Thursday, October 10, 2019

Trail of Tears Big Bucks Grab Repeated - $740 Billion

See ICE Detention and Trail of Tears photo credits below.
A long time ago, I remember listening, on my one-transistor radio, to Johnny Horton’s recording: Battle of New Orleans:
In 1814 we took a little trip
Along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip
We took a little bacon and we took a little beans
And we caught the bloody British in a town in New Orleans
We fired our guns and the British kep a-comin'
There wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago
We fired once more and they begin to runnin'
On down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico***

That song was the genesis of my thinking of Andrew Jackson as a hero. He was, in fact, a courageous military leader and respected by his troops, too, including the native Americans who served with him at the Battle of New Orleans (War of 1812).

Later in life, Jackson ruthlessly pursued, and became enormously wealthy through, “land speculation” - mostly native American land. Jackson was responsible for dispossessing thousands of native Americans of their lands (Trail of Tears) and profiting from it by reselling to white settlers.

I no longer respect President Jackson.

But, I know one person who still does, because he has Jackson’s portrait hanging in his office - Mr. Trump.

All this Jackson stuff has come to mind because I was wondering who is currently profiting from our modern day “Trail of Tears”, the immigrant detention centers and Mr. Trump’s border security industry.

"An analysis of the “border-industrial complex” by the Transnational Institute shows that the budgets of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have exploded in recent years. The combined budgets of the agencies have more than doubled since the mid-2000s — and are now 60 times higher than the immigration enforcement system received in 1980. By one estimate, the border security industry will more than double in value from approximately $305 billion in 2011 to some $740 billion in 2023."

I have never respected Mr. Trump. It is well past time for the United States to stop profiteering from exploitation and misery.

Here's the story...

The US Border Security Industry Could Be Worth $740 Billion by 2023, Michelle Chen, Truthout, 6 Oct 2019

Over the course of a few days in early 2019, Selene Saavedra-Roman went from starting her dream job as a flight attendant to scrubbing toilets in a dreary Texas detention center.

“I knew not to argue or talk back — refusing to obey the guards’ commands would end up hurting us greatly,” she recalled in her testimony last week at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on immigrant detention. Saavedra-Roman, who was born in Peru and came to the U.S. 24 years ago at the age of 4, was in the process of applying for legal residency. But she was detained at the airport in Houston, Texas, after flying in from Mexico. Recalling the trauma of being locked up with other migrant women in desolate squalor, she testified, “If you volunteered for the work program [in the migrant jail], you would be compensated $1 an hour,” though it was understood that refusing to “volunteer” could jeopardize their immigration cases.

While Saavedra-Roman’s harrowing experience in the migrant jail came as a shock to her, the system she was trapped in had been building up from the time she first crossed the border as a child. Her unjust detention was the product of the Trump administration’s hardline deportation agenda. But the militarized border that had ensnared her was the product of a massive security infrastructure that has been building up for decades. Although Trump’s unabashedly anti-immigrant agenda has amplified the brutality of the border regime, he is merely capitalizing on a massive, entrenched network of corporate power and political influence.


Photo Credits
*Men stand in an Immigration and Border Enforcement detention center in McAllen, Texas, on July 12 during a visit by Vice President Mike Pence. | Josh Dawsey/The Washington Post via AP, Pool
**What Was the Trail of Tears?

***Johnny Horton- Battle of New Orleans - 1959

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