A number of Republican candidates for next year’s presidential election are delivering increasingly extreme messages as they vie for the vote of the more reactionary, xenophobic and racist sectors of our neighbor the United States. Prominent among them is Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, to date the most serious rival for former President Donald Trump in the race for Republican presidential nomination. Trump is currently engaged in a number of legal cases and has been indicted on numerous criminal charges.
Yesterday, DeSantis presented a detailed plan to protect the U.S. southern border, a plan that resembles Trump’s fantasy of building a border wall from San Diego, California, to Laredo, Texas, but even more radical. Trump’s project proved completely impossible for a variety of reasons during the New York real estate magnate’s administration.
In addition to the immigration plan, DeSantis has proposed giving states and counties the power to prosecute migrants, in contradiction to the federal government’s exclusive jurisdiction with respect to enforcing immigration laws, jurisdiction the Supreme Court affirmed in a ruling last week.
Morever, the Republican governor is proposing law that would deny birthright citizenship to children of migrants born in the United States; deny any asylum petition filed by a foreign citizen; and tax remittances sent by foreign workers to their home countries, among other measures.
Thus, a central focus of this presidential contest among Republican hopefuls is seeing who can come up with the most atrocious cruelty to foreigners facing tenuous circumstances. The infuriating fact is that the protagonists of this disgraceful competition are providing momentum for politicians as a whole to shift toward even more unfathomable positions. They are fueling racist phobias among vulnerable social groups who are willing to believe that most of the U.S. superpower’s problems derive from the entry of foreign workers without documentation.
One example of this distorted reality is the widespread and grossly false presumption spread by a most reactionary media that migrants bear responsibility for introducing fentanyl into the U.S. This outlook clouds the issue in fighting the vast commerce in fentanyl and other highly addictive substances, while the government overlooks the presence of criminal organizations throughout the U.S.— organizations that U.S. citizens run, for the most part.
Given this scenario, it is imperative that certain responsible Republican politicians — and there are some — distance themselves from racism and xenophobia. Progressive and democratic sectors of our neighboring nation must mobilize to offer the truth and oppose hatred as a campaign strategy, to oppose the dangerous political and ideological tendencies that demonize non-Americans and that are joined, in this and in other aspects, with the extreme right-wing demagoguery that characterizes fascism.