Two debates in, immigration still MIA

FELICIA J. PERSAUD | 10/15/2020, midnight
In less than four years, Donald “Madhatter” Trump, America’s xenophobe-in-chief, has reshaped immigration for ages to come.
Felicia Persaud

In less than four years, Donald “Madhatter” Trump, America’s xenophobe-in-chief, has reshaped immigration for ages to come. Yet not a single one of the white failed moderators of the presidential and vice-presidential debates to date bothered to raise the issue.

Remember the outrage over the Muslim ban, the kidnapping of children from parents and their placement in cages, the famous leaked “s-hole” remark, the revocation of DACA and TPS, the round-up and deportation of immigrants, the public charge rule, and so many other legal immigration changes?

Well seems they are all forgotten or immigrant lives don’t really matter because two debates have concluded, and we are yet to hear a single question on this issue that Donald Trump made the cornerstone of his campaign and has used to rain down terror on immigrants.

Why were there no questions from Chris Wallace and Susan Page on this issue—even as immigrant children kidnapped from their families remain displaced, DACA and TPS recipients are in limbo, and Donald Trump continues to scapegoat immigrants and refugees?

While the administration continues pushing policies to stem legal immigration, the Trump campaign has again gone after immigrants in the most vulgar way this election cycle, by claiming falsely in social media ads—that have now been removed by Facebook—that refugees were responsible for spreading COVID-19.

Another ad, taken down by Facebook but running on YouTube, claims falsely that “Joe Biden wants to INCREASE refugees from Syria and Somalia by 700% PERCENT.”

“Biden said as president he would make sure to IMMEDIATELY SURGE the border with all those who are seeking asylum,” the ad states, while also including a video of Joe Biden speaking, along with flags of Syria, Somalia and Yemen, labeled as “terror hotspots,” and concludes with the trademark: “I’m Donald J. Trump and I approve this message.”

Yet, no moderator saw it fit to ask a question on the issue that has terrorized many immigrants and seen the rise in xenophobia in these United States.

Why? The answer lies in the fact that both moderators are so far removed from the plight of everyday people, and especially hard working immigrants, that the issue is but a blip on their radar—and even then, it’s light miles away. White privilege does that.

And so, what we are left with are immigrant voters caught between a rock and a hard place. There is the xenophobe-in-chief, Donald J. Trump, who has traumatized many immigrants in this country, and then there is Joe Biden, who was part of an administration that helped deport more immigrants than any before Trump, and which detained families together on a wide scale and tried to deport them as quickly as possible during the 2014 migrant crisis.

But despite our frustration with the dismissal of the issue of ultra-importance to the immigrant community, immigrant voters, frustrated with both candidates and the way the issue has been ignored and dismissed in the debates, would be wise to listen to Miles Taylor, a former official at the Department of Homeland Security.

He recently said that one of Trump’s senior advisers once told him that a second term of Donald Trump would center on “shock and awe,” with regard to immigration.

The adviser also reportedly had a list of executive orders in his drawer that he had worked on with White House counsel, that were deemed “unacceptable to issue at a first presidential term because they knew they would lose voters because they would be so extreme,” Taylor said.

In a second term, Trump would face no such restrictions and would be free to unleash his “shock and awe” on immigrants, and people of color.

Immigrant voters would be wise to remember that and vote like their lives depend on it this November 3rd for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, because there can be no more years of Donald “Madhatter” Trump—no matter how much immigration is pushed to the back burner by the Democrats and moderators in this election.

The writer is publisher of NewsAmericasNow.