Oppose Attacks on Immigrants!

September 2, 2007

From January through May of this year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have carried out 3839 arrests from workplace raids. In July, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff threatened more raids and arrests of immigrants, adding, “And if they have kids at home, even if we make arrangements with social services to take care of the kids, the kids are gonna be scared because Mommy or Daddy is not coming home that day.”

On any given day, there are over 26,500 legal and illegal immigrants held in detention centers throughout the country. This national network of detention centers consists of local jails, privately contracted prisons, and federal facilities. Lengths of imprisonment range from days, to weeks, to over 10 years. A large share of detainees are housed with criminals, including those convicted of violent crimes. Many are subject to abuse and arbitrary punishments including solitary confinement, denial of basic needs, and shackling. ICE officials admit that 62 immigrants have died in administrative custody since 2004. Reasons cited by various reports include failures to enforce standards for medical care and lack of access to legal help.

As part of these offensives against the democratic rights of the people, the government is increasing its repressive apparatus. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has promised to increase the number of detention beds and facilities. Further DHS plans include: hiring more than 18,000 border partrol agents, erecting 370 miles of physical fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border by the end of 2008, putting in place 300 miles of vehicle barriers, and installing 105 camera and radar towers along the border. In addition,hundreds of state and local police are being trained to enforce immigration laws in communities throughout the country.

These cynical measures are part of the government’s ongoing program of terrorizing immigrants and oppressed nationalities in order to use them as a source of cheap, super-exploited labor and as a way to divide the people and drive down the wages of the entire working class.

Let us oppose these attacks and work to carry the struggle through to the end by demanding that our country guarantee, in practice, full and equal rights for all human beings!