Andrea Pitzer is a journalist who has contributed to The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Vox, Slate, and Lapham’s Quarterly. She is the author of The Secret History of Vladimir Nabokov (2013) and One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps (2017). (June 2019)
President Trump and senior White House adviser Stephen Miller appear to have purged the Department of Homeland Security of most internal opposition to their anti-immigrant policies. In doing so, that have removed even those sympathetic to the general approach taken by the White House, such as former chief of staff John Kelly and former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, in order to escalate the militarization of the border and expand irregular detention in more systematic and punitive ways. This kind of power struggle or purge in the early years of a camp system is typical. Once there are concentration camps, it is always probable that things will get worse.