On Monday, the Supreme Court allowed the Biden administration a temporary loosening of the hardline Trump border policies of the past four years. But the first seven months of the Biden presidency show little change from the Trump years.
Migrants from Central America and other Latin American nations continue to arrive at the U.S. southern border in huge numbers: 212,000 in July alone, including 19,000 unaccompanied children. People continue to come in large numbers despite the fact that the Biden administration has clearly told people not to come, as well as the dangers of the journey, particularly during the hottest months of the year.
Once arriving at the border, the treatment of migrants is also no better than under the Trump administration. Not only are migrants forced to live in makeshift camps along the border, some children are still being separated from adults before the adults are sent back across the border, a disgusting holdover from the Trump policies. According to one migrant advocate, “Under Biden, people are still being returned and getting stuck. The border is not really any different.”
Despite his criticism of Trump and his softer tone on immigration, did we really expect much to change? Poverty, crime, and gang violence still ravage El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, as well as parts of Mexico, driving people to flee their homes. On top of all of this, environmental destruction is also devastating people’s lives and abilities to make a living in Mexico and Central America. Unfortunately, these are just normal parts of capitalist society in poor nations. In this context, smugglers take advantage of people desperate for better lives, often by telling them that Biden will welcome them, and that the trip is easy.
But Biden and Trump, despite being from different parties and having different styles of how they present themselves, both represent the capitalist class in the United States. When faced with an insurmountable crisis caused by the system they oversee, they put human needs to the side and enforce inhumane laws.
The migrant and border crisis on the southern U.S. border is just one clear display of the misery created by global capitalism and capitalist nation states. As long as this system still exists, don’t expect much change no matter which political party or president is in power. Only when we begin to overturn this global system and abolish the artificial borders it has created, will all humans begin to be treated with the humanity everyone deserves. This system must go.