Stop the raids on immigrants! For a socialist policy of open borders!

By Kevin Mitchell—SEP candidate for House of Representatives (51st District and California)
15 May 2018

This statement was released by Kevin Mitchell, the Socialist Equality Party candidate for the 51st District of California in the June 5 primary elections. For more information, click here.

As the Socialist Equality Party’s candidate for US House of Representatives in the 51st District of California, I unequivocally condemn the May 8 Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid on the home of Alberto Alonzo Hernandez and his family in National City, California and demand his immediate release.

Mr. Hernandez’s arrest was recorded on video and distributed online where it has been viewed over 11,000 times. In the video, ICE agents can be seen breaking down the door like modern-day Gestapo agents. When family members ask for a warrant they cynically replied, “You’re watching too many movies. We’ll show you the warrant when we are done.”

ICE agents then storm into the house, pointing their guns at children and an elderly, disabled grandmother. Mr. Hernandez was taken away in an unmarked car to an immigration detention camp.

What happened on May 8 is just one of countless raids carried out by the Trump administration against immigrant communities across the United States. Were it not for the courageous actions of the Hernandez family in filming the ICE agents it is doubtful the incident would have become news.

In speaking with the Hernandez family, they told me how undocumented immigrants in their neighborhoods were now afraid to leave their houses and go to work. President Trump has unleashed a reign of terror against immigrants, with scores being arrested at hospitals, churches, or when dropping off their children at school.

Studies from the American Society of Pediatrics show a direct connection between immigrant raids and toxic stress, which greatly worsens the physical and emotional well-being of immigrant family members, especially children, for years to come.

The Democratic Party has collaborated with Trump and his raids at every step of the way. While anti-immigrant policies are central to the White House’s promotion of far-right nationalism, the Obama administration laid the groundwork for the current climate of xenophobia, deporting more immigrants than any other administration in US history.

Hernandez's wife and five children

Democrat Governor Jerry Brown recently ordered 400 National Guard to the US-Mexico border, freeing up agents from Border Patrol and ICE to do the kind of dirty work they displayed at the Hernandez home in National City.

The Democrats have not called for any congressional hearings on Trump’s war on immigrants and his police state measures. Instead they have focused their opposition to Trump on allegations of “collusion” with Russia, calling for stepped-up aggression in the Middle East in line with the demands of powerful factions of the US spy apparatus.

The posturing of the Democrats as the defenders of immigrants is utterly insincere and phony. My opponent, Representative Juan Vargas, has not said a word about the ICE raid in National City but has promoted illusions in toothless reforms like “sanctuary cities.” Even if San Diego were to receive sanctuary status, the fate of innumerable immigrants would be no different than what happened to the Hernandez family.

The attacks on immigrants is an attack on the entire working class. The ruling class wants the population to get used to the sight of unmarked cars dragging people away in broad daylight to internment camps, never to be seen again. It wants to pit workers against one another along nationalist lines, so that they do not unite against the real enemy—capitalism.

What is being tested on immigrants today will be used against all workers tomorrow. This process is already happening, as political activists, journalists, and legal defenders are also being harassed by police and Border Patrol agents. When the most vulnerable section of the working class is attacked and told they have no rights, it becomes that much easier for the ruling class to divide workers and take away everyone’s rights.

California is home to the highest concentrations of poverty in the United States, including the largest homeless population, side by side with the most billionaires in the country. Only 144 individuals have a combined wealth of $725 billion. Small wonder the ruling class wants to divide workers along national, racial, and ethnic lines to cover up the real class divide in society.

This anti-immigrant phenomenon is not unique to the United States. In Mexico, the government works closely with the United States to brutally attack immigrants crossing from Central America and offers no assistance of any kind to their plight. Far-right parties are on the rise in Europe. Thousands of immigrants fleeing the imperialist war zones of the Middle East have drowned crossing the Mediterranean in search of a better life.

The Socialist Equality Party fights for the international unity of the working class against capitalism and an end to the nation-state system. We oppose the attacks on immigrants and the attempt by the far-right movements to blame them for the crisis of American society.

Against the militarization of borders and the persecution of immigrants, the SEP stands for open borders: the right of all workers to live in the country they choose, with full citizenship rights, including the right to work and travel without fear of deportation or repression.

The defense of immigrants must be connected to a socialist program to guarantee everyone has the right to a decent, good-paying job, free health care, free education, a clean environment, access to culture, and a world free from war and violence.

The resources exist to meet these social rights for all workers. The problem is the capitalist system and the monopolization of the vast majority of humanity’s wealth by a tiny corporate and financial elite.

Capitalism has shown us the only future it can offer: walls, repression, war. Against this madness we call for socialism: a world economy run in the interests of human need, not private profit.

If you agree with this perspective, please join and support my campaign and the campaign of David Moore for US Senate today!

 

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