The Wall Will Fall – The American People Don’t Separate Families
The struggle to unite Americans against the government’s attacks on immigrants and the separation of their families is growing. Recently a revolutionary, who is part of that nationwide effort, traveled to Tijuana, México to talk with members of the Migrant Caravan, who had arrived from Honduras:
She writes, “As a child, I was not allowed to go to sleep-overs. I hated that all my friends went, but I was not allowed. Now I understand that my undocumented parents never felt safe, and they avoided all scenarios that might bring them in contact with law enforcement of any kind. Recently I was in Tijuana as part of the humanitarian efforts of thousands of U.S. workers, who bring blankets, diapers, baby formula, and toiletries for the refugees from Central America. I spoke with Tania, 22, who left her two children in her native Honduras, because she was afraid of not being able to protect them during the dangerous journey. She cried as she revealed that she left at 2 am, without saying goodbye. Sandra was also afraid of what would happen to her children if she left them. She brought her kids with her and watched them cry and suffer from too much walking and little nourishment. Now that they survived the arduous journey, she is afraid her children will be taken from her by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).”
Terror at the Border
Most Americans cannot imagine the terror and trauma of parents, who are ripped apart from their children by ICE, or any government agency that separates (or tear gases) hungry and desperate families. A recent memo and federal audit confirm that the Trump administration separated thousands more children than was previously known. The Trump administration and then-Attorney-General Jeff Sessions implemented a policy of terror against refugees to keep them out of the U.S. The separations began in 2017 but were never formally announced until May 2018 by Sessions, as part of the administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy.
In mid-December 2018, the population of migrant children was approaching 15,000, and the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) was running out of bed space in its network of 130 shelters. When the largest shelter, the desert tent camp in Tornillo, Texas, refused to extend its contract, ORR made an abrupt policy change that streamlined how it screens sponsors. As reported by National Public Radio, an email from Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) stated that as of January 20, 2019, the number of children in its care had decreased to 10,700 because of releases to sponsors – down from a peak of 14,600 the previous month. The Southern Poverty Law Center reported that the ORR part of the HHS arrangement with ICE uses “children as bait to catch the sponsors and put them into removal proceedings. We know because they’ve put it in writing and said that they’re doing it.”
Numerous lawsuits claim the government is using child confinement as a way to punish and deport kids and their families. When family members step forward to take a migrant child into their household, ICE agents will arrest the sponsor if they’re in the country unlawfully. According to lawyers involved, over the past year 170 sponsors have been arrested and put into deportation proceedings. They used the children as bait for people willing to sponsor them – knowing this would cause longer detentions for children.
Now we have learned they never bothered to develop a tracking system, so even though the administration was court-ordered to reunite families, they don’t know where thousands of children are – they are “lost” in the system.
Globalization Separates Families
Family separation policies are part of the ruling class strategy on how it plans to deal with growing numbers of desperate and hungry people on both sides of the border. Today we face a globalized capitalist class that operates factories with more robots and fewer people, pushing millions of workers worldwide out of production and into the growing class of the permanently jobless and impoverished.
Poverty leads to incarceration in the U.S. In fact when asked about the policy at the border, Kirstjen Nielsen, former Secretary of Homeland Security said, “We do it every day in every part of the country.” According to the New York Times, an estimated quarter of a million American children have a single mother in jail, many awaiting trials, accused of committing minor offenses.
Part of the ruling class strategy is to attack and build walls to divide us. They attack and blame migrants to deflect from the fact that they are abandoning all workers. Research shows that on average, families need an income of about twice the federal poverty level to cover basic expenses. Using this standard, 43 percent of children in the U.S. live in low-income families. This is why there are 400,000 children in the foster care system, and many of these children are also torn from their parents. Sociology Professor Christopher Wildeman from Cornell University, explains that children are often placed in foster care because of “abuse,” but that it is not abuse. It is more a form of “neglect” that is related to poverty. For example, when families cannot afford to pay water bills and the water is turned off, children are removed by social services departments.
These attacks on families from both sides of the border may seem unrelated, but they are not. Every ruling class attack is an attempt that is designed to divide and isolate us. This is why they are whipping up fears of unemployment and terrorism among U.S. workers, whose hunger is making them more and more desperate.
As the visitor to the Caravan explained, “This is in stark contrast to my father’s era, because he was able to take free welding classes at a community college and get a welding job at a shipyard that operated almost 24 hours a day, employing thousands of workers on three shifts. On one salary, my migrant parents bought a little house in Compton, California and took mini-vacations. It cost them about $75 per quarter to send their daughter to the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA). Today, this is no longer possible for most workers in this country.”
This is why they are peddling fear and hate among hungry and increasingly desperate people. These violent attacks on migrants and violence against U.S. workers are all inter-related. The ruling class has no meaningful solutions for workers they do not need. This is their weakness. They have no choice, but to continue these attacks to maintain control, in a new era where the production process is excluding more and more workers.
According to U.S. immigration policy, hunger does not qualify people for asylum, just like they are telling California fire victims and Puerto Rico hurricane victims they do not qualify for assistance. The rulers want the hungry and increasingly desperate people in the U.S. to blame and attack the often hungrier and desperate people on both sides of the border.
Is it working? A recent Gallup poll reveals that 61 percent of the American people oppose deporting all the undocumented in the country, 60 percent of Americans oppose a border wall and 81 percent want a pathway to citizenship for immigrants without green cards.
Class Unity a Necessity
Today, working class unity is more than just a dream or a demand. It is the only way actually to ensure survival for millions of people. High-tech capitalism has produced a global ruling class, including billionaires like Mexico’s Carlos Slim Helú, the fourth richest person on earth. As they utilize robotics to make workers unnecessary, they add to the already terrible poverty in the poorest countries, while also creating growing equality of poverty amongst millions of workers in the wealthier countries. In the U.S., millions of workers have lost the standard of living, once given them as a social bribe for supporting the system’s wars and inequality. Workers of all colors and nationalities are now part of a class, whose conditions provide the material foundation for understanding themselves as an objectively communist class, whose needs can not be met under capitalism.
Understanding that our conditions are related to our new position in society – as “unnecessary” workers – is the first step to being able to move toward improving our conditions. The first step is always the hardest, but once we take it, it will be clear that it is the corporations that are the “unnecessary” ones.
We can end the suffering of our communities, by taking control of the corporations that control both parties. We can use these tremendously productive, new technologies to support our healing, education, and enjoyment, by ending wars and saving the planet. Start today by sharing and discussing this article, do your own research, and join the League of Revolutionaries for a New America! Reach out to us! We deserve a better world.
May/June 2019. vol.29. Ed3
This article originated in Rally, Comrades!
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The age-old vision of a world without scarcity, without exploitation, class domination, organized violence, and stultifying labor has been the dream of millenia. The new completely socialized labor-eliminating means of production ... sets the basis for its realization. Now human history can begin, the light of the individual shining in the full brightness of liberated life, that can only be realized within true equality and cooperation: communism, a cooperative society.'Without Vision, the People Perish'
Rally, Comrades ! May/June 2011