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PSL statement on DACA repeal

Party for Socialism and Liberation:

Statement from the Party for Socialism and Liberation on the recent announcement from the White House of the cancellation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

The White House has announced that it will be ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program otherwise known as DACA. The Party for Socialism and Liberation condemns this action and joins with the masses of immigrant and progressive people who are currently taking to the streets and fighting back.

The spontaneous rallies and protests happening in large to small cities all across the country on university campuses and in the community are a crucial development. In the face of the ongoing war against immigrant people by the White House, Congress and law enforcement agencies we recognize that the most potentially powerful force to defend immigrants are the people themselves.

The DACA program was signed into law through an executive order by President Barack Obama in 2012. In 2009 when Obama came into the White House, the Democrats had supermajorities in both the US House and Senate, yet they failed to achieve any lasting legislation that positively affected the immigrant community. By 2012 the Obama Administration had already deported millions, more than any other presidential administration in U.S. history. The DACA program itself is the product of the ferocity and strength of the immigrant rights movement which fought back and forced Obama to concede some reforms. The DACA program was thus created which gave temporary protections from deportation and the right to legally work without citizenship to some undocumented immigrants who had been brought to the U.S. as children.

DACA fell way short of the movement’s demands which called for the legalization of all the estimated 12 to 14 million undocumented immigrants. It was however a significant victory by the people, which has grown until now, providing partial protection to more than 800,000 immigrants. DACA’s cancellation represents a major attack on the immigrant community by the right-wing. Without DACA those hundreds of thousand of immigrants will lose their right to work and live peacefully in the U.S. without the threat of deportation.

Today we are marching for DACA youth and for all immigrants! Undocumented immigrants’ status allows the capitalists to underpay undocumented immigrants, reaping billions more in profit. Immigrant women make up huge portions of the agricultural and service sector industries; they are often severely underpaid, lack job benefits and face sexual abuse and discrimination.

What has been completely missing from the discussion in the mainstream media is the fact that the economic policies of the United States, like NAFTA, have dislodged massive numbers of people in Mexico and Central America forcing them to travel North for better economic opportunities. It is the historic colonial and imperialist interventions of the United States and European countries over hundreds of years in Latin America, Africa, Middle East and Asia, still continuing today, which have underdeveloped the so-called Third World countries.

Without this massive pool of undocumented labor, capitalism could not function as it does in the United States. That’s why when immigrant people fight for their rights and unite with other progressive sectors of the working class, the entire system can come to a halt as it did in 2006, and reforms can be achieved as seen with DACA in 2012.

This is the power that must be unleashed and organized to ultimately force the Trump administration government to back away from the threats against immigrant people.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a known white supremacist, announced the cancellation of DACA for Donald Trump, saying that the White House was giving Congress six months to act. The White House claims that Trump actually cares about immigrant people and wants to see comprehensive immigration reform but not through an executive order that it falsely claims is unconstitutional.

The U.S. Congress could and should immediately take action to provide legal rights not only for DACA recipients but for the 12 million undocumented people in the United States. For decades the U.S. Congress, under both the Democrats and Republicans, has refused to pass such legislation although it is widely recognized that the vast immigrant work force is indispensable to the functioning of the US capitalism. Instead, the political elites of both parties have fostered an atmosphere of hatred and repression against immigrant families.

The People’s Congress of Resistance that is convening in Washington DC on September 16/17 is supporting the the full and immediate achievement of legal rights for all undocumented people in the U.S.

The demand from the community of immigrant people is very clear: full rights for all immigrants now, equal wages with employment benefits for immigrants and women, an end to raids, imprisonment and family separations. Stop the racist deportations and police brutality, education and healthcare and affordable housing for all immigrants.

These are the demands that must be taken into the streets and militantly fought for with urgency. The cancellation of DACA is one more glaring manifestation of the Trump administration’s racist attitude toward immigrant people, all people of color, and the working class as a whole. But the oppression of immigrants is a systemic issue and must be approached as one. Both the Democratic and Republican parties are ultimately subservient to the system of capitalism and will fight to enforce the status quo. It is up to the masses of people, with and without papers, to fight for full rights for all.

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Wang Tang-Fu