The new immigration ban order signed by President Donald Trump on March 6 is a continuation of the all-out assault on the multinational U.S. working class by the extremist far-right administration.
The Islamophobic ban, tweaked from an earlier version to try to evade legal challenge, still bars entry into the U.S. of citizens of Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Syria and Libya. Iraq was exempted by request of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to aid U.S. military action there.
Omar Jadwat, the director of the Immigrants’ Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union, described the order clearly: “[I]t’s just another run at a Muslim ban.”
This presidential order is one more wave in a torrent of repression and terror against all immigrants unleashed by the election of the xenophobic president. The attack on immigrants had previously been ramped up under President Barack Obama whose agencies deported almost 3 million people between 2009 and 2014.
The bipartisan attacks on immigrants reveal a consistent ruling-class strategy of “divide-and-conquer” — an attempt to defeat a rising U.S. worker movement.
The U.S. working class is increasingly young, of color, multinational, multigendered, low-wage — and reeling economically from the continued effects of the 2007 Great Recession. These workers are forging closer and closer ties with each other. And immigrant workers, with traditions of resistance in and connections to their countries of origin, threaten the ruling class with unity among the international working class.
Daniela Vargas exemplifies the militant challenge by young immigrant workers. She held a press conference on March 1 to denounce Trump’s first immigrant ban and the aggressive Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency raids that detained her family. Now Vargas, herself undocumented, is threatened with deportation, despite being brought to the U.S. as a 7-year-old and knowing no other home.
Vargas and other young “Dreamers” who came undocumented as children to the U.S. were offered some protection under the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. But now they find themselves threatened by the racist, anti-worker ideology enforced by ICE, as well as the Department of Homeland Security, both of which particularly target people of color.
The racist terror campaign against immigrants ratcheted up March 4 when DHS announced tentative plans to separate children from their families trying to enter through the U.S. southern border with Mexico.
Meanwhile, a horrific sweep of raids continues across the country. This unprecedented oppressive attack includes hiring 10,000 new ICE agents, building more detention centers and “deputizing” local law enforcement to arrest and detain oppressed people. (For a detailed WW article on the raids, see Teresa Gutierrez, “Wave of Terror Unleashed on Immigrants,” Feb. 28)
The challenge for all revolutionaries, for all in the multinational working class, for all on the path to liberation and justice is to forge solidarity with those being targeted.
We must live the old union slogan: “An injury to one is an injury to all.” If we hesitate and underestimate this threat, we will weaken the struggle to smash racism and the threat of fascism.
If we unite and move boldly forward in solidarity against these attacks, we will strengthen working-class unity and the struggle for revolutionary socialism.