Cattle Cars and Concentration Camps

People like Donald Trump will say the darnedest things. They pride themselves on being uncensored, on just saying what they think, which often results in saying what they have not yet thought through.

But we should stop and think about his statement that he thinks that the US government should deport all of the "illegal immigrants" and then re-admit the good ones.

It's an eliminationist fantasy: wishing some people away, some simple scheme by which people just disappear.

We should stop and think about what deporting 11 million people would actually require. Game the process out in our heads.

Do you think that 11 million people will go stand on the street corner and wait for a bus from the Immigration Service to come and pick them up to send them home.

Deporting eleven million people means sending a vast police force out into every community in the country to check people's papers. It means detaining people without papers in detention centers and camps. The government would have to either hold people for an extended period of time to allow some due process in deportation, or the government would end up deporting people on rough and ready assessments based on race and ethnicity. People will try to evade capture, escape from capture, resist capture. Many people who would targeted for detaining and deporting are embedded into communities, networks and families, who will protect them.

It would take checkpoints on the highways, house-to-house searches, the armed occupation of neighborhoods, ubiquitous challenges to prove one's citizenship. In the end it will require cattle cars and concentration camps and ethnic cleansing.

It would mean the intrusion of the police into all of our lives, or apartheid. Anglos would enjoy the privilege of not having to prove their citizenship at every turn, while others are checked and re-checked, hounded and harassed every day of their lives.

Trump says that the politicians don't do what is necessary because they don't know how to manage things. He could make this happen, he promises. And there a lot of people who seem to want him to do it.


  1. We have an authentically fascist right-wing movement in this country, and it is frighteningly strong, with millions of followers, massive financial backing, and powerful influence amounting almost to domination in one of the two major political parties. If decent people don't put aside comparatively minor differences and band together to stop it, we may live to eat the words "it can't happen here".

  2. Maggie9:05 PM

    I read this as the writer's clear attempt to paint a chilling picture, one that - like an ice cube to the back of the neck - will shock us out of our complacency or despair and into action.

    I fear that some will read this as a blueprint for a legitimate action that would somehow 'save' America for the (Anglo)Americans and evict, hunt down or kill everyone they don't like.

    Didn't we learn anything from Hitler? or Ruanda?

  3. I've been following Trumps verbal diarrhoea recently. I've read some of his speeches during the slow hours at the car finance office and can't believe how he gets off saying some of the racist things he's said!


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