Trump has just begun forcing detained immigrants to wear yellow insignias

President Donald Trump’s most monstrous policy is finally becoming a reality. The Border Patrol and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agencies have begun separating migrant children from their parents and placing them in military warehouses while their parents are locked away in ICE’s concentration camps.

But there is another, somehow even darker, detail to the story that emerged with its publication. They are marking arrested immigrants with yellow insignias, as part of the “Operation Streamline” program that began under President Obama.

The Arizona Daily Star reports that at a recent immigration hearing, Alma Jacinto, a 36-year-old Guatemalan migrant had her children taken from her – and was given a yellow “bracelet” to indicate her status as a detained illegal immigrant.

Jacinto wore a yellow bracelet on her left wrist, which defense lawyers said identifies parents who are arrested with their children and prosecuted in Operation Streamline, a fast-track program for illegal border crossers.

Jacinto was sentenced to prison for illegally crossing the border, and she has no idea when she’s going to see her kids again, who are 8 and 11 years old.

Whether or not she’ll ever see them again is unclear. The Office of Refugee Resettlement announced at the end of last year that they had lost track of 1,500 migrant children who were supposed to be in foster caresome of whom the government accidentally released to human traffickers. 

The plan to tear children away from their families to “deter” migrants from coming has been in the works for quite some time, pioneered by vicious sociopaths Attorney General Jeff Sessions and ICE chief Tom Homan, but ran into some serious problems in execution – like the fact that America’s foster care system is already overburdened and underfunded and not prepared to take on potentially tens of thousands of migrant kids – but to see it in action like this is beyond horrifying.

The president’s dark crusade against undocumented migrants took on a terrifying new tone last week when he began repeatedly linking undocumented migrants with the MS-13 gang and dehumanizing them as “animals;” now he’s breaking up families and forcing them to wear insignias, evoking disturbing memories of prior efforts to ostracize and isolate minorities by regimes enforcing a system of racial hierarchy and a policy of ethnic cleansing – which is quite obviously what Trump is trying to do here.

The past use of “animals” to smear members of minority groups by genocidal regimes cannot be forgotten; from Hitler’s Germany to Rwanda, the use of this kind of language to strip people’s humanity away and thus break down the moral and ethical barriers that prevent people from killing each other has proven to be a horrifyingly successful tactic. It is a very short step from “MS-13 are animals” to “Hondurans are animals” to “Hispanic people of color are animals.”

Perhaps egged on by the tepid and half-hearted condemnation of his right-wing extremist allies in Israel received for murdering sixty people and maiming 3,000 more barely ten days ago, it’s clear the Trump and his racist cronies are beginning to push the boundaries of what they can get away with and escalating their agenda of mass deportation and terrorizing communities of color in the United States.

If the United States has one shred of the moral fortitude that liberals like to pretend it does, we as a people cannot and will not tolerate this. Resisting ICE and the Border Patrol and their ethnic cleansing mandate is our civic duty. Turning a blind eye to these atrocities, just like most of America did to the slaughter in Gaza, means the fascists will have won, and it will be all of our fault.


Colin Taylor

Managing Editor

Colin Taylor is the managing editor of the Washington Press. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice, equality, and universal health care in America.