This Is America #66: Concrete and Barbed Wire

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Welcome, to This Is America, March 29th, 2019.

On today’s show we look at the recent push by the DHS to give itself more powers, more money, and to build more infrastructure to house and deport migrant workers, as scenes from the makeshift outdoor detention center in El Paso, Texas go viral.

We then present an interview with members of the Burgerville Workers Union (BWU) about how the labor movement and people in Portland responded to attacks against them led by Joey Gibson and their continued struggle against Burgerville corporate for justice and dignity on the job.

Then then close with a critical conversation and anarchist critique of the Mueller report and the media storm surrounding it and why rich and powerful people don’t go to jail.

All this and more, but first, let’s get to the news!

DHS Pushes for More Power and Money as Anger Grows at Detention Camp in El Paso, Texas

Border Patrol and US Customs, in scenes reminiscent of the dystopian film, Children of Men, have unleashed a massive crackdown on Central American migrants, arresting almost 70,000 in February, the highest monthly total in years. Migrants in El Paso, Texas that have been arrested and captured have then been placed in make shift camps under freeways, photos of which have made their way onto social media, going viral. As one report wrote:

The border region has been placed under military occupation and is turning into a legal no man’s land. Video and images released Wednesday show immigrants being detained underneath an overpass in El Paso, Texas. In the images, hundreds of immigrants huddled behind barbed wire appear beneath a freeway surrounded by trash and armed guards.

The decision to hold immigrants under an overpass is a calculated, provocative maneuver. Trump, emboldened by the collapse of the Democratic Party-led Russia witch-hunt, is giving the green light to his fascistic supporters within the military and immigration agencies who are demanding a dramatic expansion of the network of immigrant internment camps across the US.

Late yesterday, NBC News reported that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will imminently ask Congress to provide billions of dollars in emergency funding for detention centers…

Immigrant children, the DHS letter complains, cannot be “expeditiously removed” due to “outdated laws” and “resource constraints.” The letter blames protections for immigrant children as a “pull factor” that encourages immigration. “We are witnessing the real-time dissolution of the immigration system,” the letter states, warning of a “system-wide meltdown.”

The DHS letter calls for granting “emergency” authority “to restore order” and “stem the historic flows” of immigrants, including through the elimination of legal protections for detained immigrants, the building of “temporary processing facilities” and the deployment of “at least hundreds of additional personnel to support CBP and ICE.”

According to NBC:

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen will ask Congress for the authority to deport unaccompanied migrant children more quickly, to hold families seeking asylum in detention until their cases are decided and to allow immigrants to apply for asylum from their home countries.

To top things off, Trump recently conducted an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News, where he implied it would be much easier to shoot migrants with a machine gun “like other countries,” but he “wouldn’t want to do it,” and instead, reiterated his demand for a massive border wall that would cost tens of billions of dollars.

That’s gonna do it for us this week, as always, enjoy the interview and the discussion.


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