Our white nationalist presidential administration is cracking down hard on non-white immigrants, particularly those from Mexico. In fact, it's the only successful policy that the child-king has managed to implement in his short presidency. While we should celebrate the failure of the attempt to destroy the ACA, the resistance that federal judges are applying to the racist Muslim travel bans, and the fact that he still hasn't built his big beautiful wall, we should not forget that hundreds of people who are working, paying taxes and attempting to establish stable lives in the US are now being rounded up, separated from their children, and dying because they have been successfully scapegoated for our country's economic woes.
It's a common question for Americans to ask, "why didn't those people come here legally?" The short answer is that they can't, because they aren't white. Does that sound a bit hyperbolic or simplistic? If so, then I'd recommend a quick review of history. Fortunately, Slate offers such a view by reviewing how previous white supremacists in congress changed the country's immigration policy to exclude people from the Western Hemisphere (which was right around the time that the US started overthrowing democratically-elected governments and installing pro-business dictators in South and Central America, leading to a huge influx of immigrants/refugees). An excerpt:
To placate these white nationalist senators, the number of legal entry slots available to Mexico (and other Latin American countries) was slashed drastically. But the economic demand and geographic proximity that already pulled so many Mexicans into the U.S. did not abate. And voilà: Hundreds of thousands of people who had been entering the U.S. legally for years (and whose ancestral roots to North American land went a lot further back than those of many white Americans) were suddenly “illegal” if they crossed an imaginary line on a map in order to work. And now, here we are!
The notion of "legal humans" is a social construct, just like race. And just like race, it was constructed for a reason: social control. This particular form of social control was harnessed by a failed businessman turned reality TV star to get into the white house. And now, here we are!