It’s real. Donald Trump is racist. And his racism is now on full display as driving U.S. policy to whitefy America. He doesn’t want people from “shithole countries” where black or brown people live to come to this nation of immigrants, he wants people from predominately white countries, like “Norway,” in his words.
“Why do we need more Haitians?” he asked, as U.S. senators briefed him on a potential fix for some 800,000 Dreamers who have been left in limbo since he set a deadline to rescind their protected status. (The White House has issued no direct denial of this reporting and Sen. Dick Durbin has confirmed it.)
And if you put Trump’s words against the policies his administration is prosecuting, it amounts to nothing short of ethnic cleansing. Here’s the Merriam-Webster definition:
the expulsion, imprisonment, or killing of an ethnic minority by a dominant majority in order to achieve ethnic homogeneity
People are understandably cautious about this term—it harkens back to some of the darkest days of the 20th century and the mass killings executed by brutal dictators. But were are not talking about genocide here, which necessarily means the “deliberate and systematic destruction” of a people. And whatever aversions we have to tagging an American president with potentially heading down a dark path, we must not turn away from what is taking place right before our eyes: The Trump administration, informed by the views of Trump and his coterie, is systematically expelling immigrants of color from this country and trying to prevent more from coming in.
If we define ethnic cleansing as the “expulsion” of a minority, immigration lawyer David Leopold told me, then the term “fits.”
Leopold tweeted out a thread last week detailing the administration’s policies—the Muslim ban, cranking up mass deportation efforts, family roundups, gutting due process at immigration courts, ending deportation protections for Dreamers, ending Temporary Protected Status for Haitians, Salvadorians, Sudanese and Nicaraguans.
“I think it’s undeniable that the immigration policy of the U.S. government targets immigrants of color,” he adds.