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The sterilization of black and brown immigrant women

By: Olivia du Pont

“And finally, will those working on our border patrol, keeping our country safe and keeping the illegals out, please rise so that we may acknowledge you.”

What happened next? Every white, mask-less Republican stood up, turned toward the ICE workers, and clapped, as they thought, thank you for keeping America great. Only two weeks later, the news shared with the world that mass sterilization of women was taking place in ICE detention centers without consent. I can guarantee that Trump and the ICE detention employees whom stood up and accepted the applause were aware of the sterilization. According to Just Security, an organization dedicated to social justice, the accusation of coercive sterilization of women in a Georgia ICE detention facility, particularly the sterilization of black and brown women, is not the first time the United States or the world has faced this issue. The center under accusation is a private facility, which, you guessed it, means laws and regulations in relation to human rights do not apply to them.

The issue in question is not only that of coercive sterilization, but also the extreme mistreatment and manipulation of immigrants and people of color. Sterilization dates all the way back to the eugenics movement in Europe, which had the goal of establishing one dominant race. No politician or leader, atleast in the United States, would admit it, but we are still living in an era where eugenics is still a main priority, even if it is not outwardly spoken. White people hold more power in this country, and the United States wants more than anything to be perceived as powerful. The continued maltreatment of black and brown people in the United States, especially black and brown immigrants, points to the pure lack of humanity that not only our president, but entire systems that are still active in the United States has.

So why are black and brown immigrants suffering at the expense of the United States? Why do we accept basically any white European who wants to study or work in the United States, but we have such an issue with the thousands of people of color who are quite literally coming to the U.S in an attempt to save their families? The political leaders of the United States have such an issue with immigrants, particularly immigrants of color, because they are seen as a deviant community, a threat to the so-called “American dream.” Many American’s, particularly white American’s, are taught to think that if they work hard, they can achieve any and all of their goals because they are living in a free land, a nation that prioritizes American-born hard workers, a nation built off of the exploitation of black and brown people. They are taught that there are communities of people from other countries whose goal is to come to the United States and steal their dream. So, we have systems in place to establish social control, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement, law enforcement, and the American “justice” system. These systems are in place to “protect” the American people from these “intruders” who come to steal our opportunities. These outdated systems, which were first established to control slaves, are designed to keep whites at the top, and to have control over those who are not white, not Christian, not wealthy, and not powerful, i.e., those who are deviant in our society.

In this case, mass sterilization is just an extreme form of social control. If ICE is unable to keep every black and brown immigrant from entering the United States, then they’ll keep them from reproducing more black and brown people. If black and brown immigrants are unable to reproduce, then white, American-born people will feel less of a threat of having their jobs taken away, and they’ll feel as if their American-born children are safe. All will be good in the world and the American systems will continue to serve the white, American people.

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