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Workers Vanguard No. 1044

18 April 2014
The closing date for news in this issue is 15 April.

 

Workers Vanguard

Immigration “Reform” and Liberal Hypocrisy

Obama’s Deportation Machine

Full Citizenship Rights for All Immigrants!

Any day now, the Obama administration will mark its success in carrying out two million deportations, far surpassing its predecessors in the White House. To be sure, there won’t be balloons or parades to mark this milestone, no black-tie White House ball featuring J. Lo, Rosario Dawson and Carlos Santana to burnish Barack Obama’s cred as a “friend” of Latinos. In its stead will be the trademark cultured duplicity that must make Obama’s Harvard Law professors proud. This talent was on display at a March 13 meeting with Latino Congressmen in which Obama told of his “deep concern about the pain too many families feel from the separation that comes from our broken immigration system.” This was uttered as outrage over the deportations and Obama’s unfulfilled promises to provide even minimal protection for undocumented immigrants won him the title of “deporter in chief” from Janet Murguía, president of the National Council of La Raza.

Three years ago, Obama offered the same share-your-pain blather in announcing that policy would be altered to focus on deporting those who committed “serious crimes.” In reality, of the 368,000 men, women and children deported last year, 152,000 had no criminal convictions. Among the third who qualified as felons were those convicted of such “serious” crimes as filing a false tax return or failing to appear in court as well as, of course, those caught up in the racist “war on drugs.” Under the 2005 Operation Streamline program adopted by the Republican Bush administration, attempts by deportees to re-enter the country to unite with their families are classified as felonies that can carry sentences of up to 20 years in federal prison. Such re-entry cases account for one-half of the growth in federal felony convictions since 1992.

One consequence of the anti-immigrant crackdown under Obama has been the augmenting of the mass incarceration that he and Attorney General Eric Holder have time and again announced their intention to alleviate. Dramatically highlighting the immigrant prisoners’ plight, hundreds of detainees at the Northwest Detention Center outside Tacoma, Washington, joined by detainees in Texas, have launched a series of hunger strikes protesting the deportations as well as their wretched conditions, including being forced to work for $1 per day. The Northwest Detention Center, operated by the private Geo Group company, is part of a nationwide network of prison facilities holding people marked for deportation.

As the London Guardian (10 April) reports, a Congressional directive known as the “bed mandate” requires that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) keep 34,000 detainees per day in custody. But, the article continues, “tighter border controls and a shaky economy have reduced illegal border crossings to their lowest level in decades,” leaving I.C.E. and the Border Patrol struggling to meet their quota. While the number of those attempting to enter the U.S. from Mexico without papers has indeed declined over the past several years, there has lately been a marked increase in people from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras attempting to cross, including many children. (read on)

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About the ICL




V.I. LeninLeon TrotskyThe International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist) is a proletarian, revolutionary and internationalist tendency committed to the task of building Leninist parties as national sections of a democratic-centralist international. Our aim is the achievement of new October Revolutions—nothing else, nothing other, nothing less. The ICL bases itself on Marxist historical, dialectical materialism and seeks in particular to carry forward the international working-class perspectives of Marxism developed in the theory and practice of the Bolshevik leaders V. I. Lenin and L. D. Trotsky and embodied in the decisions of the first four Congresses of the Communist International as well as key documents of the Fourth International such as the Transitional Program (1938) and "War and the Fourth International" (1934). We also look to James P. Cannon, a leader of the early American Communist Party who was won to Trotskyism and went on to become a principal founder of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), working in close collaboration with Leon Trotsky. The origins of the ICL are in the Spartacist League/U.S., which began as the Revolutionary Tendency in the SWP and was bureaucratically expelled in 1963. Our ICL "Declaration of Principles and Some Elements of Program" was modeled on the Declaration of Principles adopted at the 1966 founding conference of the SL/U.S.

Adopted at the Third International Conference of the ICL in early 1998, the declaration presently exists in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, German, Russian, Polish, Italian, Turkish, Indonesian, Greek and Tagalog. In this post-Soviet period, marked by a deep regression of proletarian consciousness, we continue to be guided by Trotsky's statement that "the task of the vanguard is above all not to let itself be carried along by the backward flow; it must swim against the current." Reforge the Fourth International, world party of socialist revolution!