As Joe Biden took the oath of office last month, Guatemalan security forces at the Honduran border thwarted thousands of U.S.-bound migrants. While decadeslong American imperialism has facilitated displacement throughout the region, the U.S. is increasingly outsourcing its deadly immigration policy. This week on Intercepted: The Biden administration announced it will begin to process the 25,000 asylum-seekers stuck in squalid border town camps as part of Donald Trump’s so-called Migrant Protection Protocols, a program commonly referred to as “Remain in Mexico.” But immigration advocates fear Biden will not reverse the bipartisan trend of his predecessors to further militarize the southern border and expand the reaches of immigration enforcement — policies that have led to more migrant deaths and detention in recent decades. Despite Biden’s executive actions to reverse the Muslim ban, initiate migrant family reunification, and fortify the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, his administration has indicated that it will continue to support Mexican and Guatemalan armed enforcement of their borders on behalf of the U.S.
Activist and writer Harsha Walia joins Intercepted to discuss the Democratic Party’s fundamental role in shaping the long arc of U.S. border policy and why the practice of “prevention through deterrence” will continue to incur more suffering and preventable deaths. She also presents an abolitionist view of a world without borders. Walia’s most recent book is “Border and Rule: Global Migration, Capitalism, and the Rise of Racist Nationalism.”