This latest New York Times expose on Trump’s immigration policies will shock even his most jaded critics. The details are chilling:
The document listed how many immigrants had received visas to enter the United States in 2017.
More than 2,500 were from Afghanistan, a terrorist haven, the president complained.
Haiti had sent 15,000 people. They “all have AIDS,” he grumbled, according to one person who attended the meeting and another person who was briefed about it by a different person who was there.
Forty thousand had come from Nigeria, Mr. Trump added. Once they had seen the United States, they would never “go back to their huts” in Africa, recalled the two officials, who asked for anonymity to discuss a sensitive conversation in the Oval Office.
Several White House officials dispute this, and insist that Trump never said “AIDS” or “huts.” Two officials who were there insist that he did, however, and made note of it at the time. But even if you believe the White House account (and there is no reason to) there is no dispute about the general tenor of the meeting:
As the meeting continued, John F. Kelly, then the secretary of homeland security, and Rex W. Tillerson, the secretary of state, tried to interject, explaining that many were short-term travelers making one-time visits. But as the president continued, Mr. Kelly and Mr. Miller turned their ire on Mr. Tillerson, blaming him for the influx of foreigners and prompting the secretary of state to throw up his arms in frustration. If he was so bad at his job, maybe he should stop issuing visas altogether, Mr. Tillerson fired back.
Tempers flared and Mr. Kelly asked that the room be cleared of staff members. But even after the door to the Oval Office was closed, aides could still hear the president berating his most senior advisers.
When Trump’s own intense hatred of non-white people falters, as it did temporarily after a meeting with Dreamers, his adviser Stephen Miller steps in to manipulate documents and shore up the virulence of the president’s prejudices.
Abandoning the pretense that their stance was law-and-order based opposition to “illegal” immigration rather than old-fashioned white supremacy and a desire to reverse demographic change, the White House has been pushing to stop legal immigrants from bringing their families to America.
So what does one do?
There are multiple approaches. First, fight every illegal action in the courts. Second, big blue states must resist with every legislative and legal tool at their disposal. Beyond that, mobilize people of color and white people with a moral conscience against Trump, Miller and his other monsters to defang them in 2018 and beyond.
The next few years will be a referendum on Trump’s evil prejudice. Countless pixels have been spilled on Trump voters and whether portions of them can be won back by the left, with each side marshaling data for cultural grievance and economics. But if there was any excuse for certain voters to pick Trump in 2016, none remains.
Every piece of Trump’s supposed economic populism has been stripped away in a wave of pro-corporate policies benefiting the very rich and hurting the middle class. All that is left is the ugliest of racist and sexist vitriol. Those who continue continue to support this regime now have made very clear who they are, and it’s antithetical to everything this nation of immigrants stands for.
It’s crucial that America send these clowns a clear and unmistakable message: we don’t tolerate this here. Not now. Not in 2018. Decency must prevail.