President Trump has called up 4,000 National Guard troops to the U.S. border and is promising to station them there indefinitely. In a verbal display of arrogant imperialist scapegoating and political demagoguery, Trump acted when he learned that a large group of Central American men, women and children had begun traveling north through Mexico at the end of March. Currently, more than 150 refugees from criminal violence and state repression are camped in Tijuana at the border seeking entry to the U.S., with children among them.
The Mexican government initially criticized Trump’s decision to post the National Guard at the border. But President Peña Nieto did nothing to aid the Central American refugees. This was no coincidence since at the same time that Peña Nieto timidly opposed Trump’s decision, Mexico was actively militarizing its border with Guatemala. With one hand, Peña Nieto criticized Trump, while with the other he was carrying out the same policy.
This is the fifth year that Pueblo Sin Fronteras, a cross-border humanitarian group based in the U.S. and Mexico, has organized a caravan called Viacrucis Migrantes en la Lucha. Its purpose is to protect immigrants from criminal elements and corrupt Mexican officials as they make the arduous journey from Central America.
This year, the majority of the 1,200 participants were from Honduras, the second poorest country in the hemisphere after Haiti. The Hondurans are fleeing the escalating violence and state repression which has plagued the country since the 2008 U.S.-backed coup and has escalated with the fraudulent re-election last November of the sitting president — an electoral “victory” the Trump administration enthusiastically endorsed.
President Trump’s xenophobic vitriol toward these desperate refugees is designed to mask the responsibility of U.S. imperialism for the conditions in Honduras and throughout the hemisphere that drive workers, campesinos and the poor to abandon the countries of their birth for survival.
Using racist, nationalistic rhetoric, Trump-the-billionaire blames the poorest people in the hemisphere for all the problems of U.S. capitalism! A crude opportunist, he is playing to the political base that is his unwavering support: white supremacists, fascists, misogynists, homophobes, militarists and rightwing ideologues. By using his authority to station soldiers on the border, he is trying to compensate for failing to win congressional approval for billions of dollars to construct a border wall.
President Trump also lashed out at the Mexican government for not doing more to impede the Pueblo Sin Fronteras caravan as it traveled from Oaxaca toward Mexico City. He had to backtrack after a Homeland Security envoy returned from Mexico to remind him that Mexico has collaborated for years with the U.S. around immigration issues. This cross-border commitment intensified in 2006 with the adoption of the Mérida Plan that has delivered millions of dollars to Mexico’s corrupt military and police to strengthen the forces of state repression.
The Mexican government is controlled by a bourgeoisie subordinate to the United States. As such, it is caught in the contradiction of governing over Mexico and, at the same time, having to meet the demands of its bosses north of the Rio Grande. As a result, it demands decent treatment of Mexican immigrants while subjecting Central American refugees to the worst possible treatment.
Facing pressure from the Mexican and U.S. governments, Pueblo Sin Fronteras organizers decided in April to disband the caravan in Mexico City. Many participants declared that they would continue north, without its protection, to seek political asylum at the U.S. border. But others, including a number of mothers and children, are too sick, weak or demoralized to continue; they have decided to remain in Mexico at the mercy of the government there.
As revolutionary internationalists, the Committee for Revolutionary International Regroupment (CRIR) condemns the militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border and the hounding of refugees. We defend the absolute right of all immigrants to seek asylum, safety and work wherever they can find it.
CRIR stands against U.S. imperialist policies throughout the Americas and denounces all capitalist governments that subject workers and the poor to intolerable conditions of exploitation, oppression and poverty.
As a result of President Trump’s decision to station National Guard soldiers on the U.S. border, we demand the following:
–Open the U.S. border to all immigrants seeking asylum from violence and repression at home.
–Open the U.S. border to all workers and campesinos, including women, children, people with disabilities and the elderly, who are forced to immigrate to survive.
–Send emergency U.S. aid to provide food, housing, medical treatment and legal representation for all those stranded in Mexico City from this year’s Pueblo Sin Fronteras caravan.
–That the Mexican government accord Central American immigrants refugee status and guarantee them free passage through Mexico
–End the war against drug trafficking, supported by the United States, that has increased the violence in Mexico and Central America. This war is the main reason why thousands and thousands of workers abandon their homes.
–Demilitarize both the Mexico-Guatemala and U.S.-Mexico borders now!
Committee for Revolutionary International Regroupment
Partido Obrero Socialista (POS, México)
Freedom Socialist Party (FSP, United States and Australia)
Comité de Enlace Convergencia Socialista-La Verdad y Reagrupamiento hacia el PST (CSLV-r-PST, Argentina)