Activists and citizens protest Trump’s planned raids on migrants

The Trump administration has been receiving strong pushback over its plans to process and deport thousands of migrant families. Protests have been held outside the offices of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency in various cities

June 29, 2019 by Peoples Dispatch
Activists and citizens protest Trump's planned raids on migrants
The Party of Socialism and Liberation held a protest outside the ICE office in Utah. Photo: Steve Griffin, Deseret News

The Donald Trump administration’s declaration that it would process and deport over a million migrants has faced stiff resistance from activists and citizens, as well as the opposition Democratic Party. On June 25, thousands of employees at furniture retail giant Wayfair walked out in protest of the company’s continuing deal with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. Wayfair has been supplying furniture to detention camps where human rights violations have reportedly taken place. A large-scale consumer boycott of Wayfair also took place after reports of squalid living conditions in the detention camps came out.

On June 24, over a 100 activists from different organizations held a protest outside the offices of the ICE in Philadelphia. The demonstration was announced over social media on June 18, after president Donald Trump tweeted his plans to have the agency deport “millions of illegal aliens”.

A similar demonstration was organized outside the ICE’s Salt Lake City office by the city chapter of the Party of Socialism and Liberation. The protesters put up posters of jailed children, referring to the Trump administration’s latest policy measure of separating refugee and migrant children from their families during detention as a supposed deterrent for those who might cross the border.

The planned deportation program, which the administration has been hinting at for more than a year, was supposed to begin on June 24. It was delayed by two weeks after the 10 cities that were earmarked by the ICE for the first set of raids on nearly 2,000 families refused to cooperate with the federal government. These cities are known for their higher than average proportion of migrants and refugees, and all except Miami are currently run by Democrat mayors.

The last minute postponement of the raids, which was also declared over Twitter, was made out to be a gesture by the president to the Democrats to “work out a solution to the Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border”.

Despite protests against the administration’s belligerent attitude on immigration, the government has been employing policies that have been widely condemned for their blatant abuse of human rights. The latest announcement of mass deportations has evoked some very sharp reactions even from the most unlikely quarters. Even those in the Democratic leadership who have a history of supporting various anti-immigration policies, like Nancy Pelosi, the current speaker of the House of Representatives of the US Congress, have condemned such sweeping actions. More protests are to be expected in the coming days from across the country.

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