By Blair Bess
President Donald Trump’s latest assault on undocumented aliens reached a new low recently when he said, “These aren’t people, these are animals.”
Essentially, the president believes undocumented aliens are subhuman, or “Untermensch,” which was part of the justification used by leaders of Nazi-Germany to herd “undesirable” groups into death camps. These undesirables included Jews, Roma (Gypsies), Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, political opponents of the Nazi hierarchy, and anyone else Adolf Hitler and his cronies didn’t like.
Whatever most normal people’s opinion of undocumented aliens is – positive or negative – it’s unlikely that the majority of Americans view them as “animals.” The exception to that statement, of course, is if they concur with the opinion of the president. Or Adolf Hitler.
But why resort to sticks, stones, and names that never hurt you? That would merely put those of us who disagree with the president’s perception of humanity – or inhumanity – on his level. Which is a place on earth most Americans have indicated they would rather not be.
Note to the president: you lost the popular vote and, according to numerous polls, less than half of all Americans approve of you or your regime.
It’s mind-boggling that this president has called many of the supporters of the neo-Nazis and white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville last year “very fine people.” Clearly, in his worldview, undocumented aliens are not. Because they “aren’t people,” they’re “animals.” And while the president subsequently backpedaled a bit, saying he was referring to the violent, pre-dominantly Latino gang MS-13, he fails to recognize that gang members are people as well.
In the president’s mind and in the minds of many around him, including John Kelly, his chief-of-staff, it’s perfectly acceptable to separate children from their undocumented parents should they all be rounded up at the border and routed to immigrant detention facilities; or, as Kelly said, “foster care or whatever.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions summed up the administration’s policy on undocumented migrants succinctly, “If you’re smuggling a child, then we’re going to prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you. If you don’t want your child separated, then don’t bring them across the border illegally.”
The president doesn’t have a clue about the plight of undocumented aliens. He should. According to published accounts in The Guardian and on CNN, historian Roland Paul notes that President Trump’s grandfather, Friedrich, left Germany, the president’s ancestral homeland, illegally, failing to notify authorities of his intention to emigrate. And escape the draft. Apparently, Friedrich Trump – unlike his grandson – didn’t have bone spurs on the heels of his feet.
A document Paul found in local archives in Bavaria notes that Friedrich Trump, having already become an American citizen, should leave the area by “1 May ... or else expect to be deported.”
Imagine that, the Trump family was punished for leaving a country illegally rather than arriving in one.
Perhaps if this nation hadn’t welcomed the Trump family to America, we wouldn’t have the leader we have in office today. Well, as the president told the knights of his roundtable, the U.S. has “the dumbest laws on immigration in the world.”
Blair Bess is a Los Angeles-based television writer, producer, and columnist.