The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Raids Terrorize Immigrants in Chicago

Apr 3, 2017

As Felix Torres opened the door to his house on Chicago’s Northwest side at 6:20 AM on March 27, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents shot him in the arm. They say he had a gun – he and his family insist he was unarmed. After shooting Torres, the agents pushed into the house, pointing guns at the family including his one-year-old granddaughter, and kicked the family out of the house for hours, without giving them time to gather clothes or milk for the baby.

ICE later admitted they had the wrong house and no one in the Torres family is here illegally.

President Trump says raids like this one are aimed at protecting people in this country. He tweeted “The crackdown on illegal criminals is merely the keeping of my campaign promise. Gang members, drug dealers & others are being removed!” What hypocrisy! ICE agents shooting a man in his own house and pointing guns at a family is exactly the opposite of making people in this country safer!

Pretending to stand up to Trump, Chicago’s city government says it’s on the side of immigrants and calls Chicago a “sanctuary city.” But the alderman of the ward where the Torres family lives, Gilbert Villegas, expressed the doubts raised by this raid: “We're going to have to talk to CPD (the Chicago Police Department) to find out if this was a coordinated effort, because if it was in any way, that raises concerns about us as a sanctuary city." Maybe the Chicago police actively help ICE, maybe not. But CPD certainly does NOT stand in ICE’s way or do anything to protect immigrants. No, these raids are supposedly carried out against “felons” identified as such in CPD records, including people with no more than decades-old DUI convictions.

In reality, despite their nice words, the Chicago city government offers no sanctuary whatsoever to undocumented immigrants – or to immigrants who are documented and have been for decades, like Felix Torres, or even to citizens like his U.S.-born one-year-old granddaughter.

The Democrats who run Chicago and the Republicans running ICE serve the bosses, not workers – immigrant or U.S.-born.

The bosses have no interest right now in actually deporting very many immigrant workers. But they do have an interest in terrorizing them to submit to whatever wages and working conditions the bosses want, so this desperate group can be used against other workers. Plus, they have an interest in getting U.S.-born workers to blame immigrants for their problems – instead of the bosses who actually caused them. These ICE raids effectively terrorize immigrant workers without deporting very many.

The Republicans say they’ll protect workers born here by deporting immigrants, and the Democrats promise “sanctuary” to immigrants. Both parties are trying to play us for fools.