By Fighting Words staff
The following letter was sent to the Democratic Party leadership in the House of Representatives urging that an article of impeachment be drawn up against President Trump for hate crimes against migrants. A copy of the letter was sent to a majority of members of the House of Representatives. Four organizations, two in Michigan, one in the Bay Area and one in Wisconsin co-signed the letter.
December 3, 2019
Dear Speaker of the House Pelosi, Congressperson Schiff and Congressperson Nadler:
We understand that the House Intelligence Committee and the House Judiciary Committee are in the process of drawing up Articles of Impeachment against President Trump. We understand that those articles will be based on the evidence and testimony offered during the past weeks in the House Intelligence Committee.
We have witnessed the public hearings and have paid careful attention to the evidence offered of President Trump’s corrupt acts as well as that of his cronies. We do wish, however, to propose an additional article of impeachment for multiple instances of hate crimes against migrants, particularly against those seeking sanctuary, especially migrant children, some as young as infants. The Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents are in each case acts of extreme violence that, as many child welfare experts have pointed out, cause lifelong trauma to those children.
And based on the recently released trove of emails from Steven Miller to Breitbart News, President Trump’s chief advisor in regard to immigration, uncovered by the Southern Poverty Law Center, we have clear and indisputable documentation that these violent acts towards children are based on racial and national-origin animus. Thus, federal statute defines each of these cases of child separation from parents to be instances of hate crimes.
Of course, Miller’s emails also detail religious bigotry towards those of the Muslim faith, which defines Trump’s exclusion of entry from Muslim countries in a similar way. And the concentration camp conditions faced by migrants and asylum seekers with Miller as the chief architect make it clear that this whole range of violent acts causing immense suffering are entirely based on a twisted and depraved hatred of people of color, which these emails make crystal clear.
Over and over again Mr. Miller expressed disdain for the 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act, written at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, that ended racial and ethnic quotas. Over and over again Mr. Miller has expressed his admiration for the 1924 Immigration Act, enacted when the KKK was at the height of its power, which created those quotas. That law, for example, forced President Roosevelt to turn back to Europe nearly a thousand Jewish refugees on the ship SS St. Louis in 1939, where hundreds of them perished in Nazi concentration camps. Obviously, Mr. Miller and President Trump are doing everything possible to “turn the clock back” to that horrific era, and they have repeatedly fought, circumvented or ignored court orders to desist.
Additionally, at least two transgender women have died in ICE custody at the border: Roxsana Hernández Rodriguez, 33-year-old Honduran transgender woman, died on May 25, 2018, and a year later Johana Medina Leon, 25, died at the Del Sol Medical Center in El Paso, Texas, after being detained by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement for seven weeks. A press release by ACLU of New Mexico, the Santa Fe Dreamers Project and others details wretched “Detention Conditions Impacting the Safety and Well-Being of LGBTQ Immigrants in the Otero County Processing Center”. This is all based on Trump’s policy of hatred and erasure launched a month after Trump’s 2017 inauguration, when his administration turned back protections that allowed students to use bathroom facilities according to their self-identified gender. Later Trump attempted to ban transgender people from military service – ultimately, the courts overturned this ban. This was followed by the leaked memo that the Department of Health and Human Services was planning to enact a guideline that will restrict the definition of a person’s sex to that recorded on the original copy of their birth certificate. Then the Department of Justice sent a brief to the Supreme Court on October 24, 2018 telling them that civil rights laws forbidding discrimination based on sex did not apply to transgender persons. Additionally there is the government’s removal of all references to trans people or the trans experience from the websites for the U.S. Health Department and the Office of Civil Rights.
As you surely know, President Trump’s Justice Department will do absolutely nothing about this. But you in Congress do have the power and authority to stop Steven Miller and President Trump from continuing these terrible policies which do indeed constitute hate crimes. You can find them to be the outrageous abuses of authority that they are, making them impeachable offenses.
For the sake of these children and their parents, for the sake of those seeking refuge and sanctuary, for all the victims of Trump’s terror on the border, and for all of us who can only feel disgust and outrage witnessing these racist and transphobic crimes, we urge you to add an article of impeachment to your list. Not only would this be the right thing to do, we believe that such a move would attract strong popular support for the whole impeachment process. It would challenge those who now support President Trump to defend the indefensible.
Respectfully submitted by,
Moratorium Now Coalition – Detroit
Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice
Peoples Alliance – Bay Area
Wisconsin Bail Out the People Movement