Entries by Christina Ewig

, ,

Nielsen’s departure won’t heal the traumas of child separations

On Sunday April 7, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned. Nielsen oversaw the implementation of controversial U.S. child separation policies at the U.S.-Mexican border. She stepped down when the Trump Administration asked her to violate a court order against the practice to resume such family separations. Nielsen’s departure will not deter the Trump Administration, nor can it heal the traumas accrued from years of forced family separation policies and politics.

, ,

Empowerment Is Not Enough

“Empower Women to Foster Freedom,” proclaimed Ivanka Trump as she rolled out the Trump administration’s Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP) in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece on February 6. The first daughter claimed that women could bring about peace and prosperity, enhancing both economic growth and national stability, if only we could eliminate barriers to their labor force participation and income generation, moving them from the informal to the formal economy. “One of the most undervalued resources in the developing world,” she argued, is “the talent, ambition and genius of women.” The US would come to their rescue through a package of initiatives to be coordinated by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in conjunction with corporate and NGO partners. Workforce development, vocational education, and skills training, as well as access to capital, markets, networks, and mentorship would “unleash” prosperity for “families, communities, and nations.”  Such is the Trumpian version of Eleanor Roosevelt’s Depression-era maxim, “It is up to the women.”

,

Trump’s Campaign Against Latinas/os is Crushing the Republican Party

The derision of Latinas/os and Latin American immigrants has been a central and calculated strategy of the Trump administration from the infamous 2015 campaign announcement maligning Mexican immigrants as “criminals” and “rapists” and continues through to the dismissal of Puerto Rico after the devastation of Hurricanes Maria and Irma, the execution of a “zero tolerance policy” on undocumented families on the U.S-Mexico border, the incarceration of more than 2,400 children, the challenge to birthright citizenship, the deployment of 5,200 troops to the border, and prolonged derision of a caravan of Central American migrants. Even the 35-day government shutdown and the recent declaration of a national emergency rest on racialized narratives casting immigrants as “animals,” “thugs,” “national security threats,” and “terrorists” to justify a costly border wall. These attacks once again became the campaign “dog whistle” of the 2018 midterm elections as several Republicans banked on a relentless strategy of derision to consolidate a nationalist identity, assuage a fragile masculinity, and ultimately mobilize white voters.

,

The Economic Crisis Putting American Families at Risk

As our country braced for another threatened government shutdown last week, federal workers are more aware than ever that they must be prepared for swaths of time without a paycheck.  As was clear last month, a staggering number of workers cannot weather a period of missed pay, let alone plan for a time when they can no longer work because of unemployment or illness. And this says nothing of the dream of a well-deserved retirement. But it’s not just government employees who live on this edge. Cringe-inducing stories of working Americans losing their homes, choosing between food and medicine, working just to cover their debt payments, going to work sick because they can’t afford the risk of being fired, and spending hours transferring from bus line to bus line to get to a minimum wage job have been part of the American experience since (and well before) the 2008 financial crisis.