This is how the state makes us afraid / Así nos da miedo el estado

For the last twenty-four hours, reports have been coursing in Austin, they’re here. Unmarked vehicles are moving through the city. Each time they take one, two undocumented people. Note how the state operates — under cover, without its official insignia in view, and as much as possible not in the open. They’re outside fast food restaurants, gas stations, following little kids home from school now to track down their undocumented parents to take them away. Or they already know how the parents go to work and catch them on their morning route so they never arrive. If they rushed in, guns blazing, there’d be a protest, but they do it this way to scare the hell out of everyone, legal or illegal, to get them to take their kids out of schools, to make them hide — and to keep it as hush hush as possible so that those of us who could protest either don’t notice or if we do notice, we get scared, too. They will tell you: if you’ve done nothing wrong you have nothing to fear. Aside from the fact that there are always collateral damages, though, this state will come for us all in the end. It comes for the freedom of the undocumented, it comes for the conscience of the citizen.

~ by Servetus on February 10, 2017.

49 Responses to “This is how the state makes us afraid / Así nos da miedo el estado”

  1. This is so ugly!

  2. This is terrifying.

  3. This is the situation I’ve been most afraid of since DJT was elected, coming to pass.

    • I can’t help but flash back to all the people who were still telling me a month ago to “wait and see” instead of catastrophizing and to “give him a chance” because there was “no way it’s going to be as bad as you think it will.”

      • It will be much worse, and specifically on this issue because the GOP has been divided on it for the last two decades. Business wants cheap (illegal) labor; the easiest way to stop the labor movement would be to enforce the employment laws; so you paradoxically have the part of law and order opposed to the enforcement of a particular law. Now if they toss out all these undocumented people who do the work, the California conservative farmers will be SOL, as was noted in an NYT article this morning. “We didn’t think he was gonna …”. FFS.

        • Yep. Same thing with the wine growers in Napa and Sonoma. “He doesn’t mean what he says.” Trump said exactly what he would do and he’s doing it. All because the wealthy growers wanted tax breaks and deregulation. Some of the local law enforcement agencies don’t want to enforce deportations. But the local Sheriff departments do. It may come down to the State Attorney General to sort all this out. My hope is that California can offer some strong resistance.

          • I hope so, too. We’ve needed a comprehensive immigration reform for more than a decade and the GOP was always opposed. ICE shouldn’t get to march in there like Storm Troopers now just because a nut case has been elected president.

          • Most Californians are spoiling for a fight with this administration, and when you threaten the profit margins of old-school Republican Californians, there’s enough power to do it. I know so many people (including myself) who are holding CA representatives and state government accountable for everything they can to resist.

            I live in a city where documented and undocumented immigrants are so deeply woven into the fabric of our society and culture, it was a slap in the face when our mayor didn’t declare is a sanctuary city. He got a few visits from some very large crowds.

            • I wish I could say that I thought there was some distinction between people who live / have lived in an area of the country where there are a lot of undocumented people, and those who haven’t, but it doesn’t hold very well. I really don’t know how Texas will hold together without the undocumented people. I don’t know how it will be Texas, frankly — I moved there the first time in 1987 and since that time it’s always seemed like this striking borderland to me. I can’t imagine it without that quality.

  4. This made me sick to my stomach when I read it and brought to mind what I have been so afraid of happening in our country since the elections.

    • I’ve always had mixed feelings about deportations, and the previous president was a huge deporter — ordering record numbers of deportations. It’s the sinister way this is happening that is bothering me. And the fact that a lot of undocumented people who were assured by government officials that they were okay are now suddenly — overnight — not okay.

  5. Disgusting. Any regime that has to operate in shadowy secrecy, is obviously aware it is doing something wrong, immoral, controversial. I cannot help but think of 1930s Germany.

  6. Since when do we live in a police state? This is the United States of America!

  7. He is doing everything he said he would do. Despite the fact that his advisor Kellyanne whatshername says we shouldn’t take him literally. Shame on those people who didn’t vote – everyone is being punished for their laziness and apathy. The method they’re using is just creepy. And wrong on so many levels. I don’t even know what to say to people in the US who didn’t want this. Sorry…rambling…anger does that.

    • This is a law that they haven’t enforced in a long time and there have been reasons for that — but if they are going to enforce it now, they should give notice and they should do it in the daylight where we can all see it. (And Paul Ryan shouldn’t have lied about how there wouldn’t be deportations “this year” either.)

      I’m really angry, too.

      • Doesn’t Trump use the excuse you can’t forewarn because then ‘bad hombres’ will know your ‘plan’…. which in reality is him trying to have people believe his secrecy is necessary and justified? I don’t know, but I think his diehard followers would agree with his logic. He is trying to con everyone into allowing his authoritarian state eventual free reign. The secrecy is scary – who knows what else is going on and what will happen in the future. What a wake up call – a few months ago I felt safe and secure living in a democracy in Canada. I had no comprehension how fragile it can be. I don’t live in the US and I have felt very anxious since the election. I can’t imagine the fear and grief these people being hunted are going through; especially children and parents.

        • Yeah — but having a government that obeys its own rules lies at the basis of a democracy. The thing is that the average undocumented person in the U.S. can’t do a lot to avoid discovery. They can move cities, hide, keep their kids home till the wind changes and so on. They can try to get married. But the likelihood that a government who wants to deport them in the end will, is high. The government doesn’t need to do this to accomplish what it wants in the end. But the current president has shown that he is so impatient that he doesn’t care about romping all over the law.

          I think the thing is — we now live in a period where the state (whether democratic or authoritarian) has tremendous power. We hope that it follows its own rules in exercising that power, but if it doesn’t, it’s not entirely clear anymore who can stan din the way.

  8. This is actually happening? Scary, unbelievable.
    ….and the other bad news is UK ending the child refugee programme (Dubs scheme) . What is the world coming to?

    • I saw that, too. All I can say is the next time a politician tries to tell me about the Holocaust I’ll have something to say about political pieties and reality.

  9. It appears that people have not learned much from history, have they?
    I had no idea this was going on and it is very frightening.

  10. They can say if you’ve done nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about, but it’s just not true. The children, U.S. citizens, have done nothing wrong. They are scared to death of both Immigration and losing their parents. Tonight the news showed a little girl was in the hospital. She had to be hospitalized with a panic attac, because they already took her father, and she’s afraid her mother will be taken as well. When Mexico warns that those in America to be careful, and keep in touch with the consulate, things are upside down and backwards.

    • Yeah, i don’t subscribe to that argument (as I hope the post makes clear). Most concretely, if you’re in iCE custody you may have no way to communicate out, and if your family catches on to what is happening and gets you a lawyer, ICE will not confirm to your lawyer that you have even been arrested. You could be innocent and deported with no recourse.

  11. At this point, it’s not beyond possibility for them to start rounding up Muslims, and putting them in internment camps. I always thought that was a never again thing.

    • It wouldn’t be hard. There’s a bill in Congress at the moment to have the Muslim Brotherhood “and all affiliate organizations” declared terrorist organizations. CAIR, which is the biggest of these, has had contact with practically every mosque in the U.S. — it’s the country’s biggest Muslim civil society / third party organization. They could get a list of every Muslim in the U.S. this way. And there are plenty of private prison providers who would be delighted to participate to keep their bottom line in order.

  12. Read an article online that some are fleeing across the Canada/US border. Some are even paying to have themselves smuggled into Canada then the smugglers just leaving these poor scared people some where to freeze. Here’s the article.

    • I’ve heard a number of these stories now. Imagine leaving a Ghanaian in the snow. FFS. Although the same crowd of people will leave a Mexican thirsty in the desert. This kind of thing makes clear that the U.S. needs to get its border under control — something the GOP has consistently opposed. For years.

  13. This is reality? Not a terrifying story? I am shocked.

    • It’s real. Today I saw three videos of immigration raids in Austin on FB, and I have former students, now teachers, who are asking which of their students will be missing on Monday. It’s not just the families that are deported; it’s that when this happens, entire extended families disappear and go into hiding, which disrupts their children’s education (among other things).

  14. Another point to think about: the denunciation will also start, or key-word “Stasi”

  15. When I told my (German) mother about this, she right away thought about the Hitler regime and Communist regimes. Not a flattering comparison for the US.

  16. Voici un article du blog de Gérald Olivier France-Amérique:
    “Qui sait que la France a servi de modèle à Donald Trump ? Ou plutôt de contre-modèle ? Bien peu en France. Les médias français ne s’en vantent pas. C’est même le grand non-dit du remue-ménage anti-Trump provoqué par le décret sur l’interdiction temporaire d’entrée aux Etats-Unis signifiée aux ressortissants de sept pays abritant ou sponsorisant des terroristes islamiques. Car ce qui a inspiré cette mesure à Donald Trump et son administration, c’est l’exemple donné par la France. Il s’agit des attaques terroristes répétées, contre Charlie Hebdo, au Stade de France, au Bataclan ou encore à Nice, mais pas seulement. Il s’agit aussi de l’émergence durable de l’islamisme radical au cœur même de la société française. Donald Trump et ses conseillers considèrent que cette islamisation insidieuse et générationnelle menace la survie du pays et c’est cela qu’ils veulent éviter aux Etats-Unis”.
    J’aimerais une vrai prise de conscience, en Europe. Les mesures, prises par Donald Trump, serviraient de CONTRE-MODELES, pour tous ceux qui s’apprêtent à voter aux élections, pour des programmes politiques, inspirés des mêmes idéologies.
    Au Carnaval de Nice (ville traumatisée), ce soir ont défilés 17 chars qui parlaient du “Roi de l’Energie”. J’ai été sensible à celui sur l’amour source d’énergie, à celui sur le nucléaire et les monstres génétiques et j’ai adoré Trump assis sur des barils de pétrole se coiffant avec un sèche-cheveux. Vive l’humour dans la dénonciation et l’espoir, la joie de fête retrouvée!

    • sorry: “ce soir ont défilé”

    • I agree with you — if there’s radicalization in our society (which there is not much of in the US), it’s not because there are Muslims in the country, but because of their relationship of assimilation to the nation and the economy. It’s a bit like DJT et al are saying, “well, we’re not willing to really integrate any of these people, so the best we can do is pretend to protect ourselves against them.”

      There’s far more radicalization of angry white men in the US than of Muslims. They cause much more destruction, but no one ever says “let’s throw them out.”

      • S’il y avait de la croissance économique, l’intégration sociale par le travail, diminuerait les conflits dus à la radicalisation ou aux trafics de stupéfiants. La deuxième génération, née en France, ne devrait pas être montrée du doigt, stigmatisée à cause de l’origine de leurs grands parents.

        • I agree. And in the U.S., I would argue, although there are always people who struggle, one reason we haven’t had much Muslim radicalization is that immigrants tend to embrace “the American Dream.” I thought about Khizr Khan and his son — he immigrated, his son went to the University of Virginia and then signed up to defend the U.S. in the armed forces.

          Of course, there are always people who think differently. But someone above said something about having traded our rights for security. We are never going to be 100 percent secure, and meanwhile we will have given away everything that is important about the U.S. to the police state.

          • L’argent public mis au service de la sécurité de l’état ne va pas ailleurs. En santé, les professionnels dénoncent le manque de moyens dans les hôpitaux, le manque de médecin généralistes. Résultat, cet hiver la grippe engendrera une dizaine de milliers de décès directs ou indirects. En accidentologie, les décès ont cru de 10% en janvier, les gendarmes sont loin de la route. En éducation l’argent est mal distribué. L’ enseignement public cherche des professeurs, ils sont rares et peu motivés. Je vois une différence ayant un enfant à l’université et l’autre en classe préparatoire pour école d’ingénieur….

  17. This made me sick to my stomach but it is important to hear about it so thanks for writing this post!!!!

    • I’m worried that with the Muslim travel ban, people were more ready to get out and protest because a clear injustice is being done. In this case, a lot of people will say, well, they always knew they were here illegally anyway and thus not make a fuss. I remember learning in a class on how to respond to domestic abuse as a bystander that often one can’t interfere concretely, but one can always make clear that one sees what is happening. So for now, that’s what I am going to try to do.

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