Socialist Worker

Mass protests after Trump's deportation raids

by Alistair Farrow
Issue No. 2541

Protesting in New York against Donald Trumps travel ban

Protesting in New York against Donald Trump's travel ban (Pic: Rhododendrites/Wikimedia Commons)


Resistance to US president Donald Trump’s racist assault on ordinary people is still growing.

On Monday well over 10,000 people marched through Milwaukee in the state of Wisconsin. It was part of a Day Without Latinos, Refugees and Immigrants protest.

Over 150 businesses closed on the day, and hundreds—perhaps thousands—of workers stopped work to join the demonstration.

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency launched raids across at least 11 US states and arrested more than 700 “illegal” immigrants last weekend.

The raids come after Trump’s executive order on immigration last month broadened the focus for targeting immigrants for deportation. It now includes anyone who “in the judgment of an immigration officer” poses a “risk to public safety or national security”.

This means up to 11 million undocumented migrants could be threatened with deportation.

Deborah Axt of pro-migrant campaign Make the Road addressed a rally last Friday night in New York City. She said, “This definition is broad enough to cover nearly anyone who came to this country to survive, to put food in their children’s mouths, or to flee violence and persecution.”

Last weekend’s raids were a brutal escalation by Trump. But they follow years of increasing deportations under former president Barack Obama’s administration.

The raids were met with fierce resistance across the US.

Furious

An annual civil rights march in Raleigh, North Carolina, saw a huge march of over 80,000 people furious with Trump’s attacks. Hundreds demonstrated in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Alabama and dozens of other towns and cities.

Activist Eric Fretz told Socialist Worker that in New York “multiple demonstrations took place last Saturday, often in migrant neighbourhoods”.

He said, “The protest from Washington Square Park left without a permit and about 500 people marched through the small streets of the West Village, avoiding police trying to block them in.”

Police violently tried to stop people demonstrating all across the country.

A national strike, planned for Friday 17 February, has migrant solidarity groups at its centre. Todd Wolfson, one of the organisers of the strike, told Socialist Worker that one group “is organising ‘A Day without an Immigrant’ for May Day.”

The possibility of linking the movement for sanctuary campuses—colleges that adopt policies to protect students who are undocumented immigrants—with organised labour and migrant rights groups is growing.

Trump is attacking working class people on a number of fronts.

“All my teachers are very concerned,” said Jessica Troy, a community college student in Colorado.

“Not just about education secretary Betsy DeVos, but about everything in the Trump administration.”

Students are getting involved in the migrant workers’ solidarity movements.

Michael Drexler, a professor at Bucknell University, Pennsylvania, told Socialist Worker, “The Bucknell student protest group (BAD, or Bucknell Alternative Delegation) is organising for the 17 February strike.”

Thanks to Iannis Delatolas


New attacks being ‘rapidly’ prepared

The Trump administration announced last weekend that it will push ahead with its “Muslim ban” despite a court ruling against it.

Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to Trump, reaffirmed the administration’s commitment to the ban. “A district judge in Seattle cannot force the president of the United States to change their laws and our constitution because of their own personal views,” he said last Sunday.

But people affected are now arriving in the US after the ban was lifted. The solidarity demonstrations and strikes forced Democratic politicians and judges into taking action.

Jessica said, “There was a student in my programme at our school that was kept out of the country by the travel ban, and I was letting all my teachers and classmates know about it.

“I think she got back Sunday, thankfully.”

The movement will need to prepare to resist the next attack, which is coming soon.

“We’ll be doing something very rapidly having to do with additional security for our country,” said Trump on Sunday. “You’ll be seeing that sometime next week.”


Bigots get outnumbered

Protests took place outside Planned Parenthood clinics in the US last Saturday as anti-abortion bigots demanded the federal government withdraw the group’s funding.

They were met by pro-choice activists, despite Planned Parenthood (PP) releasing a statement telling its supporters to stay at home.

Thousands of people came out in support of the organisation, which carried out over 300,000 abortions in 2014 alone.

If federal funds are removed some 400,000 women will be left without access to PP services—including counselling, cancer screening and birth control.

Trump has given confidence to the anti-abortion movement.

In the primary stages of the election process he said that women who got abortions should be punished.

But the movement against him has already shown it can force him back—that needs to happen with his attacks on women as well.


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