The Spark

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

Political Games Behind Trump’s California Trip

Mar 19, 2018

In early March, Donald Trump visited the state of California in order to inspect the prototypes for his wall with Mexico. It was all a disgusting spectacle to try to appeal to his base by spewing his usual anti-immigrant rant. The trip hid the fact that after a year in office, Trump had failed to get the Republican-controlled Congress to provide any funding.

Trump may have visited California. But California already has a wall that had been built under previous administrations of Democrats and Republicans alike. Any new wall is slated for Texas, where most of the property along the border is privately owned. And in Texas, the wall is so unpopular, even most Republican Party politicians oppose it. Any new wall would not only cut through countless neighborhoods and backyards, it would also divide ranches and farms, not to speak of amputating parts of Big Bend National Park and a couple of golf courses. So, the Republicans in Congress have been stalling.

The Democratic Party politicians also used Trump’s trip to play to their base, pretending to lead the “resistance” to Trump’s anti-immigrant policies.

Last year, the Democrats passed three laws that they claim make California a supposed “sanctuary” state. In reality, most police agencies had been pushing for these restrictions, anyway, because acting as an extension of ICE has been, for the local police, counter-productive. When immigrant communities fear deportation, they steer away from the police and other authorities completely, not reporting crimes or appearing in court as witnesses, for example.

But no one should be fooled by Democratic Party posturing.

Only a few years before, many of these same politicians, who today don the mantle of protector of immigrants, had carried out many of the same policies as those pushed by Trump. Take Governor Jerry Brown. In 2010, when Brown was state attorney general, he said: “I don’t support sanctuary cities... Just opening up the cities and saying our borders don’t mean anything, as the state’s chief law enforcement officer, I’m not going there.”

The same is true of Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the Democratic Party’s frontrunner to succeed Brown in the upcoming elections. When Newsom was mayor of San Francisco, he vetoed sanctuary policies enacted by the city council aiming to protect immigrants. Even after the city council overrode his veto, Newsom still refused to enforce those policies, claiming that they “violated federal law.”

No, strip away the rhetoric and posturing, which are aimed at their electoral bases, the actual policies of the Democrats and Republicans and even Trump himself are not very different. They give the capitalists what they want.

One important California grower explained what they want to reporter Mark Arax: “As rich as the farmer might be, his workers could bring him to his knees, if they realized their power. The farmer didn’t like feeling vulnerable. So, he supported anti-immigrant measures because he wanted the workers to always feel a little ‘iffy.’”

And both the Republicans and Democrats oblige.