Com­mu­ni­ties Turn­ing up the Heat on ICE Atroc­i­ties

Trillions - - Contents -

While charges of abuse from the U.S. Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment agency con­tinue to rise, cities and com­mu­ni­ties across the coun­try have de­cided they have had enough. They are now putting the agency “on trial” for how it has treated peo­ple.

Why ICE Is on Trial

By the num­bers, what is be­hind this is that Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment (ICE) cur­rently de­tains 40,000 peo­ple ev­ery sin­gle day within more than 200 lo­ca­tions across the coun­try. On an an­nual ba­sis, it con­tin­ues to hold about 400,000 peo­ple, pend­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion and prose­cu­tion of those in cus­tody on the grounds of en­ter­ing the coun­try il­le­gally. This is de­spite the idea be­hind de­ten­tion sup­pos­edly be­ing that it is tem­po­rary and that the de­tainees are sup­posed to be re­leased, at least in some large per­cent­age, while await­ing rul­ings on their asy­lum re­quests. In one spe­cific area, El Paso, Texas, ICE ap­par­ently does not let those seek­ing asy­lum to do so out­side of de­ten­tion. The Amer­i­can Civil Lib­er­ties Union (ACLU) re­ports that all 349 pa­role re­quests for asy­lum seek­ers in El Paso be­tween Fe­bru­ary and Septem­ber 2017 were de­nied.

The num­bers alone do not tell the story, un­for­tu­nately. Thanks in no small part to the of­ten racist and dis­torted anti-im­mi­grant rhetoric from can­di­date and now Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, a crack­down on even the slight­est hint of il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion ac­tiv­i­ties is turn­ing ICE into an agency of thugs op­er­at­ing at the edges of the law.

As part of its op­er­at­ing prac­tices, ICE now in­cludes the fol­low­ing as part of its stan­dard tool­kit for deal­ing with po­ten­tial il­le­gals:

Ter­ror­iz­ing Neigh­bor­hoods

As an ex­am­ple of this, on April 10, 2018, ICE staged the largest raid in 10 years on a sin­gle busi­ness. On that day, agents from the spe­cial Home­land Se­cu­rity In­ves­ti­ga­tions (HSI) part of ICE went into the South­east­ern Pro­vi­sion meat­pack­ing plant in Mor­ris­town, Ten­nessee. There, ac­cord­ing to ICE re­ports, it “en­coun­tered 97 in­di­vid­u­als who are sub­ject to re­moval from the United States.” As part of the as­sault on the site, “10 of those en­coun­tered were ar­rested on fed­eral crim­i­nal charges, one was ar­rested on state charges and 86 were ar­rested on ad­min­is­tra­tive charges.” The De­part­ment of Jus­tice said that HSI, the In­ter­nal Rev­enue Ser­vice and the Ten­nessee High­way Pa­trol were all in­volved in the raid.

Stephanie Teatro, co-ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of the Ten­nessee Im­mi­grant and Refugee Rights Coali­tion (TIRRC), con­ducted in­ter­views with work­ers at the plant af­ter the raids. Ac­cord­ing to what she learned, “some work­ers de­scribed them­selves as block­ing

ex­its but not ac­tu­ally par­tic­i­pat­ing in the ac­tion it­self.” Roads around the plant were blocked off, a he­li­copter hov­ered over­head through­out, and those in and around the fa­cil­ity said they saw “ICE storm­ing in” from mul­ti­ple en­trances si­mul­ta­ne­ously. “It was like the build­ing was just taken over by ICE.”

Ac­cord­ing to ad­vo­cates for the work­ers, those cap­tured dur­ing the raid were or­dered into vans and sent to a Na­tional Guard ar­mory. Teatro says that “no­body was given a chance to know why they, in par­tic­u­lar, were be­ing ar­rested or what they were be­ing ar­rested for.” There were also in­di­ca­tions that some were scooped up just be­cause they were Latino and with­out any proof that they might be il­le­gal im­mi­grants.

The im­pact of the raid, be­sides just the dis­place­ment of the work­ers alone, was to raise fear in the com­mu­nity as to what might hap­pen next. Trau­ma­tized by the event, more than 550 stu­dents in the lo­cal Ham­blen County school dis­trict stayed out of school the day af­ter it all hap­pened. The town is still reel­ing from the event.

Lock­ing Up Asy­lum Seek­ers In­def­i­nitely

An­other tac­tic in the cur­rent bag of tricks be­ing used by ICE is to take those who are not il­le­gals but who are law­fully seek­ing asy­lum in the United States and keep them in cus­tody for ex­tended pe­ri­ods of time. Not only is there no le­gal jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for it tak­ing this long but the long de­lays in rul­ing on their cases cre­ate fear in those who le­git­i­mately de­sire asy­lum to even ap­ply for it. They also leave those in cus­tody with lit­tle re­course for car­ing for their fam­i­lies or seek­ing any other means of refuge.

This has re­sulted in a class-ac­tion law­suit filed on be­half of nine plain­tiffs by the ACLU and im­mi­grant rights groups. It al­leges that five U.S. ICE field of­fices have de­tained al­most ev­ery adult seek­ing asy­lum at their port of en­try. It was filed in U.S. Dis­trict Court in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., in March 2018.

This de­ten­tion is hap­pen­ing de­spite a 2009 ICE di­rec­tive that those who cross into the United States to ap­ply for asy­lum can, pro­vided they have a “cred­i­ble fear” of tor­ture or per­se­cu­tion in their home coun­try, be re­leased from de­ten­tion for humanitarian rea­sons. In 2013, that re­sulted in 92% of asy­lum seek­ers be­ing let go un­der this pol­icy. Ac­cord­ing to the cur­rent law­suit, how­ever, few are re­leased at all to­day.

U.S. At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions is on record as say­ing the asy­lum process was “sub­ject to ram­pant abuse and fraud.” But he also said that the re­lease of im­mi­grants await­ing asy­lum de­ci­sions just cre­ated “in­cen­tives for il­le­gal aliens to come here and claim a fear of re­turn.”

The lead plain­tiff in the spe­cific case noted here is Ansly Da­mus, a 41-year-old for­mer ethics teacher who fled from Haiti be­cause of al­leged po­lit­i­cal per­se­cu­tion. Even though he was granted asy­lum twice by a judge, he has re­mained in lockup in Ohio for more than 16 months while the govern­ment con­tin­ues to ap­peal his asy­lum grant by the court.

Sex­u­ally, Phys­i­cally and Emo­tion­ally Abus­ing De­tainees

Sex­ual abuse. Al­though not con­doned in any way of­fi­cially, this is now be­ing re­ported more of­ten than ever. In­ap­pro­pri­ate com­ments, touch­ing and rape are not un­com­mon for fe­male de­tainees. Even if they end up be­ing able to re­port the in­ci­dents, their fear of reprisal af­ter com­plain­ing is high, and many of the de­tainees who re­port such in­ci­dents are treated like crim­i­nals rather than vic­tims. One well-doc­u­mented case in­volved Laura Mon­ter­rosa, a de­tainee who crossed the border in Texas. When she re­ported her sex­ual as­saults, of­fi­cials from ICE’S Of­fice of Pro­fes­sional Re­spon­si­bil­ity and two deputies from the Wil­liamson County Sher­iff’s Of­fice asked her if her sex­ual re­la­tion­ship with the guard in­volved was con­sen­sual. “They treated me like a liar,” she says. “I didn’t feel like they were help­ing me. I felt they were ac­cus­ing me of some­thing.” An­other in­di­vid­ual, R. Santos, in de­ten­tion in York County Jail in Penn­syl­va­nia, was on her way to meet with a lawyer – a good thing. Then she was told by the of­fi­cer es­cort­ing her that he would be sex­u­ally as­sault­ing her af­ter­wards. She re­ported the in­ci­dent but, lack­ing any cor­rob­o­rat­ing ev­i­dence to the con­trary, ended up be­ing put in soli­tary con­fine­ment for 11 days – as re­tal­i­a­tion, she says.

Phys­i­cal and emo­tional abuse. Again, this is not of­fi­cially con­doned by se­nior of­fi­cials at ICE, but the prac­tice is hap­pen­ing more and more of­ten. Be­cause of the na­ture of the fa­cil­i­ties, many of which are un­der­funded and over­crowded, such abuse can hap­pen just by forc­ing peo­ple to stay there. Un­for­tu­nately, how­ever, there are ex­am­ples such as a re­cent case that hap­pened at a for-profit de­ten­tion cen­ter known as the West Texas De­ten­tion Fa­cil­ity. A group of ap­prox­i­mately 80 im­mi­grant men from the coun­tries of So­ma­lia, Kenya and Su­dan ar­rived there to be held for de­por­ta­tion pro­ceed­ings. Within a week, the group had been sub­jected to pep­per-spray­ing, racial slurs, threats, beat­ings and even sex­ual abuse. Re­lated in­ves­ti­ga­tions by the Texas A&M Uni­ver­sity School of Law Im­mi­gra­tion Clinic and RAICES, a Texas-based le­gal or­ga­ni­za­tion, in­volved 30 So­mali men de­tained at the same West Texas De­ten­tion

Fa­cil­ity. In the pe­riod from Fe­bru­ary 23 to March 3 this year alone, all of those de­tainees said they had been pep­per-sprayed at least once a week, and al­most half of them had been sub­jected to phys­i­cal abuse. One de­tainee, a man named Dal­mar, even re­ported that while he was in the nurse’s of­fice, the war­den hit him in the face four times. He said he asked the med­i­cal staff at the time, “Are you go­ing to let this hap­pen?” and the staff mem­ber re­sponded quickly with “We didn’t see any­thing.” Dal­mar said, “I was even­tu­ally placed in soli­tary con­fine­ment, where I was forced to lie face­down on the floor with my hands hand­cuffed be­hind my back while I was kicked re­peat­edly in the ribs by the war­den.”

The West Texas De­ten­tion Fa­cil­ity is run by pri­vate cor­po­ra­tion Lasalle Cor­rec­tions.

In each of these cases, the dis­gust­ing and il­le­gal treat­ment of de­tainees is en­cour­aged by state­ments from the White House and within the De­part­ment of Jus­tice about the need to crack down on im­mi­grants. Even Trump, who many thought could not make any more ex­treme state­ments about im­mi­gra­tion, said in a recorded Q&A ses­sion:

“We have peo­ple com­ing into the coun­try, or try­ing to come in – and we’re stop­ping a lot of them – but we’re tak­ing peo­ple out of the coun­try. You wouldn’t be­lieve how bad these peo­ple are. These aren’t peo­ple. These are an­i­mals. And we’re tak­ing them out of the coun­try at a level and at a rate that’s never hap­pened be­fore.”

(Trump’s pro­tec­tive staff now claims he meant the state­ment as re­fer­ring to MS-13 gang mem­bers, but there is noth­ing in his state­ment to even sug­gest that. It also doesn’t mat­ter. The state­ment is out, and those who rally be­hind Trump will be guided by it with­out fur­ther com­ment.) With lead­er­ship like that at the top, ex­treme treat­ment will be con­sid­ered jus­ti­fied and even en­cour­aged by those charged with en­forc­ing im­mi­gra­tion laws.

Sep­a­rat­ing Chil­dren From Their Par­ents

One of the lat­est things ICE agents have been do­ing as a tac­tic against those com­ing across the border is ar­rest­ing par­ents, sep­a­rat­ing their chil­dren from them and send­ing those chil­dren to so­cial ser­vices or fos­ter care.

Trump had planned to ar­rest both par­ents and chil­dren, but sev­eral court de­ci­sions have blocked him from be­ing able to pros­e­cute kids. So, in­stead, he has is­sued a di­rec­tive that chil­dren now have to be sep­a­rated from their par­ents when fam­i­lies cross the border il­le­gally, a di­rec­tive that went into ef­fect ear­lier this year. This is in­tended as an in­tim­i­da­tion tac­tic, some­thing that Trump and Ses­sions hope will spread fear far and wide to those seek­ing to cross the border, whether seek­ing asy­lum or hop­ing for a bet­ter life in the United States. In mid-may, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly ap­plauded the new pol­icy, say­ing that he hopes it will be a “tough de­ter­rent … the chil­dren will be taken care of – put into fos­ter care or what­ever.”

This pol­icy is also the sub­ject of a re­cent ma­jor con­tro­versy when the govern­ment dis­cov­ered it could not find ap­prox­i­mately 1,500 of the im­mi­grant chil­dren it had placed in the homes of spon­sors. That came up when Steven Wag­ner, act­ing as­sis­tant sec­re­tary for the Ad­min­is­tra­tion for Chil­dren and Fam­i­lies, which is part of the De­part­ment of Health & Hu­man Ser­vices, gave a re­port to a Se­nate Sub­com­mit­tee in April about the Of­fice of Refugee Re­set­tle­ment (ORR). (ORR is re­spon­si­ble for the care of all un­ac­com­pa­nied im­mi­grant chil­dren, in­clud­ing those sep­a­rated from their par­ents when they ar­rive il­le­gally.) In his re­port, Wag­ner said that the De­part­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity had sent more than 40,000 im­mi­grant chil­dren to the ORR dur­ing the 2017 fis­cal year.

As news about the miss­ing chil­dren spread, things be­came even worse when Trump at­tempted to blame the Democrats for a pol­icy that he and Ses­sions cre­ated and launched af­ter Trump took of­fice. The fol­low­ing is a Tweet he wrote on May 26:

Put pres­sure on the Democrats to end the hor­ri­ble law that sep­a­rates chil­dren from there par­ents once they cross the Border into the U.S. Catch and Re­lease, Lot­tery and Chain must also go with it and we MUST con­tinue build­ing the WALL! DEMOCRATS ARE PRO­TECT­ING MS-13 THUGS.

The push­back over what Trump is as­sert­ing has now turned into a na­tional cam­paign with the hash­tag #Where­arethechil­dren.

There is no ques­tion about the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion cre­at­ing the pol­icy of sep­a­rat­ing fam­i­lies and it was a Repub­li­can ad­min­is­tra­tion that cre­ated MS-13 back in the 1980s when Reagen-bush waged a cam­paign of ter­ror against the peo­ple of El Sal­vador and setup a drug dis­tri­bu­tion net­work through El Sal­vado­rans in Los An­ge­les to fund the Con­tras who ter­ror­ized Ni­cragua.

It is true that MS-13 is a se­ri­ous prob­lem and its mem­bers en­gage in bru­tal sadis­tic ac­tions. The group could be de­scribed as evil or sa­tan­tic. Call­ing them an­i­mals is an in­sult to an­i­mals.

Putting ICE on Trial

Be­sides the in­di­vid­ual and class-ac­tion cases be­hind some of the ac­tions de­scribed above, the De­ten­tion Watch Net­work (DWN), a coali­tion of or­ga­ni­za­tions with a fo­cus on the hor­rors and in­jus­tices of im­mi­gra­tion de­ten­tion, ar­ranged a series of 10 events in 10 dif­fer­ent cities to put ICE on trial with real tes­ti­mony and cases.

As the DWN notes in its on­line ma­te­ri­als, “Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment’s (ICE) track record of abuse is long-stand­ing, well doc­u­mented and over­whelm­ing. And un­der an ex­plic­itly anti-im­mi­grant and racist Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion, ICE is em­bold­ened to be less trans­par­ent, un­ac­count­able and act with in­creased im­punity. This is an agency that reg­u­larly lies, ac­tively hides in­for­ma­tion from the pub­lic and re­tal­i­ates against any­one who speaks out.” As Alan Dicker, who helped or­ga­nize one of the events in El Paso, said, these spe­cial hear­ings are needed be­cause “ICE is, in ef­fect, a law­less law en­force­ment agency.”

Since the DWN an­nounced its cam­paign to put ICE in a court­room en­vi­ron­ment, it has held “Peo­ple’s Tri­bunals” in New York, Cal­i­for­nia, Wash­ing­ton, D.C., Alabama, Texas, Colorado and Wash­ing­ton State. In most cases, the tri­bunals are held in or around ac­tual im­mi­gra­tion de­ten­tion cen­ters.

Real tri­als have been at­tempted to deal with what ICE has done. Both Prop­ub­lica and The Philadel­phia In­quirer have pulled to­gether many sto­ries of ICE agents com­mit­ting racial pro­fil­ing, con­duct­ing war­rant­less searches, hold­ing peo­ple with­out cause, fab­ri­cat­ing ev­i­dence, and us­ing bribery to achieve their ob­jec­tives. “But in none of these cases have agents or of­fi­cers been put on the stand to re­spond to the al­le­ga­tions,” write Dale Rus­sakoff and Deb­o­rah Son­tag, two jour­nal­ists be­hind these sto­ries.

As for why the tri­bunals are be­ing held to ad­dress this is­sue rather than pur­su­ing real tri­als, this is just part of a large trend for call­ing “truth to power” and hold­ing the govern­ment ac­count­able.

As Richard Falk, Prince­ton pro­fes­sor of in­ter­na­tional law, said, such tri­bunals “have emerged to fill the nor­ma­tive vac­uum cre­ated by the hypocrisies of in­ter­na­tional jus­tice.” The his­tory of such tri­als goes back to 1967 when Jean-paul Sartre and Ber­trand Russell held a Peo­ple’s Tri­bunal to ad­dress the U.S. mil­i­tary’s cul­pa­bil­ity in war crimes dur­ing the Viet­nam War. In that same year, rather than ar­rang­ing for a de­struc­tive protest, or what many saw as a likely in­ef­fec­tive at­tempt to get jus­tice in a real court­room, or­ga­niz­ers held a Peo­ple’s Tri­bunal to judge what hap­pened in Detroit dur­ing what was known as the Al­giers Mo­tel Killings. There, white po­lice of­fi­cers killed three black teenagers and badly beat oth­ers at the scene.

In more re­cent times, Mon­santo was put on trial at a Peo­ple’s Tri­bunal at The Hague in the Nether­lands. The charges were re­lated to Mon­santo’s al­leged crim­i­nal acts in mak­ing and sell­ing glyphosate and other chem­i­cals, such as DDT, 4,5-T (part of the toxic de­fo­liant Agent Orange), and the bovine growth hor­mone de­spite know­ing the high like­li­hood of broad harm with their use. As the tri­bunal or­ga­niz­ers noted about what they were try­ing there, “Mon­santo pro­motes an agroin­dus­trial model that con­trib­utes at least one third of global an­thro­pogenic green­house gas emis­sions; it is also largely re­spon­si­ble for the de­ple­tion of soil and wa­ter re­sources, species ex­tinc­tion and de­clin­ing bio­di­ver­sity, and the dis­place­ment of mil­lions of small farm­ers world­wide. This is a model that threat­ens peo­ple’s food sovereignty by patent­ing seeds and pri­va­tiz­ing life.” When the tri­bunal ruled, it found Mon­santo guilty of mul­ti­ple crimes against hu­man­ity.

In the El Paso tri­bunal about ICE, there were four jury mem­bers, three ex­pert wit­nesses and a col­lec­tion of ev­i­dence pro­vided by nu­mer­ous de­tainees and their fam­i­lies. There, ICE was on trial for three charges:

• The agency does not ful­fill its le­gal obli­ga­tions to mi­grants in its cus­tody.

• It does not live up to moral and eth­i­cal stan­dards of the sur­round­ing com­mu­nity.

• It over­sees an in­her­ently de­hu­man­iz­ing, ex­ploita­tive and de­struc­tive sys­tem.

Nellie Al­varado, a 42-year-old El Paso na­tive, was one of those who tes­ti­fied at this tri­bunal. Her hus­band, Os­car, had been shot by an un­known at­tacker and then asked for asy­lum when com­ing across the U.S. border in Juárez, Mex­ico, in 2015. He had tried to ask for help on the Mex­ico side, but the of­fi­cials did not be­lieve his story of what had hap­pened to him. Af­ter mak­ing it across the border, he was taken to a hos­pi­tal, treated and then put into ICE cus­tody while await­ing a de­ci­sion from ICE re­gard­ing his asy­lum.

Os­car Al­varado even­tu­ally spent 16 months in de­ten­tion, in­clud­ing 33 days in soli­tary con­fine­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to Nellie, Os­car was treated badly from the mo­ment ICE got their hands on him. He was given in­ad­e­quate med­i­cal treat­ment for the gun­shot wound. Then, while in cus­tody, al­though di­ag­nosed with post­trau­matic stress dis­or­der, he was given in­suf­fi­cient ac­cess to med­i­ca­tion for anx­i­ety and some­times missed doses. He lost weight, was blocked from ac­cess to any­one for large pe­ri­ods of time and had poor care through­out. When Nellie fi­nally saw him af­ter he was even­tu­ally de­ported to Juárez, she “ex­pected to find the man who went in, but the man who came out was dif­fer­ent.” She said he was very quiet, didn’t talk much and spoke of sui­cide.

All this hap­pened de­spite ICE’S claims that all “de­tainees … can ex­pect timely and ap­pro­pri­ate re­sponses to emer­gent med­i­cal re­quests” and that “ICE takes very se­ri­ously the health, safety and wel­fare of those in our care.”

An­other man who also tes­ti­fied at El Paso was JeanClaude, who had come from the Ivory Coast and sought asy­lum. He was held in de­ten­tion for al­most a year. Dur­ing that time, he re­ceived poor treat­ment, was iso­lated and rarely knew what was hap­pen­ing with ICE. As he said dur­ing the tri­bunal, “De­ten­tion has killed ev­ery­thing in me – my soul and my spirit.” De­spite those feel­ings, Jean-claude was one of those for­tu­nate enough to even­tu­ally be granted asy­lum. He now lives in Mary­land as a “free” man but is still af­fected psy­cho­log­i­cally by all that hap­pened to him while he was be­ing held.

Af­ter hear­ing about Os­car Al­varado, Jean-claude and oth­ers, the jury at the El Paso tri­bunal found ICE guilty on all three counts. The jury fur­ther called for the com­mu­nity to press the govern­ment to abol­ish ICE, shut down the de­ten­tion cen­ters and help those who are still be­ing de­tained.

As for the fu­ture, aware­ness of what is hap­pen­ing with ICE and the govern­ment in gen­eral is a ma­jor first step. Next comes mak­ing sure the word spreads about the abuse of power that ICE is demon­strat­ing, along with the il­le­gal ac­tions it takes while hold­ing in­di­vid­u­als. Af­ter that comes a call to ac­tion at the high­est lev­els of govern­ment.

Whether all of these steps can hap­pen with Trump and Ses­sions in charge in their re­spec­tive po­si­tions is un­clear. As for the DWN, its role in help­ing peo­ple learn about all the things ICE and the de­ten­tion sys­tem are do­ing with asy­lum seek­ers is just the beginning.

Amer­i­can Re­spon­si­bil­ity for Refugees

The United States is not re­spon­si­ble for cre­at­ing the con­di­tions that drive ev­ery refugee to leave their home, but it is cer­tainly re­spon­si­ble for a large por­tion.

Many of those en­ter­ing the U.S. il­le­gally or over­stay­ing visas do so be­cause they have no bet­ter op­tions.

A cen­tury of U.S. in­ter­fer­ence in El Sal­vador, Hon­duras and Gu­atemala has en­sured that the coun­tries have no hope for real democ­racy and will be un­able to lib­er­ate them­selves from the Cia-con­trolled drug gangs that rule them.

In Nicaragua, U.S. in­ter­fer­ence has com­pelled the pop­u­la­tion to put with the cor­rupt regime of Daniel Ortega be­cause the al­ter­na­tive is far worse.

In Mex­ico, Cia-or­ches­trated drug gangs have cor­rupted vir­tu­ally ev­ery level of govern­ment and con­tinue to ter­ror­ize the na­tion.

U.S. sup­port of Saudi Ara­bia and its rabid form of Is­lam — Wah­habism, has cre­ated a global cam­paign of vi­o­lence and Is­lamiza­tion that is driv­ing peo­ple out of their home coun­tries not just in the Mid­dle East but also in Europe and Africa.

Many other coun­tries have been im­pov­er­ished and/ or cor­rupted by preda­tory de­vel­op­ment lend­ing by the World Bank, IMF and Wall Street that were en­gi­neered to pri­mar­ily ben­e­fit U.S. cor­po­ra­tions and man­u­fac­ture poverty.

Dis­cour­ag­ing il­le­gal im­mi­grants through bru­tal­ity de­grades the en­tire na­tion. A bet­ter ap­proach is to stop in­ter­fer­ing in other coun­tries and cre­at­ing the con­di­tions that drive il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion.

It is time that the United States ac­knowl­edge the con­se­quences of its "Amer­ica First" for­eign pol­icy, ac­cept re­spon­si­bil­ity for the dam­age it has caused and start un­do­ing some of the dam­age that con­tin­ues to drive peo­ple from their homes.

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