By Eric London and Niles Niemuth in the USA:
Immigration raids strike Detroit: Dozens rounded up for deportation to Iraq war zone
13 June 2017
In a series of raids Sunday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested as many as 100 Iraqi immigrants in the Detroit metro area, including Muslims and many Chaldean Catholics, some of whom were reportedly captured while leaving church services.
Family members of the arrestees told the World Socialist Web Site that the detainees were sent to a for-profit prison four hours away near Youngstown, Ohio, from where they face immediate risk of deportation to Iraq.
Protesters held a demonstration at the Mother of God Catholic Church in Southfield yesterday, where friends and family of the arrestees wept and screamed denunciations of Trump and immigration officials.
Relatives say that deportation will be a “death sentence” due to the ongoing war and sectarian strife that has enveloped Iraq since the US invasion of 2003. While ICE claims they are only deporting dangerous criminals, relatives say some of the arrestees were convicted for crimes as minor as marijuana possession and that many of the convictions are decades old.
The decision by the Trump administration to deport refugees to Iraq explodes the claims that the US wars in Iraq and Syria are “humanitarian” interventions aimed at protecting the population. In violation of international law, the US government is sending the arrestees into an active warzone in a region that it continues to bomb. Iraq has been laid to waste by 25 years of permanent US-led war. The death toll is in the millions.
As the ICE raids were taking place Sunday, the Department of Defense issued a press release announcing that the US military launched seven air strikes in Iraq, hitting Bayji, Kisik, Mosul, and Tal Afar in recent days.
Family members were informed that their relatives could be sent to the Iraqi city of Erbil, located less than two hours by car from Mosul, a city under active siege where the US has killed thousands of civilians and where the US-backed invasion force has been accused of using the chemical white phosphorous against the population.
Mosul, which has been largely demolished by the US siege, is the seat of a leading Chaldean Catholic Church diocese and the home of ethnic Chaldeans, an Assyrian population whose roots in Iraq date back over 5,500 years.
Although the Chaldean minority in Iraq was not targeted by the secular regime of Saddam Hussein, persecution grew after the Persian Gulf War of 1990-91 as the US stoked sectarian conflict in the country’s northern Kurdish region in an effort to destabilize the Ba’athist government.
Conditions drastically worsened after the US invasion, which fueled sectarian warfare as the US military mobilized Shi’ite forces against insurgents in the majority Sunni areas, and both Islamic factions persecuted religious minorities like Yazidis and Chaldeans. Over 80 Chaldean churches have been bombed since the US occupation began.
Since the 2003 US invasion, Iraq’s total Christian population has fallen from 1.5 million to 400,000 due to death and emigration. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians fled to Syria after the US invasion, only to now find themselves trapped in the conflict raging there.
In order to stoke civil war and force the ouster of Bashar al-Assad in neighboring Syria, the US has backed an opposition dominated by Syria’s Al Qaeda affiliate, the Al Nusra Front, which has also carried out atrocities against Chaldeans in both Syria and Iraq. Al Qaeda is believed to be responsible for the 2008 assassination of Mosul’s Chaldean Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahno.
In the last three years, ISIS has routinely destroyed Chaldean churches, killed religious officials, and desecrated ancient ruins. The Islamist group developed in Iraq and emerged in Syria under conditions where the US’s deliberate policy was to fuel violent religious conflict. In Iraq, the purpose is to keep the population divided and more easily dominated by Washington. In Syria, the aim is to bring down Assad.
Sunday’s round-up is the product of a deal made in March by the Trump administration with the Iraqi government that removed the country from the administration’s revised executive order barring travel from seven predominantly-Muslim nations. Under the terms of the deal, Iraq agreed to take deportees from the US, something the country has not done for years.
Many Chaldeans at Monday’s demonstration told the WSWS they voted for Trump because he claimed he would protect Christians in Iraq and Syria. An older Chaldean man whose brother was arrested said, “I voted for Trump, it’s not fair. This is our home, where are we to go in Iraq? We have no country, that’s why we came to America!”
Steve, another Chaldean protester whose brother was arrested, said, “Trump lied, he said he would go after people without legal papers, but everyone they arrested had papers. My brother went in for a regular check-up with immigration authorities, and he got picked up at home one week later. If they took your brother, father, sister, or mother, how would you feel? What would you do?”
Scenes like the one that played out in a church parking lot in Michigan on Monday afternoon are becoming increasingly common in the US. In the first three months following his inauguration, Trump’s administration arrested over 40,000 immigrants, an escalation from the already high numbers deported under Barack Obama.
Across the country, parents of all backgrounds are being torn from their children and from one another. Many, including those from the Middle East, Central America and Southeast Asia, will be sent back to impoverished disaster zones suffering from the impact of US imperialist intervention.
The number of lives shattered by these policies is in the tens of millions, and yet there is near total silence from the Democratic Party on Trump’s mass deportation program.
Instead, the Democratic Party is throwing its entire political energy behind advancing unsubstantiated neo-McCarthyite claims that Trump is an agent of Russia, amplified by highly publicized Senate hearings.
But the Democrats’ attempt to whip up public hysteria over “foreign meddling” may exacerbate xenophobic confusion, further poisoning the political climate and creating conditions in which “foreigners” and immigrants may find themselves the victims of physical attacks. The Democrats’ anti-Russian campaign is providing right-wing paramilitary groups and the Bannon-Miller faction of the Trump White House with a springboard to direct social anger against immigrants.
If public hearings were held on Trump’s deportation program, facts would emerge that would shock tens of millions and educate them on the horrific conditions immigrants face.
For example, the government is setting up a network of camps to house hundreds of thousands of immigrants, including those who have committed no crimes. The government has considered mobilizing 100,000 National Guard troops across 11 western and southwestern states to incarcerate millions of immigrants. ICE and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are filled with thousands of fascistic officers who describe beating and arresting immigrants as “fun”. Violations of immigrants’ due process rights are so routine they are treated as par for the course by immigration attorneys and judges.
The Democrats have not and will not demand hearings to investigate these widespread violations of democratic rights … The task of bringing the Trump administration to justice for the attacks on immigrants therefore falls to the working class.
The deportation of roughly 200 Iraqi nationals, predominantly Chaldeans, in the Detroit area was halted Monday when the Eastern Michigan District Court expanded a Detroit area stay to affect detained Iraqi immigrants nationwide. However, without a further decision deportations will resume on July 6: here.
The number of Christian refugees admitted to the U.S. has fallen by more than 40 percent under the Trump administration.
A federal judge in Detroit, Michigan has halted the deportation of more than 1,400 Iraqi immigrants who were slated for immediate deportation. The ruling came Monday as US District Judge Mark Goldsmith granted a preliminary injunction request by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to block the deportation of any Iraqi citizen who is under a final removal order: here.
US-backed Iraqi forces began their siege of Mosul eight months ago. Since then, thousands of Iraqi civilians have died under US bombs, rockets and shells: here.
Not one Democratic senator sought to question Sessions about the actual policies of the Trump administration toward immigrants or victims of police violence: here.
VERSION OF TRAVEL BAN GOES INTO EFFECT “The Supreme Court has agreed to review President Donald Trump’s travel ban in October, allowing a limited version of the order to go into effect in the meantime. Individuals from the six Muslim-majority countries affected by the ban ― Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen ― who have a bona fide relationship with the United States aren’t blocked from entering the country.” [HuffPost]
The Trump administration is preparing to step up its attacks on immigrant workers, drafting new guidelines under which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would authorize “expedited removals” of hundreds of thousands of undocumented workers without any court proceedings: here.
As President Donald Trump boasted of “American pride and prestige” in a speech to sailors in Virginia on Saturday, an American nightmare was playing out in San Antonio, Texas. Nine immigrants are dead and 19 are in critical condition after being locked in a sealed semitruck trailer for 24 hours. The trailer was parked in the sun in a Wal-Mart parking lot in 100-degree weather: here.
TRUMP BACKS BILL TO DRAMATICALLY SLASH IMMIGRATION President Donald Trump said he supports a Senate bill that would slash the number of legal immigrants in half — including a dramatic cut to the number of refugees the U.S. accepts each year. [HuffPost]
GIVE ME YOUR… OH, NEVER MIND White House aide Stephen Miller argued Wednesday that “The New Colossus” — the famous poem inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty — has no relevance to how the U.S. has typically thought about immigration because it was added after the statue was erected. [HuffPost]
BORDER PATROL TOLD NOT TO TALK TO MEMBERS, LAWYERS, PRESS Documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request show that high-level Homeland Security officials directed their staff at airports around the country not to talk to congressional representatives, or lawyers, or the press in the hours following the implementation of Trump administration’s travel ban. [Daily Beast]
A FLORIDA DMV IS TURNING AWAY LEGAL IMMIGRANTS The office says they have too many customers and their parking lot is too full, so they can no longer help people who aren’t U.S. citizens. [HuffPost]
ICE agents have shown up at California labor dispute cases looking to apprehend undocumented construction workers who brought claims against their bosses: here.
Having already capped the number of refugees to be admitted to the United States at 50,000—less than half the previous quota—the Trump administration is preparing to slash the number even further as part of its “America First” program promoting right-wing nationalism and xenophobia: here.
TWO WOMEN SAY THEY HAVE LOST PREGNANCIES IN IMMIGRANT DETENTION SINCE JULY “Raising concerns among lawyers and immigrant rights groups that the Trump administration is detaining pregnant women is greater numbers, putting the health of women and the babies they’re carrying at risk in the process.” [HuffPost]
ICE ARRESTS NEARLY 500 IN CRACKDOWN ON SANCTUARY CITIES “In President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office, ICE arrested nearly 40 percent more people than it had during the same period the previous year.” [HuffPost]
On December 8, National Public Radio (NPR) ran an episode of This American Life titled “Our Town,” which legitimized workplace raids against immigrants and justified tougher sanctions for employing undocumented workers: here.
A crime against humanity. US to deport 262,000 Salvadoran immigrants: here.
Pingback: Trump’s air force kills ISIS’ prisoners | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Tell Senate Democrats: Block Republican attacks on immigrants
The petition to Senate Democrats reads:
“Do everything in your power to resist and obstruct Donald Trump’s and Republicans’ anti-immigrant agenda. Block all legislation that would criminalize immigrants and ramp-up deportations.”
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
Block Trump’s war on immigrants
Donald Trump’s war on immigrants is getting worse. His rogue deportation force is terrorizing immigrants and ripping families and communities apart across the nation. Now, Republicans in Congress are ramping up their party’s racist agenda by introducing cruel and callous bills that would harm thousands of immigrant families, legalize racial profiling, make mass deportations a reality and waste millions of taxpayer dollars.
Months ago, Republicans caved to massive grassroots-fueled pressure from Senate Democrats by taking out funding for Trump’s southern border wall and the expansion of his deportation force from a must-pass government funding bill. Now, both are back in Trump’s proposed 2018 budget, and we need Senate Democrats to fight back again.1
We cannot afford for any members of the Senate Democratic caucus to be hesitant about protecting immigrants or standing up to Trump’s hate. Speak out now to make sure they do their jobs and obstruct Republicans’ anti-immigrant attacks with everything they’ve got.
Tell Senate Democrats: Do everything in your power to block Trump’s war on immigrants. Click here to sign the petition.
Right-wing Republicans in the House have introduced cruel and reckless policies that would put the lives of thousands of immigrants and refugees at risk. These bills would give the federal government the power to:2,3,4
Expand and militarize Trump’s terrifying deportation army and lower standards for the agents Customs and Border Patrol hires.5
Force local law enforcement to aid in deportations and detain immigrants in local jails.
Prosecute and fine cities and counties that refuse to enforce immigration laws.
Prosecute and fine undocumented immigrants and make it more difficult for them to access health care and social services.6
Weaken immigration detention center standards and lock up more immigrants, exacerbating already overcrowded detention centers.
End extensions of Temporary Protected Status and deny visas and citizenship to refugees and other victims of violence.
We cannot allow Republicans to continue to attack immigrants.
Tell Senate Democrats: Do everything in your power to block Trump’s war on immigrants. Click here to sign the petition.
Since Trump signed his anti-immigrant executive orders early this year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have hunted down and arrested immigrants at their children’s schools, in courthouses and in front of places of worship. Immigrant children and their families are living in fear. And recently, Trump’s Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan publicly threatened immigrants saying that they “should be afraid.”7
Republicans have proved time and time again that they will stop at nothing to advance their heartless agenda. Congressional Republicans are trying to gut our health care and social safety net, destroy the Environmental Protection Agency and undermine civil rights protections for women, people of color and LGBTQ people. Senate Democrats should not give Republicans an inch on their regressive immigration reforms or any part of their hateful agenda.
It is clear that extremist Republicans will not give up their war on immigrants. It is also clear that if we want Democrats and Republicans of good conscience to block their attacks, we must speak out louder than ever and keep the pressure on. Add your name now.
Tell Senate Democrats: Do everything in your power to block Trump’s war on immigrants. Click the link below to sign the petition.
Thank you for all you do,
Nicole Regalado, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Ron Nixon, “Trump Budget Takes Broad Aim at Undocumented Immigrants,” The New York Times, May 25, 2017.
Rep. Raul Labrador, “H.R.2431 – Michael Davis, Jr. and Danny Oliver in Honor of State and Local Law Enforcement Act,” introduced May 16, 2017.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte, “H.R.2406 – Immigration and Customs Enforcement Authorization Act of 2017,” introduced May 11, 2017.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte, “H.R.2407 – United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Authorization Act,” introduced May 11, 2017.
Rafael Carranza, “Bill to drop polygraph test for some Border Patrol applicants advances,” The Arizona Republic, May 18, 2017.
Cristina Marcos, “House votes to bar undocumented immigrants from healthcare tax credits,” The Hill, June 13, 2017.
Tal Kopan, “ICE director: Undocumented immigrants should be afraid,’” CNN, June 16, 2017.
Pingback: G20 summit in police state Hamburg, Germany | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: Donald Trump’s, Tony Blair’s private prisons | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: Donald Trump using homophobia for autocracy | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: Donald Trump appeals to the extreme right | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: Islamophobic bomb attack on United States mosque | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: Charlottesville, USA murderous nazism, Donald Trump, many protests | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: Donald Trump’s defense of racists, reactions to it, Bannon out | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: North Carolina, USA persecution for anti-racism | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: Trump pardons racist Arizona sheriff Arpaio | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: United States police kill LGBTQ student activist | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: Kill anti-racist American footballers, Trump’s religious adviser suggests | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: Donald Trump’s war on American football, why? | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: Trump administration attacks United States civil liberties | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant policies | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: Extreme right in Austrian government, British comment | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: Donald Trump, a dangerous warmonger | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: Child, LGBTQ refugees deported to Afghan, Ukrainian war zones | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: More refugees, less admitted to the USA | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: Donald Trump, Stephen Bannon quarrel about new book | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: Trump Tower on fire, no to President Pence | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: Anne Frank inspiration to help African refugees in Israel | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: Israeli pilots refuse deporting refugees to torture | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: Donald Trump attacks solar energy, washing machines | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: Donald Trump’s new attack on immigrants | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: United States Nunes memo, Russia-bashing distraction from war danger, inequality | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: Stop Trump’s militarist parade plan, petition | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: Sudanese tortured refugee arrested in the USA | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: Trump’s deportations damage children | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: Trump deports Somali war refugees in torture flight | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: US Republican politician’s xenophobic ‘hate bus’ | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: Persecution of refugees in France | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: Jordanian prime minister gone, absolute monarchy still there | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: Donald Trump’s anti-human rights nightmare update | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: Swedish airline passenger stops deportation of Afghan refugee | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: Italian far-right government deports refugees from hospitable village | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: Trump-United States judiciary conflict | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: United States federal workers victims of government shutdown | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: Not even Nielsen anti-immigrant enough for Trump | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: Refugee deported to his death in Iraq | Dear Kitty. Some blog
Pingback: German mayor driven away by anti-refugee racists | Dear Kitty. Some blog