This is an abridged version. To read the full article, click here.
by Bill Gallegos
Over the last several weeks, the Trump Administration has ramped up its ethnic cleansing campaign aimed at the forced removal of more than 11 million undocumented workers in the US. While the overwhelming majority of this population is Mexican@, it also includes significant numbers of Centro American@s, Asian, and African peoples. It even includes about 500,000 undocumented European immigrants.
But what especially outraged the souls of most people in the US and the world is the humanitarian crisis caused by the kidnapping and incarceration of 3000 children from Latin@ families seeking refugee asylum, fleeing the danger of criminal violence or domestic violence. Jeff Sessions, the outrageously racist US Attorney General, has instructed the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to no longer honor asylum requests based on such violence.
With no planning, children ended up in holding centers on the other side of the country sometimes in dog-kennel like facilities, where no one spoke their language (many spoke indigenous languages) or, in the case of babies, they could not speak at all, only cry. There was no plan as to how to rematch these children with parents after the indefinite incarceration period, as if that was not important.
After several months of separation, a federal court ordered the Administration to restore the children to their families post haste. But even after the July 10 deadline for children under five, many are still misplaced, or their parents already deported. Trump’s avowed aim with this cruel policy was to discourage Latin@s from seeking refuge in the US. This is state political terror: threatening to harm a child if the adult does not cooperate.
This is state political terror: threatening to harm a child if the adult does not cooperate.
The imprisoned children are held hostage to Trump’s demands for a border wall, greater militarization of the border, and massive reduction of legal immigration. The Party of Christian and “family values,” like the slave owners of the past, do not believe non-white families are fully human.
These horrendous violations of human rights have inspired broad and sustained resistance throughout the US., spearheaded by Chican@-Mexican@s and Latin@s, but including a broad cross-section of the US population, from Black Lives Matter, to elected officials, to media personalities, to labor unions, Indigenous networks, and even the Prime Minister of Canada, who has said that Canada would accept these refugees.
Literally thousands of resistance actions have taken place throughout the US since the kidnapping began.
But while this is just the most egregious of immigration policies, and while xenophobia has found open expression and action in Trump’s administration, the detention and deportation of immigrants, often causing family separation, is not new. The Left must fight for an end not just to kidnapping of children, but all of the injustices embedded in our immigration and refugee policies. At bottom, it is a fight against hatred, fear, and selfishness. We will win through unity, courage, and acting on our knowledge that an injury to one is an injury to all.
We will win through unity, courage, and acting on our knowledge that an injury to one is an injury to all.
10 Points of Analysis
To read the 10 point analysis in its entirety, click here.
- White supremacy is “in,” vociferous, open, encouraged, rewarded.
- The Black Freedom Movement is still the primary target of Trump and the Right, but the Chican@-Mexican@ fight for immigrant rights is an important target as well.
- There was a time when the Republican Right made some efforts to divide Black and Brown communities, conducting outreach programs and lauding Latin@s for “family values” and their “work ethic” (as contrasted with a Black community that they believed lacked such values). Ultimately however these efforts were unsuccessful as a more openly racist wing gained control of the Republican Party and began a campaign of demonization and repression against Chican@s and Latin@s.
- Mexican immigration to the US has been motivated mostly by US economic domination of Mexico, which has contributed to that nation’s massive poverty.
- The US shares a 2000-mile border with Mexico, the most important nation in the US “backyard” because of proximity, Mexico’s enormous oil and gas reserves, massive US investments there, and the linkages that exist between Chican@-Mexican@s in the US and those in Mexico.
- Immigration from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras can be directly linked to US support in the 1980’s for right wing governments, the military, and right wing death squads in those countries.
- Drug trafficking and gang violence is claimed by Trump to be one of the main reasons for the crackdown. In Mexico, the drug wars have wreaked terrible carnage, and this is a major issue for the Mexican people. Contrary to Trump’s assertions, Mexico and the U.S. have long cooperated in stemming the tide.
- Jeff Sessions whining about the danger of “open borders” is totally bogus. The US-Mexico border was drawn in blood after the United States invaded Mexico in the 1840’s and stole its Northern territories, including the modern-day US Southwest and California.
- US capitalism is a white racist capitalism rooted in a history of genocide, enslavement, annexation, and colonization.
- A system of white privilege has helped the US ruling elite to secure the support of a broad section of the white population.
Ten Point Program of Resistance
To read the 10 point program of resistance in its entirety, click here.
1. Internationalism must be our strategy. Chican@ -Mexican@ organizations and activists and the Left must build ties with social movements in Mexico as a key element of strategy for freedom and self-determination for Chican@s-Mexican@s in the US, as well as to support the movement for genuine independence and social change in Mexico.
2. Workers (of the world) Unite! Ethnic cleansing is a workers issue. The labor movement can –indeed it has to—play an active and aggressive role in the immigration fight.
3. Build Black-Brown unity. Separating families has consistently been white supremacist U.S. policy: Native Americans (forcible removal of children to schools designed to knock the Indian out of them), African Americans (selling husband, wives, and children separately), Asians (in some cases putting just the fathers in the internment camps during WWII) and Latin@s as we are now witnessing in horror.
4. Build unity on the Left. Left and socialist organizations should be finding more ways to unite against the Trump ethnic cleansing campaign.
5. Build a united front NOW against the extremist New-Confederate Right, which is constructing a dangerous path to fascism.
6. An immediate end to the policy of arresting and criminalizing asylum applicants and incarcerating their children.
7. Abolish ICE. It is the modern-day Gestapo and should be immediately closed down.
8. Immediate and unconditional residency for all DREAMERS, and a simple path to citizenship.
9. Just and democratic immigration policies. Immigrants usually leave home due to US military, economic, and political policies; we on the Left say they should therefore be granted full legal, civil, and labor rights.
10. Hands off Mexico. Trump and company want to make NAFTA worse?! US bilateral relations with Mexico must be based on respect for Mexico’s sovereignty, genuine mutual trade reciprocity, and an end to the War on Drugs which has contributed significantly to the rise of the narco-cartels in Mexico.
The ultimate goal of Trump and his New-Confederate supporters is to institutionalize an apartheid system in the United States.
We already have a highly racially oppressive and unequal society. But we do not have apartheid, a racially based system where a white minority exercises political, economic, and cultural dominance over a non-white majority population. We will inevitably become a majority people of color nation, and that’s when apartheid could be fully institutionalized. The white supremacists in power are preparing for that day.
But as people of color become a majority, we are going to be a very angry majority. A majority situated strategically economically and politically. A majority with immense potential networks in the global South. A majority with vast experience of struggle in virtually all arenas. Unless the ruling class completely abandons all pretense of democratic governance, for example outlawing elections, the electoral arena will become an even more highly contested arena of struggle.
The choice between barbarism and socialism is more clear than ever, as barbarism is the order of the day particularly for Blacks and Browns. For all who love peace and believe in human dignity, the time is now.