The Trump administration and its supporters continue to put out utterly false information about immigrants and refugees in the United States. But the immigrants’ rights movement is fighting back hard in the streets, in Congress and in the court of public opinion.
In the congressional fight over the “wall”, and in the leadup to the 2020 presidential election, Trump continues to peddle the lies about the supposed criminal propensity of immigrants and refugees, especially those from Latin America and other poor and non-European countries. Trump and the Republicans have allied themselves closely with the most virulent far right anti-immigrant organizations in the country, whose stock in trade is precisely this kind of misinformation: The so-called Center for Immigration Studies, FAIR and linked groups.
While the far right wing press and media gleefully amplify the Trump administration’s lies and slanders, there is some push back on the part of Democrats in Congress. Among other things, there is talk about legislative action to restore protections for some categories of immigrants, such as people who would quality for the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) Program. This program, implemented by former president Obama by means of an executive order, would have given renewable three year permits to remain and work in the country to undocumented young people who were brought to the United States by their parents when they were minors. Trump has been trying to abolish DACA under the pretext that such an executive order was not “legal” (though his “emergency decree” used to justify the wall somehow is). Democrats also want to give a legislative break to people who have stayed in the country with Temporary Protected Status. These are people Trump is trying to throw out. Details of the proposed legislation are not available yet, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has reserved the number HR 6 for it.
So far in Congress, alongside a large number of anti-immigrant bills introduced by far right Republican senators and representatives, there is no “comprehensive immigration reform” bill currently being considered. There are several more piecemeal immigrant friendly bills, however. Promising is HR 541/S262, the “Keep Families Together Act”, which attempts to deal with the horrible treatment of refugee and migrant children families at the border by ICE and the Border Patrol.
Besides the limited nature of these bills, already filed or tentatively proposed, there is the problem that the public is not being properly informed about the reasons for so many people currently coming to the United States as refugees and desperate economic migrants: The devastating effects of human-induced climate change in many poor countries, the activities of U.S. and transnational corporations in displacing poor workers and farmers, and U.S. government support for repressive and corrupt regimes in places like Honduras, Guatemala and Haiti. These are things the U.S. public has a right to know about, and absolutely needs to know to understand just how vile the current administration’s baiting and scapegoating of immigrants’ actually is.
To this end, the Communist Party has revised and re-issued an important educational booklet on the immigration situation. This 12-page bi-lingual booklet, “Immigration Myths vs Facts” issued in English and Spanish, is designed to guide labor and community activists and the general public in the fight to defend immigrant families against the current xenophobic and racist onslaught.