The Real Crisis Is Not Happening on Our Southern Border

It’s all a lie. By now you’ve probably seen the facts. Illegal immigration across our southern border has plummeted over the last decade and is at an almost 50-year low. People living along the border are telling us that there is no crisis, they’re doing just fine.

“There is not a crisis in the city of Brownsville with regards to safety and security,” said Mr. Martinez, who has lived in Brownsville since the late 1970s. “There’s no gunfire. Most of the people that are migrating are from Central America. It’s not like they’re coming over here to try to take anybody’s job. They’re trying to just save their own lives. We’re doing fine, quite frankly.”…

“There’s this misconception that we’re in this lawless land, and it’s the wild, wild frontier, and it’s not,” said the Brownsville police chief, Orlando C. Rodriguez. “We see actually a downward trend in crime in Brownsville over the past few years, and the numbers are just getting better every year.”…

In Nogales, Ariz., which borders and shares its name with a Mexican city, the number of violent crimes plummeted by more than 70 percent from 1997 to 2016. Similar trends can be seen in San Luis, Somerton and Yuma. The overall crime rate in Arizona has also dropped by more than a third from 1993 to 2016. During that same time, the state’s undocumented-immigrant population more than doubled, according to the Pew Research Center.

Donald Trump uses words like “infest” and “invade” when he talks about immigration and goes on to talk about drugs, gangs, and crime. That was the message he wanted to get out last week when he met with family members whose loved ones have been victims of crime by immigrants. But the idea that immigrants commit more crimes that native born citizens is a lie too.  Meanwhile, the zero tolerance policy of this administration is actually diverting resources away from prosecuting criminals.

Federal prosecutors warned they were diverting resources from drug-smuggling cases in southern California to handle the flood of immigration charges brought on by the Trump administration’s border crackdown, records obtained by USA TODAY show.

As I suggested last week, if we simply play whack-a-mole with each of these individual lies, we miss the big picture of what’s going on.  Over a year ago, Joshua Green published an in-depth look at Stephen Miller that captured his endgame. According to Miller, the problem is that Americans have come to view refugees (i.e. asylum seekers) through a lens that focuses on their plight and creates a sense of empathy for their situation. He wanted to turn that around and portray refugees and immigrants as a threat to our security, our federal resources, and our jobs. Since none of that is true, it requires getting the American people to believe lies.

Pat Buchanan, who is the grandfather of these sentiments, took the next step in describing what this is all about.

The existential question, however, thus remains: How does the West, America included, stop the flood tide of migrants before it alters forever the political and demographic character of our nations and our civilization?…

We are truly dealing here with an ideology of Western suicide…

Trump may be on the wrong side politically and emotionally of this issue of separating migrant kids from their parents.

But on the mega-issue — the Third World invasion of the West — he is riding the great wave of the future, if the West is to have a future.

Charles Blow cut to the core of the issue.

Strip all the other rationales away from this draconian immigration policy. This is at the core: White extinction anxiety, white displacement anxiety, white minority anxiety. This is the fear and anxiety Trump is playing to…

These immigration policies are for people who conflated America with whiteness, and therefore a loss of white primacy becomes a loss of American identity.

This is why I continue to see what is happening in our country right now through the lens of what Rev. William Barber called “the third reconstruction.” The first round involved ending slavery and the second brought a legal end to “separate but equal.” Both of those were focused on the status of black people. As Michele Norris documented, this third round is all about white identity.

Hazleton’s experience offers a glimpse into the future as white Americans confront the end of their majority status, which often has meant that their story, their traditions, their tastes, and their cultural aesthetic were seen as being quintessentially American…

For decades, examining race in America meant focusing on the advancement and struggles of people of color. Under this framework, being white was simply the default. Every other race or ethnic group was “other-ized,” and matters of race were the problem and province of people of color. In a period bookended by the presidential elections of Barack Obama and Donald Trump, the question of what it means to be white in America has increasingly taken center stage.

Donald Trump, Stephen Miller and Pat Buchanan all want white people to conflate America with whiteness and believe that the “invasion” or “infestation” of black and brown people is a threat, not just to each of us individually, but to our country and our way of life. Keep that in mind the next time you hear Trump or his enablers tell you that there is a crisis on our border. It’s a lie. The real crisis this country is facing is one of white identity.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.