I cross the international border between Cd. Juarez, Mexico and El Paso, Texas about 4 times a week. I am amongst the thousands of transnational fronterizxs that live their life crossing the frontera as part of their weekly routine.
I cross over there easily to enjoy what I call the homeland. My veins bleed proud Mexican blood that was passed onto me by my parents.
When I cross back, I am questioned as to why I was in Juarez and my answer is always the same, because it’s my second home. I detest Border Patrol; the migra that instills fear into so many people.
Now, I’m often antagonized when I share my opinions about Border Patrol and ICE. People will argue that those people who work for these government sectors are simply people, like you and I, who are trying to make a living.
I think it’s important to note that I am in no way trying to dehumanize these men and women who work for CBP and ICE. But I also find that the attempt to separate these humans from the accountability of their actions is problematic.
At this very moment, there are men, women and children in cages like animals. They spent days outside, underneath a bridge exposed to whatever the climate was. It was reported that children had bruises on their bodies from sleeping on the floor on top of rocks.
Whether or not Border Patrol agents “signed up” to do this when they applied for the job, they did it and they continue to get paid to do it. This makes every single man and woman who works for Border Patrol guilty of accepting paychecks for executing the inhumane treatment of migrant men, women and children.
I’ve had this conversation with both those who agree with me and those who disagree, and it seems like the argument I’ve come across the most is that these people who work for this government or this current administration need to feed their own families and thus have no choice.
If we can make this argument for these modern oppressive structures, can we not make them for say, Nazi soldiers and SS officers?
It can be argued that it is unlikely that EVERY SINGLE NAZI shared Adolf Hitlers’ dream of a “pure Germany,” but does that erase the damage that was done by every single Nazi that helped exterminate 6 million Jews?
How do we separate the inherently racist jobs that people do from the person who does them?
The answer is simple. We don’t.
If the humanity of others can be erased by a paycheck, then you are part of a broken system and you should and will be held accountable for the evil actions that you enact.
Border Patrol and ICE are organizations that’s entire existence is dependent on racist and xenophobic policies.
These conversations are uncomfortable for many people because we don’t want to think of our Tio in CBP or father in ICE as racist or xenophobic. And maybe they’re not blatantly so.
But when they put on a badge and drag children into cages, they are fueling a system that sees citizenship as a dealbreaker for treating someone as a human being that deserves respect and THAT is xenophobic. When an organization specifically targets folx with brown skin while simultaneously ignoring migrants from other countries (that are white), that IS racist.
There will be accountability.
Revolution is coming and it will remember the monsters who “did their job” and ignored morality.
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