Monday, February 13, 2017

Choosing Democracy: We Can Resist Trump's Immigration Raids and the Wall

Choosing Democracy: We Can Resist Trump's Immigration Raids and the Wall:

We Can Resist Trump's Immigration Raids and the Wall

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By Duane Campbell

The chaos created by Donald Trump’s ban on refugees is only the beginning of a crisis that Trump and his allies are creating.  Less noticed was Trump’s rollout of executive actions on immigration and the border wall  on Jan. 25. These executive orders were the opening act of what is certain to be an aggressive crackdown on unauthorized immigration.  The left responded quickly to the Jan. 27 ban on refugees with important protests and significant legal challenges. However, Trump has created so many crises in his first weeks  that it would be easy to miss the long-term train wreck being created by Trump’s earlier executive  actions on the border wall and the expansion of arrests and deportations.

On Jan. 25 Trump signed an executive order on immigration
that directs ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents to use a  broadened definition of  “criminal” and focus deportation efforts not only on those who have been convicted of crimes, but also those who have been charged, or “have committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense.” This order will increase the number of persons subject to deportation by at least 2 million and the order will triple the number of agents in the ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations office and give them broad power to ultimately decide who should be deported. Increased deportations have already begun under this new executive order.
http://antiracismdsa.blogspot.com/2017/02/phoenix-immigrant-mother-arrested.html

Past use of aggressive interior enforcement, then called “Secure Communities,” was an abject failure. ICE agents conducted raids and arrested people at work sites, schools, and on the streets.  Often they jailed complete families.  In most cases, these arrests and deportations depended upon the cooperation of local police and social service agencies (see sanctuary cities, below). The campaigns deported parents of U.S. citizens, disrupting families, schools, and workplaces. The raids were too often done without proper warrants and other procedural safeguards.

The Wall (or Fence)

We should not assume that each of the Trump executive orders will be accepted and implemented.  On the contrary. The orders produce contradictions and will produce resistance.

Yes, the U.S. can build a wall or fencing on the U.S. side of the border, except for that portion of the border that is on the Tohono O’odhom reservation in Arizona.   But the wall will be an expensive failure. 

Trump’s demand to build the wall and to impose tariffs is producing a reaction in Mexico.   The U.S. not only imports from Mexico, U.S. corporations also exported to Mexico  $267  billion dollars worth of goods  in 2015. Mexico is the U.S.’s second largest export market.  A tariff on the U.S. side will likely produce a tariff on the Mexican side that could cost some 1 million jobs in the U.S.

Arturo Rodriguez, President of the United Farmworkers union (UFW) asks, “Since some 50 % of agricultural labor in California, Florida and Texas is undocumented, when they arrest all of these workers, who is going to feed the nation?” The answer to his question is, if the border is closed and mass arrests make workers not available, most vegetable production will move to Mexico and to other countries.  Is that progress?

The Trump administration is being reckless and poorly informed in matters of foreign policy as well as domestic issues. Building Trump’s wall and threatening to make Mexico pay for the wall built on  U.S. land was  a belligerent act championed in the Trump campaign.   This poorly informed effort ignores many of the realities of the U.S.-Mexico relationship.  Mexico provides the primary security against migration to the U.S. on our southern border.  Mexican police and military restrict migration and turn thousands of would-be migrants back each year. 

The Mexican army and police also provide the primary obstacle to migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala from reaching the U.S. border.  The U.S. pays the Mexican forces to do this enforcement.  Given Trump’s provocative statements and acts, they could simply stop serving as a border security force for the U.S. The end of bi-national police cooperation would massively increase immigration and severely reduce efforts to restrict drug cartels from moving drugs into the U.S.

The Mexican political system and the police are corrupt, but the situation could get much worse.  The Mexican legislature is already considering several bills to prevent Mexico from cooperating with the Trump surge in deportations.  Readers should know that the Mexican presidency is up for election in 2018, and the current dominant party (PRI) is in disgrace, in part because it is seen as subservient to the Trump administration.  Nationalism and resisting Yankee interference is a potent political force in Mexico  and a left populist – Manuel Lopez Obrador – is currently far ahead in the polls.

Deportations

 Yet another structural weakness of the Trump plan for expanding deportations further makes it almost impossible for the plan to work.
Deportations currently depend upon the persons arrested agreeing to be quickly deported.  Unless they have convicted ofa prior felony, persons arrested are immediately offered a “voluntary” departure.  If they sign it, most of those arrested will be deported within 2-3 days. (In California it is usually the same day.)

Immigrant rights activists have developed a strategy to defeat these deportations.  Those arrested are encouraged to Choosing Democracy: We Can Resist Trump's Immigration Raids and the Wall:


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