It Bugs Me

Do people really, honestly think that if Dreamers were, say, Russian or Ukrainian or somebody equally white, they wouldn’t be deported? Then why were both my husband and I threatened with deportation even while still completely legal in the US?

People from Ukraine find it extremely hard even to get a tourist visa because the consulates are so terrified some of them might want to stay. Even when already living in Canada as permanent residents, Ukrainians are often not allowed to come to the US for something like a week-long business trip. We are deeply unwanted in the US, and we know it. 

So what does any of this have to do either with racism or with Trump?

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18 thoughts on “It Bugs Me”

  1. There are thousands of europeans on the east coast, mainly in the NY tri-state area who’ve overstayed their visas and have been living illegally in the US. Let me know when ICE waits outside their children’s schools, looking to deport them. Or shows up at their immigration hearings uninvited and takes them into custody.

    It’s somehow the brown people on which these motherfuckers unleash their cruelty.

    Let me know when this happens to a 10 year old undocumented Irish girl.

    https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/10/26/560149316/10-year-old-girl-is-detained-by-ice-officers-after-emergency-surgery

    “Immigrant advocates are protesting the Border Patrol’s apprehension this week of a 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy in the country illegally, after she was operated on at a Texas hospital.

    Federal immigration officers intercepted the child as she and an adult cousin, who is a U.S. citizen, were in an ambulance being transferred between two hospitals so that she could receive emergency gallbladder surgery.”

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      1. Yes, it’s easier to hide if you fit in, my undocumented blond friends don’t get staked out in the same way although yes, it’s hard to get a visa, green card, etc.

        I think the issue is more that T. is using racism to gain support for a more general xenophobia. And probably, to export — I mean deport a bunch of Ukrainians en masse some argument might be made to intimate that they weren’t white, so that the public would accept the tragic scene.

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        1. Russians are blond. Ukrainians are traditionally raven-haired. Not that it matters in this discussion, but it matters to me. 🙂

          I’m personally for an immediate giving of green cards to all 800,000 Dreamers and the overhaul of the immigration system to resemble the Canadian one. But I don’t believe that people who are against this plan are against it because they see the Dreamers as not white and would be for it if they were white. In Spain, there’s a large hatred of the very white Romanian diaspora. In the UK, of the Poles. And so on.

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          1. Also, as for fitting in, it’s much harder to do that for a Russian speaker than a Hispanic person for cultural reasons. We tend to be very close-minded and resistant to other cultures.

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          2. And in Portugal, by the way, the illegal Ukrainian immigrants who are maids and handymen are deeply despised, even though the Portuguese are, if anything, darker-skinned.

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          3. White isn’t a thing or a static category, it’s a relation. Who gets counted as white depends upon time and place. Conferring whiteness, or not, as a means of exclusion/inclusion is very, very powerful in US. Othering works somewhat differently in Europe. I am always struck by how important some form of Westernization is there, some more uniform kind of national cultural identity.

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  2. The graphic that Clarissa posted is out of date, anyway: It shows the vote back way on 21 December 2017, when Congress passed the law that will keep the government running for exactly two more days — until Friday, 19 January.

    I remember the government shutdown in 1995. I was stationed in a joint-command headquarters in Illinois where half the people working there were uniformed military like me, and the other half were federal civilian employees. The headquarters sent all the civilian employees home, stupidly telling them that there was no guarantee that they’d get paid (of course there was), and keeping military officers like me on duty. We came in every day and turned on the lights, and then spent the entire day playing the primitive Internet computer games available at the time, because it was impossible to get any work done with half the staff gone.

    There’s going to be another vote tomorrow on whether to keep the government open. The Democrats will cave on that vote just like they did in December.

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  3. Hardly any democrats care about the dreamers. At the organizational level the Democratic party doesn’t care at all.

    If they really cared, they’d have given Trump his wall (or even more). Instead they’re pissing around with people’s lives to make a stupid point. At this point it’s on them as they are proven bad faith negotiators.

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    1. I never thought I’d understand people who don’t vote. But now I do. What’s there to vote for? Why pick a side in this disgraceful spectacle at all? It’s just as productive to post photos of kittens.

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  4. Of course they’re all playing chicken over DREAMers, El Salvadoreans, Haitians, refugees, spouses of H1-B holders, and almost any immigrant you can care to name.

    Most voters, unless they’re immigrants themselves or immigrant adjacent (and I don’t mean “my grandpa, great-grandfather was an Irishman in the 1800s” or “we’re all a nation of immigrants” ) are not moved one way or the other on this. It’s all highly symbolic nonsense to them.

    The people who are moved are people who freak out at bilingual phone menus.

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    1. And sadly, they aren’t even playing chicken over something substantial, like getting a path to citizenship for people who were brought to our country as minors, with no relationships or anywhere to go in their home countries. No, it’s all an idealistic battle over them either staying here as a perpetual sub-class, without any of the rights of citizens, or if they’re deported.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t think anyone doubts that ICE are jerks to all immigrants, like you and N, but it is possible (and I would say, almost certain) that they go out of their way to be jerks to people of color because of racism.

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    1. I have no idea what ICE has to do with my post, though. I’m discussing a graph that’s trending on FB and that I put in the post. Is the picture not showing?

      Leaving aside the fact that the Democrats in question didn’t even vote for deportation, the idea that 800,000 undocumented immigrants from Ukraine or wherever would just get green cards no questions asked is beyond outlandish. Or would there be just as much support for deporting them? If so, then where’s racism in this situation?

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      1. the idea that 800,000 undocumented immigrants from Ukraine or wherever would just get green cards no questions asked is beyond outlandish.

        I don’t think too many questions were asked of Cubans under
        wet feet dry feet.

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        1. Cubans are as Hispanic as, say, Peruvians or Salvadorans or anybody else who is Hispanic. I’m guessing that the racists around here don’t consider any of them white, anyway.

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      2. Ah, sorry, I didn’t pay attention to the graphic at all (graphics with text on your blog tend to be ads, so I scroll right past them). And I said ICE because they’re typically the folks who do the deporting. I don’t know all the various bureaucracies that one deals with that could otherwise threaten deportation… it was a convenient shorthand.

        But of course you’re right, any Dreamers who were Ukrainian or whatever would also be deported. Part of the appearance of racism in expelling Dreamers is due to the fact that most of them are Hispanic due to proximity. But I just don’t think there would be as virulent/ugly a push to expel white immigrants as there is with Hispanic etc. folks these days. I’ve seen and heard too much racism in the US to think otherwise. People tend to find scape goats, and the favorite is always the latest and most numerous immigrant batch.

        As to what this has to do with Trump… Well, everything I can come up with is certainly a stretch. He’s certainly said some racist things and has emboldened a lot of racists. Some of his policies I think are racist. He could lead his party to not be racist, in theory, but that’s not going to happen. But letting the Dream act (or whatever it’s called) expire has certainly been a Republican thing long before Trump was on the scene. Memes are dumb. Political memes tend to be dumber.

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