U.S. Constitution, Human Rights Collateral Damage in Trump’s Pre-Midterm Attacks on Migrant Families
CHICAGO—October 31, 2018—On Monday, the Trump administration finalized plans to deploy 5,200 troops to the US/Mexico border, ahead the arrival of a caravan of migrant families fleeing violence from their home countries in Central America. Further escalating the national debate on immigration, Tuesday morning brought news that the White House would sign an executive order to end birthright citizenship. Oscar Chacón, executive director of Alianza America, issued the following statement in response to both developments:
“The Trump Administration is further advancing its relentless, xenophobic attacks on migrant communities, and this time both the U.S. Constitution and internationally-recognized human rights accords are set to be collateral damage.
The White House’s overblown reaction to the caravan of Central American of asylum seekers—at least half of whom are children—represent little more than pre-Midterm bluster. Threats to dismantle the U.S. Constitution, coupled with the deployment of thousands of troops to our border, is at best a waste of both legal and military resources, levied against a manufactured bogeyman. At worst, the President’s irrational fixation on this benign caravan leaves our country vulnerable to attack from more more menacing threats to our democracy ahead of Midterm elections.
The realities of this situation will withstand the politicking: Asylum seekers have internationally-recognized rights to protection at our borders. Processing asylees through our country’s well-tested system of due process keeps everyone safe. The 150 years of Constitutional precedent around birthright citizenship cannot and should not be undone by the pen-stroke of a President determined to legitimize his actions by promoting fear.
Outright racism and fear-mongering are being used as a smoke-screen to blind us to the fact that immigrants, refugees, and asylees have always contributed to the social and economic fabric of the United States. Newcomers to our nation have provided both demographic and economic richness to many communities across the country, with a near-zero security threat. In fact, the worst threat to our collective safety consistently comes from homegrown white nationalism, as recent events demonstrate.
Instead of promoting fears about newcomers, and calling for even more restrictive and exclusionary policies against immigrants, our immigration system should reflect the reality that newcomers are and have always been a net asset to the nation. History will judge our country’s ability to prioritize common sense and compassion over fear at this critical time. Human lives hang in the balance.
Alianza Americas, representing 100,000 migrant families and the perspectives of people of principle across the United States, calls for an end to the fear-mongering emanating from the White House and a focus on upholding democracy ahead of next week’s critical elections.”
Alianza Americas is a network of 50 immigrant-led organizations representing more than 100,000 families across the United States. It is the only US-based organization rooted in Latino and Caribbean immigrant communities that works transnationally to create an inclusive, equitable, and sustainable way of life. Learn more at alianzaamericas.org.