Living in a cone of uncertainty is hell. Here in Miami, waiting for Irma, we lived in the cone of uncertainty day after day. As the hurricane grew to monstrous size and gathered fearsome power, as it moved closer and zeroed in on South Florida, as the cone became smaller and tighter, what first had been a speck of worry in the back of the mind became alarm, anxiety, anguish.
To pile uncertainty upon uncertainty, the cone kept shifting, the storm moving, eventually wreaking havoc on all 67 counties of Florida. In Miami, unlike in the Florida Keys, we dodged the big bullet, for the most part, in most areas. But enduring life in the cone of uncertainty, even for just a week or two, unsettles you and leaves a psychological trace that endures long after the storm has disappeared.
In the midst of Irma and its cone of uncertainty, the Trump administration decided to create its very own cone of uncertainty by removing protection from deportation for nearly one million young undocumented immigrants who entered this country as children.
Spared by an Obama-era program, known as DACA, from deportation (and the associated fear, uncertainty, and trauma) these “Americans-in-everything-but-papers” were moving on with their lives: working, attending college, serving in the military, raising families.
Far from perfect, DACA had at least provided them a feeling of safety and peace of mind. Now that was gone. The deplorable duo of Trump and Sessions, the axis of racism, cast a cone of uncertainty over the rest of their lives. If Irma was pure nature, inevitable, this was pure cruelty, undoing DACA. Needless. Perverse. Preventable.
Outraged reactions came swiftly. Protests erupted in dozens of cities around the country. The president of Harvard sent a letter to the university community condemning the action. The University of California system, the largest in the country, announced its intention to sue the federal government. Many other institutions and civil rights organizations also will be taking the federal government to court over DACA.
The administration justified its DACA decision with a bunch of bogus reasons. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he was just enforcing the law. Donald Trump said he loved those young people as he was stabbing them in the back, then gave Congress six months to fix a problem of his own making, aware that this Congress cannot fix anything. Other advocates of killing DACA said its demise would free up jobs for real Americans.
All the dissembling and buck passing betrays a dim awareness by the holders of power who made the DACA decision that they are perpetrating a wrong of historical dimensions that will rank just below Indian removal, separate but equal, and Japanese internment in the annals of infamy.
So why are they doing it? Not for economic reasons, not to create jobs for Americans, that’s for sure. Paul Krugman, an eminent economist, eviscerated the economic argument in the pages of the New York Times. As Krugman notes, an injection of young blood into the labor market is just what the U.S. economy needs. It’s a bonanza, not a burden. The aging of the population is rapidly moving the dependency ratio—the number of people working, earning and paying into social security compared to the number collecting retirement or living as dependent children—in the wrong direction.
The countries of Western Europe, well ahead of the United States in the transition to an aged population, would kill to have a million people of the caliber of the dreamers—as those in Trump’s crosshairs are known. This country’s leaders would rather put them in a cone of uncertainty and anxiety for six months, terrorize them, then probably remove them.
Why? Once you dismiss all the bogus justification and fallacious arguments, you are left with one cause. Blood and soil, as the Nazis then and the American fascists now chant. It’s racism plus. The superior white race is not just inherently more intelligent, it also speaks the universal language, has the best culture, the most courage. Why allow a mongrel race, inferior in every way, to emerge and take over? Why let hundreds of thousands of them stay and reproduce?
Donald the Terrible arose in the nick of time to prevent the end of white Anglo-Saxon dominance. The racist immigration law of 1924 basically succeeded in reversing the erosion of white Anglo-Saxon predominance that had been taking place at the turn of the 19th century. The current anti-immigrant crusade is an attempt to reprise that racist tour de force. Will it happen?
Short answer: Extremely unlikely. The world of 2017 differs in so many ways that relate to the answer it would take a book to analyze them. So just one telling tidbit here. The increase in the Latino population of the United States today comes more from procreation than from immigration. What wall will stop that?