The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

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

Human Disaster at the Border

Aug 16, 2021

U.S. agents arrested 212,672 migrants at the southern border in July, the most in 21 years.

These include many people from the Central American countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, who have been arriving in large numbers for years, but also increasing numbers from countries like Brazil, Ecuador, Haiti, and countries in Africa. The influx of people who have had to manage even longer voyages is one indication of the increasing desperation of millions of people in countries around the world.

The Biden administration’s main response has been to use the legal excuse of the COVID epidemic to expel most people without giving them even the most basic legal proceedings migrants are supposed to get. This, even though Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas admitted that positivity rates of migrants tested for COVID are on par with, or lower than, U.S. community rates.

In addition to expelling large numbers right at the border, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has begun flying Central American families deep into Mexico, dropping off hundreds of migrants—including small children—in remote Mexican towns without even the barest capacity to take care of them. Even Biden’s own representative to the U.N. refugee agency said that contrary to Biden’s legal excuse, these flights “heighten the risk of COVID-19 transmission across national borders.”

And thousands of children detained by CBP are still warehoused in shelters, which whistle-blowers and lawyer-observers call “shockingly deplorable.” And the U.S. is expanding the human wall keeping people out, reassigning 350 officers and staff to “help” CBP stop migrants.

So, in the face of this human disaster, the Biden administration is carrying out essentially the same policy as the Trump administration. Except instead of trumpeting its brutality from the rooftops, this administration hides it under cheap talk about addressing the “root causes” of migration, along with the same old lies about protecting the U.S. from COVID.