Since taking office Donald Trump has been feverishly enacting his bigoted, racist agenda through a stream of executive orders and actions. His long list already includes expediting the approval of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL Pipelines, restricting crucial access to reproductive healthcare, and beginning the roll back of the Affordable Care Act.
Trump’s main attack, however, is aimed at immigration: it is now government policy to ban immigrants from a list, which can be expanded at any time at the president’s discretion, of Muslim-majority countries that includes Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen — all of which Trump is currently bombing — as well as Sudan, Iran, and Somalia; to immediately begin work on the border wall with Mexico; to hire 5,000 additional border agents and 10,000 more Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents; to deport anyone seen as a “risk;” to block all federal grants to sanctuary cities; for all local law enforcement officers to act as immigration agents; and to institute of “extreme vetting” for all refugee admissions. This was all done before the end of the first week of Trump’s presidency. Furthermore, in the coming days Trump is poised to eliminate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) which currently protects around 740,000 people from deportation.
These executive orders and actions are a concerted and violent assault on already vulnerable groups of people. The majority of immigrants and refugees to the United States are fleeing war, destitution, and internal strife created by US military and economic intervention. The ban on Muslims is clear continuation of racist fear-mongering in order to justify bombing and overthrowing sovereign governments in the Middle East and North Africa for corporate gain. Likewise, the increasing criminalization of undocumented immigrants is not for the “protection of American jobs” but a method of forcing the most dangerous and exploitative jobs to be taken by undocumented people who are unable to unionize and organize their workplaces. Under Obama, over 2.5 million people were deported — more than any other president in the history of the US. From day one, Trump is positioning himself to continue and escalate the offensive against immigrants and refugees, and with the elimination of DACA many facing deportation are those who have lived in the US for the majority of their lives. These bans, restrictions, and program eliminations also further legitimize the ever more prevalent hate crimes committed against Muslim, Arab, Black, Latinx, and Chicanx people.
The “wait-and-see” approach to Trump’s blatantly white supremacist, anti-immigrant agenda is toothless and cowardly and it shows that both the Democrats and the Republicans will fall in line with whatever is profitable and expedient. So far, 14 Democrats (including Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s running mate) have voted for every single one of Trump’s cabinet picks including General John Kelly for the Department of Homeland Security, the agency which is still enforcing Trump’s Muslim ban despite a court ordered stay. We cannot stand idly by while those who claim to lead us do nothing while Trump continues to enact all the policies he promised since the first day of his campaign. We do not “owe Trump an open mind.” We must proactively resist Trump, his cabinet, and his policies.
On the first day of the Muslim ban thousands of protesters mobilized against Trump’s agenda and shut down JFK Airport in New York. In conjunction with the New York Taxi Drivers Alliance strike operations at the airport effectively ceased. Over the following days tens of thousands across the country joined in marches and rallies against the Muslim ban, the wall, and the racist, Islamophobic, and generally bigoted actions by the Trump administration. Similar to the massive strike on May Day in 2006 that defeated HR-4437, the “Border Protection, Anti-terrorism and Illegal Immigration Control Act,” this political and economic pressure by the people in support of immigrants and refugees, and not the behind the scenes maneuvering of any Democrats, led to a temporary halt on the Muslim ban.
We must not relent in our organizing and mobilization. SDS has been at the forefront of marches and protests against Trump. We joined the coalition that marched on the Republican National Convention, we have shut down his rallies across the country, and we will continue to fight his attacks.
Therefore, National Students for a Democratic Society calls for a day of action on February 15th to resist Trump’s racist, anti-immigrant executive orders and agenda. We demand a rescission of these orders, legislative protection of sanctuary campuses and cities, preservation of DACA, and Legalization For All! The situation under Trump is likely going to get worse before it gets better; however, only by building the student movement — and by extension the people’s movement as a whole — and struggling for change can we achieve a more just and democratic society.
Dare to Struggle! Dare to Win!
Stop Trump’s Agenda!
Sanctuary For All!
Legalization For All!
Education For All!