Immigration has long been a focal point when it comes to US politics. Thousands of immigrants find themselves on the brink of deportation, surveilled, abused, separated from their loved ones, and forcefully subjected to inhuman tactics. The long term health implications of such a gross miscarriage of justice cause for this human rights violation to be deemed a public health crisis. It’s ironic; how quick the United States is to call out such atrocities in foreign countries. Like China and its authoritarian tactics specifically towards Uighur Muslims. However, once closely examined, the United States’ current totalitarianism based approach at the US/Mexico border and (really towards all immigrants), and China’s ‘government by one’ tyranny based rule run vastly parallel. Concentration camps are a public health crisis, and need to be declared so right here at home. The reality remains; the US and China have more horrifying similarities than differences.
Immigration at a glance; a public health crisis in itself
Last year the Trump administration announced new regulations would take effect to detain migrant families at the US/Mexico border. Up until then, the United States carried out the Flores Agreement. The 1997 Supreme court ruling that put a 20 day limit upon holding children and undocumented families together. Additionally requiring a minimum standard quality of living especially to minors. The new regulations put forth by the Trump administration replace the agreement, allowing for an indefinite hold on migrant families. Apart from caging children, the main concern is the ICE’s unrestricted freedom when it comes to detaining migrants. These ‘detention centers’ are in fact private prisons housing ICE’s detainees. But because they are run by private companies, there is almost zero accountability.
The larger and most important piece of this injustice is how similar the US’ ‘security’ tactics are to China. Already known for being a surveillance state, especially with its barbaric persecution of Uighur Muslims.
New allegations out of ICE detention centers claim forced hysterectomies on up to six Mexican women. In other words, an extremely invasive procedure performed without proper consent on (only) Spanish speaking women. Irwin County Detention Center, run by privately owned LaSalle Corrections, obviously denies the claim.
US & China Similarities
China has long been a self proclaimed surveillance state. Mass surveillance infrastructure has been in place for years. However, China’s recent excuse to rehabilitate Uighur Muslims in the name of ‘reeducation,’ takes the abuse to a disgusting level. Reports out of XinJiang claim these ‘reeducation centers’ give way to forced imprisonment, torture, sexual abuse (including forceful sterilization), and forms of forced labor.
US Immigration has long been a politicized affair, so deportations of primarily Hispanic/Latino immigrants is old news. However, Trump’s anti-immigrant and ‘all Mexican migrants are violent/rapists’ rhetoric, deportations have seen a significant increase the last 3 years. Deportations using high-tech surveillance methods, inhuman treatment of migrants (minors), separating families, and forcefully performing invasive surgeries without consent run familiar to China’s tactics on Uighur Muslims.
Recent claims suggest rent stabilized apartments have been unknowingly set up surveillance cameras with facial recognition tech for the purpose of data harvesting and eventually tracking. All in a majority Black neighborhoods. ICE’s use of facial recognition technology to store drivers license information without individuals knowing has led to the Trump administration to very systematically track and deport immigrants. So as if separating families and caging minor children wasn’t already heinous as is, put new allegations out of ICE detention centers claim forced hysterectomies on up to six Mexican women. In other words, an extremely invasive procedure performed without proper consent on (only) Spanish speaking women. Irwin County Detention Center, run by privately owned LaSalle Corrections, obviously denies the claim.
Uighur Muslims & Migrants similarities
China’s genocide on Uighur Muslims and the US’ structured treatment of migrants (and all minorities) at the US/Mexico border shamefully bare similarities. What started off as routine surveillance (in both countries) eventually turned into abundant cameras, massive phone/internet monitoring, facial recognition, and eventually to the use of concentration camps. All for the same (sole) purpose to oppress, scare and ultimately control the minority population.
Children in cages is a public health crisis
Dangling the hopes of an ‘American dream’ while separating families is cruel enough. But the health implications associated with this torture is alarming. Indefinite detention of children directly affects the development and mental health. A combination of violence exposure, displacement, forceful separation, and disgusting conditions of detention all lead to severe emotional distress especially among children. 17% of children (age 9-17) identified in one detention center showed strong symptoms of PTSD, depression and even suicidal thoughts. Parents of these children are unable to develop normal relationships with their children, even after reunited. Long term health implications include effects in cognition, intellectual decision making and social skills. Forcing these individuals into a loop of oppression, designed to fuel violence, hate and anger towards the system that treated them so poorly. It’s simple; concentration camps are a public health crisis, regardless of location.
Step one is to collectively acknowledge the gross similarities between China’s inhuman treatment of Uighar Muslims and the US’ treatment of migrants at the US/Mexico border. China is an established surveillance state. The US simply pretends like it is not. The mistreatment of people of color in this country is not new, and driven by the same fear based approach to control the minority population.
Yes, deportation and conflict at the border has long existed prior to the Trump administration. However, the hateful rhetoric has polarized this nation and politicized basic human rights. Identifying with a particular political party does not require a stance on the issue of children in cages. These same children will grow old and will hopefully contribute to the US, but with but with huge amounts of emotional baggage in the form of mental illness. Question the system, not the individuals. Why are the two of the arguable super powers so adamant to fear monger their way to control large minority populations?
‘Never again’ the well-known idiom used when referring to genocide and cold blooded torture. But more so, it is a promise to all present and future generations to be better. But does it apply to the United States?