“Never let a good crisis go to waste” is a common political proverb, and it appears that President Trump and his team see the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to advance their heinous white supremacist agenda.
During this evening’s coronavirus presser, President Trump floated the idea of holding budget relief money hostage unless liberal cities ended their sanctuary city policies and handed over undocumented immigrants for internment and deportation.
Trump suggests any relief for states hit hard by COVID will require ending "sanctuary city" policies and turning residents over to ICE. pic.twitter.com/BSxqfPu0id
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) April 28, 2020
“Now if it’s COVID-related,” Trump said, “I guess we can talk about it, but we’d want certain things also, including sanctuary city adjustments, because we have so many people in sanctuary cities, which I don’t even think are popular even by radical-left folks because what’s happening is people are being protected that shouldn’t be protected and a lot of bad things are happening with sanctuary cities.”
The people here being “protected” are undocumented migrants, and what they are being “protected” from is being dumped over the border in Mexico into the hands of vicious cartel bandits or being tossed in an ICE concentration camp. The “adjustments” would likely mean an end to the sanctuary city policy of not cooperating with federal immigration police.
The coronavirus crisis is projected to blow a half-trillion-dollar hole in the budgets of America’s 50 states. If the states are not bailed out, the shortfall is likely to trigger crushing austerity, massive job losses, and an abrupt end to critical public services that could push our economy into years of recession or even a great depression to rival the 1929 crash.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already indicated he would rather let states go bankrupt than spend any federal money on what his office derisively referred to as “blue state bailouts;” the President indicated he was amenable to that approach with a tweet on Monday wondering why taxpayers had to pay for blue states.
But threatening to force economic recession and the layoffs of thousands of public employees from sanctuary cities unless they allow the President’s goons to go house-to-house rounding up undocumented migrants is one of the most appalling things the president has ever proposed.
While this could just be the president regurgitating some half-baked idea from Stephen Miller that he will be talked out of as soon as someone less sadistic is in the room, the ease with which he is willing to play political games with the livelihoods and safety of so many people in pursuit of a reprehensible racist agenda shared by few outside his inner circle is a sharp reminder of why we need to run him out of office as soon as legally possible.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.