|April 10, 2013 Anti-Militarization Contingent at Immigration Reform Rally|
|Written by Arturo J. Viscarra|
|Wednesday, 10 April 2013 08:31|
SOA Watch and over 70 other organizations endorsed the following statement in April of 2013:
On April 10th, 2013, activists and families from across the Americas will converge on Washington DC to collectively voice their support for Citizenship for All! Join us in the streets that day as we ally with our partners in the struggle for justice. We will join them in saying: "¡Es Tiempo!/It is time!" for citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants, and for an end to detention, deportation and the criminalization of migrants. In this powerful moment of voicing the strength of community to defend justice for all, it is critical to call out the U.S. policies and practices which are a driving force behind much of the migration from Latin America.
U.S. economic and military policies have created refugees by means of economic exploitation and the military interventions, coups d’état, and other forms of state-sponsored or condoned violence that preserve the unjust economic and social order in Latin America. Right now in Honduras, police, military, and paramilitary groups are terrorizing campesino villages, and as a recent AP report outlines, conducting “social cleansing”, which in turn creates displacement and forced migration. Notwithstanding these and other documented human rights abuses, as well as deep involvement in the drug trade, the U.S. continues to be the primary trainer and funder of the Honduran security forces. But this is hardly a new phenomenon. In the 1980s, during the civil wars in Central America, U.S.-backed military and paramilitary groups murdered hundreds of thousands and drove millions from their homes, causing many to flee to the United States. The large Salvadoran, Guatemalan, and Honduran communities of the Washington DC metro area are a permanent testament to this history of violence and forced migration.
The United States is currently spending $51 billion annually fighting the so-called Drug War which has not decreased the flow of narcotics across borders, but has left over 70,000 dead in the last 6 years in Mexico alone. While U.S. military “allies” are forcing people to migrate, our government has increasingly militarized the laws, policies, and the police and other institutions within our borders, subjecting migrants to a new round of fear and criminalization. Domestically, the Drug War has fueled the mass incarceration of blacks and latinos. Militarizing the Drug War has created a humanitarian crisis within the Western Hemisphere, while having zero impact on rates of drug use in the U.S. It has been used as pretext to ignore due process and civil liberties, inflate the military budget, and justify the continuation of U.S. intervention throughout Latin America.
The notion of "Securing the Border" is synonymous with making the border more dangerous and deadly for all migrants and immigrants, with little or no impact on national security. This "security measure" is a threat to all of our communities, inside and outside of our geographic boundaries. It is another measure in place that reinforces the separation of our families and sister nations, while increasing the risks of violence, dehydration, and death to those we love. If the goal is actually to stop the drug cartels, then the executives at HSBC, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and other drug money launderers are the ones that should be facing incarceration, not migrants.
Punitive immigration policies, mandatory detention, Operation Streamline, the increasing militarization of the border, for-profit immigration detention centers, the “War on Drugs”, and the training of repressive police and militaries at the School of the Americas (SOA/ WHINSEC), are all parts of the same racist system of violence and domination. A dismantling of these and other shameful policies that benefit the existing national and international system of exploitation as well as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the Geo Group, and other war and prison profiteers, is what is needed for there ever to be true “Comprehensive Immigration Reform”.
Immigrant and Latin@ voters played a decisive role in the last elections by lifting many members of the House and Senate to victory, and defeating anti-immigrant legislators. Let us stand in solidarity on the side of justice for all and be unafraid to point out the obvious connections between the U.S.’s military-driven foreign policy, forced migration, and the shameful treatment of immigrants in the U.S. These interlocking systems of oppression require a multi-faceted resistance to all forms of oppression: racist criminalization and fear-mongering, economic exploitation, and state-sponsored violence.
- NALACC - National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities
- No More Deaths / No Más Muertes
- La Coalición de Derechos Humanos
- La Voz de los de Abajo
- Alliance for Global Justice
- Alterna Community
- Casa Esperanza
- Families for Freedom
- Student-Farmworker Alliance
- National Lawyer's Guild
- School of the Americas Watch
 Rights Action, "Human Rights Violations Attributed to Military Forces in the Bajo Aguan Valley in Honduras" (Report published February 20, 2013): http://rightsaction.org/sites/default/files/Rpt_130220_Aguan_Final.pdf
 Associated Press, "US Aids Honduran Police Despite Death Squad Fears" (March 23, 2013): http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2013/03/23/world/americas/ap-lt-honduras-death-squads.html
 The Nation, "Honduras: Which Side is the U.S. On?" (June 11, 2012): http://www.thenation.com/article/167994/honduras-which-side-us#
 Truth-Out, "Fueled by War on Drugs, Mexican Death Toll Could Exceed 120,000 As Calderon Ends Six-Year Reign" (Novermber 28, 2012): http://truth-out.org/news/item/13001-calderon-reign-ends-with-six-year-mexican-death-toll-near-120000
 Rolling Stone, "Outrageous HSBC Settlement Proves the Drug War is a Joke" (December 13, 2012): http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/outrageous-hsbc-settlement-proves-the-drug-war-is-a-joke-20121213
 The Guardian, "How a big US bank laundered billions from Mexico's murderous drug gangs" (April 2, 2011): http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/03/us-bank-mexico-drug-gangs
 Bloomberg News, "FBI Says Cartel Used Bank of America to Launder Money" (July 9, 2012): http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-09/fbi-says-cartel-used-bank-of-america-to-launder-money.html
|Last Updated on Monday, 15 September 2014 22:20|
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