The International Migrant Alliance-USA (IMA-USA) network denounces the continuous anti-migrant and anti-people attacks by the Trump administration. Migrants, refugees, and progressive organizations have been confronted with an onslaught of neoliberal immigration enforcement policies in the U.S. that have exacerbated the struggles of migrant and working people. Grassroots and progressive organizations have continued to respond to these repressive actions with continued solidarity and mass mobilization. IMA-USA calls on the international community to build international solidarity with migrants and refugees in the U.S.
The mass exodus of Central American refugees from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala has been met with violent repression and violation of U.S. and international law by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). They have (1) denied asylum-seekers their right to claim asylum, (2) have separated thousands of families and exposed them to suffering, torture, and death; and (3) have indefinitely detained them in cages in private detention centers. The Trump administration has recently coerced the Guatemalan government to become a “safe third country” that will make migrants who pass through Guatemala ineligible for protection in the United States. Instead, they would be required to request asylum in Guatemala. This response to asylum-seekers at the U.S. border is in tandem with the long legacy of border violence the U.S. government has inflicted on migrants and refugees and has now externalized to countries such as Mexico and Guatemala.
In early August 2019, Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) conducted the largest single-state raid in U.S. history that was a direct attack on organized migrant workers. ICE swept through seven poultry processing plants in Mississippi arresting 680 migrant workers. The raids targeted poultry processing plants operated by Koch Foods, who last year paid out $3.75 million to settle an Equal Employment Opportunities Commission class-action suit charging the company with national origin and race discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation against Latin American migrant workers at one of its Mississippi plants. Throughout the country, ICE has fomented fear and paranoia in migrant communities, maneuvering as a clandestine-like force, arresting people at worksites, grocery stores, in front of schools, and at migrants’ homes. This attack on organized labor at the worksite and their communities is a direct attack on the migrant working class in the U.S.
The most recent attack by the Trump administration on migrant workers comes through a policy change that would deny permanent residency to those it deems a “public charge.” This policy change comes directly from the neoliberal playbook of austerity measures that cuts public spending on social services for those who need it the most. Set to take effect in October 2019, this policy parrots the neoliberal ideals of “self-sufficiency” and “personal responsibility” to attack working class migrants from Latin America, Asia, and Africa who are exploited and oppressed in the U.S.
The attack on migrants and refugees in the U.S. comes as the wealthiest 0.1% of the U.S. population control more wealth than at any time since 1929, about 40 percent of families struggle to cover the cost of housing, utilities, food, and health care, and police violence has become the leading cause of death for young men in the United States. The scapegoating and demonization of migrants and refugees is an attempt to mask this crude upward distribution of wealth and state violence.
Throughout the U.S., migrant grassroots and progressive organizations have responded with community self-defense committees, solidarity trips to the U.S. border, alliance building and continued organizing to defend the rights of refugees and migrant workers. IMA-USA calls on the international community to stand in solidarity with the migrant working class and refugees who have been forced to flee their homelands due to the neoliberal capitalist policies of imperialism. We must expose and oppose this latest and all attempts at placing the crisis of imperialism on migrants and refugees.
Asylum is a human right! End US imperialist intervention & plunder!
Abolish ICE! Stop family separation and raids!
Stop scapegoating migrants for the crisis of capitalism!
End forced migration!