He failed to explain that most people attempting to cross America’s southern border are refugees and asylum seekers with just cause to be fleeing their home countries.
He was silent about separating children from parents, terrorizing and detaining them under harsh conditions.
The ACLU challenged him, saying
“(t)he so-called border crisis is a product of Trump’s imagination and the cruelty of his DHS.”
“Border apprehensions are at some of the lowest levels in decades. Most of the people coming to our southwest border are families and children seeking asylum.”
They’re not gun or knife-toting terrorists or criminals. They’re desperate people seeking safe haven – needing help, not arrest and detention, not a border wall, a political issue, nothing else.
Trump lied saying a “border crisis” exists. He lied claiming “(o)ur southern border (is) an ‘open wound,’ where drugs, criminals (including human traffickers) and illegals…pour into our country” – a shameful perversion of truth.
He lied saying “(w)e cannot keep our country safe without…a physical barrier” along the southern border.
Homeland Security, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), funding should be sharply cut, not increased – involved in waging war on unwanted aliens of the wrong race, ethnicity, and/or religion, part of US bipartisan supported white supremacist governance.
Poor, desperate arrivals aren’t wanted, people of color scorned, Muslims from the wrong countries vilified.
Unwanted aliens are dehumanized, hunted down, and mistreated. ICE tactics are Gestapo-like. Neighborhoods, workplaces, and other locations are raided, along with repression along America’s southern border and brutalizing detentions.
ICE agents operate extrajudicially, making random arrests and detentions, conducting unlawful searches and seizures.
What’s going on occurs nationwide, not just along the US/Mexico border. Excessive force is commonplace, constitutional protections violated.
Obama deported more unwanted aliens than Trump, what US major media largely ignore. In 2012, deportations peaked at 410,000, over 1,000-a-day under Obama.
In FY 2018 ending September 30 last year, the US deported 256,000 unwanted aliens. Both presidents enforced “zero tolerance.”
On Wednesday, Trump will again meet with GOP and Dem leaders at the White House over the festering partial government shutdown to become the longest on record if continues into Saturday.
Walls fall way short of security they’re built to provide. Their ability to keep out unwanted migrants, refugees and asylum seekers is mixed at best.
A previous article explained that short in length and heavily guarded, they work. Longer walls and fences are vulnerable to penetration in remote, less well guarded areas.
The near-2,000 mile-long US Mexican border is too lengthy to be guarded well enough to keep out unwanted aliens.
When one route is blocked, others are taken, including hazardous ones. When homeland conditions are intolerable, countless numbers of people seek refuge elsewhere.
If built, a wall or other barrier along the US/Mexico will be more symbolic than an effective deterrent to aliens seeking safe haven in America.
No system is foolproof. Determined people often find ways to breach vulnerable parts of lengthy barriers.
Republicans and Dems share blame over border wall politics. Millions of ordinary Americans are held hostage to their bickering for political advantage.
Trump won’t sign legislation without funding for a southern border wall. That’s where things now stand, neither side so far willing to compromise to end the partial government shutdown.
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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.