Socialist Worker

LETTERS: Brutality of US border is one more reason to stop Trump

Issue No. 2607

US Cusoms and Border Protecting assisting children after crossing the border into the US

US Cusoms and Border Protecting "assisting" children after crossing the border into the US (Pic: US Customs and Border Protection)

Stories about family separation and the detention of so-called unaccompanied minors in the US have really had a ton of attention over the last few days.

None of us have ever seen so much attention on these issues.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misunderstanding about the 1,500 “lost” children simply because the system is so obtuse and impenetrable.

They weren’t actually lost. The Office for Refugee Resettlement (ORR), part of the Department for Homeland Security (DHS), just fell out of contact with the sponsors.

That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re in the hands of traffickers.

The unfortunate consequence of this may be that congress or the DHS/ORR ends up implementing even greater scrutiny and monitoring of migrant families.

This will actually end up pushing migrants into the shadows even more.

We have seen more kids being taken from their parents at the border and detained separately.

And we continue to see Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Customs and Border Protection agencies refuse to use their discretionary powers.

They can release or provide relief for people with long-standing community and family ties or high-risk medical conditions.

But they refuse to do so. Just last week, a transgender woman who came as part of the “refugee caravan” died in detention here in New Mexico.

She was HIV positive and died of cardiac arrest shortly after being transferred between a number of different facilities.

The policy of prosecuting 10 percent of immigration violations actually threatens to immensely expand the number of people in federal incarceration.

This is another reason to oppose this government’s agenda.

Alan Dicker

Detained Migrants Solidarity Committee

New Mexico, United States

A hostile nightmare

Students at Liverpool Hope University have been fundraising to bring young Palestinian refugees to Merseyside for a fortnight in June.

Filling in the forms for their visa applications was a bureaucratic nightmare.

Palestinians apply for their visas via Jordan and are then given an appointment at the British Consul in Ramallah.

There they are expected to produce all relevant documents and hand over their passport for processing. This sounds straightforward but it soon became clear this was a enormous task.

The forms are huge. We needed to provide information on each young person, their siblings and their parents.

Each time we answered a question a further drop down box appeared, with more intrusive questions.

To get clarity, and to see if we could process them as a group, I wrote to the British embassy in Jordan.

They replied telling me they were “not allowed to answer my questions” and I should contact the British immigration authorities.

They then replied telling me they would answer my questions in an email, but that each email response would cost £5.58.

I decided to phone. Now I was told that I had to enter my credit card details before I could speak to a customer service officer and that I would be charged £1.50 per minute.

This is what the “hostile environment” looks like to poor people hoping for a short stay in Britain.

Michael Lavalette


Oxbridge colleges are dripping with wealth

Knowing that Oxford and Cambridge universities were bastions of wealth and privilege did not prepare me for the recent revelations they have a combined fortune of £21 billion.

The reality of the lives of the majority of the people living in these towns is a million miles away from the wealth of the universities.

In the middle of Oxford homeless people sleep on the streets.

A twenty minute bus ride out of the city centre will take you from Oxford’s “dreaming spires” to areas of deep poverty. A quarter of children in the city live below the poverty line.

For the majority of workers, life in Oxford is one long struggle to meet some of the highest rents in Britain.

Despite their incredible wealth, Oxford and Cambridge universities are incapable of addressing the everyday problems faced by the populations of the towns they dominate.

Ian Mckendrick


Why RMT voted against Labour affiliation

The RMT union decided to maintain our current political strategy and not affiliate to the Labour Party at a special general meeting in Doncaster.

The debates I took part in at London region came down to concerns about right wing councillors and the majority of MPs.

Comrades made the point, why should we finance these people? We can continue to finance MPs like Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell.

Some people felt we should affiliate to help rid the party of the right wingers. As well as the London region, areas such as Merseyside and Scotland were also against affiliation.

I was against affiliation. Now that the decision has been made it’s important that we use our resources to support the people on the left of the party.

The fight against driver?only operation continues. On the same day as the special meeting, it was announced that three London tube lines are balloting for action.

Comrades in the London transport region are also organising to mobilise against the racist DFLA.

There are big battles ahead and we need to fight on all fronts.

Phil Rowan

South London

No to the S*n and its racism

The first anniversary of the horrific bombing of the Manchester Arena was marked by united sorrow and sympathy.

By contrast The Sun newspaper dedicated a whole page to an article headlined, “After Manchester we said: ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ perhaps it’s time we DID”.

“Within weeks of this barbarism, people seemed to have forgotten it,” said the article.

The Sun specialises in poisonous attacks on working class people.

Mancunians and others should respond to this latest attack by following the lead of our Liverpool comrades and organising a serious boycott.

John Murphy


Bailiff scum evict travellers

Travellers were evicted from the Hovefields site near Cambridge last week.

Constant & Co is the bailiff firm that evicted them. It is the subject of a number of complaints regarding needless destruction of property during forced evictions.

Constant & Co has form—The Dale Farm Housing Association submitted a dossier to the High Court regarding a previous eviction at the Hovefields site undertaken by the company.

Mike Ellis

19th century sugar tax

There was a working class campaign against a sugar tax in the 19th century. There was a song referencing it called Sour Pies on the folk album Deep Lancashire.

Tony Horne

On Facebook

Redistribute Greek wealth

The answer to the crisis in Greece is to redistribute wealth. The European Union was set up to benefit business.

It will always prioritises big business and wealthier countries. German business benefits from the euro, while most Greeks are impoverished.

Tony Lowe

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