The Spark

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

Separating Immigrant Families

May 14, 2018

The Trump administration is trumpeting its policy of separating the families of immigrants who try to enter the U.S. without papers. More than 700 immigrant children have already been taken from their parents since October, including more than 100 under age four.

Trump’s chief of staff, John Kelly, said that separating families “could be a tough deterrent.” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said, “If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you, and that child may be separated from you as required by law.” As if parents fleeing a desperate situation are “smuggling” their own children!

The Democrats act outraged. But under the Obama administration, the U.S. carried out a series of policies that separated parents from their children. Deporting felons often meant deporting parents. And the Obama administration deported thousands of men far from where they were captured crossing the border. A man detained at the California border would be flown to Texas and deported 1,200 miles away, while the rest of his family was held in a detention center or deported from California, unaware of where he was.

Trump and the Republicans trumpet their anti-immigrant brutality. They want to blame immigrants for the economic problems facing their supporters. Obama and the Democrats downplay their anti-immigrant policies, playing to their own base. But under both, the U.S. separates immigrant families. That’s because both parties serve the same ruling class, with the same brutal interest in keeping immigrants in fear, willing to accept the worst conditions and wages.