Obama to Central American Children:
Go Straight to Hell!

May 23, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


On May 12, the Obama administration’s Homeland Security “enforcers,” Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), made public that it has directed its field offices nationwide to launch a 30-day “surge” of arrests targeting for immediate deportation Central American mothers and children who have been denied the right to asylum—despite their legitimate fear for their lives if forced to return to the conditions of extreme violence and economic crisis that made them risk the perilous journey to get here. This “surge” will also target children who arrived at the border all alone who have since turned 18—those whose lives are most at risk if forced to return.

Bob Avakian, "Why do people come here from all over the world?"

Clip from Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About, a film of a talk by Bob Avakian given in 2003.
Learn more about Bob Avakian here.

Across the country a new terror now faces thousands of refugees—Homeland Security police—searching them out, knocking on doors, armed men storming into homes and dragging women and children out in handcuffs, putting them on planes and sending them back to the very countries they fled to survive. When this campaign was first tested over a single weekend at the start of the year, in three Southern states, 121 people were rounded up. These raids will likely capture thousands, while millions will be terrorized.

The depravity and utter hypocrisy of what the rulers of this country are carrying out with these raids is obscene.

Denying Legitimate Asylum Claims, Knowing It Can Be a Death Sentence

It is not a crime according to international law for refugees to come to the border seeking asylum. Yet when they approach the U.S. Border Patrol, these women and children are treated as criminals—handcuffed and hustled off to detention camps so inhumane they have caused an international scandal, and held there for months.

When represented by an attorney, the great majority (over 80 percent) of the Central American women and children who began arriving by the tens of thousands in 2014 have had their asylum claims granted. But for these refugees there is no “right” to an attorney, so many have their cases heard with inadequate or no legal representation at all. Now a senior Justice Department official has argued that children are capable of representing themselves as well, so their hearings can be held without an attorney to represent them. And it is also widely known that legitimate asylum claims are often denied to people who never received notification that their hearing was taking place.

Above: Immigrant children, who were stopped while trying to cross the border, seen here sleeping on the floor of a holding cell in Brownsville, Texas, June 2014. Photo: AP

At the same time, the Obama administration is carrying out this “surge” knowing full well that the consequences of denying asylum to many of these refugees will be a death sentence. The Guardian reported in November 2015 that at least 83 people had been murdered since 2014 after being forced to return to the countries they fled—and immigration experts say this is only the tip of the iceberg.

For these bloodless ghouls, the deaths are more than collateral damage; they are a part of the message these raids are intended to deliver. ICE officials have stated they are trying to publicize to people throughout the region who hope to find a way out of the inferno by getting to this country, “Don’t even try—you cannot succeed.” “Even if you survive the desperate journey, this country will only send you back.”

This is how the self-proclaimed great defender of human rights “solves the refugee crisis”! It is without exaggeration, as we wrote in January, “like some monster forcing people back into a burning building. And in this case, it is the same monster—U.S. imperialism—that set the building on fire.”

The Bloody Hand of the U.S. in Central America Has Created This “Refugee Crisis”

“The same monster—U.S. imperialism—has set the building on fire.” The crimes of this system, committed over decades of political, military, and economic domination, have created the present desperate conditions in countries like Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, and led to the growing humanitarian crisis on the border. During the 1980s, genocidal campaigns were funded, waged, and led directly by the U.S. and their flunky governments that slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people, aimed at crushing rebellions influenced by the U.S.’s imperialist rival, the Soviet Union. Their economies were devastated by the “free trade” agreement imposed a decade ago, and gangs have filled the economic void, creating vast areas run by gangs and police under their influence. These countries now have world-record levels of murder and violence.

Again, as we wrote in January:

Everyone of any nationality and in whatever situation should stand with them. It is time and past time for growing numbers of people in this country to defend and welcome these refugees, to fiercely condemn, oppose and resist the criminal barbarity of forcing children to their deaths, and to do all this as part of preparing to get rid of this monstrous system that can only heap more and more suffering on people here and around the world.


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