Immigrants attacked again in the US

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President Trump’s recent abusive remarks about El Salvador, Haiti and African states sharply brings home again the relation between nominally independent states and the imperialist powers in this neo-colonial ‘globalised’ world. On 8 January Trump announced the decision to end ‘temporary protected status’ (TPS) from July 2019 for 260,500 Salvadorans and 46,000 Haitians legally working in the US, so cutting off the flow of their remittances to El Salvador and Haiti, removing the central purpose for these workers’ migration to the US, and, ironically for US banks, the dollars that allow the countries to pay their international debts.

These moves ignore objections from the US Chamber of Commerce, representing companies who profit from this highly exploited labour. The Salvadorian labour force participation rate is 88%, 25 percentage points above the US average, and their unemployment rate is 5%. Salvadoran TPS holders have 45,000 mortgages.

El Salvador is the fourth country for which the Trump administration has announced an end to TPS. Overall the administration has identified more than 320,000 immigrants who will lose their legal status from late 2018 and 2019 (and up to 375,000, depending on decisions about 57,000 Honduran immigrants in the spring). These people have lived in the US for periods of up to 17 years. Ten countries: El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, are currently in the TPS programme, overseen by the Department of Homeland Security. TPS status is granted in 6-18 month renewable periods. Since 2001 El Salvador has had ten renewed protection periods at $495 per person each time. By January 2017, 51% of Salvadorans with TPS had been in the US at least 20 years. Roughly 192,700 US-born children have at least one parent who could be forced to leave because of the announcement. These children’s age prevent them sponsoring their parents for Green cards. The parents have no legal rights to apply to stay. In September 2017, Trump gave about 500 Sudanese a final 18 months on TPS. In November, the same decision affected 59,000 Haitian and 2,500 Nicaraguan immigrants.

After years of violent oppression by US puppets in Central America, attacking every sign of democratic struggle, ripping resources from these countries, including labour, the US deliberately added the deportation to El Salvador of Salvadorians with US criminal records. It exported MS-13, which started as a Los Angeles prison gang, where it grew. El Salvador has the highest murder rate in the world. In 2015 (UN Office of Drugs and Crime) El Salvador had 108.64 homicides per 100,000 people, further driving migrants to the US. The next most deadly country, Honduras, had 63.75 murders per 100,000, so 22 times as disastrous as the US.

The 11 million currently unauthorised immigrants already have to deal with the fear of arrest daily. Tens of thousands of immigrants who have lost TPS so far have stayed, their countries destroyed by the US staunchly supporting the most violent methods of ruling class oppression in their original homelands. There really is ‘no place like home’ to flee from. These latest victims now join the 700,000 US-raised immigrants who are at risk with the end of the ‘Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals’ (DACA) programme. The aim is, as ever, to control and manipulate capitalism’s reserve army of labour, to intimidate, frighten and divide the 40 million US workers struggling in poverty. For imperialism to allow rights for workers inevitably weakens it - so it must not only underline the temporary nature of these rights, but crush resistance to their retention and extension.

Trump and US Capitalism - Beyond the clowning

trump clowning

Clowns distract us and amuse us, whether in the circus, or in the White House. The liberal media are preoccupied with Trump’s tweets: whether stupid, ignorant, fascistic, they’re always unpredictable and good for gossip. But they cloud what is really going on. Behind the apparent chaos, discord, investigations and lies, a coherent plan is unfolding. Beyond the clowning and beyond the tweets, the US ruling class is undertaking a comprehensive remodelling of US capitalism, making it even more exploitative, aggressive and anti-people. Steve Palmer reports.

Trump has demanded that regulatory agencies delete two rules for every new one introduced. Incinerating protections for workers and consumers, the Trump administration is transferring even more power to finance capital, the chemical and pharmaceutical industry and fossil fuel companies by weakening regulation, changing legislation and modifying tax policy. A Regulatory Accountability Act is in process which will make it immeasurably easier for capitalists to gut, challenge and delay consumer and worker protections. Class action law suits against banks will be forced into arbitration – a much more favourable arena for the banks, since many of the arbitrators come from the industry. Agencies are increasingly populated by ex-lobbyists as ‘advisors’, who ensure that it is corporations, not working people who gain under Trump.

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US and North Korea: nuclear threat returns

North Korea nuclear missile threat Trump

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK – North Korea) is demonised and its leader, Kim Jong-un, is abused by mainstream media around the world. People are being prepared to accept the possibility of all-out war against the DPRK. Given its relative economic decline, US imperialism intends to use its unrivalled military superiority to maintain its global hegemony. DPRK defiance cannot be tolerated. Its refusal to submit to the US results in its portrayal as dangerous. Since its formation in 1948 the DPRK has been under threat of annihilation. Historically and strategically, US confrontation with the DPRK leads to confrontation with China and Russia, with which DPRK shares borders. Trevor Rayne reports.

Addressing the United Nations General Assembly on 19 September, US President Trump threatened to ‘totally destroy’ the DPRK and then condemned Iran, Syria, Venezuela and Cuba. He brought Russia and China into target saying, ‘We must reject threats to sovereignty from the Ukraine to the South China Sea.’ This caricature of a cartoon villain was putting the world on notice.

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US athletes defy Trump’s racism

NFL Trump

In an unprecedented display of solidarity, over 200 National Football League players from most of its 32 teams knelt in protest during the national anthem before their games on 24 September. This collective act of defiance came after US President Donald Trump attacked NFL players who have protested against racist police brutality, the latest example of which came on 16 September when a police officer was acquitted of murdering 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith in St Louis, Missouri. At a Republican rally in Huntsville, Alabama on 22 September, Trump said: ‘Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired!”’

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Letter from a prison in Connecticut

prison Connecticut

Here in Connecticut, things have become very bad for prisoners serving lengthy sentences. Public attention has been focused on prisoners serving the shortest sentences, which, of course, makes sense in that one would hope to prepare those most imminently to be released to be given as many ‘tools’ as possible to give them the best shot at successful re-entry; but the public likely is not aware that the resources being directed to this newfound belief in rehabilitation are drawn directly from programmes and services that were directed at prisoners with lengthy sentences.

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