Ethnic Cleansing By Edict: Let’s Call Trump’s Immigration Policies What They Are

The term “ethnic cleansing” causes many to bristle, as it conjures up images of the often deadly tactics of history’s despots, but Will Bunch recently argued in the Philadelphia Inquirer that this term is befitting of the driving force behind President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.

The Trump administration has targeted both legal and illegal immigration as it seeks to keep America’s population majority white — a feat that is likely impossible over the long term.

Still, Trump and Republicans are doing the exact work they were elected to do. As Bunch noted, studies since 2016 consitently show that Trump voters were driven by “Anxiety over whites becoming a minority in the United States by the middle of the century” more than any other concern.

The Trump administration’s immigration policy — forged by the likes of Stephen Miller — fits the textbook definition of ethnic cleansing, even if it is non-lethal in nature.

The United Nations’ definition of ethnic cleansing is as follows: “rendering an area ethnically homogeneous by using force or intimidation to remove from a given area persons of another ethnic or religious group.”

Bunch examined the policies Trump has employed in an attempt to drastically reduce non-white immigration to the United States:

The Trump administration has also sought to tie reduced legal immigration to protections for Dreamers — immigrants who were brought illegally to the U.S. as children and are currently in limbo regarding their legal status.

The president also wants to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, which is far more figuratively telling than functionally appropriate. A wall between the two countries, meant to keep non-white people out but allow Americans to freely flow to Mexico, would be a physical barrier illustrating the underlying motives of this president and his supporters.

The wall does not even have to functionally keep anyone out of the country. It is a clear message in itself.

Trump has filled his campaign rallies from the beginning with harsh and disparaging rhetoric aimed at immigrants to the U.S., largely targeting those from non-white countries.

He has referred to Mexicans as rapists and criminals; muddied the line between dangerous immigrants, like those associated with the gang MS-13, and the majority who come to the U.S. seeking a better life for themselves and their families; and repeatedly warned of the danger of a migrant “invasion.”

As Bunch noted, Trump’s rhetoric has only escalated since winning the White House: “the harsh dog whistle of Trump’s xenophobia that only his supporters picked up in 2016 is now audible for all to hear.”

The clear motivation of the president and his administration is a drastic reduction in non-white peoples arriving to the United States, and the policies they have implemented only serve to prove an ethnic cleansing is underway.

Read Bunch’s full piece.

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