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Currently, I am a Fellow for the Entrepreneurship for Good Program (Future of Audio Entertainment Challenge) at The DO School. I am a media professional, social entrepreneur and storyteller who experiments with media and art to document life, and I have worked with nonprofits, governments and campaigns internationally. I have an M.Sc. in Social & Cultural Anthropology from the London School of Economics & Political Science.
America’s “zero-tolerance” policy has faced uproar, scrutiny and disbelief as an estimated number of 1,800 families have been separated at the US–Mexican border and detained in conditions meant to punish and serve as a threat to others crossing its boundaries.
Amid the criticism of the policy and the furore against the inhumane treatment, Susan B. Glasser points out a pattern, lest we forget—that this immigration strategy is working for Trump and his presidency.
According to Gallup, forty-five per cent of Americans approved of the job he was doing, which is still a low figure by historical standards, but is arguably strikingly high for such a divisive figure. The President’s endless bashing of undocumented immigrants and his vow to toughen “Boarder security”, as he spelled it in a recent tweet, is a key reason. Trump’s ability to gin up fears about illegal immigration, more than perhaps any other issue, won him the White House.
The policy's timeline explains how the current administration came to explore avenues to exploit that success and illustrates Trump's fondness for tactics that touch the country's sensitive spots. As Senator Jeff Merkley tells Glasser for The New Yorker, he predicts Trump will "pick three issues that scare the American public, and emphasize them at all costs". Immigration is definitely one that has garnered Trump the position he holds as he himself claims: "That's why I got elected."
If playing on fears has been profitable for Trump, what may come next should not be completely unpredictable, even if it appears unfathomable.