Xenophobia and racism can be packaged as many different forms, from patriotism to police cars to borders. ICE has been at the forefront of aggressive and unwarranted raids that have torn families apart across the US. However, these mass deportations are not the beginning nor are they the end.
In 2017, ICE arrested over 20,000 undocumented immigrants in California alone. While most want to point fingers at the Trump administration, they fail to acknowledge the record breaking deportations that the Obama administration organized. In Obama’s eight year presidency, his administration deported more than five million undocumented immigrants.
The Trump administration is only going to increase these numbers as we have already been witnessing in the past year. The only difference between the Obama and Trump administration is the blatant racism that Trump displays. Both of these administrations are complicit in imperialism, one is just easier to digest when it is packaged in “hope and change.”
These mass deportations have affected the way communities handle issues such as sexual assault. The LA Times reported that sexual assault reports have dropped 25% in Latino communities since the beginning of 2017. Domestic violence reports also dropped by a surprising 10%. This all means that undocumented people living in the US are too afraid to report their assault out fear of being detained and deported.
While we know that the Latino community, specifically Mexicans and Central Americans, have been disproportionately targeted by ICE, we tend to forget the rest. According to John Burnett at NPR, undocumented immigrants from the Middle East, Asia, and Africa have spiked since Trump took office.
Since the new authority took place, ICE agents are now allowed to detain anyone with or without a criminal record. Minor offenses such as traffic tickets are enough for ICE agents to detain immigrants according to Trump’s immigration policy.
Some may argue that it is unconstitutional or “un-american”, however this reality is fascism. Marginalized and immigrant communities have endured it since the establishment of the US . It has just now become more obvious to people living outside of these communities. What the Trump administration has done by increasing these ICE raids is open the door to more racism, xenophobia, and exposed white supremacy.
Marginalized people, specifically people of color, are constantly robbed of their families, traditions, and dreams. We as a society must do our part in protecting these communities at all costs through the privilege we may hold. Having citizenship is a privilege and those with that privilege need to utilize it.
Action begins with resistance, but how much does resistance help? These undocumented immigrants need help and shelter immediately. There are many organizations that provide direct help and services. Until then, it is our duty to dismantle the very institutions that displace and abuse these communities.