Donald Trump’s massive anti-immigrant raids starting


This 12 July 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Rachel Maddow reports on Donald Trump‘s threat of ICE raids on families in major U.S. cities and the corresponding push-back, as Congress demands access to HHS Significant Incident Reports related to abuses in migrant detention centers.

By Eric London in the USA:

Trump’s raids and the stench of fascism

12 July 2019

On Saturday night, undocumented immigrants across America will say goodnight to their spouses, parents and children, fearing it may be the last time they are able to do so. Beginning Sunday, the Trump administration plans to launch the largest immigration raids in US history, targeting 2,000 families for arrest and deportation in 10 of the country’s most populous cities.

For the first time in a century, the US government will be conducting a military-style operation against its own people on a national scale. Scenes reminiscent of 1938 Germany or 1973 Chile will be playing out on the streets of the targeted cities: Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Houston, Baltimore, Miami, Denver, San Francisco, Atlanta and New Orleans.

Thousands of armed police, backed by armored vehicles, drones and helicopters, will storm into working class neighborhoods, breaking down doors and snatching people from their homes and off the streets.

Though the raids will ostensibly target immigrants with “final orders of removal”, including many who never received notice that they were in deportation proceedings, the government has boasted that it will target anyone and everyone at the addresses it has selected. As the New York Times wrote yesterday:

The raids, which will be conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) over multiple days, will include ‘collateral’ deportations, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the preliminary stage of the operation. In those deportations, the authorities might detain immigrants who happened to be on the scene, even though they were not targets of the raids.

Victims will be zip-tied and frog-marched to ICE vans, catching last glimpses of their loved ones. The government will transport the detainees to a network of concentration camps in isolated regions of the country, where their families will be unable or afraid to visit them. Once locked up, they will be at the mercy of the fascist types who guard the camps, where conditions are worse than under Japanese-American internment during World War II.

If a foreign country in the gun sights of American imperialism conducted such criminal operations—Iran, Venezuela, Syria, etc.—the entire US political establishment would be demanding a military intervention.

Instead, the Democratic Party is adapting to Trump’s plans. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave a press conference yesterday urging Trump to consider a Democratic proposal to limit the right of refugees to seek asylum while physically present in the US. Pelosi said she thought Trump would find a bill sponsored by California Democrat Zoe Lofgren “appealing”.

Indeed, he would. According to a press release by Lofgren’s office, the Northern Triangle and Border Stabilization Act would “establish Designated Processing Centers throughout Central America to register and process refugees for resettlement to the US or elsewhere”, so that immigrants would stay in their homelands to apply for asylum instead of entering the US, where they have due process rights. This amounts to a repudiation of international asylum law, under which an individual has the right to enter a safe foreign country to escape persecution.

The Democratic plan calls for “additional staff to [Customs and Border Protection] facilities,” and “expands the authority of law enforcement agencies” to monitor the border.

The text of the Democrats’ bill also calls for an “information campaign on dangers of irregular migration” in Central America. In other words, the Democrats plan to run advertisements in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala—all countries devastated by a century of US imperialist war and exploitation—to frighten desperate refugees about the dangers of seeking asylum and thereby prevent them from coming to the US.

Those who want to defend immigrants must draw a balance sheet of the Democratic Party’s responsibility for the attack on foreign-born workers. The Democratic Party supported all of the major anti-immigrant legislation in the 1990s and 2000s, and Obama deported three million people during his two terms in office–more than the entire population of the city of Chicago!

Trump will now cash the check the Democrats gave him to fund this weekend’s raids.

While the Democrats are accommodating Trump and facilitating his dictatorial moves, anger is mounting among the people of the US and internationally. Hundreds of millions around the world are shocked, sickened and outraged by the construction of concentration camps in America, along with reports of abuse of detained children and photos of immigrants drowned in the Rio Grande.

Many thousands of Americans will take part in demonstrations across the country today to express their determination to prevent the worst crimes of the 20th century from being repeated on US soil in the 21st.

The chief task is to mobilize opposition in the working class to the attack on immigrants and democratic rights as a whole. All workers, regardless of immigration status, will be the targets of the types of police state measures being tested out against immigrants. Discussion on the strategy to oppose the attack must begin, including the organization of immigrant defense committees.

In the 1850s, after the Fugitive Slave Act was passed as part of the Compromise of 1850, Northerners successfully mobilized masses of people to defend blacks from being captured by slave hunters in the North and sold into slavery. In 1851, a crowd of 2,500 people physically prevented the capture of escaped slave William “Jerry” Henry in Syracuse, New York. In 1854, 5,000 people rescued escaped slave Joshua Glover from a jail in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and helped him escape to Canada.

The horrors of the Fugitive Slave Act led millions to draw the conclusion that decades of rotten compromises had to cease and the abhorrent slave system had to be overthrown through mass revolutionary action.

Today, the crimes of the Trump administration and the complicity of the Democrats must lead to the same conclusion. The defense of immigrants requires abolishing the capitalist system, opening the borders and guaranteeing the right to travel the world and live and work in the country of one’s choice without fear of arrest or deportation.

CHICAGO MAYOR BANS ICE FROM POLICE DATABASES Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said her city has permanently banned U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement from accessing the Chicago Police Department’s databases ahead of looming ICE raids to detain undocumented immigrants. [HuffPost]

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Donald Trump’s war on immigrants continues


This 10 July 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Yazmin Juárez: “I watched my baby girl die slowly and painfully”.

Yazmin Juárez, who is seeking asylum in the U.S. and whose daughter died after leaving a detention center, delivers an emotional statement before the House Oversight Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services.

MOTHER WHOSE DAUGHTER DIED AFTER ICE CUSTODY SPEAKS Yazmin Juárez sat in front of a House subcommittee and described how her 21-month-old daughter, Mariee, crossed the border healthy last year, but died of respiratory illnesses after leaving Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody. [HuffPost]

ICE RAIDS BACK ON U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials plan to launch nationwide raids and arrest thousands of undocumented immigrants as soon as this weekend, The New York Times reported. [HuffPost]

AOC WOULD CONSIDER ABOLISHING DHS Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) said she would consider getting rid of the Department of Homeland Security, which includes Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection. [HuffPost]

United Nations denounces Trump’s concentration camps


This 10 July 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Jacob Soboroff, MSNBC correspondent, talks with Rachel Maddow about reports obtained exclusively by NBC News from migrant children held in a detention facility in Yuma, Arizona who describe not just overcrowding but also describe sexual assault and retaliation by border agents for protesting harsh conditions.

By Josh Varlin in the USA:

UN human rights chief denounces “undignified conditions” for immigrants in US concentration camps

10 July 2019

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet issued a statement Monday condemning the conditions for immigrants detained by the US government in concentration camps along the southern border with Mexico. Her statement cites the separation of children from their parents, the “undignified conditions” in the network of detention centers and other gross violations of human rights and international law that are the official policy of the Trump administration.

Bachelet noted the publication of a report by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General which revealed systematic overcrowding, lack of showers and meals that made immigrants sick.

Children sleeping on mats with thermal blankets in a detention center in McAllen, Texas [Credit Customs and Border Protection]

The former president of Chile said she is “deeply shocked that children are forced to sleep on the floor in overcrowded facilities, without access to adequate healthcare or food, and with poor sanitation conditions.”

Bachelet directly criticized the primary goal of the Trump administration’s immigration policy, which is to round up, detain and deport immigrants without regard for due process and international law: “States do have the sovereign prerogative to decide on the conditions of entry and stay of foreign nationals. But clearly, border management measures must comply with the State’s human rights obligations and should not be based on narrow policies aimed only at detecting, detaining and expeditiously deporting irregular migrants.

“In most of these cases, the migrants and refugees have embarked on perilous journeys with their children in search of protection and dignity and away from violence and hunger. When they finally believe they have arrived in safety, they may find themselves separated from their loved ones and locked in undignified conditions. This should never happen anywhere.”

She also noted the government’s prosecution of immigrant rights organizations and activists for providing humanitarian assistance to immigrants, saying, “The provision of lifesaving assistance is a human rights imperative that must be respected at all times and for all people in need—it is inconceivable that those who seek to provide such support would risk facing criminal charges.”

In March, four activists with No More Deaths were sentenced to probation and fined for leaving water jugs and food for migrants making the dangerous crossing from Mexico to the United States. Scott Warren, a volunteer with No More Deaths, faces a retrial on felony charges for caring for and feeding migrants after the first jury refused to convict him.

Bachelet, a pediatrician, specifically denounced the detention of children, declaring, “Detaining a child even for short periods under good conditions can have a serious impact on their health and development—consider the damage being done every day by allowing this alarming situation to continue.”

The recent DHS Inspector General report revealed that of the 8,000 detainees across five CBP facilities, 2,669 were children. Of these children, 826 had been held longer than 72 hours, and 50 were younger than 7 years old. Three of the facilities lacked showers for children.

Even for adults, Bachelet said, “Any deprivation of liberty … should be a measure of last resort.”

As is typical of UN statements, Bachelet’s statement contains a toothless plea for the US and other governments to “work together to address the root causes compelling migrants to leave their homes.”

Instead, the Trump administration is extending its war on immigrants south of the US border by cutting aid to Central American governments and pressuring the Mexican government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, popularly known as AMLO, into deporting more immigrants in June than in any month since 2006.

Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, backed a military coup against elected Honduran President Manuel Zelaya in 2009,

It was more Obama’s then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who backed the Honduras coup.

creating horrific conditions in Honduras that have forced tens of thousands of workers annually to seek a better life outside the country.

Further indicating that the US government has no intention of heeding Bachelet’s statement, on July 3 DHS requested another 1,000 National Guard troops to the border between Texas and Mexico. The request, made public Monday by the Department of Defense, implements an order from Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, allowing for the state’s National Guard to assist Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

When Abbott issued the order last month, he called Congress “a group of reprobates” for supposedly not doing enough to stop immigrants. “They carp about a humanitarian crisis and about reforming an immigration system all the while refusing to pass laws to fix the problem”, he said to justify deploying soldiers to block impoverished immigrants from reaching the US.

The Corpus Christi Caller Times reported, “The troops are expected to arrive at various locations along the border later this month to assist federal authorities.”

They will join 1,900 other National Guard troops and 2,300 active-duty troops on the border.

Chillingly, a Pentagon spokesman told CNN that the new troops will be deployed because “[s]upplemental holding support is requested for CBP facilities located at Donna and Tornillo, Texas.” DHS did not elaborate when requested by CNN. However, this raises the prospect of National Guard troops directly staffing the concentration camps.

Children abused sexually for immigrating


This 10 July 2019 United States TV video says about itself:

An exclusive NBC News report details how migrant children held in a border station in Yuma, Arizona, told government investigators about unsanitary, overcrowded conditions, retaliation from border agents and an alleged sexual assault of a teenage girl. Julia Ainsley discusses her reporting with Lawrence O’Donnell. Rep. Judy Chu and Rep. Nanette Barragán, who recently visited border facilities, also join.

From NBC News in the USA:

Migrant kids in overcrowded Arizona border station allege sex assault, retaliation from U.S. agents

Migrant children held in Yuma, Arizona, report sex assault and retaliation for protests in addition to unsanitary conditions and overcrowding.

July 10, 2019, 2:30 AM GMT+2

By Jacob Soboroff and Julia Ainsley

WASHINGTON — The poor treatment of migrant children at the hands of U.S. border agents in recent months extends beyond Texas to include allegations of sexual assault and retaliation for protests, according to dozens of accounts by children held in Arizona collected by government case managers and obtained by NBC News.

A 16-year-old Guatemalan boy held in Yuma, Arizona, said he and others in his cell complained about the taste of the water and food they were given. The Customs and Border Protection agents took the mats out of their cell in retaliation, forcing them to sleep on hard concrete.

A 15-year-old girl from Honduras described a large, bearded officer putting his hands inside her bra, pulling down her underwear and groping her as part of what was meant to be a routine pat down in front of other immigrants and officers.

The girl said “she felt embarrassed as the officer was speaking in English to other officers and laughing” during the entire process, according to a report of her account.

A 17-year-old boy from Honduras said officers would scold detained children when they would get close to a window, and would sometimes call them “puto”,

‘faggot’, term of abuse for LGBTQ people

an offensive term in Spanish, while they were giving orders.

Earlier reports from investigators for the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General from the El Paso and Rio Grande Valley sectors in Texas detailed horrific conditions for children and other migrants held in overcrowded border stations where they were not given showers, a clean change of clothes or space to sleep. The reports from the Yuma CBP sector describe similar unsanitary and crowded conditions but go further by alleging abuse and other misconduct by CBP officers. …

But in nearly 30 accounts obtained from “significant incident reports” prepared between April 10 and June 12 by case managers for the Department of Health and Human Services, the department responsible for migrant children after they leave CBP custody, kids who spent time in the Yuma border station repeatedly described poor conditions that are not pure byproducts of overcrowding. They reported being denied a phone call, not being offered a shower, sleeping on concrete or outside with only a Mylar blanket, and feeling hungry before their 9 p.m. dinnertime.

One child reported “sometimes going to bed hungry because dinner was usually served sometime after 9 p.m. and by that time she was already asleep,” according to the documents.

All children who gave accounts to case managers had been held at the border station longer than the 72 hours permitted by law.

Laura Belous, advocacy attorney for a organization that provides legal services to migrant children, the Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project, said her group was “horrified and sickened by the allegations of abuse … But unfortunately, we are not surprised.”

“The children that we represent have reported being held in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions for days”, said Belous.

“Our clients tell us that they have seen CBP agents kick other children awake, that children do not know whether it’s day or night because lights are left on all the time, and that they have had food thrown at them like they were wild animals.

“Our clients and all migrants deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.”

Nearly every child interviewed by the HHS case workers after leaving the Yuma border station reported poor sleeping conditions. A 17-year-old boy from Guatemala reported having to sleep outside even though his clothes were wet from having recently crossed a river, likely the Colorado River.

Once he was transferred inside, the conditions were not much better. “He shared that there was not always space on the floor as there were too many people in the room. He further shared that there would be room available when someone would stand up,” his report stated.

Many migrant children said they were either not given a mattress, pillow or blanket to sleep with, or were just given a Mylar blanket instead.

Other children described being scared of the officers and said the officers would get angry if they asked for anything. One child wore soiled underwear for the 10 days he was in the border station because he was afraid to ask the officers for a clean pair, according to one of the reports. Another, a 15-year-old girl from Guatemala, described the food as “gross and cold most of the time.”

CARLSON: OMAR ‘PROOF’ IMMIGRATION IS DANGEROUS Fox News host Tucker Carlson ended his show on Tuesday with an attack on Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), claiming that she hates America and is “living proof that the way we practice immigration has become dangerous to this country.” Omar responded by calling Carlson a “racist fool.” [HuffPost]

New Zealanders against Trump’s prisons for immigrating


Karen and other New Zealanders demonstrating against United States President Trump's imprisonment of immigrants

By Tom Peters in New Zealand:

Protest in New Zealand against US brutality towards refugees

8 July 2019

Between 50 and 100 people, including students and workers, gathered outside the US embassy in Wellington last Thursday to protest against the appalling and inhuman conditions in US concentration camps, which are being filled with tens of thousands of refugees by the Trump administration.

The rally, called by Amnesty International (AI) and Mums 4 Refugees to coincide with the US Independence Day, demonstrated the growing international outrage and disgust at the brutal treatment of immigrants and refugees, including children. Several of those in attendance strongly criticised the New Zealand government, led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, for being complicit in attacks on immigrants and refugees.

The gathering was one of several that have been held in support of immigrants since the March 15 Christchurch terrorist attack in which fascist Brenton Tarrant, an admirer of Donald Trump, killed 51 Muslim worshippers.

It followed a vigil the day before, also outside the US embassy, organised by Free Assange NZ as part of the global fight to free Julian Assange. The Trump administration is seeking to imprison the WikiLeaks founder on espionage charges for the “crime” of revealing US war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The corporate media ignored both events. Along with the political establishment, the media is seeking to bury discussion about the political roots of the Christchurch atrocity, including the culpability of the US, Australian and New Zealand governments in promoting war, racism and xenophobia.

Annaliese Johnston from Amnesty International told the gathering that people fleeing persecution and violence have “been met with imprisonment, oppression, hunger.” Children had been separated from their parents and “forced to sleep on concrete floors”, without access to soap and blankets. “The multiple visits that have happened over the last few weeks have found what can only be described as completely inhumane and illegal conditions”, she said.

Johnston explained that AI had documented how humanitarian volunteers, members of clergy, journalists and lawyers had “been subjected to a campaign of intimidation, harassment and illegal imprisonment by the US government, only for seeking to help these people… and for exposing the US administration’s actions.”

AI members distributed a petition to be presented to US ambassador Scott Brown calling for “an immediate investigation” into the conditions on the border detention facilities. Johnson also called for people to “write to your local MP because I think we need the New Zealand government to speak up publicly on this.”

… While Ardern has been glorified by the global media for supposedly showing “kindness” and “compassion” in her response to the Christchurch terrorist attack, her Labour Party-NZ First-Greens coalition government has in fact strengthened the military and intelligence alliance with US imperialism.

Gayaal Iddamalgoda, from the Migrant and Refugee Rights Campaign, added that “Australia, New Zealand’s ally, is committing the same atrocity against asylum seekers” as Trump. The Ardern government, he added, had set aside funds to stop asylum seeker boats from reaching New Zealand, something that has never happened.

Sarah Jane Teurakura Parton from Mums 4 Refugees described the Ardern government as “complicit” in attacks on asylum seekers. She noted that Labour MPs, including Paul Eagle, Poto Williams, Louisa Wall and Jamie Strange, were photographed in the US embassy celebrating Independence Day with ambassador Brown, “while children are dying in concentration camps along the southern US border.” She explained that Brown, a Trump-appointee and former Republican senator, had campaigned throughout his political career against rights for undocumented migrants.

Parton noted that the Labour Party had “campaigned on an anti-immigration platform,” and scapegoated people with “Chinese sounding names” for the housing crisis prior to the 2017 election.

She tried, somewhat feebly, to defend the US Democratic Party, saying that although former president Obama’s anti-immigrant policies were “terrible,” his administration was “trying to make it better.” In reality, Obama deported more people than any previous president and the Democrats have supported the Trump administration by approving billions of dollars for the fascistic border agencies.

Socialist Equality Group members spoke with some of those in attendance, distributed the WSWS perspective “No to concentration camps in America!” and promoted the SEG’s July 14 rally to demand freedom for Assange and whistleblower
Chelsea Manning.

Oliver

Oliver, a gardener, said “children shouldn’t be held in horrendous conditions. Everyone deserves a fair shot at life and not to be kept in a bad situation with no way forward. I think Trump is a monster. He doesn’t have any social conscience.” He added that the Democrats were “not doing very much at all” to oppose Trump. He noted that there were “economic causes” for the refugee crisis, including US corporations “putting Third World farmers out of business” with unfair trading practices.

Olivia, a political science student, said that describing the immigrant detention facilities as concentration camps “isn’t hyperbole.” She noted that “the Holocaust did start with this sort of discrimination. We need to learn from history. Look at the systematic discrimination against Jewish people in Nazi Germany and Europe. They didn’t just wake up one day and find they were being all of a sudden murdered by the millions.”

Olivia said the Trump administration was seeking to “scapegoat” migrants for “economic inequality and hardships in America, when it’s just the system and they really need to have a hard look at that inequality.”

Karen, whose family had immigrated to New Zealand from South Africa, was “disappointed and angry” that the Labour government and other parties had not criticised the US concentration camps. She agreed that the Christchurch terrorist had been “emboldened” by Trump, adding that Trump was “not just an overseas issue” but was setting “a precedent for people across the world to lean into fascism.”

Karen also believed nationalism and racism were being promoted to divert attention from “class and wealth disparity”. Poor people were being “manipulated into thinking that if you push down another group, you will be okay, that if other people suffer then you will have a better life.”

Jordan

Jordan, who is self-employed, said the treatment of migrants by the US was “one step towards fascism. It’s very scary to put yourself in the shoes of a child that’s going through that. I think people like us, who are in more of a privileged position, should say something about it.”

Jordan also believed the current period was similar to the 1920s and 1930s, with rising interest in socialism among young people as well as the growth of the far right. “The gap between the rich and the poor is becoming larger and larger and the easiest thing to do is to point to a scapegoat,” he said. “Now it’s immigrants, before that it was Jews.”

In appearances on two Sunday television interview programs, a top aide to President Trump on immigration issues said that Immigration and Customs Enforcement was preparing to deport all one million immigrants who have been issued final removal orders by federal immigration judges: here.

‘Biden candidacy will help Donald Trump’


This 6 July 2019 video from the USA is called Madea Benjamin of [women’s peace movement] CodePink: Joe Biden Will Result in Trump‘s Re-election.

Like the Democratic party 2016 candidacy of another ‘centristcorporate politician, Hillary Clinton, handed Trump the presidency.

BIDEN NO LONGER UNEQUIVOCAL FRONT-RUNNER The Democratic presidential primary is no longer dominated by a single front-runner, the latest polling suggests, breaking the months of relative stasis during which former Vice President Joe Biden carried an extensive lead over the rest of the field. [HuffPost]