Posted June 28, 2018
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THE TRUMP REGIME’S “no tolerance” separation of refugee families at the U.S. border was a designed and calculated show of sadistic cruelty to appeal to the most racist sectors of Trump’s voting base. Instead, it has horrified the country and the world—leading to a mass outpouring of protests and direct action to protect the refugees and their families.
Every day brings new atrocities. It goes even beyond the horror of young children in cages screaming for their parents. Jeff Sessions announcing that violent domestic abuse isn’t grounds for asylum. ICE grabbing longtime legal residents over misdemeanor cases from decades ago. A million “Dreamers” held political hostages for Trump’s vanity Border Wall. People deported without their children. Now, the Supreme Court’s green light to Trump’s Muslim travel ban is an ominous signal of more obscenities to come.
At this critical moment, we need to remember that the brutal treatment of undocumented immigrants and asylum-seeking refugees did not begin with Donald Trump and his gang. It is a part of a hemispheric and global crisis caused, above all, by imperialism—the economic, political and military domination of small nations by great powers and multinational capital.
- What drives “illegal” migration from Mexico? The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) destroyed Mexico’s farmers, who cannot compete with subsidized U.S. agricultural exports. Whole Mexican villages have hollowed out as working-age people come desperately seeking work in U.S. fields, packing houses or any other possible employment. Let them in! To make matters worse, the United States’ insane “war on drugs” has fueled the rise of murderous drug cartels that terrorize much of the countryside, and have killed more than 100 Mexican journalists and political candidates in this year’s election campaign.
- What about Central America? What about those gangs that Trump is always railing about? In the 1980s, the United States sponsored genocidal “counterinsurgency” wars against popular and indigenous uprisings in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, and the infamous “contra” war in Nicaragua. Young Salvadorans who fled to the United States were targeted by gangs in U.S. cities, and responded by forming their own – and took them back home when they were deported. That’s how the MS-13 gang started in Los Angeles and became entrenched in both countries. It’s a product of our counterrevolutionary and drug wars.
- U.S. aid and intervention salvaged the position of rich landowners and capitalists
and left ordinary people impoverished. In Honduras a coup in 2009, welcomed by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, returned that country to the rule of death squads and drug cartels. When the Honduran people recently tried to vote the coup-installed regime out of power, the election was blatantly stolen with the Trump administration’s approval. Both in Honduras and El Salvador, gangs routinely kidnap and murder young people who refuse to join. It’s U.S. policies that force thousands of families to send their kids on a journey through hell, risking everything from sexual predation to death in the desert, to get asylum in the United States. Let them in!
- To make things even worse, Trump has cancelled Temporary Protected Status for refugees from Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Sudan – some of whom have lived here for many years. Let them stay!
- Right now, people seeking to enter the United States legally in order to seek asylum have been refused entry – but if they turn back into Mexico, they will be kidnapped and held for ransom by gangs to extort money from their relatives living here. Let them in now!
With Trump’s Muslim ban and his latest call for people to be expelled with no court proceedings at all, there’s not only a humanitarian crisis at the U.S. border, but an emergency threat to basic democratic rights inside this country. Fighting to allow refugees to enter and stay here is not about “charity” – it’s about recognizing that the desperate conditions they are fleeing are primarily of U.S. capital’s making.
Right now, we need to abolish ICE and say “no tolerance” to Trump’s brutality. To get to the roots of the crisis, we need what Martin Luther King called “a true revolution of values” and a struggle to end imperialism forever.
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