Veterans For Peace strongly condemns Trump's 'zero tolerance' immigration policy, the imprisonment of children, and criminalization of undocumented immigrants. Our immigration laws and enforcement tactics have long been at a crisis point and we are now witnessing even more draconian enforcement and criminalization of people seeking refuge.
Veterans For Peace recognizes that these orders did not happen in a vacuum, but represent a long history of racist and violent policy that has perpetuated U.S. wars across the world and horrific domestic policy that created ICE, massive immigration detention centers and a wall that already splits towns and separates friends and families. However, the Trump administration has escalated, at an alarming pace, the implementation of new dangerous measures. President Trump is moving to fulfill on the promises of his campaign that caused an upsurge of hateful sentiment in our nation and spurred a rise in fear and anger.
Veterans For Peace understands that this outrageous abuse of refugee children and their parents is an extension of historic and current U.S. intervention in Central America. The U.S. government conducts military interventions, orchestrates coup d'etats, and supports oligarchs and dictators. The CIA, NED and USAID pursues regime change for any Latin American government that will not bow to U.S. economic exploitation of their land and their people. This too must end. It is time for the U.S. to have a just foreign policy that treats our neighbors with fairness and compassion.
At a time when refugees who are fleeing U.S.-sponsored violence are being branded as criminals, rapists and terrorists, and as anti-immigrant rhetoric continues to poison the public discourse, it is important for people of conscience to take a stand and to offer a different narrative.
Instead of welcoming refugees as required under international humanitarian standards, the U.S. government is treating individuals and families fleeing to the U.S. as if they are criminals, imprisoning them for profit. Moreover, the U.S. "solution" to the so-called child migrant crisis has been to further militarize the borders of Mexico and Central America and to jail families indefinitely.
We need to build grassroots power to challenge the racist status quo and we need to take action. We applaud those who have already taken action across the country, from Portland to D.C. We can not remain silent about the connections between militarized U.S. foreign policy and the reasons why people flee here for their lives.