This 6 April 2019 video from the USA says about itself:
Left-Wingers Charged After Protesting Border Patrol
Two students at the University of Arizona will be charged with misdemeanors after a video showing them protesting a Customs and Border Protection event on campus went viral, UA President Robert Robbins announced Friday.
The potential charges stem from a Border Patrol presentation to a student club, the Criminal Justice Association, on campus on March 19.
Read more here.
In a vicious attack on free speech last week, three University of Arizona (UA) students were arrested and charged with criminal offenses for verbally “disrupting” a career fair featuring US Border Patrol agents: here.
By Eric London in the USA:
US Homeland Security chief forced out as anti-immigrant crackdown looms
8 April 2019
Donald Trump’s announcement last night that Kirstjen Nielsen will resign as Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary is part of a major reshuffling of the leadership of the US government’s mass deportation apparatus. Trump and his fascist advisor Stephen Miller, with the support of the tens of thousands of police and agents who comprise the American anti-immigrant Gestapo, are preparing for a major escalation of the administration’s attack on immigrant workers.
The maneuvers come in the wake of the collapse of the Democratic Party-led investigation by Robert Mueller into baseless allegations of Russian meddling in the US election. Strengthened by the investigation’s hollow findings, Trump has launched a renewed attack on immigrants in an effort to build-up his far-right base of support.
The fact that Trump considered Nielsen insufficiently tough on immigration is a dangerous indication of the administration’s plans for further mass round-ups and attacks on democratic rights.
As DHS Secretary, Nielsen oversaw the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, whereby thousands of immigrant children were separated from their parents, many permanently. Nielsen told the Senate at the time that the policy was justified because the children’s “parents chose to do that.”
Nielsen was also in charge of the administration’s violent police riot at the border between San Ysidro, California and Tijuana in November 2018, when US officials fired teargas and rubber bullets at immigrant families seeking asylum in the US. At the time, Nielsen said that the military and border patrol “have the ability of force to defend themselves” from the unarmed refugees and that “every possible action…is on the table.”
In a similar move three days ago, Trump withdrew his nomination of Ron Vitiello as head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). “Ron’s a good man, but we’re going in a tougher direction,” Trump announced on Friday. Vitiello, who was an ardent supporter of Trump’s proposal to build a wall across the US-Mexico border and called the Democrats a “liberalcratic party or NeoKlanist Party” in a 2015 Twitter post, was also deemed too “liberal” to prepare the coming anti-immigrant crackdown.
Because current CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan will now serve as acting DHS Secretary and is expected to be only a temporary placeholder, the reshuffle means the three top spots within the anti-immigrant police apparatus—CBP Commissioner, ICE Director and DHS Secretary—are now open. In addition, AP reported earlier this month that Trump is considering appointing an “Immigration Czar” to coordinate a broad, multi-agency crackdown against immigrants in the coming months.
Trump is reportedly considering former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to oversee the renewed offensive against immigrants. Both are among the most right-wing individuals to win statewide elected office in the last 50 years.
Kobach recently proposed abolishing the rights of Mexican nationals living in the US to send remittance money to their impoverished family members in Mexico. He also called for the government to indefinitely detain entire families together and to create massive amounts of immigrant detention space by purchasing “thousands of trailers and mobile homes” and “create processing centers where
you put a fence around a park or a parking lot, you park a hundred of those trailers there” and deport immigrants en masse.
Behind the resignation of Nielsen and the rescinding of Vitiello’s nomination are the machinations of Stephen Miller, who is directing a silent upsurge of brown shirt immigration officers and border patrolmen.
CNN’s Kaitlin Collins reported that Miller was personally responsible for Trump’s decision to pull Vitiello’s nomination. One unnamed administration official told the Washington Post: “Stephen wants to put Attila the Hun as Director of ICE.”
A protest letter to Trump signed by three leaders of the union representing ICE officials gives a sense of the powerful moods among rank-and-file officers for unleashing the power of state reaction against immigrants.
On March 11, the head of the National ICE Council and the leaders of Local 1210 and Local 1944 of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, addressed Trump:
“You frequently speak publicly of the great public safety work ICE is doing under your leadership. To be direct Mr. President—the rhetoric doesn’t match reality and we hope that this letter shows you the complete and total nonsense that is really taking place under the Trump Administration on the southern border…Political games in Washington, DC have rendered the United States completely incapable of controlling its southern border.”
The letter targeted two leading officials: Nielsen and Vitiello, and demanding Trump remove them from office. “ICE resources on the border are being grossly mismanaged by DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Acting ICE Director Ronald Vitiello,” the letter said. Trump’s recent maneuvers indicate that these fascistic forces have won out.
Meanwhile, Trump has made renewed vitriolic denunciations of immigrant workers in recent days. On Friday, Trump mocked asylum seekers during a visit to the US-Mexico border at Calexico, California.
“I look at some of these asylum people, they’re gang members,” he said. “They’re not afraid of anything. They have lawyers greeting them. They read what lawyers tell them to read.” Asylum is “a scam. It’s a hoax”, Trump said. On Saturday, Trump told the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas that asylum seekers housed beneath a highway overpass in El Paso, Texas resembled “UFC fighters” who fight in chain-link cages.
The vast majority of the US population opposes Trump’s attacks on immigrants. A higher number of Americans support immigration than ever before, according to a January 2019 Gallup Poll.
Sixty-two percent of Americans say immigrants strengthen the country versus just 28 percent who say immigrants take jobs and reduce living standards for US natives. In 1994, only 31 percent said immigrants had a positive impact, compared with 63 percent who said immigrants are a popular burden. Among young people, three quarters believe immigrants have a positive impact. Immigrants comprise 14 percent of the US population—some 45 million people.
The constituency for fascism upon which Trump relies comes not from the working class, but from within the state apparatus itself as the statements of ICE officials reveal.
The efforts by Trump to whip-up anti-immigrant hysteria are in no small part aimed at diverting attention from the growth of the class struggle on both sides of the US-Mexico border and blocking the growth of a unified movement of workers across the Americas. The fight against the rise of the far right must be based on mobilizing the working class on a revolutionary program in a struggle for social equality.
SEPARATION SECRETARY STEPS DOWN Kirstjen Nielsen has resigned as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security amid President Donald Trump’s growing frustration with her handling of immigration policy and clashes over child separation at the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump tweeted that Kevin McAleenan, the commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, will become acting secretary. [HuffPost]
TRUMP’S DHS PICK DEFENDED USING TEAR GAS Kevin McAleenan, Trump’s pick for acting Department of Homeland Security secretary, was a vocal defender of U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers using tear gas on migrants, including children, who attempted to approach the southern U.S. border last year. [HuffPost]
ALBENCE TAPPED TO LEAD ICE Matthew Albence has been selected the new director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a day after acting director Ronald Vitiello abruptly announced his departure. In an infamous July 2018 Senate testimony, Albence said migrant family detention centers were “more like summer camp.” [HuffPost]
This must be understood as an effort by Trump to establish personal control of all the major security forces in the US government, surrounding himself with a network of loyalists. He seeks to create a sort of praetorian guard to protect the administration, not merely from its political opponents within the ruling elite, but from an expected upsurge in social struggles from below: here.
TRUMP ITCHING TO SEPARATE MORE FAMILIES President Donald Trump has reportedly been pushing to bring back his administration’s scorned policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the southern U.S. border. One senior administration official told NBC that Trump appeared to think the policy was the best deterrent against migrants seeking to come to the U.S. [HuffPost]
“TRUMP COACHED BORDER AGENTS TO LIE” During his visit to the U.S.-Mexico border in California last week, Trump personally instructed border agents to illegally block all incoming immigrants and then lie to judges about it, CNN host Jake Tapper said on “Reliable Sources.” According to the sources, the president instructed agents to say, “Sorry, judge, I can’t do it. We don’t have the room” if judges questioned them, Tapper said. [HuffPost]
The US government is stepping up its campaign of repression and persecution of immigrants, amid press reports Wednesday that the Trump administration was pushing for a series of harsh new measures, including some form of forcible separation of asylum seekers and their children, extending the length of time that children can be detained, and denying green cards to legal immigrants who have received public assistance (defined so loosely that it includes subsidized meals for school children): here.
Armed right-wing militias have been systematically detaining asylum-seekers at gunpoint along the US-Mexico border in operations that are apparently coordinated with the federal Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agency: here.
WHITE HOUSE PRESSURED IMMIGRATION OFFICERS TO PUNISH CITIES White House officials plotted in recent months to retaliate against so-called sanctuary cities by releasing detained immigrants in their jurisdictions, The Washington Post reports. They expected the plan, which hasn’t gone into effect, to wreak havoc on cities that won’t comply with Trump’s immigration crackdown. [HuffPost]
With Trump pledging to send more US troops to the Mexican border, reports have emerged that top national security officials discussed using active duty soldiers to build and run new migrant detention camps. NBC News reported Friday that the illegal and unconstitutional proposal was discussed at a White House meeting of top national security officials Tuesday night: here.
ACLU CONDEMNS BORDER ‘VIGILANTES’ The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico on Thursday called for state authorities to investigate a small group of armed U.S. citizens allegedly illegally detaining migrants entering the U.S.. The United Constitutional Patriots, who claim to be mainly military veterans, have been patrolling in search of illegal crossings. [Reuters]
The US military is preparing to approve a new request from the Department of Homeland Security that will loosen rules that bar troops from interacting with migrants crossing the border with Mexico: here.
A Massachusetts judge and a former court officer are being charged by federal authorities for allegedly helping an immigrant flee Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by letting him slip through a rear courthouse door. They were indicted on Thursday for obstruction of justice and other federal charges which carry a sentence of up to 20 years in prison: here.
TRUMP NAMES NEW ICE HEAD Trump named Mark Morgan, the former Border Patrol chief in President Barack Obama’s administration, to lead U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Morgan, a former FBI agent, has voiced support for Trump’s pledge to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. [HuffPost]
NEXT ICE CHIEF: TRUMP PICKED, FOX GROOMED On Jan. 7, Fox News host Tucker Carlson said he had “found someone” who could bring a new perspective to the border wall debate. His guest, former Border Patrol chief Mark Morgan, said border walls “absolutely work.” Becoming President Donald Trump’s most prolific media cheerleader on immigration breathed new life into Morgan’s career, and saw him become Trump’s nominee for Immigration and Customs Enforcement director. [HuffPost]
KOBACH DEMANDS INSANE PERKS TO BE IMMIGRATION CZAR Kris Kobach’s conditions to become Trump’s “immigration czar” include 24-hour access to a government jet, walk-in privileges with the president, a staff of seven people, and a security detail, should it be deemed necessary, according to a report in The New York Times. [HuffPost]