Then They Came for the DACA Youth...

January 8, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


A tremendous injustice is brewing. On March 5, close to 800,000 young undocumented immigrants, known as “Dreamers,” could lose their protected status and begin facing the danger of being kicked out of the place where they grew up, separated from their families and friends, forced to end their education, and sent to countries they barely know, if they know them at all.

Dreamers are immigrants who were brought to the U.S. without documents when they were children, and had been receiving temporary protection from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)—a program started by Obama in 2012. But on September 5, the Trump/Pence regime killed DACA. Since then, 14,000 Dreamers are already facing deportation—120 more each day—because they could not renew their two-year work permits granted under DACA. Trump has given Congress until March 5 to replace DACA. That date is fast approaching.

These young Dreamers and their supporters began taking to the streets as soon as it was rumored that Trump was about to make his announcement. Since that time they have been boldly and courageously organizing and protesting despite their undocumented status. Thousands have risked arrest and deportation, and many have been arrested for blocking streets, taking over the halls of Congress in DC, and holding sit-ins at Congressional offices. Just before Christmas, seven defiant Dreamers and another activist—arrested for engaging in civil disobedience outside the offices of top Democratic senator Chuck Schumer, and a Republican congressman—were released from jail after a courageous six-day hunger strike.

The Dreamers and their supporters have taken the principled stand of demanding that Congress pass a clean Dream Act—a law that would give them legal status and a path to citizenship—without being used as a “bargaining chip” at the expense of other immigrants.

Trump and the Republi-fascists in Congress are refusing to pass any continuation of DACA except as part of a bill that would include $18 billion for a 2,000-mile border wall and billions more for increased “border security”; making conditions facing asylum seekers and unaccompanied minors even more torturous; canceling the “visa lottery”; and cutting off the ability of documented immigrants and naturalized citizens to sponsor relatives—called “chain migration” by these racists.

The Dreamers are demanding that the Democrats not accept further attacks on immigrants and “justify” this in the name of reaching a deal with Trump for some form of continuation of DACA. Right after Trump ended DACA, he held a widely publicized meeting with the top Democrats—Pelosi and Schumer—and announced afterwards that such a deal was in the works. And there is a bipartisan group of senators working behind the scenes to hatch some kind of deal. In the face of this, the movement for the clean Dream Act has made it clear that they are fighting for all undocumented immigrants to be able to stay.

Killing DACA was a vicious crime against these young Dreamers and their families. But it was also a message to undocumented immigrants everywhere, and ultimately all immigrants—that they are unwelcome and don’t belong in Trump/Pence fascist America. In doing this, the Trump/Pence fascists are strengthening the overt white supremacy that is one cornerstone of their regime, which, along with patriarchal domination of women and “America First” belligerence, form the triad on which fascism in America is rallying its base of support and consolidating its rule. This cannot be allowed to continue. The fight to stop the Trump/Pence fascist regime from ending DACA and carrying out their whole anti-immigrant program is, and must be, linked to the fight to drive this whole regime from power.

The deadline for a new DACA bill to be passed into law is less than two months away. There is an urgent need, beginning now, for people everywhere to see that this is our fight, and to take up active support alongside these courageous young fighters. In the high schools and colleges, among students and faculty; among people of faith; among lawyers, doctors, and other professionals; among artists and more—mobilize your organizations and networks to refuse to “wait to see what the Democrats do” and to take action. VOTE IN THE STREETS WITH YOUR FEET.



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