After four years of intense, sadistic, and systematic attacks on immigrant communities of color, the winds are beginning to blow their way, not only through acts and words of goodwill but now, above all, with concrete steps at the highest level.
What political irony the United States is living today: just a few months ago, from the very same White House, emanated the cruelest immigration policies, dictated with intent, hate, xenophobia, and an exasperating racism that offended the historic fight for civil rights.
Now, in just a couple of weeks, from this same White House, but with a new occupant, President Joe Biden, is surging a necessary realignment in favor of the immigrant tradition of this country, primarily in the form of executive orders, such as the three signed by the new president on the 2nd of February, which can be added to another dozen migration initiatives that offer relief, such as the proposal that he signed on his first day in office. All of them, absolutely all of them, tend toward erasing from the map not only the bad image that an anachronistically supremacist government like Donald Trump’s left behind, but really recognizing the enormous contributions that immigrants, documented or undocumented, have made to this nation that has become their home.
This passing from dark to light in the U.S. political sphere is translated, for example, in the fervent intention of reunifying families that were separated at the border by previous orders, in revising asylum policy and the still inexplicable —from the perspective of international law— “Remain in Mexico” program, which has completely abandoned thousands of immigrant families in one of the most dangerous zones on the planet; along with the idea of “restoring faith” in the U.S. immigration system through “revising the naturalization process,” as well as the eradication of the evil called “public charge” that tied the hands of especially the most vulnerable migrants.
It’s true that this scheme is just closing in on a possible solution to the many interrelated migration problems that the previous administration created, but it acquires a more than relevant meaning because it allows immigration to come to the forefront again, perhaps now with more impetus and a certain amount of ripeness, that will surely animate today’s generations of immigrants and their leaders to continue pressing and not relent until they see the current administration achieve, truly, significant advances on the migration issue for as many human beings as possible, who have waited long years for a solution that has now acquired such urgency.
Mayorkas will have to handle the immigration matter as if it were a field of landmines, an indecipherable principle, dismantling piece-by-piece the migratory chaos that “Trumpism” left behind.
In that sense, the new head of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Cuban-American Alejandro Mayorkas, will have to deal with one of the most challenging situations in the current administration. Because it falls precisely to him and his team to dismantle the migration crisis that Trump and his group of anti-immigrant and racist advisors, like Stephen Miller and, in his day, the supremacist Steve Bannon, generated. That is, Mayorkas will have to handle the immigration matter as if it were a field of landmines, an indecipherable principle, dismantling piece by piece the migratory chaos that “Trumpism” left behind, knowing that it would be difficult for another administration to undo their tranche of xenophobia.
But this new battle —this second part of the pro-immigrant movement— is being waged in ever more sinister contexts that refuse to go away, like the reorganization of supremacist and anti-immigrant groups with the help of a weak Republican Party, whose ideology and principles continue to be held hostage by an extremist and recalcitrant wing, even in the Senate, which is still trying to save the skin of an insurrection-inciter like Donald Trump, who was at the point of initiating a coup d’état this past January 6 through an attack on the Capitol from a mob disposed to any type of violence against its very own democracy.
To that, of course, we add the number one job of all countries, which is combating the COVID-19 pandemic and today’s plan to administer masses of vaccines that have already been approved by the international medical community.
That is, these are parallel duties that look for their place in today’s moment in history that, unfortunately, politicizes everything, without bowing to common sense or the humanistic understanding that this 21st century demands; that devises new ways of thinking and interpreting the human condition —not neo-fascist ideas like those Trump and his advisors pushed, those who sought to slip back into a democratic system in which they do not believe or belong to, by any means necessary.
For the time being, Biden has already taken the first steps toward reviewing and then resolving the migration crisis caused, for all intents and purposes, by Trump, who intends to return to the political arena in four years, as if he had not already done enough damage to his own country and his closest collaborators.
These first steps, undeniably, are a new vision for the phenomenon of migration, not only from the point of view of the new administration, but from the perspective of the very migrant communities who have been attacked and humiliated until not so long ago, but have had enough and are not likely to permit an intolerant supremacist to return to power.
David Torres is a Spanish-language Advisor at América’s Voice.
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