ICE Raids Begin After Congress Passes Border Bill

Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi walks to Congress on June 27, the day of the House of Representatives passing the $4.6 billion border bill.

By Cajeme Iniciador

President Donald Trump has ordered Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to begin rounding up approximately 2,000 undocumented immigrants in ten major US cities today. The targeted immigrants are mainly those who missed a court date as part of their processing.

The raids, which had originally been scheduled to occur three weeks ago, were postponed by Trump as a negotiation tactic so Democrats, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, could save face before signing on to a $4.6 billion immigration bill on June 27 which will reduce aid to migrant children suffering in inhumane border shelters and secure more funding for the same reactionary agencies like ICE that brutalize, deport, and oppress the undocumented immigrant masses. The Democrats safeguarded their reputation with the postponement and some other minor concessions but in the end joined in giving the green light to increase the capacity of anti-immigrant government agencies.

The part of the bill dedicated to humanitarian aid serves to make the larger goal of the bill more palatable: to give more weapons and resources to those who stalk, arrest, terrorize, deport, and kill the undocumented immigrant masses. Nearly a third of the approved funds will go to the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees both ICE and the border patrol.

The bill is just one of the many reforms in the long line of struggle of the undocumented immigrant masses. Like the others, it doesn’t fundamentally change the conditions that brought them to this country. In fact, the continued oppression and terrorizing of the Latin American nations where many immigrants come from will be intensified after Trump signs this bill.

“In order to get resources to the children fastest, we will reluctantly pass the Senate bill,” Pelosi said in a letter, spinning her party’s collaboration as necessary. “As we pass the Senate bill, we will do so with a battle cry as to how we go forward to protect children in a way that truly honors their dignity and worth.”

It is a lie spread by Pelosi and her camp that Democrats are pro-immigrant and Republicans are anti-immigrant. When examined more closely, both wings of the imperialist bourgeoisie have similar stances on immigration. The Democrats want a softer version of what the Republicans want – further militarization of the border, which includes the construction of Trump’s promised wall, and more funding for the Department of Homeland Security (including ICE).

As was evident with Pelosi’s statement, the Democrats will claim to care about immigrant children even as they cut a check for a bill intended to criminalize, persecute, and target their families, especially the Spanish-speaking immigrant masses from the oppressed nations of Latin America. The Democrats only ask that these bills that fuel US imperialism are sugar-coated so as to be easier to swallow for their base of support.

Detention Facility for immigrant children in Clint, Texas

Despite the sellout Democrats, some progressive and revolutionary organizations have organized in protest of the ICE raids beginning today.

In San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Phoenix, Aurora, and other cities, organizations have set up workshops and other programs and initiatives to help undocumented immigrants. Organizations in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Rochester have set up “rapid response networks” and “Know Your Rights” teach-ins. These measures will not fundamentally change the oppressive conditions facing the undocumented immigrant masses either, but they reflect the potential for broad resistance to the threat posed by ICE.

Additionally, some people have organized marches and protests in front of local ICE detention facilities, blocking traffic and taking arrests, such as this past Friday night in Phoenix.

There are no signs that Trump or the imperialist parties will slow their attack against the popular undocumented immigrant masses. The deceitful dichotomy of the “pro-immigrant” Democrats and the “anti-immigrant” Republicans is intended to give the undocumented immigrant masses and their supporters false hope that they have allies  in the government, when really the Democrats and the Republicans are two sides of the same coin.

In the final instance, the immigration crisis is an imperialist crisis that cannot be resolved with legislative reforms. It is the job of revolutionary and popular organizations led by Communists and revolutionaries to organize the Spanish-speaking immigrant masses of the oppressed nations of Latin America around a revolutionary anti-imperialist political line and as part of the country’s larger movement for revolution.

The people need their own army and organizations capable of combating and resisting the terror and oppression of imperialism, especially by ICE and the border patrol. While this is not an immediate possibility, it is nonetheless one that must always be kept in mind, and Communists must create the embryos of these future organizations today.