Not Our President, Not Our America, Not Our Democracy
Resistance Continues to Build in United Actions Defending Rights of Children, Families, Refugees and Immigrants (report and photos)
Veterans Join Actions at the Border to Defend Human Rights
ACLU to Court: Order the Government to Reunite the Families Judge Orders Reunification of Separated Families
Migrant Children Sent to Shelters with Histories of Abuse Allegations
Demand Grows for Tech Giants Like Microsoft and Salesforce to Cancel Contracts With ICE and Border Patrol

Civil War Scenario
Seventeen States Sue Federal Government: Contending Authorities Contribute to Civil War Danger

June 30 Demonstrations in Every State

Resistance Continues to Build in United Actions Defending Rights of Children, Families Refugees and Immigrants

Hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life joined demonstrations all across the country on June 30, affirming the human rights of children, refugees and immigrants and rejecting the government’s brutal and wholesale attacks on them. Everywhere the stand was clear: Separation of Families is a Crime Against Humanity; Separation is Child Abuse; Children Are Not Criminals; No Human Being is Illegal; Asylum is a Right; Reunite Families NOW! Stop Government Terrorizing of Families; Detain Trump, Not Children; Caging Children is a Crime; No Concentration Camps; End Detention.

Many families participated with their young children, who often made the signs. From Juneau, Alaska to Orlando, Florida, people in sizeable united actions in cities and towns large and small took their stand. More than 35,000 marched in DC, 30,000 in New York City, 60,000 in Chicago and 70,000 in Los Angeles, with more than 750 actions in all. More than 180 organizations participated in mobilization. Demonstrations also took place across Canada and in many other countries worldwide.

The many immigrant and refugee families directly impacted played a main role in organizing and participating in the actions, standing unafraid and demanding justice. Women and young girls also played an important role. So too did large numbers of white workers, like steelworkers, healthcare workers, teamsters, and many others. As one organizer put it, he had never seen so many people from diverse backgrounds come forward to defend immigrant and refugee rights. In this manner, the disinformation spread with the Trump election, that white workers are backward, racist supporters of Trump and government brutality, was exposed. The united stand of all, from the many nationalities making up the single U.S. working class, was clear: These attacks are unacceptable and we will not be silent!

Not Our President, Not Our America, Not Our Democracy

Another feature of the many actions was the stand that basically there are two Americas contending: the one represented by the rulers and their representative Trump, and that of the people represented by their many organized actions of all kinds, like demonstrations, meetings, petitions, and more. Many of the signs in different places reflected this battle: This is Not Who We Are or Should Be;Chaining Babies Not My America; We Are What We Do, So Which Are We (with two pictures, one jailing children and one welcoming refugees). Since the Trump election, which was and has been broadly opposed by the large majority, the view that the country is headed in the wrong direction and one that is harmful to the people here and abroad, has grown. As many now put it: Not Our President, Not Our America, Not Our Democracy.

This growing consciousness and readiness to act on it is a serious problem for the rulers and their ability to maintain their rule. The U.S. state demands a passive and pliant population at home so as to better wage war abroad while increasing repression and impunity at home. Immigration is one of the fronts where the rulers are broadly imposing this impunity, targeting immigrants and refugees for now, while striving to have the rest of the population identify with the rulers and what they put forward as the national interest. Immigrants are to be seen as separate, as criminals without rights. Everyone else is to support the notion that the border must be militarized, families and communities terrorized, children criminalized — in the name of protecting the national interest or national security.

The Supreme Court recently acted as an arm of the executive in pushing this same view: ruling 5-4 that the executive legitimately imposed a ban on Muslims as part of exercising the president’s authority to protect the national interest.

The rulers need people to identify with the national interest as determined by them. To accomplish this they set in motion not only the coercion of force, but also the coercion of denying the people their own thinking and outlook — denying them of a way of looking at the world from a vantage point that favors them. The rulers intervene, using the presidency, cabinet, governing institutions and monopoly media, all so that people look at the world from the vantage point of the rulers and identify with the notion that the national interest of the rich and the people are the same.

The ruling elite most certainly does not want the people to instead identify with their own interests, individual, collective and the general interests of society — such as defending the human rights of all at home and abroad. They do not want people to envision a society in the image of the working class, with its identity that is pro-social, pro-equality, and pro-empowerment. So every effort is being made to try and divide, divert, and block the people from advancing the struggle for the rights of all.

The June 30 demonstrations, like those of the students before them, are all indicating that the people will not accept this backward direction of the rulers and are striving to themselves be the decision makers — to have a country that serves their interests and those of all humanity.

Conditions are making clear that a new democracy of our own making is required. The fact that many hundreds of thousands have expressed their determination to take the country in a different direction twice in the last three months is an indication that such a democracy can and must be achieved.

Washington, DC

New York City


Los Angeles

Santa Maria, California

San Jose, California

San Francisco

Oakland, California

Concord, California

Portland, Oregon

Edmonds, Washington

Spokane, Washington

Juneau, Alaska

Nogales, Arizona and Albuquerque, New Mexico

Casper, Wyoming and Colorado Springs, Colorado

Dodge City, Kansas (left) and Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri

Austin and Brownsville, Texas

Houston, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Marshalltown, Iowa and Northfield, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Dayton, Ohio

Indianapolis, Indiana

Jackson and Johnson City Tennessee

Tupelo, Mississippi

Buffalo, New York

Portland, Maine

Boston, Massachusetts

Greenwich, Connecticut

Stamford, Connecticut

York, Pennsylvania and Redbank, New Jersey

Newark, New Jersey

Atlanta, Georgia


Veterans Join Actions at the Border to Defend Human Rights

Last week About Face met with fellow organizers and members of Mijente to take joint action at the Tornillo Port of Entry, where detention camps have been built and where children and adults are currently being imprisoned.

About Face opposes the hyper-criminalization of migrants and asylum seekers. Migration is a human right and every person is worthy of dignity and respect irrespective of whether they have “papers” or not. You should not have to prove “extreme and unusual hardship” to avoid being separated from your family. We, as a country, have a moral responsibility to support and uplift those adversely affected by the U.S.’s decades-long role in the economic and military destabilization of the home countries these migrants and asylum seekers have been forced to leave.

As part of our protest we had a giant balloon banner. Its message to those in detention: NO ESTÁN SOLOS (You are not alone).

We were able to join Mijente and United We Dream in blocking the main entrance to the detention camp and letting those locked inside know that there are people here who care for them and want to see them free and reunited with their families.

We are continuing to stand in solidarity with Mijente as they fight back against unjust immigration practices. Yesterday they took action in San Diego, continuing to lead and escalate resistance to unjust detention, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and to ICE.

While we were honored to offer on-the-ground support we see the potential to focus the energy of our Drop the MIC campaign into fighting against this injustice, to have an even greater impact. Here is how:

• Call out General Dynamics for profiteering of War, Militarization of the Border and Child and Family Detention (look for our social media toolkit this week);

• Create speaking forums and produce media that challenges the narrative of ICE and Jeff Sessions, encouraging troops who have served in the borderlands to speak out about that experience;

• Continue to show up and demand the U.S. demilitarizes the border and abolishes ICE.


ACLU to Court: Order the Government to Reunite the Families

July 10 Update: On July 6 a federal court ordered the Trump administration to produce — by July 7 at 5pm Pacific Time — a list of all the children under 5 that it forcibly separated from their parents. The ACLU estimated that less than half of the children under five would be reunited with their parents by the court-imposed July 11 deadline. The Trump administration attempted to get an extension but the judge refused. On July 6, when the administration failed to provide a precise update to the court on the progress of reunification, the judge demanded the list. The court also left intact the reunification deadlines, of within 14 days for children under 5 (July 11) and 30 calendar days for all other children (July 25). Reportedly as of the deadline 38 of 100 children under five have been reunited with their parents. According to the Department of Health and Human Services the latest updates on the remaining children under 5 is as follows:
• 10 cannot be reunited yet because their parents are in custody;
• 16 are not eligible because their parents either had criminal histories, did not pass DNA tests, or the child could be at risk of abuse or disease;
• 20 children are eligible, but their parents have either already been deported or are still being screened; • 1 child’s parents cannot be found. The judge is not accepting the government's delays and has now ordered an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, which brought the suit to prepare a possible punishment for the administration’s missed deadline.The July 25 deadline for the remaining 2,900 children ages 5 to 18 remains.

June 27 Update: On June 26, a federal judge ordered the reunification of thousands of parents and children forcibly separated by the Trump administration. The American Civil Liberties Union sought the nationwide preliminary injunction to halt the practice and immediately reunite all the separated families. Thousands of families have been torn apart by this inhumane practice, which is designed to scare other families from seeking refuge in the United States. In its ruling, the court said all children must be reunited within 30 days; children under five within 14 days; and all parents must be able to speak with their children within 10 days. The court also prohibited any deportation of parents without their children, absent of a knowing waiver. In the future, no child can be separated unless it is genuinely in the child’s best interest.

Class Action Suit

The ACLU’s class action lawsuit to end family separation and immediately reunite children and parents has reached a pivotal point, following a June 22 status conference where the government was unable to articulate a plan to reunite thousands of children in its custody with their parents.

The lack of foresight and planning is galling. For each day the government stalls, thousands of children are subjected to irreparable trauma. What’s more, there have been reports that immigration officers are actively pressuring parents to give up their asylum claims in order to be reunited with their children.

This cruelty and utter contempt for the welfare of children and the rule of law cannot stand. Our government cannot be allowed to hold children hostage in order to sabotage the legal claims of people seeking refuge.

On June 25, we asked the court to hold the Trump administration to account, and require it to reunify all children with their parents within 30 days, and within 10 days for children under five; provide parents, within seven days, telephonic contact with their children; stop future separations of children from their parents; and not remove separated parents from the United States without their children, unless the parent affirmatively, knowingly, and voluntarily waives the right to reunification before removal.

The court’s role is more important than ever in light of recent actions by the administration seeking to deflect the public’s attention. On June 20, President Trump signed an executive order that purports to end further separations of families at the border. The order, however, contains a significant carve-out authorizing family separation “when there is a concern that detention of an alien child with the child’s alien parent would pose a risk to the child’s welfare.”

Those vague terms are not defined, and they would allow enormous leeway for immigration officers to justify separations that don’t meet constitutional standards. For example, DHS has defended its actions in taking away the 7-year-old child of Ms. L, a Congolese mother who sought asylum at a port of entry. Their justification is that Ms. L did not have her documents with her by the time she reached the United States after a 10-country journey from the Congo — a common occurrence for asylum seekers. But rather than making a meaningful attempt to verify their relationship, the government separated a child from her mother for close to five months. There is nothing in the executive order that would stop this type of unnecessary separation and trauma from happening in the future.

Just as pressing, the executive order does not address the reunification of already separated families at all, and the government has no meaningful plan to swiftly ensure that such reunifications occur. Instead, during a telephonic status conference with the judge, the government’s attorney attempted to suggest that the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s (ORR’s) preexisting processes for releasing immigration children from its custody would suffice.

It will not.

ORR’s sponsorship and reunification processes were designed for the entirely different situation of a child who comes to the border alone, where the agency must identify and vet a sponsor (family member or otherwise). They are simply inadequate to quickly reunite a child who was forcibly taken from his or her own parents. For example, ORR has no systems designed to flag a child as having been separated from a parent at or near the time of the family’s arrest, to track the identity and detention location of the separated child’s parent after the separation, to ensure regular contact between a separated detained child and her detained parent, or to reunify the child and parent in an ICE family detention facility.

ORR’s shortcomings are on clear display considering the steps it has taken to allow communication between parents and children, much less reunite them. For instance, ORR has created a 1-800 hotline number that supposedly allows parents to find the children who have been taken from them, but it regularly puts people on hold for 30 minute periods — a length of time which is infeasible for detained parents to stay on the line. The hotline is now generating a constant busy signal.

Similarly, DHS has created a hotline for ORR caseworkers or attorneys trying to find parents. But that hotline merely permits a caller to request contact with a detained parent, and field offices can decline to respond to such requests. It is clear that if the government is left to follow its existing practices — which put the onus on parents to find their children but offers no reliable system for them to do so — the overwhelming majority of children will not be reunited any time in the near future.


Judge Orders Reunification of Separated Families

A federal judge in San Diego, California ruled June 26 that the more than 2,000 refugee children separated from their parents under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy must be reunited with their families within 30 days — and children under age 5 must be returned to parents within two weeks.

“The facts set forth before the court portray reactive governance —responses to address a chaotic circumstance of the government’s own making. They belie measured and ordered governance, which is central to the concept of due process enshrined in our Constitution,” wrote U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw. “This is particularly so in the treatment of migrants, many of whom are asylum seekers and small children.”

The Trump administration’s family separation policy was implemented without any standards for adequately tracking detained children taken from their parents, so as Sabraw noted, the “startling” and “unfortunate reality is that under the present system migrant children are not accounted for with the same efficiency and accuracy as property.”

In addition to setting deadlines for reunification, Sabraw also issued a nationwide injunction to block officials from separating any more families —unless a parent “affirmatively, knowingly, and voluntarily declines to be reunited with the child...or there is a determination that the parent is unfit or presents a danger to the child” — and mandated that the government establish phone contact between separated children and their parents within 10 days.

While the ruling, which allows the case to proceed as a class action suit was welcomed by the immigrant rights community, it is still unclear how officials will actually go about reuniting families, particularly if a parent already has been deported and their child remains in government custody. […]

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said at a Senate hearing on Tuesday that 2,047 children remain in government custody and claimed they could not be reunited with their parents because of the 1997 Flores agreement, which puts a 20-day limit on detaining families. (Common Dreams)


Migrant Children Sent to Shelters with Histories of Abuse Allegations

Taxpayers have paid more than $1.5 billion in the past four years to private companies operating immigrant youth shelters accused of serious lapses in care, including neglect and sexual and physical abuse, a Reveal investigation has found.

In nearly all cases, the federal government has continued to place migrant children with the companies even after serious allegations were raised and after state inspectors cited shelters with serious deficiencies, government and other records show.

Since 2003, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department has awarded nearly $5 billion in grants through the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), mostly to religious and nonprofit organizations in 18 states, to house children who arrive in the country unaccompanied. The program grew quickly in 2014, when around 70,000 children crossed the southern border alone.

Now this web of private facilities, cobbled together to support children with nowhere else to go, is beginning to hold a new population: the more than 2,000 children who arrived with their parents but were separated from them because of a Trump administration policy.

In Texas, where the resettlement agency awarded the majority of the grants, state inspectors have cited homes with more than 400 deficiencies, about one-third of them serious.

Allegations included staff members’ failure to seek medical attention for children… Inspectors also cited homes for “inappropriate contact” between children and staff, including a case in which a staff member gave children a pornographic magazine…Last year, a youth care worker at a Florida shelter for migrant children was sentenced to 10 years in prison after she admitted to trading sexually explicit photos and text messages with minors at the shelter. That facility later closed but recently reopened under a more than $30 million contract to house 1,000 children. […]

In those cases and dozens of others, federal officials continued sending children who crossed the border to the shelters after the incidents came to light. Since 2014, 13 organizations that faced serious allegations or citations shared the $1.5 billion total – nearly half of what the federal government spent to house immigrant children in that time. […]

In the summer of 2014, federal officials faced a similar rush to increase capacity for thousands of children. One contractor compared that period with “changing the tires on a moving school bus.” Those comments came in response to a federal audit that found that His House, a shelter in Florida, “might not have followed” the resettlement agency’s policies for 724 children regarding medical care, providing “appropriate clothing” and running background checks on adults taking custody of children. The audit also found that the shelter “might have placed federal funds totaling 9 million dollars at risk of mismanagement or misappropriation.”

Images in recent days show children warehoused in a tent city in Tornillo, Texas, guarded by Department of Homeland Security officers dressed in body armor and carrying long guns.

Homes with Worst Issues Keep Getting Grants

A case in point is the Shiloh Treatment Center, a mobile home complex-turned-child care center. Located in rural Manvel, Texas, the center was founded in 1995 by Clay Dean Hill, now 69. In 2013, the resettlement agency began funding the shelter, sending it more than $25 million in grants over five years.

In 2001, Stephanie Duffield, 16, had died after being restrained by staff. Following her death, Shiloh was found to be “in compliance” with state requirements, according to the refugee resettlement office. Since then, Shiloh has been dogged by allegations of child abuse, leading Brazoria County’s district attorney, Jeri Yenne, to call for increased monitoring of the shelter.

Children have died at two other programs affiliated with Hill, Behavior Training Research Inc. and Daystar Residential Inc. Between 1993 and 2010, three children died after being restrained at those facilities. In 2002, Latasha Bush, 15, died from asphyxia. Eight years later, Michael Keith Owens, 16, died after being restrained inside a closet. Both were ruled homicides.

Over the last three years, Texas inspectors found eight deficiencies at Shiloh, including overdue background check renewals for staff and poorly supervised medication inside the facility. A pending lawsuit alleges immigrant children housed there were held down and forcibly injected with drugs, rendering them unable to walk, afraid of people and wanting to sleep constantly.

Maribel Bernardez’s 9-year-old son landed at Shiloh after being referred for what staff viewed as psychological issues. Bernardez, a 34-year-old asylum seeker from Honduras, had spent nearly a year in the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Texas before she was transferred and later released, in February 2016.

During that time period, she had gone on a hunger strike [with many other women] to demand their release while awaiting their asylum hearing and eventually was allowed to post bond. But Bernardez says she never fought as hard as she did during the nearly six months that her son was housed and drugged at the Shiloh Treatment Center.

Bernardez’s son had lived with her sister in Honduras but made his way north last October with a cousin to ask for asylum and reunite with his mother, who now lives in New Orleans. He said he made sure to present a copy of his birth certificate with contact information for his mother. After a short stay in a shelter in the Houston area, he was referred to a psychiatrist for evaluation.

Between November and April, medical records show that Bernardez’s son was administered psychotropic drugs. His mother repeatedly objected and did not sign any consent form. Meanwhile, a caseworker assigned to the boy’s case asked Bernardez to wire her money, saying she would give her son things he wanted from the outside world. And her son says he and other Central American immigrant children routinely were physically assaulted – including in front of other staffers.

Shiloh has been awarded $26 million in federal money since 2013 from the Office of Refugee Resettlement. […]

New grants to be awarded

The Office of Refugee Resettlement currently pays most of these organizations under grants awarded back in 2016. In May, the agency announced its latest round of three-year grants to house migrant children. This offers another opportunity to remove grantees from the program – as well as a window into the agency’s plans for the program. The deadline is June 29.

The agency wrote that it anticipates paying $500 million for low-security shelter placements, up from $100 million in 2016, and doubling the number of grant winners. For the more secure, jail-like settings, the agency plans to more than double it is spending, from $9 million to $20 million.

Following its rekindled relationship with the agency this year, the secure Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Commission had planned to hire a coordinator for its unaccompanied minor program. Those plans abruptly changed. Local officials announced they would stop participating in the resettlement agency’s shelter program when the current contract runs out at the end of August. Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg called the family separation policy “unacceptable,” and said she had been assured that no children had been housed at the facility after being separated from their parents.

That, which followed local outcry against the contract, may be the first case in which a facility has ended its partnership with the resettlement agency in response to the Trump administration’s family separation policy.


Demand Grows for Tech Giants Like Microsoft and Salesforce to Cancel Contracts With ICE and
Border Patrol

As U.S. cities and corporations face mounting public pressure to cancel contracts with federal immigration agencies in light of the Trump administration’s brutal and inhumane border policies, grassroots groups are demanding major technology companies stop allowing the government to use their data technologies against vulnerable immigrant and refugee communities.

“Tech companies contracting with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), including Microsoft, Salesforce, Thomson Reuters, Hewlett Packard, Motorola, and Dell are all complicit in and profiting from a violent and murderous mass incarceration and deportation scheme,” said Scott Roberts, of Color of Change. He added, “We will hold any corporation accountable for their role in advancing Trump’s violence against our communities, and we will not stop until they heed the call of thousands of tech workers and people directly impacted by this crisis.”

Collectively, petitions created by Fight for the Future, SumOfUs, Center for Media Justice,, Demand Progress, Color of Change, Defending Rights and Dissent, and The Nation which demand tech companies stop enabling Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as well as Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have already garnered more than 100,000 signatures.

“Technology can be used to protect or violate human rights,” noted Jelani Drew of Fight for the Future. “Companies like Microsoft and Salesforce have chosen to use their services to violate them all while saying they care about human rights.”

Pointing specifically to the Trump administration’s so-called “zero tolerance” policy, which allowed federal immigration officials to separate more than 2,000 children from their asylum-seeking parents and detain them several states apart, Drew added, “The trauma of family separation will run deep for the children and families involved and big tech companies play a huge part in that.”

As Fight for the Future acknowledged in a statement, “the groups’ demands echo those led by employees at Microsoft, Salesforce, and Amazon who have signed on to open letters saying that they do not want to be part of building software used to target immigrant families.”

Microsoft announced in January that it is providing ICE with a program featuring facial recognition software, which has fueled concerns that the company is directly aiding immigration agents in detaining undocumented people.

Last month, amid outrage over the family separation policy, more than 300 Microsoft employees demanded that the company immediately cut ties with ICE, proclaiming in an open letter, “we refuse to be complicit.”

“The Trump administration’s attack on children and families is unconscionable and Microsoft’s failure to act in the face of these glaring human rights abuses is beyond disturbing,” concluded Reem Suleiman, a senior campaigner at SumOfUs. “Microsoft must honor the demands of its own employees and thousands of people across the country calling on the company to drop its contract with ICE. Otherwise, it will forever be remembered as the tech company that powered Trump’s brutal policy of family separation and detention.”

Open Letter to Microsoft

We believe that Microsoft must take an ethical stand, and put children and families above profits. Therefore, we ask that Microsoft cancel its contracts with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) immediately, including contracts with clients who support ICE.

We also call on Microsoft to draft, publicize and enforce a clear policy stating that neither Microsoft nor its contractors will work with clients who violate international human rights law.

We were dismayed to learn that Microsoft has a standing $19.4 million contract with ICE. In a clear abdication of ethical responsibility, Microsoft went as far as boasting that its services “support the core [ICE] agency functions” and enable ICE agents to “process data on edge devices” and “utilize deep learning capabilities to accelerate facial recognition and identification.” These are powerful capabilities, in the hands of an agency that has shown repeated willingness to enact inhumane and cruel policies.

In response to questions, Brad Smith published a statement saying that Microsoft is “not aware of Azure products or services being used for the purpose of separating families.”

This does not go far enough. We are providing the technical undergirding in support of an agency that is actively enforcing this inhumane policy. We request that Microsoft cancel its contracts with ICE, and with other clients who directly enable ICE.

As the people who build the technologies that Microsoft profits from, we refuse to be complicit. We are part of a growing movement, comprised of many across the industry who recognize the grave responsibility that those creating powerful technology have to ensure what they build is used for good, and not for harm.

Acknowledging this responsibility, we request that you:

1. Cancel the existing Azure Government contract with ICE immediately.

2. Draft, publicize, and enforce a clear policy stating that neither Microsoft nor its contractors will work with clients who violate international human rights law.

3. Commit to transparency and review regarding contracts between Microsoft and government agencies, in the U.S. and beyond.

Signed by 300 Microsoft workers and counting


17 States and DC Sue Federal Government: Contending Authorities Contribute to
Civil War Danger

Seventeen states, including California, Illinois, New York and Washington State, as well as Washington, D.C. filed a lawsuit against the federal government on June 25. It seeks to force the Trump administration to reunite more than 2,000 children with their parents. The lawsuit is the first one by states over the “zero tolerance” policy to criminalize all entering the country and separate children from their parents. The suit says the federal government is acting in violation of the constitutional rights of immigrants and refugees, particularly due process rights, and is illegally inflicting trauma on children. Attorney Generals for California, Washington, and Massachusetts are leading the group. New York was to file its own lawsuit but instead joined this one. The rest of the states are: Maryland, Oregon, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Iowa, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, North Carolina and Delaware.

The following day, addressing a class action lawsuit filed earlier by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) a federal court ruled that Trump is required to reunite all the separated families within thirty days and within 14 days for children under five (see above). Nonetheless, the lawsuit by the states is being pursued. This is an indication of the intensifying conflicts within the ruling circles as they strive for power — and the control of the many policing agencies that is a necessary component.

Part of what is at stake is whether the federal government can dictate to the states, especially the large ones, on matters of policing. The suit is taking place at a time many of these same states are refusing to send National Guards to the border as demanded by Trump, and where some, like New York and California have sanctuary laws, blocking local law enforcement from cooperating with federal agents, like Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), on certain matters. For this case, care and detention of children and refugees is also at issue. Many of the detention centers run by the federal government, for example, are in violation of state laws concerning licensing, safety and medical requirements for housing children.

The states are contending with the federal government as to who will have authority in a situation where rule of law has effectively been eliminated — as the actions surrounding immigration show. The federal government is acting with impunity, completely against human rights law the U.S. is duty bound to uphold. The states seem to think relying on the Constitution will resolve the conflict and hold the executive in check, but there is little basis for that to be so. Indeed, it is the very arrangements of the Constitution that have enabled the executive to increasingly usurp power and concentrate it in the office of the president. As the oath of office of the president states, he is to “faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States.” Short of impeachment, the president can utilize the police powers of the executive as he sees fit. It has reached the point now where these police powers are all that remain of the public authority, without any semblance of government providing for the public good and upholding rule of law. This is evident not only on the matter of immigration but more broadly on issues of the rights of workers, women, students, issues of government racism and inequality, etc.

However, such a situation undermines the legitimacy of the federal government in the eyes of the people, including its ability to have a monopoly on the use of force. It creates conditions of contending authorities, in this case those of the federal government and the states. In a situation where many of these states, like New York and California, could be countries in their own right, such contention means the conditions of civil war always brewing under the surface could break out into open violence. In the current conflict, whether Trump adheres to the federal court ruling, whether the states persist and achieve a ruling of their own, whether National Guards will adhere to the will of the governors or Trump, are all indications of the seriousness the conditions of civil war are posing.

The vying factions among the ruling elite would like to see people line up behind one or the other faction so as to block the large majority — working people — from themselves gaining political power. But the many actions are already indicating that the people do not accept such a role. They are striving for a new direction. The alternative is for a government that upholds the rights of all — for an anti-war government and peace economy. Such a direction can resolve the wars abroad and conflicts at home in the interests of the people.



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