Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 76 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/13/19

Trump's immigration moves are straight from the dictator's playbook

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   1 comment
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Robert Reich
Become a Fan
  (130 fans)

From The Guardian

Demonizing the "other," conflicting a crisis to entrench power and using cruelty to spread fear are all part of an assault on democracy

President Trump Visits the New Border Wall in Calexico, California.
President Trump Visits the New Border Wall in Calexico, California.
(Image by YouTube, Channel: The White House)
  Details   DMCA

The first rule in the dictator's playbook is to fuel public anger against the "other" people said to be dangerous outsiders.

From the start of his campaign for president, Donald Trump has sought to make immigrants from Mexico and Latin America the nation's nemesis.

The second rule in the playbook is to conjure up a so-called "crisis" of containing the outsiders.

Undocumented immigration into the United States dropped in 2017, but began to rise last year. March brought more than 92,000 apprehensions at the southwest border, the highest number reported in one month in a decade, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

But this is no crisis. It's not a threat to national security. (Last November, a federal judge blocked the Trump administration's attempts to ban Central Americans from seeking asylum on national security grounds.)

America is hardly "full," as Trump has said. In fact, our aging population needs young immigrants to take up the slack.

Whatever problem this surge of migrants poses isn't nearly the magnitude of threats like climate change, nuclear proliferation, or the undermining of democratic institutions all of which, not incidentally, Trump has worsened.

The immediate problem is humanitarian. The surge is largely asylum-seeking families from Central America who have a right to have their claims heard by an immigration judge.

But because America doesn't have enough immigration judges to make such decisions, families are being detained at the border. Even the Republican senator Ted Cruz proposes adding hundreds more such judges to clear the backlog.

Yet Trump has no intention of remedying the humanitarian problem. He wants a crisis to stir up his base and show how tough he is.

Which brings us to the third rule in the dictator's playbook: use the trumped-up crisis to enlarge and entrench power.

When he's not accusing Democrats of being socialists, Trump is rallying his followers around the supposed mob at the gates. At a campaign rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, he claimed migrants are coached by lawyers to say "I'm very afraid for my life" although they look as strong as "the heavyweight champion of the world."

This flies in the face of the recent warning by the former Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen that migrants including children -- two of whom have died in federal custody -- are arriving "sicker than ever before."

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Must Read 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Robert Reich Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, has a new film, "Inequality for All," to be released September 27. He blogs at

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Trump Cornered

The Republican's Big Lies About Jobs (And Why Obama Must Repudiate Them)

Paul Ryan Still Doesn't Get It

What Mitt Romney Really Represents

What to Do About Disloyal Corporations

The Gas Wars

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend