Trump Fascism: War on Immigrants
An excerpt from Trump Fascism: A Very Possible Future, published at
War on Immigrants
….Most Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officers were not happy with Drumpf. CBP agents were more than half Latinos. That includes not just the US born, but naturalized citizens, former immigrants, including some who were once immigrants here without their papers, “illegals” according to the epithet. CBP hires many immigrants and is more than half Latinos because it badly needs fluent bilingual agents. But few anti-immigrant types know that, and they might be angry if they did know.
Now Drumpf knew it for the first time. A Daily Stormer article he read and retweeted claimed CBP is made up of mostly Mexican illegal criminals. Just as he thought no “Mexican” (actually, US born) judge could be impartial, now he was convinced no Mexicans could serve in Customs and Border Patrol.
His presidential order came down: No more CBP agents who were not US born. And all current agents who were naturalized citizens or Mexican-American would be investigated to see if they were sympathetic to “illegals.”
That meant about a quarter of incoming or newly recruited agents were now barred, and a quarter of the current agents were under investigation. Many agents, especially US born Mexicans, took early retirement or looked for work elsewhere. Their work force was stretched thin.
Deportations fell sharply, leading to angrier charges of bias by “pro illegal” Mexican “traitors.” Morale in CBP dropped lower and lower. Where there had been 20,000 agents in 2016, the CBP dropped to sharply to under 14,000 by the end of 2017.
The order went out in February 2017 to look for volunteers to assist CBP. Drumpf came up with the name, Defend America From Illegals, or DAFI. The DAFIs were quickly nicknamed Daffys or Daffy Ducks by others. The nickname fit them, since Daffy Duck was all white, got angry easily, was impossible to understand, and white feathers have long been a symbol of cowardice.
DAFI got their recruits from the same crowd the so called Minutemen militias did. The Minutemen had been white supremacists anti immigrant vigilantes until their groups imploded, killed by scandals from its leaders involving murders, bank robberies, pagan and fundamentalist cults, neo Nazis, drug dealing, and domestic terrorism charges.
Now the same people were recruited by the US government at Drumpf’s urging and orders. Racist militias and extremists got paid civil service salaries, and issued US government uniforms and weapons, pistols, shotguns, and AR-15s. It looked to be a disaster waiting to happen.
Where the Minutemen claimed to want to recruit 3,500, Drumpf recruited 7,000 DAFIs. But where CBP agents go through nineteen weeks of training in law and law enforcement, DAFIs went through just thirty days.
The first murder of immigrants crossing happened on the same day as the first patrols by DAFIs. A panicky new DAFI shot dead an immigrant crossing in the desert. His partner swore the immigrant “reached for his waist.” “I thought he was reaching for a weapon” became the standard defense for the several immigrant murders a week by DAFI for its whole sordid existence.
Worse than that was the increasingly routine massacres. Trucks and vans carrying ten to thirty immigrants got shot up on a monthly basis, killing anywhere from several to dozens at a time. Then one smuggler did shoot back. That led to immigrant haters pointing for months to that one incident to excuse away the slaughter.
Vigilante gangs started getting in on the act too. DAFI was not enough for them. Never mind that its reputation and tactics mirrored the Black and Tans putting down Irish revolts. These gangs were not even militias. Nazi skinheads started using the murder of an immigrant on the border as their initiation into their gangs. Chapters of the Hammerskins or Combat 18 or the Aryan Volksfront in the southwest started bearing names like “Wetback Killers,” “Spic Fighters,” and “Mex Assassins.”
Hate crimes on US born Mexicans and other Latinos in the street started spiking. Drumpf followers led campaigns to boycott or harass Mexican restaurants and other businesses, or what they thought was Mexican. It was every bit as ludicrous as the campaign against Germans during World War I. They demanded Taco Bell be shut down, that McDonald’s quit serving breakfast tacos, that grocery stores quit selling tortillas. Cuban Americans, once reliably conservative, began leaving the Republican Party because so much hatred got misdirected at them too. Even Puerto Rican bodegas felt the anger, with the ignorant insisting the “immigrants” “go back to their own damn country.”
But that was just the beginning…
I awoke one day to find out most of my family got deported. The Mexican side of the family has roots that go back to long before the southwest got stolen from Mexico by war. The Zapatas fought on both sides of the Texas rebellion.
My nephew Jose was home on leave from Southcom, visiting my sister Adelita and his dad Pancho. They were all having dinner at their house on the west side when the raids swept them up.
Jose heard the sounds of bullets killing their pit bull Guarache. Redshirts kicked down their fence and raced to the front door. Their battering ram had smashed the door smashed in.
“On the ground! Don’t fucking move, Jose!”
Jose thought that was funny since it was his actual name. But he didn’t laugh at the next part.
A Redshirt threw his mom to the ground. His knee was on her back. The sixty five year old nurse howled in pain.
“Shut up, spic!”
Pancho got a billy club to the side of his head for moving toward his wife. Jose felt a Redshirt’s gloved hand on his throat.
Jose’s Ranger training kicked in. The Redshirt got his fingers broken. An angry cluster of Redshirts pinned him to the floor and kicked him until he was unconscious. Jose awoke the next in INS detention with a concussion and broken ribs.
Within a week, the three of them were on the bridge between Laredo and Nuevo Laredo, being pushed by angry Redshirts toward Mexican troops, cops, and crowds jeering the militia and welcoming the deported. My sister, nephew, and brother in law never saw a judge or a warrant. The Redshirts never identified themselves as law enforcement or knocked on the door. My family never had to a chance to tell anyone happened to them. Or to point out they are citizens born and bred in the USA for many generations, a US soldier and two US Army retired veterans.
The return of Operation Wetback came with another Drumpf announcement. No law was passed. Congress was only asked to endorse and authorize payment, after the fact of what Drumpf went ahead and just did.
The original deportation campaign came during the 1930s. A second wave hit in the 1950s, one Drumpf held up as a model. This time the operation’s actual name was that ugly racist epithet. Both campaigns together kicked out nearly 4 million people, not just immigrants without papers, but hundreds of thousands of legal resident aliens, naturalized citizens, and even legal citizens going back generations. Even American Indians and Filipino-Americans got thrown out and sent to Mexico.
What, really, were they guilty of? Being without papers, a crime about equal to driving without a license. Think about the deep racist hatred of the anger against them. When was the last time you saw angry mobs screaming about unlicensed drivers? When did unlicensed drivers ever get called “invaders” and get falsely blamed for crime, drugs, rape, and unemployment? Yes, falsely, because immigrants commit crimes at far lower rates than US born citizens. And when have unlicensed drivers ever had vigilante militias formed to get them?
But in the minds of people seeking a scapegoat, a bunch of racist bullies will blame others for their own failure to get a job. Those jobs worked by immigrants they imagine are “theirs.” In their minds, those jobs belong to whites, even though extremely few whites line up to pick lettuce and grapes, clean hotel rooms, or sew in sweatshops. In their minds, the US is a white nation, and Latinos with our various shades of brown skin, mixed ancestry, and speaking Spanish and indigenous languages (since over 90% of Mexicans are American Indian ancestry) are somehow not truly Americans.
Operation Stop The Invaders or OSTI began in May 2017. All 14,000 members of the CBP, all 7,000 of the DAFIs, over 50,000 of Drumpf’s Redshirts, over 10,000 US Army and National Guard troops, and about 5,000 city cops, county sheriff’s deputies, and state police took part in the raids.
The governors of Arizona and Oklahoma agreed to send National Guard and state police. Every governor in the other 48 states refused to take part. Some city police forces and county sheriffs agreed to take part, especially in Arizona. Most others refused, often because police unions strongly objected. Basically, elected officials ordered police to take part or not based on how they thought voters would react.
The sweeps went after people based on tips from the public, tips for which they were paid bounties. So often the tips came from racists looking to get paid or get even, or hoping to open up jobs for themselves. Restaurants were shut down left and right. One construction site after another was raided. Cleaning staffs at hotels were emptied out. So far this was not so different from the usual targets for CBP.
But with so many overeager racists in uniform, the sweeps could not help be very different. DAFI and the Redshirts relished the chance to beat “illegals.” Some had to be restrained from shooting fleeing workers, not always successfully. Even cops and deputies sometimes got shot by DAFI and Redshirt friendly fire.
OSTI sweeps through the neighborhoods had the most trouble. Redshirts went door to door through East Los Angeles, west Phoenix, the west side and south side of San Antonio, east Denver, south Dallas, and almost the entire city of El Paso. There were no warrants, no knocks at the door or warnings it was law enforcement. Just Redshirts with often equally angry red faces taking great pleasure in smashing down doors, trashing homes, and rounding up Mexicans while screaming racist abuse. “On the floor, spics!”
The raids often became violent beyond smashed up living rooms and roughed up innocents. After the first few days, riots broke out every day during neighborhood raids. Local gangs, angered by the abuse, started sniping at the Redshirts and DAFIs.
But very few Redshirts or DAFIs had much skill at live fire situations. Cops and deputies increasingly resented having to take out shooters provoked by the raids. By June, almost no local police would join the sweeps anymore. Both governors also pulled out the Arizona and Oklahoma National Guard after several soldiers were shot and several more shot both gang members and bystanders.
The main difference between OSTI and Operation Wetback came from Mexico’s reaction. In the 1930s and 50s, Mexico’s government welcomed the deported. Mexico badly needed the labor force at the time. Its government actually had agreements with the US government and American railroads to send the deportees deep into Mexico. Those kicked out were not dropped off at the border, but shipped all the way to the center of the nation, making it far more difficult for them to reenter the US.
This time, the Mexican government and Mexican people did not accept the sweeps. All the Redshirts and DAFI could do was take the deportees to the edge of the border. There they were greeted by Mexican police, army, and crowds who jeered and cursed the Redshirts and welcomed the deportees.
Usually within hours the deported were trying to sneak back across the border. The raids were a huge failure. They provoked outrage, violated human rights, and harmed American business. Nowhere near Drumpf’s goal of eleven million got deported. The raids swept up slightly under a million in several months before being abandoned, and over a third of them were not the intended targets. The only ones to come out well from this were “coyotes,” human smugglers who had much new business.
In the 1930s and 50s, US citizens and legal resident aliens thrown out by mistake had little recourse. They were just deported and had to take it. But in 2017, they spoke long and loud on the internet, and on Mexican and other Latin American TV. Hundreds of thousands of Mexican-Americans, American Indians, and others “accidentally” deported were a huge embarrassment to the US.
Adelita and Pancho called the US consulate in Laredo and reporters in San Antonio. Jose called the commander of his Southcom unit near Miami, and then the Miami media. It was all over the news how two retired army colonels got beaten and “accidentally” deported. Adelita thought the tip against her probably came from a Drumpf supporter angry at what she’d said when interviewed at a Hillary rally.
Or it could be that Redshirts just got lazy and swept the whole neighborhood. At least four other homes on the block got raided. Not one of them had anyone who wasn’t born in the USA as much as Springsteen.
The US embassy and consulates became swamped with stranded Americans. Lawsuits flooded the courts. So did complaints filed for false imprisonment, abuse, assault, and even murders by the Redshirts and DAFIs during the raids. But Drumpf was determined not to let the courts stop the raids. His next publicly announced step was blunt:
“No Mexicans can be impartial judges, OK? We are building The Wall. We are deporting these invaders, these rapists and drug dealers and murderers, these disgusting people. And we are doing it humanely, for the most part.
So today we are removing these Mexican judges. Illegal alien sympathizers can’t be impartial so we are kicking them out. That’s it, it’s over and done, and no amount of squawking by these defeatists and these defenders of the invaders will stop me. OK?”
There were nearly 100 Latino federal judges. All of them were forced out of office by Drumpf, removed by the Redshirts when US Marshalls and FBI refused to do Drumpf’s dirty work. Not one of them was “Mexican.” All of them were citizens, nearly all born in the US. Nearly half of them were Latino but not Mexican. Drumpf became convinced no Latino could be impartial and had to be forced out.
And at the top of the list was Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a US born Latina, Puerto Rican. She and her family were US citizens going back to 1917, when US citizenship was imposed on all Puerto Ricans over nearly unanimous objections by them. The Redshirts dragged her out of her office in full view of the cameras.
Drumpf then appointed an “acting” Supreme Court Justice to replace her. He was a white male. Drumpf had pledged to appoint only white male judges during the election. Congress angrily rejected him. Both Drumpf and the judge ignored Congress. He continued serving, guarded by Redshirts.
The remaining Supreme Court justices were divided among themselves. They considered issuing a decision declaring the new “justice” to not be one of them. But Drumpf’s public hints that they’d be forced out of office too, plus frequent death threats from Drumpf supporters, made them back down. Some considered resigning, but thought that Drumpf would just replace them with rubber stamp “justices.” So in effect, the Supreme Court was neutered. Drumpf had silenced and cowed one entire branch of government.
This was the first time since Woodrow Wilson that the federal government had been segregated. Now hundreds of thousands of Americans lost federal jobs because of their race or ethnicity. Because Drumpf didn’t stop with kicking out Latinos from the CBP and judges’ offices. He was now convinced no “Mexican,” Latino, or immigrant could “be objective” and work for the government since they would surely automatically oppose him.
The FBI and the US Marshalls were next to be purged of Latinos and naturalized citizens. They had defied Drumpf over the Supreme Court. Then came Latino attorneys in the Justice Department, since Drumpf claimed they couldn’t “objectively” enforce his laws either. Regulatory agencies across the board were next, all departments.
By the end of 2017, there were very few civilians working for the federal government whose names ended in –ez, -ia, or –ino. Those with a non-Latino name because of their fathers or women married to a non-Latino lasted a little longer. But informers eager for promotions or to get hired for their jobs got them kicked out.
That included my son, John Lazaro Butler. John was fair skinned, taking after his German mother. But a few articles had mentioned me as his father, and he’d never been shy about talking about me. His one fourth Mexican ancestry and middle name was enough to get him blackballed.
The Foreign Service had very few Drumpf supporters. Likely it was a Drumpf supporter who’d failed the FS exam who wanted John’s job. A decade of service ended for him by bigots. He and his wife and kids went back to Texas. There’s an Indonesian American community in Houston they joined.
Some non-Latinos were also fired by mistake or came close to being kicked out, namely white women married to Latinos. Italian-Americans as well often got fired or close to being fired. They often share Latino names like Trevino and Bustamante. Filipino-Americans had the same problem. So did many American Indians, since their family names were often given to them by missionaries. It was an ugly irony, that the name of an ancestor who converted caused them so much grief.
The almost as bitter irony? Now white racists who had long complained about Affirmative Action were using race preference to take jobs away from minorities…