News ID: 255733
Published: 0223 GMT July 13, 2019

Thousands protest immigrant concentration camps at vigils across US

Thousands protest immigrant concentration camps at vigils across US

Two days before the largest immigration raid in US history, thousands of people in over 700 cities held vigils and protests on Friday to voice their anger at the mass imprisonment and brutal treatment of immigrants at concentration camps. The vigils were an international event, with at least one event taking place in every US state and across five continents.

The protests show that there is broad popular opposition to Donald Trump’s fascistic attacks on immigrants. They were organized after reports of standing room only cells, Customs and Border Patrol officials denying children toothbrushes and diapers, and the drowning of a father and his young daughter at the US-Mexico border sparked international outrage, reported.

Recent reports have revealed that Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officials not only knew of, but actively whipped up anti-immigrant sentiment among immigration officials. After a ProPublica exposé uncovered a secret Facebook group with Border Patrol agents making racist and sadistic jokes against immigrants, on Friday the Intercept revealed that the head of CBP, Carla Provost, was a member of this group.

The same day as the report by the Intercept, Vice President Mike Pence traveled to migrant processing facilities in Texas. Pence claimed: “Every family that I spoke to told me that they are being well cared for. Our customs and border protection are doing their level best to provide compassionate care to these families.”

Today, these “compassionate” agents will be processing thousands of people in the aftermath of ICE military-style arrests in major cities across the US, which will target any undocumented individuals living in the selected address for a “collateral arrest.”

The Democratic Party is complicit in the attack on immigrants. Just two weeks ago, Democrats voted to overwhelmingly for a bill that funds Trump’s concentration camps.

Campaign teams for the World Socialist Web Site attended the “Lights for Liberty” vigils across the country to provide attendees with an international socialist perspective. Several members of the Socialist Equality Party and the International Youth and Students for Social Equality addressed the crowds.

Across the country, reporting teams for the World Socialist Web Site distributed the statement “Trump’s raids and the stench of fascism” to hundreds of participants across the United States.

In Washington, DC, about 2,000 workers, professionals and young people rallied in Lafayette Square Park across from the White House.

In Boston, the WSWS spoke with Lucille and Pau, who are originally from France. Asked if he thought there are similarities between what is happening in the US and in France, Pau said, “Yes, there is a kind of race for which is going further. What’s going on here in the camps is really scary—knocking on doors and kicking you out of the country.”

“It’s not really new in France,” Lucille said. “It’s been going on for a least a decade. They used to have administrative centers where they’d hold the people, exactly the same way as here, even under Sarkozy. Like with the Calais immigrant situation; these things date back at least two decades.” Both referred to the situation in the Mediterranean, where hundreds of refugees are drowning.



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