The working class and the global war on immigrants
21 June 2018
Faced with a firestorm of outrage both within the US and internationally, President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday rescinding his administration’s policy of ripping children from the arms of parents seeking refuge in the US as a means of terrorizing migrants and halting their entry into the country.
Audiotapes of interned children sobbing and crying out desperately for their mothers and fathers, only to be mocked by their guards, and reports of infants literally torn from their mothers’ breasts—and mothers seeking to hold onto their babies physically restrained and handcuffed—have provoked disgust and horror around the world.
That these scenes of children in cages have been unfolding in what has long been referred to as the “most advanced capitalist country” in the world has immense political significance. No less significant is the defense of these policies by the American president and his aides in language that is borrowed directly from the rhetoric of fascism. Immigrants have been called “animals” seeking to “infest” the United States—words that are all too reminiscent of the speeches of Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler.
Trump’s order implies no retreat from his administration’s “zero tolerance” policy toward immigrants. Those coming across the border without documents will still be treated as criminals, with families to be imprisoned together in internment camps until they are prosecuted and either jailed or deported.
The Gestapo-style hounding of immigrant workers within the United States is only escalating, with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents raiding a meatpacking plant in Ohio Tuesday, detaining 146 immigrant workers, who were shipped…