Once again, U.S. President Obama has made an empty promise to undocumented workers and their families. It can prove to be a dangerous, vicious trap. As CHALLENGE reported, Obama took an “executive action,” declaring that certain undocumented immigrants will be given “deferred action” status for two years. In order to qualify, the person has to be 30 years old or younger; have been brought here before age 16 by an undocumented parent; have lived in the U.S. for more than 5 years; and graduated from high school or gotten a GED or been in the military. Also, qualification depends on not having any conviction greater than an “insignificant” misdemeanor. All applicants will be fingerprinted and subject to FBI checks.
If approved, a driver’s license and work will be permitted, but that’s all. Obama made it clear that this program will not lead to anyone getting a green card or citizen status. At the end of two years, one will have to reapply. There will be no process for appeal if the local immigration officer denies the application.
What Obama didn’t say when he announced his plan is that because this is an “executive action,” he can change his mind at any time and just take it away, as can any future president. Within days of Obama’s announcement, Congressman Quayle of Arizona already introduced legislation to block this program.
The viciousness of Obama’s racist program is that it holds a very tempting carrot out to young people who are desperately trying to survive. But that carrot is rotten, for it exposes that young person and their family members to the trap of unwittingly being caught for deportation. A young person registering for the program will have to disclose his or her address. Any undocumented family members living there will have no protections, and can be swept up immediately for deportation. In addition, if the program is ended at any point, the government will have the names and addresses of all of these people who are “illegal” once again. This is the very trap that awaited Haitian immigrants who were eligible for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) after Haiti’s earthquake. Mindful of this, few of them signed up for that program.
The other viciousness lies in the fact that right now this program is just an announcement. There is no policy, no regulations, no forms to be filled out, no training for how to carry it out. This too, happened once before with Obama and the consequences have been dramatic.
Last year, racist Obama announced a new policy — the government would only deport people who had prior deportation orders or who had committed crimes. Many people, immigration lawyers included, got very excited. Yet, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) is still deporting people who have no prior deportation orders or criminal convictions.
When challenged, ICE said (1) they were still going by the old policy as they had not yet, even nine months after the policy was announced, been given direction as to how to implement it; and (2) they considered that anyone who was here without documentation was committing a crime! It is clear that Obama is willing to make grand, idle, vicious promises to people, knowing that they will not be carried out and will pose a great danger to anyone who trusts his announcements. Overmore, it is a victim-approved fascist trap for undocumented workers.
The reality is that the ruling class is desperate for young people to serve as bodies for their imperialist wars. Colonel Margaret Stock, an immigration attorney who served at West Point, said that the military is eager for the Dream Act because immigrant children are perfect soldiers. They are compliant with orders, don’t complain and don’t cause trouble.
Imperialist warmonger Obama is doing Colonel Stock one better. He has announced a trap that will both steer young immigrants into the military (because even if they are able to get protection under his program, most won’t be able to find jobs), and get names and addresses of their undocumented families who he and future presidents can round up and deport.
A system that can’t provide for the well-being of all does not deserve to exist. We must continue our fight for communist revolution, for only then will people not be categorized as “legal” and “illegal.” Only then will workers be guaranteed work to live their lives as truly productive, creative human beings. Smash all borders, Workers of the World Unite!