Trump, the Wall and “Borderless” Border Enforcement: How Democrats Have Historically Facilitated Xenophobia, Racism and Oppression

In a desperate attempt to remain dominant after losing all branches of government after the 2016 election, and after eight years of co-piloting Obama’s deportation machine, Democrats have emerged as gentrifiers of “the resistance.”

The reality is that Democrats have not only been hogging the ball on what it takes to make “change” in this country, but they also have bought the trademark for the term “leftist”. The majority of democrats are moderates, close to Reagan on the political spectrum. Reagan brought chaos to this country, not merely through the bluntly xenophobic remarks but by in action as well, through soft blows that landed on poor communities. For example, Reagan called a policy a War on Drugs, but what he really meant was a war on Black and poor communities, Obama said “felons, not families,” but what he really meant was a war on undocumented people. Trump said “they're bringing drugs; they're bringing crime. They're rapists and some, I assume, are good people,” but what he really said is, well, what he said.

Unlike Trump, who has a major obsession with building a wall (someone tell him that he needs to lay off that Game of Thrones for a while), Obama and his Democratic accomplices didn’t need to, because (spoiler alert) there’s a wall already! They used a different type of wall, one that combined an expansion of the police state and surveillance. This strategic move sought to reduce the visible cruelty of immigration raids while continuing enforcement.

The American people have a very difficult time sympathizing with something they are not exposed to, including social and economic issues. Social justice advocates and those who oppose justice are very aware of this, which is why the use of direct action has been a vital tool in bringing injustice to any living room.The growth of social media has expanded awareness of police brutality, and for that same reason, surveillance. This is nothing new. Martin Luther King, Jr. was aware of the power of such imagery during a march at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., where riot police and white supremacists violently attacked peaceful marchers in front of TV cameras. Edgar J. Hoover was aware of this phenomenon, too, so he secretly launched the COINTELPRO or the “Counterintelligence Program,” to spy on on Black liberation movements, others that resisted U.S. racism and exploitation.

By controlling the visuals, through liberal reforms and policies, lawmakers were able to codify racism, slavery, xenophobia and classism into law. Pens replaced guns. This allowed Democrats to claim progressive stances and look like champions of change and pose as the left. In reality, they made decisions behind closed doors and enacted laws that were anything but progressive. While Obama did not campaign on surveillance and enforcement like George W. Bush did, he did expand surveillance beyond Bush. While Obama didn’t ban Muslims, he did bomb predominantly Muslim nations and even helped Trump draft a Muslim ban list. While Obama didn’t say anything xenophobic, he sure as hell helped manufacture a xenophobic immigration system that not only sought to deport people but to incarcerate them for profit. See the pattern?

Way before winning the White House and despite having never held office, Trump became the one and only anti-immigrant heavyweight champion of the world “Dooonnnaalld J Trump!”

Most people associate border enforcement with a wall, a line that divides nations. That is the old school, veterano understanding. Now it means that without boots on the ground, the border is just a meaningless wall. It’s the boots that make it what it is. Modern border enforcement is the expansion of laws aimed to deport people not just near the border, but in inner cities, neighborhoods, and rural communities that are miles away. The creation of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was a major step toward achieving this, because unlike Border Patrol, they are not confined by geography.

Establishment Democrats like Nancy Pelosi (who recently had a press conference interrupted by fierce, undocumented immigrants, many of whom were DACA beneficiaries) can take a cop-out stance and say she voted against the wall and be praised for doing the bare minimum. While she may oppose a wall, she does not completely oppose the expansion of border enforcement or the criminalization of immigrants. Her lack of action and moderate approach toward anti-immigrant policies were evident when she did nothing to end Secure Communities and the Priority Enforcement Program, two sugar-coated names for programs that give local law enforcement the ability to facilitate deportations by making it mandatory to participate with immigration officials. She remained silent on the expansion of ICE and detention centers and the 400 thousand a year deportation quota set by Obama.

Democrats selectively hear the needs of immigrants. Like any relationship in which one side is constantly validated and not challenged, the one between immigrants and the party will ultimately sour. Any federal effort to protect DACA youth being secretly set up with Trump should start with true RESISTANCE and transparency. Resistance means to push back and not compromise easily, something we have yet to see. We have receipts on Trump, Pelosi, and especially Chuck Schumer, who along with then-Senators Obama and Clinton voted for the Secure Fence Act of 2006, and has received donations from private prison companies.

LAX Protest Against Trump’s Muslim Ban
LAX Protest Against Trump’s Muslim Ban
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