Donald Trump, a man who really likes to say he got the job done, has seemingly taken a U-turn in immigration policy this week. Congratulations are in order for the President who somehow found a remedy for a problem that his administration created by imposing stricter border control policies. He may have ticked another bullet point off his to-do list this week, and he sure has got something done in signing an executive order that softens the treatment of refugee families, yet this move is more likely an attempt to settle public opinion than an act of morally-righteous humanitarianism.
From his infamous promise to erect a wall on the United States-Mexico border to his travel ban on seven states with a predominantly-Muslim populations, immigrants are certainly not Trump’s first choice for the netball team. Yet on the 20th June, the 72-year-old businessman turned most-powerful-man-in-the-world signed a document that prevents the current administration’s policy to separate families at the US border because his warm heart just couldn’t take it. Despite this, the ‘zero tolerance policy’ of detaining illegal immigrants at the border, which has been in place since Trump came into office, has not in any way been altered; it seems the new executive order is nothing but a hollow piece of paperwork that attempts to keep the public satisfied for the time being.
The power behind the document unexpectedly signed by Trump this week does nothing more than detain families together instead of detaining them separately in different detention centres, a simple sweetener that has been added to a policy which at its core is dehumanising and quite frankly, disgusting. As this executive action comes on the same week as the USA’s withdrawal from the United Nations Human Rights Council, it’s difficult to find a consistent commitment to human life from Trump which is exactly why we can’t be fooled by smoke and mirrors when it comes to immigration. A man who led a campaign that purposely characterised Mexicans as rapists, who said that 15,000 immigrants from Haiti “all have aids” just last year, really doesn’t care for those who try to enter the USA without the tools to get hold of the appropriate documentation.
After a year of bad press, multiple affairs, general fuckery etc, this may be a fickle political ploy to bolster public support prior to mid-terms that are due to take place in November this year. As what could traditionally be called a settler nation, one that is formed and founded on immigrant communities, it seems the US has long lost its grip on its values of liberty and freedom. The refugee crisis has sent modern democracies into chaos, and if America is supposed to be a shining beacon that leads the way, the world doesn’t have much to look up to. If any nation has the resources to triumph at this time, with the displacement of entire population, it is the United States – it seems Trump doesn’t want to spend his pocket money on the things that matter.