At the U.S.-Mexico border, Donald Trump has clearly outdone Barack Obama when it comes to the U.S.’s unmitigated brutality toward would-be immigrants (many of them fleeing conflicts, coups, and authoritarian regimes created by longstanding U.S. foreign policy).

While President Obama deported three million immigrants and refugees (more than all 20th-century presidents combined), put ICE on steroids, and separated children from their parents/legal guardians by the thousands (caging children by the thousands years before Trump would do so), Donald Trump has outdone Obama in myriad ways when it comes to the brutality inflicted on immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border — denying medical care and human rights to thousands, resulting in several deaths.

Trump has taken the draconian template created by his predecessors and somehow managed to make the treatment of these human beings even more cruel — when few immigrants’ rights activists thought it possible (despite our country’s steady trajectory toward neo-fascist policies following the terrorist attacks of 9/11).

Still, when it comes to the sheer number of deportees, Trump has a long way to go before catching up to the “Deporter in Chief.”

But there is room for a tiny sliver of hope. I am confident that — if the 1% allows a remotely democratic process in 2020 (which they didn’t in 2016) — President Bernie Sanders will end these inhuman practices and bring sanity to U.S. border control/immigration policy.

Let’s hope that day comes soon!

James O’Donnell
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