Bush's Migra: Icemen Gone Wild

Under his watch, massive Gestapo-style nationwide immigration raids have become emblematic

By Roberto Rodriguez
Published on LatinoLA: April 28, 2007

Bush's Migra: Icemen Gone Wild

Under the president's watch, several thousand Mexican and Central American migrants have died along the border. Under his watch, massive Gestapo-style nationwide immigration raids ÔÇô in which families and communities are being torn apart ÔÇô have become emblematic of his
failed immigration policies.

These raids get lots of press, cause widespread terror, but do not address issues that could easily be resolved via a simple bilateral agreement; all it requires is making the decision to treat workers as full human beings with the same rights afforded all other workers. But apparently, nobody wants this, as Americans seem quite happy
to treat them as subservient, exploitable and expendable workers.

Despite this multi-generational tragedy, the media continues to give the president a pass, touting him as a moderate voice on immigration.

After being in office for 7 years, the president has actually been AWOL on this issue, permitting the public to conflate immigration with terrorism. And actually, the president hasn't permitted this conflation; he is the one person responsible for it, though admittedly, Republican representatives and presidential aspirants Duncan Hunter of
California and Tom Tancredo of Colorado, are giving him a run his money.

Yet it is the president who is primarily responsible for fueling this poisoned environment as he has mastered the politics of fear, blame and hate. All of this under the guise of the war on terror.

As a result of his politics, Western Civilization is involved in a Holy Crusade against the Arab and Muslim world. While he initially labeled it as such, he can no longer call it a crusade; nowadays, it is simply referred to as the "global war on terror." More accurately, it is a war against all those forces or regimes that won't go along
with the administration's expansionist dreams. If it were actually such a war, he would also have to go to war against both, friendly repressive regimes, and against the right wing militias at home that have proliferated since the Reagan-Bush era.

What a dilemma. Actually, it's no dilemma at all. The president is not interested in making moves against allied repressive regimes or in disarming home-grown terrorists. Instead, he is quite content with stoking the politics of fear, blame and hate. This permits him to continue with his notion of permanent war and it also permits the
nation to fear the border.

In the minds of Americans, the U.S./Mexico border is brown. It is where potential terrorists can infiltrate because it is also where other brown peoples are waiting to stream in. Terrorists, immigrants, illegal aliens, drug traffickers: all brown, same thing. Close it down, put up a wall, deport them all. The American mindset.

And yet, after the huge pro-immigrant nationwide protests last May 1, and after the nation repudiated the president's agenda in November, now all is changing.

Not quite. The two million protestors who marched in May were told to march with U.S. flags because it would send a clear message to the nation: that these were potential U.S. loyal Americans. The thought must have horrified even liberals and Democrats alike.

Despite the November elections, the president has stayed the course of inaction, this while stepping up his nationwide draconian immigration raids by Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) agents. The raids are designed to prod Democrats into accepting his new bracero or "Guest Worker" program, this while appeasing the anti-immigrant wing
of his party.

The response of the new Democrat majority has been to go to the extreme right. Similar to the issue of confronting him on the war, Democrats appear to fear this lame president.

While it is incontrovertible that most people do not want a future society divided between legal and illegal human beings, due to the politics of fear, blame and hate, the majority has been prodded into believing that a little bit of ethnic cleansing (via mass deportation raids) is not such a bad thing.

The response of the Democrats has been to introduce the STRIVE Act (Security Through Regularized Immigration and a Vibrant Economy) Act of 2007 (H.R 1645). In effect, it is taken from the president's playbook: mass deportations and the continued militarization of the border, along with the introduction of a permanent subservient labor
force a labor force that is actually precluded from ever being treated as full human beings (no path to citizenship) and a labor force that continually has to exit the country.

This is what we're striving for?

* For more information on the STRIVE ACT, the deaths along the border, the current immigration raids or the upcoming May 1 protests, go to National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights at: or:

(c) 2007 Column of the Americas

About Roberto Rodriguez:
Rodriguez can be reached at: Column of the Americas PO BOX 5093 Madison WI 53705 -- or 608-238-3161 It is archived at:

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