Janine Jackson: In a typical corporate media story on the family separations and deportations and asylum denials that define immigration policy under Donald Trump, the images and sometimes voices of immigrants are essentially illustrative. They add “color” and specificity, but they, their actions, don’t generally set the frame of the story. The objects of policy, immigrants still somehow are not the central subjects, the main drivers, of the story of their lives.
Centering immigrants and their agency changes the fabric of reporting and shifts the static understanding of the situation, opening ways forward beyond the logjam of hopelessness and frustration so many now feel. Tina Vasquez is the senior immigration reporter at Rewire.News. She joins us now by phone from North Carolina. Welcome back to CounterSpin, Tina Vasquez.
Tina Vasquez: Thank you for having me.
JAmnesty International released a report just last week, USA: “You Do Not Have Any Rights Here,” documenting multiple sorts of abuses at the US/Mexico border involving punishing asylum seekers. I suppose I was somewhat surprised to see it ignored by so-called mainstream media. There was a piece on Newsweek online. Voice of America, actually, ran something. But for a report that pulled together a number of current concerns, including how Customs and Border Protection are defining “family,” I guess I hoped for more. But you reported on this for Rewire. What did you find important in that Amnesty report that people should know about?
I guess what I found most shocking is the number of families that were…