Trump Regime Ramps Up Ethnic Cleansing
Dreamers, All Immigrants In Peril
Cast Away Illusions – It's Time to ACT

March 5, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


Last week the U.S. Supreme Court announced it was making no decision on Trump’s right to kill DACA. Instead the court will wait for the federal appeals court in California to rule on the legal challenge to the way Trump ended DACA. (DACA is a program for undocumented youth brought to this country as children. It provides temporary protection from deportation, enables them to get a Social Security card, apply for a job with benefits, and attend school, renewable every two years.)

Let's be clear: There has been no reprieve for the DACA youth. While the nearly 700,000 Dreamers already enrolled in DACA will be able to continue, and renew, their status for now, their lives and their futures are still hanging by a thread, they are still being tortured, together with their families, while they await a court decision that either ends DACA directly, or puts them back in the crosshairs of this vicious fascist regime and their cronies in Congress. That means these Dreamers are in the same situation they have been in—but worse—since DACA could be terminated without warning, making these Dreamers immediately deportable. There are another 1.1 million Dreamers who are eligible for DACA but did not apply. These youth right now face arrest, detention and deportation.

Supreme Court Allows Indefinite Detention for Immigrants

One day later the Supreme Court ruled in favor of allowing immigration authorities to continue imprisoning thousands and thousands of immigrants indefinitely—for months, or even years—while they await their deportation hearing, including those who entered the country legally or came seeking asylum. The right-wing majority on the Supreme Court argued the immigration laws themselves don't require a bail hearing regardless of how long the person has been held. Since slavery(!), indefinite detention has been completely unconstitutional. But the majority refused to agree that immigrants are “protected” by the Constitution, and sent the case back to the lower court to reconsider. The ACLU denounced the decision as cruel and unconstitutional. “The Trump administration is trying to expand immigration detention to record-breaking levels as part of its crackdown on immigrant communities.”

The practice of indefinite detention began in the late 1990s under Bill Clinton; but it is now taking place in a whole different context, as the spear point of the fascist remaking of society. The Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations viciously used deportations and the militarization of the border (which in fact resulted in hundreds of deaths a year) as part of a policy that “regulated” immigration. The masses of immigrants were kept in the shadows, but with a hope for carving out some stability and achieving legal status and some basic rights, in the context of being an oppressed group in the U.S. NOW, however, similar and intensified measures form part of an overall fascist offensive and a program of “ethnic cleansing”—directed in particular against immigrants from Africa, Latin America and Asia. As Bob Avakian pointed to in his recent talk, this is “a regime that boasts of all this and declares its intentions do even worse.”

“State-Sponsored Traumatization”

This decision goes hand-in-hand with Homeland Security’s new official policy of detaining asylum-seekers and their children separately while they await their hearings. This act of inhumanity is aimed at forcing asylum-seekers to give up and leave the country. That becomes the only way to reunite families, regardless of the U.S.-created horror they may face in their countries when they return. And it is a message to desperate asylum-seekers—don’t even try to come here.

In an op-ed piece in the New York Times—“The Cruel Ploy of Taking Immigrant Kids From Their Parents”—the three authors, who witnessed the consequences in a McAllen, Texas, processing center, expressed their utter outrage at what ICE is doing: “It is … despicable that the government would use children as bargaining chips. This policy is tantamount to state-sponsored traumatization.” The children they were working with called the processing centers “iceboxes” and “dog kennels.” One child said “I was wet from crossing the river and it was so cold I thought I would die.” Imagine being a small child, fleeing in terror and hunger from your homeland, only to be separated from your parents and locked in freezing prisons with the lights on for 24 hours, with no understanding of what happened to your parents or what will happen to you. And yet, until this op-ed, hardly anyone even knew of this!

In January, an “Urgent Appeal” signed by 34 national and over 80 state and local organizations—all experts in child welfare, juvenile justice and child development—called on Homeland Security to halt their plans. Their statement said “these actions will have significant and long-lasting consequences for the safety, health, development, and well-being of children.” And one of the organizations told DHS that “Family unity is a foundational principle of child welfare law.”

Accelerating the Most Vicious Attacks on Every Front

At the same time the Trump/Pence regime is accelerating and broadening the most vicious, inhuman attacks against millions of immigrants on every front:

  • The regime has ripped the Temporary Protected Status from at least 250,000 immigrants who came here from El Salvador, Haiti, and Nicaragua because of hurricanes and earthquakes that devastated their countries. The Trump/Pence regime has decided they must go.
  • The acting director of ICE—Thomas Homan—told Fox News January 2 he intended to use ICE against California because it has been declared a “sanctuary state:”* “California better hold on tight. They’re about to see a lot more special agents, a lot more deportation orders. I’m going to significantly increase our enforcement presence in California.” And Homan continued: “For these sanctuary cities that knowingly shield and harbor an illegal alien, that is, in my opinion, a violation of 8 U.S.C. 1324, an alien-smuggling statute. We’ve got to take [sanctuary cities] to court, and we’ve got to start charging some of these politicians with crimes.”
  • Targeted raids began only weeks later; 212 people were arrested in the L.A. Area, and another 150 in Northern California and California's Central Valley. When Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf made a public announcement alerting people that ICE raids were imminent, Homan denounced her in the strongest terms, calling her the equivalent of a “gang lookout,” and claimed she let hundreds of “criminal aliens” escape ICE’s net. (See “SF Bay Area: 150 Immigrants Rounded Up in Fascist ICE Raids”) Now the Department of Justice is reportedly considering filing obstruction-of-justice charges against the mayor. This marks a serious escalation in the threats being leveled by the Trump/Pence regime against any opposition coming from Democratic political opponents and elected officials. The intention is to steamroller their program through, and to silence ALL opposition to their goal of consolidating fascism.
  • At the same time the biggest enforcement actions in years were taken against businesses throughout the state. At least 200 businesses received “notices of inspection,” giving them 72 hours to produce proof that every one of their employees is working there legally, or face fines or criminal charges. Word that ICE is returning to the practice of targeting employers is sending chills through immigrant communities, raising the specter for hundreds of thousands of immigrant workers of being unable to support their families and maintain their lives at even the most minimal level—or risk being arrested and deported every time they work.
  • Ten agribusinesses in California's San Joaquin Valley also received notices of inspection, creating a “chilling, damaging effect” on the agricultural workers, and on the businesses. California agribusiness, worth $47 billion last year, relies heavily on exploiting the labor of undocumented immigrants. These actions by ICE are a warning that the Trump/Pence regime is willing to disrupt, if not create a crisis for, a significant part of California’s economy, with the aim of forcing the state to reverse its policy on sanctuary.
  • The Trump/Pence regime has singled out for arrest and deportation many immigrant leaders of the growing movement that is determined to stand in the way of the regime’s assault on immigrants. This includes the arrest of nine members of “No More Deaths”—now facing federal charges for the 'crime' of putting water out in the sweltering heat of the Arizona desert to save border-crossers from death. The arrests came only hours after the release of the group's latest report—“Interference with Humanitarian Aid”—which documents, with video, the Border Patrol's systematic destruction of thousands of potentially life-saving bottles of water out in the desert. Their previous report revealed that the Border Patrol’s practice of “Chase and Scatter” is intentionally designed to ‘disappear’ border-crossers by driving them into the most dangerous sections of the Arizona border region, knowing that they will die there. The No More Deaths report says “We assert that the known disappearance of thousands of people in the remote wilderness of the U.S.-Mexico border zone marks one of the greatest historical crimes of our day.”

A Leap in the Nazification of Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric

All of these hideous crimes, and many more, are being justified by a relentless ideological assault aimed at “educating American citizens” to the threat that these “criminal aliens” represent to their lives, and to their “way of life.” Trump gave a speech in February seen by millions that had the spirit of a Hitler rally. He praised the “toughness” of ICE, and bragged that they are “cracking down” on sanctuary cities—which he now calls “sanctuaries for criminals.” Chillingly, Trump never once used the word immigrant. Instead, he modeled the new terminology to fit their fascist norms, calling millions and millions of human beings “animals” and “killers,” “snakes” and “criminal aliens.” What we’re witnessing is an actual leap in the Nazification of anti-immigrant rhetoric. (See sidebar)

To consolidate their fascist, white-supremacist America, the Trump/Pence regime has to teach “real” Americans to view Black and Brown immigrants as “enemies,” “undesirables,” and “dangers to society.” And to stand aside while the state's enforcers are sanctioned to do anything necessary to protect citizens from this internal menace. (See “What IS Fascism?”) The parallels to the way the Nazis “educated” Germans to view Jews as a threat to the Aryan nation, and to stand aside while Jews were persecuted and driven from Germany, with even more horrific crimes to come, are once again chilling.

Cast Away Illusions, Prepare for Struggle

Now is the time to cast away illusions:

1) These fascists are not going to “come to their senses.” Their white-supremacist war on immigrants is not going away; it’s not going to stop. It is in fact at the heart of, the linchpin and battering ram for, their whole fascist program. There is no “Making America White Again” without making life for Black, Brown and Asian immigrants in their millions a horror; and driving them out of the country.

2) The Democratic Party is not going to “rescue” anyone; they are not part of the solution—they are part of the problem. At every turn, they have betrayed the interests of the people they claim to represent—including the 1.8 million Dreamers. While the Trump/Pence regime threatens nuclear war… hastens environmental catastrophe... disgustingly degrades women... vilifies and terrorizes Black and other oppressed people and immigrants... and relentlessly attacks and mocks truth itself—the top Democratic Party leaders have watched, negotiated, and collaborated. This contributes to normalizing fascism. They’ve done nothing to mobilize resistance commensurate with what it’s going to take to stop this fascist threat.

Why? Most fundamentally because they represent the same system—a system of global exploitation. Maintaining this system, even as and even if the Trump/Pence regime consolidates fascism, is preferable to them over unleashing protest that may burst millions of people out of the “normal channels” that go nowhere. The Democratic leadership may oppose aspects of what the Trump/Pence regime is doing because of fears that some of the fascist policies could harm the interests of their system. But the Democrats fear even more the potential of the people whom they regard as “their base”—especially but not only the more oppressed sections of those who normally vote for and look to the Democrats—getting and staying in the streets in determined mass protest. The Democratic leadership fears the potential of such struggle to start a process in which people increasingly awaken to broader vistas, and in which questions of the legitimacy of the system itself can come into play.

3) The Trump/Pence regime is despised by millions and millions of people, and people have taken to the streets over and over to oppose and resist its ugly crimes. The basis exists for this to become a force that can end this nightmare—but only by confronting the seriousness of the danger these fascists represent, and on that basis breaking with illusions standing in the way of driving this regime from power.


* A “sanctuary jurisdiction” is one that limits its cooperation with the federal government effort to enforce immigration law. [back]




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