In Episode 13 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg deconstructs Trump’s executive order ostensibly ending the policy of family separation on the southern border, and demonstrates how it actually lays the groundwork for indefinite detention of migrants on military bases. The Central American peasantry, expropriated of its lands by state terror, CAFTA and narco-violence, is forced to flee north—now into the arms of Trump’s new gulag. The judiciary may yet pose an obstacle to enforcement of Trump’s order, but this brings us to the Supreme Court’s upholding of Trump’s Muslim travel ban and the grim implications of Justices Anthony Kennedy’s imminent resignation. With Congressional calls mounting for putting off confirmation of Kennedy’s replacement while Trump remains under investigation over the 2016 electoral irregularities, a constitutional crisis is imminent.
This represents a critical turning point. Immigrants are the proverbial canaries in the American coal-mine. The Trump crew are testing their methods on them because they are vulnerable, and banking on the likelihood that non-immigrants will say “not my problem.” But if they get away with what they are doing now to a vulnerable and isolated population of non-citizens, it sets a precedent—and ultimately nobody is safe. Which inevitably brings to mind the famous quote from Martin Niemöller, a survivor of the Nazi concentration camps, “First they came for…” Now they are coming for the immigrants—even those who are here legally and have been naturalized, or are serving in the armed forces as a path to citizenship. This is the turning point where an actually fascistic order can be consolidated in the United States. The good news is that Trump’s order was a response to popular protest and opposition, But it is imperative that we do not allow it to buy our complacency, but urgently build uncompromising civil resistance.
Production by Chris Rywalt
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