Immigration and the Election

vote as if the future depends on it

Trump has made hatred of immigrants the number one issue in his mid-term election campaign. He ended the campaign as he began, with lies about immigrants, drumming up fear and hatred. Among his final moves: an anti-immigrant campaign ad so virulently racist that CNN refused to run it.

Meanwhile, U.S. Army troops have arrived at the border, and they face a threat from within:

The prospect of armed vigilantes showing up beside thousands of U.S. troops — along with Border Patrol agents, police officers and migrants — is considered serious enough that miliary planners have issued warnings to Army commanders.

“According to military planning documents obtained by Newsweek, the military is concerned about the arrival of “unregulated militia members self-deploying to the border in alleged support” of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

“The assessment estimates that 200 militia members could show up. “They operate under the guise of citizen patrols,” the report said, while warning of “incidents of unregulated militias stealing National Guard equipment during deployments.”

On the border, U.S. immigration agents are still turning away asylum seekers, telling them to wait … indefinitely, in Mexico. One waiting family came from Russia:

“We’ll wait and see, night and day, because I don’t have anywhere to go,” said Alexander Narzilloev, 35, who was with his wife and sons, ages 3 and 6.

Narzilloev ran a construction supply business in Moscow but fled after he was extorted by local mafia and received death threats, including one from a man who called and said he knew where Narzilloev’s son attended kindergarten, he Narzilloev said.

“The family had originally gone to the crossing in Calexico, Calif., where officers told them they didn’t have space. After waiting a week and spending what remained of their $8,000 savings on a hotel, Narzilloev and his family caught a bus to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, in hopes of entering El Paso.

“I heard in the news Trump said close all the borders. Has it happened yet?” he said. “That’s supposed to be for illegals. We are legal.”

Good luck. If his family gets across the border, they will face an unsympathetic reception.

“I think in El Paso, they want to see that people died,” a young Salvadoran told me. He was an Evangelical Christian who used to preach to local kids. Gangsters had shot at him with a machine gun, killing a pedestrian standing nearby, and had murdered his 15-year-old friend. The man, his mother and his brother made their way to the US. Despite having a devoted pro-bono lawyer, he lost his asylum case and appeal, on the grounds of credibility – the judge believed he was an economic migrant who had invented the threats. His mother also struggled to find legal relief in El Paso. “Maybe if I died, and then my mom asked for asylum, maybe then she can get protection,” he told me calmly. “They tried to kill me, but I didn’t die, so it’s not good enough for them.”

Tomorrow’s election will tell many stories, including the amount of support for Trump’s racist and anti-immigrant rhetoric. I do not plan on posting in this blog on Tuesday, as I’ll be volunteering for get out the vote efforts. As we move toward the election, keep in mind the vision that the Los Angeles Times editorial board offered:

“We are a stronger, better, richer nation for our immigrant roots, a truth that Trump and his choir try to paint differently. We have always had that mind-set in this country, that fear of the new and the different. But to our general benefit, the nation has persistently risen above its worst instincts and provided a canvas for reinvention, and for the realization of dreams and ambitions. It’s the kind of place where even the son of an immigrant housekeeper can become president.”

 

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About Mary Turck

News Day, written by Mary Turck, analyzes, summarizes, links to, and comments on reports from news media around the world, with particular attention to immigration, education, and journalism. Fragments, also written by Mary Turck, has fiction, poetry and some creative non-fiction. Mary Turck edited TC Daily Planet, www.tcdailyplanet.net, from 2007-2014, and edited the award-winning Connection to the Americas and AMERICAS.ORG, in its pre-2008 version. She is also a recovering attorney and the author of many books for young people (and a few for adults), mostly focusing on historical and social issues.
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