Socialist Worker

Racist raids rise as US movement faces tests

Issue No. 2543

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers rounding up migrants

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers rounding up migrants (Pic: Photo Courtesy of ICE)


Federal immigration agencies in the US have ramped up their operation to deport the millions of migrants president Donald Trump has targeted.

But resistance continues to grow.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in Texas went into a hospital and took away a woman from El Salvador last week.

The woman, who was awaiting emergency surgery for a brain tumour, was taken to a detention centre for deportation.

In southern California alone 161 migrants were rounded up in a five-day period last month.

Unions representing border guards back Trump. They claim that “morale amongst our agents and officers has increased exponentially since the signing of the executive orders”.

Disgracefully, Teamsters president James P Hoffa came out in support of Trump’s economic protectionism last month.

And the Liuna construction workers’ union president Terry O’Sullivan recently supported Trump’s decision to push ahead with the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines.

Standing Rock Native Americans are mounting a legal challenge after cops forced them from their land.

O’Sullivan said that restarting Dakota Access meant “it is finally beginning to feel like a new day for America’s working class”.

Repealed

The statement came just days after Republicans repealed a bill that guaranteed union wages on federal construction projects.

The Democratic Party’s response to this has been to fall back toward the politics of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. These politics lost them the presidential election.

In an election for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) the party leadership backed Thomas Perez. Perez backs the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal and was put up by the Clinton and Obama-supporting establishment.

Perez’s opponent, and the early frontrunner, was Bernie Sanders supporter Keith Ellison.

He was attacked for his mild criticisms of Israel. In a leaked email, DNC members were told that to elect him would “send the wrong message” on Israel.

School students in Stamford walkout in protest against education secretary Betsy DeVos

School students in Stamford walkout in protest against education secretary Betsy DeVos (Pic: Ashley Lisenby/Twitter)


Nevertheless, Ellison achieved 200 votes to Perez’s 235.

Thousands of school students walked out across the US last week in protest against education secretary Betsy DeVos.

And hundreds protested outside the White House after Trump overturned the right of transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice.

Meanwhile the New Sanctuary Movement is organising against raids. It is a reinvigorated version of the Sanctuary Movement of the 1980s.

In Philadelphia some 1,300 people have signed up to be part of a rapid response network to block ICE raids.

The 8 March Women’s Strike will be a crucial test of the movement’s strength and an opportunity to go back on the offensive.


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