opinion

OPINION: The President’s crimes of violence toward immigrants are grounds for impeachment



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President Trump points at the media and calls them fake news during the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum on April 26 in Indianapolis. Trump spoke about the history of gun violence in America, and he introduced people who have experience dealing with intruders and shooters. Ty Vinson Buy Photos

Obstruction of justice, collusion and foreign interference. These buzzwords flash across the television screen as Democrats increasingly call for impeachment proceedings to take place against President Donald Trump. While support for impeachment among members of the U.S. House of Representatives continues to grow, Speaker Nancy Pelosi remains firm in her stance against impeachment.

The president’s inhumane, fear-mongering and abusive immigration policy at the border provides House Democrats with grounds to impeach the president, not on charges of obstruction of justice, but on charges that the president engaged in crimes of violence as defined by 18 U.S. Code § 16 as “an offense that has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another…”

The executive branch’s unilateral adoption of immigration policy leading to the abuse and neglect of children in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention, also known as ICE, illustrates the president’s use of force through public policy to achieve his nativist and xenophobic immigration and border security objectives. The crimes of violence committed by Trump’s White House give Pelosi no other option but to support impeachment proceedings against the president.

The United States Constitution indicates under Article 2, Section 4 that a president may be removed from office for engaging in “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

An analysis of the power to impeach authored by Neil J. Kinkopf, professor of law at Georgia State University, suggests that high crimes and misdemeanors were included by the framers of the U.S. Constitution to “signify only conduct that seriously harms the public and seriously compromises the officer’s ability to continue.” 

The results of Trump’s border policy seriously stifle the health and well-being of children in detention and demonstrate the president’s lack of commitment to basic principles of human rights, compromising his leadership and ability to represent the United States as our president.

Caitlin Dickerson of The New York Times shed light onto the animalistic conditions that characterize the migrant detention centers along the U.S.-Mexico border. Images of children huddled in cages and wrapped in foil blankets plague the memories of readers and signify the egregious human rights violations occurring at the border.

A lack of necessities such as clean clothes and hygienic items sicken the atmosphere of the detention centers and hamper the health of immigrants seeking a better life in the United States. The denial of the basic items required for a healthy standard of living and the forced detention of immigrants in cages paints a gruesome picture of a power imbalance that President Trump has used to forcefully and deliberately harm immigrants entering the United States.

The violence against children at the border amount to criminal behavior and impeachable offenses committed by the president of the United States. Pelosi may find avenues to ignore calls for impeachment from her own party on the grounds of obstruction of justice.

There is no possible way, however, to ignore the atrocities and crimes of violence occurring at the border. It is time to begin impeachment proceedings against the president to restore the basic commitment to human rights that the United States of America seems to have forgotten.

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