Mobilize Mass Resistance to
STOP THE RAIDS AND DEPORTATIONS
FREEDOM AND ASYLUM FOR REFUGEES NOW—STOP THE ATTACKS ON WOMEN and CHILDREN
MAKE AMERICA THE LAND OF FREEDOM, HOPE, AND EQUALITY FOR ALL
Over the past 2 years, tens of thousands of unaccompanied children crossed the southern border into the United States. They came from various Central American countries—El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua—seeking to escape the gang violence, death squads and poverty that threaten the lives of so many of America’s closest neighbors. Thousands have come also accompanied by their mothers or fathers who were also fleeing the same conditions. But in reaction to this humanitarian crisis, this month, Obama has initiated a wave of raids and deportations on those Central American children and families who have come here seeking refuge and asylum. Last weekend, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) rounded up 121 Central American immigrants with deportation orders dating from 2014 through home raids. In some cases, ICE agents lied about the purpose of their visit to the person at the door, giving false names of people who they were looking for to gain access into the home. Once inside, they took the women and children who were also asylum-seekers into custody.
It is necessary to confront this threat now and to demand that America live up to its professed ideals of freedom and equality for the many immigrants who have come to seek refuge from tyranny and mortal danger. Organizing a campaign of mass resistance can STOP these raids and deportations before they escalate. Every time we see ICE or veri fy someone getting picked up by ICE, we need to mobilize our schools and communities to stop them from being arrested. If they get taken into detention centers, we need to mobilize there. If they get put on a plane, our movement needs to organize mass opposition at the airport. We need to contact the airlines to demand they they refuse to collude with these brutal, racist deportations. Airlines have the right to refuse to fly someone who endangers the health and safety of other passengers or is at risk of harm themselves if they are returned back to the countries that they fled from.
The ongoing waves of refugees flow from America’s foreign policy decisions that have ravaged the economies south of the border. The American political elite has sought to transform Latin America into a giant market for cheap labor and for the sale of American products, enacting policies that have driven millions to flee their homes, directly causing the undocumented immigrant population in the United States to triple in size within the past twenty years. Those same political forces are now seeking to push back the waves that they created, but not by undoing their predatory measures against Latin America. Instead, they are seeking to mitigate one political crisis by creating another: the increased militarization of the border, the proliferation of detention and processing centers, and the racially-targeted immigration manhunts all serve to exacerbate the crimes against America’s neighbors and to enforce second-class status for America’s growing Latina/o communities. This self-perpetuating cycle of human destruction must be stopped.
Genocide is becoming all too relevant to the ongoing crisis: the act of deporting refugees back to life-threatening conditions is itself a form of mass murder. It is necessary to demand political asylum for refugees, and to halt the current process of deportations. As the American-made crisis deepens, the only humane and democratic policy is an open border and the right to asylum.
For America to realize its promise of a free nation, a nation “conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal,” it is necessary to stand up for the dignity and basic rights of all immigrants now. The virtual enslavement of Latin American laborers has now led to a new Underground Railroad, and consequently to a new brand of slave catchers. It is time for the new Abolitionists to stand up. It is time for the American Dream to become a reality, and to rescue it from those who would make it a nightmare. Whenever and wherever racists mobilize to push attacks against Latino youth, they must be met with opposition and defeated. The hope for freedom and equality will be carried on the shoulders of those with the courage to stand up.
Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) bamn.com [email protected] 510-502-9072