CPUSA: Speak out for a Humane and Responsible Response to the Child Migrant Crisis

BY:Communist Party USA| July 16, 2014
CPUSA: Speak out for a Humane and Responsible Response to the Child Migrant Crisis

The Communist Party USA asks all its members and friends to act immediately in response to the crisis of child migrants on the Mexico-US border, and to oppose proposed legislative changes that would make the situation worse.

Since 2011, the number of “unaccompanied” children, mostly from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, crossing the U.S.-Mexico border has been skyrocketing. Already since October 2013, 52,000 have arrived, and the total may reach 90,000 by December 2014.

Republicans and the right wing claim that this surge in child migration is caused by the Obama administration’s “lax” immigration enforcement policies. But the Obama administration’s immigration policies have not been “lax” at all, with record numbers of deportations.

Numerous organizations and observers conclude that the current increase in child migration is caused by spiraling violent crime and gang problems in the three countries involved, on top of grinding poverty.  Further, many of the children have parents living in the United States whom they are trying to reach. According to reports by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, this is a life and death matter for a majority of these young people. 

The right wing is using the child migrant crisis to re-ignite openly racist anti-immigrant fervor, and to  to block immigration reform and prevent the president from exercising executive discretion to reduce deportations. It has fomented “NIMBY” (“not in my back yard”) demonstrations in Murrieta, California, and other places, creating a shameful spectacle of organized bands of right wing hate mongers attacking children.

The administration, though recognizing that this is a humanitarian crisis, has responded in part by calling for authority and funding to speed up the processing and deportation of these child migrants. Currently the 2008 William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Act requires that minors from countries other than Mexico and Canada who are detained without papers at the borders may not be summarily deported to their homelands, but should be handed over to the Department of Health and Human Services, provided with safe housing and proper care, and then be allowed to make their case for asylum with adequate legal representation.

The danger is that the Wilberforce Act be weakened to the point that the children’s rights and interests are sacrificed, for example, by allowing Border Patrol agents to decide who has a legitimate case for asylum, or by not creating an environment in which children fleeing gang recruitment efforts, sexual trafficking and other forms of violence can freely relate their experiences and fears. This would violate international law, as well as shocking the conscience.

We must demand that our government follow the following principles in dealing with the crisis:

• The children should be immediately protected under law and provided with adequate housing, food, health care and psychological counselling by qualified pediatric psychologists or social workers. A country that wastes billions on wars can provide these resources if it tries.

• Hearings to determine eligibility for relief should take place over a sufficient time and should be carried out by people with child trauma expertise, and the proper language skills (including not only Spanish but indigenous language capacity; 48 percent of the Guatemalan child refugees come from indigenous communities).

• Children should not, under any circumstances, be sent back to their countries of origin to face situations of mortal peril.

• Where parents or guardians of the children are living in the U.S., the children should be transferred to their custody, even if it means protecting undocumented parents from immigration enforcement actions.

• The Obama administration should not be deterred by this development from implementing the idea of providing administrative relief for undocumented immigrants, since House Republicans have blocked legislative reform. Rather, it should respond to the urging of the AFL-CIO and many others, and greatly expand relief from deportation.  http://peoplesworld.org/labor-movement-demands-immediate-relief-for-11-million-immigrants/

• The nations of Central America should be helped, not by sending them more guns or bullets or “training” for their corrupt police and military but by new trade arrangements that help workers and farmers in all countries, and not Monsanto and other agribusiness transnationals.

Please take the following action right away:

1. Sign the petition by the Latin American Working Group opposing government actions that would endanger the migrant children and violate their rights;

2. Contact the White House, the Department of Homeland Security and your congressional representatives and senators to ask them to oppose policies and legislation that would gut the William Wilberforce Child Trafficking Act, violate international law and endanger the lives of innocent child migrants.

Please circulate this action bulletin widely

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    The Communist Party USA is a  revolutionary working-class  political party founded in 1919 in Chicago, IL. The Communist Party stands for the interests of the American working class and the American people. It stands for our interests in both the present and the future. Solidarity with workers of other countries is also part of our work. We work in coalition with the labor movement, the peace movement, the student movement, organizations fighting for equality and social justice, the environmental movement, immigrants rights groups and the health care for all campaign. But to win a better life for working families, we believe that we must go further. We believe that the American people can replace capitalism with a system that puts people before profit — socialism. We are rooted in our country's revolutionary history and its struggles for democracy. We call for "Bill of Rights" socialism, guaranteeing full individual freedoms.

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