Alcindor Links ‘White Supremacy’ to Trump ‘Torturing’ Illegal Immigrants

PBS doesn’t care how liberal they sound when their White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor goes on the hot-talk programs on MSNBC and launches into how “cruelty was the point” of President Trump’s immigration policies, “to try to torture immigrants at the border.” On Tuesday’s Deadline: White House, host Nicolle Wallace could only agree: “Trump turned human beings into portable pawns and took pleasure in torturing them.”

Alcindor concluded: “And I have to say, one other thing underscoring all of this as we talk about this racial reckoning is xenophobia — is racism — is white supremacy.”

The PBS correspondent began her analysis by informing viewers that Biden administration officials fear a big rush of illegal immigrants flooding across the border to take advantage of new administration policies, and then recalled complaints by some liberals that President Barack Obama was not tolerant enough of illegal immigrants:

Remember that President Obama, for a lot of immigration activists, was called the “deporter in chief.” His policies were seen as hardline — not as cruel as President Trump, but still hardline. I think the big issue here is that Biden is taking over for a President who had a policy where cruelty was the point — where separation was the point — where the deterrent was to try to torture immigrants at the border to try to get them to stop coming.

As usual, it was not clarified that the reason children were separated from their parents was so that adults — who most likely would not qualify for asylum — could be kept incarcerated until their cases had been completed, rather than release them into the U.S. with no easy way to find and deport them later.

When Alcindor jumped back in, she portrayed the separation of illegal immigrant families as one of the worst things any President has done:

Let’s remember that President Trump — for all of the things that he did in the four years that he was in office — family separation in particular will go down as one of the most signature dangerous, cruel, dehumanizing things that a President has done in the history of the United States. It cannot be — it can be compared in some ways to the middle passage separating African Americans and throwing them across the United States.

This was a policy that ripped children out of the hands of their parents and their guardians, and you can’t un-see the images that we saw at the border with crying children with children in cages, with young children trying to care for other young children because their parents were kidnapped essentially from them…

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After suggesting that illegal immigrants are entitled to “reparations” from the country they were trying to sneak into,  Alcindor cried racism as she concluded:

And I have to say, one other thing underscoring all of this as we talk about this racial reckoning is xenophobia — is racism — is white supremacy. How — when you separate brown children especially from their mothers, we have to ask ourselves, “How was that allowed to happen? And what role did white supremacy play in that?”

This episode of Deadline: White House on MSNBC was sponsored in part by. Prevagen. Their contact information is linked.

MSNBC

Deadline: White House

February 2, 2021

5:08 p.m. Eastern

YAMICHE ALCINDOR, PBS NEWSHOUR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Biden officials really don’t want to have the message going out there are — is now open borders in the United, States, and that Americans are just welcoming people who come to the border and illegally, and in some ways they’re really worried about undocumented immigrants coming to America thinking that the Biden administration is going to be more lenient and be lenient on the border. Remember that President Obama, for a lot of immigration activists, was called the “deporter in chief.” His policies were seen as hardline — not as cruel as President Trump, but still hardline. I think the big issue here is that Biden is taking over for a President who had a policy where cruelty was the point — where separation was the point — where the deterrent was to try to torture immigrants at the border to try to get them to stop coming.

The Biden administration saying they’re not going to do that, but they also in some ways are not saying exactly what they will do. They also don’t know how many children have been separated. That is a question that is still hanging in the air. Court documents say it could be around 600 maybe — White House officials tell me and other reporters a thousand. But there’s a real question of, “What did President Trump actually do?” There are reports — in my reporting, I found that there wasn’t on the front at all this information gathered in order to make reuniting families easier. I remember — I will never forget talking to a father who was deported without his daughter to Central America. There all these immigrants who suffered at the hands of the United States government that really are now looking at this and saying this isn’t the time now where this government is going to be more lenient,

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And the Biden administration is really, really trying to be cautious about that. I think the other thing to note here is that there are thousands of immigrants that are now waiting in Mexico and that were asylum seekers that were not supposed to be sent back to Mexico. And the Biden administration is saying, “We won’t have people enrolled in that program again, but those same people, they’re going to have to wait a bit longer. So there’s real tense — there’s a real tension here with the fact that the Biden administration says that they want to do something while they want to be humane, but there are also immigrants who are saying this is urgent — “Not only are we still separated from our children, but we’re also living in dangerous conditions that international organizations say was not the way that this should be handled.”

NICOLLE WALLACE: You know, Eddie (Glaude), it feels like it’s important to separate out all the aspects of the story that Jacob (Soboroff) and Yamiche have to cover and, I think to focus in on the one feature of the Trump presidency that was so completely outed by this basket of policies which was the dehumanization of migrants. And I think Yamiche just articulated an explanation for why the last three Presidents attempted to try. The three Presidents before him failed to muster bipartisan support for comprehensive immigration reform. … And Trump obviously didn’t try, but no one has dealt with immigration at its root level, and then Trump turned human beings into portable pawns and took pleasure in torturing them.

(…)

ALCINDOR: Let’s remember that President Trump — for all of the things that he did in the four years that he was in office — family separation in particular will go down as one of the most signature dangerous, cruel, dehumanizing things that a President has done in the history of the United States. It cannot be — it can be compared in some ways to the middle passage separating African Americans and throwing them across the United States.

This was a policy that ripped children out of the hands of their parents and their guardians, and you can’t un-see the images that we saw at the border with crying children with children in cages, with young children trying to care for other young children because their parents were kidnapped essentially from them, Biden has to now come in and say, “I’m going tp do this differently,” and he has said that he’s going to do this differently — that he’s going to look at immigrants in a way that is not dehumanizing. I think that that’s going to be the policy that they’re going to try to enforce, and I think there are going to be journalists like me and Jacob and others that are really going to be asking, “What is owed to these immigrants?”

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Because I’m also thinking of a woman — I know we’ve been talking about family separation — but the remain in Mexico policy — I went down to Mexico and interviewed a woman who was kidnapped along with her young daughter while being forced to remain in Mexico — again, a policy that was decreed by international agencies — that was seen as inhumane and was seen as completely not part of the asylum-seeking process that was illegal, essentially, in the eyes of international communities. That woman was kidnapped. What is she now owed? And how are we going to find her?

These are the questions that the Biden administration has not answered — yet these are going to be the questions that are a part of the policies — not just “How are they going to tweak and change things?” but also, “What are the reparations in some ways owed to so many of these Americans — so many of these immigrants rather — that were now in some ways thrown away by America? And I have to say, one other thing underscoring all of this as we talk about this racial reckoning is xenophobia — is racism — is white supremacy. How — when you separate brown children especially from their mothers, we have to ask ourselves, “How was that allowed to happen? And what role did white supremacy play in that?

WALLACE: Absolutely. I mean, I think that that’s at the root of all of these conversations, you know, just reducing — reversing heinous policies. It’s — again, as with the extremist threat that we’ve all been warned about persisting through April 30. It’s the danger of mainstreaming and what Trump ushered in was white supremacy, making it — legitimizing it as a factor in American political life.

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