ICE Camps: Democrats Must Hear Our Demand – Shut Down the ICE Camps!

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The refrain of “no more kids in cages” was popular among the opposition to Trump.

Trump’s immigration policies were horrendous and he also played scapegoat polly tricks distracting his followers by whipping up lies about immigrants and he carried out high profile often violent and cruel anti-immigrant policies including raids, allowing COVID-19 and other health problems to rip through ICE facilities.

What has often been forgotten is that most of these policies – while escalated under Trump – were also practiced by the preceding Obama – Biden administration, including child separation, cages, mass deportations, earning Obama the well deserved title as  “deporter in chief”. 

In fact, much of the contemporary deportation machine we fight against emerged under the Clinton administration. This came through their draconian anti-worker, anti-immigrant, 1996 bill, the so-called “Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act” (pronounced as Ira-Ira), which Joe Biden voted for while in the Senate.

IIRRIR greatly expanded the number of crimes that documented and undocumented immigrants could be deported for and, cruelly, made these retroactive. In addition, the law required that more immigrants  be placed in detention. Indeed, it was under Clinton that the mass gulag immigrant detention system–concentration camps–began to emerge in the US.

As we know very well here in New Jersey, local Democratic Party run counties were more than eager to assist in helping build this gulag system and collect the blood money that came with it. 

Under the Trump regime a powerful movement emerged nationally and locally to close the concentration camps and abolish ICE. In fact, in Hudson County the movement forced the Democrats in 2018 to promise to end their collaboration with Trump and exit their contract with ICE in two years.

But, this November, weeks after the defeat of Trump, the local Democrats used the cover of a new “immigrant friendly” Biden administration as an excuse to go back on their promise and renewed their blood money contract with ICE for another DECADE! 

But of course, as  we have explained above,  Biden and the Democrats are no friend of immigrants. This double cross by the local deportation Democrats highlights once again that they are no friend of the oppressed and exploited either. 

The lesson of this double cross is that  far from stepping back from our struggles after the defeat of Trump, we need to turn up the heat on the Democrats locally and nationally. That is the only way we will close the camps in Hudson, Essex, and Bergen Counties, and win our larger demands of Jobs, Free Public Services, and Equal Rights for All paid for by ending their war machine and taxing the wealth and income of the billionaire and millionaires. We must build a mass movement, independent of the Democrats (and of course Republicans), directed by our own democratically controlled movement-party, with the capacity to disrupt the operations of every facet of this capitalist system–as the courageous hunger strikers at the Bergen County ICE concentration camp are showing. Hasta la victoria! 

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