Socialist Worker

Protests erupt to challenge Trump’s racist border laws

by Alistair Farrow
Issue No. 2611

Thousands gathered in San Fransisco

Thousands gathered in San Fransisco (Pic: Fabrice Florin/Flickr)


Protests gripped towns and cities across the US on Saturday as hundreds of thousands of people demanded an end to Donald Trump’s brutal border policies. Some 700 demonstrations were recorded.

Some 2,300 children have been ripped from their parents following an immigration crackdown initiated by Trump’s attorney general Jeff Sessions.

Trump signed an executive order on 20 June which officially ended family separation, but the process of reuniting families may not be completed. Some families are expected never to be reunited.

Speaking to the crowds in Boston, Massachusetts, a mother demanded the return of her 10 month-old child. "Please fight and continue fighting, because we will win” she implored the crowd.

The protests have been big. In Washington DC 30,000 people marched. Police in the city arrested 575 people in response.

On Thursday 1,000 protested in Brownsville, Texas, on the US border with Mexico, one of the areas hit hardest by Trump’s policy. An immigration detention centre there holds around 1,500 children.

And although the pressure is increasing, more is needed. The Trump administration is continuing its attacks. Near to El Paso in Texas the government recently announced it would build a canvas detention centre to hold 12,000 people.

Reunited

The marches were called under the banner of Families Belong Together. Demands were not limited to migrant families being reunited in detention and then deported, however. Some people were chanting for the end of all barbaric border policies.  

In Portland, Oregon, protesters have blocked off ICE buildings with an encampment, shutting down the agencies functions for days. Similar protests have taken place in other cities.

People also demonstrated on Saturday across the border in Canada against their government’s immigration policy "We have to be honest and cognisant that, in Canada too, we also practice [the] deportation of migrants and refugees that are unlawful,” said marcher Aimee Beboso.

As it pushes forward, the protest movement is beginning to expose some of the hypocrisies of the Democrats and other liberal self-proclaimed leaders of movements.

Last week Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi described protesters targeting Republican politicians as “harassment”.

On Saturday Trump put on a brave face after the protests, defending ICE agents.

“To the great and brave men and women of ICE, do not worry or lose your spirit. You are doing a fantastic job of keeping us safe by eradicating the worst criminal elements. So brave!” he tweeted.

On 26 June a federal judge ordered that all children and parents be reunited by 10 July. Since children can only be detained for 20 days this would mean the release of parents from immigration detention as well. However, the White House are looking to change the legislation.

It shows that the fight for justice for migrants cannot be limited to the courtrooms—it must continue on the streets and spread to workplaces.


It’s time to go on the offensive to stop this new threat to women’s rights

While the family separation scandal has brought hundreds of thousands onto the streets, the Trump administration has carried on its attacks elsewhere.

Trump is targeting women’s rights. He has already come out in support of anti-abortion bigots March for Life.

Now a new threat has emerged with Anthony Kennedy’s retirement from the Supreme Court.

Trump is likely to replace Kennedy with a more conservative figure. He is set to announce the appointment on 9 July.

This has led to speculation that the legislation which made abortion legal in the US, the ruling in the famous Roe vs Wade case, could be scrapped.

In an interview on Sunday, Trump said that abortion law could be devolved.

“You never know how that’s going to turn out. That’s a very complex question.

“It could very well end up with the states at some point.”

That means, rather than an outright national ban on abortion, states would have more freedom to introduce punitive measures for women who have abortions.

The nine judges on the Supreme Court are appointed for life. Any changes Trump makes could take decades to undo, if left to government procedures.

The landmark ruling of Roe vs Wade happened in the context of a decade of struggle for women’s rights.

The current movement challenging Trump and the White House can defend the gains of the past, but can also grow and achieve its own victories. Now is the time to go on the offensive.


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