Continue to build a mass movement for legalization for all!
The election of Donald Trump as president unleashed a wave of anti-immigrant policies: the Muslim travel ban, restricting refugees, preparing to build a wall on border with Mexico, and ending Temporary Protective Status for hundreds of thousands of Caribbean and Central Americans. The Trump administration is stepping up raids and workplace audits to deport even more immigrants and put them out of work and, last but not least, ending the Deferred Action for Child Arrival or DACA program, putting some 700,000 youth raised in this country at risk of deportation.
But Trump’s actions have been met by a mighty wall of struggle, beginning with thousands of people protesting the Muslim travel ban in the opening days of his administration, to the ongoing fight by DACA youth for legalization. This mass struggle has led to some victories in the courts as they blocked the Muslim travel bans one after another, and also blocked the end of DACA.
What the struggle has not done is moved the Democrats in Congress to take effective action to overturn Trump’s policies. In part, this is because the Democratic leadership actually agrees with Trump on issues such as ending the Diversity Visa, which allows for many immigrants from Africa to come to the U.S. All too many Democrats want to bend over backward to please the Republicans, from former President Obama, who stepped up deportations and earned himself the title of ‘deporter in chief’ to long-time immigrant rights advocate congressman Gutierrez, who offered to “build the wall himself.”
Just to be clear: Legalization for TPS immigrants, the DACA youth and their parents, and all the 12 million undocumented people in the U.S. will take legislative action and the defeat of right-wing Republicans in the upcoming elections. But without a militant mass movement to push forward the demands of undocumented Mexicanos, Central Americans, Caribbeans, and others, even a Democratic victory in the 2018 elections could come to nothing or a very bad deal. We must not forget what happened in 2009 and 2010 when the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress and the presidency. We must build this fight, until we win.