Whatever the outcome of the legal battles around president Trump's immigration order, there can be no doubt that there is going to be a vigorous campaign to deport as many illegal immigrants as possible from the USA. It has already started No doubt it will get more and more thorough and more and more people will actually be deported. Jolly good thing, some will say. After all what is the point of having laws if nobody takes any notice of them (though, of course, many south European countries have been operating this way for centuries). However, this is going to result in a lot of disgruntled people arriving back in S American countries full of fury at the US. Latin America is the US's "backyard". It is also, as some Spanish speaking people are wont to point out, the "other" (dare we still say "alternative") America. Although it is still part of the "second world" we are not here talking about somewhere insignificant. So far, the US has only had real trouble from that continent in Cuba and Venezuela. I wonder what the future holds?

Not only abroad. Within the US these actions are going to precipitate a kind of internal "war" between those citizens who do and who don't sympathise with the immigrants. Those who do do so include both hispanic people (who may now start to withdraw co-operation with the authorities thus making American cities less easy to govern and even, perhaps, providing a new seedbed for organised crime) and non-hispanic people who may now feel themselves in more serious conflict with the government to a degree that may in due course dwarf previous civil rights disturbances. If to this is added a further crack down upon black communities, civil order is going to become extremely difficult to maintain. American cities could become jungles as bad as they were in the 1930's or worse.

It is understandable that there would be a white backlash given the demographic trends that, if unchecked, suggest they are heading toward a situation where they will become a minority in what they regard as their own country, but changing such trends is not at all easy even if it were desirable. It involves real conflict. Such conflicts in which both sides feel themselves to be totally justified are not at all easy to resolve and the collateral damage can be considerable.

When there is mounting strife at home, it is quite common for governments to use the strategy of fermenting a confrontation with an outside power as the only way of bring unity back to the home population. I hope it does not go this way this time, but one can rather see it coming. I do not think I am alone in thinking that the world is currently becoming a more dangerous place.

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  • I think that you are right, Mat. Certainly, in general, there appear to be, especially in America, almost completely sparate networks of communication for the different camps. Of course, these are not the only divisions in society, but they seem to be the salient ones at the moment. Personally I do not strongly identify with either, but can see some merit on each side too. When you say "especially perhaps the progressives" I think you are touching upon something important. It is quite easy when one thinks one is advancing ideas based on what one believes are correct or moral principles to end up on a "high horse" from which perspective it is impossible to see eye to eye with the people on foot. I am, perhaps, here a bit influenced by my current reading in which it is apparent that Tolstoy got rather carried away by the - to him - obvious correctness of his moral principles to such an extent that he was unable to see the difficulties that he was causing for the rest of his family. Being "right" does not prevent one from being blind; in fact, it can be a species of blindness in itself.

  • I believe we can all begin this journey of trying to make a difference Jimena by engaging wherever the opportunity to challenge this avidya we are seeing opens to us. We can start within friendships and expand from there. Passion quickly is turning to anger as the story of blaming particular 'others' becomes the dominant view.  In my interactions talking of qualities such as empathy quickly becomes bogged down in this process of blaming.  I try to change the story driving the anger to 'blaming' all the needless suffering our living is creating.  I find people can relate here through their own suffering, that of family and friends and expanding to all life forms. The outcome tends towards compassion and peace.  This very place is an excellent place to share our stories.

  • I agree.

  • Definitely! Stories have two sides both of them responsible, both of them guilty. We can always try to improve, though, we can always try to stop pre-judging based on stereotypes. We can try to read and learn more and we can also try to teach or to show facts. Many won't listen but someone will, that is where the real change starts.
    I think we shouldn't give up on trying to make a difference.

  • ...and I suppose we are all guilty of this in varying ways and degrees.

  • It seems that people dislike immigrants because of stereotypes, it’s the same with religion. They like what they know, what they understand and what for them seems logical. They think that what they hear or read is always true, not matter which is the source, they don’t bother looking for more information. And the problem is not just that they don’t bother, but they don’t want to look. Sometimes it’s easier to live in a lie, that way they don’t have to admit they were wrong (partially or completely wrong) it hurts the ego.

  • Yes, I think that that is right and it would be relatively trivial if it did not have such consequences. Now, the areas where harmony has been achieved will be shaken up because other areas are alarmed about what they know nothing about.

  • It seems to me important to note that the areas of the USA that have the bulk of the undocumented immigrants all voted Democrat which suggests that in the places where they actually live people do not find them troublesome, whereas the places that voted for Trump have many many fewer. It seems that immigrants are disliked by people who have never met them, so it is a case of fear of the unknown rather than of genuine grievance.

  • An important point of refrence in the debate about what is really going on over there is surely the fact that Calexit, were it to happen, would be at least as big a disturbance to the world order as Brexit. Trump will be very keen to see that it does not happen. One can deduce therefore that action by the immigration people to reduce the number of Latinos may turn out to be even more vigourous in California than anywhere else. On the other hand, such action might also alienate more Californians so this is not an easy or obvious course. The more extreme the current regime in US becomes, the more likely a Calexit becomes. California would be the sixth largest economy in the world (after US, China, Jqpan, Germany and UK, if UK is still up there by then) larger than France, India, Brasil or Russia. What holds groups together is, in the end, common values. The US faces a double problem. On the one hand, the ever increasing Latino population threatens the WASP value system. On th other hand, efforts to reverse this trend polarise opinion in the country as a whole. It is not just the EU that has got to define itself more clearly and is in danger of losing some members in the process.

  • Mat, I notice your interesting typo - Cannon.

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