Socialist Worker

Donald Trump tells soldiers to shoot migrants arriving at US’s south border

by Alistair Farrow
Issue No. 2629

Donald Trump campaigning for the midterm elections in Wisconsin last month

Donald Trump campaigning for the midterm elections in Wisconsin last month (Pic: The Epoch Times/Flickr)


Racist US president Donald Trump has sent soldiers to the country’s southern border—threatening that they’ll shoot migrants from countries such as Honduras and El Salvador.

As many as 12,000 migrants are estimated to be travelling through Mexico to the US in large groups known as caravans.

The four main groups have been met with solidarity from ordinary people who have donated food and clothing to them.

People are travelling from countries that have been ravaged by the crimes of US imperialism, only to be denounced by the US president as “hardened criminals” for wanting to escape.

They are risking everything for a chance at a better life.

Tomas Gonzalez Castillo, director of a migrant shelter in Tenosique, Mexico described parts of their route as “deadly, lethal territory”.

Trump has ordered 15,000 US troops to be sent to the border, and they have begun to arrive.

He has said that if any migrants throw stones, soldiers should “consider it a rifle”.

Alan Dicker from the Texas-based Detained Migrant Solidarity Committee told Socialist Worker, “Trump is trying to normalise the dehumanisation of migrant people to the point of mowing them down.

“The border patrol has killed kids for throwing rocks before, claiming they are deadly weapons.”

Warzone

He added that Trump, in the run-up to this week’s midterm elections, was “trying to create an illusion of this place being a warzone, but there’s no one here for the troops to fight.

“They’re closing the bridges and standing there in riot gear. It’s absurd, it’s a theatre.”

While Trump attacks the migrant caravan, a real migrant crisis created by him is going on inside the US. On Thursday of last week Trump said of migrants and people claiming asylum, “We’re going to catch, we’re not going to release.”

In another interview he said, “We’re going to put tents up all over the place and they’re going to wait.”

Tent cities are being built to house detained migrants, often unaccompanied children.

Alan described how “the Torneo camp outside El Paso went from holding 800 kids to 3,500 kids almost overnight.”

He argued that the camps Trump has described are likely to be built on military bases.

Many children remain in detention. If their parents come and claim them, they will be arrested and detained as well.

Under current rules, migrants waiting to have their cases heard are released from detention—but are given no assistance and are attached with ankle tags.

Everyone should have the right to live and work wherever they choose to.


Struggle is the alternative

Racism has been central to the Republican Party’s strategy, on a national and local level. Speaking on Sunday in Georgia, Trump attacked migrants as “criminal aliens” and “predators.”

On a local level, Republicans have used all forms of racism to attack their opponents.

Democrats pose as the antidote to Trump. But they have been careful to promise little. Their main line of attack has been over the alleged links between the Trump campaign and Russia.

All of the seats in the House of Representatives—435—are up for grabs in elections this week.

So are 35 of the 100 Senate seats and a number of state governorships and local state governments.

Whatever the results more struggle will be needed against Trump and a society where the top 1 percent make 25 times more than 99 percent of the population.


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