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Vol. 78/No. 27      July 28, 2014

Texas rally protests
child deportation threats
(front page)
McALLEN, Texas — Some 75 people protested here July 10 against moves by the U.S. government to make it easier to deport children from Central America. Tens of thousands of children have been arrested by immigration police over the last year. The rally took place just miles from the U.S.-Mexico border.

Rally participants also denounced plans for further anti-immigrant measures being promoted by President Barack Obama and Texas Gov. Rick Perry. The day before the rally Obama issued a statement saying he would consider a request by Perry to send National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to make it more difficult for workers without papers to cross.

Washington’s immigrant crackdown is aimed not at ending the flow of immigrants, but at controlling it to meet the needs of industry and agribusiness for cheap labor.

“Politicians tell us that this crisis is about ‘security,’ but if it is, it’s about the security of the tens of thousands who are fleeing poverty and violence in their own countries,” Juan Antonio Vargas told the crowd. “The most cynical of the politicians demand more law enforcement from Obama.” Vargas, a Filipino, is a former reporter for the Washington Post who received widespread publicity in 2011 when he revealed in the New York Times magazine the he is an undocumented immigrant.

Vargas noted that Obama “is responsible for the deportation of more than 2 million people since he came to office five years ago.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it detained 47,017 unaccompanied children from October 2013 through May 2014, a 92 percent increase from the same period the year before. Most are children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. In 2008, then President George W. Bush signed a law that gives children that are not from Canada or Mexico the right to a court hearing.

Other speakers at the rally, which was called by the Minority Affairs Council and the United We Dream organization, told of their own experiences crossing the border into the U.S. and the violence, dangers and abuse they faced.

“People are coming here for the same reasons they always come,” Hector Carrasco, told the Militant. “Some are trying to reunite their families, all of them are trying to escape poverty and violence. Some feel it’s easier to get jobs now.”

“The Socialist Workers Party calls on Washington to stop the deportations and end the silent raids on workers in factories through E-Verify and I-9 document checks,” said a statement distributed at the rally by supporters of Mike Fitzsimmons, Socialist Workers Party candidate for Texas governor.

Lara Canales and José Acosta contributed to this article.  
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