The Trump admin wants to get rid of them because it considers both groups disposable, and economic burdens to the U.S.
Their futures were put at increased risk by proposed Federal rules changes that would weaken protections and support.
On Monday (8/12.19) the Trump administration proposed rules changes that would target poor, but legal, immigrants with a new wealth test that would deny them permanent status Green Cards if they were deemed unable to support themselves and would become a financial burden to taxpayers. In a second–and philosophically-related–move, the administration proposed changes to rules that would, if implemented, significantly weaken protections afforded the nation’s at- risk plants and animals under the nation’s Endangered Species Act. The proposed rules changes would no longer allow climate change to be cited as a reason for protecting the country’s threatened and endangered plants and animals, while allowing economic cost/benefit analysis to be part of the determination as to whether a threatened or endangered species should receive protection.
These administrative moves yesterday are based upon an implicit set of assumptions about objects (individuals, races, countries, plants, and animals), and how they should be valued and treated. Those in charge act on these assumption to devalue and dismiss, and then to justify abuse, mistreatment, forcing into poverty and then elimination. The assumptions mark a well-traveled road to devaluation and subjugation. This is the playbook used by the administration:
- In the first step up the ladder of assumptions, an actor/decision maker declares themselves is in charge of the situation (immigration, environmental regulation, for example) and assumes authority/superiority over the subject.
- The next assumption is that all individuals, species, etc are the same and that they play no unique role in society or ecosystems; make no meaningful contributions. In this view there is by definition no distinction between categories. This is an especially dangerous assumption when applied to individuals and groups of people and between species and sub-species or closely-related species. In this view, there is no real meaningful distinction between the House wren and the Carolina wren, or between the polar bear, the brown bear, or the black bear.
- The actor/decision maker, now having decided that there is no distinction or meaningful difference between individuals declares that those acted upon have little or no value.
- Then, having declaring someone or something of no value or of no distinguishing characteristics (immigrants from Mexico or Polar bears, the next leap is to declare that these people, or plants and animals, or natural resources will not be missed if reduced or eliminated.
- And, in fact, the continued presence or abundance of an item with no value is an economic burden to the country and to its way of life. And, we should not be forced to continue to defend and protect something of no value, especially if it makes things more expensive and costs us jobs.
- Now, we have reached the top of the ladder of assumptions. The logical and patriotic thing to do then is to eliminate the obstacles.
These assumptions are false, or course but despite their absurd nature, it is a quick and easy climb up this ladder for some folks. It has become habitual, and instinctive. This way of thinking has become so ingrained in our way of life that we don’t even notice it; in fact, it is not a climb up the ladder at all but rather a leap to the top.
As you read the news in the next few days, weeks, or months see how often you can detect this playbook in action. And, think about this statement from the Fourth National Climate Assessment (2018) regarding the impacts of climate change on the Midwest. It says.
” The ecosystems of the Midwest support a diverse array of native species and provide people with essential services such as water purification, flood control, resource provision, crop pollination, and recreational opportunities. Species and ecosystems, including the important freshwater resources of the Great Lakes, are typically most at risk when climate change stressors, like temperature increases, interact with land-use change, habitat loss, pollution, nutrient inputs, and nonnative invasive species. Restoration of natural systems, increases in the use of green infrastructure, and targeted conservation efforts, especially of wetland systems, can help protect people and nature from climate change impacts.”