The Resistance Reports
March 8, 2017
In move recalling Nazi-era policies, Trump to create office to track crimes committed by immigrant (source). Earlier, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, Trump said he will publish list of crimes committed by immigrants (source). Hitler did both.
As Hitler did with Jews, meaning citing them out for causing the demise of Germany, Trump has also targeted immigrants & Muslims, as causing America’s demise & being in the way for America to reach Greatness.
The Trump Administration announced on Thursday that the president had signed an executive order calling for the Department of Homeland Security to publish a weekly report of crimes committed by “aliens” in sanctuary cities.
The order announces its justification as “To better inform the public regarding the public safety threats associated with sanctuary jurisdictions…” It does not clarify exactly what immigration status categorizes an “alien” under this order. Cities that do not comply will have all federal funding pulled, except fund used for law enforcment.
During President Trump’s speech to the joint session of Congress last night, he announced plans to create a new office called VOICE—that’s Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement. Trump has previously directed the Department of Homeland Security to publish a list of crimes committed by immigrants—which some historians have compared to Germany’s Nazi-era policy of publishing lists of crimes committed by Jews.
Author Andrea Pitzer noticed a similarity between Trump’s executive order and a function of the Nazi Institute for Research on the Jewish Question, a political research operation of the Nazi Party opened in 1941. “Worth remembering that Nazi Institute for Research on the Jewish Question kept files on “crimes committed by Jews,” she tweeted. This material both reflected and bolstered academic debate — and stoked public fears — about the “criminality” of Jews.
New York Times Report:
Setting aside the fact that, as the New York Times reported, research consistently indicates that “immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than people born in the United States,” the political tactic of using a list of crimes to target an oppressed group will raise red flags for history buffs.
Andrea Pitzer, author of the forthcoming One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps, explained in an email on Friday that “we’ve seen these kinds of patterns before, and they don’t lead to good places.”
“Gathering and distributing a log about a particular religious, racial or ethnic group’s crimes — whether it’s Jews in Nazi Germany or minority groups today — is about finding a way to splinter a nation and vilify a vulnerable minority in order to move against them,” Pitzer said.
It is very significant. The title of the book refers to the fear and safety that the cover of night brings. Night is the time when the SS came for the prominent Jews in the communities both before the Jews were evacuated to the concentration camps and also in the camps themselves. In this regard, night was a time to be feared since you couldn’t see what was coming. In the book, the victims of the concentration camps could let down their guard a little at night where no one could see them, and they could cry or not be so careful with facial expressions. In this regard, night was a time of comfort and relaxation. It was a cruel, double-edged sword.
One important quote in the book which really points to the purpose of the title is:
Never shall I forget that night, that first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed…Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never. Chapter 3, page 32.
Studying the Jew: Scholarly Antisemitism in Nazi Germany by Alan E Steinweis revealed what was inside the Nazi’s files: “In the files about crimes committed by Jews kept by the Institute for Research on the Jewish Question, ‘racial defilement’ constituted the single largest cluster of materials. Also included were files on Jewish responsibility for ‘crimes against morality’ (Sittlichkeitsverbrechen), abortion, and prostitution.”
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, let’s go to Donald Trump calling for this new government agency for victims of crime by immigrants.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: And we must support the victims of crime. I have ordered the Department of Homeland Security to create an office to serve American victims. The office is called VOICE, Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement. We are providing a voice to those who have been ignored by our media and silenced by special interests.
AMY GOODMAN: Professor Kelly Lytle Hernández, your comments on this, the idea that President Trump has repeatedly trumpeted that immigrants commit more crimes?
KELLY LYTLE HERNÁNDEZ: Well, that’s factually untrue. We have research out of the Pew Research Center and out of the TRAC researchers from Syracuse University and many others, who have repeatedly documented that immigrants have a lower crime rate than native-born U.S. citizens. So, that is just factually untrue.
What’s really happening here is a demonization campaign and a criminalization campaign, trying to lift up and put a spotlight on a small number of tragic crimes impacting U.S. citizens, meaning the usually—he’s talking about the killing of U.S. citizens by undocumented immigrants. And he’s highlighting it in a way to demonize an entire population, immigrant population, namely Muslim and Latino immigrants—I would suspect, to shore up his broader policies on immigration restriction.
So, this is a historically familiar act, that these kinds of criminalization campaigns have always preceded immigrant exclusion. We can go back to the Chinese Exclusion Acts, where folks in the American West, in particular, demonized Chinese immigrants as opium dealers, and then that led to support for the Chinese Exclusion Acts and mass deportation of Chinese immigrants. We can also go back to the early 20th century, when Italian immigrants were demonized as being biologically criminal and inferior, leading to the Immigration Control Act or the National Origins Act of 1924, which largely prohibited Italian immigrants from entering the United States. So this is historically consistent.
AMY GOODMAN: And scholars also say Trump’s proposed list of crimes committed by immigrants recalls Nazi Germany-era policy, where the Nazi Institute for Research on the Jewish Question kept files on crimes committed by Jews. We recently spoke to Andrea Pitzer. Her upcoming book is called One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps.
ANDREA PITZER: This weekly report that he has called for recalls a number of things from the past that we have seen before, which is this move to isolate and identify and then vilify a vulnerable minority community in order to move against it. When he—I just went back last night and reread his speech from when he declared his candidacy, and the Mexican rapist comment was in from the beginning, and so this has been a theme throughout. And we see back in Nazi Germany there was a paper called—a Nazi paper called Der Stürmer, and they had a department called “Letter Box,” and readers were invited to send in stories of supposed Jewish crimes. And Der Stürmer would publish them, and they would include some pretty horrific graphic illustrations of these crimes, as well. And there was even a sort of a lite version of it, if you will, racism lite, in which the Neues Volk, which was more like a Look or a Life magazine, which normally highlighted beautiful Aryan families and their beautiful homes, would run a feature like “The Criminal Jew,” and they would show photos of “Jewish-looking,” as they called it, people who represented different kinds of crimes that one ought to watch out for from Jews. So this preoccupation with focusing in on one subset of the population’s crimes and then depicting that as somehow depraved and abnormal from the main population is something we’ve seen quite a bit in the past.
AMY GOODMAN: So that’s Andrea Pitzer. Her upcoming book, One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps. Again, we’re talking about President Trump announcing he has set up the VOICE office, “VOICE” standing for Victims of Immigration—Immigrant Crime Engagement. Professor Sachs?
JEFFREY SACHS: I thought what was interesting was there was a loud groan when he said that, throughout the chamber, not an applause, nothing, because that one is so absurd, so transparently phony, that while the Republicans were jumping up and down at every bit of nonsense, that was nonsense too far.
AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to break and then come back. We want to talk about the Affordable Care Act, and also, what got the most sustained applause was the widow of the Navy SEAL who was killed in Yemen. President Trump called it “highly successful” raid. Many others have called it a botched catastrophe, including the victim’s father. We’re talking to Jeffrey Sachs, Linda Sarsour, William Hartung, Kelly Lytle Hernández, and we’ll be joined by someone who was in the chamber last night, in a moment.
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