TEHRAN(Basirat): An American political scientist said a
huge influx of immigrants to America is the legacy of US military and political
support for dictators in Central America.
"The flow of immigrants from Central America is the legacy of US support (military, economic, political) for right-wing dictators and their families, under the label of supporting stability and anti-communism (counterinsurgency policy),” Beau Grosscup, California State University Professor Emeritus of Political Science, told the Tasnim News Agency in an interview.
Following is the full text of the interview:
Tasnim: On June 23, the United Nations issued a damning condemnation of US President Donald Trump's policy that saw migrant children separated from their parents at the border, suggesting it "may amount to torture". What’s your take on this?
Grosscup: There is no doubt that, given the US Bush-era definition of torture, the Trump Administration will reject this charge, since the US operational definition requires 'specific intent' and 'serious jeopardy, serious impairment to bodily functions, or serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part.' Of course, the UN operates under the international definition. With National Security Advisor John Bolton, who has no use for the UN, expect the Trump Administration to pay no attention to this claim. Yet, the UN is making this claim due to the possibility the children will suffer 'developmental damage' as a result of the separation from their family members.
Tasnim: A number of rights groups have questioned Trump's order, mostly for offering few details on how to deal with the more than 2,300 children detained by the US government since the "zero tolerance" policy was enacted by the president's administration in mid-April. What do you think about the zero tolerance policy?
Grosscup: The Trump Administration claims that they are only following the law and thus have no choice but Zero Tolerance, meaning there is no 'flexibility' or discretion in its application. But the Zero Tolerance is a policy and every policy has a range of applications (using discretion). The Trump Administration has chosen to apply the policy in the strictest sense because, as they have been very clear about, they believe it helps with their political agenda in three ways. (1) to discourage families from fleeing their countries and coming to the US. (2), to sustain the image of being 'tough' on immigration and border security/terrorism, (3) signal to their base and wavering Republicans as to the need to get out the vote in the November elections in order to keep the Republican control of Congress.
Tasnim: The UN condemnation comes just days after the United States withdrew its membership from the Human Rights Council, saying that the council is against Israel. What do you think about the move by the US?
Grosscup: This was a political decision, again centered in John Bolton's (and other Neo-conservatives) disdain for the UN, in particular, the General Assembly, Security Council and Human Rights Council's longstanding efforts to hold Israel accountable for its occupation policy. The more immediate reason has to do with current US desire for 'regime change' in Iran and Venezuela, which is why, in announcing the US withdrawal, Ambassador Haley pointedly mentioned both countries as the greatest violators of human rights. Thus, the withdrawal is another step in the US desire to develop a foreign policy unrestrained by international institutional policy (condemnation), while furthering the effort to 'isolate' Iran and Venezuela as pariah states worthy of US unilateral action supported by an 'ad hoc' coalition.
Tasnim: The vast majority of immigrants arriving in the US and facing potential separation are coming from turbulent countries like Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. In those countries, high violent crime rates and difficult economic conditions have forced families to leave, migrating north to the US and elsewhere. What’s your perspective on this?
Grosscup: The flow of immigrants from Central America is the legacy of US support (military, economic, political) for right-wing dictators and their families, under the label of supporting stability and anti-communism (counterinsurgency policy). The economic developmental side of that policy has long been abandoned in favor of the military side (eradication of the 'disease' of communism/terrorism). Aided by the 'reform packages' of the International Monetary Fund and international banks, this US 'aid' approach has brought inequality of wealth and income (riches to the powerful few and mass poverty to the poor), high unemployment, high crime against the poor and political/economic impotency for the vast majority of citizens. In short, they have no choice but to flee or die, especially to a country where they are actively recruited by corporate America. The current high number of Honduran refugees reflects the US support for the recent fraudulent election and the US support for another Honduran dictatorship with all of the obvious results noted above, especially those seeking political asylum.