Donald Trump’s savage war on migrants ramped up on multiple fronts last week.
First, he threatened that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers would round up and deport “millions” of migrants.
Some 2,000 people were under immediate threat of the deportations, which were set to begin on Sunday.
Then Trump said the action would be postponed for two weeks, but would continue if the Democrats did not agree to harsh new policies limiting people’s ability to claim asylum.
Already 24 people, including children, have died while in immigration detention since Trump took office.
Migrant rights activist Alan Dicker argued Trump’s policies are “creating conditions for tragedy on a massive scale”.
Doctor Dolly Lucio Sevier visited a detention centre and slammed them as “torture facilities”.
She reported “extreme cold temperatures, lights on 24 hours a day, no adequate access to medical care, basic sanitation, water or adequate food”.
Democrat politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez described the detention centres as “concentration camps”.
The Trump administration claim its detention centres aren’t big enough to detain any more migrants. One solution would be to fund safe and secure housing.
But instead of pursuing this, Trump’s government of bigots has chosen to give huge tax breaks to the rich, while migrants suffer in horrific conditions.
Alan said the government is “opting to manufacture an image of chaos and put migrants’ health and safety at risk by ‘dumping’ them in an unannounced manner in small towns”.
There is little sign the Democrats will mount meaningful opposition to the president’s war on migrants.
Trump delayed the deportations after the Democrats threatened not to back his plans for £3.5 billion for more razor wire and guard dogs at the southern border.
Senior Democrat politician Nancy Pelosi said, “Time is needed for comprehensive immigration reform”.
Last week Trump and Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez-Obrador reached a deal to limit the number of migrants reaching the US border.
Lopez-Obrador had previously said his administration would “not do the dirty work of detaining on our southern border Central Americans who are moving in search of jobs”.
All it took for him to fold was the threat of the US-Mexico trade deal being scrapped.
Now Mexican troops are being deployed at the border with Guatemala and cops have vastly increased powers to detain people.
Trump’s deal with Lopez-Obrador will open up more space for gangs to smuggle people through Mexico to the US border.
His attacks are a particularly vicious example of how the border system allows atrocities to happen. And it is US foreign policy, and US-backed regimes, that make people want to flee where they live.
The border should be opened to let people come to the US safely.