Jul 7, 2014
Last Tuesday in Murrieta, California, anti-immigrant protesters blocked three buses carrying 140 people, mostly women and children from Central America, and prevented them from reaching a U.S. Border Patrol station. The Border Patrol had sent them to California to be processed for deportation from the U.S.
This anti-immigrant mob gathered after Murrieta Mayor Alan Long urged residents to act against the transfers. Long announced, “Murrieta will remain safe,” implying that the detainees pose a criminal threat to the society. Long added, “We have a responsibility to make sure those who come into our country are free of communicable diseases,” as if these children and women are the disease. Other city politicians and officials chimed in to add to this racist provocation. The whole point was to incite hysteria against the Central American children and women.
These children and women were refugees fleeing the crushing violence of Central America where the murder rate is the highest in the world. Some of these children are escaping from gang initiations. This paralyzing violence is produced by the widespread poverty in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, poverty caused by U.S. exploitation of the whole region.
Since October 1, 2013, the U.S. has detained more than 52,000 unaccompanied children and thousands with parents trying to cross the southwest border. Since the detention centers and warehouses in Arizona and Texas were overflowing, the Border Patrol decided to transfer some of these detainees to the stations in California.
Mouthpieces of the rich, like Mayor Long, pit one group of working people against the other to divert attention from the real cause of social misery in this country – including among the children of many people born here. Long said, “I believe the general population is at a boiling point. Certainly, those in the community that are paying attention that are concerned, are at a boiling point and this one issue alone put them over the top.”
No, the children did not bring the population to a boiling point. How could they? Your rich masters, Mayor Long, and their system are the problem. But there are certainly right-wing fanatics like this politician and the extreme-right billionaires who try to divert people’s anger elsewhere. If workers let themselves fall for this hysteria, they will find themselves being used by their enemies, against their own class interests.